Former Impact X-Division Champion Jake Crist was on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily where he and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman chatted about Crist now being a free agent. Crist was last seen on Impact Wrestling as part of the Cancel Culture stable along with his brother Dave Crist, Joey Ryan, Rob Van Dam and Katie Forbes, and Crist recalled his involvement with he faction.
“It was legit a dream come true only because RVD was one of my favorite wrestlers when I was a teenager, when I discovered ECW,” Crist expressed. “Rob Van Dam was my favorite wrestler. So when I became in a faction with Joey, Katie and Rob, I was on cloud nine. I loved it. I have nothing bad to say about it. I had a lot of fun standing next to RVD. It just sucks that it wasn’t aired because because there was a lot of hard work put into it, I thought, and it just kind of got scrapped, which rightfully so. I get it. That’s fine.
“There’s no hard feelings at all. Maybe one day, who knows? I want the door to be open. I don’t want heat with anybody. I’m just happy to be free. That’s why you’ve seen the Johnny Cash stuff. I’m ‘The Modern Man In Black’. I’m for the beaten down, the poor. All those things that’s happening in this pandemic, I can relate to the common person because I lost my job, technically, in the pandemic just like a lot of Americans did.”
The storyline was cut short after Dave and Ryan were outed in the #SpeakingOut movement and both were released by Impact Wrestling. Jake discussed his reaction when allegations made towards Dave and Ryan were made public.
“Just like most, I was just waiting to find out what was going to happen to me, and unfortunately, the unprofessional side of things that happened to me, I never got an answer,” Crist said. “I never got a clear answer up until, just like everybody else, seeing when I started putting out the #FreeAgent. That’s when it happened.
“It took a lot of hard work. I contacted a lot of people, and I never heard anything back. I didn’t know what was happening with me. It sucks, but again, stuff happens for a reason, and I’m actually glad it happened. It sucks that it happened. I wish it didn’t happen. I feel that there was a lot more that I can offer the company being a former tag champ and X-Division Champion. I felt like I have a lot to offer, and I felt like I was a huge asset to the company and moving forward, to any company.”
Jake was no longer on Impact TV due to his association with Dave and Ryan. Crist noted on the podcast that he had no involvement in their allegations and that he just goes in to do his job and goes home to his wife and children.
“I was a total victim of Cancel Culture of not doing anything wrong,” Crist stated. “What I’m all about is going to the show, performing to the best of my ability, trying to have the fans walk out becoming a fan of Jake Crist. I immediately get in the car, come home to my wife and my two children.
“That’s legit. I’ve never been a part of one of those ‘good old boys’ that want to go around and mess around with all the ‘rats’ and so on and so forth. I’ve never been a part about that. Will I stay at the bar and have a drink or two to chat with the fans? Absolutely, but as far as I’m concerned, I would rather just go there, do my job to the best of my ability and get home to my kids.”
Jake also addressed his brother’s allegations and acknowledged that he’ll always be connected with his brother Dave. He said that he is glad now that he is finally able to go out on his own and prove himself.
“Oh, yeah. Yeah, but here the thing, I’m always going to get tied up with Dave,” Jake admitted. “People always are going to mix up our names. I’ve been called Dave. He’s been called Jake. People don’t realize that, but I need to take this opportunity to clear things up. Dave, with him being canceled, that for sure didn’t help me out at all, but fact is, if you really think about it, if you really put it in perspective, the last thing you see me doing on Impact Wrestling involving Dave Crist is me roundhouse kicking him in the face and then going with Joey Ryan.
“So as far as I’m concerned, Joey Ryan was the reason why you don’t see Jake Crist on Impact TV. And having the Crist last name, it’s always going to have that burden now probably and being tied to Dave, but the fact is I’m here to turn that around. This is the first time in 18 years of my career where I’m finally on my own. I’m not in a faction. I just want to be me. I want to prove to myself, and my family, and the fans and all the rest of the wrestling industry on how great of a performer Jake Crist really is because deep down, no one can hold a candle to me. I know that sounds cocky, and it shouldn’t, but as far as performing, there’s no one on the indie scene that can do what I can do.”
At the time, Impact Wrestling was also part of their own allegations, and Hausman asked if Impact were more inclined to act quickly to the #SpeakingOut allegations. Crist noted that it makes sense, but he stated his focus on the present and the future.
“It makes complete sense, and I completely agree with you, but hindsight’s 20/20 and what happens happened,” Crist noted. “Here’s where I’m at, I’ve grown as a person so much to where I’m not trying to harp on the past. Let’s forget about the past. I know sometimes the past can come back and haunt you, but for me, the way I’m looking at life, people focus on the past and the negativity too much.
“And it hinders on what they’re trying to become as a person. So for me, I’m trying to forget about the past. I’m trying to forget about the Joey Ryan, and the Dave stuff and all that Cancel Culture stuff. I want to put all that behind me and become a better person. That’s what I’m striving to be. So as far as I’m concerned, what happened in the past, it’s done. It’s over. I have a clean slate with any and everybody I have no heat with nobody. I love Impact Wrestling. I’ve nothing bad to say. I loved my time there. I met a lot of great people, a lot of amazing people, a lot friends.
“I wish nothing but the best for Impact Wrestling because if they do well, wrestling is going to do well, and it’s just growing as a person. Not to try to sound like a motivational speaker, but if we just forget about the past and we just focus on who we want to be as a person, I think the world will be at a better place. I truly believe that.”
Crist recalled his last storylines in Impact before clarifying that he is supportive of people like his brother and Ryan being gone from the pro wrestling industry. He stated his desire to try to make the industry better.
“We did the breakup of OVE during the pandemic, and then I was with Cancel Culture,” Crist recalled. “Not ‘with’ with it. I’m down for it. I’m down for the people that actually deserve to get ridiculed and out of this business. I’m down for that. I’m down for the sleazeballs to get out, and I want this business to be better for everybody. What if my children want to get involved? I hope to God they don’t. What if they do want to get involved with this business? I want this business to be around forever. I’m just trying to strive to make the business better on my end.
“There’s still room for me to grow as a human being, and like I said, I’m trying to find my inner peace, and I have. I really do think that the key to life is finding peace within yourself and finding out who you are as a person and who you want to be as a person, and that’s what I’m doing. I’ve found out who I am. I can describe my character in one sentence and that’s a rock star that happens to be a professional wrestler and nobody can play the three string like I can.”
You can follow Jake on Twitter @TheJakeCrist. Jake’s full interview aired as part of a recent 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.