As much as he'd like to see fans back full-time, Shane Taylor agrees that keeping everyone safe remains the top priority.
Appearing as a guest on the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, the Ring of Honor star commented on the promotion not having an audience for their TV tapings while other companies have re-opened their doors.
"For the TV tapings, they're doing that but a lot of that is based off Baltimore and the state of Maryland and the commission. They're trying to make sure we keep everyone as safe as possible and come the end of the year, see how things are and go from there. They are taking a cautious approach, which we all understand as performers. Yes, it's frustrating as you see other people have fans and we want that at all times, but it's safety over everything at the end of the day," Taylor said.
In July, ROH welcomed fans back into attendance at their Best in the World PPV for the first time in nearly a year and a half.
According to Taylor, he loves hostile environments, but even so, the only match that felt weird to wrestle in an empty arena was the very first one. He added the following:
"The only match that was weird without fans was the first one when we came back. What I bring and who I am as a performer, I feed off that. I love hostile environments. One of my favorite moments ever was in the UK when it was me vs. Joe Hendry for the TV Title. The entire building in York Hall was 'Fuck you Taylor.' Alright, I'm about to fight every single one of you motherfuckers and y'all about to be mad when I beat this motherfucker. It was dope. Having that gone, you then have to find that energy in yourself, but we got to work with EC3 and the Briscoes, so they will bring that out regardless."
That said, Taylor acknowledges that the lack of audience allowed for viewers to focus on the details of what they do in the ring. He adds that trash-talking gave the product a 'Steve Austin-esque' feel that it might not have gotten otherwise.
"One of the things that helped me and the guys, we talk a lot of shit in the ring," he began by saying. "Normally, with fans, you're not able to hear. Once we take that away, you hear that shotgun, 'Boom! Damn that hurt, didn't it?' That is when people were like, 'Damn, I like this dude. He's talking shit and hitting dudes.' It's very reminiscent of that Steve Austin feel where you had this dude going out there, busting folks asses and talking shit. 'Yeah, I like that guy.' Our attitude is, we didn't say we are the nicest guys, we didn't say we will follow all the rules, we didn't say we are bad guys. What we do is what we do, you decide where you line up. If you're with us, cool. If you're not, go fuck yourself. That point allows people to pick a side. You're all in or you're out. Not having the crowd allowed people to focus in on the details of what we do, which has only made it better once the fans got back. Once they got back in Baltimore and Philly, they were absolutely bonkers and a lot of people...some people were happy, a lot of people weren't because they were like, 'Yeah, they're buzzing on social media, but the crowd isn't there.' Then they heard the crowd and it was like, 'Whoa, okay, this is working.'"
Taylor is arguably in the middle of the best run of his career as one-third of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions and coming off a run with the ROH Television Title. Elsewhere in the interview, he stated that once his in-ring career is over, he hopes to continue to be fulfilled creatively in wrestling.
He recently competed in a Four Corner Survival match on the September 24 episode of ROH Television. Brody King was victorious in the bout, which also included Jay Lethal and Kenny King.
You can find results from past episodes of ROH Television in Fightful's results section.
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