Josh Alexander has been a top star in Impact Wrestling for a long time, to the point where he’s currently making a run at being the longest reigning Impact world champion of all-time.
Alexander was briefly a free agent earlier this year in February, and he could have theoretically signed with AEW at that time. In an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Alexander explained why he was never close to signing a contract with Tony Khan’s promotion:
“It was definitely on the table, and it was definitely a thought...but I wouldn’t say it was too close.”
“For me as a pro wrestler, my fulfillment of what I do is to go out there and wrestle, and show what I can do. I think my benefit is bell-to-bell. That is where I will gain notoriety. That is where I will show my worth in the pro wrestling scene. And at the time watching AEW, it didn’t look like a lot of people were getting opportunities to do that stuff outside of like the top 20 people that were on the roster. You’d see people shuffle in and out, and shuffle in and out. They would get their runs for a few weeks, and they’d go back to shorter matches on AEW Dark.”
“Impact has been so good to me...I think all you can ask for as a wrestler is for an opportunity to show what you can do. Give me the ball and if I drop it, that’s fine. They’ve given me the ball a ton of times and I don’t think I’ve dropped it yet. So I’m just gonna ride this out and see how it goes.”
AEW has a large roster and it’s fairly common for very talented wrestlers like Hikaru Shida or Ricky Starks to receive inconsistent TV time on Dynamite or Rampage. Sometimes even wrestlers who receive a massive push are just suddenly cooled off for no apparent reason, like with Wardlow this summer. The influx of ROH wrestlers this year and NJPW wrestlers during the summer made the competition for TV time an even bigger issue after Alexander was already off the free agent market.
The point is that even when AEW television content was killing it most weeks before the drama came this summer, the crunch for TV time has always been an issue for wrestlers who are not in the main event. Alexander didn’t want to end up lost in the shuffle and relegated to YouTube shows; the lack of opportunity was definitely a factor on his mind when weighing his options on the free agent market earlier this year. He knew he wouldn’t have that problem in Impact, and that helped him make an easy decision on where to sign.
Do you think Josh Alexander made the correct choice in re-signing with Impact Wrestling earlier this year, Cagesiders?