Joey Janela spent over a dozen years working the indies before getting getting a shot on a national stage by joining AEW in 2019. The promotion that helped put Joey on the map before AEW was Game Changer Wrestling, who produce Joey Janela's Spring Break.
GCW owner Brett Lauderdale saw Janela's progression up close and was asked what it's been like for him to watch Janela explode as a talent when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"Honestly it feels like a blur. It's all happened so fast and I'd like to tell you that it was maybe surprising in some ways, but in reality it wasn't. We always knew Joey was a unique talent and he had a unique personality. Joey always had the traits and the characteristics and talent to be a superstar. It was just a matter of him being able to put them all together at the same time and the rest would handle itself," said Lauderdale. "It's been great to watch him ascend and it's been great to be able to be a part of it.
"Joey is very deserving and he put in the work. He's not new to wrestling and he was around for a long time before he got into the spotlight. He was close to 10 years in in the local New Jersey indies before he got his break. He has paid his dues; he's learned the business from the bottom up. It's been great to watch him get what he deserves and hopefully he'll continue to grow as a performer, personality and star."
It hasn't been all smooth sailing for Janela in AEW as he's had his ups and downs. He spoke out last year about losing momentum and Lauderdale talked about the adjustments that Janela has had to make while working for a major promotion.
"Joey is very passionate and he's very emotional and sometimes the latter can be detrimental at times. Joey has never been a part of the corporate wrestling world before and this is his foray. This is the peak level of pro wrestling and it's different than the indies. He's had to learn how it works on those levels and it's not the same as it does in our world," stated Lauderdale.
"Joey's used to being able to control his own destiny and he's had to learn it doesn't always work that way when you're in the corporate wrestling world, for better or for worse. He just needed time just like anybody else to adjust to the way it goes and the ups and downs. I think he's getting more used to it and more comfortable with it. Everybody wants to wrestle on TV every week but it's not gonna always work that way. Joey's thing now is he's gonna just continue to be prepared and whenever he gets that opportunity he's always gonna go for it."
"He's definitely contributed. He's had some great matches – his match with Kenny Omega was awesome. He's proven that he has the tools and the abilities to be a player for them. He's not the only one as there's a whole locker room full of guys with the tools and talent to be a player for them," said Lauderdale. "It's corporate wrestling – ups and downs and you're gonna get your opportunity and you might not get another opportunity for three months. He just has to get used to it and he will."
"GCW: Homecoming" takes place July 25th and 26th and will stream live on FITE.tv. For more info or to pre-order please click HERE. Brett's full interview aired as part of today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.