By Kevin Eck
Fresh off regaining the ROH World Tag Team Title at Honor For All, The OGK (Matt Taven and Mike Bennett) were my guests on the latest episode of The ROHStrong Podcast.
Taven and Bennett opened up about the bittersweet feelings they experienced that night in Baltimore. It was a championship victory nearly six years in the making, but it occurred during a time of uncertainty about the future of ROH.
“It’s so unbelievably hard. I don’t know how else to say it,” Taven said. “You wanted something for so long and it happens, but it’s just not the way it’s supposed to happen. For this to happen in this circumstance, not just without the crowd but knowing that we don’t know what tomorrow brings, it’s a tough one.
“When you’re looking at your suitcase and there’s this big trophy that you’ve been desperate for for almost six years now, but when you pick it up you think of all these uncertain things that might happen, you’re playing with a double-edged sword.”
We waited along time for this but we didn’t think it would be like this… https://t.co/saAivN2Q6W
— ᴛʜᴇ ᴛʀᴇɴᴅ MʌTT TʌVEN (@MattTaven) November 15, 2021
Said Bennett: “When the three count happened, I don’t ever remember uncontrollably crying like I did in that exact moment, and I didn’t exactly know what I was crying for because the emotions were all so conjumbled and joined together. We had set out on something that was very personal to us and that was regaining the tag team championship.
“To see the paths that our careers took and to come full circle in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of all this crap happening, and just be once again on that path and that goal and feel like we were on that trajectory to accomplish, and then to have the rug pulled out from underneath you, it’s an emotion of happiness, and sadness, and anger, and being terrified. Literally every single emotion went through my body at that point, and I guess the only way to handle it was to just uncontrollably cry.”
This one means EVERYTHING. pic.twitter.com/OFRKOaEivN
— Mike Bennett (@RealMikeBennett) November 15, 2021
Taven and Bennett also talked about defending the belts against the Briscoes at Final Battle: End of an Era on Dec. 11 in Baltimore; becoming locker room leaders and elevating others; why the ROH locker room and ROH fans are special; Taven’s long feud with Vincent; Bennett wanting to inspire others with his story, and much more.
The podcast drops Monday morning on ROHWrestling.com and most podcast platforms.
Speaking of Final Battle: End of an Era, my backstage sources are telling me to “expect the unexpected.”
It’s certain to be an emotional and historic event that no one who has ever been an ROH fan should miss.
For tickets to Final Battle: End of an Era at Baltimore’s Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena, click here.
A huge main event has been signed for Ring of Honor Wrestling the weekend of Nov. 27, as two-time former ROH World Champion Jay Lethal and two-time former TNA World Champion EC3 meet in a one-on-one match for the first time.
Lethal has been in the news this past week. In addition to Lethal’s fellow Foundation members questioning his loyalty to the faction, he also made his debut for AEW.
This is awkward…
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) November 17, 2021
EC3 spoke in riddles, as he often does, when sharing his thoughts about facing Lethal.
“All of our leaders have failed us. Our political leaders, our corporate leaders, even our locker room leaders. All of our leaders have failed us, and we deserve more,” EC3 said.
“This company, this industry desperately needs a new type of leadership. Not leadership in the sense that I lead these men. But they need to follow an idea. Control. Take back control. Fight for your freedom to find your purpose. This is the narrative.”
Gia Scott’s pestering of ROH Board of Directors member Maria Kanellis-Bennett for a shot at the ROH Women’s World Title has paid off. Rok-C will defend the championship against Scott on Ring of Honor Wrestling the weekend of Nov. 27.
Scott interrupted last week’s episode of Women’s Division Wednesday to once again insist that Kanellis-Bennett give her a title opportunity. Kanellis-Bennett said she doesn’t approve of how Scott goes about things but does appreciate her tenacity.
“During my time as a wrestler I didn’t win a whole lot of matches, but I always was one to fight for more,” Kanellis-Bennett said. “No matter how much I was beaten down I always came back for more, and I see that same trait with Gia.”
Rok-C has made good on her vow to be a fighting champion since winning the title in September and was more than willing to put her title on the line against Scott.
“I meant it when I said that I would defend this championship against anyone, anywhere, anytime, and Gia Scott has gotten her shot,” Rok-C said. “But Gia I want you to understand that people just don’t deserve things, they earn them. That’s exactly how I got this title. I’m not underestimating you, so I really hope that you’re not underestimating me.”
Scott is definitely not someone to be taken lightly. “The Greatest Damn Woman” is a three-tme former MCW Pro Wrestling Women’s Champion, a title that has been held by the likes of Mickie James and Melina.
“Maria, I don’t know if you just threw me to the wolves just to shut me up, but I am going to shut you and everybody up. … I am the Greatest Damn Woman and I will not be overlooked ever.”
Also on the loaded Nov. 27 episode of ROH TV, the Briscoes will face Danhausen and PCO. That should be a wild one to say the least.
ROH World Television Champion Dragon Lee versus Dalton Castle for the title headlines this weekend’s episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling.
Also on the show, former ROH Pure Champion John Walters faces Brian Johnson, who is ranked No. 1 in the Pure division; and there’s a triple threat contenders match between Trish Adora, Allysin Kay and Mandy Leon.
The winner of that match will face Willow -- who won a triple threat contenders match over Angelina Love and Miranda Alize last month -- on Ring of Honor Wrestling the weekend of Dec. 4 for the right to challenge for the ROH Women’s World Championship at Final Battle.’
ROH TV PREVIEW: https://t.co/elASwcksdL
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) November 17, 2021
Brian Milonas, the self-proclaimed best pound-for-pound Pure wrestler in the world, takes on Rhett Titus in a Pure Rules Match on the next episode of ROH Week By Week, which premieres Tuesday at 1 p.m. Eastern on YouTube.
Until next time, keep safe and stay #ROHStrong!
Kevin Eck is a veteran pro wrestling journalist who has worked for The Baltimore Sun, WWE and WCW before joining ROHWrestling.com. Eck’s Files appears every Friday.