This interview originally appeared in the North Texas e-News.
Dallas, Texas — Josh Alexander is feeling the heat. The Canadian wrestler was longing to find some relief from the scorching Texas summer while in Dallas for a media tour prior to IMPACT Wrestling’s scheduled TV tapings at The Factory in Deep Ellum on August 26 and 27.
It wasn’t just the warm summer air putting a strain on him though. He’s also felt the pressure that comes with being the IMPACT World Champion and the newest face of a storied wrestling promotion which recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary.
“I definitely underestimated the amount of pressure that you feel as a world champion,” Alexander said, adding that the depth of talent in the IMPACT Wrestling roster puts more stress on him to perform at his best. “We’re just stacking the cards completely, like everybody’s exceeding expectations, so by the time I go up for the main event, there might have been four match-of-the-year candidates already and it’s tough to follow.”
Nonetheless, Alexander has appeared up for the challenge. He’s put on a number of highlight-filled title defenses against a variety of opponents well-known to diehard wrestling fans since winning the world championship in April.
“I might be a lesser-known person than a Tomohiro Ishii or an Alex Shelley or an Eric Young, but for me to go out there and compete with them on the main events, and ultimately defeat them and win; it raises my value of my stock and kind of the perspective in the minds of the fans that I belong in that playing field with those heavy names that they are familiar with,” Alexander said.
Those title defenses have come following a meteoric rise to the top of IMPACT Wrestling for the 17-year veteran of the sport over the past year and a half.
It began shortly following the departure of his longtime tag team partner, Ethan Page, who joined fellow televised wrestling program All Elite Wrestling. Alexander quickly captured his first title as a singles competitor just months later, the X-Division Championship, before eventually defeating former WWE legend Christian Cage for the IMPACT World Championship in October of 2021.
The feel-good emotions that came with seeing a well-deserving veteran of the sport capture the world championship with his family looking on didn’t last long, however. As is so often the case in the scripted world of professional wrestling, a sneak attack and surprise victory moments later by the scheming and villainous Moose, the ring name for former NFL player Quinn Ojinnaka, ended his reign before it began while his shocked wife and son looked on.
The subsequent fallout kickstarted a long rivalry between the two that brought Alexander’s family, his wife and fellow professional wrestler Jade Chung and their 4-year-old son Jett, into the company’s premier storyline.
“I think it helped me tremendously because, up until that point as X-Division Champion, I was regarded as just probably a marquee wrestler that goes out and has really good matches,” Alexander said. “Fans didn’t really know me. And to break me down to the bare bones of me, it’s just I love my family, I love my wife and to be able to share that with everybody, I think it just helped the fans get to know me more especially on the climb getting back to the world championship.”
Alexander sees that side of himself as the continuation of the genuineness of his on-screen character. For years, he’s gone as “The Walking Weapon” in wrestling, a nickname given to him by his former tag team partner that combines his real-life competitive nature and desire to always put on the best match of the night with his hard-hitting wrestling style.
That smash mouth style was on display in Dallas in early January of this year when Alexander fought former WWE NXT star JONAH on his road back to title contention in what he remembers as one of his favorite matches in Texas.
“I think it exceeded both of our expectations,” Alexander said of the match. “I just remember him headbutting me, and me coming up and I realized that I was bleeding from the forehead, and I was just like, ‘this is one hell of a fight.’ And it’s one I’ll never forget.”
By incorporating his love for his family into his on-screen character along with that trademark ferocity in the ring, Alexander sees himself showing another authentic side of his personality, one that exists outside of the confines of the squared circle.
“I couldn’t imagine doing this job 30 years ago,” Alexander said, explaining that technology, like the tablet he bought his son that allows him to FaceTime him whenever he wants, allows him the crucial ability to stay in-touch with his family while on the road.
Now, as world champion once again and with a more complete on-screen character, Alexander continues representing IMPACT Wrestling as one of the premier faces of the company.
“The one thing that I really take seriously is, it’s the responsibility I have as the figurehead and face of the company, not only to represent myself and IMPACT Wrestling, but representing the locker room,” Alexander said. “Because I see it all the time, we have the hungriest locker room in the world. I love every single member of this locker room because we all have a chip on our shoulder.”
While Alexander doesn’t know exactly which member of that locker room he’ll be facing during IMPACT Wrestling’s return to Dallas, it doesn’t necessarily matter to him at the end of the day.
“Whoever it is, I’m going to go do the same thing I do every time which is to try to steal the show,” Alexander said.
This interview was edited for clarity
IMPACT Wrestling will be at The Factory in Deep Ellum starting at 6:30 P.M. on August 26 and 27. General admission tickets for both nights are still available at time of writing and start at $28.