My last interview with Eddie Edwards took place nearly two years ago when I had the chance to meet him in Manchester, as Impact Wrestling was back in the UK for Wrestling MediaCon. Sometimes, two years are like yesterday.

At Slammiversary, Eddie Edwards became the new Impact World Champion. Saying that it was long overdue is more than true as he’s been representing Impact Wrestling for so long. I’ve been reviewing Impact Wrestling’s weekly shows, special events, and PPV’s for three years and a half, and Eddie, Moose, and Rosemary have been the three “pillars” of the roster because, whatever was happening, they never left the company. More than that, they have made it their home.

Eddie Edwards is Mr. AIP, a die-hard wrestler, who has been giving everything he has in the ring, blood, sweat, and tears. Two weeks ago, the tears of joy were mixed with a few drops of beer, thanks to The Good Brothers, but the moment was the celebration not only of a title win but of an incredible and successful career. Often dubbed as one of the best wrestlers of his generation, Eddie Edwards is proving week after week, match after match, that anything is truly possible.

SteelChair Magazine had the opportunity to talk to Eddie Edwards last week. The new Impact World Champion has a lot to tell us about his second reign, his unconditional trust in Impact Wrestling, the current roster, and what the future may hold for him.

Tell me about the match and Slammiversary, becoming the World Champion?

“It’s awesome. It’s an amazing feeling, an amazing honour to be able to call myself the World Champion, and to be at the forefront of Impact wrestling, and to be the face, or one of the faces, of Impact Wrestling. Going forward, we have so much momentum, Slammiversary was such a success that it’s a great time to be a part of Impact, and I’m proud to represent Impact Wrestling and be the World Champion.”

Impact EVP Scott D’Amore said, during a TV promo, you are the cornerstone of the company.

“That’s something I take pride in, I believe in Impact Wrestling. I believe in everybody in the locker room, in our front office and our creative. I believe in Impact in total and what we can do. I believe in the product that we’re putting out there, and I know what we’re capable of. I know it’s going to take time to get where we want to be because we’re never going to be happy. We always want more and more, and we’re all on the same page trying to move forward together. I was honoured to be called the heart and soul of Impact, or cornerstone, whatever you want to say. I’m proud to be that guy in the company, who has always believed in it. They’ve always treated me right, and I’m happy to be the guy trying to move us forward.”

Slammiversary was also special because there was all the teasing of a world that was about to change and former Champions about to come back. How do you feel about seeing these people coming back?

“It’s great. Whether it’s the new faces, or like you said, the people returning, it says a lot about Impact. Impact Wrestling is a company that people want to go to, people want to be a part of, and that’s something again, I’m proud of. That’s always a good thing, and it’s exciting because it adds some interest. It gives us a chance to maybe get some fans who haven’t tuned in for a while, or maybe they haven’t watched it at all. Because of the new talents who have come in, we’re getting some new eyes on our product. This is a time where we have to go out there and deliver and show them what Impact Wrestling is capable of and what we’re all about. It’s nothing but positivity, and they’ve been great additions to the locker room. I feel like everybody fits in, everybody gels together perfectly, so the sky is the limit, as they say.”

How would you compare this reign to the first, four years ago?

“It’s a little bit different, obviously. So much has happened, like you said, in the past few years. For me, for the past four years, my career has taken so many different paths, and so many different directions. The first time I became World Champion, against Bobby Lashley, it was definitely a surreal moment. It was definitely a bucket list thing. Everybody wants to be the World Champion. That was always my goal, so to do that, it was like I finally accomplished my dream. I accomplished my goal. This time around, I’m really trying to see what I can do for that Championship. As I said on IMPACT, my goal is to bring stability to the company and bring credibility back to our World title. I want to help elevate our championship, to make it, if it’s not already, the most important championship in all of the wrestling business. That’s my goal. This time, I’m really up to the task where I want to take it to the next level. I want to represent the company in every aspect, whether it’s promos, vignettes, doing interviews, doing appearances. It’s also going out there and delivering in the ring. It’s a challenge I’m up for. I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m up for it, because as I said, this is why we all do it.”

Do you think that the titles make the legacy of a wrestler, that the belts make the Champion?

“Maybe some people just see it as a pro-wrestling championship. It’s whatever people want it to be. It’s a belt, but we know, people close to the industry or inside the industry, that it’s a lot more than just appearances, just in going out there with that championship, it’s how you carry yourself in the back, how you carry yourself in public. I think it means a lot to the people, especially right now, with the current climate and everything that was happening at Impact, it was an honour to be the guy that has been given the chance to be the champion and take this ball and run with it. In the end, of course, it means a lot, I think, to the fans, and it means a lot to the wrestlers where we can prove that we are good enough, and we should be in that main event, and we should be the World Champion.

