Shane Taylor spoke with Solowrestling about winning the ROH World TV Title, his storyline about his booking, ROH's attendance dropping in 2019, and the situation between Joey Mercury, Kelly Klein, and ROH.
Last May, Taylor won the World TV Championship at ROH War of the Worlds when he defeated Jeff Cobb, Brody King, and Hirooki Goto. Taylor believed winning the title brought not only him, but anyone who faced him, up another level.
"It was a surprise, but in the end, I had given good matches, worked well and people began to see what I was doing," Taylor said. "More than a year and a half wrestling, being there regardless of the city or the show, trying to steal the show and most of times, getting it. I helped raise not only me, but my rival and when they have matches with me, social media and the world of wrestling talk about that match, other wrestlers want to get in the ring with Shane T. For me, it means who the man is, it means more than any title when your friends want to wrestle you because they believe you make them look better, or that you make the company better. It is the legacy I want to leave. Know that your skill is being demanded and that people want to work with you."
During part of his run, Taylor had a storyline where he got into it with ROH about not putting him more prominently on the events.
"First, I didn't complain, I was telling the truth," Taylor responded. "Your Television Champion should not be left out of posters, the matches should be announced, the other champions were announced. Other champions were promoted as they should be. As I said, I am the guy who in wrestling is not supposed to look like that, that he should not do certain things, that he should not say certain things. As a Television Champion, one of the most prestigious wrestling championships, leaving you out of the poster is ridiculous. I decided to do things my way. I bought my contract so that no one would fire me and I became a free agent, so I could open Shane Taylor Promotions, my promotional company, and have the platform and equipment I need to make sure that people can see everything I do and see the star I've become."
Ring of Honor went through many changes in 2019, including a number of talent heading off from other promotions. As Ring of Honor re-built the roster, attendance numbers suffered as they looked to build up new stars.
"It's normal, when talent of that magnitude goes away, you're going to have a bump," Taylor admitted. "It is no different than a basketball team and your star leaves. Especially when you tell your people that he is the central figure. It was expected, but those who say there is no star power, do not see ROH. Simply, people talk but do not see the product because it is not. Our live events are amazing. Everyone will have their favorites, but in the end, people who are loyal to ROH will see that ROH always returns to the top and continues to innovate and continues to mark the style that everyone now copies, because that style was created in ROH."
Late last year, with the permission of then ROH Women of Honor Champion Kelly Klein, Joey Mercury brought to light some of the issues within ROH (lack of a concussion protocol, low pay for Klein). Taylor was asked about what happened, but he didn't know much about Mercury and ultimately couldn't offer up much on that situation.
"I wasn't very close to Joey, I worked with him sometimes," Taylor said. "I didn't know him much. Obviously, he cares about his job, but I can't speak for them. I can talk about things that I know, that I do and from my point of view. I can't say anything about that situation."