It’s been over a year since Matt Taven has held the Ring Of Honor World Title, but he still remains as driven as ever – even if he gets no respect.
Taven spoke with Spencer Love of Love Wrestling to discuss his reign in addition to the legacy he’s cultivating under Ring of Honor. Taven won the World Heavyweight title back in April of 2019, but he believes that he still tends to fly under the radar.
“I joke to other people in the locker room I’m the Rodney Dangerfield of wrestling: ‘I get no respect!’ And I feel like a great artist, those people that go back and watch it now, it’s hard to see any holes in it. I took a lot of pride being the champion at that time. I mean, we knew what was coming. You know, half the roster had left on the last day of the year before, and there’s only a couple of people that really would want to have that spot because it’s not the best one to have, knowing what’s coming down the pipe. But that’s why I’m – that’s what drives me as a competitor. You know what I mean? Not only have I been a wrestling fan my entire life, but I’ve been an athlete, someone who’s been involved in some sort of sport my entire life, and someone who’s just has a competitive nature. If we’re gonna play Monopoly, I will go all 16 hours until I win.”
ROH happens to have a culture that welcomes that competitive nature and it has been displayed throughout the company’s rich history of talent that has passed through.
“That’s what made Ring of Honor and still makes Ring of Honor so good, is that we look around the locker room, and I go, ‘damn, he’s really good. I got to step my game up.’ You know what I mean? It was that way when I first got in there, and I probably wasn’t ready for that. But, you know, you’ve got the Kevin Steens and the Roderick Strongs, and the Briscoes that are still there, and Jay Lethal, and Adam Cole, and it’s like, ‘oh, man, I gotta – these are thick, these are rough waters to swim in, and I’ve got to stay afloat.’ I think that that has always been a feeling: a competitive, a good competitiveness in the Ring of Honor locker room has always been there. I think if there’s anything that’s different now, it’s more of a team competitive. It’s ‘alright. Maybe if people doubt us, let’s show them if they tune in that they’re looking very foolish for ever doubting us.’ And we’re very supportive of one another now, but at the same time, man, I was watching the episode last night and it’s like, you got Shane Taylor and Dragon Lee and Gresham and Lethal and Kenny and Rush and you’re like, you start doing push ups. You’re like, ‘I gotta do something to keep up with everyone!’ That’s a competitive spirit that I think has always been in Ring of Honor, and I think it’s always been the reason why Ring of Honor has been such an innovative force in the wrestling world.”
(Transcription credit should go to Spencer Love)
You can check out the full interview with Taven below: