Chris Bey has gone from a name to watch to one of Impact wrestling’s most well-known faces. Bey, like many others fans and wrestlers alike, has been a wrestling fan since a young age. Bey is a bit different though as he feels like one of the first new generation of fans turned professional wrestler. Having grown up on Randy Orton, Edge, and the later part of Eddie Guerrero’s career, his outlook on professional wrestling likely differs from those prior who came up on Hogan, Savage, and Piper.
Bey grew up a fan at a time when social media and YouTube especially were just starting to take off. He is a modern diehard fan of professional wrestling in every way. While many wrestlers have grown up fans, there are only a handful who have a large part of their fandom documented online by way of YouTube videos. For someone like Bey, he’s in a unique position to tell a relatable story that has never been told, from holding replica championships on YouTube unboxing videos to becoming a champion in real promotions.
It was the influence of his family, especially his father, that opened up Chris’ interest in the world of professional wrestling. From the age of three, he immediately became a fan of larger than life characters like Triple H, Edge, Randy Orton, and Eddie Guerrero. Eddie became one of Bey’s favorite superstars to watch and support. It was actually Eddie’s championship victory over Brock Lesnar that solidified his desire to become a wrestler. Watching a superstar like Eddie that he could relate to and connect with become world champion was pivotal in inspiring him. He was a big influence on Bey. During one summer growing up, Chris watched Eddie Guerrero’s Cheating Life, Stealing Death DVD every day because his family didn’t have cable.
While he discovered his desires at a young age, he was unable to pursue them until much later. This did not prevent him from becoming a pro wrestling super fan. Bey would acquire quite the collection of replica championship belts over the years. His collection began with action figures, but as he grew up, he focused more on DVDs and championship collecting. Bey’s collecting allowed him the opportunity to connect with like-minded wrestling fans. Growing up in West Virginia, the number of wrestling fans in his area was limited, so he used the internet as a gateway to networking and speaking to fans with similar interests.
Bey created his own YouTube channel, giving reviews of championship belts and posting other wrestling-related content. He would connect with other fans over the internet which also allowed him to discover a number of new promotions. Bey became a fan of promotions like Ring of Honor and Impact wrestling early on. He ordered an Impact World Championship replica belt and rushed home after an after-school activity to open the package.
Bey also utilized his YouTube channel for skateboarding videos and to post his music. While his primary passion was wrestling, he found other ways to entertain his passion for risk, excitement, and entertainment. He was a musician for nearly as long as he’s been watching professional wrestling. He wrote his first raps at a young age and even recorded his first mixtape at age six. Bey continued to record music and focus on this hobby throughout school, releasing a number of mixtapes during his high school years.
When he wasn’t watching wrestling, Bey and his friends watched shows like MTV Scarred and Rob & Big. These shows influenced him to eventually pick up skateboarding. A friend of his would get a skateboard from his parents and he’d share it with Bey. The two spent months sharing the skateboard, taking turns to learn new tricks. Bey got a board of his own and would start taking his skating very seriously. He utilized his YouTube channel with a friend for the intention of promoting their skateboarding.
Eventually, around the age of sixteen, Bey stepped away from skateboarding. While he was quite good, it was still a very dangerous sport to participate in. The tricks he would attempt became more and more dangerous and the chance of major injury became more significant. Rather than risk potential injury that would stop him from ever wrestling, he opted to step away.
Bey also began to take his training regimen more seriously around this time. While still a student in high school he found ways to work out and grow a more muscular figure. He recognized his height might be a disadvantage for him so he began to workout to even the playing field. He took his training seriously and was planning to enter training directly after high school.
Bey had considered attending college, but recognized he’d just be doing himself a disservice if he didn’t have a passion for it. Instead, he took some time for himself and continued to train in the meantime. While working as a server, Bey got to know a regular who he came to learn was a fan of wrestling. This regular often discussed wrestling with Bey and on one occasion, even called his close friend Glenn Jacobs (aka Kane aka the Mayor of Tennessee) to ask him to speak to Bey and lend him advice. Kane told Bey to take the time to respect and listen to everyone, but only apply what he feels necessary. This would prove to be great advice for him as he got into wrestling.
