In the mid-2010s, Canadian Mike Bailey was a much buzzed about talent who worked all the top independent promotions across the globe. “Speedball” showed off his mix of martial arts-inspired offense and high flying against the scenes biggest stars - guys who are now working for WWE, such as Matt Riddle, Johnny Gargano & WALTER, or anchoring AEW, like Adam Cole, The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega.
But in 2016, Bailey’s rise was stalled when he was arrested trying to enter the United States for an Evolve show. It was said to be common for Canadian wrestlers to make quick trips south of the border to work an indie date without a work visa, but Bailey got caught. The result was a five year travel ban. He kept working, but the buzz died down as he worked strictly for promotions in his home country, and on Ring of Honor’s occasional show in Canada.
You don’t need to be a mathematician to tell that five years have passed since 2016. Earlier this year, a report came out that WWE was working with Bailey to get his visa issue resolved, as part of a plan to sign him. Perhaps that deal was a casualty of the NXT moving away from signing smaller, indie stars, but no matter - it ended up being a Canadian-owned company that films its television in the United States that inked the 31 year old to a deal.
Impact President Scott D’Amore showed up at Destiny Wrestling’s show in Mississauga, Ontario last night (Oct. 31), offering Speedball a chance to remind global audiences what he can do.
This just happened @DestinyWrestle tonight. @SpeedballBailey gets a contract for @IMPACTWRESTLING from @ScottDAmore.we all know how great you are and now the rest of the world will k is now. It's just not Chant, but you deserve this. Go out and show the world. pic.twitter.com/hvdft694Vj— ringside with chops (@ringsidechops) November 1, 2021
The man he wrestled in Destiny’s ring, former Impact World champ Josh Alexander, is bullish on the signing.
This will be the steal of a signing people talk about in 5yrs.@IMPACTWRESTLING gets another killer.@SpeedballBailey is going to take over the wrestling scene! One of my toughest opponents, most skilled & hardest workers I’ve ever seen. @DestinyWrestle is Canadian wrestling pic.twitter.com/jCe7rIzQOR— Josh Alexander (@Walking_Weapon) October 31, 2021
His partner Veda Scott is very proud of him.
How high can Speedball fly in Impact? We’re about to find out.
Thank you.— Speedball Mike Bailey (マイク•ベイリー) (@SpeedballBailey) November 1, 2021
Despite setbacks and hardships I've had in my wrestling career, I only feel blessed & grateful for the love & support that I have received continuously in return for my hard work.
I couldn't do any of it without you all. Thank you. I'll keep doing my best!