Alex Shelley is excited to be working with MLW.
The Motor City Machine Gun is set to take part in MLW's Opera Cup and will debut for the promotion on October 2nd at MLW Fightland when he takes on TJP in first-round action.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, Shelley admitted that he has been a fan of the promotion for a long time.
"Yeah, it is. I’ve been a fan of MLW since 2002 / 2003. Like, when I was starting out, MLW in its first incarnation was so cool because it was so different at the time," Shelley said.
Joining forces with MLW wasn't a spur of the moment decision, either. Shelley shared that MLW's front office reached out almost two years ago but the timing never worked until now.
"MLW front office probably a while ago (reached out), maybe almost two years ago," he said. "It just never really matched up time-wise. But now it seems like a pretty good fit."
The Opera Cup excites Shelley because it's providing him the chance to work with a number of talents that he's never had the chance to face one on one. Furthermore, as someone who admits to preferring a technical style of wrestling these days, Shelley appreciates how most of the roster skews in the same direction. He added the following:
"Yeah and I think what really gets me most interested in the tournament itself is the fact that really, truly—there’s a couple of acrobats—but most of these guys are truly technical wrestlers. I feel that’s something that’s coming full circle right now. We’re kinda seeing a revitalization of it amongst all of the companies. So for me to be able to test myself against a lot of these guys in singles competition, a lot of them—even though I’ve crossed paths with them—I’ve never wrestled them one on one. It’s very exciting."
Shelley continued on to name a few of the talents that he's a fan of and particularly excited to work with.
"Hammerstone’s a guy I’m a huge fan of. I think he works really, really hard," Shelley said. "Myron is actually somebody I really would like to wrestle. Part of that is because I’ve trained so hard with Trey Miguel and Trey and Myron are two peas in a pod, right? But there’s a handful of guys. A lot of them are in the Opera cup. Tajiri would be dope. I’ve actually met him multiple times, too. But, I’ve never been in the ring with him. But yeah, they’ve got a lot of really, really cool talent."
Now in the latter stages of his wrestling career, Shelley takes pride in younger wrestlers complimenting him and his abilities. He even jokes about trying to get it in writing as proof.
"I think the cool thing that they have, too, is an open-door policy. So they have people coming in and out for special appearances as well and that’s appealing. For me, I get most excited for technical wrestling these days. That’s not to say that they have to be a technical wizard or anything like that. I don’t think anyone would consider Myron to be that, for example. He’s ultra-talented in other ways. But I really like wrestling younger guys who are going to push me to know that I can still keep up, if not eat them up. One of the greatest compliments I got was after I wrestled Tre Lamar, who’s a younger guy, he said it was like wrestling Wolverine. ‘Dude just keeps coming.’ I was like, ‘Oh, man. Can I get that in writing?’ Or maybe a sweet tattoo on my lo back, my low back," Shelley said.
It's not just about the youth, though, Shelley also points out the more seasoned and accomplished wrestlers on the roster, adding that it's one of the things that drew him to the promotion all those years ago.
"Yeah, they’ve got so many guys who are just so accomplished," Shelley began by saying. "That’s what drew me to MLW twenty years ago, too. Watching Sabu versus La Parka or the Far East Connection versus Chris Daniels and the Maximos. Those matches were like, ‘Whoa, man. I never thought these guys would wrestle.’"
On September 3, 2021, Shelley wrestled his first match in nine months when he faced Tom Lawlor at the GCW/BLP 3 Cups Stuffed show.
Elsewhere in the interview, Shelley commented on his relationship with IMPACT Wrestling. Learn more here.