Steve Maclin Says He Was Excited To Be Part Of IMPACT Wrestling's X Division

Steve Maclin was excited about competing in IMPACT's X Division.

After debuting for the promotion in June 2021, Maclin quickly began piling up victories and set his sights on the X Division Title. He and Trey Miguel would begin their feud in earnest during a July edition of BTI when their match ended in a double count-out. They would face off for the X Division Title in September and October, though both bouts featured a third competitor. After weeks of petitioning Scott D'Amore for a one-on-one match against Trey Miguel, Maclin's wish was granted, though he would come up short in his quest for gold at Hard To Kill.

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Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp (full interview above), Maclin discussed his program with Miguel and the story that they were trying to tell.

"I think when Trey and I first touched I think it was on a BTI. We kinda knew going into the match, ‘Alright, let’s give them something that makes the office know that this has to be something to show down the road. This is a program they can go with.’ I think we did that the first time and then once we knew where it was going and how the build was going to go eventually it became hard to kill. That’s what we wanted to tell our story of at Hard to Kill was both of us were very hard to kill. In the end, he won, but I proved I was hard to kill. I think that’s what put me on the map out there. Especially Trey, who [is] one of the best talents in the world, I think. He’s just a video game wrestler, can do anything and everything you think of and I love him for it. It’s so much fun with the creative mind he has, too. But, yeah, having that feud and getting my character even more over the top out there to show people who I am," he said.

As for his first reaction to being told that he would be part of the X Division, Maclin said, "I was excited, believe me."

He would continue on, explaining how his size and style provide a contrast to his opponents and allows them to tell a wider array of stories.

"Huge fan of the X-Division for so long. I think it adds to it when you do get the different aspects and the different types of styles that come into it. Me being a brute guy that can be there to catch the guys or base however a certain way that you want to go, but at the same time, slow a match down. That’s the fast pace of the X-Division match, but when it is slowed a match down is when you can tell those stories," Maclin said.

Furthermore, Maclin notes that the X Division provided his introduction to IMPACT Wrestling, and he sees Samoa Joe as a template for himself to work off of and make his own.

"That was kind of my introduction to IMPACT—well, TNA at the time—but that was my introduction. ‘Cause I was kind of falling out of wrestling a bit. I was watching still a little bit of WWE at the time, ’04 /’05, and then TNA was kind of an ECW moment of, ‘Oh, what is this?’ It was just something else. ‘Cause WCW was gone and it was just trying to find that other avenue to watch wrestling as a fan. It was something that drew me in, especially Samoa Joe. He fit into that mold and that’s kind of how I look at myself going into the X Division. I was like, ‘Alright, I have to mold a little bit after Samoa Joe and just progress that and make it my own,’" he said.

Coming from WWE/NXT and jumping into the X Division meant a change of pace for Maclin, but it's an adjustment he made seamlessly. Whether he was required to speed up, slow down, or take control, Maclin explained the psychology behind his successful transition.

"It’s just picking your spots. It’s the clash of styles. There’s no different style of pro wrestling. Granted, WWE has a sports entertainment style where you’re telling a story, getting these characters over and it builds to the biggest match possible, which usually is WrestleMania or whatever the main event is at SummerSlam, Survivor Series, you know what I mean. But trying to get myself into those stories allows me to slow it down so when it does have to pick up the pace, the crowd kind of sits up a little bit more or stand up a little bit more. ‘Holy crap, I’ve never seen this before,’" he said.

"Or it’s like, you don’t have to go out there every night and do everything under the sun. Pick your spots, pick your moments. I think that’s what shines. I think that’s what talent, I think, needs to do more of nowadays just from my preference. I like to get my spots, [but] we have to work 365. You’re not gonna do 450s off the top every night. It’s gonna eventually catch up to you. So it’s finding those little things there that fit. That was the one thing that I thought I could bring to the mold of just fitting in that way," Maclin concluded.

After a pair of defeats following Rebellion in April, Maclin got back to his winning ways alongside Moose in a match against PCO and W. Morrissey. He is set to take on the Honor No More member once more this Thursday, June 9, 2022.

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