Matt Taven: History Is Repeating Itself Because Facing The Briscoes Is A Chance For The OGK To Prove Ourselves Again
History can sometimes repeat itself in the wrestling world, and fans will see a fitting example when Matt Taven and Mike Bennett, collectively known as The OGK, face The Briscoes at ROH Death Before Dishonor.
The two teams have waged war plenty of times in the past, but they haven’t met in the ring since 2015. Needless to say, a lot has changed for the two duos, and ROH itself, since then.
In a recent interview with WrestleZone, Taven previewed this bout, in which ROH’s two most experienced teams will collide, and noted that he and Bennett find themselves in a similar position to the one they occupied during their previous encouters with The Briscoes. Ultimately, they’re a team that’s eager to silence the doubters and prove that The OGK rightfully stands at the forefornt of the company.
“What really put us on the map [as a team] and what really elevated us to stuff like the New Japan IWGP Heavyweight [Tag] Titles and the Ring of Honor Tag Titles was our feud with The Briscoes,” said Taven. “Ond once you’re in there with a team like The Briscoes, as much as I wanna wave the flag of Ring of Honor and say I’m one of the old guard and I’m a standard-bearer of the company, The Briscoes are day one, match one, first second, you know all-timers and the greatest tag team in Ring of Honor history, without a doubt. So for us, six years ago, it was a way for us to prove ourselves, for us to show people that were a legit team and we could go with some of the best.
Taven then specifically pointed to the memorable Tag Team Armageddon Match between the two teams as the bout that solidifed The Kingdom’s status in ROH and the overall wrestling landscape. Looking back on the six years that have passed since this match, Taven described how ROH Death Before Dishonor will bring this rivalry full circle, despite everything that has changed since the two teams last faced off. He noted that Bennett returned during his bitter feud with Vincent, and while this rivalry prevented the OGK from picking up where it left off, competing against The Briscoes is the perfect chance to prove themselves once again.
“History’s really repeating itself because as Mike came back in the middle of my time dealing with Vincent, we really haven’t had a chance to necessarily get back to what we wanted to,” saidb Taven. “Mike came back after five years, and all we wanted to do was team with each other and pick up where we left off. But we were in the midst of all this chaos going on, so we had the opportunities to kinda team against The Righteous, but it wasn’t the same kind of mindset that we had this entire time.
“I’m kinda looking at things now as if me and Mike, if the OGK want to reestablish themselves as one of the top tag teams in Ring of Honor, as one of the teams that should be on the rankings, number one in the rankings, getting world [tag team] titles shots, whatever the case may be, if we wanna establish ourselves as that team, well, history has to repeat itself. And we have to re-establish ourselves against the team that we established ourselves in the first place against, The Briscoes.”
While Taven praised The Briscoes as the greatest team in ROH history, he made it clear that The OGK isn’t intimiated by the brothers’ greatness. Instead, unlike their mindset in the teams’ previous encounters, The OGK is looking at The Briscoes as two peers, given the overlaps of their success. Taven pointed out how he, like Jay, has been a world champion, and both teams have won titles all over the world.
“Six years ago, when we were in the ring with The Briscoes, we very much were lucky and happy to be there and wanted to be like, ‘Let’s hope this goes well,'” said Taven. “And now it’s like, we have something to prove, we have been here long enough that when we step in the ring with The Briscoes, we’re not looking at them anymore as, ‘Oh man, we’re getting in there with The Briscoes, these all-timers.’
“We’re looking at them as peers, as people we feel are very much on the same wavelength as us. Jay’s been a world champion, I’ve been a world champion. Mark and Jay have held world titles all over the place, so have me and Michael, and it’s very much like, we’re looking at it now like we’re looking eye-to-eye with The Briscoes. Where before we were looking up at them, like, ‘Oh we’ll go get them one day’, now it’s like we’re looking them right in the eyes and kind of looking at them as like, ‘You’re in our path of us going forward,’ and I don’t think there’s any better tag team to prove yourself against than The Briscoes or at least prove what the OGK is like now, you know, five, six years later. What it is now, I think, will really be defined by our match with The Briscoes at Death Before Dishonor.”
The full interview is available here: