by Lee Hazell
Matt Taven is the head of The Kingdom faction and just one championship away from being the only guy in Ring of Honor to have won their company’s Grand Slam. And he wants to beat the crap out of former ROH World Champion and Grandson of a Plumber, Cody, on his way to it. He talks to SteelChair about why you all should be HonorClub VIPs and tune into the 16th Anniversary Show on March 9, 2018 6:00 pm PST/02:00 GMT.
In case of any newbies listening who want to get a grip on what Matt Taven is all about why don’t you give us a short introduction for yourself and a little history of your career so far?
Where do I begin? Trained by Spike Dudley. Won every single title in Ring of Honor history besides the Heavyweight Championship and I’m looking to be the first-ever Grand Slam Champion. I think my career can speak for itself. If you aren’t a fan of Ring of Honor, there’s a real easy way to go back and look at everything that I’ve done. It’s called HonorClub. Go subscribe.
Tell us more about The Kingdom.
The Kingdom is myself, TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia. All guys from the New England/Boston area. Guys who trained under Spike Dudley. All guys with different backgrounds. TK O’Ryan is a Division I Baseball star here in the States. Myself, I’m celebrating the ten-year anniversary of me wrestling. Vinny Marseglia started the same time as me. Guys who just did things our way and then when the opportunity came up to come together at Ring of Honor we took full advantage of it.
What’s the backstory between you and Cody?
Between me and Cody, it’s been pretty simple and straightforward. Cody is a man who has been handed everything in his entire life because of that famous last name. He’s been given everything on a silver platter when he came to Ring of Honor and guys like myself that have been breaking their back and working for this company for years and pushing it so it continues to grow to the point it is now, and all of a sudden here comes Cody. He’s never stepped foot into Ring of Honor, but still gets all these high-profile matches, and then he gets the world title before you know it.
Yeah, Cody is a big star who comes from one of the most famous wrestling families, didn’t even have the guts to come to Ring of Honor by himself. He had to join Bullet Club because he didn’t have the confidence to just walk in and be himself. He clearly didn’t think he could hang with the rest of the Ring of Honor locker room solo, so he had to go and kiss up to Bullet Club. But when it’s all said and done, where did that get him? After a couple of months, he dropped that title. He couldn’t hold onto it to save his life. So there goes Cody, like he thinks he’s the biggest star in the world and someone’s got to put him in his place and tell him what a giant Melvin he is and that was me.
You won the Top Prospect Tournament in 2013. What doors did that open up to you?
At the time the Top Prospect Tournament was all the guys that had been scratching at the door of Ring of Honor; the top independent guys in the States and around the world. They were all put in the tournament to see who could win a Ring of Honor contract. At the same time, not only did you get a contract, you got a shot at the television title. My Top Prospect Tournament was probably the most star-studded. ACH, myself, Adam Page, Silas Young; a bunch of guys who would end up becoming full-time roster members. It was quite a tournament and quite an accomplishment to win it in the fashion I did and not just that but my first match under contract with Ring of Honor scored me the Televison Title, which I also maintained the longest reign for at the time. That was quite the statement for a guy who had just joined the company. I had basically taken over.
How did you get the name for your finishing move, The Climax?
If you know anything about me, you know I call myself Sexual Taven all the time. That’s just because I have a little bit of swagger outside the ring, but at the time I was in the House of Truth with the Hoopla Hotties and we were just going out there and we were just out there having a good time. So, to hit the Climax was my objective in and out of the ring.
Ring of Honor has been around for 16 years almost. That’s the point at which we can start getting nostalgic for it. What are your favourite memories of Ring of Honor?
Well, like I said, at the 11th Anniversary Show I won the Television Title. I have some fantastic memories with Mike Bennet as Tag Team Champions. Being the first ever ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions with TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia. There’s just so many unreal memories of great accomplishments that I’ve had in Ring of Honor. Outside me, things that always last the longest in my mind are the goodbyes which are always sad. From Bennet’s last night, to Eddie Edwards’ Last Night, to Roderick Strong’s last night. Those are the things when you look back you remember first. It speaks to the great talent that Ring of Honor has had in the past and continues to have to this day.
Finally, tell us why we should be excited about Ring of Honor’s 16th Anniversary.
You just have to look at the card. From me vs Cody, to Dalton Castle vs Jay Lethal, we’ve got the best wrestlers in the world. All the way down there’s not a single dud on that card and you just have to look at Ring of Honor as a whole. We’re a company that has grown and grown and grown, getting to one of the most successful points in its existence. At Supercard of Honor XII in New Orleans, we’re going to have the biggest crowd of all time. You have to ask yourself if you want to be one of those guys that said you were there when Ring of Honor blew up? Or do you want to be one of those guys who jumps onto the bandwagon after everyone else knows what’s going on?
Tune into Ring of Honor’s 16th Anniversary Show on March 9, 2018 6:00 pm PST/02:00 GMT.