It’s always a nice thing to have. It doesn’t take anything away if you’re not a champion because everybody has their part, everybody is going a different direction, but it’s always a nice feeling to be able to call yourself the World champion and know that your company truly believes in you. I think everybody has different feelings about it, but I think everybody has that bucket list kind of goals where they want to be that guy or girl on top of the company at one time or another.”

You’ve been there for six years, you have known so many different management, creative, wrestlers. And you have never left Impact Wrestling,  you have always had faith in this company. What makes Impact Wrestling so important to you?

“Impact Wrestling has always treated me right. They’ve treated me great ever since me and Davey (Richards) walked in that door. No matter who was in the front office, or creative in the locker room, I’ve always had a great relationship with the company. They’ve always treated me right, and like I said, it’s something that I believe in. I’ve never wanted to leave. I’ve never felt the need to leave. I’ve never weighed those options because I believe in what we’re doing, and I know that the company’s going to do right by me. Because of that, I know I can go out there, and I can give them my all, and I’ll never feel like I’m being taken advantage of.”

Since we talked in Manchester, at that time you were starting this hardcore switch, you have been through a lot of things, you have become hardcore, you also turned into a cannibal, you have found a best friend in a kendo stick called Kenny… How are you able to take part in the evolution of the character, and how can you enjoy this evolution in what Eddie Edwards is on TV?

“It’s something that needs to be done. For me, like you said, I’ve been there for six years, and I’ve been wrestling for eighteen years or so. You have to be able to adapt and to evolve. For me, obviously, it all kind of changed when Sami (Callihan) hit me in the face with the baseball bat. That kind of got that ball rolling that forced me outside of my comfort zone. I was very confident and very comfortable in what I was doing and who I was, but I enjoy the challenge of trying to switch it up, and the challenge of trying to do different things. Sometimes things might not work, but it’s the adventure, it’s the adrenaline of trying something new and seeing what’s going to stick and what’s not, and I really enjoy that.

I take pleasure in trying to go out there and trying to do something different than I’ve ever done. It forces me to get creative, and then think outside the box. That’s part of the joy. That’s part of the pleasure of pro-wrestling trying to get creative, see what you can do, what you can create when you’re out there, and what you can do in vignettes and promos. It’s really been enjoyable for me. I’ve been very comfortable with the direction that I’ve been going. It’s something I could really sink my teeth into, cannibal (laughs), over and over, so I always enjoy the challenge.”

I feel like in a way the baseball bat accident two years ago was a complete revolution. After that, things were completely different, and the die-hard attitude was even more there.

“Definitely, it was.”

The current pandemic context is complex. How is it to wrestle in front of a no-crowd arena and still trying to entertain?

“It’s obviously different than what we’ve been doing, and we’ve done in the past. The whole world is going through it at the same time, so that’s kind of comfort. We all are trying to learn. We’re all trying to adjust to the current climate, we’re living in. For me, I love the interaction with the fans, I love the back and forth, I love the support. Nothing will ever compare to being in that ring and people cheering and chanting “Eddie.” It’s such a surreal feeling, but right now, obviously, we don’t have the chance to do that, but we know that, when we go out there, we’re entertaining the fans at home, the people watching, and that’s the goal.

For me, once I get in there, once I’m making my entrance, once I get in the ring, I’m doing what I’m going to do. I’m going to wrestle. I’m going to do my best to put on a show and have a great match. That’s always the goal when you go out there and people just can’t forget that we’re playing to that audience at home obviously more than the people in the crowd because right now there is nobody there. It’s a different atmosphere, but it doesn’t change what we want to do in that ring.”

There is a fantastic roster with very diverse talents, from people like Ace Austin, who is 23, to people like Ken Shamrock, who is 56. When you think about the future of the company and these young guys that now are knocking out the door, who do you think can be the face of the company and a cornerstone for the company in the future?

“Like you said, we have such a deep roster right now. We have so many great talents between the Knockouts and the men. The Rascalz, in general, they’ve all been killing it, Trey obviously stepped up. Ace Austin, Chris Bey, we have all these guys who are trying to make a name for themselves, and the rest of the roster as well. I think anybody and everybody on the roster is ready to take that ball. They’re ready for the chance, and it’s just a matter of waiting for that opportunity. I think we have a solid roster who we can go to anybody, and they’re going to go out there and deliver.”

Follow Eddie Edwards on Twitter @TheEddieEdwards. 

IMPACT Wrestling is airing on Tuesday at 8/7c on AXS TV and Twitch in the USA. The show is available to view in the UK from 2 am Wednesdays on the IMPACT Plus app and airs at 9 pm Wednesdays on Fight Network UK (Sky 192/Freesat 161) and repeated on Fight Network UK at 9 pm on Sundays.

All pics, videos and screencaps courtesy of Impact Wrestling, AXS TV and Basil Mahmud

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

Leave a Reply