Exclusive: Joe Hendry Reveals Why He Came To Impact Wrestling, Dream Opponents & More
Joe Hendry is a name that ought to be familiar to most fans of independent wrestling, especially in the booming UK scene. Hendry recently joined the ever-growing roster at Impact Wrestling and seems to be having the time of his life.
I had a chance to catch up with him and discuss a variety of topics with the 'Prestigious One'. One thing was immensely clear through the course of our conversation. Hendry is adamant on making a splash at Impact Wrestling and rising up the ranks to become World Champion.
You've wrestled for a variety of promotions. What brought you to Impact Wrestling?
Hendry: I came to Impact Wrestling because, first of all, I think the company's moving in a great direction. It's somewhere I want to be. It's something I want to be a part of. And also, they are giving me a huge amount of trust and creative freedom with my entrance videos.
So, it's a place where I really have a platform to do what I do and have as much fun as possible. It's the right place for me to be in, with regard to career development. And the creative freedom as well.
How much does your victory over Eli Drake, a former World Champion, mean to you?
Hendry: That's a huge moment in my career. Eli Drake is not just a former World Champion, but one of the most charismatic people in professional wrestling. So for me to pick up a victory was a huge statement.
Again, it shows that Impact Wrestling gives the fans what they want. When I was announced for Impact Wrestling, all the fans were saying Eli Drake vs. Joe Hendry, that's the match that Impact Wrestling should make. And that's the match that they were given, straight away. So you have to respect Impact Wrestling for giving the fans what they want, straight away.
How does the Impact Wrestling Locker Room compare to other places you may have worked before?
Hendry: Every locker room is different. If I were to speak about the Impact Wrestling locker room specifically, the thing that I am enjoying about it is that everyone is working together to move the company in the right direction. But there's that element of friendly competition as well.
Because at the end of the day, we're all working to get that top spot. And it's a great place to be. People are having a lot of fun. And our careers are moving forward. When I first had a dream to be a professional wrestler, this is how I envisioned it would be. So, it's a very fulfilling experience professionally for me.
Who are some of the talents in this locker room that you would want to face down the line?
Hendry: Well, right now, whoever the Champion is. Austin Aries is the person I would want to face first, because he's the Champion and also because he's one of the most successful, well-rounded veterans in the business today. And I think that's going to be a fun match as well. Looking ahead, that's the benchmark of where you want to be, as the champion!
Impact Wrestling will be coming to the UK for Wrestling MediaCon. Are you excited to be a part of the event and the roster?
Hendry: This is the biggest event of its nature in the world. So, it's going to be a huge event. We've got panel shows, autograph signings, exhibition shows for multiple promotions. So, for Impact Wrestling to be back in the UK is going to be absolutely huge.
But what's going to be even better is wrestling for Impact in my own backyard. I hope it's the first of many. I hope that Impact Wrestling continues to grow its presence in the United Kingdom and that this is the first step in a great journey.
You have been in character for a lot of your previous interviews. How important is kayfabe in today's day and age?
Hendry: I don't really know what you mean when you say character, because I am who I am. It really depends on how I am feeling at the time. Let me put it this way- I am just me with the volume turned up. There's no such thing as a character or that K word that you mentioned. That's the thing I love about professional wrestling. I don't need to be fake and false.
I can literally just take my own personality traits and turn up the volume.
What do you think of comedy in professional wrestling? Do you think it undervalues a feud or can it enhance a feud?
Hendry: I think that comedy is just one aspect of professional wrestling. And I think professional wrestling is one of the most amazing art forms that we as human beings have because you can be enraged one moment and you can be comedic the next. So, that's one aspect of what we do.
It's not whether comedy enhances or undervalues anything. It's really dependent on the situation. With the entrance videos, you can have a lot of fun on the way to the ring. But then, when the bell goes, you can really turn up the intensity level. So I enjoy the separation between them.
So finally, Slammiversary was a packed show and people have been saying great things on social media. What did you think of the event?
Hendry: It was one of the best pay-per-views that I've seen in a number of years. It was an amazing show. It really set the tone and the standard for where the company's going to go in the future. Sitting backstage and watching the event unfold, I was thinking not only what do I need to do to get on the show...but what do I need to do to main event Slammiversary next year?
With Bound for Glory approaching, who's your dream opponent for Bound for Glory?
Hendry: Whenever you ask me who I want to face, the answer is always going to be whoever is the World Champion at that time. But obviously, I'm best friends with Grado. So, now I'm thinking maybe those Tag Team Titles are up for grabs.
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