Punishment Martinez is where he wants to be, even if it took him a while to get there.
The monster of a man has made his presence felt in Ring of Honor over the last year. At 36-years old, the 6-foot-7 Martinez is a new name to many, but is far from new to the ring. After wrestling since 2004, Martinez told me during a recent interview that he had a revelation that made him take things more seriously. He also opened up to us about how he ended up in Ring of Honor.
"It's all timing. I've been wrestling for a long time. I wasted a lot of that time, the first ten years were a complete waste. I tell people, 'don't be the guy that wasted his time and thought he could coast on his size.' That's what I did, and it didn't work, deservedly so. I was out of shape. I started to do Ring of Honor training camps, training at the dojo while still at the Monster Factory. I lost over 100 pounds. Delirious, he saw these things. I was persistent, I wouldn't stop. I did multiple tryouts where they liked me as a worker, but everything else wasn't complete. It was actually at a tryout camp that I showed up to, where I was pulled into the office and was told they wanted to offer me a contract. That was that. Kevin Kelly was involved in the negotiations. He was the one who called and explained everything and set everything up," said Martinez.
With a matchup scheduled against Bullet Club's Marty Scurll on tonight's show, Martinez is aware of the opportunity that lies in front of him. Unwilling to squander any additional time, Martinez explained what this match means to him and his career moving forward.
"Shock and awe, that's what I'm looking forward to. He's already at a certain level of stardom a lot of guys want to reach. For a guy like me to be in a pay-per-view, in a high profile number one contender's match, I need to make an impression that's gonna last that I can ride on that I can continue elevating my name. This is more than a number one contender's match, it's one that can elevate me," Martinez told me.
You can see the full Martinez interview above, and we'll be featuring him on future episodes of Wikipedia Fact Check and Making a Finisher as well. Fightful.com will have a live, post-show podcast following Ring of Honor 16th Anniversary. You can check out ROH 16th Anniversary on ROH Honor Club, or the FITE App.