Joey Janela parlayed his great showing at All In into a contract with AEW which will be the first time he's signed to a major wrestling promotion. He spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast to explain how his signing all came about and how quickly it came together.
"I asked Matt [Jackson] after 'Mania weekend, 'Now the dust has settled and Spring Break is out of the way, is there any place I could send by VHS and 8x10 to to possibly get on the show?' I'd really never hit up anyone to get on anything but I hit up Matt because I'm friendly with him," said Janela.
"He hit me up like five minutes later saying, 'Nah man. You can get on [All In].' It's pretty wild how fast it happened. He hit up Cody and Nick and they said 'Yeah. Let's put him on.'
"I didn't know I was gonna get a big showcase match like I did. I'm wrestling one of their guys [Adam Page]. It was a pretty cool experience and after that there was rumblings that something big was gonna happen."
Janela thought there would be an All In sequel but wasn't sure how soon it would be and they suddenly "started getting crazy messages" about how All In could turn into something bigger than an indie event.
"This is going to be a promotion, a touring show and might possibly turn into a TV deal," stated Janela. "But this is in the early stages of me knowing what was going on. Things started brewing and everything's in place now…I'm not on the business side in knowing about TV deals, but it's gonna be big. It's gonna be huge. Fans want that alternative to WWE and they got it. I just hope full force support it and they are – the show sold out in 24 minutes."
In addition to Cody and The Bucks, Janela will also get to work with a legend in Chris Jericho. Janela talked about the first time he met Jericho at a Fozzy concert.
"I met him at a Fozzy show in Vegas…me, Teddy Hart, Disco Inferno, a weird crew," said Janela. "That was the first time I met Chris and the next day I did his podcast with Teddy. He's just been awesome and given me advice. He's someone I look up to. Sometimes people compare me to a young Chris Jericho in terms of charisma. I look forward to sharing many locker rooms with him and hitting the road."
Janela ingratiated himself with The Elite by appearing on Being The ELITE YouTube channel. He discussed the creative freedom that those guys gave him to film vignettes.
"It's cool. They just let me do whatever I want," admitted Janela. "I film it on my phone and I send it in. That's it…I just send it to Matt or Nick and they give me the thumbs up. They've never said, 'This is too much.' I love the creative freedom. That's great that I'm working for these guys."
Instead of now being his co-workers, The Bucks and Cody are now, essentially, Janela's bosses at AEW. He discussed his relationship with them and why he enjoys working with and for them so much.
"They're great dudes," stated Janela. "I've never been restricted. I've always walked to the beat of my own drum. Most indie promoters have let me do whatever I wanted and if I crossed that line, so be it. It's gonna be interesting being a part of something as big as AEW and a corporate environment. It will be a test for me but it's great these guys are gonna let me have my creativity and input.
"It's cool that I don't have to have a match completely scripted by Dean Malenko. I don't wanna have my promos scripted 100 percent by some writer out of NYU. They give me that creative freedom and that will go a long way for me."
As part of the creativity that Janela seeks, he says it was the right move to end up at AEW as opposed to WWE which would limit him much more.
"I think it's the right move for me to sign with AEW and not WWE because who knows how that would work out at this point," said Janela. "After everyone let me run wild over the last three years on social media and in person, who knows?"
GCW Presents Joey Janela's Spring Break in two parts this year, April 4th and 5th. Both nights will be streamed live via FITE. Joey will also be performing at AEW's Double or Nothing on May 25th, which will also be streamed via FITE.
You can listen to Joey's full WINCLY interview in the embedded player below. In it Joey also discusses GCW as the modern day ECW, Joey Janela's Spring Break 3, comparisons to Chris Jericho, wanting deathmatch wrestling go mainstream, his current relationship status with Penelope Ford and more. You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.