I had the pleasure of speaking with IMPACT Wrestling star and former X-Division champion Chris Bey earlier today, where the “Dashing” one and I discussed his training roots in Las Vegas, how he competed in NJPW’s Super J-Cup and challenged for the IMPACT world title on the same night, his quick ascension in the pro-wrestling scene, and his thoughts on the cross-promotional feud between IMPACT and AEW. Bey also reveals who he hopes to face on the AEW side, calling Cody Rhodes his ultimate dream match. Highlights, along with the full video interview, can be found below.
JG: So Chris I know you trained with the Future Stars Of Wrestling in Las Vegas. As a fellow Las Vegan myself, what would you say were your favorite parts of training in Sin City, and can you comment on what the wrestling scene is like out there?
BEY: For me I think my favorite parts was just how accessible that the school was. A lot of the schools in the country that I researched didn’t offer as many days a week as Future Stars of Wrestling did. We had five days a week offered to us for training…a lot of places that I searched would do like three days or whatever, but we had five days a week. Training would be like three or four hours, then Fridays would be open Gym. Sometimes after each class a trainer would stay so that we could have open gym so there was a lot of opportunity for growth and development, and also just enough time where you could still work a regular job, still come in for training and not really miss a lot, which is just cool. You know Vegas…everything is open 24 hours so there’s a lot of accessibility so there’s a lot of finesse you can make happen if you wanted to really pursue this as a career. Also the way the scene just was…Future Stars of Wrestling right out out of training would offer a beginner’s show where basically there were shows for younger talent to prove they are worthy of making it on the bigger shows. Then they would have the regular shows. Then if you’re good enough on the regular shows you’d make it onto the Casino shows. It was just a good developmental process they had set up that worked out very well in my favor because I could test myself at different levels.
JG: This past weekend you got to compete for NJPW in their prestigious Super J-Cup tournament, and, ON THE VERY SAME NIGHT MIGHT I ADD, challenged Rich Swann for the world title at IMPACT Final Resolution. How confident were you feeling after getting to showcase your skills for multiple promotions in a single evening?
BEY: A night of history man. A night of history indeed. It’s a weird world we live in. IT’s a great time in professional wrestling where people are able to show up on multiple platforms in one night. It creates more buzz…it gets the fans more interested and it makes the realm of possibilities just endless. So for me it was great to represent IMPACT Wrestling in the Super J-Cup because not only does the tournament have so much history behind it but also I feel like I’m that guy whose gonna be able to now crack the door open a little bit more for anyone else who wants to work between these two companies. If anybody else is going to be heading over there or coming through I feel like I helped open that door for that relationship currently. And then with the Final Resolution match…what more really can I say about it. For me personally it was my best match that I’ve had in my career. I was taken to the limits and I didn’t get the job done but I got plenty of other jobs done as far as inspiring people and motivating people and letting everybody know that if you work as hard as you possibly can and you dream as big as you can dream…anything is possible. I think that showed in my performance and that showed in the story that we told.
JG: You signed with Impact back in February of this year, four months later at Slammiversary you were already holding IMPACT gold, and as previously mentioned in less than a year’s time you were headlining an event and challenging for the company’s top title. Did you expect to ascend this quickly with one of the top wrestling company’s in the world?
BEY: I wouldn’t say exactly that I expected it but I would say that it was exactly what I was working for. It was that validation that I had made the right decision and that I had worked the right amount and that I needed to continue to work…now even more. Put more effort into everything that I was doing because that’s what I wanted. I don’t wanna be here for 20 years and have that story that where “After 20 years he finally did it.” Naw. That’s cool for whoever it’s cool for…for me I wanna do this right now. From the moment that I stepped in I believed that the X-Division championship belonged to me. As soon as Willie Mack won the X-Division championship from Ace Austin…I remember even talking to Ace Austin at one point and having this conversation with him and looking down at his waist…and looking back at him and thinking to myself…what you don’t know is that’s mine right there. That right there is mine. Then when Willie Mack won it I was so stoked for Willie because I have so much respect for him, but I felt so bad for him because he won the championship in Chris Bey’s era. So it was just the worst possible time for him. Then to get to Slammiversary…not even being there that long…getting there and winning the X-Division championship on a night where we had so many new talent coming in and the buzz was all around and people had so many different things they could have been interested in…they got to see me win my first major championship in our industry…that prestigious X-Division championship and did it so quick. Did I expect that? No. Did I work for that? You damn right, and was I happy about that? Ecstatic. It was that validation that I was moving in the right direction.
JG: So the big angle that the pro-wrestling world is talking about is the cross-promotional feud between IMPACT and AEW. Two part question for you: What are your thoughts on the collaboration, and who from AEW does Chris Bey wish to get his hands on?
BEY: I think that this is a great thing for the business. I think that whenever we can make that excitement and break that fourth wall so to speak and take what everyone thought they knew about the business and switch it up…because this is an era nowadays that is pulled back so far that a lot of the people who have never taken a bump or who have never actually done this feel like they know. It’s okay to know, but they feel like they really know. The greatest part about moments like these…those same people who think they really know they see this and they go, “Oh I didn’t know this was possible. If this is happening I bet this can’t happen,” then the next week that same thing they say can’t happen happens. They start to learn we can switch it up on them at anytime. I think This is great because it’s going to provide a lot of dream scenarios and give a lot of people to be seen on different platforms. A lot of people who watch AEW don’t watch IMPACT, a lot of people who watch IMPACT don’t watch AEW. So this will give a lot of different fans someone knew to tune into, who they might like or relate to, or find their new favorite wrestler. I think it’s great. Now we talk about the dream matches. I’ve seen a lot of people post stuff like they wanted to see me versus Kenny, then they wanted to see me versus Darby Allin, or they think because of the charisma through the roof they wanna see me and Ricky Starks. There’s one in particular that stands out to me that I need to check off my bucket list personally because it all started a little over a year ago, but I need…for the sake of my story…I need Dashing Chris Bey versus Dashing Cody Rhodes. That’s the one that I need.