Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom is about 150 miles from Bobby Fish’s hometown of Albany. But after 15 years of traveling the world to pursue his passion, Fish said Ring of Honor’s return to New York City this Saturday feels like a homecoming.
“I just got used to, hey, there’s nothing that’s going to be less than three hours from me. And three hours is on the low end,” said Fish, who now lives in Saratoga Springs. “I can remember not long ago working in a place in Pittsburgh that was a seven- or eight-hour trip. We would make that trip once a month . . . I rode to Florida and back (by car) three times in one calendar year. It’s pro wrestling. Guys within the industry would look at that and say, ‘Yeah, man. You’re paying your dues. People outside of the industry look at that and say, ‘What the (expletive) are you thinking?’”
Fish’s excitement about Saturday’s Manhattan Mayhem event is about more than just the opportunity to wrestle in his home state. Fish is challenging Adam Cole for the ROH heavyweight title in the night’s main event.
“This is exactly what you get up for -- moments like this,” Fish said. “This is why, I assume, everybody in our industry does what they do -- for stuff like this. To me, pro wrestling is about moments, creating moments. And a lot of times you can’t necessarily put your finger on all the elements that need to be there. But when all the elements are there, and you experience one of those moments, especially as a fan, it sticks with you.”
Fish has experienced his share of those moments in recent years, having held the ROH tag team and television championships, as well as the IWGP junior tag team title as part of New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Fish turned 40 last October and said he has no plans to slow down.
“I’ve been an athlete my entire life, but I think you pick up things along the way. You learn by trial and error. So, with 40 in the rearview mirror, I feel like I’ve finally figured out what I’m doing to some degree,” Fish said. “And I physically could not feel better than I do right now. So, literally, I do not concern myself with age. It doesn’t mean anything to me.”