Exclusive: Joe Hendry Opens Up About His TNA Run, His Theme Song, LA Knight, His Future, More

(Photo Credit: TNA)

In an exclusive interview with PWMania.com’s Scott Mitchell (@Scott44Mitchell), Joe Hendry (@JoeHendry) sits down to talk about his hit song “I Believe in Joe Hendry,” wanting to work with LA Knight, his TNA run so far, winning TNA gold, and so much more.

You can check out the complete interview below:

What does it mean to you to see how well your “I Believe in Joe Hendry” song is doing on all the charts?

“I still can’t get my head about it, to be honest. The fact that it was #1 on iTunes in the UK, Malta, #2 in Ireland, #6 in the United States, #4 overall for downloads, #6 overall for sales, and #4 on the biggest official chart in the UK. All jokes aside, we did finish above Taylor Swift. Which the week after she brought an album out, is insanity. To me, it shows the power of the professional wrestling fanbase. I’m sitting here very pleased and humbled by the support of the professional wrestling fanbases. Unbelievable.”

When did you decide you wanted to combine music (fun, parody entrance songs) with professional wrestling?

“So, it started when I went to see ICW live. It was just like ECW; it was very extreme. I always found that to be successful when you’re going into a new territory, in any endeavor in life, you have to see what the norm is and run in the opposite direction. Everyone else was being extreme, so I thought to myself what is the opposite of being extreme? So, I thought it would be this sort of pop-star character. That’s how it started. Then, it moved into parodies when I got into the song “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. I thought to myself that would be a great entrance, and then I thought I could do “Joe Hendry in The Air Tonight.” It started there, then it moved on to “Hendry Ball.” That was a funny one. The way the size of the venue was meant we couldn’t get the inflatable ball backstage after the doors opened. So, the ball couldn’t be inflated backstage. It had to be inflated on the ramp and brought up the ramp. It had to sit in guerilla until it was time for the match. So, that meant once it was inflated it couldn’t be re-inflated. It was losing air, and so I put it on and if you watch it back, it’s quite deflated. When I practiced it one more time before the doors opened, I smashed my head on the ground because it wasn’t blown up enough. Thankfully, when we did it live, I did the roll and I landed on the ramp. It was one of those things where I very nearly didn’t do the roll. I was just going to walk out, but I remember a colleague telling me I had to do the roll. Even if I rolled down to the end of the ramp and failed it was still going to be funny. That was when I committed 100% to these entrances began. Win, lose, or draw, it just requires full commitment.”

You first debuted in IMPACT Wrestling back in 2018. At the time, you had a fun story with Eli Drake, now LA Knight in WWE. But what was it like to work with him and your first run in IMPACT?

“So, the thing is people didn’t know that I didn’t have a Visa. I could not work in the United States, I was only allowed to do shows in Canada and Mexico. So, people think that it was a failed first run because I was only there three or four times, it was the only show in Canada and Mexico. I literally couldn’t continue my run because I didn’t have the Visa to do so. Me and LA Knight worked together three times, in a small program. I think we had the potential to do something special with that. I think he’s phenomenally talented. He doesn’t always get to verbally spar with someone who can give it back. I don’t think he was used to that. When someone gets under your skin a little bit and blurs the lines, it brings out the absolute best in you. So, as you saw Jordynne Grace at the Royal Rumble, nothing is off the table now. There’s a lot of money to be made in me versus LA Knight. I think the fans would want to see that too.”

What was it like incorporating Grado into that feud and teaming up with him?

“So much fun. Grado and I teamed together in the UK as well. I came out wearing his singlet, and he came out wearing my shorts to my entrance. It was a lot of fun. Grado is one of the most naturally funny people I’ve ever met in my entire life. Everyone loves Grado. I’m smiling just thinking about it, he’s so much fun to be around. I’d welcome any opportunity for him to come back to TNA.”

You made your return to TNA, signing with TNA in 2022 right before Bound For Glory. What was it like making your return and officially signing with the company?

