Jeff Jarrett reflects on AJ Styles coming to TNA Wrestling.
For many years, AJ Styles was synonymous with the TNA Wrestling brand. AJ was the company's first X-Division Champion, dating back to the original days of NWA-TNA in 2002. AJ would also become the company's first Grand Slam Champion when he would win the Legends Championship years later.
Speaking during a Q&A with Lucha Libre Online, WWE Hall of Famer, and the founder of TNA Wrestling, Jeff Jarrett reflected on all of the different names that would get eyes on AJ Styles before AJ Styles would join the TNA brand in 2002 and when asked who ultimately "discovered" AJ Styles, Jeff would say that it all goes back to AJ Styles longtime manager, Bill Behrens
“I think it depends on the era and the definition of 'true discovery,' because Bill Behrens was AJ's first promoter -- who to this day is his agent, business advisor, manager, whatever the title may give you. But Bill -- to Wildside Wrestling (NWA Wildside) and you know, AJ was around WCW for just a couple of shows, and then North Georgia independents, and then my father heard about him and he saw him and then obviously I saw him. Jeremy Borash had seen him. There were different folks in the early days of TNA but you know, when AJ -- those three months before TNA started, getting the ability to see AJ and his first night, being crowned the X-Division Champion, he truly was an alternative, but also a face of the brand from day one.”
AJ Styles would remain the face of TNA Wrestling, later renamed IMPACT Wrestling, until 2013 when he would leave and begin a journey that would see him become one of the top faces of New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor before ultimately joining WWE at the 2016 Royal Rumble event.
Where it was once considered a pipe dream for AJ Styles to appear in WWE, AJ has gone on to become one of the top superstars in all of WWE, having had great matches with John Cena, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, and more. AJ would even have the final match of The Undertaker's career at WrestleMania 36 in the cinematic Boneyard Match.
AJ would also be in attendance when Jeff Jarrett was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2018.
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