For more than a year now, Matt Taven and Vincent have been engaged in arguably the most heated feud Ring of Honor fans have seen in recent memory. At one point in time, the two men were stablemates in The Kingdom, but Vincent betrayed Taven and formed The Righteous, an unsettling group that also includes Bateman, Vita VonStarr and Dutch.
This bitter rivalry has been featured on Ring of Honor’s past three major pay-per-view events, and the emotional storyline continues to unfold. In a recent interview with WrestleZone, Bateman reflected on the year-long gap between the feud’s first two major battles — Matt Taven vs. Vincent (ROH Final Battle 2019) and Matt Taven & Mike Bennett vs. Vincent & Bateman. He coldly recalled the brutal way The Righteous crushed Taven’s ankle with a wooden block after the first bout before he described how the group’s similar attack on Bennett was a fitting celebration for the anniversary of Vincent’s singles victory over Taven.
“From year to year, yeah, what a difference a year makes,” said Bateman. “Not this past year, not the match against Taven and Bennett. Vincent and Taven [in 2019]. Match ended, match is over, clipped Taven’s wings, dumped him on his head, and we turned his ankle around a wooden block. We hobbled him. So in a way, we’re in the misery business, yeah?
“A year later, tag match. And the tag, not gonna sit here and lie to you because I’m not a liar, I’m an honest man. But go back and watch, we did lose. It didn’t go how we wanted. But I’ll be damned if we don’t appreciate an anniversary, right. And what better way to celebrate that than making Matt Taven watch his best friend get his ankle wrapped around a block of wood. Hell of a year. Hell of an experience. Hell of an anniversary.”
It was fair to assume that this war would end at ROH 19th Anniversary, where Vincent and Taven clashed in an unsanctioned match at the Police Athletic League Hall of Fame, the venue where their wrestling careers began. Instead, Dutch’s violent debut, in which he pushed Taven and Vincent off a balcony, caused the matcch to end in a no contest. After Vincent was gone for a few weeks, he returned and sent his foe a brutal message by attacking Taven backstage to cost him his shot at the ROH World Tag Team Championship. Now that Vincent is back, with his sights still set on Taven, it might only be a matter of time before the two rivals collide one last time.
When asked, Bateman hinted that the final chapter of this remarkable rivalry is coming; in fact, he stated that The Righteous’ plans are already underway.
“The world as we know it is constantly in motion, yeah, it’s turning even though you can’t feel it,” said Bateman. “All of this has already been set in motion. Everything’s in plan, man. So again, everyone’s looking [at the little things.] They’re not looking at the bigger picture. And trust me, when the earth stops moving for Matt Taven and Vincent, you’ll know. There will be no question.”
Bateman also delivered an ominous warning by teasing that The Righteous intends to make a “definite statement.” If crushing a former world champion’s ankle, and doing the same thing to another one of ROH’s most recognizable stars in Bennett, is considered a “warning shot,” it’s frightening to imagine what the group could have in store.
“I feel, The Righteous have been firing off warning shots here and there,” said Bateman. “It’s probably time to open everyone’s eyes and make a definite statement, don’t you think?”
The full interview is available here: