AJ Styles is one of the biggest stars to ever wrestle for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, now known as IMPACT. He spent over a decade wrestling for the company winning multiple World and X-Division Championships. Recently though, the Phenomenal One had some not so phenomenal things to say about the creative direction of the company during his tenure there.There is no question that IMPACT Wrestling is in the middle of a renaissance
. The company has slowing been gaining traction for their quality product in recent years and they absolutely kicked the door in at Slammiversary this month. The promotions’s biggest live event absolutely smashed the company’s previous social media records. Don Callis and Scott D’Amore have done tremendous work in rebuilding the brand after Anthem Sports and Entertainment bought a majority stake in 2017.
AJ Styles was asked on his Twitch stream for his thoughts on Vince Russo, and that led to him talking about former TNA President Dixie Carter.
“Vince (Russo), as a person, I love the guy, and we butted heads as far as him writing, even in TNA, but I realized when we butted heads, it was because he was getting things from Dixie the whole time. It must have been very difficult to work with this woman who has no idea how wrestling works and wanted everything to be done to it and it didn’t make any sense. We butted heads with him as a writer, but due to Dixie Carter getting involved a lot with creative.”
AJ Styles left TNA in 2014, three years before Dixie Carter’s hold on creative control came to an end.
Later on in the same Twitch stream, AJ Styles was asked to elaborate further on his comments about Dixie Carter – specifically, did she ruin the promotion?
“Do I believe Dixie ruined IMPACT? Well, it was TNA back then, and 100%. IMPACT, there was a time when it was really gaining ground. The problem was, Dixie wanted to be WWE-lite and that’s not what people wanted. They wanted to see something else. All she had to do was let us do what we do, it was really that simple. Had she left it to the writers, I think TNA would still be around and be bigger than what they are, but not knowing what’s best for business, she hurt TNA.” h\t Fightful
Despite all of that, AJ Styles almost returned to IMPACT before signing with WWE in 2016.