WrestleView Exclusive Interview with Alex Shelley (TNA, ROH, + more)
Reported by Ryan Allen of WrestleView.com
On Thursday, March 3, 2005 at 7:34 PM EST
After a lengthy delay, WrestleView is proud to be back doing interviews with the stars of wrestling’s past, present and future.
Our last interview (featured on WrestleView Radio) was with Chris Sabin, and now we are pleased to provide the following exclusive interview by Ryan Allen, with another one of the shining stars on the independent wrestling scene, Alex Shelley.
Ryan Allen (RA): Alex, it was recently revealed that you asked for your release from TNA. What led to this decision of yours? If it was being called "Baby Bear," I'm sure all of your fans will understand.
Alex Shelley (AS): Lord knows that nickname was brutal. It did give me a chance to get into TNA though! Actually, I basically asked for my release because they've cut the X-Division down so drastically. They don't seem to use too many guys regularly. I'd rather be out touring Japan and England and bettering myself then sitting at home and waiting for an angle where I'll be used for 2 months to come up.
R.A: By all means, wrestling with TNA could have, and should have been a huge stepping stone in your career. Why do you feel you were not more involved with TNA?
A.S: Honestly, Dusty just didn't have plans for me. Plain and simple. After my angle ended there, Jeff and Jerry were kind enough to keep me around because they saw potential in me. Shit happens.
R.A: Your stint in TNA was fairly short lived, but do you have any memorable matches or any other stories you would like to share with us from TNA?
A.S: Hells yes, I do! I had a 3 Way Dance with AJ Styles and Chris Sabin that no one has seen, but was one of the best matches of my entire career. That's not saying much, but still! I've had some real fun X Division matches there that I really enjoyed. Basically, I had the most fun learning from all the great veterans there and making new friends. SHOUT OUT TO 78 DELTA~!!!!11111!!!!
R.A: Finally, based on your experience with the company, where do you see TNA in the future?
A.S: No clue. I'm not there anymore. They were making strides when I was there, though.
R.A: In just a couple of weeks, you will be heading off to Japan, working for both Wrestle-Aid as well as Zero One Max. Obviously this is a tremendous accomplishment. What are you hoping to achieve on your second tour of Japan?
A.S: My goal now is to earn a spot in the Zero One Max company, and eventually take the Jr. Championship from Pete Williams in Wrestle-Aid.
R.A: Where do you prefer to wrestle, Japan or North America?
A.S: Japan was great! But then, so's North America sometimes. Each place has its plusses and minuses, but I'm definitely more excited about my upcoming tour moreso than anything else lately. Except maybe stretching Jack Evans 666 ways 'til Sunday.
R.A: Getting back to the United States indy scene, you made your Ring of Honor debut in June of 2003, and its fair to say you have been a key component of Ring of Honor ever since the Generation Next show. How did you feel about the formation of Generation Next, and did you feel any extra pressure knowing that you were getting a huge push in ROH?
A.S: Of course I felt pressure. They were giving us the ball. That's half the game. The other half is to haul ass with it. The actual idea of Generation Next was a timeless gimmick, really. I was really excited, and I couldn't have asked for better people to have wrestled with or against during the formation.
R.A: The whole concept of Generation Next was that 4 young guys wanted to step up and make an immediate impact. What are your thoughts on Austin Aries, Roderick Strong and Jack Evans?
A.S: All 3 of them are going to be names one day should they keep with it. They're all awesome guys, not just as wrestlers, but as friends. Not to mention they're fun to party with to boot. All four of us had distinctively different styles that we put forth in GNX. I think all 3 guys are more well rounded than people give them credit for.
R.A: Even though a big part of Ring of Honor is emphasizing the talent of the young, up and coming wrestlers, you had the opportunity to work with one of the legends in the business, Ricky Steamboat. What were your experiences with Steamboat like?
A.S: Ricky = awesomeness. He was basically used not only in the angles, but as a coach for all the younger guys. He did a great job, and I learned tons from him, as I'm sure everyone else there did. I'm really happy I've got to spend as much time talking to him as I have.
R.A: I think it is safe to say that Ring of Honor has given you some of your best matches to date. Which matches stick out in your mind as personal highlights?
A.S: There's really quite a few. Wrestling guys that I look up to like American Dragon, Spanky, CM Punk, wrestling with younger guys like Jacobs and The Briscoes, having British style matches with Doug Williams...Just tons of different things, really. Too many to list.
R.A: You just recently split from the Generation Next faction. With the company celebrating its 3rd Anniversary this past week, what ambitions or goals do you hope to achieve in Ring of Honor?
A.S: Honestly, I just want the company to keep growing. Sure enough, it has been.
R.A: Another promotion that you have had great success in is CZW. It's no secret that they have been making strides by producing some great lightweight matches, and just recently you won their Light Heavyweight title. What have your experiences been like in CZW?
A.S: A lot of guys have had different experiences there, but I've had nothing but good times there. I've got to wrestle new people and I've always been treated with respect by everyone.
R.A: Is there anyone on the independent scene you have yet to wrestle that you would like to do a series of matches with?
