Michael Elgin on returning from injury, Kevin Steen, and more
Dec 13, 2012 - by Steve Gerweck
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ROH star, 2011 ‘Survival of the Fittest’ winner and AAW Heavyweight Champion “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin joined Kayfabe Wrestling Radio Tuesday Night. In a nearly 20 minute interview, he talked about missing the 2007 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup due to injury, what it is like returning from a severe injury back into the ring, his first ROH run back in 2007 and what he learned from it, his strength training what is on his ‘no eat’ list, what made him say yes to being in the ‘House of Truth’ stable, was it management’s choice or his own not to talk on camera for a while, the potential “Match of the Year” he had with Davey Richards from ‘Showdown in the Sun’ and if he can go back and critique his own work objectively, tougher opponent to face: Davey Richards or Kevin Steen, if he’s comfortable with Nigel McGuinness as ‘Matchmaker’ over Jim Cornette, his upcoming match with Roderick Strong at ROH’s ‘Final Battle 2012’, his Title defense at ‘AAW Wrestling’s ‘One Twisted Christmas’ and more.
Returning to the ring after a severe knee injury and what it was like to be back in the ring: “You’re kind of cautious, but you’re more cautious before you even get in the ring, to the point where you go ‘Can I do this; can I do that? I’ve got to take it easy’ but then you wrestle and you just don’t take it easy. But, luckily, I had a good brace that kept everything together. I came back a little too early, but that’s just how we operate usually and luckily it’s held together. I’ve had a scare or two since then but nothing’s wrong with it so hopefully it continues to stay whole for me.”
His first run in ROH in 2007: “Ring of Honor had been a goal ever since it had started. It was a show I’d watched when I started training and just instantly became a fan of it. So, I definitely wanted to be there, I just felt it would help me get more exposure and also it was a great company and to be a part of something like that would be kind of a right step to fulfill a career. Looking back though, I kind of happy that nothing came about it, in 2007, because I don’t think I would have been prepared for it.
I was still really young and I’m sure that I probably would have stepped on some toes and definitely not been at the point in my career now and as good as I am now. So, I think that, luckily, I knew what I needed to work on back then and being so long till I got back to the company in 2010, gave me 3 years to sit back and work on myself, to better myself, so that when I did get a big opportunity in Ring of Honor I can sting instead of being in and out.”
What made him say yes to being in the ‘House of Truth’ and if it helps that Truth Martini was a former wrestler: “Yeah that’s definitely a big help and also actually Truth Martini has been very influential throughout my whole career. He actually gave me my first match ever as well as when I was on the road he came and often hung out and he was close friends with guys who were on that show, so I got a lot of time to spend with him and he’s such a knowledgeable person that he’s the type of guy you want to have on your side.”
His match with Kevin Steen from ‘Showdown in the Sun’: “Well, I definitely can watch my stuff but I’m definitely one of the guys who critique everything I do. As a wrestler and as a perform, I think most of us; I don’t want to speak for everybody but I know the people I’m close to, we want to be as good as we can be and we want to give everybody a ready to watch us and to do that, we have to be on top of our game. So, you definitely want to critique every little thing and you don’t get better unless you do; you can never sit back and say ‘Oh, I had a perfect performance. I did this great’. You need to look at it as ‘What can I do better to better myself for the next time I’m in the ring.’ So, I definitely watch it and say ‘Oh, I can do this better’ or ‘It would have been good if I do this’ because you always want to make sure your next performance is better than your last. So I definitely do watch it and critique it.
As for the match, I knew going in to the match that it was a big opportunity and I knew that if I didn’t perform, the faith wouldn’t be there to put me in an opportunity like that again. And, from a fan perspective, I wanted to make sure that everybody knew that I was a guy to watch and I was a guy to count on to say ‘Oh, he’s going to have a good match tonight’. Because I think that goes a long way, when fans pay for a live show or a DVD or an iPPV; if you’re one of those guys they like to watch, it’s definitely going to help your career. So, going into it I was definitely prepared and it was one of those times where I had to put all the pressure on myself to make sure I could perform with someone like Davey, because without a doubt and no matter what anyone else says, he’s definitely one of the best in the world and I wanted to show everyone that night that I could hang with the bets in the world and one day be the best in the world. So, it’s definitely one of those times where I felt all the pressure was on me to perform, and I’m just glad everything worked out the way it did and Davey is a great opponent and my favorite opponent.”
Who was the tougher opponent he faced for the ROH Heavyweight Title: Davey Richards or Kevin Steen: “You know, it’s tough to say. Both men are so different in their styles and what they bring to the table. It’s hard to just pinpoint, you know, which man is more difficult to be in the ring with and which is the harder opponent; because they are both hard opponents and they’re both amazing. And they both have held the Ring of Honor World Title; one currently and one prior and that’s a big feat. I mean, if you look at the list of names of Ring of Honor World Champions, it’s a who’s who of pro wrestling. So, definitely both are amazing wrestlers and very hard opponents, as you can tell; I mean I’ve had two opportunities at the World Title and I have yet to win it. So, they definitely had my number on those nights; I have recently gotten my win back from Davey, so now, next I need to get my win back from Steen.”
You can follow Michael on Twitter (@ROHMichaelElgin) or you can also see Michael weekly on Ring of Honor television programming, through your local Sinclair Broadcasting Group stations and at this weekend’s “Final Battle 2012” iPPV; visit www.rohwrestling.com or Ring of Honor on Twitter (@ringofhonor) for the latest on upcoming events and listing of stations showing Ring of Honor programming. You can also see Michael defend his AAW Heavyweight Championship at ‘One Twisted Christmas on December 29th. Go to www.aawrestling.com or follow AAW Wrestling on Twitter (@AAWPro) for information on the card and all the latest news.
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