It has been a great couple of years since AJ Styles arrived in WWE. The former TNA Wrestling legend, IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and leader of the Bullet Club has always been popular in the world of wrestling, but he never had the exposure that WWE brings him.
Styles has also enjoyed his time with WWE, though his current, grueling schedule doesn't allow him to pick his dates with the freedom he had when he was on the independent circuit. Even so, he's predominantly wrestling in North America now, closer to home than his days wrestling in Tokyo and Osaka.
In preparation for tonight's Survivor Series where Styles will face Brock Lesnar in a dream match, AJ has been making the rounds doing media interviews. This week he was a guest on 97.9 FM in Houston, Texas. The topic of life on the road (and the effect on his family) came up, and you can tell that it is certainly a balancing act for the Phenomenal One that his wife of 17 years is still coping with.
Styles noted that his wife still gets angry with him every time he has to hit the road due to the fact that it leaves her at home to deal with their four children by her lonesome. Styles talked about having to discipline them over the phone, then notably said, "that will change in a couple of years."
"Work hard now, you enjoy it later. In a couple of years, I'll be able to catch every football game, every baseball game, every basketball game, cheerleading, gymnastics, whatever they're in," Styles said.
The hosts immediately gave their feedback that they don't want to see him retire that soon (neither do we!), to which Styles replied, "Man, I'm 40 years old!"
Styles began wrestling in 1998, working various independents, including NWA Wildside, before catching on with TNA Wrestling and Ring of Honor in 2002. After a decade long run with TNA, he brought his game to New Japan Pro Wrestling where he became the second leader of the Bullet Club (following the departure of Fergal Devitt aka Finn Balor). Styles jump to WWE in 2016 at the Royal Rumble was one of the most memorable wrestling moments of the last decade.
With almost 20 years of wrestling under his belt, Styles spoke to the hosts about the challenge of getting older and still maintaining his game.0comments
"The older you get, the less energy you have to maintain it. It is what it is, but if you still have that drive and you can still do it, why not? Get in the gym and get it done, and look good in the meantime."
[H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the interview transcription.]