With many big names in Ring of Honor saying their adieus after Final Battle, Jeff Cobb can be considered one of the company's mainstays despite him just joining ROH in July. Cobb is the current ROH TV champion but he credits many of those ROH superstars who came before him for helping him get to his current position.
On our WINCLY podcast, Cobb talked to Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman and answered if he feels he's one of the current gatekeepers at ROH.
"I guess a part of me does. I feel like the guys who have had longer tenures at ROH are the gatekeepers. Guys like Silas Young and Jay Lethal – they've been with ROH for more than a cup of coffee, have had great matches and are locker room leaders," said Cobb. "If you look at Punishment Martinez and Hangman Page, I'm not really a gatekeeper. I'm more of a 'lock the door, kick 'em out' guy…I'm just there to do my job and steal shows. If I suplex somebody and they don't come back, that's not my fault."
Speaking of Martinez, Cobb won the TV title off the former ROH superstar. Cobb detailed what he learned from working with the veteran.
"He was the previous champion so he definitely helped me out with how to represent the company," said Cobb. "'This is how you carry yourself. This is how you represent the company, represent the belt, represent your peers.' My interactions with him weren't as much as I would have liked… but he definitely helped out in the short time that we had."
Cobb's first official match with ROH was against Martinez and was for the television championship. But him winning the title was as much a surprise to Cobb, himself, as it was to all of the fans.
"I was more shocked at how quick the belt was coming to me on my first official ROH match. I definitely was very shocked that day showing up to the venue," Cobb said before telling Nick when he found out he was going to win the title. "Well the day before. There was rumblings but I never believe anything until I show up and it's on the call sheet."
Giving a new wrestler a title in his debut match is extremely rare. Cobb revealed what ROH saw in him that made them believe he was the right guy for the belt.
"They see something in me where I'm a suplexing machine and I just run through people," stated Cobb. "That played out on TV with the Top Prospects Tournament and I ran through all of them... Just a juggernaut kind of champion."
Cobb was an amateur wrestler who competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He then started in pro wrestling in 2009 and revealed what led him to leave the indie circuit for Ring of Honor.
"Just the history that ROH has. A lot of the guys that I looked up to were ROH guys. The product itself is always good, match quality is always good and their relationship with New Japan definitely helped out," said Cobb. "I love going [to New Japan] so with ROH having that relationship, they're like, 'if you wanna go on this tour, go ahead' so I really appreciate that."
Cobb's full interview from this week's WINCLY podcast also includes him discussing his ROH Final Battle match against Hangman Page, his ROH 2019 goals and more. The WINCLY also features a nearly one-hour, exclusive interview with WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc Audio on iTunes to get all of Wrestling Inc's podcasts as soon as they are released.