“If you don’t have that or if you think you are too good, we don’t want you. If you want to come in to have some great matches, and believe you me I’ve great matches with, but there are guys who I’ve wrestled on the indies who are not here that I know I can have great matches. We have to open that door and get them in here and make them want to stay. I don’t want them to make a name for themselves in TNA and then go somewhere else. I want them to be proud of being here...”
In many circles Styles is seen as the franchise player of TNA, but it hasn’t been without ups and downs.
“There are times when you are so frustrated you are willing to try everything or anything,” he said. “I think the reality is, if this doesn’t work, how are you going to pay your bills, much less take care of your family? Family is very important to me, so that is always the go-to. Is it best to suck it up or have other options? Much of those times it’s, ‘OK, deal with it. It may suck right now, but it’s a rollercoaster ride. Things will change. You have obligations to your family right now.’ Sometimes it sucks, but sometimes you have to trust other people to write good storylines or whatever. You just have to trust. For me, I have to trust in God, and that he is going to get me through this.”
The Georgian has virtually done it all in TNA and is most deserving of an induction in the promotion’s new Hall of Fame someday. He would join Sting and this year’s honoree Kurt Angle, who will be recognized during this Bound for Glory weekend.
“I will tell you if they try to induct me before Jeff Jarrett, I will not accept it,” Styles said. “He is the guy who started this company and is responsible for my career at this company. The fact that he put so much time and effort and money. In my opinion -- and I love Sting and Kurt -- Jeff would have been my first choice. Jeff isn’t done wrestling, neither is Kurt or Sting. I want to be done before I want to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. That’s just my opinion.”
Styles’s accomplishments speak for themselves, but he is always working to raise the bar. With the lights on bright, Bound for Glory is the ideal platform to do just that.
His goal: “I think it’s to put on quality matches where people go, ‘You know what. I watched other pay-per-views, but this one was different. I got my money’s worth when I got this pay-per-view.’ Or, ‘I turned on Spike TV and what a great show that was. I didn’t even pay for it, but gave me everything I wanted.’ I want them to say that about AJ Styles…I think that is the thing that keeps me going. Sometimes when I jump in the crowd and fans are grabbing on me trying to be a part of everything. That is what it’s all about. That’s when it’s fun. When it stops being fun, there is no reason to be in this anymore.”
• Follow AJ Styles @AJStylesOrg.
• AJ Styles challenges Bully Ray (with Brooke Tessmacher) for the TNA championship in the main event of TNA’s Bound for Glory pay-per-view at 8 p.m. EST Sunday, Oct. 20 from the Viejas Arena in San Diego.
Also, Ultimate X for the TNA X Division title: Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Manik vs. Samoa Joe vs. Chris Sabin (with Velvet Sky).
TNA Knockouts champ ODB vs. Gail Kim vs. Brooke Tessmacher.
Kurt Angle vs. EGO’s Bobby Roode.
Sting vs. Magnus and more.
A gauntlet tag team match with EGO’s Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian), Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Hernandez, Joseph Park and Eric Young, and The BroMans during the Bound for Glory preshow on Spike TV. The winners get a title shot against TNA tag champs Cowboy James Storm and Gunner later on the pay-per-view.
Spike TV’s Countdown to Bound for Glory special is 7 p.m. EST before the pay-per-view gets underway.
The Bound For Glory Weekend also includes the popular Fan Interaction and the induction of Kurt Angle into the TNA Hall of Fame.
For full details on the spectacular, visit www.tnabfg.com.
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