Rhett Titus knew he wanted to become a pro wrestler after attending Ring of Honor’s aptly titled The Era of Honor Begins. Two of his favorites Steve Corino and Eddie Guerrero were performing, so he had to go.
“I went to the Ring of Honor show as a fan,” he said. “I thought it was going to be another indie show. From the first match, I was like what is this? I was so enthralled by the Code of Honor and the guys shaking hands before and after their match. This wasn’t sports entertainment. This was wrestling as a sport. There were guys who were similar looking to me and my stature. This was what I wanted to do. I always wanted to be a professional wrestler growing up for as long as I can remember. Had I not gone to the show that day. I doubt it would be something I would have pursued.”
The teen went to the ROH Training Academy learning under the likes of Austin Aries and Bryan Danielson. The rookie remembers one particular pearl of wisdom from Bryan that he takes with him even today. Don’t wear the shoes that you’re going to wear into a wrestling ring anywhere else.
“I had a little bit of mishap with Bryan. I would always be late training. There would be a point and time where every class I was late because I was working at another job and couldn’t make it in time,” Titus recalled. “I would always have to do extra pushups, extra squats, extra running the ropes. I wasn’t in the cardiovascular shape I was in today.
“One day I got out of work early, and thought I would be on time today. Bryan would be so impressed. All of sudden, traffic. I had this idea to get dressed in the car while I’m sitting in traffic so when I get to school I can hop right in the ring. You had to be in the ring at 4 O’clock or you were late.
“I’m walking up stairs and Bryan says, ‘Wow, you made it on time today.’ We start warming up and Bryan starts class. He says, ‘Who the hell brought mud into my ring?’ Everyone looks at the bottom of their boots. Of course, I’m the last guy, and there is mud on my boots. I had to do extra squats, pushups. That lesson stays ingrained in my brain to this day.”
Titus found success over the years at different parts of his ROH career. He won the tag team titles with Kenny King as The All Night Express. He hopes to get another run with the gold teaming with Tracy Williams, a fellow member of The Foundation. The two are involved in a triple threat match exclusive March 10 on YouTube against S.O.S (Sons of Savagery) and the Bouncers with a shot at the championships at the 18th Anniversary Show.
“Me and Kenny, our chemistry grew, me and Tracy had it from the get-go,” Titus said. “That has to deal with myself having multiple different tag team partners over the years and figuring out how to work with different people. Whereas when I started teaming with Kenny we were primarily singles wrestlers. Me and Kenny weren’t too fond about teaming with each other because we were singles wrestlers.
“Our chemistry grew. We became the formidable tag team eventually winning the tag team championship. Weeks later Kenny King did what was best for Kenny King and was out and went to TNA. Now teaming with Tracy Williams, he is a like-minded individual who isn’t just thinking about what is best for Tracy Williams but what is best for the Foundation.”
The now veteran believes being in a group alongside Williams, Jonathan Gresham and Jay Lethal added a newfound confidence within him.
“The confidence that I have is through the roof. I feel like that is the thing that has been holding me back the last few years,” Titus said. “You do the checklist that you look for in a professional wrestler, and I check all the boxes. My confidence was beaten down from years being dragged in the mud and things happening, reading things that people would say about me online.
“I can never just put it together. Then all of a sudden and you look around and you have the respect of your peers and your peers are Jonathan Gresham, Jay Lethal, Tracy Williams. All of a sudden your confidence is through the roof. Right now, I’m in a flow state where I can’t be deterred by anything else. I’m very focused and feel like I’m having some of the best matches of my life.”
Even when others have left, Titus has been among the constants in ROH for more than 15 years. There is something to be said for loyalty.
“A lot of people have grand dreams of main eventing WrestleMania or SummerSlam or with AEW popping up and their shows. That’s not what brought me into professional wrestling,” he said. “My idea was to main event Final Battle. I want to main event the Anniversary Show and all these milestone shows I was watching as a kid. Maybe that’s where my loyalty comes into play because I never wanted to be anywhere else. I’ve stayed very happy with Ring of Honor.”
Ring of Honor TV, Syndication and HonorClub. You can find the full audio and video from Rhett’s interview below: