Matt Taven understands the importance of treating his fans well.
Speaking with the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, the former Ring of Honor World Champion was commended for his positive attitude on social media and for the friendly nature in which he interacts with people. When asked who taught him how to treat fans when he reached this level of professional wrestling, Taven shared a story about Haku that was told to him by NJPW's Tama Tonga. He said the following:
"That's a great question. You know what, a weird story that pops into my mind instantly; when we were in Japan one time I had, it was me and Tama [Tonga] and a couple of the other guys were going out to eat and we just kind of happened to be talking to Tama about Haku and what that was like growing up with Haku as your Dad. He would say they couldn't go anywhere without people recognizing him and coming up and saying hi and that he always, no matter what, if they were in the middle of dinner, would shake people's hands, sign autographs, take pictures, whatever the case may be. When his wife would afterwards say like 'hey, we're eating,' he'd be like, 'that's why we're eating, because of these people right here."
Beyond that, Taven acknowledged that the support he has received from his fanbase has been instrumental in making some of his most cherished moments happen, something he'll always be grateful for. Here's what he said:
"For me personally, I was a heel forever in Ring of Honor and there was really this kind of groundswell that led me to, you know, ultimately the World Title and the show at Madison Square Garden, but it was those people that were so loud on Twitter, on the internet, just kind of really getting behind me and what I was doing that if they didn't -- if that never happens none of the other stuff happens afterwards. So I was always grateful for them. Especially now looking back at that time, the greatest moment of my life really happened because of the noise these people were making for me on Twitter and Facebook and whatever else, so I'll always be grateful for that."
Taven is scheduled to face Vincent in an Unsanctioned Match at Ring of Honor's 19th Anniversary Show on Friday, March 26. The blood feud between the two began nearly a year and a half ago when Vincent attacked Taven with an axe and sliced his head open. Vincent proceeded to lick the blood off his fingers. Matters have only escalated in the time since.
Here is the full card:
ROH World Championship
RUSH (c) vs. Jay Lethal
ROH Pure Championship
Jonathan Gresham (c) vs. Dak Draper
ROH Tag Team Championships
La Faccion Ingobernable (Kenny King & La Bestia del Ring) (c) vs. The Foundation (Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus)
EC3 vs. Jay Briscoe
ROH Television Championship - Dragon Lee Remains Champion If King Wins
Kenny King vs. Tracy Williams
ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championships
Shane Taylor Promotions (Shane Taylor, Moses & Kaun) (c) vs. MexiSquad (Bandido, Flamita & Rey Horus)
Matt Taven vs. Vincent
Mark Briscoe vs. Flip Gordon
Dalton Castle vs. Josh Woods
Four-Corner Survival Match
Danhausen vs. Eli Isom vs. Leon St. Giovanni vs. Brian Johnson
Fightful will have coverage of ROH's 19th Anniversary beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Friday.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Wrestling Perspective Podcast with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.