WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: Colt Cabana’s “The Art of Wrestling” w/ Matt Cross on why he regrets being on Tough Enough, wrestling in Qatar, how Lucha Underground has helped his career (#358)

The Art Of Wrestling with Colt Cabana

Release Date: July 6, 2017

Guest: Matt Cross

Recap By: Josh Coulson


Newsworthy items

-In 2007 Matt tore his groin so severely that it pulled off a piece of his pelvis.

-He also broke his leg earlier this year and didn’t get it seen to for almost a month.

-Matt launched a brand called Wrestling Is Forever to capture the essence of what he’s experienced during his career in pro wrestling and to give back to the fans.

-Matt Cross has wrestled in 25 different countries.

-Matt was a part of Tough Enough season five, but was eliminated in the second week.

-The executive producer of Lucha Underground is the same person who was the executive producer of Tough Enough season five.

Subjects covered (with timestamps)

0:00- Start of show
7:06- Song of the week
8:49- Interview begins
24:48- Wrestling Is Forever
33:03- Around the world
43:13- Tough Enough
1:00:36- Close of show

Show highlights/rundown

Colt begins the show with plugs and sponsors before getting into details about this week’s guest, Matt Cross, who he interviewed a couple of weeks prior. He lets us know Matt has been on the podcast once before, six or seven years ago when it first began and you can listen to that show via the archives.

Colt then goes into some details about what he has going on this coming week. He has been invited to give a talk in Wales over in the U.K. for inspirational people. He’ll also be doing a couple of shows in Newport and Cardiff while he’s there.

Colt then introduces this week’s song of the week which is a track called “Stone Cold” by Bad Mother Folker.

Interview begins

The interview opens with Colt and Matt discussing the last time Cross was on the show, which they work out would have been almost six years ago, and that an old guy kept interrupting by trying to have a conversation with them.

They talk about the show they were on that day and how Ethan Page brought in Bushwhacker Luke as a big draw. They discuss whether the age of smaller shows and companies doing that is dying out.

Colt talks about a Sami Callahan show where a night with big indy names rather than big names in general actually drew a bigger crowd.

Both of them have been on the independent circuit for a long time now, but they can’t settle on a term that describes them as they don’t like the words pioneers or veterans. They also say they both still feel young, but when they were 19, wrestlers who are their age now seemed incredibly old.

The subject of age brings them on to Lio Rush. Matt says when he wrestled him it hit him that Rush would have been three or four when he started in the business, and that things hurt him more than they hurt Lio in the ring.

They then go the other way and compare themselves to Christopher Daniels who is still wrestling the same way at 46 as he did at 26. They also point out Chris Jericho is in that realm as well.

The topic focus then switches to injuries. Matt discusses his broken leg from earlier in the year, which he didn’t go to the hospital about for almost a month, and a groin tear so severe in 2007 that it took off part of his pelvis.

By the time he went to the hospital about his broken leg it had almost healed anyway. He didn’t wrestle in the month it was broken but he continued to walk around and go to the gym. He admits that he thought it was just a muscle bruise rather than being broken.

Matt says that if wrestlers went to the hospital every time they were hurt they would basically live there. The two of them agree that as a wrestler you become a sort of amateur doctor and know when an injury is serious or not.

Wrestling Is Forever

The discussion then shifts to Matt’s project, Wrestling Is Forever. He talks about fans reaching out to him and offering him money to help pay for his medical bills, and even though it helped, it made him feel guilty. That made him think rather than people giving him money for nothing, he should do something in return.

Cross recalls a story of when he shared a hotel room with Daniel Bryan. Daniel slept on the floor so Matt could have the bed without even being asked or prompted. It’s that kind of behavior he says he’s experienced time and time again in professional wrestling that he wanted to capture by launching Wrestling Is Forever.

Cross talks about how with WIF he packages and sends all of the products himself. Both he and Colt discuss how fans are always blown away by the fact they do that.

Matt says the idea behind doing everything himself for WIF is to give people the belief that it’s something they can do themselves and that fans realize they’re just people too. He uses an analogy where he compares seeing U2 to going to a much smaller punk rock gig.

Matt has a license plate that reads DUDES, something he did on a whim years ago but makes him smile every time he sees it.

Wrestling around the world

Colt admits to Cross that he’s jealous of all the places he’s wrestled. He has performed in 25 different countries.

