Joey Janela Says He Won't Re-Sign With AEW, Details His Time With The Company

Joey Janela won't be staying with AEW.

Janela was part of the first group of wrestlers signed by AEW when the company formed in 2019. Janela was part of AEW Double or Nothing and has taken on the likes of Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley, Darby Allin, and Hangman Page during his time with the company.

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Janela previously revealed that his contract with the company expired in May and he was hoping AEW would renew it.

Speaking to Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture, Janela said he won't be re-signing with AEW.

"I said in a couple interviews with Sean {Ross Sapp} in September that All Out weekend, I said 'yes.' Recently, in an interview with Barstool Sports I said 'yes'. My contract is up on May 1st {2022}. And I am gonna have to say no now. I am not interested in signing with AEW. Re-signing with them," he stated.

Janela continued, discussing getting back into Independent wrestling, which he's continued to do while being under AEW contract.

"I was a little scared getting back into the independent wrestling world and making money. You take those things for granted, you're getting a paycheck every two weeks. A pretty good paycheck. In your head you're like 'shit, when this is over, this is gonna disappear.' But I was born a hustler in this business. I was scared to get back into that world but now I am no longer scared. Back in the day before AEW, I was going out to wrestle for basically nothing. I was just doing it because I love it, I would do 3-4 shows a week. I would rack up small pay days from the promoters, plus my merchandise and I'd be satisfied and I'd be making a lot of money. But now my price has gone significantly up so I didn't know if the promoters were gonna welcome me back with open arms. But recently I've realized that the promoters know the situation, they realize what the situation is gonna be and they've been hitting me up big time. They say 'we want you to come back here. We want you to wrestle some of the newer guys we have. We want you to wrestle some of the older guys. We want Joey Janela back,'" he said.

Speaking on his time in AEW, Janela said, "I am happy and I am satisfied with what I did in those 3 years in AEW. It was a learning experience, and I am gonna say this in the most positive way possible without looking negative. Those three years with AEW was developmental for the rest of my career. I am so much sharper now, not only in-ring but business wise, I've learned so much in those three years. Now not only am I sharper myself, in all facets of the wrestling business, but also I can go to a young guy, I could go to a Nick Wayne and teach him stuff, of the stuff that I've learned in those three years. Or I can go to GCW or I can go to another promotion and teach them what I've learned on the other side of the curtain. I am not sad at all. I did everything I wanted to do there. Within the 6 months I started there, my goal was to wrestle Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega, main event TV, main event pay-per-view. Did it all. The only thing I didn't get was an action figure. So be it. It's over now and we're just moving forward. I have no complaints, I thank Tony {Khan}."

Tony Khan recently noted that with so many wrestlers coming in, he wouldn't be able to renew all of the previous contracts.

"They've been doing this to people, they've been radio silent on the people they are letting the contracts expire, that's why you have talent relations to talk to your talent and tell them what the situation is. If they are gonna have a paycheck coming in or if they are gonna be signed to a per appearance deal, which some of the guys have agreed to. I would never agree on a per appearance deal anywhere. My per appearance deal is gonna be when I am booking myself all over the world, I am booked in 6 different countries coming up. Per appearance on the independent scene, I wanna be my own boss. That's how I got my name out there, I was my own boss, and I had the most buzz outside of The Elite and that's why I had this opportunity at AEW, that's why I had this opportunity at All In. People say to me on the internet, 'the only reason why you worked at AEW is because you were friends with the Young Bucks.' I met the Young Bucks twice before AEW. I was one of the most successful self-promoting wrestlers in the world at that point. I am not sad about anything, I thank everyone there, I learned so much. I had ups and downs. COVID really killed me wrestling in front of no crowd, I really lost motivation, my back was shot out. The doctors tell me my back is shaped like an 'S', because of all the wild stuff I have done in my career, that's something that is scary to hear and 'that's why you're not moving the way you should at 31 years old. It's because your spine is shaped like an 'S'. ' But that's been fixed, I feel great I am back in shape. I just wish there was less radio silence on their end with me. I consider Tony {Khan} a friend, I hung out with Tony a lot in the beginning days of AEW, I just wish they would talk to me. I know it's come to an end. But I appreciate them, I appreciate the experience I had and I am gonna take everything I learned there and bring it with me for the rest of my career," he said.

During Janela's time in the company, his most notable angle came with Sonny Kiss. The two were initially a tag team, but their story played out on AEW Dark with Janela turning on Kiss, leading to a No DQ bout between them.

Recalling the angle with Sonny, Janela said, "Well it was weird because we were doing this whole angle with Sonny Kiss, that I basically booked the whole thing top to bottom and it was hitting on all cylinders for their internet TV show, it wasn't on TV, people were bombarding us to put it on TV. Because it was so good and the emotion was there. People were into it and people started to hate me because I turned on Sonny Kiss. I said listen Sonny, 'You're over now to a degree, but I wanna get you to the next level with this storyline.' If I knew otherwise I would have let Sonny Kiss go over in our final street fight in Universal Studios, which was a great received match, I would have had Sonny go over me and I would have walked into the sunset. But I think they had plans for me, Tony kept on saying 'after this we're bring you back to TV' but unfortunately I think a lot of it has to do with a situation where I worked with Eddie Kingston in Charlotte, and I super kicked him in the face a little bit too hard, came in a little bit too hot, I had been squatting probably 50 more pounds than I am used to be squatting, and doing a hundred pounds more on the leg press and I don't know, I didn't realize I had that type of power in my legs and I gave him a super kick and I broke his orbital bone. He was going into a feud with Chris Jericho, and I feel that may have been the straw that broke the camel's back."

Kingston missed weeks of television with the orbital injury, but was cleared in time to wrestle Jericho at AEW Revolution.

"A lot of guys, maybe some older heads that believed my hype and believed that I was some kind of dangerous professional wrestler. I've had times where I've injured people of course, everyone has. But once you get that reputation, it's hard to break that. I've had a string of bad luck throughout my AEW career and that may have been the straw that broke the camel's back but I don't know because they don't communicate with me. They did the same thing to Marko Stunt. They just stopped talking to him. But I appreciate them, but if you have talent relations, I know Christopher Daniels would love nothing more than to tell me I am no longer with the company. But it is what it is. I am not sad, I am not mad, I am not mad at anyone, I had a wonderful experience," he said.

Janela closed by saying, "I am happy for Penelope Ford, who came up with me, she was my girlfriend at one point, we made this thing happen from CZW, to Dojo Wars which was in a storage unit somewhere in South Jersey all the way to these bigger shows to us getting a full blown deal for three years with All Elite Wrestling and she's doing wonderful right now and I did everything I ever wanted there and to me I am gonna make basically the same money this year doing independents, but working twice as hard this year. It's no big deal to me and I appreciate everyone there and I appreciate everything that I got to do. I am just happy right now, I am more focused, more motivated than I've ever been in my career. You could see it in my work. There's been nothing but good Joey Janela matches over the last eight months. Whether it be my matches that I did at AEW Dark, or my GCW matches, or my match with Nick Wayne which is arguably the best independent match of last year. I am back to where I wanted to be and I feel ten years younger. I am not gonna change a thing, it was great. Great times and I am having a great time right now."

Janela hasn't competed on AEW TV since the January 15 episode of AEW Dark, losing to Lee Moriarty.

He has been active with GCW and other independent promotions.

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