‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey is one of the biggest names in TNA right now and many expected him to join WWE in the past. It turns out he had technically joined WWE but they ended up stopping his NXT hiring process.

Back in October 2021, “Speedball” Mike Bailey officially joined TNA Wrestling, transitioning to full-time with the promotion in January 2022. Bailey’s journey to this point had been marked by challenges, including a five-year ban from working in the US after an arrest for attempting to enter the country without a visa.

Reflecting on his return to work in the US and his agreement to join NXT, Bailey shared his experience in a conversation with Chris Jericho on Talk Is Jericho. Bailey then revealed how he was originally signed with NXT, but didn’t actually get hired before WWE put an end to his hiring process due to new guidelines.

“January 2022 is when I debuted with TNA, with IMPACT then. But it was a long road, even then. When my ban came up, the day I tweeted a little highlight video that made, a little announcement that my ban was ended, and then that got a lot of attention, and that got me talking to everyone. That got me signed with NXT for a couple months until they let me go without actually hiring me. After that video came out, I had already been talking with TNA, talked to some people from AEW, talked to NXT, got a bunch of offers and ended up taking the NXT one. Very excited to be there, they do the background check, they go the visa paperwork. That takes a couple months.


Just a couple days after I submit the visa paperwork, for this one, you have to go and do a whole career retrospective and all the articles with all your accolades, you have to gather that and send it in. So I worked on that for several weeks, sent it all. Then I see they’re starting to release a lot of people in NXT. They’re letting go of people, and the person that had hired me, there was rumors that they had gotten released, so I texted them, like, ‘Hey, is everything okay? Are we good?’ They’re like, ‘Oh yeah, no problem. Contract’s in the mail, we’re sending it tomorrow.’ Then, the next day, I got an email saying, ‘Hey, due to new hiring guidelines, we’re gonna have to stop your hiring process.”

Bailey confirmed it was Canyon Ceman who he was talking to during the process and detailed just how stressful the entire situation was for him. Bailey wished WWE at least had him fly down to Orlando so he could have something to show for it.

“I was not like, ‘Whatever.’ I was freaking out. I was pretty panicked. This is a big deal for someone like me, I had made some very serious steps to plan my move to Orlando, uproot my whole life, and then here we are again. So it’s like, ‘Well, let’s see what we can do to fix this.’ So I got back in touch with everyone that I had spoken to, and I ended up signing with TNA, with IMPACT. [WWE] made the decision not even two months ago. You haven’t even brought me in yet. The only thing I wished is that they had at least gave me the visa and flew me down so I would at least have something to show for it, but not even, just me sitting at home.”

Mike Bailey is currently thriving in TNA Wrestling while also working in other independent promotions all over the world, so it’s safe to say he is happy with his decision to sign with TNA at the moment. With TNA’s current partnership with WWE, perhaps fans might get to see him on NXT television eventually.

Do you feel WWE did Mike Bailey dirty by stopping his NXT hiring process? Sound off in the comments section below!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet, a professional wrestling fan for over 20+ years, found his passion during the Monday Night Wars. With expertise honed over decades and a broad spectrum of interests including TV, movies, anime, novels, and music, he offers insightful analysis and coverage. Respected in the industry, Subhojeet keeps fans informed and engaged with his knowledge and perspective.

Disqus Comments Loading...