AJ Styles, who has traveled the world in his 22 years in the professional wrestling business, recently went live on his Twitch channel and discussed his time spent working in Japan after leaving TNA. He also gave credit to NJPW for helping him grow as a performer.
“Man, I miss that place,” Styles said. “There’s so many great things about it. I feel like they helped transform AJ Styles into the one you are seeing now. I perfected who I was over there and they helped me perfect who I was. I have so much love for those guys, and I can’t say enough great things about New Japan Pro Wrestling. They’re great.
“I would love to wrestle over there again,” Styles continued. “It would have to be with WWE though, when we go over there on tour. Like I said, I love everything about it over there. I love the atmosphere. It’s not just the wrestling; it’s the culture, too. I love going out to eat and having Korean barbeque. It’s just the best.”
AJ was asked if he watched the Iron Man Match on NXT between Johnny Gargono, Adam Cole, Tommaso Ciampa and Finn Balor. Styles revealed at this point in his life and career, he doesn’t watch much wrestling when he gets home. He also responded to Balor creating a tag team with Styles is a goal of his.
“I would love to tell you how much I loved watching that, but I didn’t,” Styles said. “I did not watch it. It’s one of those things where – I’m not sure how to explain it – it’s like you just got off of work and the last thing you want to do is watch a show about your work. It’s kind of like that. Don’t get me wrong – I love what I do. I love it and I’m very passionate about it.
“It’s just after 21 years in the business, when I’m home, I just want to be home,” AJ revealed. “There’s going to come a time when this is over and I can go back to being able to just enjoying the matches. At this point in my career, I just pick them apart. I can’t even watch my own matches because I’ll get to the point where I hate what I’ve done. It’s very hard for me to watch from a fan’s perspective after being in the business this long.”
“Balor said he wanted to tag with me,” Styles said. “Maybe we should make that happen. I’ll leave it up to Finn. Finn, do you want me to come down to NXT or do you want to come up to SmackDown? You haven’t been there in a while, as far as SmackDown. Has Balor won tag championships with anyone? It’d be beneficial for both of us to be tag champs. Do I cut my losses with the Intercontinental Championship and get a partner and go after the tag championships?
“Maybe that’s what I should do,” AJ continued. “We could go after the tag titles and hold them as long as we can, and when it’s over, we can ‘Too Sweet’ each other and go our separate ways. Neither one of us have held the tag titles in WWE.”
Styles is nearing the end of his in-ring career and has mentioned multiple times that he wants to retire from in-ring action after his current contract expires. AJ went a little more in depth with his Twitch fans and got into what the driving factor of retirement is.
“I want to retire,” Styles said. “I really do. I’m going to give you a breakdown of what’s going on this Friday. I’m going to leave – and listen, it could be a lot worse, but with everything going on with the COVID and whatnot, I’ve gotten to see my kids’ practices. That’s really cool for me. My son’s games for varsity football are on Friday nights. I perform on Friday nights.”
“This Friday isn’t one of those,” Styles said. “For whatever reason, they moved it to Saturday. He’s going to have a Saturday football game and I’m going to get to see it. I’m so happy about that. He’s starting on varsity on kickoff returns as a freshman. That’s pretty cool. I wasn’t ever that good, so, good for him!”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please give a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.