In January 2010, Ric Flair named AJ Styles as his protege in TNA. Styles was given the nickname "The New Nature Boy" by Flair and is started a storyline where Styles would add some of Flair's style to his persona.
Eric Bischoff, who had joined as an executive producer in late 2009, wanted Styles to go all out and dye his hair like Flair, but Styles was opposed to the idea.
Speaking during a Q&A on his Twitch stream, Styles recalled Bischoff's reaction to AJ not wanting to dye his hair and then telling the story on a radio show.
"Bischoff wanted me to be Ric Flair and literally dye my hair blonde. I go on a radio show and say, 'I'm not dying my hair blonde. I'll do a little frost or something, so you can see there's a change in AJ Styles, but just because you don't know me, doesn't mean our fans don't. I'm trying to be to AJ Styles, not Ric Flair.' I did little things so you could see I was going in his footsteps, like putting a hood on the robe. We butted heads and he was furious as me one day, I think he said to me, 'I would fight you right now, but I know my limitations.' I would laugh like, 'Man, this guy is mad.' It wasn't long after that where we saw eye-to-eye and I really respected him. We became friends and it's all about trust. You have to trust guys who are trying to do the right thing and put in a position to where; I've got this guy in Hulk Hogan, how do I make him the focal point and how do I make the guys that I have bigger stars, but I think he wasn't sure what our fanbase was. It was small compared to WWE, but that's something you can never do. Don't even compare your organization to WWE," said Styles.
Styles and Flair would remain aligned in TNA through the days of Fourtune, which was Flair's TNA take on the Four Horsemen.
Elsewhere during his Q&A, Styles discussed how Dixie Carter ruined TNA. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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