Alex Shelley says 'swimming in new waters' would be exciting, recounts far along talks with WWE in 2020

Originally published at Alex Shelley says 'swimming in new waters' would be exciting, recounts far along talks with WWE in 2020

Candid answers from Alex Shelley. 

The newest episode of Bryan Siefker’s Developmentally Speaking show featured former TNA World Champion Alex Shelley. 

There was a point in the conversation when Shelley was asked what else is there left for him to accomplish in wrestling. He said swimming in new waters interests him and being enthused about what he’s doing in wrestling. 

That’s a really loaded question (what else is left for Shelley to accomplish in wrestling). (Chris) Sabin and I have had these conversations where we talk about, ‘We’ve done some pretty cool sh*t.’ Simply put, and at this point, I think, obviously accomplishing a lot of the same things I’ve done previously in a new company and swimming in new waters would be very exciting. The other thing that’s equally important to me is showing up to work and being enthused. Like, loving pro wrestling and understanding that this is very much a gift. The fact that I’m able to do this, physically do this and then the fact that I’m able to financially benefit from this is massive. It doesn’t really matter what’s going on in my life, when I start to think about pro wrestling, when I actually start to think about the wrestling aspect of it, everything else fades away…

On several occasions, Shelley worked with WWE in some capacity. He remembers doing guest coaching work in late 2019. They asked if he was looking to do more of that, but Shelley still wanted to wrestle. That eventually led to him being called for the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic in which he teamed with KUSHIDA

WWE asked me if I would like to come down and be a performance coach for a week and with Ring of Honor’s blessing, they said, ‘Yep, go ahead.’ So I went down there for a week and I had a really, really great experience, a really, really great experience. They kind of asked me if I would be interested in doing this more and I said, ‘I appreciate the offer but at the same time, I still wanna wrestle.’ By that point, I was only 34, 35. So I just got back into wrestling and this was so cool and I love seeing how everything worked and I hope I helped some people but, yeah, I still wanna work… This was all in October. So, by December though, they reached out again, they said, ‘Hey, would you be interested in wrestling?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, sure. What’s the plan? What are you having in mind?’ They said, ‘We wanna team you with KUSHIDA’ and I was so happy they said that.

Following up on that, Shelley revealed that the company approached him about a contract after his stint with KUSHIDA in NXT. 

The talks were ‘very far along’. He was still in contact with Ring of Honor and IMPACT Wrestling, but then the COVID-19 pandemic came into the fold. 

They did approach me about a contract after (my stint with KUSHIDA in WWE) and I said, ‘Well, I already have these other dates agreed to for Ring of Honor’ and you know, WWE’s great about letting people finish out or anything like that. I said, ‘Okay, let’s stay in touch,’ and, ‘Let’s try and figure out something that could work for you here’ and we were very, very far along as that went and I was still talking to Ring of Honor and I believe I was talking to Scott D’Amore who was running IMPACT at the time too and this is only in the matter of, gosh, I’d say, maybe, we’re talking like six weeks. Maybe six weeks after I was on TV with KUSHI. That Coronavirus came around and the pandemic and I started to see it pretty quick. We had these conference calls with a lot of the doctors in our company, so, yeah, you’re seeing things on media but we’re getting different reports on things. Yeah, it was like, geez man, you know? This is gonna be really bad I think. So I think from end of February, March — end of February was the last match I had for a while. First week of March, I was like, oh man, this is really not good. As soon as Corona hit and I saw the entertainment industry just do one of these (nosedive) and everything was up in the air, I was like, this seems like a bad time for me to make a major life change, because I don’t know what’s gonna happen and then you look at what happened and yeah, the economy just bottomed out. It was like, man… good, bad, indifferent, again, using that statement, I don’t know if I made the right call or not but I made a call.

In early April, it was reported by PWInsider that Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) are free agents. Their final match is going to air on the 4/18 episode of TNA iMPACT. 

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Developmentally Speaking with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.