It's all about the reaction.
Josh Alexander is the present-day X-Division Champion in IMPACT Wrestling and for the first portion of his reign, he was performing in front of an empty Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. Now that fans have once again returned to IMPACT events, Josh Alexander is able to feed off of the audience and shape his matches accordingly.
Josh, in a new interview with Cageside Seat’s Shakiel Mahjouri, reveals that that is a lesson he was taught Sami Zayn of WWE back when Sami was on the independents performing as El Generico.
Josh explains that he was working a match with Sami when Sami told him to wait for the audience to react and allow them to digest what they had seen and when the audience erupted, that's when Josh Alexander understood the magic of working toward the crowd reaction.
“I reiterate this a lot to a lot of younger wrestlers at Impact and throughout the independents. It took me about the 10 or 11-year mark [to learn],” Alexander says. “I wrestled El Generico and I remember him telling me, ‘Just calm down and wait.’ We were in the ring and something happened. He said, ‘Wait, wait!’ I was just like, ‘What?’ I waited and all of a sudden you hear the crowd just come up to this insane level and I would have cut them off and they would have never been there because I would have just been going through the motions."
He continued, "I had been told that same thing that El Generico had told me 100 times previous to that. But in my 10 years and all the experience I [had] grinded on the indies, at that moment, that’s when everything kind of clicked and went together. Listening to the crowd, that’s when you get the ear for everything. I think it’s just reps. Some people can develop it after two or three years. But for a lot of people, it’s around that 10-year mark where you get that year for the crowd. That’s really what we’re all about, is giving the fans what they want.”
One of the biggest matches Josh Alexander has had in his career was the 1-hour Iron Man Match against TJP, which also took place in front of no audience. Josh explained recently that working that match in front of no audience almost added to the magic of the moment. Learn more here.