The self-proclaimed "real" Ring Of Honor World Champion Matt Taven recently joined Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on the WINCLY podcast. Among many other things, Taven talked about his upcoming title defense against former Ring Of Honor World Champion Dalton Castle at Final Battle on December 14, 2018. Also, Taven discussed wanting to headline the G-1 Supercard show from Madison Square Garden and who his ideal opponent would be. Additionally, Taven shared his thoughts on WWE moving NXT TakeOver: New York to April 5 and his favorite Madison Square Garden moment.
According to Taven, he wants to beat Castle at Final Battle, so the leader of The Kingdom can go on to headline the G-1 Supercard show at Madison Square Garden.
"I mean, obviously, I've had my sights set on Madison Square Garden since it was announced, or even the rumors and the talk started." Taven explained, "so, to me, that's why this title defense against Dalton Castle is so important because I'm looking to be the headliner of Madison Square Garden. I want the top spot on Ring Of Honor's biggest show. So going into Final Battle, you don't need much motivation because it is the end of the year and it's kind of the pinnacle as they've been touting of a year's long journey of work, of injuries you might have fought through. It's kind of this time right before you put a period on 2018 and that's already a big enough stage as it is. But now, looking after that, to see that Madison Square Garden is right around the corner, and everything that's happening that night is really going to set up what happens that night. It's just, phew, the cherry on top for someone like me who knows that I'm going into this bout pretty confident. At the same time, you've got your eye on every other match because you're looking to see who you might be facing come Madison Square Garden."
When asked who his ideal opponent would be for the G-1 Supercard show, Taven pitched a champion versus champion match against the winner of the Final Battle ROH World Championship match between champ Jay Lethal and Cody [Rhodes], preferably Lethal.
"I mean, people will continue to want to see the two champions collide. And, in particular, if I had to pick a match between Jay Lethal and Cody Rhodes, I feel like me and Cody went to war recently and me and Jay Lethal have some unfinished business from the last time we were stepping in the ring with one another. It was in New York City as well or out in Coney Island, I should say. But in the cage, the results didn't go the way I wanted them to and it [has] been something that always kind of bothered me and I would like to get my revenge on Jay Lethal." Taven said, "and if it was back in the New York City area, then it would kind of feel like it came full circle from that night at Field Of Honor."
With respect to WWE's decision to move NXT TakeOver: New York to the night before the G-1 Supercard, Taven suggested that too many factors are potentially involved to definitively say that WWE did not want to directly compete with the G-1 Supercard.
"I mean, honestly, this is the very first that I've heard about it and I don't know if they already had it for Saturday and then moved it." Taven continued, "there [are] so many factors that probably go into that. It's hard to say one way or the other. Just the sheer fact that people are looking at all the shows and are excited for everything that's going on and putting the top companies in the world all in one sentence and all in one breath, is what I think you're looking for in the first place. To compare yourself to any other place is kind of foolish because there are so many different factors that go into the success of a company, but at the same time, to see the growth of Ring Of Honor and to see where we started from, from before me, obviously, but till when I started to see where it is now, and to be one of the biggest shows of WrestleMania weekend, it's kind of just a really good place to be for Ring Of Honor and it's a cool pat on the back for the people that have been there for years."
During the interview, Taven divulged that his favorite pro wrestling moment from Madison Square Garden is WWE Hall Of Famer Bret 'Hitman' Hart winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 10.
"I mean, you just think of, man, a million things that go on. You think of that roof. And I was actually just watching something recently, and I'm looking at the crowd and kind of like, 'ah, I wonder if it's going to look this way when we're in there.' But for me in particular, I've been a lifelong wrestling fan and growing up, Bret Hart was one of my guys that when I started watching wrestling, I was a little six-year-old lunatic, screaming at the TV as a kid. Bret Hart was working his way up the ranks and to see him win the world title at Madison Square Garden was one of those things as a kid that you'll remember in your fandom, memories forever." Taven added, "so I think that's kind of, as soon as I think of Madison Square Garden, I kind of think of that moment."
Don't be a melvin - check out the WINCLY podcast in the audio player below.
Source: Wrestling Inc.