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BANKIE'S HOT TAKE #23 - Respect for Rhett Titus

There is something I’ve wanted to say for a very long time.

Rhett Titus deserves more respect.

Now, as a diehard Ring of Honor fan, there are wrestlers that can be considered ROH originals, such as Samoa Joe, the Briscoes, CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Christopher Daniels, and Low Ki. And in so many cases, that would be true. Those men are the foundation of what ROH became.

However, in the true sense of the word, Rhett Titus is truly a legitimate ROH Original.

Beginning his training at the ROH Wrestling Academy in Bristol, PA under Austin Aries, Titus grew steadily, also gaining experience and knowledge from “the American Dragon” Bryan Danielson.

By 2006, Rhett began wrestling in matches prior to the ROH events. His earliest documented match was on January 27, 2006 in Dayton, OH, losing to the dastardly Shane Hagadorn.

From my perspective, unlike other ROH students, Titus hit the ground running on the independents, wrestling everywhere he could. Places like NWS under Gino Moore, CZW, Chikara, the United Wrestling Coalition, and so many others. I even remember March 2008 when he stepped into the ACE Arena to face the legendary Tyrese at “Destined for Greatness”.

His talent and relentless effort finally got him a golden opportunity on ROH’s biggest event to date: A New Level on May 10, 2008 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan, He went on after intermission, involved in a segment with Delirious and Daizee Haze, debuting his “Addicted to Love” persona.

And he never looked back.

Over the next decade-plus, Titus made ROH his home base. “Rhettski the Jettski” became the last holder of the ROH Top of the Class Trophy. He formed a tag team with Kenny King as the All Night Express and won the ROH Tag Team championships in 2011. He donned a mask and, allegedly, developed a “Romantic Touch”. He joined multiple factions (the Cabinet, Rebellion, SCUM, the Foundation). He also became the last ROH World Television championship under Sinclair Broadcasting’s ownership.

Behind-the-scenes, Titus was even more respected. He was very active in helping out other wrestlers, doing ring crew, and making himself available for ROH any way that he could. From all that I’ve ever read and heard, Rhett Titus is a wrestler’s wrestler.

However, I’ve never gotten the feeling from the hardcore wrestling fan that Rhett got the respect he truly earned. Many consider him to be a basic performer in between the ropes. In fact, Rhett rarely, if at all, gets brought up as an important cog in the ROH machine, especially during the criminally underrated HDNet days. Many have felt that he lacked “it”, hence why he wasn’t as showcased as he should have been.

I 100% disagree. I saw Rhett enter the ECW Arena at “Glory By Honor VII” in September 2008 and have the crowd eating out of his hands. I saw this man get a reaction from a packed house in Madison Square Garden in 2019 by doing a pose showing off his muscles. I even witnessed the standing ovation he got from the Final Battle 2021 audience after winning the TV gold. It was well deserved.

I have immense respect for Rhett Titus. For all accounts, he has grinded it out to have a very steady pro wrestling career. I truly believe that he, by far, is the most successful student to ever come out of the ROH Wrestling Academy. He has won championships, been a part of important matches, and made the most of the opportunities he has been given. I hope after giving this a read, fans will begin to admire “the Professional” more.

Rhett Titus has earned your respect. Let’s show him some.

Also, check out this ROH Video Wire from 2008. All Rhett and pure hilarity.

- bankie


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