At its peak, TNA (now known as Impact Wrestling) was the only wrestling promotion that could rival WWE. However, even they weren’t free from some absurd storylines. One such storyline which featured AJ Styles is often recalled with disdain.
The infamous Claire Lynch storyline was started in 2012 when Bad Influence accused Dixie Carter and AJ Styles of having an affair, However, it was later revealed revealed that Styles and Dixie were trying to help out a girl who was a drug addict called Claire Lynch.
Bad Influence then started another rumor that Claire was pregnant with Styles’ child. Claire even confirmed the rumors on a following episode of Impact. However, it was later revealed that Lynch conspired with Bad Influence to blackmail AJ Styles.
The storyline was met with a lot of criticism for its controversial nature. However, Eric Bischoff stated on his 83 weeks podcast that he loved the angle because it added more depth to Styles’ character.
“I had a blast on that one, and I think I don’t know much Jason Hervey had to do with that one or not. That might’ve been all me. I’m not sure. But I loved it! And not because it was the greatest storyline ever, but because it forced AJ and Dixie and everybody else in TNA to start looking at AJ a little differently. But I was more concerned about AJ because AJ was….Ugh! Whenever I hear someone say, ‘Yeah, But he’s a homegrown talent.’ Do you think the f*cking audience cares? Really? They don’t! And there was so much emphasis internally on homegrown talent for the sake of being homegrown talent, at the expense of a better quality product.
And I’m not suggesting that talent that’s been there from the beginning and loyal and probably worked under conditions financially in otherwise weren’t ideal at the time as a company’s growing. Sure, you want to be loyal to the people that have been loyal to you. I’m not suggesting that shouldn’t be the case.
But I am suggesting that putting people in positions simply because they were homegrown is probably not the right idea. Maybe once in a while you’ll get lucky. And with AJ because everyone had such a high opinion of AJ and rightfully so, including me and Hulk when we first got there, but we also recognized that AJ didn’t have a lot of character.
He was just that guy that would go out and have that great match, and he was a homegrown talent, and he would cut his promos and every promo would sound basically like the one we heard last week. It was just not a lot of depth to that character. So, at the point where I was starting to have a little bit more influence, perhaps a lot more influence, and was really trying to create stories and not just great matches.”
That angle did bring out a different side to AJ that fans hadn’t witnessed till that point. However, Impact Wrestling should’ve come up with a better less controversial storyline that could’ve boosted television ratings. Stay tuned to Ringside News for more coverage of similar stories.
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