Folks, it's official, former Ring of Honor Television Champion Shane Taylor has made his debut in AEW. That's right, after failing to latch on with ROH after it was purchased by Tony Khan, Taylor has officially made his way to Rampage, though he didn't do so in the ring for a match against another in-ring performer.
No, the namesake proprietor of Shane Taylor Promotion has arrived in AEW to present a challenge to none other than Keith Lee, asking the former AEW World Tag Team Champion for a match at ROH's last Pay-Per-View of the year, Final Battle.
Why, you may ask, is this such a big deal? Well, because Taylor didn't sound too excited to work with the promotion, as he detailed to JOFO In The Ring as transcribed by Fightful.
“We go back to the politics of things,” Taylor said. “I know, when I started STP and everything from the beginning, I got everything cleared from the best way I knew how to do it. We did it, the way we went about doing it, some folks were upset, but we had to get the eyes, we had to do what we had to do and we made it work. I've got messages from people who were like, ‘we didn't like this when it started, we didn't think it was good for the company, we didn't like this, we didn't want to promote this, we didn't want to do anything, but y'all made it work. Good job.' My response was, ‘Yeah, I wasn't going to not let it work.' You don't go that far out on a limb and not do what you have to do. A group like ours was never supposed to be a thing. There were people who were trying to make it happen and were flat out told ‘no, this is not what we want, this is not where we're going to go.' We were an anomaly because we shouldn't have been a thing yet we were, we made it work, it was popular and we were the most talked about thing, not only when it came to six-man stuff but as the company as a whole, even though other people were supposed to be promoted before and more, everyone is talking about this group that shouldn't exist. I think the fact that I am as steadfast in my beliefs and vision for how I wanted things to go was a problem for some. Everybody talks and people play these games and I'm sure that it's one of those things where ‘we didn't like this guy.' ‘Okay, we don't like this guy either.' Okay. If you sit down and have a conversation with somebody and understand what the motives and intentions were and what we were trying to do, I feel people come out with a better respect and understanding as opposed to dealing with emotion.”
Is this a one-time only appearance for Taylor in Khan's promotion? Or will he prove his worth and a long-term contract too? Fortunately, fans won't have to wait too long to find out.
Shane Taylor has had his sights on AEW's Keith Lee for some time now.
Before Taylor was challenging Lee to a match at ROH Final Battle, the leader of ST was actually looking to team with the man WWE chose to nickname “Bearcat” for, some reason, as he detailed to Bodyslam.net's Jaychele Nicole and Carisa Lopez as transcribed by Wrestling Inc.'s Matthew Carlins.
“Keith knows, we've talked, he knows that the door is always open,” Taylor said. “The door of STP is always open. There's always going to be a spot for him, when and if he decides that's the route he wants to go. Right now, I know he's got things going on, as well as getting married in February. There's absolutely no rush to anything, but he knows that I'm only a call away. Of course, I would love to team up with him and whoop anybody's ass that really wants some. That's any company, anywhere. If he wants us to do it, I'm in. Any company that feels like they want to bring in PBK, I'm sure we'll talk. As long as the numbers add up, we can do business.”
PBK, as you may or may not know, is short for Pretty Boy Killers, the tag team name Taylor and Lee used back in Ring of Honor. Though the duo haven't worked in the ring together since all the way back in 2017, when they took on Homicide and Low Ki at VIP Setting The Bar IV. If Taylor can't join Lee, who is in a very interesting place with his AEW tag team partner Swerve Strickland right now, he might as well beat him at his own game in the promotion he called home from 2014-2021.