Eli Isom speaks on his time in Ring of Honor.
In late 2018 and early 2019, Ring Of Honor signed the likes of former ROH World Tag Team Champions PCO and Brody King, Bandido and Mark Haskins. ROH has a partnership with the 'Monster Factory' wrestling school and to add, the Ring Of Honor dojo is up and running and one of the trainees to come out of the ROH dojo is Rensselaer, Indiana's own Eli Isom.
Isom made the move to Philadelphia in 2017 to train at the Ring Of Honor dojo and has since competed on a number of ROH TV episodes, pay-per-views and Future Of Honor events. With two years in the wrestling business, Eli is grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to him such as sharing the ring with former ROH World Champion Christopher Daniels and former two-time ROH World Television Champion Kenny King.
"For me personally, Ring Of Honor has been nothing but good to me." Eli said. "Ever since I started my wrestling training at the ROH Dojo in 2017, I’ve been given my fair share of opportunities to succeed and I’m very grateful for that. I’ve already been in the ring with guys I’d never thought I’d get a chance to wrestle such as Christopher Daniels, The Briscoes and Kenny King. It’s been great and I never thought I’d have the chance to experience what I have so early on in my career."
Ring Of Honor is now two weeks removed from their joint G1 Supercard event with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Isom did not compete on the show but he was ringside for the 'Honor Rumble' to watch his tag partner and good friend Cheeseburger wrestle inside Madison Square Garden. Isom reiterated that ROH took a big step by running M.S.G. and with more shows like G1 Supercard, he feels the company is going to continuing moving upward.
"It was very surreal even being out there, and it’s still kinda crazy to say that ROH and New Japan sold out Madison Square Garden. Not just because it’s The Garden but because no other wrestling company has even been allowed to run there for decades." He explained. "Now that we’ve done that, it’s time to keep this momentum. More eyes are on ROH than ever before, so as long as we keep putting on great shows like we’ve been doing all year, Ring of Honor will continue to grow."
Eli Isom is a part of a six-man trio with Cheeseburger and Ryan Nova who are collectively known as the 'Shinobi Shadow Squad'. Eli is committed and fully invested in what he is doing with Nova and Cheeseburger but also has personal goals of his own that include competing in Japan when Ring Of Honor returns to "The Land Of The Rising Sun" for the 'Honor Rising' tour next year. Isom stated that in order for that opportunity to arise, he'll need continue showing improvement and show the powers that be that he is ready for a spot on a NJPW/ROH card.
"It was very hectic but that just made it all the more exciting and memorable." Eli said of being at ringside inside Madison Square Garden. "In terms of short and long term goals, I’m fully committed to the Shinobi Shadow Squad in ROH. Myself, Cheeseburger and Ryan Nova are determined to capture the ROH World Six Man Titles, and with the steady progress we’ve been making with each match, I believe that’s a goal we can definitely achieve in the future. As far as New Japan goes I would love to wrestle in Japan next year when Ring Of Honor goes for their annual tour." Isom shared. "I just need to continue to grow as a wrestler and show them that I’m ready for that kind of opportunity.
The night prior to Ring Of Honor's 'Masters Of The Craft' event this past Sunday, the company held a television taping in Pittsburgh. Isom took on former 3-time WWE Tag Team Champion PJ Black at the TV taping and I asked Eli about the backstage vibe in ROH at their events and tapings and he shared that everyone is upbeat and willing to be of assistance.
"Thank you, I’ll take all the support I can get. TVs are actually pretty chill. I think it helps too that our entire locker room is very friendly and upbeat. Everyone is super approachable, and if you ever want any feedback from your match, everyone there is more than willing to give you advice and help out. It’s a really fun environment to work in." He said.
G1 Supercard was loaded with action and a handful of stories coming out the show including Enzo and Big Cass brawling with The Briscoes and Bully Ray after the ROH World and IWGP Tag Titles match. Eli Isom was backstage when the scuffle unfolded and shared that it caught everyone off guard and added that if anything of the sort occurs again, the ROH roster will make sure that it does not escalate to the point that it did on April 6th.
"As far as Cass and Enzo go, yeah it caught us all off guard. They took away from our biggest show of all time, and thought that jumping the rail would make them relevant again. Hopefully something like that doesn’t happen again, and if it does we’ll have them taken care of."
The Ring Of Honor roster is filled with talents who've traveled the world and been in the business for more than a decade. Isom has access to those athletes and does not hesitate to pick their brains. When asked who does he go to for advice, Isom listed off former ROH World Champion Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham, Caprice Coleman and The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O'Ryan, Vinny Marseglia) as those who he can go to for feedback.
"For people I go to for advice, literally everyone in the locker room has given me some piece of advice that I’ve been able to use as I progress. Whether that’s Caprice Coleman, The Kingdom, Jonathan Gresham, or Jay Lethal who I really look up to," Isom noted. "They all have advice you can use to become better and I thank them all for that."
Eli Isom is fixed on improving as an in-ring performer and earning his keep in the sport of professional wrestling. With two years in the business, he is regularly featured in Ring Of Honor and prior to the ROH TV taping in Pittsburgh, Isom wrestled on the 'Road To G1 Supercard' show in Baltimore and results from that show and can be read by clicking here.