If anyone knows about kings and kingdoms, it’s Matt Taven.
A great ruler in the faction The Kingdom, Taven conquered New Japan Pro Wrestling and is preparing to take over Mexico’s CMLL and Ring of Honor in his quest for wrestling supremacy.
Taven, 32, will lead The Kingdom (Vinny Marseglia, TK O’Ryan, Taven) during ROH’s Death Before Dishonor at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT on Friday, Sept. 22 on pay-per-view from Sam’s Town Live! in Las Vegas.
The Kingdom faces Bully Ray and The Briscoes to see which team will battle the ROH Six-Man Tag Champs The Hung Bucks (The Young Bucks Matt and Nick Jackson and Hangman Adam Page) for the titles later in the show.
As for kings, Taven is a major Boston pro sports’ fan. He grew up about 40 miles north of Boston in Derry, New Hampshire. Not to be confused with the fictitious town Derry, Maine, made famous by horror author king Stephen King.
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In an audio interview, Taven discusses the real Derry, playing sports at Pinkerton Academy, his love for Boston sports teams, Johnson & Wales University and other aspects of his amazing journey, thus far, which includes the New England Patriots, the New England Revolution, Japan and playing basketball in Mexico with wrestling cohorts.
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He also talks about family and the wrestling school he opened with friend and WWE Superstar Mike Bennett, and he also recalls ECW and later training/learning from Spike Dudley, the on-screen brother of Bubba Ray Dudley, who is now Bully Ray, one of the opposition of The Kingdom at ROH Death Before Dishonor.
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Can Spike Dudley provide any advice or insider tips for The Kingdom about wrestling Bully Ray (Bubba Ray Dudley) who teams with the Briscoes at Death Before Dishonor?
Spike said via email: “Pray. In all seriousness, Bully is one of the few professional wrestlers that has gotten better with age. Not only is he a physical beast -- he is one strong man -- his cardio endurance is second to none. I’ve been in the ring with him thousands of times, and I have never seen him ‘blow up.’ On top of that, he is the best student of the profession. And that is no exaggeration. He is as committed to being the best and has never stopped improving his game.
“While most wrestlers peak out and fade both physically and mentally at his age, Bully just keeps getting better. They will not be able to throw anything at him that he’s never been through before. And if they make one mistake he will finish them. On the other hand, there is no sure thing, and The Kingdom is certainly capable of defeating him and the Briscoes. But knowing personally how dangerous a man Bully is in the ring, I can't see how they could defeat him without a bazooka.”
What was it like training Marseglia and Taven, two members of The Kingdom?
Spike said: “Training at the time is very different from seeing them today. Both Vinny and Matt were exceptional students. You could pick up their love of the business and dedication instantly. But more importantly, was their respect and intelligence. There are thousands of people that ‘try their hand’ at wrestling. The guys that ‘make it’ are the ones who aren't worried about making it. They are the ones who will take any opportunity to be around the business and learn without expectation of being the next superstar. Both Matt and Vinny would take every chance to learn, to practice, ask questions, listen to the answers, and then practice what was taught. I’m very proud to have an influence on their growth, and it’s great to see them at ROH.”
Where did you train them?
Spike answered: “I was training students at Top Rope Promotions, based out of Fall River, Mass. It’s one of the more solid independent promotions with a long history and a great base of students, wrestlers and promoters.”
ROH Death Before Dishonor XV
Who will get 21 or make snake eyes as Ring of Honor wrestlers invade Sin City.
The stars of Ring of Honor head to Las Vegas for Death Before Dishonor XV on Friday, Sept. 22 live on pay-per-view from Sam’s Town Live!, 5111 Boulder Hwy, 89122.
Fans from around the globe will watch their favorites push their chips all in to write the next chapters. Catch the action, which starts at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Pay-Per-View, ROHWrestling.com, Fite.TV App, and Playstation Network.
ROH WORLD CHAMPION THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE CODY vs. NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPION MINORU SUZUKI
ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION KUSHIDA vs. KENNY KING
THE HUNG BUCKS (ROH WORLD SIX MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS HANGMAN ADAM PAGE and ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE YOUNG BUCKS Matt and Nick Jackson) vs. the winner of THE KINGDOM (MATT TAVEN, TK O’RYAN, VINNY MARSEGLIA) vs. BULLY RAY and THE BRISCOES
LAST MAN STANDING: PRO WRESTLING’S LAST REAL MAN SILAS YOUNG w/BEER CITY BRUISER vs. JAY LETHAL
LAS VEGAS STREET FIGHT: JAY WHITE vs. PUNISHMENT MARTINEZ
THE KENTUCKY GENTLEMAN CHUCKIE T. vs. THE VILLAIN MARTY SCURLL
ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt and Nick Jackson) vs. The MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley).
ROH TV Tapings
Ring of Honor will remain in Las Vegas at Sam’s Town LIVE! for TV tapings on Saturday, Sept. 23.
For information, click
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