EXCLUSIVE: Joey Janela Wants To Show His Technical Side In The Ring, Talks Kenny Omega, GCW & More

Joey Janela says Tony Khan called him before his AEW Dark match against Kenny Omega, talks the rise of GCW, Spring Break 4, his run in EVOLVE and more

On the December 4th edition of All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite, “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela will go one-on-one with Jon Moxley inside the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois. It was in the main event of AEW’s Fyter Fest show in June where Joey Janela and Jon Moxley first did battle in an unsanctioned match in-which Moxley emerged victorious from.

Joey Janela made his presence felt on AEW’s weekly show when he had a one-on-one match with Kenny Omega. Janela and Omega originally met on an episode of AEW Dark in a ‘Lights Out’ match that led to the two meeting yet again but the next time would be on TNT. I had the opportunity to represent POST Wrestling at Starrcast IV in Baltimore, Maryland where I spoke to Joey Janela and he stated that the response to him and Kenny Omega’s match on AEW Dark was ‘crazy’. Janela shared that the night before, he was called by AEW President Tony Khan and Khan changed he and Omega’s regular singles match to a ‘Lights Out’ match. Janela expressed that one of the reasons he signed to AEW was to wrestle Kenny Omega and he hopes they can mix it up again on a grander stage.

“The response was crazy. Actually, we were supposed to have a straight up, regular match on Dark. Nothing too crazy and I got the call the night before from Tony Khan, changed it to the f*ck fest that it became, and me and Kenny, we went 30 minutes which wasn’t supposed to be the case and it was kind of a big match for me and one of the main reasons I signed to AEW was to wrestle Kenny Omega and I got it so soon and it came so sudden. I just found out that week that I was wrestling him and we did it, we went to TV the next week and did it again and I look forward to wrestling him on a pay-per-view in the future and having a big match with him.”

This coming WrestleMania weekend, Joey Janela and Game Changer Wrestling will be presenting the fourth installment of ‘Spring Break’. Those attending the show in Tampa, Florida will get to see the likes of Janela, The Great Muta, and more names in action. Janela spoke about the growth of GCW and compared the promotion’s rise to ECW’s rise in the 90s. Janela added that he expects to sell out the full 5,000 seats at Spring Break 4.

“GCW, its growth — I compare it a lot to the growth of ECW in the 90s and it’s just a huge cult following and now it’s expanding outside of the cult following and they’re selling out buildings from coast-to-coast. Anywhere they go: Nashville, Los Angeles. They’re going to Texas soon. Everywhere, you’re selling out buildings and Spring Break is coming up WrestleMania weekend this year and we got 5,000 seats to sell and I have no doubt in my mind that we’re gonna sellout all those seats. That’s a game changer right there.”

On top of Spring Break, ‘The Collective’ and Game Changer Wrestling are also running a show titled ‘For The Culture’ during WrestleMania weekend. For The Culture will showcase black professional wrestlers. The official announcement of the show was made by independent wrestler AJ Gray who’ll be challenging Nick Gage for the GCW World Championship on December 8th. Gray’s timing of the announcement came when ACH went public about his issues with the offensive shirt that WWE created for him.

Joey Janela credited AJ Gray and GCW promoter Brett Lauderdale for coming up with the idea of ‘For The Culture’ and believes it has the potential to steal WrestleMania weekend.

“It’s awesome. AJ Gray and Brett Lauderdale came up with the idea to do this show For The Culture, and I think it’s gonna steal the weekend. I think it’s going to be the best show of WrestleMania weekend. I think last year, Orange Cassidy, his show with GCW was kind of the sleeper, show stealer of the weekend. I think For The Culture this year, everyone is coming there to perform at their highest skill of degree and it’s gonna be a very memorable show for everybody.”

The former 3-time CZW Wired TV Champion has donned the reputation of a hardcore-style wrestler. There are multiple clips online of Janela performing daring stunts inside and outside of the ring. Regardless of that, he wants the viewers of AEW: Dynamite to know that he can turn on the switch and do some technical wrestling with the best that the company has to offer in that field. He mentioned that he has gone tit-for-tat with the likes of Zack Sabre Jr. and Matt Riddle and those on the independent scene know that he is far more than a hardcore-style-type of wrestler.

“I’ve been doing technical wrestling for a while now. I’ve had matches on the indies with the [Matt] Riddle’s, Zack Sabre Jr.’s of the world, thirty minute match with Zack Sabre Jr. a couple of years ago in Connecticut, and people on the indies know I can wrestle because I’ve done it all in front of these fans but the new fans coming into AEW, see me for the first time — saw me as kind of [a] hardcore, car accident, f*ck fest, f*cking fall off a ladder and kill yourself wrestler which is not the case so now it’s me doing the same thing after I got thrown off that building a few years ago and proving people wrong on a larger scale and convert people and say, ‘Listen, this is not what I’m all about. I’m all the flavors of ice cream all rolled up.’”

In June of 2018, Joey Janela became the fourth man to capture the WWN Championship in EVOLVE. Janela went on to have a five-month reign as champion until he suffered a knee/leg injury during a match with Psicosis at GCW’s ‘Live Fast Die Young’ event. Janela would later reveal that he suffered a torn PCL and MCL, sprained his FCL and ACL, had an impaction fracture in his knee, a mild bone contusion, a small knee infusion and a partial tear of his patellofemoral ligament.

Janela made his return to in-ring competition at Spring Break 3 against Marko Stunt. Fast forward to present day and both are signed to All Elite Wrestling. Janela told POST Wrestling that he is grateful for his run in EVOLVE and looks back at his matches with Austin Theory and fellow AEW star Darby Allin as some of the fondest memories from his time with the promotion.

“My match with Austin Theory. Wrestling him and debuting for EVOLVE for the first time and them putting the belt on me right off the bat was very special to me and I do appreciate Gabe [Sapolsky] for that and a lot of those guys still… wrestling Darby [Allin], that was probably my favorite match of my EVOLVE run is wrestling Darby in Massachusetts. Such a talent. One of my favorite guys to wrestle ever and that’s my favorite match with him hands down. Me and him in EVOLVE.”

Joey Janela is taking on Jon Moxley on the December 4th edition of Dynamite and will be looking to score his third overall victory in All Elite Wrestling. Janela’s next Spring Break show is nearing a sellout and Janela can be found on Twitter @JANELABABY and on Instagram @thebadboyjoeyjanela. The audio from this interview can be heard on the Andrew Thompson Interviews YouTube channel.

About Andrew Thompson 40 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.