Talk’n Shop #68: Matt Taven & A.J. Styles (Oct. 17, 2015)

Talk’n Shop #68
Hosts: IWGP Hvt. tag champion Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows & Tama Tonga
Guest: Matt Taven
Cameo: A.J. Styles
Release Date: October 17, 2015



00:00 – Introductions to the podcast.
02:30 – The podcast begins; singing; Doc Gallows’s love for Matt Taven.
03:44 – Gallows’s Gary Chappetta/David Penzer/Howard Finkel impression. The stage is set – Matt Taven’s podcast debut!
06:11 – Obscenities from Gallows’s farting to Shelton Benjamin’s Johnson; who did Taven once KILL?
07:29 – The story begins…it doesn’t; lots of yelling, partying, hanging out.
14:03 – A.J. Styles is here!
18:15 – The Story of Matt Tavern’s Terrible Weekend featuring…George Steele! (Part 1)
27:22 – The Story of Matt Tavern’s Terrible Weekend Night 2!
37:55 – Doc Gallows recalls George Steele; how Taven’s weekend followed his career.
39:31 – The podcast draws to an end ten minutes later than usual!

Podcast Summary

– 00:00 – Rocky Romero introduces the podcast thanking all listeners and plugging the Talk’n Shop’s Twitter account. This is followed by the usual introductions, including a plug for the Hoots 2, available on Vimeo On-Demand.

– 02:30 – The podcast begins. Strangely (okay, not very strangely), we kick off as Doc Gallows and this week’s guest Matt Taven are singing obscenities into the microphone. Karl Anderson tries to get started. Quick side note: it is bizarrely relaxing hearing Doc sing about genitals whilst a beer cracking open is heard in the not-so-distant background. Anderson continues to try and introduce the podcast but Doc just wants to tell the viewers about how attractive Matt Taven is. “Me and Tama gonna f— ya, boy,” Gallows quipped.

– 03:44 – Gallows breaks into Gary Michael Chappetta/David Penzer mode as he once again puts over Taven’s physical pluses. He then introduces Tama Tonga, who tends to join a few of these recordings. As usual, he calls Karl an —hole which Anderson disputes “Is that Fink or is that Penzer?” Tonga giggles like a schoolboy…

Karl welcomes Taven to his first ‘Talk’n Shop’ edition, which he claims has been seven months in the making. Immediately Gallows brings out a big secret: Taven’s first hero was Kona Crush…or Crush, or Brian Adams, or Demolition Crush, or the leader of the DOA, or Brian Adams from Kronik. Karl sets the stage – Taven has just arrived off his flight into Tokyo, Japan. And as usual, this podcast is taking place in the Tokyo Dome Hotel. The gang have just finished with a sponsor and are now hanging out. Given what happened with MVP (Part 1) a couple of weeks back, you know where this one is headed…

– 06:11 – Somebody just farted and everybody’s placing blame at everybody else. They talk about Shelton Benjamin’s d—, which has become a running gag because it is apparently very big (at this point I’d like to say I swear I am summarising what I hear!). As shenanigans ensue with the fan blowing fart aroma around the room (“oh that’s just the smell of hate, and religion”), Gallows brings up the time Matt Taven almost killed George the Animal Steele out of nowhere. They really put Taven over as a Good Brother, how he’s a fun, likable guy that likes cold beers – but he ALMOST KILLED GEORGE STEELE!

07:29 – The George Steele story begins, as Karl asks what Gallows means by Taven almost killing The Animal. “Have you ever seen the clip?” Taven asked – but nobody had except Gallows. Taven mentions he was walking around with Delirious earlier, a representative of Ring of Honor over for New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Delirious told Taven that before they met for the first time, he didn’t like Taven because of the George Steele incident. The gang prep it as a Talk’n Shop exclusive – Tonga in particular excited to hear about it.

