Geno brought the report to our attention last week - TNA and AJ Styles temporary contract was running out of time, and the two sides were still substantially apart on money for a new long-term deal.
Now, Mike Johnson at pwinsider is reporting that the extension expires today, December 16th and that Styles is officially a free agent for the first time in over a decade. In fact, his agent has revealed that he has several dates lined up in the United States and Canada for January and February.
Today for the first time in 11 years, AJ Styles awakes to find himself without a professional wrestling contract. I can't help but think how did I get here, what must I have done wrong, did I not deliver in the ring, etc. All of those are pertinent questions that any man or woman who finds himself or herself unemployed would ask. I have always prided myself in being the wrestler that stays away from the things in this business that could easily destroy myself, my family, my marriage, and even my career. A wrestler who goes above and beyond to give the fans what they paid to see. I move forward not bitter, but better for the blessings and memories that I have been a part of since TNA's inception.
When this contract renegotiation journey started several months ago, my wife and I began praying for God to close doors that needed to be closed and to open the doors that He wanted us to walk through. We asked him to prepare us for this journey and to help us to have the faith to be obedient to what He would have us to do. I am assured by the name Immanuel in Matthews 1:23 that I will never be alone. Hebrews 13.5, says He will never leave us or forsake us. There is a lot in this world that I am unsure of, especially in this moment, but there is one thing that I am certain. Contracts may expire, but the promise of Immanuel will never expire.
As my family and I move forward with my wrestling career, we will turn to Jabez's prayer found in 1 Chronicles 4:10.
Oh, that You would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that Your hand would be with me,
and that You would keep me from evil.
My family and I are both grateful for the platform that TNA has allowed me to experience. TNA has been a blessing to our family for many years. We have made many friendships and many more memories. While you may not be seeing AJ Styles in TNA, you can be sure that he will be traveling the world and delivering many more Phenomenal matches. Visit AJStyles.org for a complete list of bookings.
AJ Styles P1
The original post from Geno contains spoilers for how TNA has written him off of television, if you're interested in reading about that. This definitely indicates that the company that brings us Impact Wrestling every Thursday night is changing, and we can begin to speculate on what other changes we might see now that one of the men most synonymous with the company has put them in his rearview mirror.
Best of luck to AJ in his future endeavors. What do you Cagesiders make of this news?