Silas Young Discusses ROH Returning to Action, PURE Title Tournament Loss, CM Punk, more

Sep 30, 2020 - by James Walsh

Show: Wrestling Epicenter
Guest: Silas Young
Date: 09/28/20
Your Host: James Walsh

ROH is back in action with the PURE Title Tournament after a six month absense due to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Silas Young is, or was, in the Tournament but was eliminated in the first round by a newcomer to the brand. Nevertheless, the former munti-time ROH TV Champion and “Last Real Man” gives an interesting perspective on ROH’s absense, life as a wrestler when you’re not allowed to wrestle, and more.

ROH’s PURE Title Tournament is underway. Get caught up on all the brackets and results at

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On life as a wrestler during the pandemic:
“I think everyone’s life has just slowed down. Most people aren’t going into work. I know we (ROH) have only been able to work one time since February which was a few weeks ago when we filmed the PURE Title Tournament. It was rough, to be honest with you. Most people aren’t used to sitting at home for 5 or 6 months. You know? It is nice to see things slowly returning back, Thank God. But, I think I’m like everyone else. It was a huge adjustment period.”

On how it felt to get back in the ring for the PURE Title Tournament:
“It was definitely something I was chomping at the bit for for months. But, it was strange going out and wrestling with no fans. But, definitely excited to be back!”

On facing Fred Yehi in the first round:
“As you said, it is one of the first round matches in the tournament. I had never worked with Fred before. I had seen shim and heard some really good things. He’s a great wrestler. For those who don’t know, Fred is not a regular with Ring of Honor. I believe this may have been his first time. Fred can bring it. The match was great. He belongs in the position he has being in the tournament. I was nervous, though. I hadn’t wrestled, going into the tournament, in 6 months. And, on top of that, I have never really wrestled in front of no fans before. So, that is two huge adjustments, you know?”

On Jim Cornette saying the PURE Title Tournament TV shows is how wrestling should be presented:
“I think it is great. I know Jim Cornette is a polarizing personality. But, he has a lot of great opinions about pro wrestling. He’s a real smart dude. He’s had amazing longevity in our industry. If you like him or not, you’ve got to respect what he’s done. So, I’ll take that (his ROH praise) as a good compliment!”

On if he thinks his PURE Match with Jonathan Gresham last year sparked the tournament:
“I definitely think it did. In fact, that was one of the things me and Jon talked about. When you think about Jonathan Gresham, you think PURE wrestling. We talked about how cool it would be to bring back the PURE Title even if it was going to be for a one night thing. It was a fun wrestling program between Jon and it turned out really well. Because it turned out well, I definitely think that is partially why they brought it back.”

On if there was concerns of a double turn when Gresham cheated in their PURE match last year:
“Maybe, maybe not. I mean, I’ve been doing this thing with Josh Woods for – Well, I was going to say the last year but for 6 months of the last year, no one has been doing anything. We started working together last fall, I started mentoring him, and that is something that will hopefully continue when we come back. He brought out a different side of me. But, I’m still me. I do what I do and do best. I guess it is all perspective based.”

On if he would like to continue his tag run with Josh Woods:
“Absolutely, I would. The reason I took Josh under my wing is because I saw something in him – A multi-time collegiate wrestling champion, he’s competed in MMA, he’s a pretty excellent pro wrestler. When we started working together, it brought out something in the both of us and we were able to gel as a tag team. That is something I would like to keep working on.”

On his epic Last Man Standing match with Jay Lethal in 2017:
“That match was great but it was really brutal. I don’t know if you remember but I grabbed the ring announcer Bobby Cruise’s belt, it was Last Man Standing, and I tried hitting Jay with it. He ended up getting his hands on it and I think he hit me 30 or 40 times with that leather belt. My body was beat up with a lot of lash marks. The crowd really got into it and really enjoyed it. There were a lot of very suspenseful moments. It was pretty brutal. I’m very proud of it!”

On if the pandemic let his body mend:
“Yeah, man. That was something I was thinking when this thing first started, I was going to just take a couple weeks off. But, as it continued, I said, “I’m going to have to get some workout equipment in here.” But, yeah, I talked to a lot of guys and they said they really benefitted because it is the first time in years that they really got to let their body heal.”

