Dalton Castle certainly ended 2017 with a bang (a-rang).
Ring of Honor’s most flamboyant and charismatic performer made history when he defeated Cody to win the ROH World Championship at the Final Battle pay-per-view Dec. 15 at Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
ROHWrestling.com caught up with Castle for his first interview since winning the championship.
ROH: First of all, congratulations. It’s been a couple weeks now since Final Battle. Has it sunk in yet that you’re the ROH World Champion?
Dalton Castle: Not really. Often you can find me pulling up images on Google Earth just to remind myself what exactly I am now champion of.
ROH: Can you put into words what it felt like when Cary Silkin presented you with the ROH World Championship belt?
DC: No way. There was so much going on in my head it was crazy. The feelings I had at that exact moment would probably best be described with a dance.
ROH: What are your thoughts on the newly designed belt?
DC: I think it looks fantastic!
ROH: How did you celebrate your victory?
DC: I flew to Cabo, spent three full minutes of uninterrupted eye contact with a mini horse and then ordered many drinks with tiny umbrellas.
ROH: Can you talk about the support you’ve received from Honor Nation and what it’s meant to you?
DC: It has been nothing but amazing. I have always felt like a champion and I knew I could work hard to make it so. But, to also have the fans of ROH loudly accept me as their champion has made this whole experience beyond amazing.
ROH: When you first started in ROH, a lot of fans and pundits recognized how entertaining of a performer you are, but I don’t know that many saw you as a future world champion. Did you always believe you could be where you are now? Or was there a moment in ROH when you realized that you have what it takes to be world champion?
DC: No, I never doubted my abilities. I belong in a pro wrestling ring and knew if I just continued to be fearless I would be able to be myself and move up. It wasn't a moment that I started to see ‘I have what it takes,’ it was more I noticed others started to see what I already knew.
ROH: What did you learn from your first world title shot, against Christopher Daniels in April?
DC: That no one person or moment is meant to be taken lightly. Anything can happen in that ring and to be a champion you need to be prepared for everything. Also it's very important to stay limber.
ROH: How did it feel to have The Boys back with you at Final Battle?
DC: Having my Boys back by my side feels great. With them there for my entrance I can be sure I am going to give the fans the unforgettable performance they deserve.
ROH: Speaking of your entrance, tell us about the one you made at Final Battle. Ian Riccaboni described it as ‘an entrance befitting a rock star.’
DC: Ian is a wise Boy. Leading into Final Battle I felt unstoppable. I wanted an entrance that conveyed that. If it would have been structurally acceptable, I would have busted through the walls of the Hammerstein Ballroom, but then I would run the risk of the entire building coming down.
ROH: Now that you’re world champion, do you feel as if we’re truly entering a new era in ROH?
DC: Absolutely. I say with nothing but confidence that Ring of Honor has never seen a champion like me. I'm fantastic, fearless, and I plan on dropping a lot of people on their heads.