One of the great things about Impact Wrestling is the capacity to turn a wrestler into a megastar. Josh Alexander was trying to help the Canadian wrestling scene and competing wherever he could in his native country. But, 3 years ago, he couldn’t have suspected that Impact Wrestling EVP Scott D’Amore who was at the announce table of a Destiny Wrestling event Alexander was on the card of would call him in the ring and offer him a contract. His first major contract in the business.
With Ethan Page, they took the Tag Team Division by surprise and became the longest-reigning Champions in the history of the company. They delivered unforgettable matches fueled by their unique alchemy. But, some things come to an end, Ethan Page has now left the company. But Josh Alexander still has a lot of things to say and to show in the ring. His target now is the X-Division and
SteelChair Wrestling Magazine had the chance to talk to Josh Alexander two weeks ago (his matches at Hardcore Justice and Rebellion hadn’t been announced yet). He told us about The North’s legacy, his singles run, what the X-Division means to him, Impact Wrestling and the chance the company has given him, and what the future may hold for him.
When you think about the moment Scott D’Amore came to the ring and decided to sign you 3 years ago, how do you feel about this moment now when you think about everything that you’ve been able to do?
“In the moment, I remember being numb because I don’t know if it’s just wrestling or maybe it’s just me, often when really good things happen, I don’t tend to believe them right up until like the moment they’re actually coming true. If you watch that video clip, even I’ve seen it back now, I just almost seem like I’m not reacting, I’m just like holding all my emotions in and, in my head, I’m just reminiscing about everything that I’ve done up into that point. As you mentioned, I had had to retire, then I came back from retirement, then I had issues travelling to America to wrestle for these big promotions that might get me a spot and a promotion like Impact Wrestling. I thought I lost everything. I was just doing my best to try to prop up the Canadian scene and make the Canadian scene as good as I could because I saw what guys like Pete Dunne had done in England, they made the scene so big that they got recognition. I thought maybe if I could make the whole Canadian scene boom, then maybe my name would be up from near the top of the list of the guys get noticed. Guys like Scott D’Amore and Don Callis, when I was lucky enough to have Impact from the town, they noticed a guy like me doing that. I wasn’t just doing it for my own benefit I was doing it to try to make this scene better so it was easier for the next crop of guys.”
The North is a big chapter of your Impact Wrestling life but now there’s another that is in front of you. Tell me about this legacy that you and Ethan had been able to create, being the longest-reigning champions, being able to keep the Tag Team division alive after LAX and Lucha Bros left, being able to keep the level pretty high and delivering great matches because we had really stunning matches every time.
“That’s my thing for everything. That’s why like you mentioned my work, how it kind of popped up and now the singles stuff has become such a thing because, even as a tag team thing, personally I have this competitive edge or something but I always just want to steal the show. I want to have the best match on the show all the time and if I’m not trying to do that, at least giving an effort to do so, whether or not I do it or not is a different story, but as long as I give an effort I’ll be happy enough with what I’m doing right. For my own personal happiness, that’s my goal all the time.”
“The North, we had a chemistry that comes along once in a certain amount of time. Some guys never find that chemistry and we were just lucky enough we fell into it. It was easy for us, I know what he’s thinking, he knows what I’m thinking, we’re on the same page, everything is on the same wavelength, we never had a cross moment in the entire run. When you talk about now transitioning to singles from the tag stuff, if you look back at that whole two-year run, we were the longest-running Tag Team Champions, we had two different brains, we had all these crazy tag team matches.
“But if you look back in the two years, every single singles match I had on TV was regarded by a lot of people as being like a standout match. I had matches with El Hijo Del Vikingo, TJP, and Naomichi Marufuji and all this other stuff. I was very fortunate that Impact trusted me early on to deliver in these spots right. My whole thing has always been to tell Scott and Don to just give me the ball and if I drop it, then you’re more than welcome to reprimand me. I just want to be given the ball, give me that chance to perform. They obviously have and I haven’t dropped it yet so, hopefully moving forward, they just keep giving me opportunities.”
You’re coming back from two neck injuries, is it something that is in your mind when you wrestle? Do you have your neck in your mind when you’re wrestling or you are able to let yourself go and be able to enjoy the moment?
“When I first came back from my neck injury, there was probably 3 months where I was wrestling and I had my neck in my back of my mind at all times. I was trying to avoid anything that might go wrong, try to take too much care of myself and I ended up injuring myself elsewhere. Instead of landing on my neck, I’d land on my side and I’d hurt my shoulder or something like that. I realized that I lost a part of me because I’m kind of wrestling at half-speed, I’m not doing what I used to do, the stuff that got me over. I just had to let my inhibitions go to the wind, I had to stop thinking about my neck, I just wrestled like it never happened and it served me right so far. I will say this, I do a ton of rehab on my neck every single day. I have this crazy routine I do. Doctors and everyone else, including myself, think my neck’s gonna be the last thing that goes on me if there’s anything. It’s the strongest part of my body now.”
What does the X-Division mean to you as you’re probably a TNA fan and what do you think you can bring to this division?
