He honestly is the next legitimate choice, in my humble opinion. I know he is still an active wrestler in TNA, but is that really even a qualification. Do you have to be retired to be in a hall of fame for your sport? Maybe for other professional sports, but I don't think that is the case for professional wrestling. If you think about, Sting, who was the first inductee announced back at Slammiversary, is still wrestling on a limited schedule. For someone eho is just over 50 as he is, 53 to be exact, he is still in prime condition to be in the ring. Unlike guys like Hogan and Flair who have no business wrestling at their age. Nonetheless, I respect TNA's decision to induct Sting in first being the icon that he is for the business and what he has no doubt meant to TNA since arriving on the scene, but as most people know, he has been on again and off again since arriving back in 2003. Thus he has NOT been there from the very beginning as AJ Styles has. His original contract upon arrival from an independent organization was for 4 appearances. Of course he has gone on to win the heavyweight title in TNA a total of 5 times---1 time as NWA and 4 times as TNA. He also held the TNA tag titles once as well with Kurt Angle. Sting is definitely an accomplished superstar in his own right and this no doubt will be his only chance to be inducted into any professional wrestling organizational hall of fame. I don't ever see him switching over to WWE at any time in his career. When he retires, he will retire with TNA.
With all of that said, let's get to AJ as the next inductee. I honestly have no clue if Sting will be the only inductee for the class of 2012 into the TNA Hall of Fame. I certainly hope not. I would hope that Dixie and Jarrett have plans to induct other members of the roster for the initial class. My guess is, down the line, Ric Flair will have a third chance of being inducted into a hall of fame. That is if WWE would allow it if he returns to WWE. I wouldn't see why they wouldn't but you never know about McMahon sometimes. Anyways, back to AJ. What is there to say about AJ Styles that he hasn't already said about himself in the ring? I mean, really? He truly is the Phenomenal One. Since joining TNA at it's debut, AJ has racked up so many accomplishments within the company that it is unreal. Just to name a few...
>>>He is the first to have ever won the TNA Triple Crown Championship(he went on to win it three more times)
>>>He is the first to have ever won the TNA Grand Slam Championship (won that twice)
>>>All total, he has won 18 championships in his tenure at TNA
>>>He is the first TNA contracted wrestler to top the PWI 500 at #1 in 2010
And the accomplishments continue to go on and on. Even in other promotions such as NWA Wildside and Ring of Honor. Little did I know that he even worked briefly with WCW at the end of their run and even was offered a developmental contract with WWE after they bought WCW but turned it down due to the requirement of having to move to Ohio. In the end, no doubt it was a blessing in disguise that he turned it down. Who knows if he would have been used correctly or used at all for that matter by the WWE. Now I am sure that McMahon and the higher ups no doubt pay attention talent in TNA to scout who they may want to entice over to the WWE. I definitely would want the best for AJ and if he thinks jumping over would further his career and would be the golden crowning achievement in his career, then he should definitely go for it if in fact they offer him a contract. I almost wonder if they haven't tried in the last ten years he has been at TNA. If so he obviously has turned them down due to either loyalty to Dixie and Jarrett or for some other personal reason.
Lastly, I almost gave this honor to none other than Double J, Jeff Jarrett. I mean, it was because of him and his father that there is even a TNA to begin with. And he has definitely had a storied and accomplished career himself in the business. In TNA specifically, he has held the heavyweight title 6 times when it was still the NWA title and has won the King of the Mountain honors twice. Thus, I gave the honors to AJ Styles. He has been a staple in TNA from the very beginning as has Jarrett, Storm, and Abyss, but I believe he deserves it the most out of all of them. As I said before, I hope that Sting isn't the only inductee for the 2012 class. I will even go as far as saying this. While I do applaud their choice for Sting to be the very first inductee to the TNA Hall of Fame and respect, I cannot help but think that the honors really should have gone to the Phenomenal one...AJ Styles.
As always, I invite and encourage all comments, constructive criticisms, and opinions for this blog along with every other blog I have previously written. I hope you enjoy reading it just as much I enjoyed writing it.
God bless and take care,
Adam T. Brown