He equates his time as a professional wrestler to punk rock once again, saying that wrestling is his instrument and he travels the world sleeping on people’s couches.

Cross then talks about how a normal person will save to travel to the places they get paid to go to for years, and then only get to go there once or twice.

Colt talks about wrestling a show in Costa Rica and that they don’t necessarily get to go to a nice part of the countries they visit. He also says that even when they wrestle in the United States they get to go to some weird, lesser known places they would otherwise never have heard of.

Cross tells a story about how professional Billy Gunn was when he wrestled him in the main event of an indy show.

Cabana is very interested in Cross’ time wrestling in Qatar. Matt talks about how the shows over there are super shows with Rey Mysterio and John Morrison and how he’s not sure how me makes it on to the cards.

Before he went there he says people would tell him to be careful, but it’s actually a really nice country. Everything there is really new and they get to stay in five star hotels and everybody is really nice.

Cross tells a story about being invited to a Sheik’s house and thinking it was a hotel. He had a wrestling ring in the backyard and Mysterio got in and started messing around in it. He talks about how amazed the Sheik’s kids were to basically see one of their action figures come to life in their own back garden.

Cross talks about how it annoys him that most wrestlers’ opinions of Cleveland, Ohio will be based on the rundown building that AIW shows take place in, as that’s the only part of the town they ever see.

Tough Enough and Lucha Underground

Colt switches the conversation to Cross’ experience on Tough Enough, and that Stone Cold kicked him off the show then realized who he was. He says to Colt that he wishes he had never done the show.

Cross says it’s hard to shake off the opinion people have of him but Colt says after four years no one remembers. He gives the example of Marty Scurll being Party Marty on British Boot Camp. Matt just says he thinks it does his history a disservice.

Cross recalls a point where he caught fire during Tough Enough and thinking that it will definitely make TV, but it wasn’t part of the story that WWE were trying to tell so it didn’t.

Cross reveals that the same guy who was the executive producer of the season of Tough Enough he appeared on is now the producer of Lucha Underground, which he himself is also currently a part of. Said producer did his Tough Enough exit interview during which they actively tried to make him cry by telling him his dream was crushed. He says it just made him angry and driven rather than upset.

Colt harks back to his time with WWE and both agree they have to be in control of their own destinies.

Cross recalls a time during Tough Enough where someone said ‘never again will we ever turn on a camera and see what happens’, meaning everything on those shows needs to be somewhat staged.

He doesn’t completely regret the experience, citing that he has kept in touch with Stone Cold and a few people from that season have ended up on Lucha Underground, such as himself and Marty The Moth. Even though part him wishes he had never done Tough Enough, he admits it was his in for Lucha Underground.

Colt brings up them both being a part of Wrestling Society X on MTV. Matt says he thought it was going to be the start of wrestling becoming popular again but unfortunately it wasn’t.

Cross talks about how he believes Vince McMahon has made it so fans follow a brand rather than specific wrestlers and performers. He says that Lucha Underground is different, and it’s the first time he’s felt something like that since ECW. Thanks to Lucha he is now known a lot more at other indy shows.

Colt asks Matt about his experiences wrestling in prisons. Cabana says he has wrestled just about everywhere, but never in a prison. Matt tells a story about one prison show where the wrestlers were just put in with the general population and not given any preferential treatment. He also recalls seeing a poster for the show in the prison with his face on it.

Colt then begins to wind the show down in the usual way by asking Matt about his social media and if there’s anything he would like to plug. It then returns to Colt in his studio apartment for some plugs and upcoming events.

Review (6/10)

Colt is such a prominent figure on the independent scene, and has been for so long, that it effectively means he knows absolutely everybody. That lends itself extremely well to his Art Of Wrestling show as every week he sits down with someone completely different. Matt is clearly someone Colt shares a lot in common with, and their ability to relate to each other often during this show is what makes it such an easy and interesting listen. It comes across that Cross is a great guy and that he loves what he does, no matter where he’s doing it or who with.

About the writer

Josh Coulson is a journalism graduate from Bristol, England. He has been a pro wrestling fan since the age of 10 and truly fell in love with the business during the build to WrestleMania X-Seven, citing the rivalry between Austin and The Rock as what really got him hooked. Other than wrestling he is a keen soccer fan and a long suffering supporter of his local team Bristol City. You can find him @BristolBeadz on Twitter.

For more, check out last week’s recap of The Art of Wrestling with Kevin Thorn. 

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