PJ Black: “I feel like it is going to be a big, big, big year for Ring of Honor”

Feb 2, 2020 - by James Walsh

Show: Wrestling Epicenter
Guest: PJ Black
Date: 02/02/20
Your Host: James Walsh

Before the ink has dried on his new multi-year deal with Ring of Honor, PJ Black joined the Wrestling Epicenter for his third interview with our site to discuss why this was the right place to sign for him right now, his current character, his tag partner Brian Johnson (not of AC/DC), and beyond. This is a fun 20 minute chat with perhaps one of the best signings ROH has made in quite some time.

For more information on upcoming Ring of Honor live events and their Honor Club streaming service, visit www.ROHWrestling.com.

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On why ROH was the right company to sign a multi-year deal with:
“There was a few factors involved. For the first time in my life, I think, I made a pros and cons list. I had some other offers on the table. But, ROH just gave me everything I wanted – A really good deal with a really good schedule. I also saw that guys like Marty (Scurll), The Briscoes, Bandido, and Flip (Gordon) and all these big names re-signed. So, I feel like it is going to be a big, big, big year for Ring of Honor!”

On if Marty Scurll getting the book played a factor:
“That didn’t play a factor. I didn’t know he had it until after the fact. I knew from talking to him a while ago that is what he really wanted but I didn’t know that he was going to get it. But, I’m very happy for him. I’ve known him for a long time. He was a good student. (laughs) I lived in England for a while. I was there for Mark Haskins’ first, first day of training. So, I’m happy for him (Scurll). I think it is fantastic.”

On ROH going through a transition in 2019 and being ready for 2020:
“I mean, it was tough. We lost a couple of names. But, we also gained some names. There is so much wrestling on TV right now that I feel people are… I don’t want to say sleeping on Ring of Honor? But, there have been a couple of shows we have done this year that have been really fantastic. It just makes me feel like a fan again! So, I really think I made the right decision. It is going to take us a little while to rebuild everything again but I think everything is in place. It is the fans that are really going to win this year!”

On adopting the gray haired look upon joining ROH:
“I’ve just been trying some things out. I do kind of like the sage, the gray look – Kind of like the Witcher! That is what I was going for. The look is going to completely change again come April… June… I’m not allowed to say too much. Something very new and different! But, it is cool that you noticed that. I feel like a wrestler, it is very important to evolve and move with the times. There are only a few wrestlers who can get away with not evolving with the times like a Rey Mysterio or John Morrison. But, the rest of us have to evolve and move with the times as a character and with our move set. But, I like trying new things. I’ve been getting a really positive response. Obviously, fans do kind of latch on and like aspects of a character or an era more. But, I feel like everyone gets on board eventually.”

On having his finger put back on after the scary base jump accident in 2017:
“They did put the finger back on – It was only the tip of the ring finger on my right hand. You can’t even tell if you look at it now except to see some crazy scars. The lady doctor that did it, I begged her to try. She said it was 99% likely that it wouldn’t even stick back on or take. But, somehow, with a great team of doctors and after 8 months of rehab, it worked. But, yeah, if you didn’t know the story, you couldn’t even tell except for the funny scars. That is why I wear the gloves. (laughs)”

On if he still takes risks like base jumping after that accident:
“Yes! But, I’m more calculated. I feel like the older I get, the more I know what I can do and am capable of. So, yes. But, more calculated risks.”

On teaming with Brian Johnson on ROH TV:
“Oh yes. You’re going to see that for a while. Silas Young took Josh Woods under his wing as a mentor and he’s been doing a fantastic job with it. So, I thought, why don’t I do something like that? So, I went looking for talent. I went to some dojos, I went to a MCW show where they hold the Future of Honor events and I saw this guy. (Brian Johnson) He’s got some anger management issues but I feel like that is my specialty. He’s got a lot of talent, he’s got a great character. I’ve been doing this for 25 years so I feel I can offer some experience and advice.”

On if he ever thought wrestling would be as huge as it is in 2020:
“I kind of forsaw… Forseen it? (laughs) I mean, obviously I didn’t know about AEW and all that stuff. But, when you have The Rock, Batista, and even John cena in Hollywood, I felt like it was just a matter of time. Also, I feel like the over the top characters are coming back. The reality era is over and it is all because of the films like Marvel. People want to see the super hero characters! So, I’m very happy. It is great for all the wrestlers and it is great for the fans.”

On if Lucha Underground helped bring back the over the top characters:
“I think it did in a massive way. But, in the biggest way, I think it was having The Rock and John Cena in films. I also think the Marvel films, in a weird way, did affect wrestling.”

On the future of Lucha Underground:
“I think it is a done deal. That is a good point. If it came back, where are they going to get the talent? It is easy to get talent and create new characters. But, to be honest, I don’t see it coming back. I wish it would come back even if it was for one season just so we could wrap up some of the stories. I think MGM owns it now and they’re fighting with El Rey which is why it is never, ever going to happen. But, I did put in my (ROH) contract that if they did do one more season, I could go back. But, I don’t think that is ever going to happen.”

On ROH and the NWA once again having a working relationship:
“I love it! I love what I have been seeing from the NWA. I’m a guy who loves 80’s wrestling and that sort of nostalgic… I go back and study wrestling – 20’s, 30’s wrestling. The old stuff. Anything I can get my hands on! Dr. Tom (Prichard) is the one who told me, “What is old is new” and if you go back, a lot of stories and characters are really regenerated. It is hard to come up with something completely new. But, I’m a huge fan of it. NWA is really bringing back that 80’s feel, that nostalgic wrestling.”

On his goals in ROH:
“Since I’ve signed a multi-year deal, I want to make a huge impact. I’m one of the few guys who has won a title in every single company he’s worked for so I can see that in my future. But, I’m really looking forward to growing the Ring of Honor brand. But, I also have some really exciting things for PJ Black this year. And, now that I have a multi-year deal, I don’t think the higher ups will be against me trying out some new things.”

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