Alex Shelley wants to play for the love of the game for now.
Alex Shelley has been a pro wrestler for 19 years. Having had brief stints in NXT and Ring of Honor, along with a nice return to IMPACT Wrestling, Alex Shelley could have his pick of wherever he would like to ply his trade.
Speaking in a new interview with Sports Illustrated, Shelley explained he has enjoyed his brief exploration in NXT and ROH, and AEW looks awesome, but right now he wants to explore the independents.
Alex Shelley would credit matches with Daniel Garcia and Wheeler Yuta with showing him the path to his next career phase.
“Right now, the independents are where I want to be,” Shelley says. “That’s not to say I wouldn’t go back to a big company. AEW looks amazing. I had a great experience in WWE/NXT, Impact is doing some great stuff and so is Ring of Honor. I miss New Japan so dearly. But I very much enjoy independent wrestling on a grassroots level.
“When I was growing up in this industry, I saw how dog-eat-dog it was, and I learned I needed a contingency plan. That was hard because I love pro wrestling so much. I’d pursued my education so I had a backup plan, and I promised myself I would never wrestle because I needed to, but rather only because I loved it. I’ve kept that promise. Wrestling Garcia and Yuta, these are matches I want. I’ve found a special kind of joy and energy grinding on the independents.”
He concluded, “I’m a play-for-the-love-of-the-game player. To me, this is what makes life worth living. And now I get to feed off the energy and spirit of Garcia and Wheeler. These are two very special wrestlers. If I can hang with these guys, I can hang with anybody in this industry.”
Fightful recently spoke to Alex Shelley about this next phase in his career. You can check out the full interview here.