Marty Scurll will be part of tonight’s triple threat main event at ROH’s Best in the World pay per view against fellow Bullet Club member Cody Rhodes and world champion Dalton Castle.
The native of Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England has enjoyed success all over the world, finishing a tour in Australia for World Series Wrestling this past week before flying to Baltimore for tonight’s ROH pay per view. Scurll is also one of the more accomplished and well-traveled wrestlers in the world; the 29-year-old wrestled a match this past April against WWE United Kingdom champion Pete Dunne for Destiny World Wrestling in Canada, and he currently holds New Japan’s NEVER Openweight 6-man tag team championship with the Young Bucks.
Scurll has yet to hold the world title for a major, televised promotion, but that will change if he is able to win the ROH title later tonight.
Justin Barrasso: In many ways, you are the “third” man in this triple-threat title match. Cody Rhodes made news with the announcement that, after he wins the Ring of Honor world title this Friday at Best of the World, he will then defend it in a title-versus-title match against NWA world’s heavyweight champion Nick Aldis on September 1 at All In. Dalton Castle has been dealing with a back injury but also spoke about the importance of prolonging his title run.
Are you looking forward to sending shock waves throughout the wrestling community by winning the title, especially when you’ve been overlooked in the lead-up to the match?
Marty Scurll: I wouldn’t see myself as the “third man”. I’m the man that the fans want to see as Ring of Honor champion. It’s time. You can’t beat my popularity at Ring of Honor. It’s time for a change. The fans want a champion who can give them those matches and memories that last forever. One that can take them on a ride. Both Cody and Dalton are great wrestlers, but if we’re all brutally honest with ourselves, they can’t lace my boots. I remember the legendary title reigns of guys like Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuinness, where show in and show out they would go out there and put on epic title matches which really got the world talking about Ring of Honor. I don’t think the title has had that this past year and Best in the World is my chance to become that champion that the fans want and desire.
JB: Rhodes also stated that “Marty being included in this match is wonderful. He supersedes the ‘junior’ qualification. He has a great fan base. But Marty is Prince Lotor. He sits at my table, but doesn’t eat first. I do. Daddy eats first.”
You are the only one in the title match without a world title run. You often hear in wrestling that “the title makes the man,”but how would your career be altered with a championship reign?
Scurll: Cody is a great hype man. He’s a great politician -- that’s why he’ll probably do well running for Senate. But he had his reign. Wrestling fans always want something new, they hate constantly going back to the well. If you look at my body of work this year it can’t be denied. From my series of singles matches in the Best of the Super Juniors, my rise to the top spot in Ring of Honor, my five-star match with Ospreay where I tried to break his f------ neck, my body of work speaks for itself. There’s an old saying, “When you’re good you’ll tell people. When you’re great they’ll tell you.”
JB: This year’s Best of the Super Juniors in New Japan featured some of the most sublime storytelling and athleticism this year. Does the “junior heavyweight” weight class have a negative connotation in North America and, more specifically, the United States? And would that negative viewpoint change if you were to win the Ring of Honor world title?
Scurll: In Japan I certainly think that the junior heavyweight division is sometimes positioned as ‘less than’ the heavyweight division. I spoke about this at the Best of the Super Juniors press conference. It doesn’t help when the champion Will Ospreay goes around telling people he wants to “move up” to the heavys like it’s some kind of a promotion. He should be proud to be junior champ and want to take that belt to new heights. I know I was when I was champ. I wanted to take that belt to new places, be a difference maker. That’s why I decided to defend my title at Wrestle Kingdom in a fatal four-way match as it had never been done before, despite the odds not being in my favor. Hell, I wanted to take that title and main event Wrestle Kingdom with it. That’s what a champion should want to do, push the boundaries.
I think it’s bullsh-- that if I’m teaming up with someone 14 pounds heavier than me I have to come to the ring to their music. I have the best entrance in all of professional wrestling for crying out loud. These are just imaginary boundaries and weight limits though. It’s not like a lightweight championship cannot main event or do amazing business. Look at Conor McGregor in MMA or Floyd Mayweather in boxing. I weigh more than both those guys. Let’s not let the wrestling world be a step behind.
JB: Dalton Castle noted during Tuesday’s Ring of Honor conference call that your athletic background does not meet his own. He certainly has a tremendous background in amateur wrestling, but Castle’s six month title run has been riddled with injuries that have often left him unable to perform. How do you assess Castle’s time with the title, and do you believe you match up with him in the ring?
Scurll: I don’t have as good training as Dalton? Are you serious? You know how many days I’ve been home this year? I could count the days on my hands. Because I’m wrestling all over the world, day in, day out. Not just America, all over Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada, South America. I live in the air and on the road. I just flew to Baltimore from Australia where I did a four-day tour. One night I wrestled a junior heavyweight style match with up-comer Robbie Eagles. The next night I did a hardcore Monsters Ball with Abyss and Jimmy Havoc. Night three, I did a big man/small man vs. Brian Cage. Fourth night, I did a comedy match with Joey Ryan.
I’m the most versatile wrestler on the planet. Dalton does one or two shows a month for Ring of Honor and that’s it, and lately he hasn’t even done them. So if he thinks he’s better trained than me because he goes to a weekly MMA class and I don’t, then I’m sorry, pal, but I’m occupied, the pro wrestling world needs me.
JB: The Being The Elite series has allowed talent to drive their own storylines and for viewers to enjoy a unique look at the unadulterated personalities of some of wrestling’s stars. What have you gained from your time on Being The Elite? Does the creativity of the Young Bucks ever cease to amaze you?
Scurll: Wrestling is about connecting with the audience. Giving them a reason to care. Same reason I binge watch series on Netflix, because the stories and characters get me invested. It’s hard to get fans invested in just wrestling. Good wrestling will do that, but there’s lots of good wrestling these days. You have to be prepared to do more. To go the extra mile. Being The Elite is our platform. It’s our Monday Night Raw. You’re seeing our creativity and passion firsthand. There are no writers here, we’re not doing something we’re told to do. We’re the artists and we’re holding the paintbrushes.
JB: Two of your Bullet Club brethren in Rhodes and Kenny Omega battle for the IWGP heavyweight championship in San Francisco at the G1 special. Will you be in either man’s corner? What is your goal in New Japan?
Scurll: Let me get one thing straight, I love New Japan. I love wrestling in Japan so much. It’s just the best. The stories you can tell there are just so authentic and organic. You wrestle and the fans react. It’s genuine. It’s legit. Unlike many other wrestlers I’m not using New Japan as a platform to go to WWE. I’m there because it’s where I’m meant to be. I want to help take the company to new places, break boundaries and that glass ceiling. Provide the fans that alternative they’ve craved for since the late ‘90s. You can see signs of it already. New Japan selling out shows in the States. Our shirts in Hot Topic. New Japan is the place where I can be “The Villain” that I envision, and that vision has me at the very top of New Japan.
JB: The Best in the World pay-per-view is a legitimate opportunity for Marty Scurll to illustrate that there is no one better in this business. What does this moment mean to you? And what type of performance can we expect to see tonight?
Scurll: Best in the World is my opportunity to get to the position where I believe I belong in Ring of Honor, and without a doubt that’s the very top, top of the throne, celebrated as the best performer in the company. It’s why I came to Ring of Honor. To get there I obviously need to do something different. I need to tap in to a much deeper, darker place than I have been before. A much more vicious and unforgiving “Villain.” I need to be more selfish. You’re going to see this at Best in the World as I take it to the next level, and finally become Ring of Honor world champion.
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.