Jeff Cobb, the former Ring of Honor World Television Champion and current #1 contender facing Matt Taven for the ROH World Heavyweight Championship tonight at ROH Best In The World, was a guest on the WINCLY Podcast this week. Cobb talked to Wrestling Inc.'s own Nick Hausman about the significance of holding the ROH Television Championship, as well as the importance surrounding his upcoming World Title Match against Taven.
Cobb has garnered respect for Taven over time, and he defends the idea of management putting the World Title on him. Nevertheless, he assured fans that Taven won't be in possession of the World Championship much longer.
"He's got it for a reason, you know what I'm saying? No Joe Blow is going to come out of the woodwork and win the World Heavyweight Championship of the company, especially a company as big as Ring of Honor," Cobb explained. "I'm definitely not taking him likely, but to the fans online that don't like him as champion, I just tell them: 'Hey, [tonight] it will be on a different shoulder'."
Cobb originates from Honolulu, Hawaii, and he elaborated on the impact his run in ROH has had on viewers back home on the islands. He's proud of the exposure and audience variation that his time in ROH has provided the company.
"You're always going to have naysayers and negative nancies, especially online. Everybody and their mom is an ROH booker, so, I think it'll get a perspective and different audience to tune in [with me in the main title picture]. Especially me being from Hawaii, I think a lot of people are tuning in from Hawaii. They don't have Ring of Honor TV out there but they do have the Honor Club Subscription. And as far as I know, there's been a bunch of people that have gotten it just because a local kid from Hawaii is now on Ring of Honor. So, I think it will draw more fans in and hopefully, one day, we'll get Ring of Honor to be airing out in Hawaii."
Cobb has the odds stacked come this Friday night at Best In The World against Matt Taven. Taven is well-known as the leader of "The Kingdom" faction, and the group is not shy about using their numbers advantage.
"Well, 3-on-1 is never good odds. I'm confident in my abilities, I'm confident in the referee doing his job, whoever the ref may be," Cobb said. "And I fully feel like the Ring of Honor management should see this and every match that they get involved with and hopefully be like, 'Hey, listen, let's have a one-on-one match and see who wins."
Cobb has struggled when the odds were against him in the past, recently losing his ROH World Television Championship to Shane Taylor in a four-way scramble match. Despite never being pinned or submitted, Cobb lost his treasured title, and he has now set his full focus on becoming the ROH World Heavyweight Champion.
"When you're in a four-way scramble like that, I mean, anything can happen and it definitely did happen," Cobb explained. "It wasn't the outcome I predicted, but at the end of the day, I didn't get pinned or submitted. I feel like I didn't lose my ROH World Television Championship, so, do I go after it? But I already made claims that I want the ROH World Heavyweight Championship, so, I guess I'm going to put that to the side for now."
Cobb commends Shane Taylor for what he's able to bring to ROH as it's Television Champion, however, he's promised to reclaim the Title in due time.
"He's a big dude, he moves well in the ring, hits very hard - I think he's going to be a great Television Champion, and he'll hold it as long as I allow him to," Cobb stated confidently.
Overall, Cobb is proud of what he accomplished as ROH Television Champion. The only storyline he hoped to pursue before losing the title to Taylor would have seen him face Taven in a Title vs. Title match. Cobb was inspired by the legendary bout between Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania 6.
"I got to take the ROH Television Championship to different countries - I believe I did about 7 different countries while I was ROH Television Champion. Defending it in Paris, in England, in Japan. My goal was to bring the Ring of Honor Television Championship and try to have a match with the Ring of Honor Heavyweight Champion. Kinda like a Hulk Hogan/Ultimate Warrior deal. That was my goal. I was aiming for the ROH Heavyweight Championship after my reign with the Television Championship, so, I guess after I lost it, I didn't want to go get sidetracked. I just wanted to focus on what my goal was and that was the Heavyweight Championship."
Jeff Cobb will face Matt Taven for the ROH World Heavyweight Championship tonight at ROH's Best In The World. It can watched via HonorClub or PPV.
Cobb's full interview with Wrestling Inc was included as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In Cobb's full interview he discusses his ROH World Championship match against Matt Taven at ROH Best In the World, fans who are critical of Matt Taven as ROH champ, his relationship with the fan that Bully Ray confronted, wrestlers being less interested in WWE, feeling listened to by ROH and more.