10 Burning Questions with Ring of Honor's Raymond Rowe
Author: Marc Madison
Originally published: April 20, 2015
Wrestling professionally for over a decade, you have probably seen a lot of high's and low's. What could you say were some of the high's and low's as you traveled the independent circuit?
"Some of the highest highs were getting to do things that not many people get to do. I worked for WWE a couple of times early in my career and that was definitely one of the highlights early because that was one of my goals when I first started training. Then meeting some of the fantastic people that I’ve met on the independent circuit are really a high for me because I came into contact with people that would definitely be best friends for life for me and spend time with them if not for professional wrestling I guarantee it. Another one is working for and signing a contract with Ring Of Honor. When I started wrestling, people asked me ‘oh do you want to go to WWE?” and my answer was always, “No. I want to go to Ring of Honor”. My goals were when I started were once to wrestle in WWE, wrestle in Ring of Honor and wrestle in Japan. I have not gotten to go to Japan so, that’s the one goal I had set for myself that I have yet to achieve. I have new goals now but from the 3 goals I had originally set for myself when I started training but, I’ve yet to get to Japan. I’m working on that though. I really really want to try get to Japan in the near future."
You’ve had a long standing history with Lou Marconi. Can you tell us what he has meant to your career and what he's done to help you get better?
"Lou is a guy that came into my life by chance. I was a high school wrestler was a high level, Team Ohio we traveled all over the country. I also wrestled in college but my high school coach but when I was a junior and senior in high school my coach said I was too big and too strong to face any guys on the team. So my head coach brought in guys that he had previously coached that were at college level that were at the national level that would go through drills with me and train with me and practice with me. One of those guys that he brought in was a guy by the name of Dennis Marconi, who just so happen to be the older brother of Lou Marconi. So as we began to be friends he introduced me to his brother that started working with me and he helped trained me. I had been working with Josh Prohibition and Josh had started me on my journey and Lou had finished me off and really trained me into the psychology of the business and the proper way of doing things. I’ve had a great relationship with Lou over the last 12-13 years. He is one of my closest friends. Even though I don’t see him all the time I know that at 3 in the morning that if he call me or I call him were both answering the phone."
As you faced off against Hanson in the top prospect tournament in 2014, what did you think would ultimately come from that match?
The formation of War Machine alongside Hanson has provided you with a number of opportunities. What would you say will test your and Hanson’s growth as a tag team? Who do you think you’ll match up well with in Ring of Honor?
In August 2014, you suffered a serious motorcycle accident. Could you explain what you suffered, how it happened and what you can recall from the incident?
As you went through rehabilitation, what was going through your mind as you were going through recovery?
"The first thoughts that went through my head were first, I’m alive. After the accident, I never lost consciousness, I got to my feet and I realized my arm was broken and I also realized that I was conscience. After that my first thoughts were literally I’ll never wrestle again and I was panicking and terrified that my career had been taken away from me so suddenly, so violently. When I went to the emergency room and the doctors would say ‘you’ll never be able wrestle again with a break like this’, we need to get you into emergency surgery. You’ll be lucky to regain use of your arm. I was in a pretty black mood for a while. Luckily, I have a really really great support system. I had a couple of personal friends who really really stuck by me and stay positive and a couple of guys from the wrestling world namely Jack Stain and Shane Taylor who went out of their to check in on me every day to make sure that I was okay and that my head was up. I had another friend who came over every day. Every single day to see me. It didn’t matter if I was in a good mood, bad mood, violently throwing things or depressed, sad, happy whatever, she made sure that I was able to take a shower, get dressed, eat. So I had an amazing support system when I was weak or when I was down, there were people making sure I was back on my feet and that I was still fighting. It took a little while. It definitely knocked me down but when I got back to my feet and I don’t know exactly when I got back to my feet finally and I had a renewed purpose and drive. I’m an intense person. I’ve been an intense person my whole life and an athlete and an elite athlete at a very high level my entire life. I’ve always been very intense and this thing had hit the accelerator on all of that. I feel like I have a new lease on life. And you hear that cliché, ‘Oh I got a second chance’ but I literally got a second chance. Doctors said I should not be breathing right now. So I’m not taking anything for granted and I’m not going to miss a single opportunity."