Jake Crist says he loved his time in IMPACT, discusses his goals for free agency in 2021, and talks about the late Brodie Lee.
Jake Crist is “The Modern Man in Black.” Coming off the back of a successful run alongside Sami Callihan in IMPACT, Jake is now ready to make 2021 his year.
In a new interview with Spencer Love, Jake opens up about competing as a deathmatch wrestler, his time in IMPACT as X-Division Champion, who he wants to work first in 2021, and more.
Spencer sent the following quotes in to Fightful.
Jake Crist on his run as IMPACT X-Division Champion
“You know, not really. There was a - with being in oVe for the last three and a half years, and then they broke that up, and then they put me into Cancel Culture. So it was like they were kind of just - they're gonna bounce me from group to group, anyways. So, like, who knows? But like as far as the past, I've never really tried to break out as a singles guy or anything like that. This will be the very first opportunity, so wish me luck, bud!"
“I just saw it as a major opportunity that the company was putting stock in me. Plus, it was my very first major championship I ever won. I think about AJ Styles I think about all the guys that's held this championship. Chris Sabin, Christopher Daniels, the list goes on and on and on on how many great people have held the X-Division Championship. And, to be able to wrestle one of my best friends for the championship and beating him for it was just the icing on the cake. Love you Swanny!"
“I loved my time in IMPACT Wrestling. You won't get a bad word out of my mouth about IMPACT, to be honest. It made me hone myself as a character. They taught me a lot about the business that I didn't know, and they made me the person that I am today. With the X Division Championship run, I don't necessarily - I put myself as like a utility player. Whatever position you need me to go out there and play, I'll be able to go out there and do it. So it was like, if you need me to go out there and be in a group, [I'll] go out there and be in a group. If you need me to go out there and scale across the wires in an Ultimate X Match, or if you need me to wrap myself in barbed wire - as you could tell, I love deathmatch and deathmatches. I don't know if it was - I don't know. The very next night, I wrestled Aiden Prince. But it was actually, you know, it was being taped or whatever. But, the next time you got to see the exhibition X-Division Championship on the line was it was me vs Aiden Prince, and I thought that was an amazing match. Two of my favorite matches at IMPACT Wrestling is Rich Swann and Aiden Prince. I really feel like as a champion if you remember who you beat for and who beat you for it, you did a good job. Ace Austin beat me for and you know-“
Jake Crist on IMPACT’s rise over the past two years
“Well, you know, to be honest, I don't really think about it like that. With oVe and LAX, I feel like we brought like, I don't know, a new, a breath of fresh air I guess. All we wanted to do was just go out there and kill it to the best of our abilities. We just wanted to go out there and have the best matches. The 5150 street fights to the barbed wire massacre. I think those matches were amazing. I think they kind of - I think that helped us as a group. Then Sami being brought in was just the icing on the cake. It actually made us have a voice. I couldn't be more happy because Sami is my best friend. He came in with us, so it was amazing for me.”
Jake Crist on Deathmatch Wrestling
“Well yeah, I mean I've done a lot. I've done my fair share of deathmatches. I've wrestled Danny Havoc a few different times, God rest his soul. Rest in Peace Danny Havoc. Miss you every day. But yeah, as far as deathmatches, as far as any type of diversity when it comes to wrestling, I got you. Whatever you need, I got you. If you need me to bleed all over, yeah, I gotcha.”
Jake Crist on who he’s looking to work first in 2021
“You know what? Not really. I look at all the different companies and I'm like, 'oh, this guy would be great to work, this guy would be great to work,' but I mean, as far as you know, getting a list or having people that are want to wrestle in 2021, I've just never really been about that. Whatever happens, happens, you know? I'm the kind of guy that anyway the wind takes me is the way I'm gonna go.”
Jake Crist discusses his goals in free agency
“Wherever the wind blows is where I'll go. Like I said, there's really - I know you're supposed to have goals and you should probably sit down and, you know, work towards something. But right now, being a free agent, I'm just gonna live this up and I'm just - I actually love being an independent wrestler, you know what I mean? I could do or say whatever I want, whenever I want. I don't have to ask like, 'hey, is it cool if I go and do this podcast? Hey, is it cool if this happens? Hey, can I wear this in my interview?' Which is rightfully so. You have to have that direction once you get contracted and you're on TV, and you're rocking and you're rolling. But as far as you know, being the Modern Man in Black, doing the thing that I'm doing where I'm just striving to be the best singles guy that I can be. That's just all I'm looking forward to. If I can do that in any big promotion, let's do it!"
“That's the biggest thing. They say the best characters are just you amped up 10 or 20 fold and this is me amped up 10 or 24 fold. I am that kind of drifter. Whichever way the wind takes me is the way I'll go. I don't like having a plan. I like just going by the skin of my teeth or whatever.”
Jake Crist on Brodie Lee
“My hearts crushed. Obviously reading all the stories and the interviews and stuff and the tweets of the other brothers and professional wrestlers tweeting about how great he was. I happened to run into him here and there throughout our career, but as far as me knowing him, I really didn't know the guy. I probably had maybe one conversation with him my whole entire career. So, our paths never really - they crossed, but when they did, they didn't cross for that long. Ring of Honor, Dragon Gate USA - we never did any EVOLVE- but I think those were like the only two companies that our paths - Maybe 2CW in upstate New York. I never really knew him, but my heart is broken in a million pieces due to just how great of a guy that I hear that he was, and leaving his sons and wife behind is just - it's crushing. It's crushing. The good ones do die young."
Jake also spoke to Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp. You can check out that interview at this link.