Matt Taven joins Spencer Love to discuss being discovered by Ring of Honor, his time in Alberta, the ‘prove it’ mentality of the ROH locker room, Sexual Taven, the intricacies of a hair-versus-hair match, being a part of so many ROH firsts, and more!
Defending the ROH Title outside of Ring of Honor:
“I think of it as how – because I’ve been a fan my entire life, so I always look at the guys who traveled the world and did all these things. When you hear those cool NWA stories about, like, Flair coming here and there and defending the title. To me, that’s what the World Championship is all about. I had some great experiences going to England with it. But like being the first-ever Ring of Honor World Champion to go to Arena Mexico was crazy. Being able to go up to Canada, and like, I had such an incredible experience winning the World Title in Madison Square Garden. For me, I mean, could there be a bigger moment for a wrestling fan? I can literally remember as a kid, you know, destroying all my parent’s furniture and being like ‘in Madison Square Garden, I’m the Champion!’ For it to actually come to fruition one day is just a dream come true. And so, that energy that kind of that gave me, I wanted to keep it going. To go and travel – and I started cutting a crazy schedule. It ended up biting me literally in the foot in the end, because I had to have surgery. But I wanted that because I felt like that’s what wrestling was all about. After achieving that dream. I was like ‘I know how to keep this feeling going, and it’s by going out there and showing everyone why I’m the Ring of Honor World Champion.”
The prove-it mentality of the ROH locker room:
“That’s always – and 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.”
Pro Wrestling Tees: Matt Taven
ROH Profile: Matt Taven