INTERACTIVE WRESTLING RADIO INTERVIEW - SHANE TAYLOR

Show: Wrestling Epicenter
Guest: Shane Taylor
Date: 12/31/19
Your Host: James Walsh

With the busy Christmas and Holiday season, we've been a little quiet when it comes to interviews here at the Epicenter. Well, we're about to make some noise!

Celebrating the Holidays with us is Shane Taylor, the former ROH World TV Champion who many have speculated is finishing up with Ring of Honor. Taylor addresses those rumors as well as discusses his options outside of ROH. We also discuss his TV title reign, wrestling at MSG, and even a little about what the #FortheCulture hashtag that has sprung up means to him.



SHANE TAYLOR:

"That's my hope. Legacies and things like that are always up to the fans. But, as I see the social media buzz around me, I'm already starting to see them say that my run was one of the favorites that they've seen - That I've elevated the TV Championship back to where it should be. So, hopefully I was able to make them happy, make good by the championship, and make good by myself and give people that feeling they had when they watched Ring of Honor in the early 2000's where those championship matches had that big fight feel."

On his status with ROH and the rumors he's departing:
"This is the part where the fans think they know too much and end up knowing nothing. I have one of the most unique deals in all of wrestling where I partner with ROH where I control my likeness... I control just about everything Shane Taylor... Merchandising. Things that when I sit down with ROH CEO's and Presidents, they have to look at me and talk to me differently because I am not one of their employees. What that does is creates unique challenges because a lot of people that are in decision making capacities for these things aren't really looking for the best wrestlers or the best athletes. What they are looking for is their best friends or the best ass kissers. I am neither one of those! (laughs) It has been fun talking to just about every compay that you can think of. If ROH (doing a Godfather impression) make me an offer I couldn't refuse, I could stay. That is a possibility. If another company were to make a better offer, that is where I would go. It sounds cliche as Hell but at the end of the day, I'm going to make the best decision for me, my girls, and my family."

On facing Cody in ROH in 2018:
"It was great. Whenever you wrestle the top guy in the company as he was at the time and you push them to be better and you feel like you're on equal footing, that gives you a lot of confidence moving forward. For me, that is what I was looking for. Just to continue to show people not only in the back but people in the stands that regardless what you think a champion looks like, what a top guy is suposed to look like. Over the past year and a half, and not just in ROH, I challenge anyone to look back and find anybody putting on better matches than me."

On the transition of ROH since the Elite left:
"We knew what was going to happen before it did. It was the worst kept secret in wrestling! (laughs) You can only do so many things and make so many changes from the inside. A lot of those things have to come from higher up. It is tough. If you compared it to football, it is like you've got a system that you're used to playing with, you invest everything into putting the right players into the system, and these are the plays that you know work. Then, you've got other players on the sidelines that say, "Hey, we can play!" But, the coach says, "Yeah, cool. But, these plays work." Then, a few star players go down to injury... You know what I mean? That's the situation that a lot of people found themselves in. Meanwhile, it is up to the rest of us, "Next Man Up" style, to step up and prove we can play which we knew we could all along. In todays day and age, image and perception are valued over reality. If you look at the ROH roster, top to bottom, it is comparable if not better than any other roster in the world."

On performing at MSG for ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard:
"That was a surreal moment, icing on top of the cake like moment for me. When I sat down to make my goals list, ROH was #2 on that list. Going to Japan was #1. My goal was to always provide for my family. But, I never had a venue in mind like the Tokyo Dome or MSG. But, it was one of those things where, along the way, "I got to do that too? That's cool!" You know what I mean?"