Image Credit: Independent Wrestling TV

AC Mack Reflects On IWTV Independent Wrestling World Title Win

AC Mack reflects on his historic IWTV Independent Wrestling World Championship win.

In January, Mack defeated Alex Shelley to win the gold, which has been held by Jonathan Gresham, Orange Cassidy, and Wheeler Yuta, among other stars. With his victory, Mack became the first openly gay male to win a championship in professional wrestling history.


In an interview with Andrew Thompson for POST Wrestling, Mack looked back on this monumental moment and recalled how he was having severe anxiety ahead of the bout.

“What’s so funny is that I have really bad anxiety when it comes to performing and that whole week leading up to that match [IWTV Title match against Alex Shelley] was really rough on me,” Mack said. “I had a few attacks, was hard for me to keep food down, I found out I was gonna win, I found out I was gonna be the first openly gay world champion. It was just a lot all in one week so once they counted three, I just remembered burying my face in the mat, just crying to myself, just saying to myself, ‘It’s over, it’s over, it’s over’ and I was just telling somebody else the other day how ironic is it that I kept saying that because oh my God, it was just the beginning [Mack laughed].

“It was just the beginning but the beginning of something great but the beginning for sure. I always tell people, all of it has been overwhelming in the best way possible. This is the type of overwhelmed that you wanna be.”

Mack also discussed his reign up to this point; he has defended the title over 20 times since January, which marks either the second or third most defenses in the championship’s history. He made it clear that he’s proud of the reign, and he’s looking forward to some “big things” that are lined up.

“We’re almost at 2023. I have to look at the stats again but I think I’m either the second or third highest most defenses in the belt’s history… There has been so many more moments outside of the win,” Mack said. “So many more opponents that I’m so glad I’ve gotten to get in the ring with, so many promotions I’ve gotten to defend the belt at, so many regions now that we’re taking it to. We had a whole season of Uncharted Territory that was kicked off by this reign and we were able to put the spotlight on so many guys from the southeast who deserve to be seen on a national scale, you know?

“So I love that when people look back at this reign, they’re gonna think of the ‘Southeast First’ movement, they’re gonna think of storytelling, they’re gonna think of promo work, they’re gonna think of the big national, civil rivalry between the northeast and the southeast so, and I just had a defense in LA. That was my first time taking the belt on the west coast so doing a lot of firsts here with this and I’m very, very proud of that. So proud of that and like you said, we’re still going. I still got the belt. It’s not over. We just announced more… We got Alec Price coming up, we got Hoodfoot coming up. We got some big, big things happening. Man, I’m so excited. Easily the best year of my career so far.”

The full interview is available here:

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