With a small stint in the WWE, between appearances on ECW and “Sunday Night Heat”, the now “Last Real Man” of Ring Of Honor’s success is still growing rapidly. What better way to get his view on things than to talk to the man himself?? I had to take the opportunity.
What drew you to the world of professional wrestling? Who were your influences?
Silas: “I grew up with five older brothers who were all wrestling fans. So I’ve been watching since before I can remember. I had a friend from high school who was an Indy wrestler and I went to his first match and that’s where I thought to go myself. This is what I’m gonna do with my life. I’ve always loved wrestling but this was the moment I knew this is my life plan. As far as influence I guess my family for raising me on it and basically every wrestler I watched growing up who really stood out. Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Kerry Von Erich, “4 Horsemen”, Sting, Big Van Vader, “Andre The Giant”, Arn Anderson. & so many guys I haven’t listed.”
You were with WWE for a short time while in OVW, what was the experience like and what did you take away from it to build on your career?
Silas: “I did a week long tryout in late 2007, and about a month later I was offered a developmental contract. In the process of completing the stuff required, like medical testing, getting a passport, etc. I saw one day that WWE parted ways with OVW and they were no longer having developmental guys there anymore, and the next day I got a call. They told me that they were rescinding on the contract at this time but to stay in touch. It was a pretty big kick in the balls. So really I never was really there except that week of the tryout.”
How did you get involved with Ring Of Honor and what is your take on the “independent scene”?
Silas: “I had originally worked for ROH in 2007, when Gabe (Sapolsky) was still booking. I had done a couple dark matches and then he was let go as the Booker. Then the OVW thing came up, and after that whole situation I was pretty bummed out on wrestling. I never stopped. Then, Gabe started up with “Dragon Gate” and “Evolve”. I did that for a while, got to work with some really talented guys, and be part of some really fun shows. I had a falling out with Gabe. Which at that time I was working with Michael Elgin a lot in AAW. He was asking me a lot if I ever tried to get booked for ROH, and at that time I was working for Gabe so, I was liking what I was doing there and hadn’t really thought about it. Then we had the falling out and I happened to see Elgin that weekend and he asked about ROH. I told him my situation and that I’d definitely be interested, and it just so happened that ROH was running in Milwaukee a few weeks later and I got an email the following week, asking if I’d like to do the show. After, a few months went by and I was offered a spot in the top prospect tournament in 2013. Now, this year I signed an exclusive contract with ROH and I really miss doing the Indy’s. Seeing guys all the time hanging out afterwards with the boys and just how different crowds can be depending what part of the country you’re working in. Plus there’s just something about working different places every weekend and getting to visit new places. I think independent wrestling is awesome.”
What is your most memorable feud/match?
Silas: “My most memorable feud has to have been with Dalton Castle. It was a long feud that lasted over a year and it never got stale. We did some really fun stuff that people still bring up.”
You’ve been in the ring with guys like Jay Lethal, The Briscoes, etc. What is your mindset/preparation for a match?
Silas: “My mindset is the same for every match. Dominate and work at 150% harder than the guy standing across the ring.”
What is the energy like in the locker room for a taping in comparison to a PPV event?
Silas: “The energy in The ROH locker room is ALWAYS great. We are a bunch of guys and girls who love what we do and everyone hangs out and gets along. It’s literally the best locker room I’ve ever been in.”
How did you cross paths with the “Beer City Bruiser”, and what is your chemistry like with him as a tag partner?
Silas: “Myself and Bruiser have actually known each other since I first started wrestling, so we have known each other for a long long time. We’re both from the same area so our chemistry has always been good, and it only keeps getting better.”
I have to ask, what is it like being in the ring with Jushin Thunder Liger, and how did it feel after defeating him at “Final Battle”?
Silas: “Wrestling Jushin Thunder Liger was definitely a highlight of my career that I’ll never forget. Then adding that it was “Final Battle”, plus being that it took place at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York was like a dream match for myself. When I beat him, I knew things were changing and that from there on in I could beat anyone.”
How did you come up with the “Last Real Man” title?
Silas: “The Last Real Man is my father. From the slicked back hair and mustache, to the “no nonsense” attitude. My wife reminds me a lot that I’m becoming my father so I figured why not let the wrestling world see that as well.”