It was on an episode of Impact Wrestling…this Thursday night’s episode in particular, that Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin, put on a wrestling clinic for the ages.
In an era when we’ve gotten Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega and Claudio Castagnoli vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Seth Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes, and even Alex Shelley vs. “Switchblade” Jay White (Sacrifice, 2022) for crying out loud, this match from Thursday also including Shelley, is up there with all of them, and if you ask me, it sure took the cake!
Now you want to talk about the Forbidden Door…? It was Shelley and TNA/Impact Wrestling that opened that door over a decade earlier, when Shelley faced none other than Okada in 2011…an unforgettable match in its own right….
But as for the match on Thursday night…the two, Shelley and Sabin had a dream match for sure. The two are of course a tag team—legendary—The Motor City Machine Guns, and a match had been set up the week prior in order to determine the number one contender for Josh Alexander’s Impact World Championship.
The scene was set and when the bell rang it didn’t disappoint at all. That seems like such an understatement now after the fact, but it needed saying once more.
My question is: Seeing that Shelley has had an impeccable 20 year career, why haven’t we seen him in AEW yet? All the pieces fit. It feels like the right place for him. Just imagine the caliber of matches this man can have.
To put it in perspective, Shelley is only 39. Claudio Castagnoli is 41. Shelley still has quite a wee bit to give, especially if you look at this week’s match. He could deliver on the AEW platform and at a high level for sure. He just needs to be given the opportunity.
The reason I don’t say WWE is because he had an opportunity on that platform, wrestling for a brief blink of an eye on NXT, teaming with another of his tag team partners, Kushida…and as always, WWE didn’t know what they had when they had him.
He had a great run in ROH, in NJPW and of course is legendary for the Impact Wrestling fan base.
A little while back he did an interview with the people at the official ROH website, going into when he left the business and why. Here’s some of what he said:
“At the time, I was on “E” — in life, in wrestling, and I really didn’t have anything else to offer. I had obligations coming up anyway that would take me away. The time away was a gift, and the weight was a gift. You can’t miss something until there’s separation…
It turns out I’m not too bad at all this, and my perspective is pretty unique, I think. I went through a lot of life changes when I left ROH. I got divorced, I was homeless, no income, I was paying for school and working for free, and I had some dark, dark days. Helping people is on my bucket list…
I’d like to go back to school again, maybe for psychology this time. Pain management is a huge up and coming field, so is sports psych, and to bring this answer full circle, I’d like to be able to help people not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. And maybe charm them with my rapier, Oscar Wilde wit. Laughter is a solid medicine.”via ROH
In the end will we see him in AEW before he decides to concentrate fully on his career as a physical therapist (something he studied for as he wrestled)? Time will tell, but dear readers, I sure hope so; he so deserves the opportunity and then some.
And of course there’s a whole lot more to this argument…the Chris Sabin portion…yet another man that deserves the very same thing we’ve argued for Shelley…maybe a run for the Motor City Machine Guns would be in order and definitely apropos. But that’s an argument for another time I guess. Till the next one, dear readers.