Ring of Honor fans are familiar with the name TJ Perkins and that’s the reason they are delighted that ROH announced he will return later this month.
It was announced that Perkins will be appearing at the March 18th show “Defy or Deny” in Plymouth, MA as well as the following night in New York City for “Manhattan Mayhem IV”.
TJ’s opponents will be Chris Hero and El Generico respectively and Perkins is delighted to be back. “I honestly think this is the best Ring of Honor has ever been. I know the fans don’t quite see it yet but this transition period over the last few years is the best thing they have ever done from a professional standpoint. They are changing for the better, for longevity. I’m blessed to be a part of it right now.”
Perkins is only scheduled for two appearances and when asked if he’d like more, he said: “Absolutely. Despite all the things that have come up as opportunities for me, I have been mostly concerned with ROH.”
With Perkins so eager to compete more for ROH, why hasn’t he? “I suppose you would have to ask ROH that question. Negotiations have been wonderful and they are such a class act. They go with business plans that they feel are beneficial. If people want me here, I’m sure I will continue to be. Just let them hear it!”
While he is looking forward to wrestling again for ROH, TJP said he was just happy to be able to compete without restrictions. “I just look forward to being myself. I have been around for so long and have had many roles but now I have really hit my stride being able to be myself for the last few years. MTV/Sydistiko and working with TNA and WWE/FCW have really helped me find my stride. I’m excited to share it with ROH fans because I’m sure they may have seen me as a bust perhaps in the past, and that’s fair.”
He has been labelled as the “youngest veteran in the business”, mainly down to his experience around the world so how does he rate ROH? “Again, right now is the best they have ever been. Stepping out of the “Indy” typecast and becoming a TV product. It’s not that they are getting away from their audience, rather they are doing their best to expand and cater to more. Like it or not, that’s the best thing to do. ROH now feels 10 fold better than it did say in 2006, and is very close to operating like any other major company in the world.”
Talking about his two opponents, TJ said: “I think they have listened to their fans and responded in a way. I think they have picked great match-ups altogether for me thus far. Davey Richards, Kyle O’Reilly, Colt Cabana, now Hero and Generico. Its a who’s who of ROH flagships.”
His first opponent is one half of the longest reigning ROH World Tag Champions of all time – Chris Hero. When asked what his gameplan will be be, he responded: “Make sure his elbow doesn’t make any stops on my face! I suppose I’ll keep it on the mat as much as possible and pick and choose my points outside that pocket. I feel very comfortable on the mat. Not to discredit Hero, but I don’t feel like anyone is on level field with me on the ground.“
“I guess I’ll say that when he’s in the ring with 99% of the technical wrestling world he is the King of Wrestling. It just so happens you are interviewing that remaining 1% so when he’s in the ring with me, he’s not the King of Wrestling; just the king of bad nicknames.”
His second opponent is the unorthodox El Generico and TJP is looking forward to facing off against “The Generic Luchadore”. “Yeah, very much so. We had a great duel recently but the stage we have on March 19 is a much bigger one. Not a knock on TNA or anything but this is a match that people want to see. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
“Manhattan Mayhem IV” will take place inside the historic Manhattan Center but Perkins isn’t too bothered about it. “I suppose it’s pretty cool. I mean it’s cool to be in that building but I’m not much into most historic venues. Madison Square Gardens would be cool some day. Sumo Hall and Tokyo Dome in Japan were dreams come true, Arena Mexico was too. One I was never excited about and couldn’t have cared less for was the ECW arena. Ouch, did TJP just say that? Sorry Philly.”
Perkins’ most recent ROH appearances came towards the end of last year. He faced off against Kyle O’Reilly, Colt Cabana and Davey Richards and impressed in all three matches. He won just one of those matches so does he feel some pressure going into “Defy or Deny” and “Manhattan Mayhem IV”? “My last ROH match was against Davey Richards and was a tight one. I only have the lone W against Kyle. I think this is a bit of a statement weekend for me. But honestly, I’d like to think about NOTHING and just wrestle.”
Ring of Honor are often looked upon as having one of – if not the best – roster in the world and when asked who he would pick to face if asked, he said: “Roderick Strong, his belt would look better with abs behind it.”
If Perkins impresses in his two appearances, like he has done in the past, ROH won’t have any choice but to bring him back. ROH are known for listening to their fans and if they enjoy TJP’s performances, he’ll be back. Last but not least, TJ told us that it was an honor to compete for ROH.
“Its a pleasure to perform in front of such a dedicated audience. At times the ROH fans can probably be a bit spoiled, but no one can deny how much they put into their support. ROH fans deserve to have great wrestlers in their ring and they deserve to see this banner grow and survive. It’s such a wonderful blessing that they have looked forward to having me in their world. Thank you!!”