Kazarian signed with AEW in 2019, and he is one-half of the inaugural AEW World Tag Team Champions alongside Scorpio Sky. Though he was a featured member of the roster early on, his time on television gradually faded, and he rarely appeared on Dynamite or Rampage in the last few months of 2022. With his contract coming up, he decided that he wanted to start a new chapter of his career, so he and AEW agreed to part ways. Kazarian, who had wrestled part-time for IMPACT throughout the year, appeared at IMPACT Hard To Kill on January 13 and announced that he had signed with the company.
Speaking on IMPACT Press Pass with Tom Hannifan, Kazarian discussed the end of his time with AEW. He made it clear that he decided that he didn’t want to roll over his contract with AEW because he didn’t want to sit on the sidelines. Instead, he wanted to go all in, best on himself, and explore opportunities elsewhere. Kazarian then stated that he was a free agent as of December 31, and he wanted to go to IMPACT.
“My contract was coming up to get rolled over, I still had two years left on my existing AEW contract,” Kazarian said. “A call was made to me in early December to discuss rolling me over, and the office had said that they wanted to roll me over. This was my opportunity to say, ‘That’s not really something I’m looking at right now. I have other goals and other aspirations and other things I’d like to do.’ So we had a conversation on the phone and then met in person at a live Dynamite taping towards the end of last year. I basically kind of voiced my concerns, my aspirations, my frustrations.
“We had very long talks and said this is, kind of like what I said on IMPACT, I want to bet on myself. I’m not a guy that’s wired to sit on the sidelines, I’m not a guy that can only be half-in. I wanna be all in. I want to doing this at the highest level and as long as I possibly can. The time, this is my window, and I said, ‘If the trajectory that I’m going on now is gonna continue, I would like to go elsewhere.’ They said they want to do right by me, which I appreciate. So as of December 31, I was let out of my contract, and I was free to go wherever I wanted to go, and that just happened to be IMPACT Wrestling.”
When asked whether his stretch working for IMPACT from Bound For Glory through Over Drive influenced his decision, Kazarian described how IMPACT gave him the opportunity to prove that he can still go against the best wrestlers in the business. He also emphasized that he “fell in love” with the IMPACT locker room, and he feels like his time is valued by Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore and everyone in the company.
“IMPACT gave me the opportunity to prove that I can still go against the best in the game. When you’re talking about guys like Mike Bailey and you’re talking about guys like Josh Alexander, those are the best in the game. All I ever wanted my entire career was an opportunity to be in there with the guys that are the best because I consider myself one of the best. So having that opportunity, being around this version of the IMPACT locker room, which I fell in love with immediately, it was just the energy and the passion and the positivity that the locker room has, all of it kind of just really got me thinking that if there’s an opportunity to be here, not as a guy coming in as a visitor, but as a full-time guy, I would really like to perhaps try that.
“Obviously when you have a match the caliber of the one I did with Mike or Josh, it does a lot for your confidence. It proved that I can still go. Like I’ve said, the thing I can offer to anybody that’s most valuable is my time. Who I give my time to, I want them to value it. I feel that it is valued here with Scott D’Amore and with everybody in IMPACT Wrestling. That was a huge determining factor in me making this decision.”
Kazarian previously worked for TNA/IMPACT Wrestling earlier in his career; he won the X-Division Championship four times, and he also captured the tag tam titles three times. Kazarian defeated Mike Bailey at IMPACT Bound For Glory 2022 to regain the X-Division Championship, but he cashed in Option C to get a world title shot at Over Drive. There, he unsuccessfully challenged Josh Alexander for the world title.
The post Frankie Kazarian Says He ‘Fell In Love’ With IMPACT’s Locker Room, Feels Valued By The Company appeared first on Wrestlezone.