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A.J. Styles opened up about his transition to WWE, emotional departure from New Japan, and shunning TNA in a sit-down interview with Brian Fritz of Between the Ropes from WrestleMania Media.
Asked about his letter of intent with TNA and TNA releasing a statement after he jumped to WWE, Styles said he felt like TNA made themselves “look like crap” with how they handled things publicly.
“I did sign a letter of intent, meaning I agree to this is what you’re going to pay me so you can send this to legal and mark this up, but there was no contract involved whatsoever. Nothing. So, what we signed was basically nothing. It was not a contract,” Styles said.
“I just felt like they did a really good job of making themselves look like crap for putting out that statement. Why would they do that? Why would they do that to themselves? Just let it go. It is what it is. Things didn’t work out.”
Styles added, “To tell you truth, from what I’m hearing, man, did I make a great decision coming to WWE. Not only because it’s amazing here, but what’s going on over there with a lot of people who have left. I’m not shameful of what I’ve done in the past as far as going with another company, but I’m a little disappointed.”
On the flip side, Styles said it was very difficult leaving New Japan because he had such a great experience and felt respected. “Those are the things you look for in a company. You work hard your whole career and a lot of times you don’t get the respect you deserve,” Styles said. “But when I was there in New Japan, they gave me that respect. It was really hard and very emotional for me leaving New Japan.”
Joining Styles on the way out of New Japan is Shinsuke Nakamura, who Styles said he cannot wait to wrestle in a WWE ring. But, it’s all about timing when Nakamura gets to the main roster and they have a match.
“This is the right time for me to be here. It’s the right time for Nakamura to do what he’s going to do. Everything will come in the right time. It’s only a matter of time for Nakamura and me to wrestle again,” Styles said.
Styles also talked about adding new fans to his fanbase being on the WWE platform. He said that part of his WWE introduction has been fulfilling after his career resurgence in Japan.
“I didn’t have a platform to show everything that I could,” Styles said. “I was stuck in this place (TNA) where you’ve wrestled everybody there and nothing is new. Then, you get to New Japan and everything is new. Going 30 minutes in the main event is great, too. Not just moves. But, psychology. I was in there with some of the best in the world.”
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