ROH’s Matt Taven Says NXT Bites Their Style and Talks Match With Cody Rhodes

Mar 7, 2018 - by Steve Gerweck


Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio
Guest: Matt Taven
Date: March 3rd 2018
Your Hosts: James Walsh

The King of the Kingdom himself, Mr. Matt Taven joins us for the first time ever to discuss his huge match with Cody at the ROH 16th
Anniversary PPV on Friday night, March 9th! While here, Taven also discusses WWE’s borrowing, shall we say, from ROH with their
NXT Brand. Plus, he talks about the strugles of Impact Wrestling and his view of the wrestling industry in the year 2018. This is a fun and
informative interview with one of ROH’s biggest stars.

To listen, view or download this interview, please visit:


On his recovery from his leg injury in late 2015:
“I’m not going to lie. There is good days and bad days. Coming back from major knee surgery is hard on not just your knee but the rest of your body. The alignment of your hips, your back is going to be thrown off. My right knee now is, it had to pick up the slack for so long that now it is starting to hurt. It is a balancing act of going hard at the gym but realizing your knee can only take so much so you have to conserve it and do the propper maintenance. It is probably something I will deal with for the rest of my life, especially the rest of my career. It is so ingrained to be these tough guy wrestlers, I blew my ACL out a minute or two into the match at Final Battle and continued wrestling the next ten minutes. I was doing stuff like my walk up the ropes springboard elbow with no ACL. Obviously continuing to wrestle was probably a mistake because I ended up rupturing one meniscus that had to be surgically removed from the back of my quad, tearing the other meniscus at the same time. That is what makes us wrestlers. We love doing this so much that looking back on it and knowing everything that I know now, I would have been like, “Mike, I don’t think I can keep going.” But, if I were in the same situation, I probably would keep going 10 times out of 10. Just because, that is the way it is done in wrestling. My first Doctor that I saw after it said it would be 2, 2 and a half years before I could wrestle again which was a pretty scary situation. I look back on it now like it was this fuzzy dream. Like, that happened. But, did that really happen? 9 months out of my life for this? But, here I am back. It is an accomplishment when you sit back and look back on it.

On facing Cody at the 16th Anniversary PPV:
“Of course I am. People sing the praises of this guy. For what reason? Because he hit the genetic lottery and his dad was someone? I cannot wait to get on pay per view, show everybody what a Melvin he is, and at the end, take the ring, shove it against his face and he’ll know who the King is!”

On if this match with Cody establishes himself back on top of ROH:
“I’ve always felt I deserve to be there. This Kingdom conspiracy thing, it is not just me putting stuff online. I truly believe that. There is a movement against me and the Kingdom in general. I mean, I’ve won every single title Ring of Honor has had to offer. In the 5 years I’ve been with Ring of Honor, I’ve had 2 World Title shots. Two of them! One ended with interference from Truth Martini. The other had interference from Frankie Kazarian. What has Ring of Honor done about it? Absolutely nothing. They’re so, so (kissing noise) making sure to kiss that ass of the Bullet Club, Ring of Honor is letting guys like me fall to the wasteside. They give title opportunities to guys like Cody Rhodes come in here, think that he is someone for no reason. It is a shame. It is a conspiracy like I’ve said. But, live on pay per view, I get to embarrass that bleached blond doll and let everybody know that if Ring of Honor continues to hold me down, it is obvious this company has a bias against me and is obviously pushing this Bullet Club agenda.”

On the Jay Lethal/Dalton Castle title match:
“I’m not looking past Cody but I’ll always have my sights set on the World Title. Jay Lethal is getting a World Title shot 2 months after I beat him right in the middle of the ring on Ring of Honor TV. I’m not sure why that shot isn’t for me. But, I’m not looking past Cody. Embarrassing Cody Rhodes is that next step towards proving Matt Taven is every bit as good as he says he is and there’s a reason that I am the King. This is the launching pad that puts me right in the #1 contendersip for the World Title. I deserve a World Title shot anyway. But, to beat the former champion and then move on to a title shot, you couldn’t write a better story than that.”

On what made his Kingdom with Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis special:
“I think it is because we had fun. We had a blast doing it. We lived in the moment and enjoyed every second of it. That is kind of what I wanted the next installment of the Kingdom to be. There was a natural chemistry between Mike Bennett, Maria, and myself because we are all friends outside of the ring for years. Man, I’ve known Mike Bennett since almost day one in wrestling. It is one of those things where it is just so natural – You’re just out there with your best friend. I mean, that year with winning the IWGP and ROH World Tag Team Championships and then that ending with Mike leaving and me blowing out my knee, it was like what a way to end that story. (laughs) It really was the genesis of the Matt Taven that you see today.”

