June 11, 2006
REAL NAME: Patrick Martin
A wrestling fan since the age of eleven, and a former art student at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan, Detroit's Patrick Martin trained under Truth Martini and Breyer Wellington before enrolling in Scott D'Amore's Can-Am Wrestling School in January 2003. While training with D'Amore, Martin was also influenced by the teachings of Joe E. Legend. He debuted in Michigan in March 2002, earning a grand total of $8.35 for a night's work. Martin, now known as Alex Shelley (the name coming from a combination of the names of a character from A Clockwork Orange and a punk rock singer), rebounded from a major injury suffered during a match against Petey Williams to wrestle in IWA Mid-South for six months before moving on to Combat Zone Wrestling and Ring of Honor in June 2003.
Shelley split time between CZW and ROH for the rest of 2003 and much of 2004, alternating between teaming with and feuding with Jimmy Jacobs. Shelley's career suffered another temporary setback when he suffered a broken collarbone in training and missed two months of acton beginning in February 2004.
In May 2004, Shelley joined forces with Jack Evans, Austin Aries and Roderick Strong in Ring of Honor, to form "Generation Next". In addition to his time in Ring of Honor, Shelley also appeared at the 2004 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup (teaming with Petey Williams to defeat Mikey Tenderfoot & Black Tiger), IWA Mid-South (battling Jacobs in a best-of-seven series, won by Jacobs) and Border City Wrestling (defeating Zach Gowan and teaming with Ruffy Silverstein and Conrad Kennedy III to defeat Gowen, Williams and Chris Sabin.
On July 8, 2004, Shelley signed a contract with NWA-TNA. Known as "Baby Bear", Shelley began teaming with Abyss, battling teams such as Sabu/Sonjay Dutt, D-Ray 3000/Shark Boy and Jerelle Clark/Mikey Batts, all in the name of helping Goldylocks win the contracts of defeated wrestlers, a plan that was largely thwarted by Eric Watts.
While Shelley was active in TNA, he wasn't slowing down on his independent dates. He continued to make appearances in ROH (with Generation Next) and CZW and IWA Mid-South (even getting a shot at Petey Williams' X Division title at one show). Meanwhile, he returned to Border City Wrestling on September 19, 2004 and beat Chris Sabin to become BCW TV Champion, a title he defended against A.J. Styles on November 28th.
At the end of 2004, Generation Next split in Ring of Honor. After Shelley/Strong lost to Steve Corino and C.M. Punk, Strong and Aries turned on Shelley when he wouldn't step down as leader of the group. Later Jimmy Jacobs would turn heel on Alex and fellow Generation Next member Jack Evans also turned his back on Shelley. If his run in Ring of Honor wasn't going as planned, Shelley found more success in CZW, when he defeated Sonjay Dutt on January 8, 2005 to win the CZW Light Heavyweight title. Unforutnately, his reign as BCW TV Champion came to an end on January 21st, when Sabin regained the belt. (Mick Foley was the special guest referee in that match.)
Remaining in Ring of Honor, Shelley beat Nigel McGuiness to win a ROH title shot, but came up short against former Generation Next chohort Austin Aries on May 7, 2005.
Still competing on various indy shows such as Pro Wrestling Guerilla and the ECWA Super 8 tournament (losing to Petey Williams in the second round), Shelley even made an appearance for WWE (losing to Simon Dean on June 6, 2005 for episode of Heat).
Later that same month, Shelley returned to TNA, losing to Shocker at Slammiversary, before continuing to make appearances for the organization. In September, he and Sean Waltman teamed up to compete in and win TNA's Chris Candido Cup.
Wrestling for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Zero-One Max, UWA Hardcore Wrestling and Border City Wrestling couldn't stop Shelley from concentrating on his Ring of Honor dates, where he had joined Prince Nan's Embassy (along with Abyss, Jimmy Rave and others) to combat his former team, Generation Next. Unfortunately for Shelley, the Embassy came up short in a Steel Cage Warfare Elimination Match on December 3, 2005.
There was a reunion of sorts of Generation Next as Shelley, Aries and Strong joined forces to demand a push from Larry Zbyszko and Jerry Lynn leading to a match and a victory over Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin and Matt Bentley at Final Resolution.
Meanwhile, Shelley's character in TNA was becoming bigger and bigger on the radar. He began bringing a video camera to ringside to record his matches, and those of his future opponents. Shelley and his camera soon earned the attention of Jeff Jarrett who, in early 2006, hired Shelley to use his camera to get incriminating video of Jackie Gayda and later, Sting. Even James Mitchell employed Shelley to film him stalking Christian Cage's wife.
In the ring, Shelley was gaining a higher profile. He joined Chris Sabin, Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt as part of the victorious Team USA in the World X Cup. Shelley's contribution to the team was suspect and in the end, he helped Kevin Nash attack Sabin after the final match between Sabin/Williams.