Chris Jericho welcomed AJ Styles as his guest this week on Talk Is Jericho. They talked about TNA from the start of the interview. AJ said that leaving TNA was one of the best things he’s ever done for his career. He said that he heard from the horse’s mouth that TNA has been horribly mismanaged and they couldn’t afford to pay him what he was making so he had to make the decision to leave. AJ said that it’s been a roller coaster of hirings and firings. He compared TNA to the end of WCW. AJ said that you had to go through different people to get things cleared. He named the creative team and Bruce Pritchard. He said that Eric Bischoff understood how the business worked but was unfamiliar with who worked at TNA. He said that certain people in the company would come in to TNA they didn’t know about the storylines in the company, whether the company was doing well, etc.
AJ said that he didn’t think there was a benefit to bringing in Hulk Hogan and expressed frustration at Hogan for not mentioning TNA in media appearances but he understood because he thinks Hogan was embarrassed. AJ said that he hung out with guys like Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Samoa Joe. AJ said that the minute he dropped the TNA title he knew that it was truly over for him in TNA. He said that the people (John Gaburick) at TNA didn’t know how to negotiate and he realized it when they tried to make things personal during negotiations. Jericho said that Gaburick was the guy in charge of Tough Enough or the guy in charge of a shoot for a WrestleMania commercial. AJ wondered what qualified him to be head of talent relations at TNA. Jericho noted that in WCW one thing they would do was bring anyone that had worked in WWE and it’s kind of what TNA is doing on screen and off screen as well.
AJ said that the company needs to be an alternative if they want to succeed. AJ said that one of the biggest mistakes they made was when they had Kurt Angle beat Samoa Joe right away when Kurt first came in to TNA and TNA did things like that time and time again.
AJ Styles said that he talked to someone at FSM Magazine in the UK and asked why TNA guys are not featured on the cover of their magazines as much. AJ said he was told that the truth is that they don’t sell as many magazines when a TNA guy is on the cover. AJ said that even though it sounds like TNA is so much bigger than WWE in the UK the reality is that it’s really not because TNA is seen on free TV and WWE is on pay TV and WWE has the same amount of viewers than TNA even though TNA is available for free.
AJ said that a lot of the indy promotions draw more than TNA does at house shows and he’s making more money doing independent shows than he did at TNA.
AJ also talked about his time in WCW, the offer WWE made to him many years ago, the styles clash incident with Lionheart earlier this year, wrestling in New Japan, and more.
It’s a very good podcast. AJ joins Chris at about 21:00. You can listen to the show below.