“…I think the biggest thing is when all of us came up, we were focused on a style of pro wrestling that was our own. That was a mixture of the things we enjoyed, and that we took the best of from several varying styles of pro wrestling from around the world. We were students of the game. Those same pro wrestlers are out there right now. It’s just a matter of going out there, putting on the performances and being the star. There were a bunch of guys when I was coming up who wanted to be the guy…
“They wanted to put on a show. It’s not the maneuvering backstage. It’s about going out there performing and delivering…You have to have sure audacity to just to get noticed, and I think that is when you will see the next crop of new stars, really highly-skilled journeyman who broke out on the indies and hopefully be transitioned to a good career on the professional scene.”
For Joe, if the talent is out there working hard enough, they will get noticed. Of them, he sees, indie wrestler Willie Mack, possibly for a future Gut Check (TNA’s on air opportunity for new talent). The up-and-comer resides in Joe’s neck of the woods in California.
“I think there has always been an enormous amount of talent in the independent ranks,” Joe said. “It’s just a matter of them hitting creatively at the right time, when the companies are looking. A lot of guys don’t. I don’t think it’s some kind of anomalous phenomenon that all these guys are doing well. These are all people who are dedicated at being the best of what they do. I think the talent is out there. You have to put in the work. It took them a long time to get recognized and get where they are, myself included; so that is very much part of the journey. I think the feelers are always out there, and those people who are talented do get seen.”
Getting noticed is something Joe did early in TNA with an impressive undefeated streak. Despite his strong performances along the likes of Kurt Angle, AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, fans haven’t always been happy with the grappler’s position on shows. No matter where he is on the show, his objective has always been to put on the best match possible.
“I think the thing that keeps me motivated, regardless of what I go through, is being able to maintain the ability to go out there and perform to as many fans as possible,” Joe said. “[They give] me the opportunity to do what I love, which is pro wrestling. So that has always been the motivating factor for me.
“…I think whenever it comes to me and TNA, they know I’ve never been afraid to try something or give something a shot or roll with the opportunity presented to me. So I think at this point they’ve just had a more hands off approach and let me go out there and do what I do best.
“…If there was anything done differently, it’s that I’ve made a little more noise than usual. I think the other thing is that whenever presented the opportunity, I do the best I can. I go out there, and I do that. So I think those are the most contributing factors for my turnaround in the Bound for Glory Series.”
Another highlight this year for Joe has been his association with a United Kingdom star Magnus. The two were paired together with successful results, including a run with the TNA tag team titles.