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PWTorch Livecast – All Night Express Interview w/McNeill (Nov. 4, 2015)

Wednesday PWTorch Livecast
Host: Pat McNeill
Special Guests: ROH’s All Night Express – Kenny King & Rhett Titus
Aired Live: October 4, 2015

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Recap by Dominic DeAngelo

HOT TOPICS IN THE SHOW

– Kenny King’s Return to ROH
– The Reunion of All Night Express
– ROH’s Past & Future

SUBJECTS COVERED

(2:20) Pat McNeilL introduction
(3:20) Kenny King & Rhett Titus introduction
(4:25) How does Kenny plan to juggle his ROH return with a potential TNA Title run?
(4:45) How does Rhett feel having Kenny back?
(5:35) How do they prepare for four-way matches?
(7:30) Is Kenny surprised that WWE hasn’t given him a second look?
(9:30) How has the locker room mentality of ROH changes since being taken over by Sinclair broadcasting?
(11:15) How do they feel about the advancement (or decline) of tag team wrestling over the past decade?
(13:45) Who stands out to Rhett in the ROHO Dojo and the Future of Honor roster?
(15:25) Any TNA talent looking to head to ROH?

(20:25) PWTorch Livecast Poll: Name the ANX social media campaign
(22:25) Who would the team take as a manager or valet?
(23:50) Best story of “staying up all night?”
(25:20) What memory do the guys have as their first singles match?
(28:10) Kenny’s ROH “handshake agreement”
(31:25) How do they practice their double team moves?
(34.25) Who are the opponents that All Night Express like facing the most?
(35:45) What gave them the idea to tag together?
(39:20) Why is the Destination America show different from the local show?
(40:40) What’s it like to party with Charlie Haas?
(43:15) What are some new teams that they are looking forward to facing?
(44:45) Are there plans for ANX to wrestle in Japan?
(46:55) What types of hotels, cars and restaurants does ANX use?
(48:00) Does ANX plan to hit the indy scene?

(49:05) What were the positives of Kenny’s tenure in TNA?
(50:40) Did Rhett feel he was more in sync with Kenny than he did teaming with other wrestlers?
(52:24) Has ROH regained it’s edge in Kenny’s eyes?
(53:55) Could we see ANX team with someone in Chikara’s Team of Trios tournament?
(57:40) How has ANX made it while other talented ROH guys from the past hasn’t?
(1:01:30) Follow Rhett & Kenny on social media

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS

– How does Kenny plan to juggle his ROH return with a potential TNA Title run? Kenny says he’s channeling his inner Rick Rude with his Ravishing Kenny King character.

– Rhett says it feels great to have Kenny back and it’s great to be back in ROH, too – he thought he was exiled forever. Pat mentions their win against the Briscoes along with their upcoming matches, particularly their four-way matches. How do they prepare for something like that? Kenny says it’s a good mix of styles because every team is represented and each guy gets to see what their competitor brings to the ring. It adds a different flavor to the tag team division. Rhett says Survival of The Fittest says it all – who can go all night better than the All Night Express? They bring up their Survival of the Fittest 2010 victories.

– Livecast regular Kylin calls in: how does Kenny feel about WWE not giving him a second look? He says everything boils down to timing. He was in contact with Bill DeMott before he went to TNA, but it really boils down to timing. He’s not done wrestling anytime soon.

Kylin’s second question: what has ROH’s locker room mentality been like since being picked up by Sinclair Broadcasting? Rhett says the budget has changed, which has given them freedom to do newer things they weren’t able to do in the past. Sinclair has taken really good care of them. Kenny thinks one of the biggest things is that it gave everyone a sense of stability, and he’s seen it transfer over in the ring.

Kylin’s third question: How does the duo feel about the pros and cons of tag wrestling over the last ten years? Kenny mentions that he’s impressed with Kylin’s questions. He says the art of tag wrestling has a double-edged sword to it, as it’s evolved, although mainstream wrestling hasn’t pushed it as strong as it once was. While the style has been getting more exciting, but it isn’t getting as much props as it once did. Rhett says it’s cool nowadays that any ROH show you attend can have a tag team main event and also mentions how NXT has utilized tag matches. He’s very happy to see it alive and thriving in 2015.

– Anyone that stands out in the ROH Dojo for Rhett? Shaheem Ali. He says the sky’s the limit for him, as he has the whole package. He says the Dojo is as good as it has ever been.