Following the passing of his father, he felt compelled to pursue his dreams. Bey and his father had a deep connection through wrestling over the years. His father did everything he could to take him to the shows and support his passion for wrestling. After the funeral, he watched WrestleMania at a friend’s house and saw Zack Ryder win the United States Championship and share a moment with his father. This was bittersweet for Bey who had just lost his father, but it inspired him to work hard to make his father proud.
Shortly before his father’s passing, Bey traveled to Las Vegas to vacation with a friend for his 20th birthday. While there, Bey would enjoy himself and find a lot to like about the city. He also had one of his final phone calls with his father there. These things inspired Bey to move to Vegas and begin training for wrestling. He had researched and found out about Future Stars of Wrestling, which was based in Vegas. When talking to the owner, Joe DeFalco, he found that this school made the most sense for him and committed to moving to Vegas in the coming months to begin training.
Bey also told his mom and initially she seemed not to believe he’d actually make the decision to move. Once Bey purchased a one way plane ticket to Las Vegas, she realized he was serious about his aspirations. Bey moved to Vegas and went into tunnel vision while pursuing his goals. He pawned items such as his guitars to fund his living and training expenses. Bey started training at FSW on August 15th. He spent a majority of his time training, working out, or sleeping, following a consistent pattern to prioritize his goals. Early on, Bey got to experience an opportunity with Ring of Honor.
Ring of Honor would tape shows in Las Vegas and partner with FSW for a venue and extra talent. ROH was holding a set of tapings, and Bey helped set up the ring and was utilized as an extra non-wrestling talent. While the role was very minor, it was still a big opportunity for him early on. This opportunity also provided a chance to work a seminar with Ring of Honor superstar Jay Lethal. Despite Bey still being new he was given a chance to grapple with one of wrestling’s more well known talents.
While with Future Stars of Wrestling, Bey trained with a variety of high level superstars and personalities. Wrestlers from Disco Inferno, to Kenny King, to Killer Kross would both wrestle and at times train for FSW. They also stream a number of shows and have a bit of a developmental process for their trainees. On top of this they offered five day a week training and allowed for Bey to experience a lot early in his career.
Bey had his first match on October 30th 2016, just a few months after he began training. He wrestled at a birthday party with just about ten people in attendance. From there, he would continue wrestling and training with FSW. He also began taking bookings for other west coast promotions such as Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and PCW. Bey began wrestling as Chris Strong but eventually changed it to Bey. He made this change because it’s his father’s last name. It pays respect to his father every time they chant his name.
Bey was quickly a standout superstar and at the young age of 20, he was clearly going to make waves. He quickly became a name to watch locally, winning championships and tournaments within his first year of wrestling. Early in his career, he worked with talented superstars like Hammerstone, Jake Atlas, and Scorpio Sky. Sky proved to be a pivotal opponent for Bey, both testing his ability and helping his growth. In 2018, he began to truly excel – taking on more matches and growing his resume of opponents. During the year of “Twenty Bey Teen” as he called it, he wrestled superstars like Kenny King, Killer Kross, and Willie Mack. He began to grow a buzz for himself that would carry on into the next year.
Bey got his first opportunity at Impact Wrestling gold in 2019, facing Austin Aries for the championship on an episode of Ring Warriors on WGN America. Ring Warriors was a Vegas based promotion that briefly came back in 2018 and featured members of the Impact roster. Bey made his Impact debut against the Rascalz at the end of 2018 in a tag match with Mike Sydal. He appeared for Impact as an enhancement talent a number of times in 2019 before officially signing with the company. He began to make a name for himself, even getting name dropped by Cody Rhodes a few times around the time of AEWs debut causing quite a stir of speculation. Bey made a number of stops in 2019 for a variety of promotions, appearing for Impact, Ring of Honor, and WWE’s 205 Live all in the span of a few weeks.