However, in classic Talk’n Shop form, the guys never get the podcast under way as everybody is drunkenly talking over one another and asking irrelevant questions making a running gag of how everybody only gets to tell a story twenty-five or so minute after asked. I suggest keeping your audio low if you’re wearing earphones – it gets pretty annoying. “I don’t know s—- about wrestling, I wanna hear the story,” jokes Tonga. It’s like you’re on the phone talking to somebody on a night out and everybody wants to talk at you at once.  (Matt Taven killing George Steele clip…)

14:03 – Karl Anderson returns from…wherever he’s been. He complains about the terrible smell the boys have made. But somebody else is with him…A.J. Styles. You gotta wonder how awkward non-drinking Styles must have felt around the boys. “It smells really bad in here, man,” he complains – apparently the theme of this episode. A.J. jokes that he feels like a superstar when he enters their trashed hotel rooms.

Doc argues that to feel bigger than you already are, you’ve got to beat somebody with substance and notoriety – but if A.J. went over Gallows, Anderson, Tonga, or Taven it wouldn’t do anything. “We p— on ourselves, we s— on ourselves, you’re athletically superior to all of us!” Gallows and Anderson argued about this claim, but Gallows mentioned how Anderson pooped on his own feet; Gallows wet himself overnight; and Tonga didn’t even remember his own name!

Gallows compared this room to A.J.’s room and how tidy it was when he ventured in there. After putting him over previously, the guys rag on Taven calling him a piece of s— too because he chugs wine. It’s noted that it was only Gallows that wanted Taven to come to the room to record this, and before that Gallows jokes everybody was like “f— Taven.”

– 18:15 – After some much needed settledness, Tonga says he still wants to know about Taven nearly killing George the Animal Steele. FINALLY it begins! He tells the story like a bedtime story. Friday, October 1, 2010. With two-and-a-half years of experience, so he was a young kid in the business. Waterbury, Connecticut. For North East Wrestling, it was Taven teamed with a police officer against New England-based wrestler Brian Anthony and Bull Dread (who isn’t very good according to Taven).

Taven brings up a factfile about NEW, how good a draw it usually is and how A.J. Styles has been down plenty of times. This cracks up the boys, who ask how much money A.J. sucked out of North East Wrestling. “It wouldn’t be the first company I put out of business, brother!” Styles joked. Clarification from Taven: the police officer he teamed with was a real police officer who attended the show a year earlier, he wrestled Brian Anthony and after a big payoff in the last year – that officer has learned a hip toss, a body slam, and nothing else.

The conversation goes off the rail again, talking about how Gallows messes everything up. His response? “I am transgender, I have uh, t—“… But back to the story! So George The Animal Steele is the special guest enforcer for this tag team showdown. The game plan was that Taven would moonsault off the top rope onto Bull Dread on the outside – who is supposed to be brawling with Kurt Adonis on the other side of the ring. And that would allow the officer to score the win on Anthony. What actually happened was Taven on the top rope waving his hands and trying to signal George to move out of the way. Dread and Steele were dressed the exact same with black and red trim – Taven looked between his legs and got ready to moonsault thinking the black with red trim was Bull Dread. NOPE! It was Steele.

He backflipped balls-first onto a seventy year-old man’s head, and Bull Dread didn’t help George out of the way for the landing either. “You killed George The Animal Steele with your c—!” yelled Gallows, howling with laughter. Taven looked over, and George was struggling to get back up to his feet, holding onto the guardrail with his hand over his chest startled by the botch. “This legit delayed me getting into Ring of Honor for two years,” Matt admitted. Gallows meanwhile cannot stop laughing out loud. They talk about Taven getting an unlikable reputation because of it, prompting the question why he is such a heat magnet.

– 27:22 – The story progresses, as Taven explains he has a lot more to tell. Taven says so many people tried to bury him for the botch. George is having some kind of heart attack from the botch, and he’s trying to explain to people what happened but everybody was just silent despite how packed the venue was. The cop spears Anthony for the win back inside, but the crowd are dead silent. Taven rolls back inside, realizing he needs to fix this. Steele pulls himself to his feet, but as Taven is holding the ropes and waving him in to celebrate – he waves him off and leaves!

