Since Ring of Honor’s debut show in 2002, Jason “The Gift” Kincaid has wanted to step between the ropes for the company. And as a recent entrant in the ROH Top Prospect Tournament, he finally gets that chance.
While his inclusion wasn’t announced until last Thursday, Kincaid said he found out about a couple of weeks ago and was elated.
“It’s a dream come true. Ring of Honor was the first promotion that I really wanted to wrestle for when I first got into the sport,” Kincaid said, adding, “I’ve always been in love with the junior heavyweight style, the extensive mat wrestling, high flying, and watching that first Ring of Honor event… (it was) really was something that I wanted to be a part of.”
Kincaid steps into an ROH ring alongside Action Ortiz, Lio Rush, Punisher Martinez, Colby Corino, Brian Fury and Shaheem Ali in the tournament that began Jan. 9 in Concord, North Carolina. “The Gift” said it’s “awesome to be included with some of the best up and coming athletes in the sport.” He got his wish to face Lio Rush on Saturday’s show, losing by pinfall.
Kincaid said he is “really super impressed” with how far Rush has come in the business since breaking in about a year ago.
He also said the eight-man scenario gives him an advantage because of his past victory in the 2015 ECWA Super 8 tournament. His preparation consists of more long-distance training, he said.
“I might have multiple matches over the night and also (there’s) just a lot more study time,” Kincaid said. “I don’t know exactly who I’m going to wrestle, so I have to study everybody in the tournament just in case.”
Kincaid, who is in the middle of a history-making reign as NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Champion, is one of the few tournament competitors, according to ROH, who has international exposure. Kincaid has spent time with Canadian Wrestling’s Elite, where he has faced the likes of Christopher Daniels and Shelton Benjamin, and toured Mexico twice.
“Both times it’s (been an) amazing experience,” Kincaid said of Mexico. “It’s a much different style than that of Canada and the United States. It took a lot of adjustment the first go around… (but) I’m high flyer myself. It was cool to be in there with guys as fast as me.”
Kincaid will return to CWE next month for the company’s seventh anniversary tour and said he’s looking forward to putting himself “in the CWE heavyweight title contention.”
“It’s been a long-time coming,” he said.
In addition to the cross-continent experience, Kincaid said he thinks he “stands out anyway.”
“I have a very different look, a very different manner of speech, a very different in-ring style,” Kincaid said. “Regardless of who I’m in the ring with, I always stand out.”
And regardless of the tournament outcome, Kincaid said he hopes this opportunity will turn into multiple with ROH.
“(I just have to) find that connection with the Ring of Honor fans and make sure that they see in me what the CWE fans and the fans across the eastern United States see in me,” Kincaid said.