By Kevin Eck
It probably wasn’t by chance that Shane Taylor was standing backstage when EC3 walked through the curtain after delivering his mission statement in his ROH debut.
As seen on last weekend’s episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling,” an angry Taylor, accompanied by The Soldiers of Savagery, confronted EC3 about not mentioning his name when he identified the wrestlers he believes “are synonymous with the best wrestling on the planet.”
It wasn’t the first time Cleveland natives Taylor and EC3 have crossed paths. In fact, they’ve known each other for years.
“Shane Taylor and I actually have a storied history that nobody really knows about,” EC3 told me on this week’s episode of the “ROHStrong Podcast.” “I was kind of on my way out of the Cleveland [wrestling] scene, embarking on this great journey through professional wrestling that I’m on, and at the time he was kind of coming into his own, coming up through the indys, starting through Absolute Intense Wrestling, Firestorm Pro Wrestling, local places in the Cleveland-Erie, Pa.-Pittsburgh vicinity.
“So I’ve known him very well. I think the man who originally trained me had a hand in training him. … He was young, he was hungry, and I always appreciated that. He wanted to get better and move on, and he’s done a great job with that.”
EC3 made it clear, however, that he and Taylor were never really friends.
“Part of me is very proud of the man he became, as far as a professional and making the noise he’s made. He’s been a champion here. He’s really put himself on the map,” EC3 said. “And then the other part of me is kind of dissuaded by his overall attitude towards things.”
Taylor has never been shy about expressing his feeling that he has been overlooked and underappreciated by ROH management. I’m guessing the huge chip on his shoulder got even bigger when he saw all the buzz surrounding EC3’s arrival in ROH.
When he confronted EC3, Taylor told him that ROH was his house. Before EC3 had a chance to respond, Jay and Mark Briscoe heard what Taylor said and took exception to it.
After a heated verbal exchange between Taylor and the Briscoes, Jay proposed a six-man tag match pitting Taylor and SOS against him, Mark and EC3. Taylor said they’d be happy to do it anytime.
EC3 and The Briscoes vs Shane Taylor and SOS??
Take my money!
Do you want to see this match?? Let us know by replying to this tweet pic.twitter.com/gEsREEcA47
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) October 20, 2020
I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling,” which features the Block A and Block B finals in the ROH Pure Title tournament.
Jay Lethal faces Tracy Williams in Block A, while Jonathan Gresham takes on Josh Woods in Block B.
From the beginning, I thought it would be Lethal and Gresham, the ROH World Tag Team Champions, facing each other in the championship finals. However, I’m not discounting Williams or Woods. Seeing one or even both of them in the championship match wouldn’t shock me.
Lethal has been talking about he and Gresham meeting in the finals ever since the tournament bracket was revealed. After his win over David Finlay in the Block A semifinals, Lethal reiterated his point and never even mentioned Williams.
“Hot Sauce” boiled when he was told about Lethal’s comments.
“When we face off in this Pure Title tournament, I’m no longer breathing down your neck, I’m biting your nose off and I’m in your face,” Williams said after his Block A semifinal win over Fred Yehi. “So, Jay Lethal, you will learn the name Tracy Williams, and I will teach it to you by force.”
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) October 21, 2020
As for Woods, who defeated PJ Black in the Block B semifinals, I think having his tag partner and mentor, Silas Young, in his corner is a huge plus. Young has faced Gresham numerous times and knows him very well, so he’s an invaluable resource.
In contrast, Brian Johnson’s presence in the corner of his mentor, Black, did more harm than good. Johnson’s incessant chatter during Black’s match against Woods was distracting for all involved, including Black.
Also on this weekend’s episode, bitter enemies Matt Taven and Vincent will square off in a grudge match. There won’t be any pure wrestling in this one, that’s for sure.
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) October 21, 2020
Speaking of Vincent, he and actor Bill Moseley will be my guests on a special Halloween episode of the “ROHStrong Podcast,” which drops on Monday at 7 a.m. ET on ROHWrestling.com and most podcast platforms.
Moseley is best known for playing Otis B. Driftwood in Rob Zombie’s Firefly family trilogy (“House of 1000 Corpses,” “The Devil’s Rejects,” “3 From Hell”) and Chop Top in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.”
ICYMI: The Baltimore Sun published an excellent story this week about the ROH bubble and the strict COVID protocols the company, in conjunction with the Maryland State Athletic Commission, put in place for its TV tapings.
With wrestlers itching to get back to action, the company, in consultation with the Maryland State Athletic Commission, sought a safe way to restart.
Orlando had the NBA bubble; Baltimore would have a pro wrestling bubble.https://t.co/AS2WJeO464
— The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) October 21, 2020
ROH Director of Operations Gary Juster shared stories of the legendary Ole Anderson on this week’s episode of the Old School In Session podcast on YouTube.
In addition to being a big star in several NWA territories and an accomplished booker, Anderson has a reputation for being one of the biggest curmudgeons in the business. However, Juster has seen a side of Anderson that others rarely have.
A new episode of Old School In Session is uploaded every Wednesday. To submit a question for Juster about his many years as a promoter in the NWA, WCW and AWA, send a tweet using #AskGary.
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.