Josh Alexander appeared on Busted Open Radio Friday and announced he has a torn tricep, will undergo surgery on Friday, and is vacating the Impact Wrestling World Title.
“The Walking Weapon” had two upcoming title defenses before his injury. KUSHIDA on March 30 at Multiverse United co-promoted show with NJPW and Steve Maclin on April 16 at Rebellion. Now it will be Maclin taking on KUSHIDA for the vacant title at Rebellion.
To say this is a bad beat for Josh Alexander would be an understatement.
Impact Wrestling has put on some stellar shows over the last year, with Josh Alexander in the lead role. His injury ends an 11-month title reign, one of the best in company history.
Alexander also had one of the best years of any wrestler in 2022. Stellar matches with Mike Bailey, Frankie Kazarian, Eddie Edwards, Tomohiro Ishii, Alex Shelley, and others. A variety of wrestling styles allowed Alexander to exhibit his impressive in-ring versatility.
Despite the excellent work Alexander produced, sadly, the most diehard fans of the genre didn’t recognize it. None of his matches were voted among the top 10 matches of the year in the 2022 Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards. Alexander also didn’t garner the votes to appear in the top 10 for ‘Wrestler of the Year’ or “Most Outstanding Wrestling’ awards.
While the most passionate wrestling fans shutting out Josh Alexander might give the impression that he’s not a top-tier talent, appearances can be deceiving.
Impact Wrestling on AXS TV has garnered between 81,000 and 115,000 viewers per episode in 2023. Impact is AXS TV’s highest-rated show, and the channel is available in 50 million households in the United States.
Reportedly, over 1,500 subscribers vote in the Observer awards. Yet, none of them apparently watch Impact Wrestling. Perhaps, the massive amount of content released weekly by WWE, AEW, and NJPW has caused Impact to get lost in the shuffle of the fandom.
It’s a real shame that Josh Alexander’s work, and by extension Impact, hasn’t gotten its due. The Observer represents one facet of the fandom, but Alexander’s absence in the voting represents something else.
More times than not, Impact is a destination for great matches, but their storytelling leaves something to be desired. Their booking is sound, but their stories could not be considered good, bad, or boring. It’s more of a nebulous string of tales with a lack of creative spark.
Now, after a banner year, Josh Alexander’s injury takes him out of the ring for an estimated 6-8 months, with little to show for it outside of his salary. Hopefully, in Alexander’s absence, Impact Wrestling can evolve above and beyond its station. Hence, talents such as Rich Swann, Steve Maclin, Trey Miguel, Chris Bey, Deonna Purrazzo, and others get recognition and cache on par with their major league counterparts.
If this comes to pass, Josh Alexander would have a second chance to make an indelible impression that would thrust him into the conversation among wrestling’s top stars.