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TK O’Ryan of Ring of Honor’s Kingdom faction joined Interactive Wrestling Radio via the Wrestling Epicenter for an exclusive interview. The rising ROH star talked about the ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard of Honor, his 15th Anniversary shin shattering moonsault, and has a mixed bag of a reaction when discussing Cody and the Young Bucks and what they’ve done with All In. The following highlights were sent to PWTorch.com from the producers of Wrestling Epicenter. To listen, visit www.WrestlingEpicenter.com. You can also find a YouTube link there.
•On getting called up to ROH and being part of the Kingdom: “Man, it was awesome. It was something that I really had my eye on. I had really put in the time to get to Ring of Honor. I an remember.. I was actually with Mike Bennett when I got the call that I was going to be working with Ring of Honor and found out that I was going to be making my debut as part of the Kingdom that Matt Taven was putting back together. It was kind of weird because I had only been working a few years before I made the jump to working for Ring of Honor full time. So, I did not have this long, drawn out love affair with wrestling. It honestly felt like something that I got drawn into that I felt more than ready for!”
•On the 15th Anniversary accident that saw him shatter his shin: “It was as simple as I jumped too far. (laughs) It wasn’t the guard rails were too close… There have been all kinds of conspiracy theories out there, “Ring of Honor is not a safe.” The truth is, Ring of Honor is an incredibly safe place to work and the truth is that on that moonsault, I jumped too far. I was amped up. We were out there with Dalton and the Boys in Las Vegas. All thepomp and circumstance was there. It was the 15th Anniversary. All the elements were there. I have nailed that move dozens of times. It wasn’t the first time I had ever done a moonsault. On this particular night, I was a little too amped up and you saw what happened.”
•On knowing the extent of the injury right away: “Dude, I knew my leg was shattered. There was no mystery there. The bigger issue is I was trying to figure out if my other leg was broken. If you watch the tape, you can actually see I grab, hard, my right leg as soon as I roll over. I kind of shake it out a little bit. And, I go back to the broken one. I knew one (the left) was (broken) for sure.”
•On how it was handled when: “As far as professionalism in the ring, you’re talking about between Matt, Vinnie, Dalton, and the Boys. You’re pushing 40 years of wrestling experience in that ring. All credit to the guys that have been around that helped me when I really needed it.”
•On the medical treatment in Las Vegas being a nightmare: “I’m going to stop you right there. The medical treatment in Vegas would have to improve a lot to suck. When I say it was bad, I fear that you will not respect how bad it actually was. (laughs) It was a nightmare, man. It was a living nightmare! The long form story of the Kingdom in Vegas getting through that hospital is completely insane. The short form is it took the ambulance over an hour to get there. I was laying on the cold Sam’s Town Casino floor for an hour waiting for an ambulance to get there. When it did get there, we took the ride. The ambulance ride itself that was on my hospital bill was over $3,500 grand! An Uber ride… (laughs) to the hospital would have cost $30 and I would have gotten there faster! Once I got to the hospital, there was no sense of urgency. YOu would have thought I had a paper cut, man. Not for nothing but I fell from a height that you should be scanning for major head trauma. I mean, that’s a pretty dangerous fall! There could be other injuries internally or otherwise. Basically, I ended up getting there and sitting in the waiting room in my underwear for 2 hoursin the main lobby with random people walking in and out in the mud room, basically. When they finally did take me in, they did nothing to help my pain. They didn’t even set my leg! It was probably 4 and a half hours before they set my leg! As soon as I finally saw the doctor that had to see me, I asked to sign my release. They wanted me to do surgery in the morning. I said I’d take my chances flying across the country with a broken leg and see some doctors in Boston!”
•On the recovery: “I hate to discredit myself, but it is just a broken leg! As nasty as it looked… Like, Matt’s injury was a lot worse than mine. It’s a bone! They glue it together, they sew you up, and the same day I was able to walk on it. It wasn’t a good walk! It was a painful, slow, laborious walk down the hallway with somebody at my shoulder. I had a great support system helping me out. I really dod.” ”m fine. I’m back! I’m better than ever!”
