At GCW The Collective in October, no one boosted their stock more than Lee Moriarty.
Moriarty had standout matches against Jonathan Gresham, Daniel Makabe, and ACH over The Collective weekend, putting a new spotlight on himself.
“Of course. Wrestling in Japan is my dream. It’s not even necessarily signing a contract, living in Japan, it’s just having that one match. There are so many professional wrestlers that are so great and they’ve had that same goal that they’ve never reached it and it’s because it’s really hard. Unless you’re paying your own way or something, it’s not as easy to get to Japan because there’s so much talent over there, and nowadays in American wrestling, we’re influenced by Japanese wrestling, Japanese wrestling’s influenced by us, so it’s all this big melting pot and it’s like what’s gonna make you stand out so I’m always trying to think of that because I wanna get to Japan. I just wanna have that one match. So of course I’m interested in working with New Japan Strong if the opportunity were to come up, because I love New Japan Pro-Wrestling. I grew up watching that. I think the big transition that made me a hardcore wrestling fan was discovering the Best of the Super Juniors tournaments. I was like right out of high school or right at the end of my senior year, so it’s definitely an influence on me," he said.
Before The Collective weekend, Moriarty was perhaps best known for his series of matches against Alex Shelley in AIW. The two men had a trilogy that ended in February 2020 with Moriarty submitting Shelley to win the series 2-1.
Speaking on the trilogy, Moriarty said, "They put me on the map. Obviously, there’s gonna be progression, there’s gonna be milestones you hit that progress you, and with AIW there was a lot of that, there was milestones so the first time John Thorne [AIW promoter] ever saw me was he heard about me from other wrestlers like Derek Dillinger and stuff like that, but the first time he saw me was at a Ultimo Dragon seminar. Ultimo Dragon thought I was okay so in February the following year, they did a tryout thing, I got on that show and then the process I just like tried to produce a good match every time to be consistent and then getting an opportunity against Alex Shelley at their 200th event in November, that was our first match and that was more of a feeling out process and then December we got a rematch which wasn’t the plan but they liked the first match so much they did it again, and that match was more of a fight and then we had our third match in February of last year and that one was live on IWTV. That was AIW’s first time being live on IWTV and having that submission match, this high pressure situation live and you know, people streaming, live tweeting it, all this stuff, so wrestling someone who’s been — and this was I think a few weeks after he had appeared on NXT with KUSHIDA in the tag tournament [Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic]. So yeah, if you didn’t know who Alex Shelley was which you should have, you definitely knew then and you see his name and then you see a match graphic with me, I’m 100 percent where I am right now because of my trainers, because of the bookers, promoters, because of the fans and because of Alex Shelley taking me under his wing after that match and I’m very appreciative of it. But that was the match I think put me on the map and then since then I’ve just tried to be consistent.”
Moriarty is set to compete at GCW Fight Forever, a 24-hour wrestling event that begins on January 29 at 8 p.m. ET. You can find more information about Fight Forever by clicking here.
You can listen to the full interview with Moriarty in the video above.