Ring of Honor star Roderick Strong spoke with Brian Fritz of BetweenTheRopes.com about the company's PPV debut on June 22 with the "Best in the World" event, what is means for the company to get on PPV and if now is the right time, his loyalty to the company, his recent WWE tryout at their Performance Center and what he took from that, being a grizzled veteran and much more. You can listen to listen to the interview online or download by clicking here. Below are some highlights:
Whether or not now is a good time for Ring of Honor to be on pay-per-view:
I think it's a great time. I've been telling everybody since I found out about it. And this year has been unbelievable in the sense of momentum, TV-wise, live event-wise, match quality-wise. Like the transition of being on TV … it was a bumpy one for Ring of Honor honestly and for the guys. I still think in-ring product of what we bring to TV is still work in progress because working for TV is a lot different than a live event. But I think everyone has grown leaps and bounds in that sense and we're showing and translating to the people that have never seen Ring of Honor I think a little bit better about what we are.
The sense that Ring of Honor is getting the "cool factor" back:
I do. And it sucks that we kind of lost our edge a little bit. We were going through a transitional period of everyone trying to find themselves with this new system and people's expectations for what was going to happen when Sinclair bought the company. Everyone was like "oh no, you're taking away Ring of Honor" but in reality, they were just learning how to handle such a machine in the sense of people are so passionate about it and want it to be successful from the wrestlers to the fans. I think during that because, in their brain, we were going mainstream, it wasn't cool and I think over time people realized hey, we're just trying to figure this out and we're trying to bring you the Ring of Honor you love but just on a bigger stage. And it's a really good feeling and I think that's why timing-wise with the pay-per-view it's perfect because the guys are full speed ahead, the company is full speed ahead and it's just awesome.
Not currently having a contract:
I was basically under contract from 2005 to when my contract had ran up and it was just something where I want to take a little break from that obligation. Not that anyone was necessarily restricting me but I wanted to be in a position where is somebody called and there was an opportunity I could jump on it if it was the right one for me. They've been very understanding about it at Ring of Honor and they understand how much I respect and love the company and I would never do anything to disrespect them in any way, shape or form. It's been awesome that they've been willing to work with me and give me that opportunity for a little bit.