Eddie talks about doing the same dive through the ropes that he broke his elbow doing when he wrestled Chris Hero in the first round of Survival of the Fittest and separating his shoulder. He said he'll never forget Paul Turner freaking out when he saw Eddie's shoulder, but he went back out there and wrestled one handed again and beat Kenny King in the finals. Wrestling a regular match with one hand is a lot harder than wrestling a ladder match with one hand, but Delirious practically begged him to go back out since he was supposed to win the tournament, so he decided to go out and just do it. Eddie had a little more down time after Survival of the Fittest, and he had the option for surgery, but chose to just rehab the injury.
He came back from injury and this time did the Final Hunt angle where he and Davey challenged the Kings of Wrestling for the tag title in Massachusetts. He and Davey were comfortable doing their own thing, and were fine as long as it didn't mean they couldn't go back to teaming. They weren't told the team was ending for good even though the fans took it that way, but they didn't see it that way. The match with the Kings of Wrestling was their first, and pretty much marked the moment where they ditched Shane Hagadorn and became full on babyfaces. It was a match the fans had wanted to see for a while and he said he didn't think they hit the potential they could have and just scratched the surface of what they could do together. (Note from Stu: that is insane because I made the trip from New Jersey to Boston specifically to see that match and ended up ranking it one of the ten best matches in ROH history when I did my ROH ten year retrospective feature last year. Eddie is out of his mind because that match kicked ass. Also, it definitely was promoted as the Wolves' last match together even though they went back on it literally as soon as the match was over in a postmatch promo.
Eddie was having a tough run because he had also lost the TV Title to Christopher Daniels around that time, but he was okay with losing the title because he felt like he had served his part as champion and there was no shame in being defeated by Christopher Daniels. He went on to have a huge year in 2010, starting off by getting his second shot at the GHC Junior Heavyweight Title. He was a lot more established at this point than he was when he wrestled KENTA, so not only doing this match but actually main eventing Korauken Hall was awesome. He felt like they really pulled off a good match, and being a champion in ROH was the kind of thing that really helped his perception in Japan and it helped get him into a better spot over there.
We look at the closing moments of Eddie's win over Roderick Strong for the ROH World Title when he shocked the ROH fanbase by countering a cradle attempt to pin Strong and become the World Champion. I was there that day and it was indeed a great moment that caught everyone completely off guard since most people thought he was just there to set up Davey beating Roderick for the title down the line. Davey comes out and gives Eddie a stern look to tease that he was going to turn on Eddie for winning the title before him, but ends up giving Eddie a big hug and taking a knee in the corner to let Eddie have his moment, only getting up to strap the belt around his partner's waist.
Eddie says he and Roddy were beating on each other and the fans started reacting more and more as he kept kicking out of big moves and started to think he might have a chance. Nobody thought he had a chance of winning going in, and the way the crowd reacted when he pinned Strong still gives him chills. It was surreal to see the crowd react, and he even wound up trending on Twitter. He got so many calls and texts from people who wanted to congratulate him, including Tyler Black and others he hadn't seen for a long time, and that made it extra special for him. Eddie talks about his title defenses against Daniels, Chris Hero, and Roderick Strong. He loved all those matches, but felt like he and Daniels had always had great chemsitry and had to take it a step further when the ROH World Title was in the picture.
All of this was a slow build to him facing Davey again, and he thought it came a little quicker than they probably wanted it to since they were still only doing little things to tease the eventual match. They went into it with the same mentality as the TV Title match where they didn't suddenly hate each other, they just both wanted to be the champion. ROH was sold to Sinclair around this time and he was shocked when he heard Cary sold the company, but then right after that he heard the plans for the company and saw how much Sinclair wanted to help the company and he was happy with that attitude.
The first big event after the Sinclair purchase was Best In The World with him against Davey, and they both knew what they were getting into and that it would be hard hitting, there would be blood, and that they would get hurt, but it was the match they needed to have. This wasn't the kind of match they were going to have all the time, but this was the time to do it and they did it. They go into the perception that Eddie was the little brother and they talk about how Davey felt like him beating Eddie only reinforced it, but Eddie didn't see it that way because he already beat him for the TV Title and Davey had to literally knock him out to win the match, it wasn't like Davey beat him up the whole match.
