(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)
On His Early Influences:
My favorite wrestler of all time is ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. I was always a big fan of WWF. I was always a big fan of WCW, but ECW and some of that craziness, some of the Japanese Death Matches that I would get from tape traders and whatnot, the videotapes, the compilations that tape traders would make, and they would sell bootleg version at indie wrestling shows. I’d pick those up and be like, ‘This is mind blowing stuff.’ Explosives. Piranhas. Scorpions. Barbed Wire. All of that nonsense I was like, ‘This is a different level.’ Alligators. Back in Japan in the ‘90s, Death Match Wrestling was really the Wild West. It was really strange stuff. It really caught my eye.
Janela On The Death Match As An Art Form:
I didn’t really get into the Death Match stuff until the last five years. I didn’t do anything with barbed wire, thumbtacks, any glass. I didn’t do anything with any of that until the last five years. I just was trying to get my footing in the business and was taking on different characters. When the opportunity arose for me to do those matches, I said, ‘Why not?’ It’s really what I grew up watching in my teens and I believe it’s an art form event though it gets completely destroyed on the internet by everybody. I believe the psychology of hardcore wrestling is great. I don’t consider myself a Death Match wrestler even though some of my most famous bumps have taken place in Death Matches. I consider myself an artist and I’m definitely going to dabble in any type of style and if you follow my career, I’ve done it all.
Janela Gives Injury Details:
This last summer was the hardest I ever went as a wrestler. In June, I blew out my knee. I was wrestling WALTER at Beyond Wrestling and did a moonsault to the floor and couldn’t walk for a week because my knee was so swollen. I think that had something to do with it and I just kept on going and going and going and a week after that at PWG, I broke my right foot, so when I went to jump with my left and the next week the catch wasn’t that good, and I planted with my left foot and my knee just gave out and that was it. My MCL was completely disintegrated, they said, which was wild. He said it was the worst one he’d ever seen. The PCL, they thought, was also pretty bad, but when they went in microscopically they realized it was still connected by about 12%, which in the PCL world means that it can heal on its own somewhat. It doesn’t always heal on its own. There could be some deformities when it does heal, with my knee sitting certain directions and what not. I decided to hold off on that and let that heal on its own. The MCL is bad enough when you have to get that surgery done, but it was a pretty brutal injury. A few months, four months, I think. I’ll get a better idea about it probably at the beginning of next month. I was way behind schedule on rehab. My knee just wasn’t bending. Now I’m right up to par to where I should be….let’s hope and cross our fingers that everything is looking good. It’s the first injury I suffered besides the thumb. The thumb was only three months. This is a big injury. Injuries really mess with you and this one is a bad one.
Readers may listen to Sean Mooney’s interview with Joey Janela in its entirety below: