Chris Bey didn’t “almost” go to AEW in February, because he’d already been under contract with IMPACT Wrestling for a few months before the announcement.
Denise Salcedo recently talked to IMPACT Wrestling’s Bey, who spoke about the social media attention he received after Cody Rhodes namedropped him on a recent AEW Dynamite media call. The talented wrestler confirmed Wrestlezone’s exclusive report that he signed his IMPACT deal in 2019, months before it was announced, and also talked about the working conditions at IMPACT during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bey got a lot of attention in February after Cody referenced him during an All Elite Wrestling media call about someone he’d had his eye on. Cody’s answer was in response to a question about AEW pursuing more people of color in 2020, and he noted Bey as someone he’d been watching YouTube footage of. Cody was clear in the fact that he had not talked to Bey in an official capacity, but saw him as a “prime example of a guy that could be potentially good for our singles division.” Later that night, IMPACT announced they had signed Bey to a deal, leading to speculation that AEW somehow “lost out” and waited too long on signing Bey.
On signing with IMPACT and talking to Cody Rhodes:
I was just messing around when I did the thing with Cody, I tweeted him out the old picture I took with him the summer before. And then he responds to it, and it’s like ‘Okay, this is wild’ … I would also be lying if I said that wasn’t the plan, anything that I put out there into the universe that’s the plan.
When I put the picture up with him, I expected him to see it, I didn’t expect a response and I didn’t expect the things that came after that. I didn’t expect for him later that night to follow me on Twitter, and then every now and then to go back and forth with me on Twitter. But while all that was happening, to the public eye, they were all seeing me talk with Cody, I never talked with anybody at AEW. While all that was happening on Twitter, me and IMPACT were having the conversations, they were talking about how they were gonna bring me on.
I remember that morning, I’d sign that deal with IMPACT, if I am being honest, I had signed it two months before this. So two months before the announcement, I was already signed. So the whole time while they had the sign Chris Bey hashtag and stuff, I was already signed. I was just riding the wave. I remember waking up and seeing people tweet that Cody was talking about me, I remember checking my phone and I had seen a lot posts about it cause it had happened maybe thirty minutes before I woke up … shortly after I see it, I find the clip and I listen to it and I remember thinking ‘maybe if this conversation would have happened,’ and then [Cody] DM’d me and asks me to text him, so I shot him a text message and he asks me if I had signed anywhere and I told him I did, and he just congratulated me and told me we’d see each other down the line.
Right after that and maybe a couple hours later the news dropped … So the internet took it and spun their narrative on it about me signing with IMPACT right under AEW’s nose and all sort of stuff. But the reality was IMPACT talked to me first, they gave me all the opportunities throughout the last year and a half and I have to bring my story full circle.
On the recent IMPACT taping:
I thought we did a really good job with making sure that we exercised everything that’s being recommended with practicing social distancing, to the best of our abilities with the situation we had at hand. I think as talent we were all being taken care of, and we were all accommodated for. I think our sanitation as far as our location went was very well kept, we had people in between each match that were dedicated to cleaning down everything and making sure everything was sanitized.
We gave everything a proper time to rest and we didn’t have too many people in the building at too many times, we had everything set up to where there were these hours of blocks where x amount of people were gonna come in and then another hour block where x amount of people were gonna come in … So I think they did a really good job protecting us and making sure we were able to do what we love to do, provide a quality show for people that I think people are enjoying … none of us felt uncomfortable and if we did feel uncomfortable about it arrangements were made. Everyone came out of it happy, and I think that will show in our programming … I am just grateful for that.