From 2007-12 the Motor City Machine Guns were arguably the most popular tag team in TNA/Impact and won multiple Tag Team Championships along the way. Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin also teamed together in ROH and New Japan, but most fans see Impact as their home as it's where they experienced their most success.
The MCMG were seemingly done as a tag team when Shelley retired in 2018, but they reunited recently where it all began. The duo returned to Impact, where they answered The Rascalz open challenge at Slammiversary. Shelley discussed the team making its Impact return when he joined the ALL Real Wrestling Podcast.
"I would say probably the past three years or so, Impact has reached out to me intermittently about coming back, and for whatever reason or another, whether I was under contract or whether I was in school, I wasn't able to do it. And they reached out one more time in May - I think May or April during the pandemic - and at the point in time, I was kind of taking things as they came to me," said Shelley. "When I came back to wrestling, I just want to do things that were exciting to me and things that I thought were creatively and athletically fulfilling. And the idea of reuniting the Motor City Machine Guns – especially with Chris Sabin coming back from his third ACL repair – to me, that was exciting. So yeah, I bit."
After announcing his short-lived retirement in 2018, Shelley did appear in ROH the following year, and wrestled for them until the pandemic hit. He even challenged Matt Taven for the ROH World Title at one point, and he talked about his future with ROH.
"I intentionally have not signed a contract anywhere, and the reason I have not is because I want to be able to wrestle everywhere whether that's Impact, whether that's New Japan, whether that's Ring Of Honor, whether that's NXT and AEW – anywhere. And one of the things that, again, I found creatively fulfilling and athletically fulfilling was the idea of being in a resurrected Pure Title Tournament. So I was very, very, very stoked to implement the Pure Title rules again in Ring Of Honor, but obviously, that didn't happen. Hopefully, I'll get back down the line though," stated Shelley.
He mentioned that he doesn't have a contract anywhere which makes you wonder about his current agreement with Impact, to which Shelley answered, "Yeah, no contract whatsoever. I agreed to come in; I agreed to do the job that I'm asked to do, and I do honorable business and I think that's part of the reason people are happy to work with me," said Shelley. "But at the same time, wrestling is very different than it was in the past and there's a lot of guys out there who are freelance that don't have contracts, so, I'm proud to be one of them."
Shelley has appeared in just about every major promotion in the world, with the exception of AEW. As part of the Motor City Machine Guns, he's wrestled The Young Bucks numerous times, and now the Bucks are helping run AEW.
Shelley was asked about AEW and if he ever foresaw a group of wrestlers creating their own promotion.
"Oh, certainly. You know, I grew up watching WWF mostly, but ECW is basically an independent that just grew. And especially the further along I got in the business, you would see people go up, and come down, and go up, and come down, and it happens all the time. Was I surprised that a major backer gave somebody money to start a wrestling company or they saw potential? Not really, that happens. And I think it's awesome and good for them. I'm glad they're all making great money, and I'm hopeful that they're happy," said Shelley, who was then asked if he would like to go to AEW.
"No. I mean, it's not-- I don't have a bucket list, you know. I really, truly just try enjoy everything for what it is. I would go there. Sure, yeah, I would, but it's nothing I have to do to be content with my career or to enjoy life, but that makes sense. But yeah, good for them. I'm happy that people are able to work somewhere else, and I'm sure the product they put out is awesome."