David Penzer recently interviewed Bill Behrens, the owner of NWA Wildside, about a wide range of topics.
During it, he was asked if he ever saw a chance of AJ Styles going to WWE. Behrens is the former manager of the current WWE star.
“Short answer, yes. That was always the goal and yet not the goal. AJ was very devoted to TNA. If TNA had not screwed up, AJ would have been with them now, even through everything. If the money had been there, if everybody hadn’t been a jerk and treated him as less than their top star, he would have been there. He had to go out there and recreate himself so he did that with New Japan. Inevitably, that’s what led to WWE. We had been offered, we turned down three WWE offers and then eventually, things worked out. But at the time, we made the decision more than them, quite honestly. Back in 2008, for example, he was offered a pretty good downside and TNA had put a five year deal on the table. There was a lot of talking. Wendy (AJ’s wife) was involved. My job for them, and I always told them, ‘I’m going to give you the up and down on both sides. It’s not my decision. It’s yours because you have to live with it, not me. I’m just here for the ride.’ In 2008, if you think about it, he would have been more Matt Sydal than top guy, just because he was the smaller guy. Regardless of his talent, Vince’s ability to put him out there and give him a chance to succeed would not have been at the level that it was by the time we got there. By the time we got there, he had done New Japan and proved he was a national star on his own. He had done Ring of Honor and literally only did, I think, 10 appearances and yet was one of their top guys. No one, after a long run with TNA where he is the most decorated champion in their history, he still has the most title wins of anybody, was promoting him as the ex-TNA guy. Yea, I always thought he was going to be that guy and literally he is that guy, and he’s proven he is that guy. But, we did not know when ‘I am phenomenal’ came up at the Rumble on his debut that the crowd would explode. Nobody knew. Vince assumed not.”
H/T to WrestlingNews.co