Josh Alexander is only a couple of weeks into his reign as Impact Wrestling’s X Division champion, having beaten Ace Austin and TJP at Rebellion on April 25. He’s held plenty of titles through the years, but this one stands out — big time.
“They’re all accomplishments on the way, they’re all like a rung on the ladder — because it’s all to the next goal, everything is bigger and bigger so far,” Alexander told SlamWrestling.net on Wednesday. “The X Division title is clearly the biggest title I’ve ever done in my career. It means the most to me personally too, because of my fandom, in my teenage years is TNA and watching that division and what it really did to mold me as a wrestler and even get me into the business.”
It’s not his first title in Impact, of course, as he was a part of The North with Ethan Page, with two runs as tag team champions. “They meant a great deal to me, but you have to share that with somebody else and to share that with my partner Ethan Page,” he said. “This was kind of a big deal for me because it was my first opportunity to consider myself as a singles competitor in the greater wrestling community.” (Page has subsequently departed for AEW.)
On Thursday night’s Impact TV show, Alexander learned that he would be facing El Phantasmo at Saturday’s Under Siege special, on Impact-Plus. Alexander is super excited to face the British Columbian native, by way of New Japan Pro Wrestling.
“That forbidden door opened a little bit, and we’ve been teasing that there’s going to be international stars coming. El Phantasmo, a fellow Canadian that went to Europe and then through that found his way to Japan, and all his success there. So he’s coming over and I get to prove myself against someone from New Japan, and I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be on New Japan World,” said Alexander. “The stakes are going to be pretty high for me. And as a champion, as the X Division champion, I said it a few times already, I want this title to elevate, and I think the only way to elevate this championship and myself at the same time is to just have amazing pro wrestling matches and give people what they’re paying to see. And I’m going to do that with El Phantasmo at Under Siege.
Alexander (Josh Lemay) sees a lot of parallels between himself and El Phantasmo (Riley Vigier). “He’s been wrestling as long as me. We both have been wrestling for 16 years in November. And he told me, ‘The first 10, 12 years of my career, I did nothing. I was in Vancouver, which is four indy shows a month maybe. I just got up and left and went to Europe because the scene was blossoming out there.’ That was the risk he took and it paid off. It’s just amazing how you can have these two different paths and we end up in the same spot eventually after 16 years.”
The Under Siege card also features:
- #1 Contenders match for World title: Chris Bey vs Matt Cardona vs Sami Callihan vs Chris Sabin vs Trey Miguel vs Moose
- Impact World Champion Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers vs Eddie Edwards and FinJuice (Juice Robinson & David Finlay)
- Knockouts Tag Team Champions Jordynne Grace & Rachael Ellering vs Fire ‘N Flava
- W. Morrissey vs Willie Mack
- Brian Myers vs Black Taurus
Besides his own bout, the X Division champ has his eyes on the “intriguing” main event. “If I had to pick anybody out of the six, just playing favorites, I would pick Moose. I think Moose has done an incredible job over the last six to eight months, just transforming himself. To me, he’s eliminated that this is an ex-NFL player. Now, if I look at Moose, I just say he’s a pro wrestler, and he’s amazing in the ring. He looks like a million bucks. I think he’s a guy that can carry the brand moving forward. I think he’s a perfect guy to match up against Kenny Omega. If I had to pick anybody to win that match, I would hope Moose would win.”
After Alexander won the X Division title, he tweeted out “Option C???” meaning that the Impact Triple Crown is one step closer, and he considers himself World title worthy down the road. “Anybody that knows Impact Wrestling history, the X Division title has been put up as an opportunity for the World Championship, if you want to take a crack at it. I think the matchup between myself and Kenny Omega is one that I want to see, I think it’s going to take a little bit of time for the greater wrestling community want to see it, but I think it’s definitely something that could be in the books in the future if Kenny Omega can hang on to the championship long enough.”