A.S: Of course! I've never tangled with Super Dragon or a lot of the other West Coast stars. Quackenbush and I were slated to have a singles match a year and a half ago that never went through. I'd love to wrestle Tom Carter seeing as he's one of the people I try to pattern myself after in the business. Again, too many to list.
R.A: Speaking of the West Coast, you recently made your debut in one of the West Coast indy promotions, PWG. What did you think of your debut and did you notice any difference between the west and east coast fans?
A.S: Honestly, the West Coast fans were really receptive. I enjoyed wrestling there a ton and I can't wait to go back.
R.A: WrestleView.com is based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. So for the hometown crowd, this question is for you. Recently you wrestled for a local indy here in Ottawa, UWA. What were your impressions of UWA, and Canada's Capital?
A.S: Ottawa reminds me of Tokyo kinda. Or maybe it was because Petey and I came back from Japan the week before. I really enjoyed wrestling for UWA. Again, they treated me with the utmost respect, and I got to see some of my friends there, like Abyss, Raven, and Bobby (I'm not related to Rick) Roode, as well as make new ones, like Jane Steel. Or Steele. Or Steal. Whatever. I wish it weren't so ridiculously cold, however.
R.A: Hypothetical question. WWE calls you tomorrow and offers you a developmental deal. What do you say?
A.S: I tell them about my commitments to other companies. I heard they're real cool about letting you fulfill stuff like that. Then I sign, of course, and proceed to hang out with Frankie Kazarian.
R.A: Speaking of WWE, It appears that you may have an admirer in Shawn Michaels. For those unaware, one of your catch phrases is that you "have talent on loan from God." What was your reaction seeing or hearing about Michaels using your catch phrase on a recent episode of Raw?
A.S: I was hanging out with my girlfriend and she actually pointed it out to me. The next day, 19398384848 people told me about it. I say, sod it. I do a Superkick and flying forearm, so where's the heat? Besides, I didn't come up with it. For the record, I've been told by people that some people on the WWE roster do watch ROH tapes.
R.A: Which current WWE wrestlers would you most want to have a match with? Any legends who you would like to go in the ring with?
A.S: Basically the whole roster. Jericho, Benoit, Finlay, Malenko, HBK, HHH, you name it. So many guys there.
R.A: Stepping away from the ring for a second, its no secret that in the wrestling business there is an incredible amount of travel. Do you have any road stories or ribs from the road that you would like to share?
A.S: One time, coming back from IWA Mid-South about 2 years ago, Sabin and I were asleep in the car. Zach Gowen was at the helm, and proceeded to hit a piece of wood or a dog or a hobo, and we almost died. Also, Sabin and I had the great idea to take one of Jimmy Jacobs school notebooks and write "Show us your boobs!" on it. We figured that wasn't enough, so we wrote "Please.", "We'll give you money.", "I'm Ron Burgundy?", etc., etc. on different pieces of paper. That notebook led to some good times. Goooooood times. Also, once, Jimmy Jacobs got mad at me when we were taking two seperate cars to Philly. He had my bag in his car, so he took it out, set it by my car, and drove off. Someone could've taken it! But I found it. Then I acted like someone did take it. He felt AWFUL the rest of the way to Philly.
R.A: Here are a couple of questions for you, sent into us by readers...
Ben Bauer asks: Who are the most fun indy workers to party with?
A.S: Good question! I usually party with a variety of people. I'd say Nate Webb, Petey Williams, Spanky, and B-Boy top the list. Jaimy Coxxx, my old tag partner from MI, he's up there as well. Truth Martini doesn't so much party as he does stare at girls, but that's cool too.
"Phoenix88" asks: Who inspired you to become a pro wrestler, and what has the worst moment been in your career thus far?
A.S: Shawn Michaels inspired me, long story short. I guess you could also say the X-Men, 'cos I wanted to be a superhero when I was a kid. Wrestling's the next best thing! And the worst moment had to be when I shattered my face. I was only 30 matches in and had to have major reconstructive surgery. Yowch!
NWA TNA: Learning enviorment.
Jeff Jarrett: Awesome guy. One of the reasons I was at TNA, actually.
Chris Sabin: He's like my brother in the business. We were broke in together. Time.
Petey Williams: See Sabin.
AJ Styles: Jebus.
Bob Ryder: When they have announcements at the airport, I swear it's Bob doing the voiceover.
Ring Of Honor: Growing. Very quickly, at that.
Gabe Sapolsky: Someone who's willing to give new guys shots.
Austin Aries: *Snikt*. A really cool person.
Bryan Danielson: Looks like he lives next to Timothy McVey. Awesome wrestler!
Low KI: Way intense.
CM Punk: A guy who's helped me out a lot.
Samoa Joe: Locker room leader, and generally cool dude.
WWE: Where I'd like to ultimately end up. There, or Japan.
Vince McMahon: WAY bigger than I thought he was. Genius.
And finally, Alex Shelley: Your wizard in a blizzard, the mystical machine gun.
R.A: Alex, Thank you very much for doing this interview, and on behalf of everyone here at WrestleView, we wish you the best of luck in the future. Any final messages?
A.S: Please check out www.alexshelleyonline.com! Thanks, and keep supporting indy wrestling!