alex shelley
Photo Credit: IMPACT Wrestling

Vinny Pacifico Appreciates Alex Shelley’s Drive To Give Back To Pro Wrestling

Vinny Pacifico recognizes Alex Shelley’s important contributions to the wrestling business.

WrestleZone recently spoke with Vinny Pacifico, who is currently signed to an endorsement deal with G Fuel. Pacifico spoke about a recent interaction he had with IMPACT World Champion Alex Shelley while the two were in Philadelphia for the New Japan All-Star Junior Festival.

Pacifico said he got to pick Shelley’s brain a bit and said he really appreciated the advice he got.

“He was very giving in the sense of teaching me different stretches, which is something that I believe wrestlers need. I’ve had a few injuries, small injuries, but things that happened in my career where it could have been avoided with stretching early on,” he explained. “So Alex Shelley is very giving in the sense that he does PT. So he teaches you different stretches, taught me different ways of getting my muscles relaxed and stuff like that. He’s [got] a great, great mind.”

Giving Back

Alex Shelley’s contributions to pro wrestling outside of the ring are just as impressive as his in-ring accolades. Shelley has a degree in sports medicine, and he worked as a physical therapist as a full-time career for several years. Pacifico said Shelley’s reason for getting into medicine is inspiring, and he hopes to pay it forward in his own career too.

“[I saw him say along the lines of] he saw wrestlers need this help and [said] ‘I’m the one to help them.’ So it’s just a beautiful thing to take the initiative and go to school and learn this stuff to help other wrestlers. It’s just a beautiful thing. I look at that and I’m like, ‘Wow.’ My thing is I want to help others as well. I love being able to give back any way I can.

“I always give credit to people who train me, give credit to people who have helped me along the way and try to help out people. For example, Cheeseburger trained me. He has new students now. I tried to always help his students out whenever I can get them booked, get him booked if he’s off for a weekend or whatever. So, I always try to give back to people who’ve done a lot for me. I believe that’s very important.”

Vinny Pacifico will be in action at FWE Reload in Wake Forest, North Carolina on September 10 against former IMPACT Wrestling star Suicide. Check out our full interview with Pacifico below:

Monkey Off Of His Back

Alex Shelley spoke with WrestleZone about his decision to sign a full-time deal with IMPACT Wrestling last year. Shelley had been working in medicine full-time, with wrestling as his second gig for many years.

Shelley explained why he pushed himself into another career and why it was time to make wrestling his main gig again. He has two bachelor’s degrees and part of a Master’s, and he needed to ‘exist in the real world’ for peace of mind.

“And when I first decided to come back to wrestling, I thought, ‘Well, I’ve got a pretty good degree. I’ve got a good job in medicine. I’ll just dab on it and see how it goes.’ And then eventually, if you really enjoy something and you’re good at it, you tend to start to want to do it more. I think that’s a normal response, right? That happened.”

Less Pressure

“Eventually I started to realize, ‘Man. Okay. Maybe this is something I’m better at than I thought I was.’ Because now that I’ve got this monkey off my back in terms of this feeling of inadequacy. Now that that has been taken care of and I know full well I can exist. I’ve got this self-efficacy as far as being like a complete person. I can devote myself to wrestling and really love it, right? It felt like there was less pressure in a lot of ways. Now I can be very open with it.”

“And as I went through that process, I started wrestling more and more and more. Eventually, it got to the point where I think, despite how good I am at other things in life and despite what I’ve set myself up for with these contingency plans, I’m probably supposed to be doing this. If I really look at why I exist and what I can do the most good with, and how many lives I can touch with wrestling, it far outweighs anything else I could potentially do. And I can do a lot of other things.”

Read More: Alex Shelley Reveals His Favorite Life Lessons Learned From Kevin Nash