WWE has a few important wrestles left to re-sign this spring, but they are reportedly close to agreeing to a new deal with AJ Styles.
Over the past couple of months, the contract negotiations between AJ Styles and WWE have quietly made the rounds on the rumor mill. Though AEW’s creation has allowed fans to speculate about big stars in WWE leaving, there’s never been any doubt that wrestlers like Styles or Jimmy and Jey Uso would remain with the company, despite the lack of an official re-signing.
According to sources close to PWInsider.com’s Mike Johnson, Styles and WWE have “agreed on all the major points” of a new contract, likely bringing the end to negotiations that didn’t really make any splash headlines, largely because, again, nobody expected anything other than a deal between both parties.
Styles, the WWE 2K19 cover star, has been an important part of WWE since debuting at the 2016 Royal Rumble. He’s a two-time WWE Champion, and after facing Chris Jericho, Shane McMahon, and Shinsuke Nakamura in his first three WrestleManias, he has another high-profile opponent this year in WWE veteran Randy Orton, who has used Styles’s past at TNA, NJPW, and elsewhere to fuel this storyline.
Fightful.com’s Sean Ross Sapp reported in mid-November that AJ Styles wanted to work a reduced schedule, with Sapp bringing up Orton’s current schedule as the blueprint for what The Phenomenal One’s workload could look like.
At 41, Styles remains one of the most highly-regarded wrestlers in the world, but to keep performing at this level for a few more years, a reduced schedule would be nice, in addition to affording the veteran wrestler more time to spend with his family. That absence from home, of course, was used by long-time rival Samoa Joe in their feud over the WWE Championship last summer.
It’s good to hear that Styles and WWE have agreed to terms, since it’s always a positive to learn about wrestlers getting a contract done.
In the report on PWInsider.com, Johnson cautions that they cannot confirm whether or not Styles has officially put pen to paper on the contract, just that sources within the company believe that it’s headed that way. He also reminds readers that AEW had interest in Styles, whose work in ROH, NJPW, and TNA made him lauded as an all-time great before ever stepping foot into WWE.