Joey Janela Feels He Has To 'Step It Up' Before AEW Contract Expires

Joey Janela reflects on the pandemic affecting his state of mind and wanting to get his body of work back up to a certain standard in AEW.

Joey Janela was one of the very first names signed to AEW. He was also John Moxley’s first opponent in the promotion and headlined a special event with Jon Moxley.

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In recent months, Joey Janela has not been featured heavily, and now, speaking on My Mom's Basement with Robbie Fox, he is opening up about the toll that the pandemic took on his state of mind and why he did not enjoy wrestling without an audience.

"That whole year was just like bad for everyone. It was bad for me. Just the year before I just signed AEW. I was on such a hot streak with these matches. Kenny, MOX, we did the Cracker Barrel match. Yeah, TV just started. I had a great match with Kenny on TV as well. Just a normal 10-minute match. Then, that November, my back kind of got jacked up and I wasn't feeling too good in the ring anymore, because I obviously killed myself at the start of AEW pretty bad.

"Then, the pandemic happened and then, you know, that was it. I was unmotivated. I'm not an athlete like these guys, I can't go out there without a crowd. I have to have a crowd. I have to have that adrenaline and so I was just like, alright. I kind of just, I hate to say it I was I kind of half-assed the whole year because it was like, I was unmotivated. I was depressed. I started to eat a lot. I got fatter and progressively worse, and I looked worse and worse. I've had some good matches during the pandemic. Yeah, it wasn't like pre-pandemic."

Joey continued, noting that his contract will expire in May and he began to feel like he really needs to step up his work in the ring now that the crowds are back.

"I'm under a three-year deal. My contract's up in May, you know, I really have to step it up. I felt like I have in the last couple of months. You know, just having killer matches on Dark. Yeah. The arena's coming back, it really helped me. I feel like we got something right now with AEW, I'm crossing my fingers. I hope that things are going in an upward trajectory because, the whole pandemic was -- I know for everyone, was brutal. But for me, it was like it was the worst."

Joey Janela is not booked for this week's Full Gear pay-per-view but continues to work regularly on Dark. Fightful has weekly coverage of all AEW programming in our results section.

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