When given the option between WWE and AEW, AJ Styles had no problem making his decision. Also, some lower-tier superstars are not happy with the ThunderDome concept.
AJ Styles On Choosing WWE Over AEW
When AEW was putting the pieces together, a key part was who they would bring in. A bunch of names were speculated and that included AJ Styles.
In the end, Styles decided to re-sign with WWE. He even managed to confirm the news while showing off the newest addition to his family.
There was lots of talk if Styles would jump ship. But, he apparently never thought about leaving WWE.
While speaking to Bleacher Report’s Graham Matthews, Styles went into this thought process at the time.
“Well Like I said before, this is a business,” said Styles. “I’m going to go where business is best for AJ Styles.”
“I like WWE and I like everything about it. I know it. I’m used to it. I don’t want to leave. This is a business, though.”
“This is what we do for a living. Was it close? I wouldn’t say it was close for me. Like I said, I want to be in WWE.”
We will never know if Styles made the right call. At 43 years old, he has stated the latest contract will be his final.
We are not sure on what kind of deal WWE made, but it was probably for a good amount of money. As for the length, WWE typically aims for three to five years.
“The Phenomenal One” made his name in Impact Wrestling before departing for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Eventually, he landed in WWE and debuted during the 2016 Royal Rumble Match.
Originally, WWE did not plan on making him a main event superstar. Although, they quickly realized his potential.
He is two time WWE Champion, who also held the United States and Intercontinental Championship. Plus, he has won several awards for matches and feuds.
Problems With ThunderDome
When COVID hit, it sent everyone scrambling. That included sports, who have basically gone forward with little to no fans.
WWE tried using some fans out of the Performance Center. Although, they had to change plans as the virus continued to spiral out of control.
Eventually, WWE created the ThunderDome concept. While there were issues in the beginning, fans are getting used to the idea.
Seemingly, the audience is all virtual as fans can watch from the comfort of their house. Despite the fans being happy, the same cannot be said for talent.
Some lower-tier wrestlers are upset how WWE is adding crowd noises. This allows WWE to control the appearance of who is getting cheered versus booed.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter continued how the new pattern allows Vince McMahon more control.
“The ability to completely control reactions has led to frustration in some of the underneath talent because they realize the company creates the sound based on who they want to push and who they don’t. And then you have to face the fact that you’re not on the list of people they want to push, and whatever you do, you can’t get the reaction from the fans to change that.”
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) January 12, 2021
The opinion of the fans is what allowed the likes of Daniel Bryan to remain in the main event picture. For now, WWE wrestlers will have to deal with the current direction.
Currently, the ThunderDome is at Tropicana Field on a closed set. Therefore, there will be no fans in attendance for the Royal Rumble at the end of the month.
There is no timeframe for when fans will be back. By the look of things, a full arena is at least year or two away.