WWE Champion AJ Styles recently admitted that his retriment from professional wrestling is something that he keeps in mind. The thought of Styles leaving WWE is a possibility that most fans would prefer to ignore, but apparently, the Phenomenal One's looming departure a very real thing.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that Styles would like to retire from wrestling at the age of 42. Even more, the 40-year old Styles' WWE contract is set to expire in early 2019 which falls perfectly into his alleged target date for retirement.
All of this speculation started when Styles appeared on 97.9 FM in Houston, Texas to hype Survivor Series. When the conversation turned to his work/life balance, Styles dropped the big hint.
"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.
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.
As much as we'd like to pretend career mortality isn't at play here, Styles has been wrestling for an incredible amount of time. While several WWE Superstars maintain a full schedule well into their forties, their characters don't rely on the same acrobatics as AJ Styles. While we're sure AJ could change his style, wouldn't it better to just remember him as the journeyman who had perfect matches his entire WWE career?
Even if Styles wrestles past his personal deadline of 42, we'll never feel like we got enough of him in WWE. Even his truest of fans may be surprised with just how poignant his WWE run has been and no matter what, we'll all be wanting more.