Shane Taylor has had a breakout year in Ring of Honor, and now wrestling fans in the UK are getting a first-hand look at just how dangerous of a competitor ROH’s resident hitman-for-hire is.
For the past six weeks, the 356-pounder from the mean streets of East Cleveland has been traveling back and forth to the UK, competing for Revolution Pro Wrestling, Southside Wrestling, 4th Generation Wrestling and International Wrestling: UK. He has challenged himself by facing a diverse set of opponents, including promising New Japan Pro-Wrestling competitor Great O-Kharn, international star James Storm and independent wrestling standout David Starr.
“Every single show I’m on the people have left [with] jaws wide open talking about Shane Taylor,” he told ROHWrestling.com. “The buzz I’ve built over here and the success I’ve had has only proven what I already know, and that’s on a level playing field, Shane Taylor is as good as anybody in any company around the world.”
Taylor returns to the U.S. for good next week and is scheduled to appear at the Final Battle Fallout international television tapings in Philadelphia on Dec. 15, the night after the Final Battle pay-per-view.
“I won’t be on the Final Battle pay-per-view. Let me insert my shocked face,” Taylor said.
It’s no secret that Taylor feels he’s overlooked and underappreciated in ROH, and his success in the UK has only made the chip on his shoulder even bigger.
“Coming back to ROH, I know the deck is already stacked against me,” Taylor said. “I’m not the hand-picked guy of upper management because I’m not in the right “indy cliques” and people may not like how I dress or what I have to say, but after this tour and my performances before I left … nobody can deny that Shane Taylor is now the international star I said I was. Everybody I come across when I get back is going to figure that out quickly.
“2019 is going to be a nightmare for the bosses and nothing but joy and pride for those who believed in me. I’m no longer being the good soldier; no longer sitting back and fighting for a company that doesn’t fight for me. I’ve tried that; it doesn't work. Now I’ve got a new focus, new thought process and new goals: to expose all of Ring of Honor’s chosen ones and change this sport, this business, this company, in ways people never thought possible. Get ready, people, because this year I shatter that glass ceiling.”
Taylor’s last match in ROH before he left for the UK was against ROH World Television Champion Jeff Cobb. Just two weeks after Cobb had destroyed Punishment Martinez in less than 90 seconds to win the title, Taylor had a very competitive match against Cobb. Taylor wants a rematch, this time with the title on the line.
“Damn right I have unfinished business with Jeff Cobb,” Taylor said. “We had the most talked about match of the last four-to-six months in ROH, and yet no Final Battle match for Shane Taylor. Guys like Cobb, the chosen ones, get the red carpet laid out for them when they get here while everybody else gets pushed aside or forgotten about. I’m not for that.”
“I refuse to be looked past or looked over any longer. I took Cobb to his limits, punished him more than anybody in ROH has, and if I get a shot at that World Television Title, it’s coming home with me."