wrestling

Tracy Williams On the Birth of AEW and What It Means to ROH

June 1, 2019 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Tracy Williams ROH

In an interview with Interactive Wrestling Radio, ‘Hot Sauce’ Tracy Williams spoke about getting an ROH title shot tonight and whether or not he thinks AEW will end up being a threat to Ring of Honor. Here are highlights:

On signing with Ring of Honor: “It has been an absolutely wild ride so far. I only really actually signed my contract in February. Since then, I’ve wrestled at Madison Square Garden, I’ve wrestled all around the country, and coming up, I’ve got even bigger things going on. It is a roller-coaster ride working for this company. I just can’t wait to see what is in store for the next couple of years.”

On what we can expect from his title opportunity against Matt Taven at ROH State of the Art: “What you can expect to see is me putting in the fight of my life as I do any time I’ve given any opportunity, title opportunity or not. The fact that it is for such a prestigious title is only going to make me fight harder. I’ve had my eye on (Matt) Taven’s title run so far. So far, he’s had a pretty interesting match with PCO. (laughs) He had a very good match with my partner in LifeBlood, Mark Haskins. So, I know what I’m in for. I’ve come to play.”

On winning the opportunity surprising some people: “I won this opportunity in a 4 way which had Eli Isomm, PJ Black, and Rush. I think a lot of people were looking at that match like, “Oh, this is how Rush is going to get his shot at that ROH title.” Sorry to disappoint! But, that is how pro wrestling worlks! You don’t always get what you’re expecting! I’m going to try and capitalize on that. A couple of months into this contract, to walk out as champion would be pretty huge!”

On Matt Taven’s ability to back up his words: “Matt Taven’s got skill. That is what I’ve seen during this title span of his. He talks a big game with a lot of theatrics around what he does which is not how I do my wrestling. (laughs) I also have to have my head on a swivel because as much as he does back up what he says, he also have the rest of the Kingdom around everywhere he goes.”

On the formation of LifeBlood: “I”m loving it so far. It is a little unorthodox as far as pro wrestling stables go. They do sort of let each member of the group stick to their own devices. We do have a common cause. But, we don’t need to get involved in everyone else’s business. Right now, Bandito is in Japan as part of the Best of the Super Juniors. Juice is in Japan. We come together for the common cause. But, we also have our own things going on. I think it is working out great for everyone so far.”

On the birth of AEW and what it means to ROH: “I, personally, don’t see it (AEW) as a threat at all. I see it as a huge positive. The more big companies that there are elevates the whole landscape and creates more opportunities for everybody. However greener the grass gets elsewhere, the grass is growing all around. I don’t look at it as a threat and I don’t look at it as harsh competition. I think everyone is going to benefit from it.”

On the changes in ROH in 2019 thus far: “As far as the changes in Ring of Honor, I think what I’m doing and what everyone is doing in LifeBlood and the new guys coming in, I think we have kind of hit the reset button a little bit and are re-evaluating what Ring of Honor is and what we can bring to the table. I was a fan of Ring of Honor for a long time and the product they put out. A lot of that was based on hard nosed professional wrestling – Hard hitting, strong professional wrestling. If I can be part of shifting Ring of Honor back in that direction, that is exactly what I plan to do. That is my goal here.”

On being from Brooklyn and getting to perform in Madison Square Garden at G1 Supercard: “It is difficult to put into words. I was a kid from Brooklyn. The first wrestling show I ever saw was WWF at Madison Square Garden. I’ve been around that building my whole life and sort of have seen it as an unreachable mecca. I never saw my path in wrestling going to WWE and they had a grip on that building for a very long time. To be able to carry that Ring of Honor and New Japan flag and bring real wrestling and real wrestling fans into that building is absolutely incredible. I hope it is not the last time that that happens.”

On the “Hot Sauce” nickname’s origins: “I always get a kick out of that also. (laughs) That name came from a text group with me, Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidy. and I believe Jigsaw. We were bored on the road and we were texting each other with horrible wrestling names, absurd wrestling names. (laughs) One of them was “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams. At the time, I was in the market for a name. So, I ended up using that name! (laughs) Sort of as an experiment in what your name is versus how much you do in the ring. I think it confuses a lot of people as to why my name is what it is. (laughs) But, that’s all part of it!”

On possibly doing an endorsement deal with a hot sauce brand: “Yeah, that is something I’ve been slacking on for years… Because, I want to do it right. I want to sell hot sauce. But, I don’t want to do something cheap like stick a sticker over it. I want to do something with a cool artisanal hot sauce maker that has a really delicious sauce. So, if you’re out there and you make your own sauce, hit me up because I’m in desperate need of a sauce deal! (laughs)”

On what he learned training under Cesaro: “I learned so much from him. He is a freak of nature in all that there is in wrestling. There is no better type person to learn from. Someone who is not just a jack of all trades but a master of all trades. To have that tool box to pick from was extremely valuable – More than I could put into words.”

On his time with EVOLVE: “I loved my time with EVOLVE. I think it prepared me for where I am now in how the shows are run and everything.”

On if EVOLVE is too closely tied to WWE: “I see what you’re saying. But, I think that is just a part of professional wrestling. When you get to a certain size…. There are people like you and I who are passionate about the in-ring aspect of professional wrestling. But, in order to reach that broad audience, I think you have to bring another aspect into it. That is where my work ends. (laughs) I focus on doing great professional wrestling. So, when it comes to how it is run, I throw my hands up. But, I do see your point there.”

On his final thoughts going into ROH State of the Art on June 1st: “My final thoughts are that I hope everyone is going to watch. This is arguably the biggest match that I’ve ever had. It is my first ROH title opportunity ever. I’m not taking it lightly. I’m glad I’ve made it this far but this isn’t the end of the road for me!”

article topics :

Tracy Williams, Joseph Lee