“Speedball” Mike Bailey has deserved a contract from a larger his way for quite some time. In 2015, he was one of the most renowned independent wrestlers in the world and was regularly competing for companies like PWG, CZW, Evolve and AAA. Unfortunately in 2016, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Bailey was caught trying to enter the country and was subsequently banned from traveling to the US for five years. While he wasn’t able to work in the States during this period, it did afford him opportunities with international companies like DDT in Japan, and Revolution Pro and PROGRESS out of the UK.
To say that “Speedball” is just a great wrestler would be an understatement, as I feel he was one of the more well-rounded free agent wrestlers on the market. The in-ring ability sticks out the most, but Bailey also sports a great combination of charisma and mic skills that puts him in that special crop of independent talent that came out of the 2013-2016 era of wrestling.
IMPACT was in dire need of a dynamic in-ring performer like Bailey, which is why I think he’ll make an immediate impact in the promotion. Bailey could easily find himself in a main-event program within a matter of months if the promotion plays its cards right. Although there aren’t too many people on the roster that match up to the skill level of Bailey, Scott D’Amore and co made a brilliant decision bringing in the former DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Champion. I’m personally most excited to see him match up with guys like Trey Miguel, Josh Alexander, Black Taurus and Chris Sabin.
I’m doubtful about this signing, though, because IMPACT has misused some of their new talent this year. A prime example would be Zicky Dice, who has been regulated to being in a D-level faction with Brian Myers, taking a huge fall in the hierarchy compared to his time with the NWA.
Another instance of “new” talent being misused would be Minoru Suzuki, who has already been regulated to meaningless six-man tags within a week of appearing on IMPACT programming.
On the flip side, talent like FinJuice, Joe Doering and Steve Maclin have all come into IMPACT in 2021 and have done tremendous things. Needless to say, there have definitely been ups and downs with IMPACT’s talent management this year.
I really feel like “Speedball” Mike Bailey will become a success in IMPACT Wrestling. It’s very hard to screw up a talent of his caliber, and I expect him to shoot to the top of the shows quickly, or possibly even walk through the “Forbidden Door,” eventually.