WWE: 5 Reasons AJ Styles Won't Be Signed (And 5 Reasons Why They Should)

5. Styles is TNA Branded

Aj Styles WWE have a curious attitude to the world of professional wrestling. Wrestling history (even their own) is constantly retconned and other wrestling promotions...Well, they simply don't exist as far as WWE is concerned. What started out as a savvy marketing plan has now evolved into an awkward company-centric mythology eerily reminiscent of creationism, or at least Scientology. Because of this commitment to revisionist history, some WWE fans genuinely believe that WWE is, was and will always be the entirety of 'sports entertainment'. On WWE RAW, Michael Cole routinely talks about the World Heavyweight Championship being the same belt that was held by wrestling greats like Lou Thesz, Dusty Rhodes, Jack Brisco and Harley Race. In fact, they even air vignettes talking about great NWA Champions of the past as if they were WWE World Champions. This is, to be polite, complete and utter fiction. The company have always liked to pretend that there is no world outside of its arena doors and Pay Per View events. It's a bit like a beefed-up, steroid-addled version of 'The Truman Show', except that instead of a thought-provoking denouement, Triple H simply hits you on the head with a shovel if you get too close to the truth (probably). In reality, WWE did employ Dusty Rhodes. They dressed him up in polka dots. They also had Harley Race. They gave him a crown and a robe. They even had Jack Brisco's brother, Jerry. They made him a stooge. They did this because, as far as WWE was concerned, unless they were ridiculing them, their competition simply didn't exist. Of course, once WCW became a genuine threat to WWE hegemony, they created 'Gillberg' and 'The Huckster', but never did they acknowledge the pre-WWE pasts of their wrestlers, or any other promotions at all, for that matter. Daniel Bryan, for example, is rarely, if ever, referred to as 'American Dragon' by the WWE and his exploits as 'Bryan Danielson' in ROH are completely ignored. Likewise, when Rob Van Dam returned to the company after a main event stint in TNA, there was no mention of where he'd been since his final WWE appearance, or what he'd been up to during that time (presumably fans were meant to imagine that he was off fighting hoards of Ninjas alongside Ricky Steamboat €“ actually, that WOULD be worth paying to see). About the only legacies that were ever allowed to exist outside of the company were those of Ric Flair (NWA Champion) and Brock Lesnar (UFC Champion) and both of those were for storyline purposes that boosted WWE stock. Anyway, the point is that after eleven and a half years with TNA, Styles will be forever branded as a 'TNA guy' in the eyes of the WWE. In fact, he was pretty much TNA's best hand (besides Kurt Angle) for most of that time. And, as I've hopefully just demonstrated, in the world of WWE storytelling, TNA does not exist. Put simply, giving Styles a push in WWE gives credibility and exposure to the competition. If Styles goes up against Randy Orton, or John Cena, or Daniel Bryan and actually wins, then WWE is essentially saying that TNA competitors (and thus the TNA product) is on WWE's level. So, the message would be, if you can reach the top of Dixieland, then so too can you can reach the top of the McMahon-mountain. Its f*cked up, I grant you, but I genuinely think the WWE believes it. Conversely, if he loses, then WWE attracts negative press for burying a legitimately great talent. Again.
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I am a professional author and lifelong comic books/pro wrestling fan. I also work as a journalist as well as writing comic books (I also draw), screenplays, stage plays, songs and prose fiction. I don't generally read or reply to comments here on What Culture (too many trolls!), but if you follow my Twitter (@heyquicksilver), I'll talk to you all day long! If you are interested in reading more of my stuff, you can find it on (my personal site, which has other wrestling/comics/pop culture stuff on it). I also write for FLiCK, which is the best place to read my fiction work. Oh yeah - I'm about to become a Dad for the first time, so if my stuff seems more sentimental than usual - blame it on that! Finally, I sincerely appreciate every single read I get. So if you're reading this, thank you, you've made me feel like Shakespeare for a day! (see what I mean?) Latcho Drom, - CQ