– Kenny was asked if any TNA talent is looking to head to ROH? Not to his knowledge. Everyone seems to be happy doing what they’re doing. Pat brings up Austin Aries and Kenny doesn’t rule it out.

– Lots of feedback for the “Name the ANX social media campaign” Livecast Poll: #AllNightStand, #AllRhettEverything, and #SingleLadiesPutAKingOnIt are some of the options.

– Kenny would like to have Paul Heyman as a manager for the team. Rhett says Heyman’s a good choice, but if it isn’t broken don’t fix it and that’s why he’d stick with Austin Aries. Aries led them to success.

– What’s the team’s best “staying up all night” story? Rhett tells Kenny to keep it PG. Rhett starts with saying him and Kenny were at a club once with Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin. Rhett did a split on the dance floor and split his pants. Kenny can’t top that with a PG story.

– What memory do the guys have as their first singles match? Rhett says his first match was in Dayton, Ohio at the Dayton Fairgrounds against Shane Hagedorn. It was a good three-minute match. Les Thatcher was backstage and told him it’s good to be nervous, that once Rhett stops getting nervous it’s time to get out of wrestling. Kenny’s first match was a six-man tag in Las Vegas with WWE’s Deuce against a couple of West Coast guys – he hit a successful cross-body. Kenny remembers still using the Tough Enough gimmick at the time and someone told him he was way past that now, which made him feel good.

– Is Jim Cornette’s defaming recollection of Kenny King’s initial ROH departure wrong (saying the deal was Kenny couldn’t work on a TNA show in front of fans while he held the ROH Tag belts)? Was Kenny a free agent? Kenny says it’s hard to be PG about Cornette. The simple fact was is that it was exactly a “handshake agreement.” He respects too many people to ever disrespect the tag division. What was on the table was a contract extension, but the fundamental error of that is that if you’re under contract with another promotion, you can’t talk to anyone. Kenny mentioned that he talked to Bruce Pritchard about this subject and was told he wasn’t able to do that. He says Jim refuted that notion and Kenny told Cornette to contact Pritchard to sort it out, but he never did. Kenny believes the reason he was welcomed back to ROH with open arms is because he handled things the right way, business is business and they respected that. Cornette is the only person mad about it.

– Rhett and Kenny don’t get to train together that much. Kenny’s in Vegas while Rhett’s in New Jersey. Many times they just have to wing it. Kenny says that it’s something they don’t get enough props for. Tag wrestling requires an unconscious knowing of what your partner’s doing. Rhett and him have such good chemistry they’re able to work it out. Rhett says imagine how good together they’d be able to train every week.

– Who do they like facing the most in tag matches? Kenny says it’s no knock to anyone (and he gives credit to The Addiction), but Kenny says it has to be the Briscoes. Rhett agrees, they always go to the next level with them (they’re actually facing them next week on Destination America).

– It was actually Adam Pearce’s idea for Rhett and Kenny to tag together. King was tagging with Kenny Omega at the time, but Pearce said that King and Rhett would become a team. Rhett’s first impression of Kenny King was on his 20th birthday: he’s working out and Gabe Sapolsky was watching him do push-ups. Kenny walks by and says, “I don’t have to do push-ups to get ready,” which rubbed Titus the wrong way. They were sizing each other up at first, and Rhett thinks the first time they really clicked was in Florida against the British Lions.

– Why is the Destination America show different from the local show? Pat think it has something to do with the DA deal. Rhett says DA has three more minutes of advertising they have to fill so the Inside ROH segment gets cut.

– Pat asks what’s it like to party with Charlie Haas? Kenny says he’s a fun guy, not only is he a Seton Hall grad, but he’s from Texas so he knows how to party. Rhett says there is one way Charlie always puts it and that was “Haas Style!” He said what you saw at the end of his ROH run is what he is pretty much like. Kenny calls him a “Haas-hole” Funny story from Rhett: Kenny and him were at someone’s house and the host said something that ticked them off, so they all took a leak in that person’s gas tank.

– Kenny is looking forward to wrestling War Machine. He also is looking forward to facing the Young Bucks. Rhett mentions how much they were looking forward to wrestling The Addiction when they return – he echoed Kenny’s sentiments on War Machine and the Bucks but would like to face A.C.H. & Matt Sydal if they are still a team down the road.

