Last year, AJ Styles signed a 5-year contract with WWE following which he clarified that his extended deal would be the final one of his in-ring career. While this eliminated his chances of signing with AEW for the foreseeable future, the same opportunity could arise as soon as his contract expires 4 years later.
On a recent Twitch stream, The Phenomenal One addressed the possibility of inking a deal with AEW following the expiration of his current WWE deal.
“Change always – some change sucks. You know how one thing is done and the other is not worth the hassle. I don’t need, at least right now, to go anywhere else. So, why would I? But again, never say never.”
At 43, Styles is aware of his in-ring career winding down, and naturally, he wants to make the most of the time he has left. The 2-time WWE Champion has carefully thought about his future, and given just how much the pro wrestling business has given him, Styles simply wants to pay his dues following his retirement from in-ring competition.
“As far as AEW is concerned, never say never, right? But I think once my career is done, I’m hopefully just going to work for WWE in some capacity. What would I do? I’d like to be a recruiter, go scout some guys. I think that would be fun. I would have no problem going to the indies. I know we have scouts going to weightlifting contests and what not to get these big guys.”
The decorated champion wants to be a recruiter and help find young wrestlers before they have fully realized their potential. Guiding young talent on their journey and helping them achieve their dreams in the pro wrestling industry is the ideal retirement plan for Styles.
“I want to get guys and girls who have wanted to do this their whole life, give them some advice, check up on them from time to time, and help them get to the next level or the Performance Center. A lot of my friends are [in AEW], guys I love, but I know what I’m doing in WWE. I know what’s asked of me and I kind of like that.”
Styles is currently enjoying his maiden run as the WWE Intercontinental Champion and it remains to be seen just how long he can hold on to the shiny title in the ultra-competitive environment on SmackDown.