It was reported towards the end of 2019 that Marty Scurll would be joining The Elite in All Elite Wrestling. It was even believed that Scurll would debut on the infamous 12/18 episode of AEW: Dynamite as The Dark Order’s leader.
However, Scurll opted to re-sign with ROH, a move that has seen him become the promotion’s head booker. Since being appointed to the role, Scurll has worked on reaffirming ROH’s relationship with promotions like NWA and NJPW.
Off the back of several Ring of Honor shows, including the Supercard of Honor event, being cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, WrestleTalk’s Louis Dangoor was able to speak to Scurll about a variety of topics, including his hopes for a weekly ROH show, working with NJPW and rejecting a move to AEW.
Louis Dangoor: “ROH was the hardcore fan’s promotion for several years. With so many options available now, how do you play to differentiate ROH from the competition?
Marty Scurll: “ROH’s tagline for many years has been ‘the best wrestling on the planet’ and my aim is to make sure we live up to that. The company really does have some of the best talent in the world, such an array of big characters, and my aim is to get them on that platform where the world can see them. I love the concept of focusing on ROH’s fundamentals, building on Honor, respect and in ring competition, and most importantly, amazing wrestling. That’s why I brought back the Pure Title for one example. We also have an advantage of working with NWA, NJPW and CMLL, meaning we can promote many dream matches and scenarios, which many other companies don’t.
LD: “Is there anyone on the ROH roster that you feel perhaps doesn’t quite get the recognition they deserve from the fans and perhaps even your fellow wrestlers, and why do you think that is?
MS: “For years, Dan Maff was working the independent scene and wasn’t getting the recognition he deserved. Colt Cabana suggested booking him for an ROH loop; he came in and absolutely killed it, and we hired him on the spot. Same with Slex. The guy had been killing it for years in Australia, yet didn’t have the right eyes on him, so one of my first actions in my new role was hiring him. That’s been a real highlight of the job; giving talent the opportunities they may not have received before and watching them grabbing it with both hands. Both of those guys are going to have massive years!
LD: “In one word, how would you sum up ROH for those who might not be too familiar with the product?
MS: “Groundbreaking. ROH’s fingerprints are all over this business.
LD: “As someone in a position of power within ROH, is there anyone from the independent scene that you are hoping to bring in for either a few dates or on a long-term deal in the future?
MS: “There are a lot of guys that I have my eyes on. I try to watch as much as I can and stay up to date with the independent scene. I’m a big fan of Aussie Open who are based in the UK and I booked them last year for the UK tour. I’m also a fan of Tony Deppon, and he’s a part of our Pure Title tournament coming up. There’s so much great and hungry talent out there, it’s just finding room and appropriate spots for them on the shows, especially when you have a full roster already.
LD: “It was reported by various news sites that your Ring of Honor contract was set to expire at the end of last year. How easy of a decision was it for you to re-sign with ROH instead of moving to another promotion.
MS: “I’m sure most expected me to go to AEW, and of course, Matt & Nick (The Young Bucks) are two of my best friends in the whole entire world. I love them and I love what they are doing. I’m very proud of them. When it came to my decision though, I, like them, had my own vision, my own dreams, and the opportunity to create a promotion in my own vision was something I always wanted and couldn’t turn down. I’ve been wrestling for a long time and it was time to do something new and set a new challenge for myself. ROH have always been amazing to me, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be more involved. They have the trust in me, and it really gives me the chance to be creative, which I’ve always enjoyed more than anything. I have great relationships with Tony, Cody and Kenny, and it’s cool that we’re all doing our own things and making a splash in the wrestling world
LD: “ROH has certainly reestablished their relationship with NJPW in recent months, was that something that you and others felt was essential in taking ROH to the next level?
MS: “I’ve always had an awesome relationship with New Japan. One of my first acts in my new role was to make sure we worked with New Japan more, and, why not? They have some of the best talent in the world. I love working for them, and working with them has been exciting, meaning I’ve been able to put together some mouth-watering cards, much like Supercard of Honor which was set for April. Then, we have Yuji Nagata, Ren Narita and Rocky Romero booked for the Pure Tournament. Not forgetting the War of the Worlds tour we had booked for May featuring many New Japan talent. At the end of the day, the fans win, being able to see many first time matches and talent they maybe haven’t seen before. It’s certainly an exciting future.
LD: “The stacked Supercard of Honor show was recently forced to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Are there any plans to put on the show with NJPW in the near future once the situation dies down?
MS: “With a title like ‘Supercard of Honor’, you really have to deliver. That was really set to be a Supercard. Myself taking on Jay White in a dream match, the return to ROH in both Amazing Red and Kenta, and the NWA World Title being defended by Nick Aldis on a ROH show. Not forgetting Will Osprey, who I truly believe is one of the best wrestlers in the world right now. I honestly believe our show would have blown everything else out of the water that weekend. Now we won’t know, but for sure we will get our chance in time and we will be working very closely with New Japan in the future. This includes me working in Japan more often.
LD: “The Pure Championship is returning, how was the idea suggested to bring the title back and have you guys thought out of anything else from ROH’s past that you would like to bring back?
MS: “I thought it was important for ROH to go back to its roots. For many years we were known as a ‘pure wrestling company’ with great pure wrestlers (i.e. John Gresham, Alex Shelley, Doug Williams and Mark Haskins), so let’s live up to that and give these talents a platform to display that. It makes us different and unique from everyone else, and at a time where the landscape is very busy, it’s important to be able to stand out and offer something different and unique to the audience. At the same time, I don’t like to look back too often as it’s important for us to move forward, be new and creative, and think outside of the box whilst still sticking to ROH’s fundamentals. We can take the best parts from the past and mix those with new and fresh ideas to create something very special.
LD: “From the past to the future, are there any new and exciting ideas that you would like to bring to ROH and the wrestling world?
MS: “We have some amazing things planned for this year which I think will really surprise the audience and be exciting for fans and the business alike. I’m working hard on the presentation and the platform to really make sure the audience connects with our characters and storylines. It’s all well having great matches, but everywhere has great matches these days, so we need to do more to stand out. I’m certainly in the mindset that a weekly live show is key, and hope that is something we will provide soon.”
For any quotes used, please credit WrestleTalk.com.