Out pro wrestler Jai Vidal recently signed an exclusive multi-year contract with IMPACT Wrestling, and he is now the first openly gay male wrestler to sign with the company in its 20-year history.
Vidal became a notable star after his independent promotions in Las Vegas, Florida and California, as well as becoming a staple of EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch, which then caught the attention of IMPACT.
In an interview with Outsports, the pro wrestler recalled the moment when he was given the offer sharing,
“When I got the call to sign with IMPACT, I had actually just come back to Florida from the [IMPACT] show in Vegas. I was running on zero sleep. I got back and saw the voicemail and called them right back.”
Meanwhile, IMPACT Wrestling Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore stated:
“We’re excited to sign Jai Vidal, a talented and charismatic wrestler who brings a diverse skill-set to the ring. We’re proud to welcome another member of the LGBTQ community to the IMPACT roster and further our outreach into that community, which has a deep fanbase for pro wrestling.”
Moreover, Vidal opened up about his experience growing up as a gay teenager in South Florida and how he struggled to find a community that would understand him.
“When I was 17, I used to go to an LGBT youth group … I dealt with a lot of homophobia. I didn’t have other out people to talk to, so I had to find my own way to talk to LGBTQ people my age. It was something way more, to learn how to confidently be yourself in a world that might not accept you,” the wrestler expressed.
“But they showed us the importance of being yourself because, if somebody sees you being yourself, another person will see that and it’s almost like a domino effect until finally it just becomes so widely accepted that you’re not presented as the ‘gay friend’ or ‘gay wrestler.’ You’re presented as a wrestler who happens to be gay but who still puts on for his community.”
Furthermore, Vidal also revealed a career goal in mind stating,
“I do think it would be pretty cool to be the first openly gay X-Division champion.”