Joey Janela states he is not interested in re-signing with AEW

Originally published at Joey Janela states he is not interested in re-signing with AEW

Joey Janela has stated that he will be returning to the independent scene once his AEW contract expires in May.

Janela spoke with Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture and confirmed that his contract is expiring on May 1st and would return to the independents rather than accept a per appearance deal.

He also spoke of the communication between AEW and some of the talents who have deals coming up soon:

My contract is up on May 1st {2022}. And I am gonna have to say no now. I am not interested in signing with AEW. Re-signing with them. I was a little scared getting back into the independent wrestling world and making money. You take those things for granted, you’re getting a paycheck every two weeks. A pretty good paycheck. In your head you’re like ‘shit, when this is over, this is gonna disappear.’

But I was born a hustler in this business. I was scared to get back into that world but now I am no longer scared. Back in the day before AEW, I was going out to wrestle for basically nothing. I was just doing it because I love it, I would do 3-4 shows a week. I would rack up small pay days from the promoters, plus my merchandise and I’d be satisfied and I’d be making a lot of money. But now my price has gone significantly up so I didn’t know if the promoters were gonna welcome me back with open arms. But recently I’ve realized that the promoters know the situation, they realize what the situation is gonna be and they’ve been hitting me up big time.

They say ‘we want you to come back here. We want you to wrestle some of the newer guys we have. We want you to wrestle some of the older guys. We want Joey Janela back.’ And I am happy and I am satisfied with what I did in those 3 years in AEW. It was a learning experience, and I am gonna say this in the most positive way possible without looking negative. Those three years with AEW was developmental for the rest of my career. I am so much sharper now, not only in-ring but business-wise, I’ve learned so much in those three years. Now not only am I sharper myself, in all facets of the wrestling business, but also I can go to a young guy, I could go to a Nick Wayne and teach him stuff, of the stuff that I’ve learned in those three years. Or I can go to GCW or I can go to another promotion and teach them what I’ve learned on the other side of the curtain. I am not sad at all. I did everything I wanted to do there. Within the 6 months I started there, my goal was to wrestle Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega, main event TV, main event pay-per-view. Did it all. The only thing I didn’t get was an action figure. So be it. It’s over now and we’re just moving forward.

I have no complaints, I thank Tony{Khan}. They’ve been doing this to people, they’ve been radio silent on the people they are letting the contracts expire, that’s why you have talent relations to talk to your talent and tell them what the situation is. If they are gonna have a paycheck coming in or if they are gonna be signed to a per appearance deal, which some of the guys have agreed to. I would never agree on a per appearance deal anywhere. My per appearance deal is gonna be when I am booking myself all over the world, I am booked in 6 different countries coming up. Per appearance on the independent scene, I wanna be my own boss. That’s how I got my name out there, I was my own boss, and I had the most buzz outside of The Elite and that’s why I had this opportunity at AEW, that’s why I had this opportunity at All In.

I had ups and downs. Covid really killed me wrestling in front of no crowd, I really lost motivation, my back was shot out. The doctors tell me my back is shaped like an ‘S’, because of all the wild stuff I have done in my career, that’s something that is scary to hear and ‘that’s why you’re not moving the way you should at 31 years old. It’s because your spine is shaped like an ‘S’. ‘ But that’s been fixed, I feel great I am back in shape. I just wish there was less radio silence on their end with me. I consider Tony {Khan} a friend, I hung out with Tony a lot in the beginning days of AEW, I just wish they would talk to me. I know it’s come to an end. But I appreciate them, I appreciate the experience I had and I am gonna take everything I learned there and bring it with me for the rest of my career.

Janela signed with AEW prior to its first even in May 2019.

His last appearance on Dynamite was in a match with Hangman Page in May 2021 at Daily’s Place and has largely wrestled on AEW Dark and AEW Dark: Elevation.

Janela is set to wrestle Sean Waltman at Spring Break 6 – Part 1 on Thursday, March 31st at Fair Park in Texas during WrestleMania Week.

Denise Salcedo’s full interview with Joey Janela is available on the Instinct Culture YouTube channel.

From AEWs perspective, it really isn’t a big loss at all. It does speak to a larger issue (though “issue” may be a bit hyperbolic.) The one downside of AEW signing all these former WWE guys, is there is only so much TV time, and moving forward I can see a lot of the AEW originals leaving. With that said, that may not even be a bad thing as for all wrestling promotions, freshening up the card is a good thing.

It wasn’t Kenny, it was Jon Moxley.

I’m all for talent on a roster this big to be cycled out, and I could see the writing on the wall for Janela given his focus on GCW more.


I don’t think Janela has a chance to be on TV regularly with a roster this deep. Good decision to move on. I wish they would have ran with the Janela/Kiss tag team a bit more. So weird to have that elaborate vignette at the gas station and then they were never seen again on Dynamite

Janela is somebody I could see really raising his stock on the indies, and landing back in a high profile company.

He was one of the hottest indie talents in North America pre-AEW. He’s managed to keep his “street cred” going with GCW, something countless AEW-signees haven’t been able to do.

I think Joey will land on his feet, and raise his value in the coming years.

If nominated he will not run; if elected he will not serve! Can’t say I have missed this guy on my television set one bit. Perhaps a parting of ways would be best for both parties.

This guy is a bum without Penelope Ford and GCW should be his home. At All In, I remember thinking what a great act these 2 were and then they split up and Janela was never the same. Being called “The Bad Boy” doesnt quite come off as well, when one of the hottest girls in wrestling is making out with another guy on the same show.


I think the aew roster being too big is really not as much if an issue as I thought. There is some weirdness with guys like lethal but overall it’s not that bad.

It nice how they cycle talent in and out, so you don’t get the match repetition to the same level as the WWE.

1 Like

Jay White debuted a few weeks ago and has already either ended his run or the angles he was involved in ditched/forgotten/whatever. Strickland was immediately out-debuted by Jeff Hardy. Janela has the right idea; he can build himself further on the indies and in Japan then potentially even return as an ‘AEW Original’, which is already a recognised label.

The ‘former star returns’ is a story we haven’t seen yet in AEW’s existence. Though Cody might beat him to it at this rate.