In a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet as part of the INSIGHT With Chris Van Vliet podcast, IMPACT World Champion Josh Alexander discussed several topics, including his decision to not sign with All Elite Wrestling, the origins of his headgear and much more.

Highlights of the interview are below:

Why Josh Alexander didn’t sign with AEW: “It was definitely on the table and it was definitely a thought and all this other stuff. But I wouldn’t say it was too close, because with all the stuff that had been happening and IMPACT I really felt like [I should stay]. And like also happening in AEW, with me watching every week, I still watch everything to this day. But I just like for me as a pro-wrestler, my fulfilment of what I do is to go out there and wrestle and show what I can do. I think my benefit is bell to bell, that is where I will gain notoriety, that is where I will show my worth in the pro-wrestling scene. And at the time watching AEW, it didn’t look like a lot of people were getting opportunities to do that stuff outside of like the top 20 people that were on the roster, you’d see people shuffle in and out and shuffle in and out it out there. They get their runs for a few weeks, and they go back to shorter matches on AEW Dark and it was just IMPACT has been so good to me. They were the first company that gave me an opportunity and got me that visa, did this stuff and like it’s all been roses since I got there man, I won the tag belts three months after I signed and got there. And I had the longest running tag team championship run, you know, and then as soon as Ethan left, everything’s like going through your mind. And I was stressing out being like man, I hope I don’t sit on the bench and just have to watch the shows until they figure out what they’re gonna do with me. And immediately, I got an opportunity in the X-Division. And you know, that happened and was awesome and all this other stuff. It was just opportunity after opportunity. I think all you can ask for as a wrestler is for an opportunity to show what you can do. Give me the ball and if I drop it, that’s fine. But you know, they’ve given me the ball a ton of times, and I don’t think I’ve dropped it yet. So, I’m just gonna ride this out and see how it goes.”

The origin of the headgear: “Yeah, I actually injured myself at AIW in Cleveland for the JLIT tournament, the first one I was ever going to, I think it was 2013. I’m really off with years, especially since the pandemic, but it would have been around that ballpark time where we first met and yeah, I took a kick in the ear from an ACH and my ear just blew up off my head. I filmed a promo that night, draining it with a syringe myself. And the next day, I got hit again in it and it blew up and it actually, like exploded off my head. So, it’s like my ear split in half, and it was like dangling down. So, I had to go get it surgically, like pinned to the side of my head. And like the doctors, they don’t care about pro-wrestling and they look at me and be like, well, whatever you do, whatever, do what you have to do to have it heal, you can’t touch this for six months or three months or whatever they said. And I was just like, I got a booking in two weeks in Ottawa like I gotta make it. So, I went on eBay and ordered headgear and put it on for that show, and I felt like such a goofball. I remember I went out and I wrestled Mike Bailey and a guy named Hacker Scotty O’Shea in a three-way for C4 wrestling in Ottawa and walking out I’m getting like Princess Leia chants; I’m getting nice headphone chants. I’m getting chirp like crazy, still stuff that I hear to this day every so often for people that don’t know me. But you know, I felt like such a goof and I came to the back and by the end of the match, they were just standing and applauding the match because it was an awesome match, right? And I came to the back and I remember Ethan Page pulled me aside he was just like you’re keeping that headgear man. You look like a badass with it. I’m like, really? I feel like I look like a complete goof. But he was like, nope, it’s badass, you’re keeping that. I’m like okay, cool. And I haven’t taken that off since.”

How the headgear completely changed his gimmick: “I mean, it all happened by accident of course, I’m very thankful that it did happen. I think I’ve had a lot of conversations about the headgear recently because you know, the evolution of the character and the look and all this stuff. And you think about do I need to wear the headgear anymore? Should I take it off? Is it holding me back from elevating myself to a further platform or becoming a bigger star and wrestling or something like that. But for sure, I was just a talented Canadian wrestler that was booked consistently with no gimmick whatsoever who was just a very reliable wrestler. And when I found that headgear because I injured my ear, it really gave me something for the fans to remember me by. Because you gotta think like 70% of fans that leave a show that aren’t, you know, diehard wrestling fans aren’t gonna remember my name when they leave. A kid might turn to his dad and be like, man, I really liked that crazy guy with the face paint, you know what I mean? Like now they can leave shows and be like that guy with the headphones or the headgear, they know what it is, you know, he was a badass. It’s just a thing for people to notify and remember me by and it built into my look that I’m now you know, known for probably for the rest of my career.”

Being compared to Kurt Angle in a wig: “That’s the thing that I read it on social media all the time. It’s like fans are like ‘Man, I love Josh Alexander, but I can’t get over that headgear. [It] Just reminds me of Angle with the wig and it’s just so goofy, I just can’t see past it…’ and stuff like that. And I read it I go, if that’s really a thing that you can’t see past like, I can’t I can’t please everybody, you know what I’m saying? So, it’s definitely the thing that I’m going to remember forever because I think you know, other than Rick Steiner, I’m the only one that’s pulled it off since and I think a lot of people have tried.”

Winning then immediately losing the IMPACT World Championship at Bound For Glory 2021: “It was pretty much exactly like that. It was hey, we’re thinking you and Christian at Bound for Glory in the main event that was just like, this probably like summertime, like, August or July, when they said this. I went oh damn, okay, you know, that sounds really cool and like a big opportunity. And they go, but you know, Moose is gonna cash in and take it right off you immediately. Okay, cool, whatever, it doesn’t matter to me. And like, it’s, I don’t write the show, you know what I mean? Like, I trust you guys. And you know, the whole time leading up to that for the next three months, you’re just like hopefully they change their mind, man, that’d be cool if they change their mind. You know, that’s in the back of your head. But then, you know, it all happened how it happened and I think everything you know, I’m not an everything happens for a reason guy, but like, definitely look at the pieces of things that have happened along the course of my career to put me in the place. I’m sitting right now. And I think everything has kind of happened the way it should have, you know, to maximize everything that’s happening my life now.”

The full interview is available at this link.