Ryan Carse passed along this recap.
We conducted (an interview) with AJ Styles whilst on tour with 5 Star Wrestling last week in the UK. You can find the interview at this link:
As can be expected with someone in his position at the moment, AJ kept his cards reasonably close to his chest for most of the interview, before opening up frankly about his current contractual status, whether WWE is an ambition for him and the rejection he felt in 2001 after not being picked up following WCW’s closure.
On missing out on his chance at the big-time with WCW closing in 2001:
“It was a little depressing, not only that [WCW] went out of business, but the fact that WWE did not pick me up. But in retrospect, it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I wasn’t ready to be in WCW and I wasn’t ready to be in WWF at the time. It was great getting back onto those indies and really learning. I learned so much going to Ring of Honor, it was a big learning curve for me at the beginning because everything was different, things were done different in the North East than they were in the South East. But it was a great thing that happened to me, it was the best thing that could’ve happened.”
On his veteran role in the main event scene:
“The truth of the matter is that guys don’t get very good until they’re in their 30’s, and it’s because of that experience that you need in your 20’s, to be this star in your 30’s. And when you’re in your 30’s, you finally get it. So it’s all about experience.”
On if he feels like he’s reaching his prime as a performer:
“I do. I’ve acquired so much knowledge over my tenure in being a pro wrestler that it’s really starting to pay off now. A lot of people will say, “You know, he doesn’t do some of the stuff that he used to”, but it’s not that I don’t do it, I just do it at the right time.”
On whether WWE is an aspiration:
“You know, I’m always going to do what’s best for my family. That’s my first priority, my job is to take care of them, any way that I can. Wherever that business takes me, I’m taking care of them, that’s where I’ll go.”
Important side-note: Whilst posing with the latest issue of The Tag Rope magazine, AJ threw up the Bullet Club salute before noting, “Might be the last time I ever do that.” Additionally, AJ went on to comment, “Crazy stuff going on in the life of AJ Styles that you don’t want to be a part of, I guarantee it.” Speculate at will.