Joey Janela was one of the first talents signed by Tony Khan’s upstart All Elite Wrestling promotion in 2019. At the inaugural AEW event, a Jacksonville rally outside of the Jaguars’ stadium, he came out to wild pop and confronted now-AEW World Champion MJF, laying him out with a crutch. The Bad Boy was involved in many high-profile matches early on in the promotion, including his somewhat legendary Lights Out matches against Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega, before largely being relegated to Dark.
Janela parted ways with AEW in May 2022, and has returned to his roots causing chaos in GCW, and overseas at DDT Pro, among the other indie shows he does. In a Haus of Wrestling exclusive interview, available now on the Haus of Wrestling podcast feed, Janela commented on the possibility of signing with WWE.
“I have goals right now, and one of them is the WWE,” he stated. “I’ve talked to people about it, and stuff, but not now, not anytime soon. I’m still 33. I’ve always said over the last five years, I can see myself signing to WWE when I’m 36. I don’t know why. 36? I don’t know. But I still have goals in Japan. I have goals. I’m having fun.
“I don’t have to deal with any politics. I don’t have to deal with people giving me shit for what I say on the internet. So, we’ll see, but WWE is always the goal. If WWE is not the goal for you, and you’re in the wrestling business, I don’t know what’s wrong with you because the dream is to wrestle at WrestleMania, and it should be the dream for everyone.”
One major name that left AEW and signed with WWE is Cody Rhodes. Janela and Rhodes shared the ring a few times while working for Khan, and the occasional deathmatch wrestler addressed whether the two stay in touch.
“Cody, actually, he hits me up every so often,” Janela revealed. “And I hit him up every so often, and he hits me up because I wrote something about, I wrote something about Komander and Undertaker spots being very just, you know, troll Joey Janelle shit on Twitter to incite online riots. But he hit me up and he’s like, ‘This is this and this is that.’ And I was like, you know, I’m just trolling man.”
Beyond their friendship, there was the work in the ring the two men put together. While many of their matches were well-received, there were a few critical bumps in the road as well.
“We have really good chemistry in the ring. And besides the one match during Covid, which, you know, I think was my first match back after like four months, three months after taking off. I had that match with Cody on TV when they brought me back, and it was just rusty and, and whatnot, and I guess that was my least favrotie match with him.
“But I had one match with him in New Jersey that was awesome when he first came outta the WWE, and I had a match with him on the Jericho Cruise, which was pretty, pretty awesome, and it never saw the light of day, and that was the match that closed out the cruise. We kind of just went in there and had a good, very good match.
“So we always had good chemistry. But he’s also on a different side of the spectrum than me, he’s a family man. He, you know, he does business a very proper way. He’s born into the business. I’m Joey Janella. I say whatever I want and I say a lot of stupid shit. Or I say a lot of shit to piss people off.”
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