Monday, June 6, 2011

Alex Shelley: Fanservice Personified

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Alex Shelley is the man
PWG All-Star Weekend's first night saw Alex Shelley make two Earth-shattering challenges. The first was joining up with his Generation Next brethren, Austin Aries and Roderick Strong, to challenge Generation Me/the Young Bucks and a partner of their choosing at a future PWG event. The second was a challenge to Eddie Edwards after their match to make a date for a tag encounter in the future. He'd bring Chris Sabin, and Edwards would grab Davey Richards for a good, ol'-fashioned hoedown between the Motor City Machine Guns and the American Wolves. Both challenges were met with great jubilation by the Reseda crowd, and why not? The first is a dream reunion with perhaps the most hated faction in all PWG (only heels?) and the second is a bona fide dream match.

That begs the question... is Alex Shelley the ultimate fanservice wrestler right now? If he isn't, he's way up there. No doubt he had a hand in ideating those matches, and despite the fact that the latter one won't happen until Chris Sabin's knee heals up, well, the offer's still out there and 2012 will need some marquee matches to fill out slates. That one fits the bill more than any match I can think of this far out, depending on how the landscapes change in each wrestling company in the main consciousness of fans everywhere. Couple those with his announced teaming with James Storm at the next Impact Wrestling PPV (despite the fact that wasn't his idea), and man, talk about a guy who is the darling of the wrestling world right now.

That label is not undeserved. Shelley, along with his partner Sabin, tirelessly works the indies despite the fact that it probably comes at a great personal cost to him, or at the very least, not at that great a benefit given how the front office is reputed to handle outside bookings. It's why you don't see very many people outside the Bucks and the Guns doing that many indie dates. Yet, Shelley is out there, working for PWG, working for ROH, working for AAW (despite his next booking for the Chicagoland indie being pulled because Impact needs him on the house show circuit due to injuries).

Now, I'm sure he does it in part because of money. As a top indie name and a guy who has made his name in a national company, he probably commands a nice price. Again, without knowing exact numbers on how the former TNA scales their share from his outside booking takes, it's unknown how he benefits. But given that only a handful of other guys in TNA do take outside bookings is telling. And yeah, Amazing Red is working the East Coast feds with his former running buddies (and cousins) the Maximo Bros., which is commendable on his part.

Then again, Shelley's hotness is still new, and with all due respect to the Spanish Announce Team, his announcements excite me more than their teaming (although I will say I gained a new respect for Red at King of Trios). It may be a personal preference, but I still think it's pretty cool that Shelley was able to steal the show on the first night not just through his match (which I heard was excellent), but through promising wrestling fans all over future goods.

Given how much Shelley seems to relish delivering for his fans worldwide, I have full faith he'll keep his word.

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein - Please visit his site to view the plentiful amounts of pictures he's taken for DGUSA, ROH and other indie feds: Get Lost Photography

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