Sledge Says He Was Surprised IMPACT Didn't Sign Him After 2018 Match With Eli Drake

Sledge details his time working with IMPACT! Wrestling in 2018.

Speaking with Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, the Ring of Honor Star was asked about working with Eli Drake and how that came about, noting that he was originally scheduled to face someone different. However, due to injury, the card got shuffled and thanks to his positive reputation as a worker, Sledge found himself in a higher profile match. Here is what went down:

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"So, how that happened was I was actually originally to face Dave Crist from oVe. I think it was oVe at the time. Somebody got hurt on the show, so they put oVe in a tag match. So, that was the original match. It was supposed to be me versus Dave Crist. I think his name is Dave Crist. They switched it up that day. It was like, Scott D’Amore came up to me and was like, ‘Yo. We know you’re a hell of a talent, we want to put you with Eli Drake,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, that’s okay.’ We’ve done this dance multiple times."

After the match, Sledge recalls walking through the curtain and Scott D'Amore praising their work. He even admits to being surprised that they didn't hire him, or at least working together more and getting additional opportunities down the road. He said the following:

"So, it’s always funny when I see Eli. When he walks in we always look at each other, we go, ‘Yup.’ We saw each other in Texas. I’ve wrestled him so many times, but getting in the ring with a guy like that, a talent like Eli Drake or, as you call him, the LA Knight, all he’s going to do is up your game and you’re going to learn from him. Doing that IMPACT! match and putting on the performance that we did and us going back through the curtain and Scott D’Amore coming up to me going, ‘Dude, that was one of the best matches we’ve had all night.’ That makes you feel good. I’m really surprised they didn’t’ sign me, Sean. I really was.

I wasn’t necessarily expecting more out of it. But, maybe a different opportunity down the road, like maybe when they come to Las Vegas or something like maybe some sort of contact there. I did talk to Scott a little bit more. Don Callis came up to me because he did the commentary as well and he’s like, ‘Dude, that was great. Absolutely effing fantastic. You got a bright future, kid.’ I was expecting more and there was talks, but nothing really came out of it."

Sledge would eventually agree to train at the Ring of Honor dojo, signing a contract with the promotion after only 6 months. He recently renewed for a second year, with his debut match coming on an episode of Week By Week, where he fought to a time-limit draw with O'Shay Edwards.

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