AEW’s Joey Janela Explained His Return To Independent Wrestling

Before AEW Dynamite premiered, Joey Janela said farewell to the independent circuit (besides running his annual Spring Break show on WrestleMania weekend), with a series of matches billed as his final appearances for various companies. His home promotion, Game Changer Wrestling (GCW), even named its September 30, 2019, show “Curtain Call (Farewell to Joey Janela.)” But last month, Janela returned to GCW for a match with Jordan Oliver, and he now has more matches scheduled in GCW and other indies.

In an interview with Wrestling Inc., Janela explained his return to indie wrestling and why he left in the first place. Janela says that initially, AEW told him “I couldn’t do any dates,” but later, after he saw other members of the roster wrestling on indie shows, “I found out we could do indies, but we just had to get them approved.”

Janela held off returning because “I didn’t want to Terry Funk everyone,” but now he’s “back full-time on the indies” along with his AEW dates. “They were letting everyone else do indies, so there was nothing they could do,” Janela explains.

He says one of the reasons for this was that his “work was really suffering from the lack of dates. I had a certain flow and once you go from wrestling four-five times a week to twice a month, your work is going to suffer no matter what. Your instincts are not going to be great.”

Janela says he’s now actually more involved with GCW than he had been, but that doesn’t mean AEW and GCW will have a relationship. “I don’t think AEW wants anything to do with GCW, to be honest,” he remarked, and added, “It would be nice for AEW and GCW to do something, but I doubt it because they’re two completely different beasts.”