Shane Taylor recently spoke with Turnbuckle Tavern about how people warned him not to try to get into ROH due to issues he may face trying to climb the ladder there.
"When I got to ROH, there was a lot of black talent there, but the stigma was black talent couldn't be elevated there, they would just be there. There was no way that anybody was going to be able to reach the top of the mountain other than Jay Lethal. This is what the stigma was. I had been told numerous times, 'don't sign there. You're never going to get a chance.' People who wanted to sign there didn't because they felt the same way. People left believing the same thing. My question to everybody when we had these talks was, 'if nobody is here, how do you change it?' If no one is here to fight this and fight for this change, it never changes. I made that my mission and my goal. To be the change that I wanted to see in ROH and try my best to erase that stigma."
"I believe I made progress in changing the culture a bit with not only seeing the Black History Month stuff, but the roundtable discussion about social issues and police brutality to trying to educate fans, bosses, COOs, whoever, about what the culture is and how we can progress and market and include every fan in professional wrestling. A lot of times, I feel we only market to a select group of people and others get left out. That includes not only having people who look like them on TV, but having characters they can relate to and telling stories they can relate to and dealing with those things that everyday people go through. I believe with the creation of STP, we were able to do that. I know people love to lump us in as this new Nation of Domination because it's easy. In my opinion, it's a lazy route. I would more closely refer to us as the wrestling version of Rage Against The Machine," he said.
"We wanted to change not only the way things were done in Ring of Honor, but to change the way things are done in all of professional wrestling, to be able to change the stereotypes and show that black men, and not just the quiet subdued, head down, reaching out, 'thank you ever so much for your benevolence,' but proud, strong, black men and women can be the faces of companies and still be just as marketable, just as impressive, just as much character depth, just as creative and run the whole spectrum that our counterparts can run. I believe we were able to achieve that, bring back tris wrestling in the states, and make that something of interest. Hats off to myself, my guys, Kaun, Moses, O'Shay Edwards, Ron Hunt for really sticking through it and fighting through the BS because there was a lot of it."
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