•On getting back into the ring quickly after the injury: “Maybe a little too soon. I felt like once I had the surgery and the rod was in there, it was ready to go! I felt like the more I pushed it, the quicker I’d be able to get back to full strength. For a while there, I was moving around with little strength or energy. It is funny because if you look at my body then and look at my body now, you can tell the physical effect it had on me as well. I really felt like getting in the ring and pushing would make it heal faster. It turns out, I guress I was right!”
•On winning the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles back upon his return: “Man, it felt like all was right with the world when we won those titles back in Lowell, MA. The build up to it had been so intense with the screaming that there had been a conspiracy against the Kingdom. You’re familiar with wrestling and when a champion loses a title, he gets a rematch. It is just Wrestling 101, it has been that way for over 100 years. It didn’t work that way for the Kingdom. So, to have to bite, scratch, and claw our way back only to have this sort of genesis moment in our backyard with the fans completely on our side was a cool thing. All was right with the world I guess would be the overall feeling!”
•On doing color during the recent Six-Man Tag Guantlet Match: “Oh, I loved it! I felt like a pig in stink, man! That is my absolute comfort zone. Put a headset on my head and let me talk into a microphone! I was born for that. To do it for RIng of Honor television in the Hammerstein with Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana who are an awesome duo, I loved it! I kept messing with Ian too. I kept putting my finger in his nose. I stole his tie… Stole his glasses! I kept knocking his headset off his ears so he couldn’t hear anything. Love it!
•On working Cody Rhodes one on one recently: “I took away that I could hang with one of the best guys in the world. I knew I could going into the match. My biggest thing is anyone that saw it knows that I’m just as good as a guy like Cody Rhodes. It really comes down to the right lighting and the right context. Having a chance to go up against a guy like Cody in a place like Nashville which is a historic wrestling town… It is tough to come up with a bigger spot than that. I just hope people took notice to what happened in that match.”
•On the upcoming title defense against the Bullet Club on ROH TV: “An absolute classic TV main event spoiled by an absolute blown call. I won’t give away everything but there Kingdom conspiracy is absolutely 100% and in Atlanta, there is the most clear cut, undeniable proof that it is real. You’ll see it first hand on Ring of Honor television from Atlanta in a few weeks.”
•On All In: “I think Cody Rhodes is a big stinky turd. But, I like the Young Bucks an awful lot. I’ve really come to respect who they are and what they do. They’re the trendesetters of wrestling. Twenty-five years from now, you’re going to have guys saying, “These tag teams, they don’t make ’em like they used to make the Young Bucks!” To be in the same company as them and to be as involved with them as we are, God it feels like Vinnie and I are wrestling with the Bucks every other month, I love it. I’m not going to sit here and say it is an honor. But, I definitely appreciate getting to work with those guys as much as I do.”
•On ROH working Madison Square Garden: “It is unbelievable, man! It is definitely a sign of the times! With Ring of Honor being as hot as it is, it is certainly the coolest wrestling company on the planet, there is no doubt about that, There’s no doubt about the talent that is in that locker room. There is no doubt about our ability to put on world class shows. When Ring of Honor comes to Madison Square Garden – There’s so many eyes that are open right now. But, that’s going to open up the eyes that are still half shut.”
•On the ROH ring changing to a white ring mat: “(laughs) That’s kind of a hot topic in the Ring of Honor locker room at the moment. The dark ring looks cool but it is a bit much on TV. Dark ring, dark ropes, dark curtain, dark mats. It gets a bit much. The lighter colored mat does add some cool contrast. So, it is pretty sweet. But, it does have the negative of like halfway through the show, you see the sweat stains on there. I guess if I had to pick, I think I like the black mat. It sets Ring of Honor apart from the other televised wrestling companies. I’d take the black everything and the red turnbuckle pads!”
•On the walls coming down and wrestling companies working together: “I think what is going on right now is nothing new. It is something old in a new way. You get a lot of guys that talk about the territorial days of wrestling. I think right now is as close as a modern version of that there is going to be. Obviously, I wasn’t around for the territories. But, I have heard a lot of stories and seen a lot fo tape. We’re getting back to a time where the wrestler is in charge. It is less of wrestlers needing to work for one of the big three companies and it is kind of getting back to where wrestlers can make a living by being professional wrestlers.”
NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT REPORT: Interview Highlights: ROH G.M. Greg Gilleland discusses Cody and Bucks contracts, All In on Honor Club, WWE-MSG drama
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