When Jon Moxley made his in-ring AEW debut at Fyter Fest, his opponent was Joey Janela who was one of the first signees to AEW. Even though Moxley was successful in the match, Janela still impressed and that has subsequently led to future opportunities.
Janela talked about working with Moxley when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
“Oh, he’s the best. I met him briefly in 2009 when I was training in CZW. He’s an awesome dude and obviously trusted me to pull off that match,” said Janela. “I tell a lot of people that that match could have been put on any card even the WrestleManias and Wrestle Kingdoms and it would have held up to that standard and people would have been talking about it for years to come. That’s how good that match was.”
One of the signature spots in the match was Janela jumping from a ladder onto Moxley who was on a table. Janela described that as the “perfect elbow drop” and said it created a great visual that is being used by AEW on billboards and in commercials.
“It’s really awesome to have that first, big visual moment and one that AEW will probably use for a long time. That’s how wrestling works as the picture couldn’t come out more perfect. It was a great moment for me and the fans will remember it forever,” said Janela.
That match with Moxley was a non-sanctioned match and Janela is very familiar with hardcore and extreme matches. However, even though he’s built an impressive resume in those types of matches, he said he’s looking forward to move away from those extreme matches.
“I just wanna wrestle. I don’t wanna do any more of these car crash matches,” revealed Janela. “I proved on the indies that I am a great wrestler. I wrestled every top indie talent that’s come through in the last three years and I’ve wrestled guys from the past and made them look great. I just wanna take that next step and show these new fans coming in [that I’m a great wrestler].”
Janela said that Jim Cornette describes him as a mud show, backyard wrestler but most fans know he’s more than just that.
“It’s time to make a lot of those fans like me. It’s the same thing I did on the indies when I got thrown off the roof people were like, ‘Who’s this backyard guy getting thrown off buildings?’ I ended up getting them to buy my t-shirts in later years. Doing this on a main stream level is a big goal of mine and making people believe that I’m a multi-faceted pro wrestler and can captivate any audience,” stated Janela who added that he knows that he is polarizing but thinks he can have a good career in this business with AEW.
As for the death matches he became famous for, Janela seemed to indicate that there won’t be any more of those in his future.
“I think I brought deathmatches back into the main stream. I did the match with Moxley with real barb wire and thumbtack spots. I don’t know if something like that has been done on a large scale in a very long time,” said Janela. “I’ve accomplished that already and now that I’ve accomplished that I wanna show people that I can hang in the ring with anybody. I think I’m gonna get an opportunity to do that.
“Mainstream deathmatch wrestling will be a thing ? Jimmy Havoc is not gonna shy away from that at all. That’s his style. To an extent, some people think that’s my style as well. But when it comes down to wrestling any person of any style, I can get it done.
Joey’s full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In it Joey discusses GCW’s Curtain Call, what GCW has meant to his career, talent filling his void in GCW, Nick Gage not being signed by AEW or WWE, Super Humman, his match with Jon Moxley, wanting to show he can wrestle and more. You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc. Audio on iTunes or Google Play. Listen to the show via Spotify here or through TuneIn here.