Bey started making waves after posting a picture of him with Cody Rhodes, which Rhodes replied to. In early 2020, the speculation of where he might end up began to heat up as Cody mentioned him as someone he’d been watching from the independent scene. At the same time, Impact Wrestling announced that Bey had officially signed with the company. While it appeared that he may have signed quickly with Impact, he has since confirmed he signed a few months prior to the official announcement. While some were disappointed Bey didn’t immediately go to AEW, he had his reasons for going to Impact. Not only did he have a long history as a fan of the company but he also had a desire to prove his worth and bring fans of his work to the Impact product. It also gave him an ability to continue growing his name.
In 2020, Bey continued to work indies alongside Impact, appearing for FSW, Bar Wrestling, and GCW, among other west coast promotions. He began chasing the Impact X Division title, coming up short a few times in his pursuit before officially unseating Willie Mack at Slammiversary 2020. This would come after the onset of the pandemic and thus a majority of Bey’s run in Impact has been in front of either little or no crowd – including his championship win. Even with the challenges of the pandemic, Bey continued to make a name for himself his charisma, athleticism, and now, his championship.
Bey continued to wrestle throughout 2020 on a limited basis but still maintained a consistent schedule, especially the second half of the year. In October, he challenged for the Impact X Division Championship at Bound for Glory. At the event he debuted a Black Panther-style attire that was inspired by his nephew. His nephew told him that Chadwick Boseman, the actor who played T’challa in The Black Panther, had passed away from the same type of cancer his grandfather, Bey’s father, had passed away from.
That conversation inspired him to invest in himself with new gear that would pay tribute to his father and also serve as inspiration to his nephew. The end of 2020 saw Bey in a historic championship match taking on Rich Swann for the Impact title, squaring off in the main event of Impact’s Final Resolution PPV. Their main event placement was historic. Only two other PPVs in wrestling history featured just two black men in the main event position. Summerslam 2001 with The Rock vs Booker T, and Impact Wrestling’s Turning Point in 2017 with Moose vs Bobby Lashley. Despite coming up short for the championship, Bey was a part of wrestling history.
He went on to compete in the 2020 Super J Cup taking place in the US for the second year in a row. The tournament featured representatives from a number of promotions. Although Bey did not win, it opened the door for future NJPW appearances when restrictions lighten. He continued into 2021 at a consistent pace working for Impact, GCW, and FSW primarily with other independents included sporadically. In Impact he spent the first half of the year continuing to chase the X Division title. In August, his New Japan relations grew into something bigger when he became a member of The Bullet Club.
Following Slammiversary 2021, Switchblade Jay White made an appearance for Impact and teased Bey joining the group. Bey was initially hesitant but eventually opted to join. He spent some time teaming with White while he was in the United States and worked alongside Hikuleo and El Phantasmo in Impact as representatives of The Bullet Club. The opportunity also opened the door for Bey to work more with NJPW. He started appearing for NJPW Strong shortly after. Recently in Impact, he and Hikuleo have challenged for the Impact Tag Team titles. He also recently became FSW World Champion after defeating Ice Williams in a ladder match. At Impact’s most recent pay-per-view Hard to Kill, Bey was featured in an amazing fatal four way x-division match that continued to showcase his growth and ability as a superstar.
Bey’s gimmick is that he’s the ultimate finesser, but he truly is a person with a work ethic that never stops. During the pandemic, he returned to making music and released a number of tracks including his EP, Odyssey. He has also gotten back to creating content for his YouTube channel that still is home to his videos from 8+ years ago. Whether it be in Impact or anywhere else, Chris Bey is still an incredibly young talent with a great career ahead of him. In just over five years, he’s accomplished what takes some an entire career. Now, he looks to build on that moving forward and continues to show what he can bring to the world of wrestling.