The entire rest of the year built to the rematch, and this time around it was more of a storyline that incorporated Kyle O'Reilly and Dan Severn into the mix as focal points of the angle. Eddie didn't think the storyline worked for their characters because it was a little much for he and Davey's taste. He thought it would have been better to just let them do their things separately for a while since everyone knew it would eventually lead to them facing off a third time. Eddie liked Dan and got to do some training with him, but he doesn't know how much Dan added to the match other than just kind of being there.
Bison Smith passed away around this time, and Eddie had spent a lot of time around Bison in NOAH and ROH, so it really hit him when Bobby Fish called up and said he heard Bison had died in Puerto Rico. Bison was the Godfather of the gaijin, and he was a big, scary looking guy, but was one of the nicest people in the world and helped him out so much with how to conduct himself in Japan. He still watches matches of Bison and it's insane to think he's really gone because he was a guy you never thought could be broken who had passed away.
Eddie started 2013 off with a staph infection, but the brighter side of that was Adam Cole getting a chance to move into the storyline with Davey, Kyle, and himself. He talks about having Adam as a protege, and since Davey and Kyle were always together, Cole always felt like his position in Future Shock was the same as Eddie's position in the Wolves because he was seen as the junior guy, so Eddie enjoyed working with him and he felt like the four of them working together made it a win-win and gave Cole the chance to really step his game up. It's weird to be considered one of the veterans and he doesn't really feel like one, but one of his jobs now is working with younger guys and seeing what they can do and help them along.
2012 was a mixed bag because other than the little program with Bennett, he didn't really have a storyline, and he felt a little aimless but also didn't want to be the guy to get a million shots at the World Title, so he was happy to just have good matches and not be the guy people get sick of in the title picture. He never felt like he wasn't getting used, he was happy having matches with guys like Bennett, Rhino, and Homicide who he had never worked before.
The Sinclair relationship has made things very different since they've had to adapt to TV and figure out ways to make everything better, and it's been a slow build, but all the changes have been good. He doesn't know too much about how Jim Cornette's departure changed things in the power structure, but he feels like things happen to have changed for the better since Jim left, and he doesn't want to call it a cause-effect thing, but that's his observation.
He looked forward to wrestling Adam Cole and giving him the chance to get a rub from Eddie like Davey had done for him, and then he capped off the year by reuniting the American Wolves. He and Davey had thought about it for quite a while before it finally happened, and people questioned why they would want to go back into the tag division after they were both World Champions, but they never ran their course as a team and they felt like they could do it without fans reacting badly. He was happy that Bobby Fish finally got his shot in ROH and got to work with Davey, Kyle, and himself since their styles are all pretty similar. Since the interview is happening only hours before Supercard of Honor where the Wolves will face reDRagon, he talks about getting things laid out in his head and going out there to tear the house down.
He talks about going back to NOAH right after this interview to team with Bobby Fish in the Junior World Tag League and Kenta Kobashi's retirement, and things have been tough in Japan lately and it will get tougher with Kobashi retiring, but he hopes things will recover and he's glad he still has a chance to go work over there and he's sure things will get better. He closes by saying that it's not about how hard you get hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
Excellent interview, and the matches section includes some pretty good stuff, too. It obviously includes the compulsory Edwards vs Richards match from Best In The World 2011, but it also has the "forgotten" fourth Davey-Eddie match from TV when Eddie defeated Davey to even their score at 2-2, which still stands as of this writing. Also included is Eddie's excellent ROH World Title defense against Christopher Daniels, a title defense against Chris Hero (who had pinned him to win both Kings of Wrestling-American Wolves matches), and a title rematch against Roderick Strong. The set also includes matches after his title loss such as the one with Kyle O'Reilly from ROH TV (which was used to build to Davey-Eddie III), matches I barely remembered against El Generico, Rhino, and Homicide, and finally the American Wolves reunion match against reDRagon at Final Battle 2012.
This was a great set, and though the matches were good, I liked the interview because it was the first time we've ever really gotten a chance to get to know Eddie as a person outside of what we see in the ring. It was two hours of Eddie talking about everything you ever wanted to know about his ROH career, and I really liked how human and down to Earth he came off as while talking about how humbling his initial trips to Japan were and his mentality when working hurt. I give it a thumbs up for that reason alone, but the inclusion of the match with Daniels from Wrestlemania weekend and the fourth match against Davey definitely make this one a thumbs up. You can find ordering information at www.rohwrestling.com.
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