Hey fans, welcome to the second edition of the Future of Wrestling series. Today we’re going to focus on the Midwest region of the United States. From one of my personal favorite independent promotions Absolute Intense Wrestling comes today’s guest, the AIW Intense Champion himself, Alex Daniels.
Daniels has been wrestling for about two years now, and began training under Johnny Gargano at the AIW wrestling school. AIW is a promotion that regularly books some of the top indy names. In 2016 alone names like Zack Sabre Jr, Matt Cross, Ethan Carter III and Cedric Alexander among others have all appeared. In addition to bringing in big names, AIW is also home to current NXT competitor Johnny Gargano.
After his training, Daniels was put into some scramble and multi-man matches in order to improve his ring awareness, ability to think on the fly and just develop overall skills working in front of a crowd. Regularly working with AIW regulars who, in my opinion, are all underrated such as Louis Lyndon and Davey Vega, Daniels quickly became one of the promotion’s brightest young stars. Since then, he’s not only wrestled (albeit in a losing effort) for the AIW Absolute Championship, but he was able to capture the promotion’s secondary title, the Intense Championship, back in April of 2016 and has successfully defended it ever since.
At just twenty-one years of age, Alex Daniels is proving to have an incredibly bright future in our sport, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.
When did you decide you wanted to become a wrestler?
In highschool, Joshua Singh (fellow AIW training graduate), who was my best friend back then as well, and I decided early on this is what we wanted to do.
How was training with AIW?
Great! It’s pretty awesome and surreal working with and learning from Johnny Gargano and Candice Lerae. Plus with the matches that AIW has put me in with people like Samoa Joe, Matt Cross, DJ Z, Chris Sabin, The Young Bucks, etc; It’s worth every penny.
What was it like wrestling for the AIW Absolute Championship against Rickey Shane Page?
Wrestling for that title against Rickey to me was crazy because AIW was one of the first independent companies I ever discovered, and Rickey was on the first AIW show I saw live. AIW was always the goal when I started training, and being in that position, wrestling for that championship, was a huge goal accomplished.
How did it feel when you won the AIW Intense Championship?
Knowing people like Johnny Gargano and Tyler Black (Seth Rollins) held that title, and now that I held it was truly something special. Not something I can easily forget.
Aside from AIW, you’ve recently worked for promotions like AAW and Alpha-1 this year. How was working for new promotions and traveling as far as Canada just two years or so into your career?
Traveling is great and I’m very grateful to those companies for giving me a chance to work for them. Even though It’s only been 2 years I always feel like I can work harder and be in more places.
You’ve only been wrestling for a short time, but in that time you’ve tagged alongside Johnny Gargano and the Young Bucks and against guys like Samoa Joe and Chris Sabin. What’s it like working with such experienced wrestlers so soon in your career? What did those encounters teach you?
After seeing them all on TV and PPV in the past….very intimidating haha but also very surreal and cool. After being in the ring with these people it taught me not to be intimidated and that we’re all in the same boat here. There’s many other little things but it’d take forever to list out.
If you had the choice to work with anyone in wrestling today, who would it be and why?
AJ Styles for sure. He’s been a number one guy for a long time and I love his work. I feel like our move-sets and styles would mesh well to put on an amazing match.
How about all time?
Edge for sure, he’s my favorite of all time so being in a ring with him would be SUPER surreal and awesome.
What makes Alex Daniels, in your opinion, stand out from the other young wrestlers today?
In my opinion, I feel as if I have a unique moveset and character. A mix of highflying, striking, and power. A lot of my facial expressions and mannerisms are inspired by The Shining and American Psycho and other little things. All of that mixed together is Alex Daniels and I’m still discovering who I am.
What’s next for you in wrestling, and what is your ultimate goal?
In this business, you never know what’s next. I try to take it day by day and live in the now. I have many goals and places I’d love to be and people I’d love to work with, but the #1 goal of all is WWE.
Alex Daniels Showcase Video:
It was great being able to talk to Alex about his short time in the business, and I highly encourage everyone to check out Absolute Intense Wrestling, and support all independent promotions as much as you can. Check out Alex Daniels on Twitter and Instagram @AlexDanielsAGD! Thanks for joining me on this edition of Future of Wrestling. As always, if you think there’s someone who should be spotlighted, let me know on Twitter @Palmer2189!