It is hard to imagine anyone arguing against AJ Styles being a shoo-in for the WWE Hall Of Fame at some point.
In his four and a half years with the company, Styles has achieved much more than anyone would have imagined on his debut with the company and currently reigns as the Intercontinental Champion.
As much as he has achieved with WWE, long term fans will know that it was actually with Impact Wrestling (Formerly TNA Wrestling) that Styles made his name on a national level. Styles was a TNA mainstay from the promotion’s debut in July 2002 through to his departure for NJPW and the independent scene in 2014.
Many fans will know that Impact also have their own hall of fame where they honour one TNA legend each year. Past years have seen the honour bestowed upon a variety of names including Sting, Jeff Jarrett and Gail Kim.
With his huge role to play in establishing Impact, it goes without saying that Styles would be a lock to be inducted, right?
It seems it wouldn’t be that straightforward. As explained by Styles in a recent Twitch Q&A, he would not accept the honour if offered whilst working for WWE:
“It was offered to me but I was working for ROH and NJPW at the time and I said, ‘I’m not doing that.’ I’m not going to a TNA event when I’m working for someone else, I didn’t think it was right, and I was still wrestling. I always think it’s weird when people are still wrestling and you want to put them in the Hall of Fame. Wait until they retire. As long as I’m working for WWE, I definitely wouldn’t do it. Not saying I wouldn’t ever, but if I’m working for another company, I’m not doing it.”
It is interesting but in no way surprising that Styles has already rejected Impact’s advances once due to his contractual ties elsewhere. Impact have never shied away from inducting active competitors since they launched their HOF in 2012. WWE have been much more careful to induct stars after their in-ring careers are over.
So it seems the question is not which hall of fame AJ Styles will be inducted into. More a case of which one will he be inducted into first.