Less than two months ago, Josh Alexander was laid off from his day job working construction in southern Ontario. Now he's headlining one of the biggest professional wrestling shows of the year.
Alexander is in the main event of Impact Wrestling's Bound For Glory on Saturday night against Canadian pro wrestling legend Christian Cage in Las Vegas for the world championship.
Alexander believes that getting laid off was a sign that he was ready to focus on his career as a professional wrestler.
"It was just like the push in the right direction," Alexander said in a phone interview. "Often people say everything happens for a reason. I constantly roll my eyes at most of that stuff but this thing seemed to happen, it was meant to be, at the perfect time."
Alexander began his pro wrestling career in 2005, but he's never been in the main event of a pay-per-view card.
Reaching that pinnacle at Bound For Glory, which will be available on television as well as via YouTube, means he'll have more eyes than ever on him in the squared circle.
"I'm champing at the bit. It's something that I dreamt of my entire career," said Alexander. "It's something that for the last few years, I knew that I've been completely capable of.
"I'm very competent at what I do in that ring. I know that once people see me in that position, I'll show that I belong there."
Facing Cage for a world title is also a dream scenario.
Alexander grew up in Bolton, Ont., admiring wresters like the WWE's Hart Foundation and Impact's Team Canada.
But when he heard Cage was from Orangeville, Ont., just a short drive from his home, Alexander was inspired to start wrestling himself.
Actually getting into the ring with Cage seemed like a long shot for the younger Alexander, especially when Cage retired from the ring in 2016 and made occasional onscreen appearances for another promoter.
Cage came out of retirement, however, and started working for rival promoter All Elite Wrestling in March.
Shortly after that, several promoters — including Impact and All Elite Wrestling — began exchanging onscreen talent and acknowledging each other's shows on television, which is colloquially know as "opening the Forbidden Door."
"Everything had to break right for this to even be a possibility," Alexander said. "Christian could be with another company where the door's firmly shut."
Cage actually won the Impact world championship from another All Elite wrestler — Winnipeg's Kenny Omega — on AEW's Rampage on Aug. 13.
Alexander won Impact's X division title April 25 and subsequently activated Option C, which allows him to drop the title for a shot at Cage's world championship, to set up the Bound For Glory main event.
"You know, Christian could not have defeated Kenny Omega for that Impact world championship. I could also not be in the same position I was at," said Alexander of the circumstances that made this matchup possible.
"It's been a convergence of both of us being on these runs in the past few months and now it's going to converge this Saturday at Bound For Glory."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2021.
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press