Chris Sabin is back in IMPACT Wrestling, and already making his presence felt.
After six years away from in-ring work in IMPACT, Sabin has returned, and he had a nice explanation of why, when prompted by Fightful in a new interview.
"I think just being familiar with IMPACT! Wrestling and the fans," Sabin said. "I took a little bit of a break there, but even though while I was gone, it always kinda felt like IMPACT! was home for me. That’s where I pretty much built my entire wrestling reputation. Along with some outside stuff as well, but IMPACT! was always my home. So, it just felt like I was returning home, you know?"
Within a week of coming back, he and partner Alex Shelley ended the year-plus title reign of Josh Alexander and Ethan Page, collectively known as the North. In an interview with Page last November, he told me that he wanted to face Motor City Machine Guns, which Sabin was kind of aware of.
"A little bit. Not completely. But, yeah, he’s mentioned to me a couple of times that him and Josh wanted to face off against us in some tag team matches. We never knew if it was going to happen, but it did and I guess it kinda backfired because when we finally did face, we took the titles from them," Sabin said.
While Page and Alexander likely didn't want Sabin and Shelley to snatch their precious IMPACT Wrestling Tag Team Championships from them they did want Motor City Machine Guns in the company. Sabin even told us that initially he was felt welcomed by the North.
"I think it was a feeling of excitement and respect, you know? I’ve known Ethan for quite a while. Actually, I worked for his independent promotion, Alpha-1. I’ve worked for him before in the past, and I’ve known him a little bit here and there from other places. It was excitement and respect. I respected him and I think, although we have some scuffling going on right now, we may not be the biggest fans of each other right now because of our little feud going on, but I think there’s definitely a high level of respect there," Sabin said.
Now the team will do battle at on the August 18 edition of IMPACT Emergence, in a tag team title rematch. However, if Page had his way, they might have wrestled at the TNA Retro Show that was planned for April this year. Sabin loved the concept.
"Yeah, I thought it was really cool because, you never know, there might be some people out there that don’t realize that the company is still around. They hear the name IMPACT! and they don’t connect it to TNA. Maybe they don’t realize, with some of the casual fans that watched back in the day, they don’t realize it’s the same company. So, when they hear that, maybe that puts some awareness that, “Hey, this company’s still around, it’s just has a new name.” I thought it was a really cool idea and I thought it was perfect for the weekend it was on and everything. I was excited for it and I think the fans kind of dug it, too. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to do that again." Sabin said.
While Sabin did like the concept, he wouldn't have been wrestling on the event, no matter how much goading the North would have done. Instead, there was another role planned for him.
"Well, I’d been working as a producer for a couple of months before that, so I was familiar with the company. I was told about it and everything. Si, I knew it was happening. I thought it was a really cool idea. They originally wanted me to wrestle, but I didn’t feel like I was completely ready yet. So, I was gonna have the special guest referee role and of course we all know what happened," Sabin noted, of the COVID-19 complications that delayed the show.
Sabin and Shelley weren't the only TNA names from the past to pop up recently, as EC3 and Eric Young would also appear. Sabin shared a story of reuniting with Young backstage. The two worked together for nearly a decade, then went without running into each other for years that followed.
"It’s really cool. It’s like this shared journey that we’ve all been on that we can all discuss or reminisce about and stuff. I remember I was talking to Eric Young at the last taping before I left, we were just like, “Yeah, man, it’s like nothing has changed.” I haven’t seen him in years. ,But, it was like, “Hey, man. Old times, like nothing has changed.” I don’t know, I think it’s cool all the influx of new talent that’s coming in and I think these guys are gonna have a chance to really show what they have through their own personal filter as opposed to being dictated what they need to do. I think there’s a lot more creative freedom here for these guys. So, you get to see them in a different context and I think it’s going to be really cool." Sabin stated.
For those wondering Chris Sabin's deal with IMPACT, he's locked down with the company in more ways than one.
"Yeah, I am signed with them right now. I do have like a producer kind of thing and a wrestling kind of thing going on. So, I can do both and I have done both. There have been days where I only wrestled, but then there’s been a day where I wrestle and produce. So, I’m keeping pretty busy with them," Sabin said.
You can see our full interview with Chris Sabin at the top of the page, and check him out in two weeks, when he and Alex Shelley defend the IMPACT Tag Team Championships