TNA's Ace Steel Opens Up About His Return to the Ring

Steel battles Frankie Kazarian in a Chicago Street Fight on TNA iMPACT! this Thursday.

Ace Steel is stepping back in the squared circle. The multi-decade veteran has been wrestling since the 1990s, making a name for himself in companies like Ring of Honor, Combat Zone Wrestling, World League Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling NOAH. During his stops in those aforementioned companies, Steel also popped by Total Nonstop Action upon that promotion's launch. Steel wrestled ten total matches for TNA in 2002, most of which came in TNA's critically-acclaimed X-Division. Steel's career since has taken him to just about every corner of the wrestling industry, from WWE to AEW, and now his road has brought him back to TNA.

Steel signed with TNA this past February, joining the former Impact Wrestling as a producer. Three months later, Steel made his on-screen return, backing red-hot babyface Joe Hendry for his match against Frankie Kazarian at TNA Against All Odds. Kazarian villainous tactics after the bell led to Steel getting physical with him, setting up a Chicago Street Fight between the two for the June 20th edition of TNA iMPACT!.

(Photo: AEW, TNA)

"Because he disrespected me and he disrespected a guy I'm mentoring needlessly," Steel told ComicBook when asked why Kazarian is the right opponent for his return to the ring. "I got in the ring to stop him from attacking Joe and then he so lovingly shoved me from behind. That's just poking the bear. If you know anything about us from Chicago, we don't like to be poked. We don't like you to be in our space. I think he underestimated how short my fuse was."

While Steel puts the majority of his chips in his producing basket these days, he retains the vicious mean streak he has possessed throughout his in-ring career.

"I've been involved in a number of brawls over the years. Ring of Honor, the cage of death, CZW vs. Ring of Honor, Chicago Street Fights, CM Punk and myself vs. the Prophecy, you name it," Steel continued. "It's become a specialty match of mine. Win, lose or draw, we both come out with lumps on our head."

Thursday's contest against Kazarian represents Steel's first TNA match since 2003 and just his sixth match this decade. 

"I think just a one-off basis," Steel noted on how he will approach future match opportunities. "I'm constantly approached to do things and I back off. It's got to be the right thing for me. This just happened to fall into place and of course I never would've thought I'd have the opportunity to be in a ring on a national platform at this stage. I've been in the ring training some new up and coming wrestlers. I have a lot of guests that pop in. I've been actively working. It's not like I just decided to put a thousand knee braces on and creak into the ring. I'm very capable of moving around the ring very well."

Steel vs. Kazarian goes down this Thursday, June 20th on TNA iMPACT! which airs at 8 PM ET on AXS TV.