ace steel

Ace Steel Believes In Joe Hendry, Expects Some ‘Dreaded Fun’ In TNA In-Ring Return

Ace Steel is looking forward to having some fun in his in-ring return.

Steel will face off with Frankie Kazarian in a Chicago Street Fight on Thursday’s new episode of TNA Impact. The match came about after Steel, who revealed himself as Joe Hendry’s new coach, and Kazarian got into it at TNA Against All Odds earlier this month.

Ace Steel spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard about how he ended up pairing with the social media sensation and how he’s feeling ahead of his first match in TNA since 2003. Steel, who also works backstage with TNA as a producer, says the on-air pairing with Hendry is based on their real-life relationship, and he’s there to help fine-tune some things.

Ace Steel on his on-air appearance in TNA

“It’s pretty crazy to be in the ring at this stage. It’s been a little while. Like, every now and then I do an Independent [match],” Steel explained. “You get the itch and since I’ve opened a wrestling school, I’ve been a lot more active in-ring and working with folks. How I ended up being Joe Hendry’s coach, so to speak, or his advisor is quite simply, it’s a shoot as we say.

“I’ve been working with Joe backstage and on his matches, and working on his craft to get him to that next level. None of that is BS by any means,” he added. “But I’ve really been working hard with him, Joe was actually at the [Steel’s The Foundation Of Pro Wrestling] school last week. He came down earlier in the week to work out, honing some skills, working on fine-tuning things.”

Steel says he’s a “mechanics guy” and wants to help talent reach the next level. He pointed to some memorabilia of his mentors and heroes adorning his office wall as inspiration, noting that he’s there to have Joe Hendry’s back.

“I want things to look right. I’m really into suspending disbelief. And that, in my opinion, if you look behind me, the people on my wall [points to the photos]. Those guys really suspended disbelief. From Harley Race being my mentor, Terry Funk, the old Chicago posters, Bruiser Brody back there. There are the guys I grew up on,” Steel shared. “And though, we know this industry is entertainment, so are movies. And we get thrown into those and we love ‘em. So, Joe and I have been working really close together. We got a really good bond going on, and it just turned into an on-camera role that I would have his back, as he’s a ‘Lone Ranger’, so to speak, in TNA.”

Ace Steel’s return to wrestling on television

Ace Steel’s match with Frankie Kazarian is the first TNA match he’s had in 21 years. It’s also the first televised/broadcasted match he’s had (under his name) since competing in a Four Corner Survival match at ROH Clash Of The Contenders in 2009.

Asked what TNA fans can expect from him on Thursday, Steel touted his three decades of experience in the business, as well as his reputation in other promotions as a brawler. He prides himself on being a good technical wrestler, but Steel knows how to handle himself in a fight, and fans should expect some more fun when he stands across the ring from Kazarian in TNA.

“My style has always been reminiscent of a brawler. I do not shy from technical wrestling. I feel I’m a very good technical wrestler, but I’ve always been involved in brawls because I am from Chicago, and Chicago is a bloodthirsty town. I’ve been in the Cage of Death. Ring of Honor versus CZW, Cage of Death, which was a crazy, crazy thing,” Steel explained. “That whole summer was myself and Adam Pearce and others involved, defending Ring of Honor against the deadly CZW of Necro Butcher, and Chris Hero, and people like that, Claudio Castagnoli from CZW. We spent the summer just fighting all up and down around the US with Ring of Honor. But I actually moved from Chicago in 2004. Punk and I had a Chicago Street Fight again. I left the next day and moved to Missouri to live near Harley and work out of there.

Ready to go

Steel says his whole career has been based on realism, like being in Japan and learning the proper way to throw a forearm or an elbow from Mitsuharu Misawa. Now, he feels the best he has in years and he’s ready to have his next fight in a TNA ring.

“The thing that brought me here is, with Joe Hendry on Friday night at the pay-per-view at Against All Odds, a foreign object was used by Frankie Kazarian,” he noted. “He dropped Joe and he went to needlessly put him in his submission, his Cross-face Chicken Wing. And I interrupted that and then Frankie disrespected me by pushing me.

“And it’s a hard thing for us, especially for Chicagoans, not much less a wrestler, to have someone get in your face and not back up anything and just cower away. Just by instinct alone, he pushed me and I dropped Frankie. And here we are, Chicago Street Fight’s on,” Steel said. “Ready to go. Ready to do it. I’ve never felt better. As good as I’m going to feel, as good as I felt in years. I’m in great shape at this point. And yeah, expect some fun. Expect some dreaded fun. We are going to beat the hell out of each other.”

Watch our full interview with Ace Steel below: