During a recent Wizard World Portland appearance, AJ Styles took part in a Q&A, during which he addressed his time in TNA Wrestling.
“Ring of Honor treated me real well, and New Japan treated me like a superstar. So I’ve got to give credit to them, who helped boost my ego a little bit because it was definitely flattened due to TNA’s service. But then — doing all that and then having the opportunity to come to WWE and… you know, whether people like it or not, WWE is easy, the biggest – you know, when it comes to wrestling, it doesn’t get any bigger than the WWE. And being there means you’ve finally made it.”
Additionally, “The Phenomenal One” spoke about some of the matches he had in TNA, including those against Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels. He claimed that he eventually came to the realization that TNA didn’t exactly view him as “a star.”
“Well, at that time Joe and I were hoping to make TNA a big deal. You know, that was what we wanted to do. The problem was, the person who owned the company, she didn’t see that in us. She didn’t see us as the stars that put TNA on the map and not just me but like, Jerry Lynn and Christopher Daniels, and Low Ki, all those guys who did great things and she just didn’t see it. Go put it bluntly, she wanted to be WWE-lite and nobody wanted to see that. They wanted to see something different. And at one point in time, it was a great place to work.”