Aiden English sat down today with Nick Hausman for an interview with The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast to discuss his upcoming return to independent wrestling tomorrow, August 15th, for Zelo Pro Wrestling. The full interview will be released on an upcoming episode. This marks Aiden's first appearance back on the independent scene since joining WWE in early 2012, before subsequently being released on April 15th, 2020 as part of a slew of now-infamous COVID-19 related releases.
This event, Zelo Pro Wrestling: Stronger Together, is a culmination of English's experience in the WWE coming to an end meeting his desire to mix it up with young up-and-coming talent in the midwest scene. Zelo has always been a promotion English has been aware of due to his Chicago roots, but English was swept into the WWE landscape early on before he had much of a chance to dabble in it himself.
"I got hooked up with WWE pretty early on in my career," Aiden explained as to why he didn't get immersed in the independent scene. "And so I pretty much went through training, a little bit of experience. Got a break, knew the right people, and had my, or got my opportunity. I fully admit that, right place, right time and right people kind of situation."
Aiden would go on to explain this became his life "24/7, 365" and left little time for anything else. Now upon his departure, he really wants to dive deep into the midwest scene and involve himself especially near his home of Chicago.
"You know we see swaths of incredible independent talent going to AEW, going to NXT," Aiden enthusiastically laid out. "You know what, the next crop moves up. And so there is always this changing and rising up of talent. And all of these promotions and all of these territories now, potentially, getting in the mix with a lot of the up and coming talent. Maybe people that I haven't had the chance to see or experience yet, that is what I'm really looking forward to."
This will be one of only a few independent shows Aiden has ever appeared on due to Aiden's longtime involvement in the WWE. Prior to that, he had not had much involvement in the independent scene.
"Prior to getting signed, I did a handful of like, small independent events around the area." English began. "I did a pre-show kind of match in exchange for helping set up the ring, setting up chairs and stuff like that. I did a few of those before I got signed, but yes, this will be my first post-WWE appearance."
In recent years, prior to his departure, Aiden stepped away from the ring to focus on a commentary role in the WWE. As a result, it has been quite some time since Aiden has even laced his boots. That will change soon with Zelo, however as he will later explain.
"After I started doing commentary, they brought me in for one of those NXT Access matches, Worlds Collide at WrestleMania 35," Aiden recalled. "So almost a year and a half ago? Was the last time I had an actual full-fledged match-up. So, yeah looking forward to how I feel after my first match."
Looking toward the future is a theme for English, and he is noticeably excited about where his career will bring him. He talks about wanting to keep busy, being open to bookings, side projects and remaining open to what is ahead of him.
"I'm talking to a lot of people, a lot of people have obviously reached out and everything like that. So I tell everyone, I am open for bookings. It's obviously, such a hard times you know most people aren't running shows or they are very scarcely or under very limited circumstances. So it's up to them to decide on who to bring in and where. But I am available... I'm talking to a couple different promotions.
"In the meantime, I'm embracing a lot of the side projects. I am doing, I'm on the Twitch thing with a lot of the guys. I got my Wrestling With Whiskey kind of side passion project and I'm kind of turning into more content and stuff like that... You know just exploring everything in front of me and just trying to spread my grass."
This also extends to the world of commentary, something English is not leaving behind with his time in the WWE. In fact, Saturday's appearance at Zelo will include him jumping back into the booth.
"So, tomorrow I'm not wrestling," Aiden English said of his role at Stronger Together. "I'm gonna fill my old seat. I'm gonna do some commentary for the show. I'm gonna.. .get my eye on the talent, see what is has to offer. Hopefully, get a chance to even speak to the crowd... I don't care if it is a smaller crowd than normal. Just being out there to kind of connect to an audience.
"What I can tell you, what I am privy to tell you is this is just the start of my relationship with Zelo... there are things to come. So, without giving too much away, please, please I beg you stay tuned, 'cause you're gonna like what you're gonna see."
This brought up the question of what direction English sees himself going more toward, the ring or the commentary booth. English didn't want to limit himself by answering either way. Aiden left it with a vote of self-confidence that has been very well earned throughout his time in the business.
"Listen my man, I am open to anything," Aiden said. "I can do ANYTHING! If I'm gonna toot my own d--n horn, I can do anything. Give me the microphone in the ring, on a headset, or tell me to take a flat back I'll do it brother. I'm ready to go for anything."
Zelo Pro Wrestling: Stronger Together takes place tomorrow night at 8pm ET. You can purchase it for $14.99 on FITE TV. You can listen to the most recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, featuring former WWE Superstar Ariane Andrew, via the embedded audio player below: