Alex Shelley

Alex Shelley “My Story Came Full Circle Over the Past Ten Years”

Alex Shelley along with his compatriots in Time Machine as well as Josh Alexander take on Bully Ray, Moose, Brian Myers, and Lio Rush at Impact Emergence on August 27th.

Shelley appeared on Bowks Talking Bouts to discuss his recent title defense as Impact world champion arguably being his biggest career win, how fervently pursuing outside education led him to achieve a flow state inside the ring, and so much more. Excerpts from the chat are below.

Alex Shelley

As Impact Emergence looms, I’m speaking to you on the heels of defeating someone the caliber of Hiroshi Tanahashi last time out in defending your Impact Wrestling title.
Can you talk about that win, the main takeaways from that one, and if that was your biggest statement victory besting New Japan Pro Wrestling’s ace?
“Maybe in a singles match, yeah. To me more so, a personal victory than anything else. Tana-san is somebody who, and I’ve said this before in interviews, I’ve looked up to for so long. Because I saw him do such incredible things as a wrestler and as a human.”
Alex Shelley continued, “To share the ring with him and basically go tit for tat, be able to hang with him was from a professional level something that not everybody can do. From a personal level, something that just meant so, so much to me. Because I felt like a lot of my experiences in my story came full circle over the past ten years here. It’s been a very interesting ten years for me.”

Impact Emergence

It seemed like Tanahashi was someone you frequently tag-teamed with over the years and that you picked up a lot from him just being directly on the apron.
Obviously, a lot can be learned from those interactions too and it seems like a lot has been really gleaned over the years from the former IWGP champion. Can you speak to that?

“Yeah, that’s absolutely correct. I mean he’s the guy who, to go even a little deeper, somebody who valued the same style of wrestling that I did too. Somebody who had a lot of the same techniques, somebody who had a lot of the same work ethic. He was somebody who constantly trained and someone who watched their nutrition as good as they could. We sat together on the back of the bus at least the old bus in New Japan Pro Wrestling. I wasn’t just around him. It was living a pro wrestling lifestyle with him.”

Alex Shelley continued, “Just being able to see how he dealt with all the struggles and all the difficulties and all the successes too. Then as you keep his head on straight, he did leave a huge impact for me. Again, I mentioned this before but he’s somebody who I remember vaguely thinking if I ever be a champion, I’d have to beat Tana. Like you got to try to beat Tana.”

Alex Shelley w/ Time Machine and Josh Alexander vs Bully Ray, Moose, Brian Myers, and Lio Rush

At one point you were concurrently wrestling but also immersing yourself in a lot of schooling to ready for “the real world” after wrestling is no longer a viable option.

It seems like figuring out that next step has removed a weight from your shoulders whereby you can immerse yourself in a flow state while wrestling and optimize your in-ring skills even more than before. As we’re days out from Impact Emergence, is that fair characterization you’d say?

“That’s the perfect way of assessing my situation and my lifestyle as a whole. You nailed it, dude. I’ve been to college so many times and I was somebody who, when they were actively under contract, so many times wanted this sort of contingency plan and that’s exactly why. For me, it was a sort of inherent anxiety like what do you do after wrestling? Or also I realized this myself now and it took me a long time to get there, I’m somebody who likes to take on challenges. I’m somebody who likes to ok, we did this. What’s next?”

Impact Emergence 2023

“I want to do this now, let’s see how successful I can be in this field or this realm. Was able to secure a lot doing that. I have a few different college degrees, a number of different certifications. I can exist in the workforce and I think gaining the experiences in the real world ended up helping me become a better person but made me become a better wrestler too.”

Alex Shelley continued, “On top of that, the flow state that you mentioned is definitely there because I don’t have to worry anymore about what I’m going to do after wrestling. Some guys never do and I think I probably did. So no, I’m able to just give my heart and my soul to pro wrestling. I think that’s shown as a wrestler in the past couple of years.”

author avatar
Dylan Bowker
I've been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I've hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I've been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I've provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I've worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.