Colt Cabana’s “Art of Wrestling” #287 – former WWE trainee Kevin Matthews on WWE Developmental pre-NXT (Jan. 28, 2016)

The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana
Episode 287 – Kevin Matthews
January 28, 2016


Report by Chris Davidson

Hot Topics

– Kevin Matthews discusses bad experience in WWE developmental
– Kevin Matthews gives a career retrospective, as well as a preview of new Wrestle Pro promotion
– Colt Cabana talks about last weekend’s blizzard


0:00 – Introduction
7:59 – Song of the Week
9:07 – Kevin Matthews Interview
15:56 – Matthews talks dating
21:26 – Matthews talks wrestling training and Deep South Wrestling
30:39 – Matthews talks WWE release
41:45 – Matthews talks more about training
50:56 – Matthews talks about his early wrestling career
55:50 – Matthews talks Wrestle Pro
1:03:26 – Colt wraps up the show


0:00 – Introduction – Colt opened the show discussing getting snowed out this past weekend in New Jersey and wrestling in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. in same building as the infamous Jimmy Snuka coconut incident and where Andre the Giant got his hair cut. Colt singled out the Andre haircutting incident as his first wrestling memory, watching TV from his parent’s bed. Colt talked up Kevin Matthews as a promoter of the new Wrestle Pro promotion. Colt said that this interview has a theme of forgiveness and mentioned that there are some people that he needs to make amends with as he does not have a lot of negativity in his life, and wants to keep it that way.

7:59 – Song of the Week – The song of the week this week is the intro song to Wrestle Birmingham.

9:07 – Kevin Matthews Interview – Colt opened the interview by saying that if Matthews wants to say anything mean about someone, he shouldn’t say their name. Matthews retorted that he doesn’t really have any issues with anyone at this point. Colt joked that they should probably give the listeners context to who Matthews is and why he’s on the show. Matthews is known for speaking him mind and sometimes it would get him in trouble. Matthews talked about getting in trouble in school because he wasn’t afraid of speaking his mind, even though now he won’t defend dumb things he did as a kid. Matthews brought up growing up in Brooklyn in a Dominican, Irish, and Polish family. Colt joked that Matthews has “Spanish hair” which Matthews said is because of chemical straightening. Matthews confused Colt by mentioning that his parents are still together, but no longer share a bedroom.

15:56 – Matthews talks dating – Matthews talked about his girlfriends in wrestling. Matthews met his first girlfriend, Valentina, in a chat room at 16 and got her into wrestling. Matthews also dated Krissy Vaine for two years, and said that their relationship was the only wrestling relationship he’s had that worked. Matthews complained about dating smart women who don’t have any life skills or know how to work with their hands. Matthews was surprised that Colt didn’t know how to change a tire. Colt told a story about blowing a tire at 4:00 a.m. and being unable to get the bolt off the tire.

21:26 – Matthews talks wrestling training and Deep South Wrestling – Matthews started training at 16, but said his first six years wrestling were wasted because he didn’t learn anything. Matthews trained with Johnny Rodz, although he said that Rodz didn’t leave his office and he trained with other wrestlers at Rodz’s school. Matthews credited Bill DeMott for getting him into the WWE system, but as soon as he reported to training in Deep South Wrestling he started butting heads with DeMott. Matthews brought up DeMott’s book and that DeMott “trashed” him for five pages. Colt asked if there were any good stories from DSW. Matthews talked about the Great Khali being forced to run around the building, even though he could barely walk, as well as wrestlers being forced to do exercises over and over until they were injured. Matthews injured his bicep but was goaded into getting in the ring, leading to his bicep tearing, and being threatened by Bob Holly.

30:39 – Matthews talks WWE release – Colt asked Matthews how he pushes away all the ill will towards DeMott and others. Matthews said the situation is over now due to DeMott being out of WWE, and even if he hadn’t left WWE during developmental, he likely would have been fired regardless. Matthews talked more about DeMott and about the issues that arose when he was in developmental. Colt pointed out that he and Matthews are both still in wrestling, when a lot of people get let go from WWE and leave the business. Matthews said when he got released, he broke up with his girlfriend, and a close friend passed away all in the same week, leading to a depression and a smoking habit. Matthews said he got back into the ring and got over his depression, and eventually got happier.

Colt mentioned that when you are on the independents, it’s all upward mobility to WWE, but once released by WWE, there’s nowhere else to go that’s up. Matthews joked that now developmental is completely different because former independent stars are acknowledged as such, and they have NXT shows live from Japan. When Matthews was in DSW, shows were in a supermarket and you wouldn’t be acknowledged as even working for WWE. Matthews also joked that when people ask if his goal is to go to WWE, he says he was there and people think they saw him wrestle. Matthews said he wasn’t even on TV in DSW but in dark matches.

41:45 – Matthews talks more about training – Colt again asked about Johnny Rodz and early training. Matthews talked about being 16 and promoting himself online, which Colt said he remembered. Matthews said that his training school was full of people who had been there for years and he started wrestling in a boxing ring. Matthews said that the boxing ring helped him bump in other rings since they are softer. Matthews mentioned veterans wanting him to take risky bumps and chopping him until he bled. Matthews said the only time he went into Rodz’s office he was yelled at to go to the ring. After he left Rodz’s gym at 18, Matthews went to train with Dory Funk. Funk made Matthews sign a contract that if he got signed by WWE within two years, Funk would get 10 percent of his contact.

50:56 – Matthews talks about his early wrestling career – Matthews said everything clicked for him when he moved to North Carolina, and briefly mentioned using testosterone and wright gaining drugs to get bigger. Matthews said he was willing to drive anywhere to get booked, and joked with Colt about wrestling websites, and making their own website, in the early 2000s. Colt mentioned Kevin Matthews, the radio personality, and Matthews joked about his first ring names “Kydd Enigma” and “Kasey Konerz.”

55:50 – Matthews talks Wrestle Pro – Colt verified that Matthews had been in wrestling for almost 16 years, and began to discuss Matthews’ new promotion, Wrestle Pro. Matthews talked about building the Wrestle Pro ramp and video screen with his dad. Matthews joked that he may not be book smart, but if he’s on a desert island he’s going to outlive everyone. Matthews plugged Wrestle Pro and mentioned that it’s purely Pat Buck’s promotion, without a million dollar corporation like Sinclair Broadcasting. Matthews also plugged Create-A-Pro wrestling school and that he believes Wrestle Pro will be bigger than Pro Wrestling Syndicate. Colt asked if Matthews will ever stop wrestling, and Matthews said he thinks he has another decade left, plugged his podcast (Two and a Half Wrestlers) and his friend, wrestling fan “The Wizard,” and ended the interview.

1:03:26 – Colt wraps up the show – Colt plugged Two and a Half Wrestlers podcast and encouraged listeners to seek it out. Colt plugged his website, social media, and upcoming events, then thanked Kevin Matthews and Wrestle Pro, his sponsors and tech help. Colt teased new podcasts going up on the Howl app on February 10 and signed off.


Score: 7.0 – Colt and Kevin Matthews have a great chemistry together, and it helps that Matthews has a no-nonsense approach to talking to other people. There was a lot of interesting things in this episode pertaining to WWE developmental in the early 2000s, as well as a lot of laughter as both men joked around about their love lives and careers. For anybody looking for alleged dirt on WWE, this episode will provide that in spades and is another great episode of the Art of Wrestling.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.