speedball mike bailey
Photo Credit: IMPACT Wrestling

Scott D’Amore Reflects On The Process Of Signing Mike Bailey: I’m Really Glad That Things Came Together

IMPACT Wrestling Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore discusses the process of signing Mike Bailey.

In 2016, Bailey was banned from entering the United States for the next five years; at the time, he was trying to get his work visa, but he was arrested tried to travel to an Evolve show before the process was complete. During this subsequent period, Bailey competed all over the world and became a buzzworthy performer. He then signed with IMPACT Wrestling in October 2021 and debuted on the Hard o Kill pre-show the following January. He has been a featured member of the roster ever since, and he won the X-Division Championship at IMPACT Slammiversary in June.

During an appearance on Punch-Out with Josh Nason, D’Amore described how excited he was to add Bailey to the company’s roster and noted that the adversity “Speedball” faced with his travel ban resonated with him.

“I’m really glad that things came together and we were able to get Mike to come on and join us. Mike Bailey is one of those guys who’s been talked about for literally years. This is a guy who was held hostage because of his nationality, and that is something that is very close to home for me because I spent over a year not being able to go into the US and a few years not being able to work. Mike basically was put in an unfortunate situation where he spent five years not being able to compete in the United States for no real wrongdoing of his own.

“A lot of people would have packed up, a lot of people would have quit. But what Mike Bailey did is he took a deep breath and with quirky smirk that he has. He went, you know what, I’m just gonna wrestle everywhere else. He became somebody that was known coast-to-coast in Canada, he went over, did a ton in the UK, he was a mainstay in Germany, he spent a ton of time in Japan, and he just continued to build his reputation but more importantly his skill set.”

D’Amore continued by noting that he was happy to sign a talent of Bailey’s caliber to IMPACT, and he was also glad to help him by taking care of the legalities regarding the work visa.

“I chatted with Mike as it was approaching the end of his five-year period and we chatted a little bit at a independent event,” D’Amore said. “We talked and I think it’s great that Mike came here. We are excited, one, to have him as athlete joining our roster, and two, for me personally, it makes me feel good to be able to help a talent like that, that’s dealt with a lot of adversity and say, ‘You worry about being the best Mike Bailey.

“You worry about going out there and trying to prove you’re the best wrestler in the world. Let us take care of the other stuff, let us take care of the legalities. Let us take care of immigration. You take care of being Mike freaking Bailey, and we’ll make sure we get you out there on the field so that you can display their skills that have been a bit under wraps for far too long.'”

Bailey will defend the IMPACT X-Division Championship at Bound For Glory on October 7.

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