In Josh Woods’ feud with his former mentor Silas Young, the student is ready to become the master.
Woods and Young have been engaged in a heated rivalry in recent months, and the two men have split the two singles matches they’ve clashed in so far. Next month, these two competitors will face off in a Last Man Standing Match at Ring of Honor’s Best in the World pay-per-view to settle the score. In a recent interview with WrestleZone, Woods previewed this bout and looked back on his relationship with “The Last Real Man.”
Looking beyond their on-screen animosity, Woods explained how much he has learned from Young and complimented the former ROH World Television Champion’s eye for the finer details of in-ring action.
“Teaming with Silas was awesome, man,” said Woods. “You got a guy who’s so experienced, and he thinks differently, and our backgrounds are so different. And he’s been really successful in Ring of Honor, and it would so foolish of me to not listen to what he says, or least to take it with a grain of salt. Like, I wouldn’t do it that way, but I understand why you’re doing it that way.
“So I think just more so learning about wrestling in general was the biggest thing I learned, like psychology and timing and those little things that you don’t really hear a lot of people talking about. Because those are the really important parts, man.”
As members of the team 2 Guys 1 Tag, Woods and Young quickly became a fan-favorite pairing in ROH. The two men might have been an odd couple, but the combination of their in-ring styles got the job done in the ring. 2 Guys 1 Tag earned a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Championship at the promotion’s Bound By Honor event in 2020, but the popular duo came up short.
Long before they formed The Foundation, then-champions Jonathan Gresham and Jay Lethal threw the rulebook out the window in order to win matches, and they cheated to beat Young and Woods. In hindsight, Woods expressed his belief that things might have turned out differently if the pandemic didn’t turn the wrestling world upside down and 2 Guys 1 Tag got a rematch. Instead, 2 Guys 1 Tag went their separate ways, and Woods noted a reunion for the team probably isn’t in the cards right now.
“We were undefeated as a tag, I think we were 7-0 before we wrestled Gresham and Lethal for the titles after we beat The Briscoes for the number one contendership, I remember that,” said Woods. “I think if it had played out with us and they were staying on track, I think it would have been a very different match as opposed to when they were kind of doing what they were doing then.
“But yeah that does suck, man. We definitely had like what it took to be the next tag champs, and the pandemic kinda slowed some things down and things changed with injuries and scheduling and so on and so forth. And we each had to kind of venture and do our own things, which really helped me to be where I’m at now. So yeah, it would be really cool to pick that ball up and run with it, but that’s just not happening right now.”
Woods also emphasized how working with Young has been beneficial for his career as a singles wrestler, though his success as an individual admittedly came at the expense of their run as a tag team. “The Tactical Beast” pointed out that he would have been happy to simultaneously compete as a singles and tag team wrestler, but Young wanted him to focus on their pursuit of the titles together.
“Working with him as a team, like I said, just bouncing ideas off him and ways to think about matches and how to structure things really makes a big difference with a guy that’s so experienced and been around for such a long time,” said Woods. “That’s kind of something I really was lacking for a while, which is why, to be honest, I really wasn’t doing a lot on my own prior to that. Silas taking me under his wing really just changed my whole career, essentially.
“Facing off with Silas really is, for me, this is how I feel, it’s basically like I’m the little brother, he’s the big brother, I took his toy and I broke it. The tag team was his favorite toy, and I essentially broke it. And I understand that, and Silas got to watch me work like when we were tagging, he got to watch me do what I could do to people, and now he’s experiencing it firsthand, like what I can do.”
Finally, Woods looked forward to ROH Best in the World, the promotion’s first live show with fans in over a year. There, Woods will compete in arguably the biggest match of his career when he faces Woods in a Last Man Standing match. “The Tactical Beast” shared his excitement for the event and compared it to a Christmas gift.
“This is gonna be phenomenal,” said Woods. “And yeah, it’s exciting man. It’s like, we got the new bike for Christmas, and it was snowing, but now the snow is [gone], so now I can ride my bike again. It’s like yeah, it’s so exciting.”
The full interview is available here: