Coming off a strong run on the Independent scene, ACH joined Ring of Honor full-time in 2013. He was pushed strong out of the gate with wins over the likes of Jay Lethal, Hangman Page, Matt Taven, and Roderick Strong in multi-man matches, before settling into a tag team with Tadarius Thomas.
Things were never right for ACH in ROH though, as he was looked at as an outsider from the moment he stepped into the locker room.
"I came in as an internet darling and the mindset was 'you've got to pay your dues.' I had new guy heat," ACH explained on Submission Squad radio. "I get locker room hazing or joking around, but the shit they used to do, I didn't understand. I felt like an outsider because I didn't have a lot of things in common. I was really immature and into video games and anime. I had never been in a real wrestling locker room, so I felt like an outsider. And being an internet darling, I had to prove myself. It felt like everything I did was wrong. In Chicago, during a six-man, I went over QT Marshall with the Imploder DDT, which I got from JT LaMotta, who said I could use it. I come backstage and the first person I see is [Kevin Owens] and he legit tears me a new one. 'What are you doing? That's Lethal's move.' I didn't know he did it anymore. Lethal comes up and says, 'It's not a big deal.' But then you hear everyone is burying you. Everybody at that time had identical movesets in ROH. I think my role was to be the high flyer because that's what they saw me as. I'm not a high flyer, I'm a fucking professional wrestler. When I did other things outside of that, it's like, 'No, that's not what you do.' I didn't do dives until I got to ROH, they took away a lot of stuff. [Delirious] didn't like the Hadouken I was doing at the time or the Liu Kang kicks. I was walking on eggshells because I didn't want to piss anybody off. It just seemed like every time I turned around, I was catching heat from something."
Podcast co-host Matt Jackson (Pierre Abernathy) joked that ACH stood for Always Catching Heat.
ACH continued, saying, "I get that I was immature and I didn't adapt well to the pro wrestling business. The way that I got signed, I don't think people liked it because I came out of nowhere. I was like the last internet darling. I didn't have a lot of momentum. The way I was offered a contract, I didn't have to do a tryout match or seminar and I think people thought it was just handed to me, so I had to work harder. I look at wrestling as a team thing, we work together to create something special. But the business side isn't like that. When a guy comes in, most guys look at it like, 'Who the fuck is this guy? He's not taking my spot.'"
ACH went on to say that he believes the jealousy came from a professional perspective, and it was nothing personal as no one got to know the real him.
Something about ACH rubbed Jay Lethal the wrong way at some point as Lethal slapped ACH in a hotel room for using language he didn't approve of. ACH says he responded by hitting Lethal back and taking him down. The heat between the two led to ACH calling Lethal an "uncle tom" during his Twitter rant against WWE this past October.
You can read more about ACH's feelings towards Lethal by clicking here.
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