On wrestling at MSG for ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard:
“I mean, it was huge. I think it was a huge deal for all of us. Madison Square Garden is the hugest arena you could wrestle in the world! No other wrestling company, except WWE/WWF, has run that arena in 50 years so to be a part of history like that is huge. Being able to come out and have that experience in Madison Square Garden was probably the highlight of my career.”

On his outspoken criticism heading into G1 Supercard:
“I think that is just being a wrestler. We all strive to be in the main event. You always want to be in the biggest match on the card especially when you’re working for a big company like Ring of Honor. That is your life and that is your job so you always want to be able to get the most out of it that you can. It is a little real.”

On if the pandemic put his own promotion on the back burner:
“I was running a wrestling promotion for about a year, year and a half. I had some problems with the building and some other issues so I actually stopped running at the end of last year. It was something I wasn’t able to pursue because of the pandemic so it has been put on the back burner for the moment.”

On if he still thinks it was CM Punk that did a masked run-in for him last year:
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure that it was. The building that I was running was a building that had run wrestling shows out of there for 25, 30 years. There was a good bunch of promotions that ran shows there over the years. That is the building that CM Punk had his first match in. That was going to be the last show there, They were going to be closing (the building) and I was the last wrestling show that was going to run there. So, I thought it would be cool to invite a lot of wrestlers that had worked there as a nod to history. I contacted Ace Steele. Ace Steele, for those who don’t know, is the guy who trained CM Punk. He’s a excellent wrestler and I’m pretty sure is a trainer right now at the WWE Performance Center as a coach. , I was contacted by a guy named Dave Prazak who is another friend of Punk’s in the Chicago area which is only about 80 miles from Milwaukee, and he (Prazak) wanted to be at the show. At the show, someone came up to me and said, “Hey, just so you know, Punk is going to do a run in on this match.” I said, “What? Punk is here?” They said yeah and he was going to run in and do whatever he did. So, people ask me if I can confirm it was him. I can’t. I never saw him. I saw him run in with the mask on and do his thing. There are a lot of things that came out after the fact that check out. He had done a BJJ tournament at the high school which was about 7 blocks from the building I was running that day and he was friends with Ace. And, just for the fact that I don’t know why anyone would lie to me and say he was going to do a run in and say it to my face. And, the sweatshirt he was wearing was the same one he was wearing on some pics he posted on Twitter earlier that day from the tournament. So, there are some things that came out to validate it. But, I didn’t see him there. So, I can’t 100% confirm it.”

On ROH’s transitional 2019 last year and moving forward:
“Yeah, like you said, 2019 was different. Cody (Rhodes) and the (Young) Bucks had been here for a few years and left to do AEW which I think is a great thing. I think every wrestler would see it as a great thing. They’re on a national scale, they have a TV deal, I think it is a great thing for the wrestling business. And, like you were kind of saying but not saying, they were main event stars (in Ring of Honor) and left so 2019 was the year to sort of start to reshape things. We started bringing in some more European talent like Mark Haskins, Joe Hendry, and Session Moth. Anybody that follows wrestling, especially at a higher level, knows there are always guys that are going to step up. It is just about getting the opportunity. You don’t get to Ring of Honor, WWE, or AEW by accident. You get there because you’re talented and have something to bring to the table. It was a year (2019) for everyone to step up to the plate and I think everyone did step up to the plate. It was just a growing period. And, everything was going good as we went into 2020 and then…. Everything stopped!”

On the meaning behind his theme music:
“When you come to Ring of Honor, you know it is a TV company so you can’t use certain copyrighted music. They had some music I could listen to and they could buy the rights to and I liked this one and think it fits with me. I believe it is by a band called Voodoo Johnson.”

On plugs for social media and merchandise:
“Thank you for that! You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter @LastRealManROH. You can find Silas Young “Last Real Man” merchandise as well as 2G1T merchandise, which is my team with Josh Woods, at And, you can find some pretty cool Silas Young merchandise at There is actually one really cool T shirt that I made over the last election, it is “Silas Young: Making Men Great Again!” (laughs) I also have a really cool Mike Tyson’s Punch Out themed shirt and 6 or so other designs. So, if you guys want to check it out, I always appreciate it!”

On if he ever beat Mike Tyson’s Punch Out:
“You know what? I did a real long time ago. I tried doing it again and I couldn’t. It is just figuring out what the algorithm is.”

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