Joey Janela confirmed Wednesday he will leave AEW when his current contract expires on May 1. Now, he’s looking to the future and hoping to find opportunities outside the independent scene in the United States.
“One of my goals is to have a run in Japan, which is something I’ve wanted since I was a child,” Janela told Denise Salcedo. “I’ve done shows in Japan, but I’ve never had a steady run there. That will be in the works very soon.”
Janela made a name for himself on the U.S. indies before he joined AEW and he’s looking forward to recommitting himself to working the indies and helping the next generation of pro wrestlers.
“I wanna wrestle new talent, I wanna find new talent,” Janela said. “I am gonna bring new talent to GCW, to wrestle better guys and get themselves recognized and ready for a contract somewhere whether it be the WWE or AEW or maybe New Japan. I want to wrestle 2, 3, 4 times a week no matter how my body feels.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than doing an indie show and after your match saying ‘Damn I am beat-up, how am I gonna wrestle tomorrow? How am I gonna wrestle the next day?’ And then wrestling those 3 days, and giving it your all and giving matches that people are talking about all over the place. And when you get home that Monday and you lay in your bed at 9 o’clock in the morning because you haven’t slept for three days and you’re beat-up and you sleep till 8 at night, there’s nothing more rewarding than that.”
Janela was one of the first wrestlers to join AEW. He debuted for the company at its Double Or Nothing pay-per-view in 2019 and now, Janela says he expects to be an independent wrestler for the rest of his career.
“I don’t think I’ll sign another contract in my career quite personally,” Janela explained. “But who knows? Strange things have happened and I can see right now on the string of matches I’ve had in the last eight months and the run I’ve had in the last eight months, I see people that have turned on me when I started to get lazy in AEW and started to get more out of shape, and I see those people coming back. I see a lot of those fans coming back to me, that’s rewarding for me, for all the fans that believed me and stopped believing in me and now they are coming back to witness another chapter in my life.
“It’s gonna be great to see where 2022 leads me. Because I know that nothing but positivity is coming my way. As long as I keep focused and I stay healthy, that’s all. I wish everyone luck. I wish everyone in AEW, all my friends, that I don’t get to see anymore, I wish them luck. I know they feel the same way about me, they know how much I love professional wrestling and how I love nothing more than helping people. I put everyone in front of myself, I always put everyone in front of myself, and I will continue.
“I just hate politics, I hate the political aspects of this business, that’s every business and that’s why I am gonna be my own boss and no one is gonna tell me nothing because I know I am right and I know that I am one of the best wrestlers in the world. I need to be me, a hundred percent, I can’t have anyone tell me what to do; I don’t want anyone to tell me how to wrestle, how to live my life, how to portray myself on social media.
“I don’t want that. I am Joey Janela, this is how I got my name out there and I am gonna be Joey Janela and this is gonna be the year that I am gonna be the platform that proves that I am one of the best. 100 percent.”
h/t to Denise Salcedo for the transcription.
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