Taven was stressed as he headed to the back when he was pulled aside by Tommy Dreamer. “I just want you to know. Everything’s going to be okay. That was one of my top five favourite moments in wrestling history – but I need to ask you a serious question: did you pop the bag?” Dreamer elaborated, asking if there was urine and fecal matter out there – he learned Steele has a baggie.

He approached George, but being the old-school guy he is, he shrugged it off and no-sold the incident. They went out to dinner, and he was still nervous. They were talking about the match when he accidentally knocked everybody’s glasses off of the table – and now there’s broken glass and stuff everywhere. Steele’s expression was different by this point. Taven and Ref Keenan split the hotel room that night – at one point, Keenan’s phone is just going off with phone calls. And it was everybody imaginable asking him if Steele got moonsaulted by the biggest d—head in wrestling!

The next day there is another show and Tommy Dreamer, ref Keenan, and Taven are booked. “All morning, people have been calling me wondering about you,” Dreamer mentioned. “If I had a job I’d hire you just so I could walk around and say ‘this is the kid that moonsaulted George The Animal Steele.'” As they were talking, Dreamer received a clip of the botch and said “I’m tweeting it out right now!”

Taven shut off his phone because people kept calling him now. He entered the locker room, and there’s George talking to Jerry Lawler – and they turned to face Matt upon his arrival, and Jerry shaded him. (At this time, A.J. Styles leaves). But there’s MORE! Somehow! At this show, Taven is wrestling Brian Anthony in a singles match. The boys rib with compliments hoping to work with this Anthony kid one day. So Taven wanted to redeem himself, but he tried an Undertaker-esque dive to the floor, and Anthony proceeded to whack his head on the guardrail! Anthony split his head open on the railing, and the match shortly after came to a close.

Taven was freaking out even more now, and Anthony is a bloody mess. Everybody was there, EMTs, and the local athletic commission working on Brian; Matt’s a sweating mess, and who comes round the corner? George The Animal Steele. He sees everything going on – gushing Anthony, puppydog-eyed Taven – he looked at Matt and shook his head: “Tough weekend, huh, kid?”

– 37:55 – Doc Gallows presented a short story about his first time meeting George Steele early on in his career, he and his friend Brian (not Anthony, surname not mentioned) were working him and Steele told him that they could do anything they wanted tonight – just not to hit him in two places of his abdomen…to avoid popping the bag and spraying everywhere.

Taven says that now, George is pissed that Matt Taven never ran with that gimmick. Like he was The Animal Killer or something. He said they’re cool now, they’ve posed for a lot of moonsault-teasing photos and stuff. It’s become a joke, but he was ashamed of it. And it kept him out of the ROH locker room for a while because of the incident, too. When he went down for a try-out with Ring of Honor, somebody that everybody knows sent another somebody the clip of the incident – but luckily everybody has a sense of humor, although Taven and that person still have heat over it.

– 39:31 – This episode is going longer than usual without Producer Hoot Rocky Romero around, Matt Taven said he has a lot of veteran stories – all while Doc asks who else Taven roughed up – but Karl Anderson (who has been quiet for the last 20 minutes) wanted to wrap this up. Plugs all round, and this brought an end to the podcast with everybody having a good time.


(6.0): I had fear going into this one that like the first part of the MVP episode several weeks ago – this would go terribly. Thankfully, that was not the case – but the first 15 minutes of this podcast were certifiably unhearable if you were wearing earphones. So many voices, so much enthusiasm, and jokes – and a lot of unnecessary laundry brought up before they got down to business at the halfway mark. But I guess that’s what this podcast is, and I’m glad everybody is having fun doing it. Taven’s story of the terrible weekend he had in Fall 2010 is hilarious, and just when you think it gets cringy – it gets cringier. Very amusing anecdotes, and he is a very sociable guy as evidenced here.

SIDE-NOTE: I’m playing with the format on a weekly basis to try and organise this summary section as best as I can for a podcast as unpredictable as the Talk’n Shop’s. I hope you are enjoying these detailed summaries, thanks for reading and please check out the podcast if it appeals to you!

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