On today’s episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, former Impact X-Division Champion Jake Crist joined the podcast to chat with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman. Crist announced recently that he is now a free agent, and he gave his reaction to that news on the podcast.
“Yeah, I’m pretty happy. I’m just motivated more than ever right now to be completely honest,” Crist admitted. “I found inner peace within myself, and I think that’s key in life, not having heat with anybody or anything like that. I have no negativity in my life at the moment, and that’s why I have this pep in my step. That’s why I’m happy. That’s why you see this big smile on my face. I’m a free agent baby! I’m a free agent baby!”
Hausman asked Crist when he officially became a free agent. Crist noted that his contract was going to expire soon, and he and Impact Wrestling came to a mutual agreement to terminate the contract early.
“My contract was up January 1 anyways,” Crist noted. “I didn’t think there was going to be any type of renewal or anything like that. I finally got ahold of the office, and I told them I had a couple opportunities coming up that I wouldn’t mind if I could jump on those. And they granted that to me. So here I am. Now, I’m a free agent, can’t be more happy. I was still under contract for six months not being used and sitting at home.”
Crist confirmed that it was the breakdown in communication with the Impact front office that led to him leaving. He noted that there is not hard feelings and that he still has a lot of friends in the company.
“Pretty much, yes. I wasn’t hearing anything back,” Crist said. “I thought with the things that I’ve done for the company, the way they treated it, I thought it could have been handled… but I also understand too them wanting to distance and do everything. Like I said, there’s no hard feelings, and I wish them nothing but the best. And I have a lot of friends that still work for the company, and like I said, nothing but the best for them.”
In regards to his future, Crist said that he has spoken to a few promotions. However, he said that even if he does not end up back on TV, he is happy being an independent wrestler.
“I will say this, I’ve reached out to a few different promotions,” Crist revealed. “We’ll see what comes up with that. As far as I’m concerned, I’m just trying to focus on me and my character, ‘The Modern Man in Black’. This is the first time that I’m not in a tag team, not in a faction. I need to prove myself not only to the fans [but] to me. I feel like I need to prove myself as a singles performer. So that’s what I’m going to do, and I’m taking that opportunity. And that’s what I’m striving to do on any type of level. If I end up on TV somewhere, I hope I do, but if I don’t, I’m happy being an independent professional wrestler.”
Impact executive Don Callis has been seen by AEW EVP Kenny Omega’s side recently, and Hausman asked if that helps or hurts Crist at all with AEW. Crist said that he and Callis have always been friendly, and that Callis always put him over.
“I loved Don,” Crist stated. “I think that’d be great. As far as I’m concerned, I think Don and I were very very cool. He always put me over. So who knows? Hopefully, that could help chances, maybe it hurts. I don’t know. I mean, there had to be a reason why I didn’t get an answer for six months.”
You can follow Jake on Twitter @TheJakeCrist. Jake’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.