How professional wrestling saved and almost ruined the life of IMPACT X Division champion Josh Alexander

For Impact X Division champion Josh Alexander, this is a long and challenging journey, but he does feel like he is on the precipice of major events, because the X Division champion is usually a stepping stone to the IMPACT World Championship.

As Alexander prepares to defend his title against Petey Williams, Trey Miguel, Ace Austin, Chris Bey and Rohit Raju in the ultimate X match in Slammiversary (Saturday at 8pm Eastern Time) Fit), the 34-year-old Canadian has the opportunity to look back on a career he has almost never had. This may sound cliché, but professional wrestling definitely saved his life.

“Wrestling, I always say it saved my life,” Alexander told Sports News before the Slammiversary game. “It gave me what I was interested in when I was a kid, a way to escape what I experienced in school, and later it taught me how to stay in shape, and it gave me the best friend in my life.”

Although we’ve heard the suggestion that profession can save someone’s life before, Alexander meant it literally rather than metaphorically, because he used professional wrestling to climb out of the darkest period of adolescence.

“The life before wrestling was bleak for me,” Alexander said. “I am a fat kid, obese, and I am teased and laughed at every day at school and even outside of school. I have no interest or anyone I can really call a friend. I spend a lot of time alone, which is why I I am so incompetent socially today, but all this makes me a very frustrated child.”

One of Alexander’s favorite things is professional wrestling. Ironically, Alexander discovered that his profession is TNA Wrestling, the old name of IMPACT.

“I can’t tell you exactly what it is. When I saw TNA wrestling, I suddenly became interested in life,” Alexander said of watching high-intensity matches like AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. The rhythm and adventurous style are often incorporated into the global lucha libre and heavyweight divisions. Seeing these talented wrestlers flying around in the ring, Alexander became interested in his health and weight.

“These guys look like bad guys, maybe one day I will become that kind of person,” he said. “I weighed close to 300 pounds when I was 17 years old, but I started dieting, and by the time I went to college, I had lost about 240 pounds.”

After graduating from high school, Alexander had an idea of ​​what he wanted to do, but he didn’t necessarily figure out how to get there. He admitted that he was “the poorest person in school”, but found a wrestling school called Living Legends Wrestling Academy in Ontario and decided to see if he could realize his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. After several bumps, Alexander was told that he was born and that he would be on the independent stage in 2005 soon. By 2010, he will meet his lifelong friend and current AEW wrestler Ethan Page, and the two will become the label team Monster Mafia and work for various promotions, including Ring of Honor and AAW. But what saved Alexander almost ended the life he knew.

The 2013 neck injury should have put Alexander aside. Instead, he tried to use it to get the signature of a major promotion. Instead, in the best game of his career against Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly in the Ring of Honor later this year, Alexander heard the crunch when he took the Tornado DDT from O’Reilly and realized that he Broke his neck. Despite being told that major surgery is required, Alexander decided to continue working.

“A doctor said I shouldn’t wrestle anymore, the risk is too great now,” Alexander said. But knowing that people like Kurt Angle and Stone Cold Steve Austin are recovering from neck injuries, makes Alexander think he can do the same. “I didn’t tell anyone that I had major surgery. I was told that it would take 9 months to heal and recover before returning to normal exercise. However, we are close to that contract again. The wrestler is me, not just me. work

“Five weeks after spine surgery, I was back in the ring.”

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Although it was a terrible idea that might paralyze his limbs, Alexander continued to work, and his image in the indie game industry grew. In the end, he will win the professional wrestling guerrilla doubles championship in 2015, but in the end he needs surgery due to a neck injury, and his wrestling career will have to end. With it, he knows the life.

He said: “It’s like going to the funeral of the life I want and work hard.” “Although the wrestling has left me with these injuries-my stupid mistake is because I didn’t let them heal, so they became more Bad—wrestling has given me health and a sense of who I have been for 10 years. Without wrestling, I don’t even know what the future will be like.”

Alexander participated in his final match with Ethan Page on July 12, 2015, and underwent another neck surgery 11 days later. This time, when he woke up, he heard news he didn’t expect.

“The doctor told me that once they opened my body, the damage was not as severe as the MRI showed,” he said. “Then it came: if I rest for nine months and undergo rehabilitation, I will be healthy again. As good as new. I can wrestle again, he said. I’m just looking at him.”

The news was unbelievably good, and Alexander sat for six months. He finally told Page and prepared for his unexpected return to wrestling in 2016. He wrestled everywhere, achieved the best form of his life, and is widely regarded as one of the best unsigned talents in the industry.

That was until February 2019, when Scott D’Amore, Executive Vice President of IMPACT Wrestling, appeared in the ring after the Alexander and Destiny World Wrestling match. What Alexander didn’t know was that he would no longer be the hottest unsigned independent wrestler. On the contrary, he was surprised by what D’Amore had in his hands: a contract to join a wrestling promotion event ignited his desire to become a professional wrestler.

Known as the “Walking Weapon”, the wrestler immediately made him become North with his best friend Ethan Paige, and five months after arriving, the duo won the IMPACT World Tag Team Championship. They held the title for more than a year before dropping it to the Motor City Machine Gun team. They regained the title before losing the championship, and when Page went to All Elite Wrestling, the duo split.

As a single wrestler, Alexander climbed the ladder of Division X at an unusually fast speed, and defeated Ace Austin and TJP in April to become the champion of Division X. Now, he participates in the game that amazed him in his youth: Ultimate X.

“At every stage of this journey, I pinched myself so far,” he said. “A real wrestling coach told me that I was talented. I never thought I would be like this. I never thought I would. Have a game or get paid $20. I never thought that I would wrestle in front of 100 people, let alone thousands. Now I am an X-Division champion, entering Slammiversary to defend in the Ultimate X game.

“Everyone who has been with me on this journey-I assure you that I will give you something very special on Saturday.”



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