It’s been six long years, but Canadian indie superstar “Speedball” Mike Bailey finally returned to U.S. soil for a pro wrestling match, and he did it big time fashion – by picking up the win in his debut for IMPACT Wrestling on the Hard To Kill pay-per-view on Saturday night. It marked his first appearance for IMPACT after he signed with the company back in November of 2021.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 9, 2022
“Speedball” Mike Bailey’s appearance was only announced earlier in the day when he unexpectedly replaced Jake Something in the pre-show’s four-way match that also featured Ace Austin, Chris Bey, and Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide’s Laredo Kid. Something ended up with a singles match preceding the four-way, where he scored the win over Madman Fulton. After a high-flying athletic contest between the four men, it was Bailey that picked up the win.
— NailsAndNY – Egomaniac (@NailsAndNY) January 9, 2022
The match marked the first match for Mike Bailey on U.S. soil since February 28, 2016, when Bailey lost to Matt Riddle at Beyond Wrestling State Of The Art. Bailey’s last win on U.S. soil came two weeks prior, on February 12 at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) Bowie, where he pinned fellow Canadian Evil Uno. Bailey was on a huge momentum swing at the end of 2015 into early 2016, making the finals of the 2015 PWG Battle of Los Angeles (losing to Zack Sabre Jr. in a triple threat that also featured Chris Hero). That April, he bested Jonathan Gresham in the finals to win the Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) Best of the Best 14 tournament and had huge singles matches against the likes of Adam Cole, AR Fox, Chris Hero, Will Ospreay, Tommy End (Malakai Black), Sami Callihan and even Kenny Omega (at PWG All-Star Weekend 11). But in the spring of 2016, he was banned from working in the U.S. for five years following a visa issue, and then, Covid hit.
“Speedball” Mike Bailey has not stayed quiet in the past six years though – he’s continued to be a presence in the Canadian indies, although, despite new IMPACT announcer Tom Hannifan mentioning that Bailey had been restricted to working his native Canada during the exile, Bailey was also competing regularly in Europe and Japan during that entire time, most notably with DDT Pro in Japan, as well as Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw) in Germany and UK promotions like Revolution Pro (RevPro), Fight Club: PRO, ATTACK! Pro Wrestling, and others. He has been a regular competitor for many Canadian indies as well, such as Capital City Championship Combat (C4), International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS), Destiny Wrestling, Alpha-1, and Nation Extreme Wrestling (NEW).
Now that Bailey has kickstarted his return to the U.S. pro wrestling scene with his victory in Dallas, Texas at IMPACT Hard to Kill, it’s only a matter of time before we see “Speedball” flying around the ring in many of the top independent promotions in the U.S.
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