I recently spoke with CEO Gaming founder Alex Jebailey, who competed at All Elite Wrestling’s Fyter Fest event in Daytona Beach, Florida. Jebailey, who also organizes the annual CEO (Community Effort Orlando) Gaming convention in Florida, competed against Michael Nakazawa on the ‘Buy In’ portion of the show in a hardcore match. He says he’s finally starting to feel pretty good physically after the match, but wishes he had more time to recover from an Achilles injury and put on a better match this year.
“After the match I feel pretty good. From an honest standpoint, I wish I would have had a little more time to recover from my Achilles heel and train a bit more, but with running events year-round and worldwide it was kinda tough to focus in the middle of a huge convention. I feel like I took bumps well and I felt great working with Michael Nakazawa; he’s a great talent to work with. He’s very, very talented and he did great representing the wrestling world against a guy from the gaming world. The live crowds—I’m a very objective guy, I read everything and I understand how people come from all different sides—but my crowd loved the match, I got a lot of praise over the weekend from staff and attendees that loved watching me in the ring. I feel pretty good. I was a little sore for a couple days but I recovered well and I would love to do another match in the future. I’d practice more and get better at it and show people you can definitely have room to improve after my second match.”
Jebailey added that he wouldn’t necessarily change anything about the match itself, but wants to become a better competitor and fine tune his skills in selling a match.
“Not so much the spots, but there were a few things were we had to take a few minutes off of the match. I would have loved to done [more] with the art of selling. The reason that he did this is I just wanted to show myself and prove to people how hard being a professional wrestler really is—the talent, the practice and the work that really goes into it. Selling is something that I’d really like to work on. When you’re not doing that full-time, it’s just hard to put yourself into that match and think about the actual art of professional wrestling and what makes it so special. I think working on that, trying to remember a match and perform is tough when you have so many things on your mind, so guys like Triple H at WrestleMania, or Kenny Omega who was helping with a lot of matches, and with the Joshis performing in their matches at the level they do, it’s not a talent just anybody can have. It’s definitely a learning process to work to do better.”
Jebailey says there’s a lot to be proud of coming out of the weekend, but in particular he’s glad he got to share the gaming convention side of things with the wrestling community. He says CEO set a new standard with E-Sports presentations thanks to AEW’s involvement, and feels like things have come full circle for CEO since introducing wrestling entrance elements back in 2012:
“I think with the BTE stuff with the Young Bucks, they had them actually walk around the convention and some of the wrestlers going just to see my world and what goes into it. Keith Mitchell, one of the producers, I showed him our production and what we do with ten different stages against the wall featuring some of the best fighting gamers. It was really cool for them preparing for this event to take a moment and check out my world.
A lot of it is similar in terms of the passion that both worlds have between the fans. I’m trying to think of the right word—I’m definitely not upset that more of our side didn’t get shown because AEW was incredible to work with in terms of promoting the convention and Fyter Fest. In relation to last year with New Japan, it was our show, our production, but AEW came in and had an amazing team to work with. They coordinated with our production, because what we did for AEW Fyter Fest, we were able to carry over into Sunday for our finals day, which blew everyone’s minds and set a standard in E-Sports that not many people have seen with production. That weekend was honestly like a dream for me as an organizer to see what I started with in 2012 with the wrestling entrances for players, to come full circle and have this amazing production and to be able to coordinate with Keith and Greg and all of these people behind the scenes to produce what they did for AEW and allowing us to use that same exact setup for Sunday, which again blew everybody’s mind in the E-Sports world.”