– Are there plans for All Night Express to wrestle overseas in Japan? Kenny says 100 percent. That was one of the first things he and Rhett talked about when they talked about Kenny coming back, as he’s a huge fan of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Rhett says that’s one goal that’s escaped him and Kenny were wrestling in Japan and it would be an absolute honor to wrestle in NJPW. Pat follows up with asking who they would like to face there and Rhett says the Time Splitters – he’s never locked up with either Alex Shelley or KUSHIDA. At the bar they’d like to take on the Roppongi Vice. Kenny jokes they could get that on PPV.

– Does ANX go all out on traveling or do they travel on the Sinclair budget? Kenny says it depends on where they’re at, as Rhett likes driving big trucks while Kenny prefers a coupe. Rhett says it looks like they’re on a baller budget because Sinclair takes such good care of them.

– Are ANX going to the indys? They are, that Nov.19 event is an indy show and there are plans in the works for doing something in Charlotte.

– What did Kenny like about wrestling in TNA? He said it was a wonderful learning experience for him – wrestling and interacting with stars from all generations. He came into his own as a wrestler from an out of the ring perspective. The teamwork aspect was another huge part.

– Did Rhett feel he was more in sync with Kenny than he did teaming with other wrestlers? He said that he did. Nothing against B.J. Whitmer and Charlie Haas, who were great, but they didn’t have enough time to work on the craft together. Plus, their personalities were too different.

– During Kenny’s Kayfabe Commentaries interview he described ROH as “a group trying to be more edgy that doesn’t have an actual edge.” Does he feel that has changed? Yes, 100 percent percent. He says the sheer firepower of the current roster is so impressive. The match-ups and potential match-ups are very exciting to him.

– Could we see Kenny & Rhett work in Chikara’s King of Trios tourney? Rhett would be ready for it, but who could they tag with? Kenny says Sugarfoot and Rhett says don’t call him Sugarfoot anymore. Pat asks if they’ve had a Bobby Dempsey sighting recently? Rhett hasn’t seen Bobby, but Grizzly Redwood was seen recently. He wants Bobby to reach out to him. What about Tully Primo? Rhett talked to him last week, he’s suffered a lot of concussions so he’s not wrestling anymore.

– What has allowed Rhett and Kenny to succeed in wrestling when ROH wrestlers from the past haven’t had such luck? Kenny says everything takes a little bit of luck, but Kenny always asks his wrestling students “why do they want to do this?” You have to be willing to dedicate yourself to it. In the ring, in the gym, watching film, practicing, cutting promos constantly. Rhett’s always watching the WWE Network. He says dedication is what it takes and you have to be ready for the business to not be very nice to you. Rhett says wrestling doesn’t owe him anything at all, if you’re someone wrestling once a month and not training, then you’re not doing enough. You have to stay hungry. Lots of guys have thrown the towel in. He mentions Bobby Dempsey’s brother, Derek. Rhett remembers driving with him from Connecticut to New York – it was a rainy mess moving the ring and the equipment, and he recalls Derek just going home. You have to eat crap and like the taste of it sometimes.

– Watch ROH on Destination America Wednesdays at 11:00 p.m. Check them out in Milwaukee and Minnesota this weekend at Survival of the Fittest. Kenny says #WatchROH and follow him @KennyKingPb2 on Instagram or Twitter. Train with Kenny at Future Stars of Wrestling in Las Vegas or follow them @fswvegas on Twitter.

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10: Hearing this episode made me want to call my brother up and start a tag team together. It’s the perfect capsule of why Rhett & Kenny are so good in the ring together – their chemistry is off the charts. You can tell that they’re best friends by the way they laugh at each other’s stories and how they’re on the same page with wrestling philosophy. Hearing younger veterans of the ring like these guys talk about the business in such a smart, yet somewhat rebellious way is really a fun experience.

You get that rebellious sense when they shared their road stories and also when Pat brought up the Jim Cornette controversy to Kenny. You could tell Kenny isn’t pleased with Cornette’s past rantings, but he’s respectful enough to not call names. With WWE and its “Superstars” being so scripted and PC nowadays, it’s refreshing to hear that there is still that outlaw mentality in younger talent, and these two have it. If you’re an ROH fan, past or present, this is a must-listen, and if you don’t watch ROH, this will make you want to.

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