Jeff Cobb is ready to take on Hangman Page at ROH’s Final Battle on Friday, December 14. The current Ring Of Honor Television Champion spoke to Still Real To Us in an exclusive interview about his big match at the upcoming pay-per-view.
“As Jim Ross would say, ‘It’s going to be a slobberknocker,'” Cobb tells Still Real To Us. “It’s going to be a big ‘ol hoss fight. Whatever you want to call it, it’s going to be two big boys beating the holy bejeezus out of each other. The best guy is going to come out on top.”
Cobb knows he can’t sleep on Page. Not at Final Battle. His opponent is known for putting on wrestling clinics as a standout member in Bullet Club. At last year’s edition of Final Battle, “Hangman” Adam Page impressed in a major way with moves that wowed the crowd. The faction is currently the talk of the town, and the ROH Television Champion knows it. Cobb has an opportunity to solidify himself as a player not only in Ring Of Honor, but across the wrestling landscape.
The former Olympian has a few tricks when it comes to preparation for his matches. After years of perfecting it to a science, Cobb found a routine that he liked. He doesn’t plan on changing it anytime in the near future.
“I usually do the same thing, over and over. A little stretch, a little talking to myself. It’s always the same. I get nervous in any arena I go to. Up until the point where my music hits, and I walk out. Then I feel comfortable,” confesses Cobb. “It can be a 100 seat arena, or the Hammerstein Ballroom, or a 20,000 seat arena. I always get those butterflies before every match.”
Fans wouldn’t be able to pick up on that by looking at how Cobb has effortlessly rolled over the competition. In his first match with Ring Of Honor, Cobb destroyed Punishment Martinez in 90 seconds. Martinez was a top prospect for the promotion before departing the company back in September. Cobb sent the former champion packing. There was no turning back from that star-making performance.
“It was a huge eye-opening experience for me,” says Cobb. “I didn’t realize it only lasted 90 seconds. Being in there, and being able to showcase my abilities was great. To show dominance right off the bat. That definitely meant a lot to me.”
Now armed with the ROH Television Championship, Cobb is a confident man. It wasn’t aways that way. Coming from an amateur background, the all-star athlete had to learn a new way to approach the professional world. The theatrics were new to Cobb, and he had to evolve in a quick fashion. He had to learn to make other people look good, as well as handling a microphone properly.
“[Selling is] something you don’t have to worry about in amateur wrestling. You kind of try to hide, or what-not. Promos, too. That’s one thing we don’t do in amateur wrestling: learning how to talk in a mic in front of a camera.”
Cobb tells Still Real To Us that mastering promos was “a true learning experience” for himself. He recalled being captivated by promos from the likes of Jake “The Snake” Roberts. While mesmerized by “The Snake’s” craft, he knew he couldn’t imitate his stye. Instead, he is finding his own voice as a wrestler who is only getting better by the day.
“That’s just not who I am,” says Cobb. “I think I’m more like a Dusty Rhodes; just for the fact that’s who he really was. The more time I have in front of the camera, [the process] will help me out in the long run. Just by having the opportunity to be able to do it.”
Believe it or not, there was a time where Cobb wasn’t allowed to speak. As a former competitor for Lucha Underground under the name Matanza, Cobb wore a mask and had to figure out a different way to resonate with the television audience. He had to rely on his body language to interact with fans who live for promos.
“I enjoyed my time doing that character. The first season for me…it was a difficult time transitioning for me,” Cobb recalls. “It was a totally different character from what I’m used to portraying, which is me being me. It was difficult at times. Throughout the years, I found my niche.”
Cobb is thriving, and wants more. He’s making the best out of being a title holder. However, his eyes are set on the men who are currently competing for the ROH World Championship.
“You’d be dumb not to set your sights on the biggest prize in the game. Whatever company you work for, if you’re not striving to be the World Champion…What are you doing? I’d be a fool if I didn’t want to test my skill against Jay Lethal.”
Jay Lethal is the man in Ring Of Honor. As the current champion, he is defending against Cody at Final Battle this Friday. Cobb says he wants a piece of Lethal as soon as possible.
“I would be stupid if I didn’t want to tangle with [Lethal] and see how I do,” Cobb says.
As for Cody?
“I’ve never gotten to wrestle Cody. If he’s still around, I would love to wrestle him.”
ROH Final Battle airs LIVE from New York City on Friday, December 14 at a new start time of 8pm Eastern (Please use your local time) on traditional pay-per-view providers, free for HonorClub VIP, at a 50% discount for HonorClub Standard, and on FITE TV. Please visit ROHWrestling.com or the ROH App for more information.