David Penzer recently interviewed Bill Behrens, the owner and founder of NWA Wildside. Behrens has also represented hundreds of wrestlers over the years, including current WWE star AJ Styles.
Here are a couple of transcribed highlights from the interview:
David Penzer said from everything he is being told, that one person will walk away with both the AEW and Impact Championships in the title for title match between Kenny Omega and Rich Swann:
“I would be remiss if I didn’t plug Rebellion Impact Wrestling on Sunday April 25th. They just moved the date from Saturday to Sunday. Wrestling PPV is back on Sunday where they were for so long. I bring this up, not because I work there, but I do. Not because I’m trying to pimp it but I am, but also because it’s a huge match. Title vs title. One man, and this is a shoot guys, from everything that I’ve been told, and I have no idea what’s going to happen, but, from everything I understand and I’ve been told, this is not going to be a DQ deal. This is not going to be a count out or a time limit draw. From everything that I understand, one man is going to walk out with both the Unified Impact World Championship and the AEW Championship. Whether that’s Rich Swann or Kenny Omega, I do not know, but this is a legit title vs title match and that certainly makes it interesting in a lot of ways.”
Bill Behrens was the real-life manager of AJ Styles. Behrens was asked if he ever saw a chance of AJ going to WWE:
“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.”