I spoke with Ring of Honor's Silas Young yesterday ahead of his huge match with Jay Lethal at Friday's ROH Best in the World show. We spoke about his hot streak of late, Japan, and also played "Manly or Not Manly?"
What does it say about ROH's confidence in you that you've been in such big matches lately?
“Well, I think it’s pretty obvious that they see someone like me and sometimes I make them a little uncomfortable, and whether they want me to be in the main event or not, you can’t deny great talent, and that’s exactly what’s happening is the cream is rising to the top.”
You've found a lot of success, in character, as you've beaten Lethal, KUSHIDA, Bobby Fish, Jushin Liger and Mark Briscoe. How does that make you feel?
“I think it would mean that it solidifies everything that I’ve been saying the last couple years. I’m not the type of guy who usually does a whole lot of talking; I like to let my work in the ring speak for itself. And like you said—not me, you said it—my work in the ring over the last year has proved that I belong at the top. So as far as I’m concerned, it’s not a matter of whether I beat Jay Lethal at Best In The World, it’s a matter of when I beat Jay Lethal at Best In The World—it’s just a matter of days—and when that happens, you can’t deny everything I’ve said.”
You're facing Jay Lethal on PPV, in what has to be one of your biggest matches in ROH, but he's looking to get a win back.
“I take nothing away from Jay Lethal, with his abilities, his talent—hell look at what this guy’s done in the business. He’s about the only guy in Ring of Honor to hold the World Television Title and the World Heavyweight Title at the same time, so Jay Lethal, he’s no slouch, but the point is, I’m no slouch either, and it’s about time that gets recognized, and that’s exactly what’s gonna happen Friday.”
How did your friendship with the Beer City Bruiser come about?
“A lot of people may not realize this, but I’ve known the Beer City Bruiser since my first day in the wrestling business, so myself and Bruiser we have a lot of history and we go back a lot of years.”
Will you teach him to do that moonsault of yours?
“We are currently working on that, things aren’t looking as good as we’d hoped they would, but you can never say never in the pro wrestling business.”
You're a bit of a throwback, and without doing anything too eccentric, are a standout character in ROH. Why do you think that is?
“I think the problem in pro wrestling nowadays is everybody wants to be loved, everybody wants to have people talk about how great they are on the internet so they can go online and look at Twitter and look at Facebook and look at wrestling message boards and they can stroke their own egos about how great they are. I’ve never cared about whether people think I’m great. Obviously, I’m a very talented individual, and that should be recognized, and like I said before, great talent can’t be denied, but I’m not the type of person that needs to have a few thousand or a few million other people telling me how great I am. I already know how great I am, that’s the difference between me and all the other guys in this business.”
You and Beer City Bruiser team sort of intermittently. Is that something you're always open to, and if so, what are your aspirations?
“That’s an interesting question. You know, Pro Wrestling’s a business that’s full of people who have egos, guys always totally concerned about ‘What’s best for me?’ and I’m not gonna sit here and act like I don’t have an ego, but the fact of the matter is that I always like to keep my options open, so if I have an opportunity to embarrass a guy like Dalton Castle or I have the opportunity to shut the mouth of a guy like Jay Lethal, who likes to tell everybody that he’s the greatest first generation wrestler, I’m gonna take that opportunity in a second, but I’m also not selfish. I also realize that myself and Bruiser can accomplish a lot as a tag team, or even if we find that (third) man, to go for the Six-Man Tag Team Championships, so I like to keep my options open.”
Who would your third man be?
"We've talked to, interviewed, sat down with discussions with a lot of different guys and have alot of good options, but we just don't know who that third man would be yet."
With ROH's relationship with New Japan, is NJPW something that interests you as well?
"It absolutely is. In February, a group of us guys from ROH went and did the Honor Rising shows, and that was a great opportunity. That was a highlight for me in my wrestling career."
Any final words to Jay Lethal before you face him this Friday?
"I like that you asked me this, because I really hope Jay is listening. Jay, I want you to get into Boston early, see the sights, live it up, get a good night's sleep. At Best in the World, I'm going to beat you like I have in tag matches, like I did in my hometown in the middle of that ring, and that's just the matter of fact, Jay. Do everything you need to do, Jay. When I beat you at Best in the World, I don't want to hear anymore excuses. People will see why you're not the greatest first-generation wrestler, you're the greatest first-generation CHUMP."