ROH World Champion PCO recently spoke with Chuck Carroll of CBS Sports and was asked about the safety claims made against the company by former producer and creative team member Joey Mercury. Mercury was released by the company in late October, and almost immediately started speaking out against them. You can read about the safety claims by clicking here and clicking here.
PCO was asked about the claims of a lack of safety measures in place for ROH talents, as far as concussions go, and a lack of medical personnel backstage at ROH events. The former WWE Tag Team Champions was also asked how ROH’s safety measures compare to other promotions he’s worked for. PCO said the whole situation is a sad story, one that shocked most of the company.
“I just think it is a sad story,” PCO said. “I thought that person had so much to give to the business. So valuable, great mind. But I think it was a tough time of his life or something. Most, I would say, if not the whole company was kind of shocked. We were shocked to hear things like that. I don’t want any beef with anybody. I can only talk for myself.”
He continued and recalled how he did a dive one night and needed 17 stitches in his eye. PCO said he’s had nothing but a first-class experience with ROH.
“I did a dive one night where usually we have two rows of mat on the outside of the ring,” PCO recalled. “Instead of diving on the guy, I dive on this space and I hit the cement floor and I hit my head hard and get 17 stitches in my eye. The ref wants me to stop the match. I said, ‘No, I’m finishing the match. I’m not getting out of there.’ But everybody was pulling on me to get out of there. But being PCO, there was no way. I never got out of the match. And so I was going to finish that match no matter what. And it’s part of my life, and it’s part of my character, as it’s part of who I am.
“So I finished the match, and as soon as I got on the other side (there were EMTs)? There is always two, three guys that they have a minimum of knowledge about health and care and things like that. They called me to the hospital right away and put stuff on my eyes to stop the bleeding. Everything was so professional. Then I had two people from the dojo that brought me to the hospital and stayed with me the whole time. I was totally conscious. They did the stitches, they always wanted to make sure I was all fine. They put me through a CAT scan, which costs tons of money. They never charged me for one thing. They sent an agent after the show was done. They took care of everything, signed the papers, brought me back to the hotel, made sure I was okay. [Whenever I get] a little banged up or something, I always get a phone call. ‘Are you good? Are you okay?’ And the next day, ‘Thanks for what you’ve done.’ They are nothing but a first-class organization.
“So I don’t know why he said those things. I don’t know if it might’ve been some frustration because things weren’t going the way that that person was hoping. Was it a personal vendetta? I don’t know what it was. I can’t talk for that guy. And I love him to death, but from my side, it has been nothing but first-class from Ring of Honor. From my signing to every event and to everything that they do.”
The 52 year old PCO revived his career with a big return to the indies in 2016. With a new fanbase, Pierre Carl Ouellet would capture the ROH World Title at Final Battle back in December, by defeating Rush. PCO became a double champion with the win as he, Brody King and Marty Scurll currently hold the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles as Villain Enterprises. Carroll asked the “part beast-turned-man, part old-time-strongman” why fans connect with the character.
“I think the fans are connecting a lot with the story,” PCO said. “I think it’s a little bit of a Rocky movie, but it’s real and not fiction. It’s really what I did with my life, and it’s really about fighting back, and it’s really about not letting people tell you what you can do or what you can’t do? When John F. Kennedy said, ‘We’re going to the moon’ and everybody said, ‘How are we going to do that?’ He said, ‘I don’t know, but I’m making that decision that we’re going to the moon, and we’ll find a way.'”