Silas Young Vows To Be The Last Real Man Standing
While many professional wrestlers espouse pizzazz and glamour in contrast to the rough and tumble grind of their jobs, Ring of Honor superstar Silas Young epitomizes the hard as nails style that he brings to the ring, day in and day out.
At Ring of Honor’s Death Before Dishonor, Young will tangle with the company’s resident gatekeeper, Jay Lethal, in one of the company’s most grueling matches: a Last Man Standing match. The encounter will be battle to determine who deserves to be at the top spot in the company. Despite having engaged in numerous skirmishes in the last year, the ill-will that started betwixt the two over a year ago in Buffalo, NY still burns strong. However, the Last Real Man expects the issues between the two to come to an end, with only one man walking away the winner-the Last Real Man.
Ahead of the blockbuster pay-per-view live from Las Vegas, this Friday, Young took a moment to chat about his thoughts regarding his match, how his character came about, and the goals he hopes to accomplish in Ring of Honor.
Rich Laconi: In the past, you’ve said that your influences in wrestling were Rob Van Dam and “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels. Your character in the ring is a departure from the pomp and circumstance of those two characters. How did you use your fandom of those to to create your own character?
Silas Young: I was always a fan of RVD and Shawn Michaels because when they were around they were more athletic, smaller type of guys. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s it was the land of giants in wrestling so seeing guys like Rob Van Dam or Shawn Michaels I was really drawn to them because you could look at them and say to yourself, I can be like that. Whereas you’re not going to look at Andre the Giant or Big John Studd and think that.
As far as the character, the in ring persona, I’ve said a few times that it is basically my father. For a long time in wrestling I was just Silas Young, a guy with long hair and a beard and there’s a lot of guys like that in professional wrestling. So a few years back I realized I needed to do something to make myself stand out a little bit and over some time I came up with the idea of the Last Real Man, which is basically my father.
Now that you’re a father, and I think we all have a tendency to learn parenting from our own parents, how does your father’s persona blur with your own parenting style?
That’s a great question. I think I try to be how my parents were with me. I had a good up bringing- I have five older brothers, my parents are still married after 40 something years. I try to be a good loving father, understanding. My parents always treated us very well growing up, so I basically try to give him the same type of life my parents gave to me.
Speaking of being the Last Real Man, you’re going to be participating in a Last Man standing match, which is your second in Ring of Honor. Do you feel that this match type is in someway tied to your character?
Absolutely, you know a Last Man standing match has always been one of those good types of matches to watch because it’s just two guys beating the hell out of each other. It’s got that epic feel because of having to get back to your feet as opposed to pinning your opponent. It’s definitely something I would to go with moving forward. It’s a pretty good idea and it’s funny that you said that because a couple of other people if it’s going to be a “Real Man’s Standing” match, so I got a pretty good laugh out of that.
Just over a year ago, you lost to Lethal in a one on one match, but got the last laugh as you eliminated him from the Honor Rumble and earned a title shot. Why do you think that you have had this continued rivalry?
I think that Jay is looked at as one of the main guys, the main eventers- one of the top guys in Ring of Honor. Basically, I look at like I’m going to go after him. I want that spot. I want the opportunities that Jay Lethal is given and I realized that if you to be a main eventer or a top guy you have to beat main eventers.
Along the way you’ve cultivated a relationship with the Beer City Bruiser-the chemistry that you two have seems to be something that isn’t just on camera. Do you have any fun on road stories to share?
We are from the same area and have done a lot of shows together, but we didn’t do a whole lot of traveling together, but we have some pretty fun stories from back in the day. We did a show one time and there happened to be a wedding next door at a convention type place. When I say convention type place, that’s a bit of a stretch- it’s a big open building. They had a wedding going on in there and we went in and took over the wedding. A bunch of us were drunk and dancing and drinking their beer and we ended up cutting promos on the bride and groom, so that was a pretty good time.
When you’re traveling, do you find that you can stay in character and have your space from fans?
It’s funny, I think I have one of those dickhead type of look to me. People always tell me that they are surprised about how nice of a guy I am. I’m a pretty laid back dude-definitely a 180 of what the Last Real Man is. So, I think that people are surprised when they meet me, but at the same time I’ve got that resting dickhead face, so people aren’t so quick to approach me.
Recently on social media a picture popped up of you having shaved your moustache. It seems to be such a part of your character, is it gone for good?
No, no. I just had a few weeks off in between television tapings and the pay per view, but when I shave it off that’s more for my wife. I know she deals with it, but she’s not a big fan of the mustache. So when I have a few weeks off, I do the wife a favor I’ll shave the mustache-which is funny because people always assume and they are like ‘what are you doing? You can’t shave off the mustache, thats crazy. But the mustache is here to stay and it will be in full effect Friday night at Death Before Dishonor.
You have a Last Man Standing match, which presumably be the end of the issues between you and Jay Lethal, what are your plans moving forward?
I’m looking to going into Death Before Dishonor and doing exactly what I’ve saying I would do and that’s be the best and beat the best. I’m going to show everybody that Jay Lethal isn’t the greatest first generation wrestler. Moving forward from that, after I beat him, I believe that puts me in line for a world title shot or a television title shot. I feel like this is one of those matches that when I came out the winning this match, I can’t be refused. You can’t deny me any longer. The way I look at it, I’m going to beat Jay Lethal on Friday, I’m going to prove who the better man is.Moving forward I’m going to bring that steam with me and I’m going to go for either the World title or the World TV title.
If you do indeed win the world title, would you be opposed to wearing the Ring of Honor like Cody does? it doesn’t seem much like you.
That feminine stuff is more for guys like Cody, so you won’t catch me wearing a ring like that. The thing is pretty nice looking, maybe I could bring it somewhere and pawn and get some money for it.
Win or lose, Young will bring a sense of manliness to the ring for the foreseeable future.
ROH’s Death Before Dishonor will take place Friday September 22d live from las Vegas at 6pm PT/ 9pm ET. For information on how to order, click here.
To listen to the full interview click below or visit Running Wild Podcast.