Shane Taylor has been making a huge impact -- literally -- since he began his ROH career in 2016. The massive Cleveland native first wreaked havoc in the tag team division, and he later served as the enforcer of The Rebellion.
After The Rebellion was forced to disband this past June due to a match stipulation, Taylor has become even more dangerous -- especially if the price is right.
ROHWrestling.com caught up with Taylor recently to discuss his current mindset, his violent upbringing, and what sets him apart from the competition in ROH.
ROH: What were your initial thoughts as far as your career is concerned when The Rebellion was forced to disband at Best in the World in June?
ST: My initial thoughts were I'm about to be out of a job, and the people I had watching my back were no longer going to be there. You're surrounded by sharks in this world, and I don't make friends easily, as you can see. But knowing that The Rebellion was done, it forced me to become desperate, forced me to go back to the mentality that I've been trying to stay away from.
ROH: What was your motivation for what appeared to be an unprovoked attack on Josh Woods when he was competing in a six-man mayhem match a couple months ago?
ST: My motivation was simple: money. I needed the money. I have a family to support and a daughter who I refuse to let grow up the way I did, so I had to do what was necessary. Just take a look at the landscape. You don't see Shane Taylor on the U.K tours, do you? You don't see Shane Taylor going to Japan. Hell, I've watched other guys come in after me and they've got shirts up in the ROH pro shop. Have you seen a Shane Taylor shirt anywhere? Yeah, neither have I. I know from growing up in one of the most violent cities in the country that sometimes you have to get in where you fit in.
ROH: After your recent match against Woods, you laid him out and then were handed an envelope -- presumably with money inside it -- from QT Marshall. What was that all about?
ST: It doesn't take a genius to see that QT had an issue with Josh Woods and came to "The Capo" himself to take care of it. Luckily for me there's no shortage of ego in ROH, and in this insanely competitive world, everybody is looking for an edge against their opponents. That's where I come in. It's awfully hard to compete with a broken jaw, shattered skull, busted ribs and so on. You get the point. I've worked with QT, I've worked with Cody, and I've done work for people you don't even know about. Usually it works a little differently, though. I have someone that I trust deal with all potential clients. He gives me the next target, I execute the contract, collect the money. He gets his cut, obviously, and we're off to the next victim.
But for certain guys like Cody, like QT and other top ROH talent, they have a direct line to me. The price goes up significantly higher for these jobs, but they know they're paying for violence at its finest.They know they can come straight to me with their problems and it'll be handled. No middle man. No red tape. No mess. Boss to boss.
ROH: So who exactly is Shane Taylor and what makes him tick?
ST: Shane Taylor is a man who's done just about everything there is to do. From fighting on the streets as a kid, looking for our next meal or protecting my family, to being the first in my family to go to college. I'm also a guy that has seen the worst of the world and has made a lot of mistakes. I've done a lot of things that I'm not proud of. I've hurt a lot people and I've worked for worse people. But even with all that, I'm here in ROH competing against the best talent in the world. I just hope they're ready for what's been unleashed in me, because there is no more nice Shane Taylor. Everyone from here on out has two choices: pay up or get put down. Cleveland's
“Capo” is back and I'm coming to collect.
ROH: You compete in a company that’s named Ring of Honor and there is a Code of Honor here. Some would say that you’re not an honorable competitor. Your response?
ST: My response is, walk a mile in my shoes and see where you end up. Let me put you on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, seeing over 100 friends and family members lose their lives to drugs, violence and gangs all before 15 years old and see what it does to you. Let me put you in our house that my brothers and I lived in, where we were only allowed to lay on the floor in the living room because our house would get shot up weekly because my dad wouldn't let the dealers sell on our corner and see what it does to you.
Let me give you three younger brothers looking at you for strength, guidance and stability when your mother dies of breast cancer the day before your 13th birthday and see what it does to you. Let me put you in a situation that you were supposed to fail, you were supposed to fall through the cracks, you were supposed to be just another statistic, and see where you end up. Since I'm not out here selling T-shirts like the Young Bucks, I've got to supplement my income in other ways. They sell shirts. I sell violence; I sell brutality; I sell ass-whoopings. It’s the same thing.
ROH: Having been part of a successful tag team and a faction, what are your career goals now that you’re on your own?
ST: My career goals are placed on the backburner to my money goals right now. As I've said, the powers that be only have room for a few, and I'm not in Bullet Club or on that short list of priorities, so my only interest right now is stacking my checks. I mean, not just taking care of bills and the essentials, but I'm also paying for my cousin's degree from Harvard University. Having a legal team is pretty smart for a guy like me. And I'm also building an exact to scale match of the oval office in my house. You wouldn't believe how much you have to pay the government to get the blueprint for that. Along with an extensive and expanding video game collection -- anybody who wants to get smacked in EA UFC 2, holla at your boy -- I can't afford to not make as much money as possible. Fighting for honor and titles … now don't get me wrong, if one falls into my lap then of course I'll take it, but it's just not in the forefront of my thoughts.
ROH: What sets Shane Taylor apart from the competition in ROH?
ST: While everybody on this roster is a world class talent, at the end of the day they're all showmen, businessmen. I’m a killer. What separates me from them is I know what's waiting for me if I fail. I know what kind of life is out there for me, for my family, if I can't make this work. I've lived that life, and I promised them I'd never go back to it. I'm a man of my word and I'm going to do anything I have to do to ensure my success here, whether they want me to be successful or not. Shane Taylor is the most violent, the most ruthless, the most dangerous competitor that ROH has ever seen, with a right hand that delivers one-punch, career-shortening, life-changing power. There's a reason my nickname on the streets is "One Punch Shane.” ROH is just now seeing why.
ROH: You’re still a big man, but you’ve lost a significant amount of weight lately. Are you concerned about losing any power now that you’re lighter?
ST: Absolutely not. The scary thing is, I've managed to keep every ounce of my strength and power. Now I'm faster and generate quicker and better angles. I’m more dangerous than I've ever been before, and quite frankly, even I don't know what I'm capable of now.