Before Ring of Honor's annual Best in the World PPV takes place tonight in Concord, North Carolina, I talked with ROH's "Last Real Man" Silas Young about his career, what makes him a man's man in the wrestling world, and why he doesn't think ACH measures up to that standard.
Here are a few transcripted highlights:
On how he almost wound up in WWE in the late 2000's:
I started in 2002 up in the Wisconsin area, and then in 2007, I got offered a developmental deal. I did like a week long training thing at OVW and did a handful of house shows with them. About a month later, I got offered a job in WWE. In the hiring process I was just finishing up getting all of my paperwork and stuff done. I had done all of the drug and cardiovascular testing that they do and all of that stuff had come back fine.
I was just waiting for my passport to come in so I could send that because you have to have a passport when you work for WWE. I was waiting for that to come in and I saw online that OVW's developmental deal had ended with WWE. I thought 'Oh boy, that's not good news. That's where I'm supposed to be going.' The next day I got a call that said, 'We're not going to be forward with your contract.' So I kind of got a job there but never really worked there.
On how that didn't crush his pro wrestling aspirations:
Maybe not so much then, but nowadays, wrestling is so hot right now. There's so many good places to work. It used to be the big two you know, WWE and WCW (and) maybe ECW. Now you got WWE, TNA, Ring of Honor, you have Lucha Underground, that's just in the states. You also have places over in Europe - WXW is on par to have 80 shows this year. Rev Pro UK, Preston City Wrestling, tons of really good talent and a lot of work over in Europe, then along with New Japan Pro Wrestling there's a lot of places to work so it's awesome right now.
On his time away from Ring of Honor from 2009-2012:
(I was) just doing smaller indie stuff, just trying to wrestle, make a name for myself - that's about it. You know in wrestling, there's so many guys trying to get a spot and there's (only) so many spots. I was just wrestling mainly around the Midwest area and I had occasionally done a few things here and there for EVOLVE at the time but it was mostly just Midwest stuff.
On his friendship with the Beer City Bruiser:
Ring of Honor is built a lot on athletic prowess, the athletic ability of the guys in the ring. You look at Bruiser, and Bruiser is about 6'2" and probably about 300 pounds. He's not 300 pounds of muscle, but for being a guy his size, he can really move. People are always really impressed, but he's not a guy that's out there trying to impress people. He's a guy that's gonna grind someone into the mat and pound them. Plain and simple he's just going to beat you like a man. You look at the Ring of Honor locker room and he's the only guy that makes sense to be my tag partner.
On how well received his feud with Dalton Castle was:
I thought that whole thing me and Dalton did together was done really well. I thought everybody came out of it looking really good and the fans enjoyed it. I think Dave Meltzer or Bryan Alvarez was talking about how it was the most entertaining storyline that was going on in wrestling at the time. With all the wrestling in the world to have guys like that say that about what you're doing is pretty cool.
On why he trying to bring back "real manhood" in wrestling:
I talk a lot about how men aren't real men nowadays. Right now, the whole superhero movie (thing), I don't know whether it's DC or Marvel or maybe both of them are putting out movies, it's a real hot subject right now. People love it. You can't go anywhere without seeing some dude wearing a Spider-Man or a Batman t-shirt. That's been my gripe - men don't wear superhero t-shirts. Men don't sit and argue about what superhero would beat what superhero in a fight.
On how he plans to teach that lesson to ACH at ROH Best in the World:
Basically, what's going to happen with ACH is he's just going to learn it's not all fun and games. Life isn't all about video games and action hero movies, and we're going to see how far his video games get him when he steps in the ring with me at Best in the World.
On what's next if he defeats ACH on Friday in Concord:
"For the rest of the year, I'm looking to just get out and wrestle as many places as possible. In the last few months, I've been fortunate enough to get to go over and wrestle in Germany, England and Canada, so just keep traveling, keep having good matches, get to wrestle as many new places as possible. I'm getting to go to Newfoundland in a month and a half, I've never been there before, so that should be cool. That's about it. Get out, work, grind, meet different people work different guys, that's the goal for me."
See what happens with Silas Friday night at ROH's Best In The World ppv. Our live coverage begins at 8 PM EST.