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Not Buying The AJ Styles Contract Story

Are pro wrestling fans about to be duped again? It appears that TNA Wrestling think you may fall for the same trick twice. Count me in as a non-believer when it comes to AJ Styles contract but hey, I’ll be happy to play along.

We saw this story develop in the spring of 2011. Reports slowly started to surface about CM Punk’s contract status with the WWE. Reports started to increase with wrestling journalists telling fans that CM Punk’s contract was expiring and there was a very good chance he wouldn’t re-sign. Reports followed of a short-term contract extension that happened to expire the day after Money in the Bank and what followed was one of the most fun WWE summers in years.

TNA has ironically wound up in a similar situation or at least that is what’s being reported. Popular yet underutilized star AJ Styles’ contract is reportedly set to expire. A couple of weeks ago a new report surfaced indicating that Styles has signed a short-term extension. Styles then won Bound for Glory and earned a title shot at coincidentally right about the time his deal is set to expire. Do you see a pattern here…well besides the fun summer of course?

Here we go again. You know it’s funny because as fun as the Punk storyline was and it was entertaining, I could see the work a mile away. I was shocked at how many people were buying it at the time. I pointed out in my blog that either the journalists were being worked or were helping work the story. Friends of mine who reported the story took great offense to this yet as we look back now I was right about one of those two theories. Please I beg my friends (the few who I have left) on the journalism side not to get fooled again.

Any doubts I had about Styles’ contract story being legitimate were confirmed when I watched Impact Wrestling. Not only has TNA in its infinite wisdom decided to play off of an angle from two years ago, they are also playing off of one from three days ago. The second Dixie Carter started questioning AJ Styles’ value the same way that Trips and Stephanie labeled Daniel Bryan a “B” player my suspicions were confirmed…or either Dixie or AJ are incredibly stupid.

From AJ Styles’ side he would have to either be the dumbest guy in the world to go along with an angle where he is being marginalized as a “B” player in the middle of a contract negotiation. Why in the world would anyone want that perception (storyline or not) when they are trying to negotiate with the WWE? Would the WWE really sign a guy and offer him any kind of push that is being portrayed as a “B” player on the “B” program? I have to believe that he would never do this kind of an angle unless he had job security.

Now granted Dixie Carter has said and done a lot of incredibly dumb things in her reign as TNA president but I have to think that she has surrounded herself with enough smart people to advise her. The idea that she would put a guy over who is leaving in the Bound for Glory tournament and give him such a big push on the way out doesn’t benefit anyone, especially when they could have Magnus or Austin Aries over in the BFG tournament. If AJ were the top guy already and you put him in that situation to elevate Bully at BFG that would be understandable. He’s not and it would make no sense to do it if AJ is not signed to a lengthy deal.

So for the sake of you TNA fans who follow and enjoy the program I’ll play along. But if you think for a second that I think AJ Styles is going anywhere you probably should follow another blog.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an M.B.A. from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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