WWE Smackdown Live star AJ Styles holds the distinction of ruling the Blue Brand as WWE Champion for the longest amount of time in the history of Smackdown. Styles’ incredible title reign came to an abrupt and rather surprising end last week, when Daniel Bryan unseated the Champion and went on to face Brock Lesnar in the main event of Survivor Series over the weekend.
Not only did Bryan pull off the title win on Smackdown, but he also sent the WWE Universe into a tailspin when he seemingly turned heel and unleashed a brutal assault on AJ Styles after the match win. Styles has promised he will address his title loss on WWE Smackdown Live this week.
According to a new report from Fightful, one of the reasons why AJ Styles might have dropped the WWE Title rather is that the former Champion is currently negotiating a new deal with WWE. According to the report, Styles and WWE officials are working towards locking down the Phenomenal One to a new, three-year contract.
One of the terms of the deal, however, will be that AJ Styles wants to work a reduced schedule, something Daniel Bryan recently requested, and was granted, when he re-signed with WWE. Styles reportedly wants to spend more time with his family, and even pushed to drop the WWE Title in order to be more present with his wife and children. Should WWE grant AJ Styles a new deal under the terms he is seeking, the deal would look similar to that of Superstars Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton, in that Styles would work TV tapings and PPV events as needed, but he would work a reduced live event schedule.
With the influx of money coming into WWE from sources such as the Saudi Arabia and Australia deals, along with the company netting a huge money deal with FOX, many top talents in WWE are hoping to work reduced schedules without having to take a pay cut.