IMPACT World Champion Alex Shelley recently sat down with Scott Fishman of SEScoops. When asked about his upcoming title defense against Hiroshi Tanahashi, Shelley spoke about the respect he has for the New Japan legend.
“To me, Tanahashi is the champion’s champion,” Alex Shelley said. “I joined New Japan Pro Wrestling under a full-time contract in 2012. That was around the time New Japan business was starting to tick back up. I saw it thrive for three years. The upward trajectory was in large part due to Tanahashi.”
Alex Shelley is inspired by what Hiroshi Tanahashi has done in New Japan Pro-Wrestling
Shelley admits Tanahashi’s work over the years inspired him and acknowledges the fact that he could lose the title on Sunday.
“I can list a million things he did right. He led behind the scenes; he led in the ring; he led in public. I’ve seen him work so hard. He is someone who directly rubbed off on me,” Alex Shelley said. “Certainly when you’re going to be a leader you have so many other duties beyond just performing in a great pro wrestling match.
“There is a good chance he could beat me. He is one of the best in the world. I don’t think of anything in terms of what people can expect. That’s not my job. My job is to go out there and kill it and try to secure that win.”
Shelley is the face of IMPACT Wrestling as the world champion and believes the state of the company is stronger than ever.
“It was a very different place and time in wrestling overall,” Alex Shelley recalled. “ I came back full-time in 2022. What I saw in front of me was a company that was doing everything right in terms of presenting a pro wrestling product. I stand by that.”
What do you make of Alex Shelley’s comments? Are you looking forward to his match with Hiroshi Tanahashi at Multiverse United 2? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.