“When I was 13 years old, I had a crew of wrestling friends and we had kind of fallen out of love with the other product because WCW was no more, there was no competition, we lost interest. Then this show popped up on Wednesday nights and we tuned in the very first Wednesday night pay-per-view for TNA and the very first match featured The Flying Elvises (Jimmy Yang, Jorge Estrada & Sonny Siaki) against AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn and Lo-Ki all in the same team. That was the first match that came out and I remember sitting down with my friends, turning to them and going like, I have never seen anything like this. I’ve seen Jerry Lynn clearly but it was the way Lo-Ki wrestled and the way AJ Styles wrestled. I’ve seen Cruiserweights my entire life, I was a huge WCW Cruiserweight division fan but the X-Division was guys like AJ Styles, Lo-Ki and then Samoa Joe, they just completely revolutionized what this was and changed what wrestling could be.”
“Now, wrestling seemed like a possibility for me because I looked at myself, I’m six feet tall, I’m 225 pounds but I’m not Batista or like one of these giant mammoth wrestlers that I imagined, the Hulk Hogans of the world. I didn’t think wrestling was a possibility and then I saw someone like Lo-Ki who by stature is very small. You wouldn’t really notice him walking him down the street but when he gets in that ring, he’s larger than life. The X-Division was the breeding ground for me, even becoming a professional wrestler and it means a great deal to me. Moving forward in the X-Division, I just want to check that X-Division Championship off my bucket list. To be able to do that, that’s the one thing. I don’t have a lot of goals in wrestling, everything is just the next goal, the next step to get to for me. But being X-Division Champion would be that one thing that would make that 13-year-old inner child smile, so that’s my motivation.”
Do you feel like impact wrestling is your home, a place you can call home when it comes to wrestling and the last three years is just the beginning?
“I would. I look at it as a home. I’m a competitive person. In high school, I was very like a team player. I look at this locker room like we’re all on the same team, it’s a family. Impact’s been very beyond good to me in this whole three years. I came in and within 3 months, I was Tag Team Champion, then I had the longest reign. They gave me the only thing I ever requested when I got signed, I just wanted an opportunity and then, if I make the best of it, that’s on me and they just keep lobbing me up some opportunities, so I would be happy to stay here for my entire career.”
About the World Championship match, Eddie Edwards put online a message where he was pretty hard on the cross-promotional thing, what is your opinion on that?
“I don’t have a different opinion than Eddie Edwards. I think that AEW and this forbidden door thing, especially with Kenny Omega and Don Callis at the forefront of it, they’re the favourites coming in, clearly. Kenny Omega has been regarded as the best wrestler on the planet for 5 years, he’s had I don’t know how many 14-star matches in PWI but he’s had a lot of them. He’s very good, he’s coming here and he’s trying to push everybody and anybody around. He’s going for our Champion Rich Swann and I think that there’s a lot of people in the roster and in the locker room that take exception to this. This isn’t like a storyline thing, this is we understand that we’re the underdog in this situation, we’re looked down upon. For people like me who had a 16-year career now, it took me 14 years to even come to Impact and get this national stage, I know that I can compete with the best wrestlers in the world because I’ve done it for so long and I know I’m ready for that. If by chance, Kenny Omega manages to beat Rich Swann, I will be the first one in line to try to shut Kenny Omega and Don up.”
Which wrestler of the roster that you haven’t wrestled yet are you interested to compete against?
“That is a very good question because I’ve had the pleasure of wrestling almost the entire roster in tag matches. I would say the most intriguing one-on-one matchup to me is Eric Young. I will have to wait and he’ll have to make sure he’s at 100 because I don’t want to wrestle him at 70 percent so he has better be doing rehab and come back healthy. Showtime Eric Young was just one of the guys I looked up to when I first broke into wrestling he had just gone to TNA and stuff from my area and left Canada so it was just a match that’s never happened that I hope does.”
One short last question, where does the Walking Weapon moniker come from?
“I asked Ethan Page on a road trip in 2012 or something like that. I said, hey man, I need a moniker or something. You’re All Ego, you have this character, like what am I? He’s like you don’t need a character, you are your character, you come to the ring, you kick-ass, people like you for that. I have to do all this other stuff to be liked because I can’t do what you do, and I was like okay. He’s like but that’s your character, you’re highly trained, you’re the most physical wrestler, you never get blown up, you’re super strong, all this other stuff, you can do everything. Well, he’s like you’re the Jason Bourne of wrestling, you’re a Walking Weapon. And I was like, there it is.”
Follow Josh Alexander on Twitter @Walking_Weapon.
Rebellion will air live on Fite TV and on PPV this Sunday night at 8 PM EST (1 AM GMT). IMPACT Wrestling is airing on Tuesday at 8/7c on AXS TV in the USA and Twitch worldwide.
In the UK and Ireland, IMPACT is available to fans for free within hours of the American broadcast on IMPACT Plus, with an encore presentation on 5Star late night on Fridays. PPVs can be watched through the FITE app, website or a Virgin Media box.
All pics, screencaps and videos courtesy of Impact Wrestling, AXS TV, and Fight Network