On a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast, Mike Bennett and Matt Taven of The OGK made their returns to chat with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman about their return as a tag team at Final Battle. Bennett discussed how long he and Taven have discussed reuniting as a tag team.
“Well, I feel like it’s been my plan for the last five years. I like to say that I was planning my return from the minute I left it,” Bennett admitted. “It was one of those things where I left, and the first year or so was fine, but after the first year or so, it felt like I left and I shouldn’t have. I feel like ever since then, me and Matt had always kind of been talking back and forth about what that would be like.
“The way we envisioned it and what we wanted and then the way life goes and the way work goes, it inevitably kind of worked out, but then, lo and behold, I get fired and here we go. Honestly, I feel like ever since I left, it was one of those things where I was like, ‘I probably shouldn’t have left.’ In my head, it’s been 5 years that I’ve been planning this return.”
Hausman then asked Taven what it was like to see Bennett’s WWE booking while he was enjoying success at ROH in particular, winning the ROH World Championship. Taven agreed with Bennett that they had plans in some regard to always reunite as a tag team someday.
“What a question! Way to put that on me,” Taven jokingly remarked. “Thanks bud, but obviously, you kind of keep up with all your friends and your closest ones, the guys that you’re texting at all times. You’re seeing what’s going on with them, Mike’s frustrations were something that we were obviously kind of talking about on the side, but weirdly, through that time, I really feel like, for the past year, kind of piggybacking off the last question, we had these plans for this to happen.
“Whether it’s here or there or wherever it was going to take place, we had been really seriously talking about this for what seemed like the last year. After MSG and our contracts kind of came up within the past year and a half, two years, we were really kind of plotting this out, and life works in mysterious ways. I had to go and get surgery. All of a sudden, there was a pandemic. Now Mike’s a free agent.
“It’s like, ‘Okay, well, we’ve had these plans, basically, ready to go. Now let’s make them come to fruition.’ So out of the frustration that both of us were feeling for Mike and also the plans that we had on the side, it was just kind of one of those things where maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Maybe the fact that things hadn’t had worked out as well as we wanted them to, [they] are going to lead to this situation, which is about to happen at Final Battle.”
Bennett looked at the question from his perspective in WWE. He admitted that his WWE run was not great, but he expressed that he was still proud to see his best friend win the World Title, and he also admitted that seeing that gave him hope that his creative frustrations would get better.
“It’s the best, and Matt is my best friend, so he’s too nice to say it, but the creative in my run in WWE sucked. It was the worst,” Bennett admitted. “We all know it was. There was nothing there. It was terrible, but on the flip side, there’s very few people, I think, in wrestling that you feel just as strongly about their success as you do your own, Matt’s one of them when he won the World Title.
“Unfortunately, I was at the Hall of Fame ceremony, so I couldn’t watched it, but I watched it back, I was just so happy. To travel the road with somebody, to be around this person sometimes more than your around your own family, to see someone else’s success that you truly care about as a human being, it’s the best, and to me, it gave myself hope in my lousy situation where I was like, ‘You know what, there’s someone that’s doing all the things that you want to do, and he’s your best friend. And you know what, there’s there’s still hope here. There’s still hope so keep the hope alive,’ but it’s the best. I’m just so incredibly thrilled for him.”
The OGK (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) will face Vincent and Bateman at ROH Final Battle on Friday December 18th. For more information please visit www.ROHWrestling.com. Taven and Bennett’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.