Ring of Honor and New Japan star Matt Taven took some time out of his packed schedule to speak with Wrestling Inc.'s own Nick Hausman as part of the WINCLY Podcast. During the discussion, Taven went into detail about the upcoming Arm Wrestle Kingdom event at Madison Square Garden that's being held before the G-1 Supercard show. He also touched on the numerous releases that have occurred in WWE over recent weeks.
Taven's excitement about hosting the upcoming Arm Wrestle Kingdom event centers around the opportunity it presents him with seeing wrestling fans possibly embarrassing themselves. He thinks the decision to include him in the festivities was a no-brainer, as he's convinced he's the "most" entertaining thing around.
"I wasn't sure what kind of competition we would be having, but in my mind, when it was first delivered to me, I was just hoping that I can host an event where fans could come in and really embarrass themselves for the Melvins they are," Taven explained. "And show that they might be able to talk, or type or state their opinion in numerous amounts of ways, but they could never back up the words they say. So that really kind of sparked my interest and now it's turned into this big thing and now it's just, you know, if you're going to have a marquee event the day before Madison Square Garden, obviously you should have the most entertaining man hosting the thing, which is why Ring of Honor had to come to me and make sure that I could maintain order in such as the crazy event, and also be the most entertaining man in the room."
Taven will be primarily hosting the event, and will not take part in any actual arm wrestling competitions. Even still, he has a rather heel idea of hosting the arm wrestling competition while berating wrestling fans on the microphone as they experience defeat.
"The details are still to be announced, but I personally, I'm just hosting. I got a big show the next day. I'm not looking to really strain my muscles in any sort of way trying to slap around a Melvin or two," Taven stated. "But if I could set up some sort of confrontation where a fan maybe thinks that they're an arm wrestler, and then comes in and I just berate them over the microphone, just verbally insult them to their very core and just watch them as they get smothered into the mat, losing arm wrestling against whoever was able to step up to the stage. Because our fans, they might have big voices but they have little arms. So if I had any opportunity to do something like that, Matt Taven would be all for it. But again, I'm not sure how things would work out a liability wise, insurance wise, I just know that they need a man to really hold the show together, and really be a selling point to buy tickets to it. And of course they came crawling to me."
Taven has been studying up on his arm wrestling knowledge, claiming that he's watched over 10,000 hours of competition during his research.
"As far as watching Over The Top, I'm sure I've watched it more or at least as much as any other person on earth, and I believe you have to watch it for over 10,000 hours to be an expert at arm wrestling, which I think I surpassed recently."
As far as guest appearances to increase the buzz surrounding the Arm Wrestle Kingdom event, Taven likes the prospect of bringing in semi-retired pro wrestler, Scott Norton. Taven grows more and more convinced that this will be a can't-miss event.
"If I could maybe put some money to the side, maybe put it all on Scott Norton, if people are taking any bets like that, I think we could get some side action of Scott Norton as able to show up on the day before Madison Square...This is going to be one of those events that people are going to be talking about," Taven continued. "And you're gonna see videos on the internet of and people are going to say, 'You missed it.'So don't be one of those Melvins, don't miss it. Tell everyone that you get in and be there the day before we tear down Madison Square Garden."
Taven also addressed the recent hiring and debut of PCO, who has flourished as a member of the "Villain Enterprises" faction. He's in awe at how durable PCO is when it comes to in-ring competition. Taven is beginning to run out of ideas regarding how to finally get rid of PCO.
"I don't know if he has adapted, he's a lunatic - he's an absolute madman, like every time I see him, I think this is going to be the last time," Taven said. "And somehow, like Frankenstein, he continues to keep ticking. So it looks like in Vegas, at the TV tapings, it was Villain Enterprises vs. The Kingdom, and it looks like we're just gonna have to take out this guy by any means necessary put him through, I don't know, the stage or something because this guy is a madman... Yep, put the [axe] right through his head. We've got to make sure and put a stake right through his heart, because this guy is like coming up, back from everything and It's a little bit terrifying. At the same time, you gotta believe like you can't keep this up forever will just keep trying to destroy him."
With the recent releases of Tye Dillinger and TJP, along with the announced departure of former WWE Champion Dean Ambrose after WrestleMania, the community of pro wrestling fans around the world has been buzzing about what these stars may do next. Taven thinks that any of those performers showing up in ROH would be exciting for both the business as well as the fans.
"I'm sure Ring of Honor fans and ROH officials would love to have [former WWE stars] mixed in with their talent pool," Taven said. "And obviously, for a fresh match up, it's something new and, especially with all those guys who have made such a name for themselves and are fantastic talents, would be exciting. And you always want to push yourself to be the best competitor that you know you are, and you say you are, and you believe you are. Only way to do that is to test yourself against new talents. I would love to see any of those guys in the locker room and, and, you know, if it's on the other side of the ring one day, I'd be all for that as well."
Matt Taven battles Jay Lethal for the ROH World Championship this Friday, March 15th at ROH's 17th Anniversary. It will be air live on PPV and be streamed on-line for HonorClub VIPs.
Matt Taven's Arm Wrestle Kingdom will take place Friday, April 5th from Madison Square Garden's Hulu Theater as part of ROH's Festival of Honor. Wrestling Inc. managing editor Nick Hausman will be serving as the World Armwrestling League's emcee at the event.
Matt's full interview with Wrestling Inc was recently included in an episode of our WINCLY podcast. You can listen to it in the embedded player below. In it Matt discusses H=his ROH World title match against Jay Lethal this Friday night at ROH's 17th Anniversary PPV, recently spitting on Jay Lethal's ROH Championship, wanting to main event ROH and NJPW's G-1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden, his Arm Wrestle Kingdom event taking place at Festival of Honor, the recent WWE releases and more.
You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.