RING OF HONOR/Bruno Silveira

Flamboyance and Ferocity

Ring of Honor's Dalton Castle ready for action in New Orleans

Mark Menard
October 10, 2019 - 8:00 pm
Categories: 

The last time Ring of Honor put on a show in the Big Easy, their world champion was a singular entity in the world of professional wrestling. And this Saturday night, when ROH returns to the UNO Lakefront Arena, Dalton Castle will be in prime position to get back on top.

When last Castle graced New Orleans with his presence, he was truly a spectacle to behold. Equal parts flash and substance, he made his way to the ring in a lavish jumpsuit and elaborate cape, trailed by his masked and lightly-clothed manservants, his “Boys” as he had dubbed them. Representing ROH as its champion, Castle drew on his extensive amateur wrestling background to put down the challenger, Marty Scurll, to close out ROH's Supercard of Honor last April.

Since then though, Castle has been through his share of adversity, taking time away from the squared circle to heal up some nagging injuries after dropping the belt. He has pared down his entourage as well, severing ties with The Boys earlier this year. Now refocused with his eyes on the prize, he's looking to put himself back in line for the company's top title.

I got to sit down with Castle ahead of this weekend’s event as he preps to compete in the semifinals of a tournament that will determine the new #1 contender for the ROH world championship.

----------------------

MM: For the uninitiated, why is Ring of Honor worth the price of admission?

DC: Because I work there, and I’ll be performing, and I alone am worth double whatever the highest ticket price is.

MM: Why is Dalton Castle worth the price of admission?

DC: Have you seen what I do in the ring? On top of being an amazing wrestler, I’m just real fun to look at. I am undoubtedly the most entertaining thing to step into a Ring of Honor ring ever, in its entire existence. I don’t care who’s cycled through there or what’s been there before me. I’m still the most entertaining and most captivating performer this company has ever seen.

MM: Why is Ring of Honor a good fit for Dalton Castle?

DC: They let me grow on my own. There’s a good group of men and women in the locker room. I seem to get along with just about every one of them. I feel comfortable there. And it’s the size of the promotion that allows me to connect really one-on-one with every individual fan. If they choose to come to the meet-and-greets before the show, there’s a moment for me to touch base with them there.

I’m attainable. All the wrestlers in Ring of Honor are attainable and are just as big of fans of this as anybody sitting in the seats.

MM: You took a lengthy break to heal up some pretty serious injuries. How's your health these days?

DC: It’s going great. I’ve taken an extreme 180 from this time last year. I am much better than I was then. I think the biggest mistake I made was being honest with the public about my injury. I think a lot of people formed an opinion and assumed that I’ve taken a step back because of it, but that’ snot the case at all. I broke my back, and I ignored it because I love to wrestle. And I ignored it for so long and fought through it so much that I went and won the Ring of Honor world championship and defended it for six months.

Now that I’ve taken time to rehab and fix the issues, I’m still moving forward. I’m great at this. I love it. And the fact that I can wrestle with a broken back says that nothing’s gonna stop me from doing it.

MM: A lot has changed in ROH and around ROH since the last time you paid New Orleans a visit a year and a half ago. All Elite made its debut last week as a promotion that is obviously hitting the ground at a full sprint. What do you think is the formula for staying relevant in a rapidly-changing landscape?

DC: I think we stay the course. We have been in existence for over 16 years. We continue to produce the best wrestling in the world. We never lose track of what Ring of Honor is, and that is being the best wrestling in the world and connecting with the fans that stick with us.

I guess I don’t see this as a big issue. I was sad to lose a lot of people. A Lot of friends of mine moved on. But we’ve been through this before. I’ve lost really talented friends in the Ring of Honor locker room, then we’ve built it back up. We’ve done it again and again. It’s just a cycle. But the one thing that remains constant is that Ring of Honor continues to succeed.

MM: What is on your to-do list during your stay in New Orleans? Is it all business or will you find time for a little fun?

DC: I’ll hunt for some beignet. No, I always find fun to do. My favorite part about this job is the travel. Seeing new places and experiencing new things and meeting people. I try to show as much of that as I can in a YouTube series. I do a thing called “Planet Peacock.” It goes up every couple of weeks, but I like to document every trip I take and show that when I get off the plane, it’s not hotel, gym, show… It’s go find out what makes these areas great.

MM: That leads me right into my next question which is… Will New Orleans get its second Planet Peacock installment this weekend?

DC: Yeah. That first episode was the first one I did, and I think I’ve really kind of figured out my bearings and what is important to show and film. And now that we’re coming back, it’s been a couple years, I’m excited to get another crack at the Big Easy.

MM: Back to business, you're competing in the semifinals of the tournament to determine the #1 contender for the Ring of Honor world championship. Does being a former champion give you a leg up?

DC: Yeah. It also makes me a target. It’s a gift and a curse. I know how important it is to be world champion. I know what it feels like to be world champion. Therefore I probably desire it more than anybody else in the tournament I would imagine. Jay Lethal and I are the two people with a mentality similar, but also, the leg up is I know what it takes to be world champ. So yes. The long answer is yes.

MM: What do you need to do to get past PCO and earn a spot in the tournament final?

DC: I gotta put that guy down for three seconds, or I gotta disable him. Keep him from any electric currents for at least 20 seconds on the outside of the ring. I’ve gotta do whatever it takes to end this man because I know he’s got a lot of drive in him, a lot of desire. He may not be human but he does want to be champion, and it’s a sad thing to know that it’s me that stands in his way. Because I feel for him. I’d like him to live out his dream, too, but the problem is… not while I’m here.

----------------------

ROH Glory By Honor: NOLA takes place Saturday night at the UNO Lakefront Arena. Dalton Castle competes against the heavily Frankenstein-influenced PCO in the semifinals of the tournament to crown a new #1 contender to the ROH world championship.

For ticket information and the full card, go to rohwrestling.com. The event will also be livestreamed by HonorClub.

 

Comments ()