On the cultural moment when Gallows and Anderson hit the Magic Killer on Maria:
“You have to understand, New Japan never really had women in the ring. Our feud went from ROH to NJPW and back again. I can remember the New Japan officials saying “Don’t ever let Maria back in the ring again.” Obviously, it is a different culture and they also don’t want women and men in a combat situation. Maria was the first person in a New Japan ring since Joanie Laurer, since CHyna. It was kind of a big deal and we didn’t even realize it at the time. It kind of morphed into Amber Gallows and Maria joining the two teams. Looking back on it, it is a kind of monumental moment for New Japan with the first Mixed Tag match and the first time, since Chyna, of women competing. So, them hitting the Magic Killer (on Maria) and it being shown in Japan really did cause some waves because it was so out of the ordinary.”

on TK O’Ryan’s injury:
“It is coming up to the 1 year anniversary at the 15th Anniversary show that TK broke his leg. Obviously being in that situation not too long previous to that situation, you kind of know how to handle it. I saw TK’s leg and I’m not sure if it was picked up on camera but I kind of screamed, “Are you all right? Are you all right?” Being in that situation and being asked that question by Mike Bennett, you never are really able to answer that question correctly. TK grabbed his leg and screamed in pain. I saw his leg kind of floating in the wind there. I had to do what I had to do to make sure that A. He wasn’t going to be in any more danger and B. To finish the match in a reasonable fashion and to continue the story that we were developing. Unfortunately for TK, the Sunrise Hospital is not the best medical facility. We had to hold his leg together with tape and glue and our bare hands until we got him on a plane back to Boston that actually fixed him up correctly.”

On the XWA Wrestling Kingdom school he runs:
“XWA Wrestling Kingdom. I’m literally there 3 times a week. It is in Rhode Island. So, anybody interested can message me or the XWA. XWA Wrestling Kingdom actually has a Facebook page. So, there are a lot of ways you can contact us.”

On WWE NXT being WWE Doing an ROH Style Show:
“I couldn’t agree more. Our touring schedule and their touring schedule is starting to cross paths to where maybe they hit a market a week before we hit that market. That is on purpose. Taking talent from Ring of Honor? That is all on purpose. I basically look at NXT as ROH Lite. I wish for every wrestling company to be as successful as possible. There is something that ROH is obviously doing right if the top dog is trying to hurt them. That is something that they’ve (WWE) has tried to do a few times. It just lets us know that we (ROH) are doing something right. And, ROH has been resilient. I first started working here in 2009 doing stuff. I started working more consistently in 2012. But, in my 9 years, wow I feel old saying that, in my 9 years, I’ve seen them come and go. And still, ROH continues to get bigger and continues to grow and grow and reach broader audiences. As much as I love my buds, it shows ROH is doing something right if WWE is trying to bite their style so much.”

On Konnan and Sami Callihan saying they want to see Impact work with ROH:
“I’ve never really thought too much about it. Obviously TNA has had to do some rebuilding and they’ve gotten back on their feet. I’m very very happy for them. I have a lot of friends there as well. It seems like one of those things where Ring of Honor, New Japan, and CMLL have this partnership that is a triangle that is working really well around the world. If you (Impact) is trying to get back on your feet, you’re going to want to be a part of that. (laughs) This is the first time I’m really hearing this. I don’t know if it would be a smart business move for Ring of Honor considering they are on this upward trend and they (ROH) are doing it already without any help from another, and I know they’re Canadian based but really another American company. To be honest, I never see that partnership coming to fruition. But, you never say never in wrestling.”

On what the 16th Anniversary of ROH means to him:
“To be a cornerstone of this company for the past 5 years, it is a sense of pride and a badge of honor. A friend of mine, actually my girlfriend, said to me something the other day that really put things in perspective. She was like, “I remember you doing your firt pay per view.” That was in 2014 and now we’re going into New Orleans, already over 5,000 tickets have been sold. Like you said, that Nashville taping. It just keeps growing and growing and growing. And even though there are things that people think will deter us, it hasn’t stopped us at all. There is obviously a sense of pride. We want to be on that level where we’re as big of stars as everyone else in the wrestling world. Until we’re there, we’re not going to be satisfied.”

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