In an appearance on The Shining Wizards Podcast, Mike Bennett talked about his recent return to Ring of Honor. The former WWE star signed a full time deal with the promotion this past week, and said that he is really happy with the current state of the ROH product.
“It’s really cool for me because I feel what Ring of Honor is doing and doing well is not trying to do too much,” Bennet said. “They have a main focus, and that main focus is, believe it or not, professional wrestling. We are focused on actual wrestling and then sprinkling in a few things here and there. It’s focused on pure wrestling, so you have the pure division. Then you got Rush as the world champion, so then you have luchador style up there mixed with the pure division mixed with strong style. It’s like a collection of every style of wrestling mixed into one, focused on the fact that all of this is pro wrestling.
“And then you can sprinkle in The Kingdom vs. The Righteous which is a little bit more entertainment side of professional wrestling. And then you have the new group of Violence Unlimited where you can sprinkle in the violent aspect of professional wrestling. But at the core, Ring of Honor right now is focusing on being professional wrestling, which is a sport.”
Crucial to ROH’s presentation, in Bennett’s mind, is the commentary. As such he had high praise for play by play announcer Ian Riccabani and color commentator Caprice Coleman.
“I feel like I need to say this, because I think this is what adds so much to our product. It’s the commentary,” Bennett said. “The commentary is so pivotal to what we do. I was watching the pay-per-view the other night and I was sitting there thinking to myself that it’s not just a seasoning on the product. It is so pivotal to what we’re trying to get across.
“And I feel like if you took away Ian or you took away Caprice, we wouldn’t get the same feeling or the same message across. It’s that this is an actual sport with two competitors, and at the end of the day winning and losing means something and it has consequences. ”
Since returning to ROH Bennett has reunited with former Kingdom teammate Matt Taven. The reunion could not be going better for Bennett.
“This is no secret, and I think I’ll tell anyone who listens to me; Taven is my best friend” Bennett said. “In the ring, outside the ring, on TV, and in real life. He’s my best friend. So being able to go back to the company that I love and also doing it with your best friend, who I’ve been able to travel the world with and have all these experiences with, it’s the best.
“He was always there when I was going through all the trouble with WWE. When I was sick and tired and bored and frustrated and this and that, so he knows the struggle. To have someone like that who is just as excited for me as I am for him, it’s just awesome. I don’t have enough nice things to say about him and us coming back as The Kingdom.”
Later Bennett was asked about a potential appearance in All Elite Wrestling. He didn’t appear to be all that interested, instead being more focused on continuing with ROH.
“You know, they didn’t reach out to me,” Bennett said. “Wrestling is very like ‘brother, brother.’ You talk to some people, you put out feelers. Everything was always put out there, but nothing was ever like attacked. I think always in my head, with Taven, it was always Ring of Honor. I never really wanted to go anywhere else. You obviously, if you’re a businessman, and a smart businessman, you put everything out to everybody because you never want to put all your eggs in one basket.
“But you know, when I got fired, one of the first people to reach out to me was Delirious. He just sent me a winky emoji on Twitter. It was just one of those ‘Hey I got ya,” you know?’ That always meant a lot to me because Delirious took over the book when I first started in ROH. We have always had a very good relationship, and it’s always meant a lot to me. So when I got that, it was just kind of like ‘I got you pal.’ It was one of these things where I was going to put out these feelers, but I know where I’m going and I know where I want to go. So it wasn’t really like attacking anything head on.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Shining Wizard Podcast and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription