AJ Styles announced via Twitter on Monday afternoon that he had signed a new contract with the WWE.
"This is the newest member of my family," Styles wrote as he posted a photo of his new sleeping puppy. "Also, I've signed a new contract with the WWE. What a cute little guy."
This is the newest member of my family. Also, I’ve signed a new contract with the WWE. What a cute little guy. pic.twitter.com/PNqh9shgTH— AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) March 18, 2019
Styles initially joined the WWE in 2016, making his debut at that year's Royal Rumble. In his three years in the company he is a two-time United States Champion and a two-time WWE Champion. His most recent reign as world champion, which ended in November, clocked in at 371 days.
Prior to his WWE run, Styles was known as one of the best independent wrestlers in the world after spending 15 years in TNA Impact, Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. But despite his popularity, Styles said in an interview with ESPN back in September that Vince McMahon never saw him as anything more than a midcarder when he was initially signed.
"From my understanding, I was looked at as a mid-card at best in the WWE. That was the plan and I was okay with that because it was still a great job, a great payday and a great way to take care of my family," Styles said. "I didn't necessarily think that's where I was going to be but there was that time when I made my debut and fans knew who I was in Orlando. They made some noise and it was pretty great. Vince [McMahon] assumed it was a fluke. He didn't think too much of A.J. Styles."
Styles said he eventually won McMahon over during his early days on Monday Night Raw.
"I don't even think I was supposed to be on Raw that next Monday. But the turning point where Vince really saw something in me was when I had a regular match, a babyface match, went out and did my thing," said Styles. I came back to gorilla and Vince says, 'Come here for a second. I've got other guys who can do exactly what you just did out there. You didn't do anything special. I need a pit bull. I need a guy who just attacks. I need a guy who gets after it,'" he said.
"I said, 'Well, I know that guy. I know exactly who that guy is' and there was the opportunity to be on Miz TV and I handled it just like I was ready to eat this guy's lunch and basically, I think the way that turned out was the turning point for Vince," he said. The next thing you know, after WrestleMania, I'm beating Chris Jericho and I'm the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship against Roman Reigns where we had a couple of fantastic matches," he continued.
Styles will take on Randy Orton at WrestleMania 35 on April 7.0comments