Who wins the AJ Styles-TNA standoff? Surely not AJ

ajstylesAJ Styles is standing his ground in the on-again, off-again negotiations with tna. The former tna World Heavyweight Champion is a free agent and working this weekend with Ring of Honor, and booking independent gigs outside of ROH.

Is this the best move for Styles? As a promoter who has booked indy cards big and small, I’m saying no.

Styles is as talented as anybody in the business, but the wrestling business is about a lot more than talent. In fact, you can boil it down to being about one thing and one thing only: putting butts in seats.

And AJ Styles, in my estimation, isn’t somebody that an indy promoter can rely on to put butts in seats, at least enough to justify what you’d have to expect is a huge price tag to book him.

Styles is really only valuable to TNA at this point in his career. He’s of no value to WWE, which has been going more and more with smaller stars (CM Punk, Daniel Bryan) than it used to, but Vince McMahon’s bread and butter is still the big guy, and that’s never going to change.

Indy promoters have the same focus. Big guys and big names sell out high school gyms. AJ Styles on an indy card probably gives you the best match of the night, but it’s never going to be the match that the majority of fans came out to see.

My advice to AJ: stick your tail between your legs and sign on the bottom line with TNA.

Column by Chris Graham


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