After 15 years of wrestling all over the world, Michael Elgin finally landed with Impact Wrestling earlier this year. Someone of Elgin's caliber likely had many promotions to choose from and Elgin spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast about any other offers he was entertaining.
"The only other offer I was entertaining was a New Japan offer," said Elgin who wrestled for New Japan from 2015-19. "I read over it but I don't think I was willing to stay. I knew I was leaving. Not to go into names, but there were a few other offers I was looking at and because I was looking at them, I went back and watched ppvs, TVs, internet shows. I wanted to see where everything was going with those companies.
"Impact really stood out to me because the focal point is wrestling. All my life I wanted to be a pro wrestler. Nothing against sports entertainment, but I wanted to be a pro wrestler. Impact's product focuses on pro wrestling and they focus on the championships being meaningful. To me, that's pro wrestling."
Elgin added that he has always talked to Don Callis and Scott D'Amore as friends and as soon as he was free from NJPW he made the call to them while also making sure he didn't trample on his existing New Japan deal.
Elgin is the latest of many wrestlers to go from New Japan to Impact and he compared the creative and managerial teams between the two promotions.
"The only real difference is that there is not a strong language barrier," Elgin said of Impact Wrestling. "It was pretty open with New Japan to talk, but I don't think they listened through the language barrier. They heard you but didn't always take the ideas into play. That's a big difference as to why I'm so happy at Impact.
"I feel with Impact it's a real team effort, not that it wasn't in New Japan, but it's just a different team atmosphere. Everybody's a leader and everybody's capable of giving input."
Shortly after Elgin left New Japan, Jon Moxley joined the company and won the IWGP United States Title. Elgin was asked if he was surprised to see Moxley win the belt so soon after arriving.
"No, not at all…New Japan has always been very like, 'Oh, here are our new toys. Let's play with them!' So, once I heard Jon Moxley was going, I knew what was gonna happen. So, it wasn't really a shock to wake up to that news," stated Elgin.
Elgin is really looking forward to making his mark in Impact with their TV tapings in New York this weekend. He talked about what fans can expect with Elgin in town.
"I'm going out there to have the best matches possible. I don't know who I'm wrestling, but I'm going out there with a chip on my shoulder and want to have the best matches of the weekend," said Elgin. "I know that everybody on our roster is hungry and wants to have the best matches. They know I'm coming in to have the best matches so they are gonna up their game too."
Elgin said he left New Japan because he wanted more opportunity in singles matches, and now that he's with Impact he is also getting a chance to talk more than he did ever before.
"For so many years my focal point was what can I do in the ring? How can I get people to talk about what I'm doing in the ring? Now I'm getting the opportunity to have more big-time singles matches and in the short time I've been with Impact, I've feuded with Johnny Impact and Pentagon, had a singles match with Rich Swann and teamed with Johnny Impact," stated Elgin.
With so many promotions now out there, you need to stand out to capture the attention of fans. That is what Elgin is seeking to do in Impact starting with this weekend.
"I wanna make sure that Impact is at the forefront and I also wanna make sure that if you're talking about a Cody Rhodes vs. Dustin Rhodes, well you're talking about Michael Elgin vs. Rich Swann as well," said Elgin.
Michael Elgin will face Brian Cage for the Impact Wrestling Championship on Sunday July 7th at Impact's Slammiversary XVII, Michael Elgin. He will also be a part of Impact's NY TV tapings this weekend at the Melrose Ballroom. Tickets for the tapings can be purchased here: https://bit.ly/31guX7R.
Wrestling Inc's full interview with Elgin will air next week on one of our WINCLY podcast episodes. You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.