The Prestigious Joe Hendry has landed in ROH.
When speaking to Sportskeeda, the man formerly referred to as a 'Local Hero' discusses signing with Ring Of Honor, the Honor United Tour, and more.
Gary Cassidy of Sportskeeda sent along the following highlights:
On why he signed with ROH:
I think that, for me, it's one of these things I just always wanted to go to Ring of Honor. It was as early as 2016 when I first did my UK tour with Ring of Honor and it was weird, the moment I knew that I wanted to be there 100% was when I was walking to the ring, I was on my way to face Donovan Dijak and I was looking at the barriers. That just had so much history and so much prestige, if you will, for me.
My gut was telling me, "This is where I need to be." What a lot of people don't know is, earlier in 2016, I actually flew myself over to a Ring of Honor tryout, so when I'm doing my podcast and I'm talking to my trainees, anyone wanting to get into wrestling, I'm trying to educate them that things don't always happen right away. You need to work away at things for years
I flew myself over for a tryout in 2016, got my first shot on a UK tour in 2016 and, on that tour, I saw the Television Championship changing hands twice with Marty [Scurll] and Will [Ospreay], which leads directly to me the opportunity I have on the tour, which will get into later.
Then I had a match with Silas Young in Edinburgh for the Television Championship which, to this day, is probably one of the best matches I've had, in front of the hometown crowd. Then I did another tour at the end of last year and I had a match with Jonathan Gresham in London that, I think, is the thing that kind of pushed it over the edge for me.
Like you say, I was fortunate enough to have some options and, for me, I go where my gut tells me to go and I knew that Ring of Honor was the right place for me, and also it's the place for me that they allow me to be me. The trust is there in terms of the entrances, the content I'm making and stuff like that. I've been allowed to show my creativity and all I have to do is show up with the video file. They allow me to keep my process exactly the way it is so I'm getting to be who I am creatively, but also I'm in matches...
You look at the roster, the roster is absolutely incredible and it's with matches that are pushing me technically every single time that I wrestle for Ring of Honor, so it makes me really feel that this is the place that gives you the best of both worlds to really push myself creatively and athletically as well.
On the Honor United tour, and wrestling on it as a signed performer:
You know, it's hard not to give a clichéd answer but I'm extremely excited - is the answer.
When I wasn't signed to the company, you never think you're going to jump straight into a World Television title shot, which is what I got again Silas Young and I really feel like I proved myself there but now, as a signed athlete, I'm looking at the history of that championship and it's myself as a Shane Taylor in London for the World Television Championship. The thing that I love about Ring of Honor is anything can happen at any time, and like I say, on the tour in 2016, the World Television Championship was won by both Will Osprey and Marty Scurll, by two Brits on the British tour, and trust me, I am hoping to continue that tradition.
That is really what I've been working towards. When I first walked out in Ring of Honor, when I first came in, I had a T-shirt on, my merch says "World Champ" on it because I need to come in with that World Championship mentality, and it's in the title, it's a world title- the World Television title. This is really what I've been gearing towards and I really feel like this tour for me is going to be a huge benchmark and it's the culmination of a lot of hard work.
The reason need to come to this tour is because you're going to see not only the best professional wrestling in the world but if you're a fan of British wrestling, this is a company that is putting their money where their mouth is, they are investing in British talent, flying us over, doing what they need to do to get the best British talent and they are going to showcase that on this tour. There's a lot of talk about British wrestling right now and the state it's in - this, that and the next thing - but Ring of Honor is putting its money where its mouth is and they are investing in it as well so you need to come down and support your British wrestlers.
On being an entertainer as well as a great technical wrestler:
Put it this way, everything that I do, I create new challenges. When I reach a new goal, I create new goals. I'm kind of old school in the sense that I'm one of these people that believes, if you're not trying to be the top talent in that company, you just need to get the hell out of it. I know a lot of people nowadays will find that offensive but, make no mistake about it, I'm here to be the World Champion, I'm here to be the top talent in the company and this is a journey, my journey into making that happen. When I first come into companies, you see it all the time, everywhere I've wrestled, I've always started at the bottom, and scratched and clawed my way to the top. I've got this thing that I feel is rare in this business which is a desire to be at the absolute top, and I plan to work my way to the top of Ring of Honor. But to carry on from what you're saying - listen, to all my opponents there are, just because I am more entertaining than you doesn't mean I can't bounce you off the canvas as well.
Like you said, The Prestigious One is the total package in professional wrestling, however, Ring of Honor I think has THE most underrated roster in the world. You look at some of the talents we've got. You look at, for example, the team of Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham. You should have seen the match that Jonathan Gresham and Alex Shelley just had that the paper view. It was unbelievable.
Again, I'm looking at all the dream matches. I'm getting to face someone like Matt Taven who's been at the absolute top of the company. I'm going to find out what that's going to be like. Shane Taylor as well, World Television Champion. His strikes are... He hits harder than anybody else. I've felt his strikes before. Me and him went the distance, to a 15-minute draw. That's why I have this title shot. I'm one of the few people he's not been able to beat so we'll finish that story in London. I recommend you come out there.
We've got someone on the roster called Josh Woods right now who is just an unbelievable national champion amateur wrestler who just wrestles differently from other people. We've got a fellow Briton Mark Haskins as well, who brings an intensity that you've never really seen before in someone of his size. He is a phenomenal athlete and one of the best wrestlers that Britain has produced. Also, look at Villain Enterprises, you look at how over, for example, the team is but also even look at the ascension that PCO is making as well. We've got a phenomenal women's division that is continually growing. The company, I think, is going to go from strength to strength over the next few years and I'm excited that I've joined at this time so we can continue to see the progression it's making. The talent is there, the roster is absolutely unbelievable and you shouldn't pay attention to the Internet as well because I will tell you now, the crowds are growing, they are getting bigger and, every time I go over there, I'm seeing more passion, more intensity from the fans and I think that there's a momentum here. Ring of Honor's going to go from strength to strength for the next few years. There's a reason I chose to be in this company.
To see the full updates to the ROH Honor United: London Card, click here.