Shane Taylor: ROH Has Enough Of Its Own Talent To Showcase, We Don’t Need A Partnership With Anyone Else
Shane Taylor recently spoke with Andrew Thompson for POST Wrestling ahead of his ROH World Championship match against RUSH. A win over RUSH would make Taylor only the second Black ROH World Champion in history, and it’s something that’s not lost on him. Jay Lethal is the only Black wrestler to win ROH’s top prize, and Taylor explained what the win would mean to him, and to the fans watching.
“I mean that’s the goal. Only three of us have held the Ring of Honor World TV Title: Myself, Jay Lethal and Kenny King and only Jay has reached the top of the mountain for the world title. That is why I make no bones about it that when I say I’m only chasing two legacies in ROH, that’s why, because we’re all here right now in our primes. Our careers are going to be compared. Like, imagine if Kobe [Bryant], LeBron [James] and [Michael] Jordan all played in the same era, right? That’s what this is. So I’m chasing them in real-time. I can’t be worried about the ghosts of Ring of Honor past. I can’t be worried about legend’s past. I look at who’s in front of me, I look at who’s around me and they are here right now. Those [are] the legacies that I’m chasing.”
Taylor pointed out that he’s already won the TV title and pinned Jay Lethal twice, so now the only thing left is to “give him company on the top of that mountain” and go on an unprecedented World Championship run.
“Especially now in this time, in this climate, in this era, not only in professional wrestling but in society, in the country, to have a prominent Black male figure standing at the top of a professional wrestling company, not dancing around issues, not saying things without saying them, actually saying them and standing by that, to me that speaks to progress. That speaks to innovation, that speaks to a willingness to really make change. Anybody in any company can just say they want it, but you have to show that you really wanna do it.”
During the interview, Taylor confirmed his multi-year deal that he signed with ROH in 2019 is soon to expire, but he has an option for another year coming due. He said it’s possible that he signs a new contract with Ring Of Honor to stick around longer, but one of his other goals is to keep Shane Taylor Promotions intact.
STP is just one way ROH has been able to introduce new talent, and Taylor believes that’s one area the company has been excelling in since the ‘reboot’ last year, without needing to lean on partnering with other promotions.
“I’ve said for years that we have enough talent, that we don’t have to have a partnership with anybody else. We have enough talent, we have the skill to be on our own and do those things. Obviously, when you partner up with other companies, you’re gonna get dream match-ups, it’s great for business, it’s great for the fans, all that stuff. As long as it truly helps Ring of Honor, I’m all for it. Usually what happens is that is not the case. It helps the company that we’re working with but it doesn’t really help us and so for me, my thing has always been, ‘We have the talent. Let’s showcase our talent. Let’s prove that it is not just whoever else was here and the rest of us.’”
“It’s not just big brother here and oh, here’s ROH. That’s not what this is. We are the best wrestling on the planet, we are. You can take anybody’s top ten, take our top ten and I’d match them up in the ring or out of it, you know what I mean? It is what it is. So for me, that’s always been a thing so I don’t think it’s necessary. Would it be welcomed if it made business sense? I’m sure. But again, as long as it actually helps Ring of Honor because if it doesn’t then what’s the point?”