Alex Jebailey On The Competitive Spirit In Wrestling And Gaming, Potential Interest For Future AEW C

PhotoCredit:ThomasTischio/AEW

IrecentlyspokewithCEOGamingfounderAlexJebailey,whocompetedatAllEliteWrestling’sFyterFesteventinDaytonaBeach,Florida.Jebailey,whoalsoorganizestheannualCEO(CommunityEffortOrlando)GamingconventioninFlorida,competedagainstMichaelNakazawaonthe‘BuyIn’portionoftheshowinahardcorematch.Hespokeaboutwhygamingandwrestlingmeshessowell,sayingit’saboutfindingoutwhoisthebestineachfield,andalsopraisedKennyOmega’sabilitiesasaverygoodvideogameplayer.

“It’sacompetitivespiritthingwhenyouseetwowrestlersperform.It’saboutfindingoutwho’sthebettermanandthesamethingholdstrueinthevideogameworld,especiallywithCEO’sfocusonfightinggames.There’smanygenreslikeshootersandMOBG’s[MassivelyOnlineBattleGames],andthefactthatinfightinggames—MortalKombat,StreetFighter,SuperSmashBrothers—it’soneversusone.Somegameswillhaveateamaspecttoit,buthavingtwopeopletryingtofindoutwhothebestisatthatparticularmatchorgameiswhyitcarriesover.

InhangingoutwithKenny,hehassuchacompetitivespiritintermsof,notsomuchthatyouhavetowineverything,butyoucontinuetolearnandevolve.Withmywrestlinginmysecondmatchandlearningsomuch,we’regoingovermatchstuffbehindthescenesandsomeoftheproducerswerelike‘thisisonlyyoursecondmatch?Howmuchringpracticeisthat?’andI’mthinkingmaybeonly20-30hoursoverthelasttwoyears,andit’slikeyouretainalot.Ithinkanyonethat’spassionateinwhattheydoitcarriesover,andthenwithKenny,hecameoutasafriendtoenjoytheeventasaguestandreallygottominglewiththefightinggamecommunity—backthenhehadagruelingscheduleinJapanandtohavethattimeoff—hegottohavefunonourstreamsplaying,andhe’sgenuinelyagoodvideogameplayer.Idon’tblowsmokeupanyone’sass—he’salwayslearningandimprovingandheunderstandsthefundamentals.Withmyconvention,itwasneveraboutbringingincelebritieslike‘here’sabigname,cometoCEO‘anditwillattractpeople;KennywasagenuinehumanbeingthatlovedfightinggamesandafterusplayingandpracticingtogetherIknewthatifhewasn’taprofessionalwrestler,he’dprobablybedabblingintournamentplayforfightinggames.Obviouslyitworkedoutforhimandhistrackrecordinthewrestlingworld,sothatcompetitionprovestruebetweenbothworlds.Theproductionvaluethatweliketohaveandthepersonalitiesoftheplayersshowsthrough,whetherit’stheirperformanceinamatchortheresultsingeneral—it’sjustlikewrestlingwheretheyareoneandthesame.”

Jebaileysaysthe‘FyterFest’themewasasuccessfromamarketingstandpoint(asaparodyofFyreFest),buthe’dbeopentotalkingtoAEW’sTonyKhanaboutrunningafutureevent.Hesaysitultimatelycomesdowntoscheduling,butknowsthere’samarketforalargerscaleeventlikethisinFloridaagain.Jebaileyalsosaidthatnotonlydoesitprovideagreatoutletforawrestlingevent,buthe’sseenfirst-handhowwrestlingcancapturetheinterestofthegamingcommunitybyhavingthiskindofcrossoverevent.

“ThemarketforwrestlingshowsinFloridahasnotreallybeenthatgoodsincethe‘90sinthe‘BashAtTheBeach’days.RoyalRumblehadbeeninOrlandoafewyearsagoandIwenttothatwhenAJStylesdebuted,anditwassoldout.Thesmallershows,sincethere’ssomanyconsistentNXTshows,it’sreallytoughtodrawthose2,000-3,000personcrowds.Wewentfromabout2,300to4,800seatsatFyterFestsointermsofanattendeeaspectitwasahugesuccessandIwouldlovetodoitagain.Nowthatwe’veworkedtogetherandunderstandbothsidesofit,Ithinkitwouldbesomucheasieronthebackendofittoputitalltogether,itjustcomesdowntoschedule.

Definitelywhensomething’sgreatandyouwanttoimproveonit,andsomethingyouwanttojustkeepdoing—thecrossoverworked.Attheendoftheday,whenmeandKennysitdownandreadsocialmedia,whenweseepeoplego‘thatwasmyfirstlivewrestlingshow,I’mgoingtosubscribe’orwatchmore,andI’vehaddeveloperslikefromNintendolastyearattheNewJapaneventactuallysubscribetoNewJapanWorld.ObviouslywithAEWbeinganewproduct,gaininginterestandtheyhavetofleshouttheirstorylinesastheymovetowardsTV,butitwasasuccessintermsofawrestlingfancameandsawthegamingsideandsaid‘wow,Ihaverespectforthecompetitivegamingside’andviceversafromgamingtowrestling.

Thenumberswerethere;theviewershiponlineIheardwasgreat,soit’sdefinitelysomethingIwanttodoagainsoitcomesdowntothetimingandthescheduling.Ithinkit’ssomethingwe’llpulloffagaininthefuture.”

Checkoutthefullinterviewbelow:

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