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PCO on ROH safety allegations, rise to the top

PCO recently spoke with Chuck Carroll of CBS Sports to talk about Ring of Honor. The following was sent to us: 

The chat primarily chronicles his “Rocky”-esque journey to the top of the ROH mountain, but we also discussed a number of other topics including his goals now that he’s champion and the allegations of the mismanagement and unsafe working conditions for talent.

To that end, PCO was complimentary of the company and painted a different picture than the one presented by others

I want to ask you about the recent claims made by a former employee who claimed there is a lack of safety measures in place for talent as far as concussions and a lack of medical personnel backstage at shows. You’re someone who has been around and has a wealth of experience. How do the safety measures in place at Ring of Honor compare to other places where you’ve worked?

I just think it is a sad story. I thought that person had so much to give to the business. So valuable, great mind. But I think it was a tough time of his life or something. Most, I would say, if not the whole company was kind of shocked. We were shocked to hear things like that. I don’t want any beef with anybody. I can only talk for myself.

I did a dive one night where usually we have two rows of mat on the outside of the ring. Instead of diving on the guy, I dive on this space and I hit the cement floor and I hit my head hard and get 17 stitches in my eye. The ref wants me to stop the match. I said, “No, I’m finishing the match. I’m not getting out of there.” But everybody was pulling on me to get out of there. But being PCO, there was no way. I never got out of the match. And so I was going to finish that match no matter what. And it’s part of my life, and it’s part of my character, as it’s part of who I am.

So I finished the match, and as soon as I got on the other side (there were EMTs)… There is always two, three guys that they have a minimum of knowledge about health and care and things like that. They called me to the hospital right away and put stuff on my eyes to stop the bleeding. Everything was so professional. Then I had two people from the dojo that brought me to the hospital and stayed with me the whole time. I was totally conscious. They did the stitches, they always wanted to make sure I was all fine. They put me through a CAT scan, which costs tons of money.

They never charged me for one thing. They sent an agent after the show was done. They took care of everything, signed the papers, brought me back to the hotel, made sure I was okay. [Whenever I get] a little banged up or something, I always get a phone call. “Are you good? Are you okay?” And the next day, “Thanks for what you’ve done.” They are nothing but a first-class organization.

So I don’t know why he said those things. I don’t know if it might’ve been some frustration because things weren’t going the way that that person was hoping. Was it a personal vendetta? I don’t know what it was. I can’t talk for that guy. And I love him to death, but from my side, it has been nothing but first-class from Ring of Honor. From my signing to every event and to everything that they do.

What is it about the PCO character that you think fans connect with?

I think the fans are connecting a lot with the story. I think it’s a little bit of a Rocky movie, but it’s real and not fiction. It’s really what I did with my life, and it’s really about fighting back, and it’s really about not letting people tell you what you can do or what you can’t do… When John F. Kennedy said, “We’re going to the moon” and everybody said, “How are we going to do that?” He said, “I don’t know, but I’m making that decision that we’re going to the moon, and we’ll find a way.”






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