ROH’s Shane Taylor on Growing Up in a Tough Neighborhood, Police Brutality, Community Support, and More

Oct 12, 2020 - by Steve Gerweck

Ring of Honor star Shane Taylor was a recent guest on Talkin’ Sass with Sassy Stephie on VOC Nation. Taylor talked about his upbringing, the political and social climate in today’s world, how hard it is to be successful growing up in a high crime area, and much more. Here are some highlights:

On growing up in a rough part of Cleveland: “To be able to think some kids from the east side of Cleveland, Ohio have gotten to see the world and are on the precipice of being millionaires – some of us – it’s (pretty) wild… My story is why I take the stances that I do and say the things that I do, especially in today’s society… I come from a place where my house was shot up every other week. I come from a place where there were drug dealers on the corner. I come from a place where we’ve had people break into the house. I’ve come from a place where no matter how much your parents tried, no matter how much they cared, no matter how much they tried to steer you the right way, they can only do so much… You’re going to get into trouble because you’re going to find people to hang around, (and) more than likely the wrong people… A lot of people that don’t come from those environments don’t understand that, would never survive in that environment, (and) always have the most to say… I can’t explain to you how this nation looks from my perspective because you’ve never had my perspective.”

On police brutality in the black community: “I can’t explain to you what police do to us when you’ve never had that experience. So you think we’re lying, you think we’re making stuff up, and then low and behold now everything is being recorded… stuff like that is happening all the time.”

On living with the trauma of his upbringing: “Even now, having to go through (my upbringing), I live in a pretty quiet suburb now, but I still don’t sleep most nights because I’m wired to stay up and watch my home. I will be up (on guard), guns ready, just in case somebody decides to do something stupid. Now the odds of that are slim, but it’s how I’m wired now. So that’s what pushes me so hard to be so successful, to be able to use my platform and my voice and be unapologetic for doing so.”

On communities working together to help people that have great talent: “For the few of us that made it, it took the entire community to make that happen. Most people don’t want to be criminals. They don’t condone criminality. They do what they have to (do) to survive on limited options. So they’ll see someone like myself, they’ll see that I have talent in a sport or that I’m super smart or anything like that, and pull you away from BS because you don’t need to be in what they’re in. They’ll pull you away.”

Link to the episode here:

Talkin’ Sass features Independent Pro Wrestler and Fireball Run on Amazon Co-Host Sassy Stephie. Stephie has been wrestling on the indy scene since 2007 and also has a degree in broadcasting. Talkin’ Sass drops on VOC Nation, YouTube, and all major pod platforms every Thursday at midnight.

VOC Nation provides daily, interactive talk radio, geared toward the professional wrestling community.
Other notable show hosts include former WWE/TNA star Shelly Martinez (Shelly LIVE – Tuesdays), former WWE and AWA broadcaster Ken Resnick (Wrestling with History – Wednesdays), former WCW performer The Maestro (WCW Retro – Thursdays), former TNA Impact talent Wes Brisco (Brisco and Big Ace), Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Brady Hicks, and more!

Since 2010, VOC Nation has brought listeners into the minds of the biggest stars in pro wrestling and entertainment. Subscribe to the podcasts for free, and visit for live programming.

Leave a Reply