The following are highlights from a recent interview with TNA wrestler A.J. Styles:
On if there was any thought to dropping the storyline with Dixie Carter after the appearance of Claire: "Absolutely. I thought, 'This did not go as planned and didn’t come out the way we wanted it to.' But there’s a backstory to it. It’s almost a blessing in disguise, and I wish I could tell you what hopefully is going to happen, and you’ll be a lot more excited about it because it’s more than you know. There’s so many unexpected things that are about to happen that you never would’ve thought A.J. Styles may have done."
On going live this summer: "Live has made a huge difference. When you go in to the Impact Zone, yeah it’s still the same Impact Zone, but it’s different. That’s what we needed. Honestly, I was getting to where I hated the Impact Zone because it was the same people who were coming who weren’t enjoying it. Or the fact that so many fans who didn’t know about Impact were just there on vacation and were like, 'Oh, I know Jeff Hardy.' There was no time invested in the characters that we’ve put so much time into and who’ve been here since the beginning. But now, it’s different."
On the biggest difference in TNA besides going live: "The communication between the higher-ups and the wrestlers has changed. There was a big deal between Hogan and I, and even Bischoff and I, but that’s all been squashed. That’s in the past. I am so grateful that I get to work with these guys now and understand where they’re coming from and can see this vision. It was just a growing process and getting to know each other and being able to talk to each other about what’s going on and what’s important. It’s a good relationship."
On resolving his conflict with Hulk Hogan: "We talked about it like men. We got it out of the way. At some point you have to grow up and say, 'Listen, we have to talk about this,' instead of avoiding each other, which did happen. A business can’t grow when there’s animosity and friction. We just went out there and worked and tried to make TNA what it is right now, a better company. I think it was a growing process. Did he know A.J. Styles very well? Probably not. And I think that had a lot to do with the problems that we were having in the beginning, because he didn’t know the talent very well. That’s all changed. I don’t want to say something now that will make Hogan think, 'Oh come on Styles.' I don’t want to do that. We have a great relationship right now, and I don’t want to do anything to ruin that. It’s a good thing right now."
Check out the complete interview online at the official website of The Busted Open Satellite Radio Show.