“I remember speaking with a member of management about re-appearing at Bound For Glory. I believe I was the second entrant in the “Call Your Shot” gauntlet. Management told me they thought people would be pretty excited that I was here. I told them look, I was at WrestleCon earlier this week, and nobody recognized me. I told them I appreciated that they thought that, but I thought we were going to be starting from scratch here. Then when I walked out, there were signs for me, and I was blown away, and then winning the Digital Media Championship on my second weekend there was just madness.”

What was it like to work with Brian Myers and win your first championship in TNA, the Digital Media Championship?

“So, I’ve always said this. When you look at what I’m doing right now and the success I’m having, it takes an army of people to get you there. It takes an army of people to help you develop anything you need to. I don’t want to leave anyone out. But the guys I worked with the most since I came back, is The System. Those guys have been instrumental to my success as a professional wrestler, specifically Brian Myers. I’ve probably wrestled Brian Myers more than anyone else in the company. The guy is world-class. That’s who they all are, just world-class. Even by just being in the ring with them, you can’t help but get better. Genuinely, I felt like my life was a simulation when I won it. I couldn’t believe it. From where I was six months earlier, I had to make the difficult decision of sinking all the money I had saved up into getting my Visa to take the chance to come over here and TRY to get a deal. That was the biggest gamble financially and in terms of energy that I can recall taking. It paid off in spades. But, I look back to that time and see how tough it was, but it was never a question. I had friends tell me not to do it and I’m crazy, but it paid off. I’m glad I showed enough belief in myself to double down and do it.”

What’s it like to work with First Class (Rich Swann & AJ Francis) right now?

“I’ve now realized with experience, that before you get creative freedom in what you do, you have to build equity with the fans and management. It’s about consistency. When they book a Joe Hendry, they know exactly what they’re going to get. I had to display consistency when it came to entertainment over a long period. I think that’s why I was ready to have this feud with AJ Francis and Rich Swann. I realized it was not easy coming up with all of those videos. It was a lot of work between filming, editing, and things like that. It’s a grind, but it was worth every second. Rich is a former World Champion and another world-class wrestler. AJ, he’s super underrated. He understands TV wrestling more than the fans will give him credit for, but that doesn’t take away that he fell over and I need to make fun of him for it, you know? He’s talented in what he does, and having him to bounce off of on TV, this was never meant to be a long-term thing, but it just gained traction, so we just kept going.”

What does it mean to you to have AJ Francis in TNA?

“I think the thing I love about TNA is that they’re able to look at talent and say, where is this person skilled in, and let’s leave it at that. I feel like they’ve done that with me very well. If you look beyond that they’ve done that with everyone on the roster. I think that’s why our television show is so good. TNA is just like a chess board, you have to know which piece to utilize where. TNA is an awesome place to re-invent yourself and express yourself, and I feel like I’m a homegrown TNA talent. I feel like I’ve never been more over than I am right now. It’s been such an awesome opportunity to represent TNA and to be trusted with the TV time I’ve been given. That whole concert segment, other than First Class’s reactions, was just me with a guitar. That’s a tough segment to pull off. But, I’m really glad management had the faith in me to do that. It got over the way it got over, because of who the feud was with as well. The feud was with First Class, and it takes two to tango.”

How important is it to you to be wrestling under the TNA brand, as opposed to IMPACT?

“In terms of the legacy, as a fan, I can recall watching TNA in 2003. I recall being 15 years old on holiday in the pool imagining what it would be like winning a title in TNA. Then I won a title in TNA, it’s just madness. To say I work for TNA wrestling is pretty cool. It’s a brand that people know, and are a fan of, and it has equity, so it was very exciting to go back. Honestly, I feel like ever since we went back we’re on a hot streak.”

What’s next for you? Any future goals, opponents, or songs you want to continue to make?

“So, here’s the thing. I’ve learned that when you let go of the big goals in favor of just trying to be as good as you can be, with whatever you’re given next, the big goals come anyway. I don’t know what’s next for me. I feel like I’ve earned an opportunity to step up. But we shall see. We have the huge champions vs. challengers match that’s coming up on TV, and I’m fortunate enough to be in that. That’s going to be an opportunity for me to show that I’m a main eventer and someone who can draw money for this company. That’s my goal. I want to be someone who this company can count on, can draw money, and draw people to be the building. That’s my goal and that’s what we’re trying to do here.”