Thursday, May 28, 2015

Reference Points: Alex Shelley

Shelley made some heads turn with his mat stuff
Photo Credit: Lee South/
For a lot of people Alex Shelley, no matter what he does or where he goes, will be thought of as a "tag team wrestler". His work as a member of the Motor City Machine Guns with Chris Sabin, and more recently as part of the Time Splitters with KUSHIDA, is proof of this. On the surface, that's not a bad thing. There are many wrestlers throughout the history of the sport who would beg, borrow, or steal anything they could to be thought of as a tag team wrestler.

This, if I'm being honest, might be the fly in the soup of his career. Even during his singles runs when MCMG was broken up due to injury and when he's had the chance to fly on his own without KUSHIDA, he has still largely wrestled in the same style that a babyface jr. tag wrestler might wrestle. In this edition of reference points, we'll talk about why that's so disappointing. And I'll show you why the big Euro mat wrestling revival that's going on now should have him in it.

First, a word on what you just read above. I love wrestling, in all of its forms and types. If I call you a babyface jr. heavyweight, I have certain expectations of what i want to be seeing. And by and large, Alex gives me those. It's just that, from him, I don't want to see the same stuff I saw from guys in the opening matches in TNA. I want to see more.

You see, for most of his pre-Machine Guns career, he was a fluid technician. He was the guy you sent in to do really cool and interesting stuff. Some of that stuff was done by one of the finest pure technicians I've ever seen. His name is Blue Panther. This is maybe his finest pure match.

Above, I mentioned the big Euro mat wrestling revival that guys like Drew Gulak, Biff Busick, and Timothy Thatcher are leading. I am convinced that if Alex Shelley was in the indies now, he'd be doing stuff like this.

In short, I want to see more of the Alex Shelley that he was before TNA and New Japan made him into what he is now.