wrestling / News

Matt Taven On the Top Prospect Tournament’s Success: ‘It’s Crazy How Many Guys Have Come Out of That’

July 20, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Matt Taven ROH

– Matt Taven discussed the ROH Top Prospect Tournament’s ability to shurn out top talent and his own success as ROH World Champion in a new interview with Sporting News. Highlights are below:

On being atop ROH as World Champion: “I was just literally sitting here thinking about it. You won the title at Madison Square Garden and now, months later, you’re throwing out the first pitch at Fenway Park. Life ain’t bad.”

On his heel persona: “Let people hate me all they want. It works. To me, I’m just myself. I’m having a great time. I wanted to be a wrestler since I was six years old. I’m the Ring of Honor World Champion right now. How am I not ecstatic? I go back to this moment at MSG where I’ve gotten the title and I’m standing on the ladder and I look up at the TitanTron smiling and there’s a big sign that says ‘Madison Square Garden’ and there’s just my face with this big Cheshire grin. That’s me right now. People are booing and I’m just having the time of my life.”

On not having time to enjoy his success: “You work so hard to get to that title match and it finally happens at Madison Square Garden and you win it. This should be the end of the movie, right? This is where I ride off into the sunset and then you realize your plane is boarding for Pittsburgh and you have to go to the next town and within a week, I’m defending that title and I’ve been defending it nonstop ever since. You think the work is done but you’re surprised immediately that the work is just begun. There’s moments and time where I can be like that’s a good picture or that really sums up what happened but at the same time, you’re on to the next thing, including this weekend. I have a rematch against Jay Lethal and then we’re back in our hometown (Lowell, Mass.). If you sit down and think about the past, the future passes you by.”

On his critics: “I honestly think you can love me, you can hate me but you can’t deny me, especially if you’ve been watching instead of just reading other people’s opinions or just going out there to put out negativity. If you’re actually watching the product, me and Jay Lethal 60 minutes, the ladder match at Madison Square Garden, me and PCO, me and Mark Haskins, me and Tracy Williams. I think if people actually watched instead of just going online and trying to be a little ‘Negative Nancy,’ if people enjoy wrestling because I grew up as a wrestling fan. I didn’t go out to tear wrestling down. I wanted every single promotion, I wanted every single wrestler to succeed and so I always watched with a wrestling fan eye to the product. I think if people are actually tuning it and watching, they’ll see that I’ve talked a lot and you might hate everything that I say but I back it up every single time in the ring.”

On the success of the Top Prospect tournament: “I remember seeing Dalton Castle in the Top Prospect Tournament, Kyle O’Reilly. It’s crazy how many guys have come out of that. My Top Prospect Tournament alone was ACH, Silas Young, me, Adam Page. It’s crazy to think we were all in the same tournament. Ring of Honor does a great job of keeping their eye out for fresh, new talent and I think every guy in the locker room is doing the same.”