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AEW'S REVOLUTION SURPRISE, CROSSING BORDERS, WORK VISAS & MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2021-03-06 10:00:00

There’s been a lot of speculation about who the next AEW signing is.  If you were Tony Khan, who would you sign?

If it’s me, the first person I want in that position is CM Punk.  In my opinion, he’s the last great “fresh” return that I can think of and one that would truly catch the attention of every wrestling fan.  Everyone else has made some sort of return to the ring, whether it be in WWE or elsewhere, but Punk doing so would surprise people and there is a wealth of talent he could wrestle.  A passionate CM Punk would be the best thing for professional wrestling overall, in my opinion.

I was wondering about the process of getting international talents work visas here in the States.  How does that happen?

If you are doing it legally, the company’s legal side files for a work visa application, arguing that the specific talent is so good at their job that they provide a service beyond that of an average American performer and that allowing them to work in the States will be a positive for the company.  In many cases, they will also provide letters from experts in that field  - sometimes journalists - to help them argue the case.  Then, United States Immigration looks at the petition and makes the decision.  That’s a very simplified version.

Where did Ethan Page go?

Home to Canada.  His Impact deal expired and he has yet to pop up anywhere else yet.

I saw a wrestler named Speedball Bailey said in an interview he’s been banned from the United States until March.  What happened?

He was caught crossing the border from Canada into the United States to perform for EVOLVE and it was determined he was entering the country to work instead of coming in as a visitor so he was banned from entering for several years.  Usually that happens if you have been caught doing so numerous times, but I can't say for sure that's what happened here.  It could be he just ended up with the wrong guard on the wrong day.  Depending on the situation and border guard, crossing from one country into another for pro wrestling can be a pain.  I was once held at the Canadian border for 90 minutes as they tried to decide whether me coming in for the day to cover a WrestleReunion event for the site counted as “working” in Canada because they looked me up and saw what I do for a living.    They did eventually let me in, lucky for me, because had I been sent home, I'd have missed Roddy Piper brawling with Terry Funk.

Have you heard any other horror stories like that?

I remember years ago that Devon "Crowbar" Storm flew all the way to Japan only to find out the promoter didn't have a work visa for him.  Storm told the border patrol he was there to wrestle and since there wasn't a visa for him on file, he was turned around and flown back to the United States.  THAT had to suck.

Where do they film Young Rock?

They filmed it in Australia.

Is there a WWE gimmick you are surprised they never did?

As a kid, I always waited for the disgruntled mailman but it never happened.  As an adult, I can’t think of one I am surprised they never did.

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