Speedball Mike Bailey talks the art of wrestling, and the legacy of IMPACT’s X Division

By May 24, 2022 News, Wrestling

Speedball Mike Bailey discusses the art of wrestling with Dom Smith, and more…

We chat to Mike Bailey on the eve of his wedding, and he has been very busy: “I’m doing fantastic! I’ve been busy! I flew to Vegas, and I am getting married tomorrow [to Veda Scott], then doing a bunch of shows this weekend. Busy is where I am at my happiest.”

On success, Mike simply says that it means “making a difference in the world”, and he looks at pro-wrestling like a “beautiful art form”: “People can really benefit from the connections made at a wrestling show,” he says. “Learning and participating in professional wrestling, and getting to share that, and to change people’s lives and make people happy, that is success to me. The more visibility I have, the more I can spread my message!”

For Mike, it’s the creation of matches that excites him the most: “There’s a lot of brain work that goes into it, there needs to be a lot of thought. I’ve competed in martial arts tournaments my entire life – there’s a difference to professional wrestling. There is a great deal of thought and creativity, but also self-expression that goes into pro wrestling, and I can show thw world feelings and ideas that I couldn’t through martial arts.”

Bailey continues on to discuss his background in teaching and says that has been very important in his wrestling career. He says a lot of very good pro wrestlers can often do a disservice to themselves, by simply doing what works, without understanding why it works so that they can then pass it on to others in the future: “When you teach, you learn twice,” he reflects. “The amount of care that goes on behind a wrestling match is undervalued.

It has been well documented that before signing with IMPACT, Mike had some Visa issues that meant he couldn’t perform in American for five whole years, the wrestler opens up about how he stayed motivated here: “When your goal is to wrestle in America, and that’s not possible, I have to figure out what I can do to help me get to my goals. If I take those steps, and wrestle in Canada, then Europe and pay attention and care, I know this might not exactly be what I want to be doing right now, I will do the best job that I can and put all my attention into that.”

Coming up, Speedball is taking part in an Ultimate X match at Slammiversary, where he has an opportunity to take the X Division title home: I think that it’s wild, that within six months of my IMPACT debut, I will be competing for the championship, at Slammiversary for the 20 Year Anniversary, which is really the most IMPACT wrestling match I can think of!

Is Mike nervous about competing in such a high stakes match? “There is a lot I can do to prepare for it. I’m watching a lot of Ultimate X matches! It’s a beast. It’s terrifying, but I am doing everything that I can.”

Words and interview: Dom Smith

Watch/listen to the full chat below, where Mike talks about how he has changed as a performer, favourite matches in the UK, and more:

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