Roderick Strong Talks ROH PPV, Recent WWE Tryout, His TNA Run And Why He Left, Kevin Steen
Strong has been with ROH consistently since March of 2004, and is only the second Ring Of Honor Triple Crown Champion. He also wrestled for TNA, has been part of every booking regime in Ring Of Honor and also recently completed a WWE tryout camp. Here is the full interview.
Wrestling INC: It seems right now with wrestling, a lot of people are doing the craziest moves and you've been more old school relying on brawling and backbreakers to have great matches. Would you agree that you're a throwback to more of an old school type of wrestler?
Roderick Strong: I guess in a sense. There are modern day things that I do, but for the most part I follow the basic mentality of the old school wrestlers where intensity and aggressiveness are my strong points. It helps me feel comfortable and standout.
Wrestling INC: You're not the biggest guy in the business, but you're recognized as a tough guy who can brawl in the ring. How much work do you put into your character to come off with that vibe about taking on guys bigger than you?
Strong: It has been built over the years where being in the right situation where you can showoff what you have. When I first went to Ring of Honor, a lot of other Indy [promotions] put me in spots where it helped build me in that manner. It took time to develop the style of a wrestler and you want to be able to wrestle with anybody. I've been working on it my whole career.
Wrestling INC: You've been on and off with Ring of Honor for 11 years now. How has the growth of the company been since you've been there?
Strong: I've never been off, only on. Growth wise, it's amazing. I said it a million times before and I'll continue to say that's why I wanted to be a part of Ring of Honor—to watch and help it grow. Everyone said it has the potential to be this, that, and the other. Through time, it has gotten recognition. The right people have seen it and bigger doors have opened for Ring of Honor to be on a bigger platform. It's amazing and surreal to watch sometimes how far it's come and how far it can go.
Wrestling INC: When you had the stint with TNA, were you still working for ROH at the same time?
Strong: I was.
Wrestling INC: So once ROH started doing pay-per-views, that when they stopped allowing ROH talent to work for TNA, correct?
Wrestling INC: What was your experience with TNA like during your stay?
Strong: It was great to perform on a weekly basis at a national level. I was rather young being 21 or 22 to perform at that level. Being the first match on Spike TV for them against AJ Styles is something I'll never forget. I got to wrestle my friends and it was amazing being able to make an impact all over the world.
Wrestling INC: You were suspended by TNA for arriving late to a pay-per-view. What exactly happened?
Strong: Yes, I was fulfilling a commitment to Ring of Honor at the time because a bad storm was coming in the day before a pay-per-view. Myself and Austin Aries have a commitment to Ring of Honor, just like TNA, because the company was going through a time when many of the guys did work for TNA when they got pulled off. Low Ki pulled himself a couple of weeks before the event so we felt we didn't do Ring of Honor justice by not fulfilling our commitment to them. We made it to the TNA pay-per-view a few hours late and got suspended.
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