Joe Hendry was one of the hottest free agents in professional wrestling up until recently, but The Prestigious One certainly made an impact upon signing with Ring of Honor
Why was ROH the choice of the Commonwealth Games freestyle amateur wrestler?
Well, we caught up with Hendry at the perfect time, just a week out from Ring of Honor’s Honor United tour, to speak with the man himself and ask why ROH was the place to be for the 'Local Hero'.
With the tour kicking off in London where Hendry has a shot at winning the World Television Championship Match if he can defeat Shane Taylor, followed by matches against Silas Young in Bolton and Matt Taven in Newport, the Honor United Tour is not to be missed.
Let's start with a simple one. You were one of wrestling's hottest free agents before signing with Ring of Honor. Why did you decide to bring prestige to ROH and sign with the company?
I think that, for me, it's one of these things I just always wanted to go to Ring of Honor. It was as early as 2016 when I first did my UK tour with Ring of Honor and it was weird, the moment I knew that I wanted to be there 100% was when I was walking to the ring, I was on my way to face Donovan Dijak and I was looking at the barriers. That just had so much history and so much prestige, if you will, for me.
My gut was telling me, "This is where I need to be." What a lot of people don't know is, earlier in 2016, I actually flew myself over to a Ring of Honor tryout, so when I'm doing my podcast and I'm talking to my trainees, anyone wanting to get into wrestling, I'm trying to educate them that things don't always happen right away. You need to work away at things for years.
I flew myself over for a tryout in 2016, got my first shot on a UK tour in 2016 and, on that tour, I saw the Television Championship changing hands twice with Marty [Scurll] and Will [Ospreay], which leads directly to me the opportunity I have on the tour, which will get into later.
Then I had a match with Silas Young in Edinburgh for the Television Championship which, to this day, is probably one of the best matches I've had, in front of the hometown crowd. Then I did another tour at the end of last year and I had a match with Jonathan Gresham in London that, I think, is the thing that kind of pushed it over the edge for me.
Like you say, I was fortunate enough to have some options and, for me, I go where my gut tells me to go and I knew that Ring of Honor was the right place for me, and also it's the place for me that they allow me to be me.
The trust is there in terms of the entrances, the content I'm making and stuff like that. I've been allowed to show my creativity and all I have to do is show up with the video file. They allow me to keep my process exactly the way it is so I'm getting to be who I am creatively, but also I'm in matches...
You look at the roster, the roster is absolutely incredible and it's with matches that are pushing me technically every single time that I wrestle for Ring of Honor, so it makes me really feel that this is the place that gives you the best of both worlds to really push myself creatively and athletically as well.
NEXT: Honor United - as a signed ROH athlete!
COMING UP: A new World Television Champion?