With the likes of Omega, El Phantasmo, FinJuice (Juice Robinson & David Finlay) and the Good Brothers in the Impact locker room, Alexander has been soaking up knowledge about wrestling in Japan, and dreams. In short, he wants to wrestle there. “Yeah, hoping, praying, doing everything I can. Japan has been the number one thing on my bucket list for a very long time. I’ve had many opportunities that came up, and then, as happens in pro wrestling, they just drift away before the opportunity can ever be realized. So Japan’s been that one thing I’ve been chasing for so long. If I get the opportunity with New Japan, the biggest company in that part of the world, I definitely wouldn’t say no, and I’d be pretty happy.”
In North America, there are the possibilities of AEW versus Impact battles. For one, Alexander said he’d love to see AEW Women’s champion Hikaru Shida face either Deonna Purrazzo or Jordynne Grace. But personally, it’s PAC that he would want to face. “I think it would just blow people’s minds,” he said. “There’s so many dream matches, if you were to just have an open booking card and say, ‘This is an Impact versus AEW show,’ where you could pull out all these guys whose styles would work together. It would be match of the night after match of the night after match of the night, if you can put together the perfect card, it’s just making that materialize with two different companies with the business part of it coming together. It’s tough work. So we’ll have to see if the forbidden door opens that much more in the future.”
Closer to home, Alexander just did a photoshoot with Geoff Cole of “Shooting the Indies.” That’s Cole’s shot at the top of this page. Alexander (who confesses he does not have “an artistic eye”) is appreciative of photographers who make him look good, and has known Cole for a long time. “When I get together with Geoff from Shooting the Indies and he does the photographs, he’ll just tell me to move my shoulder one inch to the right and put my chin up a little bit so I can like showcase the belt or something like that, so you can see a logo a little bit better and then when he took a photo. By the time I see it, I’m just like dumbfounded at how amazing it looks. I can clearly tell the difference between … his photography and some other people’s, I just have a personal preference for his because I think he makes me look the best I’ve ever looked. I keep going to him.”
It’s likely that Cole has photographed many of the Ontario indy talent that end up in the reenactments in the Toronto-film Dark Side of the Ring episodes. Alexander checks them out and keeps an eye out for who he knows. “I do watch all these documentaries. I love them all. Sometimes it’s not so obvious, with their lighting and stuff like that, so I’ve got to be like, ‘Who was that big guy in the corner?’ Through process of elimination, you work your way down. I’m usually able to guess. The Pillman guy was pretty obvious.” (It was Channing Decker.)
Even closer to home, in fact at home, Alexander has a supportive wife and two kids. Their tweet about Daddy winning the X Division title is short but epic.
So. Freaking. Proud.
Big smiles and tears of happiness to soak in this moment.
To my @Walking_Weapon — you pushed, you grinded, you believed. My heart is full of joy and I'm so glad to watch you on this ride.
🎵 You deserve it 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 🎵#IMPACTRebellion pic.twitter.com/5FueOQkM9Z
— Jade Chung (@JadeChung11) April 26, 2021
Jade Chung, who had her own spin in wrestling, most notably in Ring of Honor, has started her own podcast, See You Next Tuesday.
For marital bliss, Alexander noted that he tries to be invisible when she is on air. “When she’s recording, I leave or I go to bed or something like that. And I just listen with everyone else when they get dropped every Tuesday,” he said. “I’m super proud of her because it’s a big deal, a big leap for her, because she was very uncomfortable with just talking on the fly like that and having a conversation and saying the right thing. And I think she’s a natural at it. … I’ve listened to podcasts for years, several different ones, and I think hers stacks up just with anybody else and offers a different perspective on all her guests, because it’s not just wrestling. I’m really happy that she’s done it and I think she’s really found a way to be a part of the wrestling community still, even though she can’t wrestle.”
And who was the guest on See You Next Tuesday after Impact Rebellion?
Naturally, it was Josh Alexander.
“She gets the exclusive scoops!”