Joey Janela Will Not Re-Sign With AEW – Janela confirmed his current contract will expire on May 1 and he says he does not intend to re-sign with the company.
“I am gonna have to say ‘No’ now,” Janela told Denise Salcedo. “I am not interested in signing with AEW – re-signing with them.”
Joey Janela made his AEW debut at the Double Or Nothing pay-per-view in 2019. He was already a star on the U.S. independent scene before he signed with the company and admits there is some nervousness about returning to his indie roots.
“I was a little scared, getting back into the independent wrestling world and making money,” Janela said. “You take those things for granted, you’re getting a paycheck every two weeks. A pretty good paycheck. In your head you’re like ‘Sh-t, when this is over, this is gonna disappear.’ But I was born a hustler in this business. I was scared to get back into that world but now I am no longer scared.
“Back in the day before AEW, I was going out to wrestle for basically nothing,” Janela continued. “I was just doing it because I love it, I would do 3-4 shows a week. I would rack up small paydays from the promoters, plus my merchandise and I’d be satisfied and I’d be making a lot of money. But now my price has gone significantly up so I didn’t know if the promoters were gonna welcome me back with open arms.
“But recently I’ve realized that the promoters know the situation, they realize what the situation is gonna be and they’ve been hitting me up big time. They say ‘We want you to come back here. We want you to wrestle some of the newer guys we have. We want you to wrestle some of the older guys. We want Joey Janela back.’”
Joey Janela said he’s satisfied with what he accomplished during his three years in AEW but also expressed some frustration over the communication with the company’s front office.
“It was a learning experience, and I am gonna say this in the most positive way possible without looking negative,” Janela said. “Those three years with AEW was developmental for the rest of my career. I am so much sharper now, not only in-ring but business-wise, I’ve learned so much in those three years. Now not only am I sharper myself, in all facets of the wrestling business, but also I can go to a young guy, I could go to a Nick Wayne and teach him stuff, of the stuff that I’ve learned in those three years.
“Or I can go to GCW or I can go to another promotion and teach them what I’ve learned on the other side of the curtain. I am not sad at all. I did everything I wanted to do there. Within the 6 months I started there, my goal was to wrestle Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega, main event TV, main event pay-per-view. Did it all. The only thing I didn’t get was an action figure. So be it.
“It’s over now and we’re just moving forward. I have no complaints, I thank Tony (Khan). They’ve been doing this to people, they’ve been radio silent on the people they are letting the contracts expire, that’s why you have talent relations to talk to your talent and tell them what the situation is. If they are gonna have a paycheck coming in or if they are gonna be signed to a per appearance deal, which some of the guys have agreed to.
“I would never agree on a per appearance deal anywhere. My per appearance deal is gonna be when I am booking myself all over the world, I am booked in 6 different countries coming up. Per appearance on the independent scene, I wanna be my own boss. That’s how I got my name out there, I was my own boss, and I had the most buzz outside of The Elite and that’s why I had this opportunity at AEW, that’s why I had this opportunity at All In.
Joey Janela implied that his departure from AEW was the company’s decision, feeling the turning point for him in AEW was a match against Eddie Kingston for an episode of AEW Dark back in January.
“I think a lot of it has to do with a situation where I worked with Eddie Kingston in Charlotte, and I superkicked him in the face a little bit too hard, came in a little bit too hot,” Janela recalled. “I had been squatting probably 50 more pounds than I am used to be squatting, and doing a hundred pounds more on the leg press and I don’t know, I didn’t realize I had that type of power in my legs and I gave him a superkick and I broke his orbital bone.
“He was going into a feud with Chris Jericho, and I feel that may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. A lot of guys, maybe some older heads that believed my hype and believed that I was some kind of dangerous professional wrestler. I’ve had times where I’ve injured people, of course, everyone has. But once you get that reputation, it’s hard to break that. I’ve had a string of bad luck throughout my AEW career and that may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back but I don’t know because they don’t communicate with me.”