As the WWE Network 365 special which premiered after Survivor Series last night (Nov. 18) reminded us, AJ Styles has been with WWE for almost three years now. As the anniversary of his Royal Rumble 2016 debut approaches, it makes sense AJ would be needing a new contract.
The Phenomenal One is indeed one of “several” WWE Superstars whose contract is up, Fightful reports. Sources told the site Styles and the company are negotiating, and that AJ wants a deal which “resembles that of Randy Orton’s where he’d work television and limited live event dates”. One of those sources said the sides are talking about another three year contract, and that AJ wanted to drop the WWE title because holding it ensured he was on the road and away from his family whenever the company needed/wanted his services.
With WWE stock up from where it was to start the year, in part thanks to its partnership with Saudi Arabia and new television contracts with Fox & NBC Universal which will also put more cash in their coffers, Fightful says many stars are looking for pay increases and lighter schedules on their next deals. Their report points out that Styles knows he has other non-WWE options should he be unable to get the terms he wants from Vince McMahon. Whether those would ensure he makes more money or travels less isn’t clear.
Another possible reason for wanting a lighter load was mentioned on the new 365. It was revealed Styles worked with a hamstring tear throughout this past summer - something which explains how he’s been booked since WrestleMania, and the latest injury the 41 year old has worked through in the last few years.
We’ll keep you posted with any new reports or rumors about AJ’s future, and you can check out Fightful’s original post with this item here.