Jai Vidal has been signed with Impact Wrestling since November 2022 and has aligned himself with Gisele Shaw. As Shaw’s executive stylist and content creator, he has been in her corner helping “The Quintessential Diva” get to the next level.
Shaw will be competing against Deonna Purrazzo at Impact’s No Surrender show this Friday, February 24, and Shaw will have Vidal by her side. Vidal and Shaw first paired up back in October at the last Las Vegas Impact tapings.
In an interview with SlamWrestling.net, Vidal explained how it all came about. “I ended up contacting Impact as I’ve worked with them in the past and I said, ‘I’m going to be in Vegas and would love to do something with you guys if possible.’ They told me to come by and then they told me the plans that I was going to be side by side with Gisele and I was all for it. I was super excited about it and I did not think that we would mesh as well as we did, and it’s been amazing since.”
Vidal has also adjusted his character to be less of an in-ring competitor and more of a managerial role. “It gives me a chance to work on my character work, to work on promos, backstage segments because I am very confident in my own ability in a ring.”
This new position gave him opportunities that a lot of wrestlers don’t get, like the backstage segments and promos. He is appreciative for the success he has been able to create, and many other wrestlers get thrown into the fire like him and get burned. “I’m actually pretty grateful that I’ve been given this opportunity, and I am very confident that down the line I will be given an opportunity in the ring and be able to show out for Vidal.”
As a wrestler, not being able to get in the ring much, there can be concerns if the fans will look at Vidal as just a manager. “When it was broken by OutSport, the title did say, Jai Vidal, signed as first openly gay male wrestler to Impact wrestling. I do think that for some people or other people that would be in my position, it might be harder for fans to accept them. Me personally? I think that it won’t be as hard.”
Vidal has been able to help Shaw in many ways, and he said that all stems from his roots as a wrestler. “As was seen on Impact not too long ago, my looks and my brain to be able to distract the referee. That all comes from that background of being a professional wrestler, knowing when to be in the right place at the right time.”
With Shaw being prominent in Impact’s Knockouts division, Vidal said that a top goal of his is to help Shaw win the Knockouts championship. His role as an executive stylist and content creator came to be when Impact personnel came up with the two separate ideas, and Vidal decided to combine them.
“As you could see by Gisele’s outfits, I think I do a pretty amazing job being her executive stylist and her content creator as well,” he quipped.
With the pairing going so well and Impact having a number of couples, Vidal said he is very open to the idea of Impact introducing an intergender tag team championship. “I think that it would bring something so new to the table that people didn’t even know that they wanted. I think in this day and age, it’s something that people are prepared for and ready for, intergender wrestling is becoming such a welcome thing in the realm of professional wrestling.”
Along with the idea of intergender tag team titles, the 5’9 185-pound Vidal has the individual goal of becoming the Impact X Division Champion. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always watched the X Division growing up watching Impact Wrestling, the X Division is something I’ve always had my eyes on and something that helped inspire me when I was a smaller guy. Being X Division champion is on top of my list in Impact wrestling.”
Impact holds a special place in the heart of Vidal, he said he saw Chris Bey get signed there and they came up together in the Las Vegas wrestling scene. “When I first moved to Vegas, Chris Bey was one of the coolest people to me, always gave me advice, all that good stuff. He got signed to Impact and I was like, whoa, this is actually a possibility now.”
When the stars aligned and the universe allowed it, Vidal, who trained in former WWE superstar Gangrel’s Wrestling Asylum, said “the opportunity came, like it wasn’t even a question, it was straight pen to paper at that point.”
“I genuinely think that Impact does professional wrestling differently than other companies. On a consecutive basis, especially when it comes to things such as long-term storytelling and big payoffs to feuds and rivalries.”
Impact also has a collaboration show with New Japan Pro Wrestling approaching on March 30, in Los Angeles, and Vidal is excited about the mix of styles.
“We’re talking about a completely different style in strong style Japanese wrestling like New Japan Presents. I think Impact and New Japan both will benefit great from that collaboration; I definitely would love to be a part of it down the line. I could hang too when it comes to that style of wrestling and the same thing for Gisele Shaw, I’ve seen Gisele Shaw go and she can go when the time comes.”
As for Shaw’s match this Friday against Purazzo, Vidal said he can’t give away all of his and Shaw’s secrets. However, he did say, “I definitely need to get Deonna back because as you saw, she ruined my outfit. Here’s my thing, I get it, I was the one who brought that stuff out there to throw on her. But the fact that she had the audacity to move out of the way, and now my outfit is ruined and Gisele Shaw’s custom-made outfit is ruined.”
“We’re going to get her back; she could definitely expect something similar to happen to her. They say an eye for an eye, so that’s what you could expect at No Surrender, and I can’t say anything more to that without ruining our plan.”
TOP PHOTO: Jai Vidal in Impact. Impact Wrestling photo