Matt Morgan On How He Met Vince McMahon Before Entering The Business, Trying Out For Tough Enough
Make sure to check back on Friday for the second part of our interview, where Morgan discussed his stuttering gimmick, working with Brock Lesnar, being released by WWE and if he saw it coming, working overseas, signing with TNA and much more.You can also follow him on Twitter @BPmattmorgan.
Wrestling INC: Were you a wrestling fan growing up?
Morgan: Absolutely, I was an enormous wrestling fan growing up. I can remember being five or six sitting Indian style on the TV room floor with five older brothers and my father, watching Andre the Giant getting his hair cut by Big John Studd and Ken Patera. It was Andre and SD Jones versus those two. I remember crying because Andre was my hero growing up. That was a big, big influential moment where I just got hooked from that moment on.
Wrestling INC: How long were you a fan? Were you a fan pretty much until you got into the business? Or did it kind of taper off at some point?
Morgan: I was a fan the entire time, all the way until now. Even when it wasn't "cool" there for a minute, when it was transitioning from the cartoon side of wrestling into the Attitude Era. I was in high school around that time when it wasn't necessarily cool to be a wrestling fan for those few years there and I still loved it. I didn't give two s--ts what anyone else thought. I didn't care.
Wrestling INC: When the second season of Tough Enough came out, how did you find out about that and did you think about trying out for the first season?
Morgan: Great question. Not many people know this, but I actually technically auditioned for the first season of Tough Enough. I signed up while I was still in college out in Hawaii. All my eligibility was done, so if I wanted to start wrestling training I was technically allowed to under the NCAA rules. I did, and I was trained by this nut job who took $500 that I had to borrow from an assistant coach at the time - and I paid him back for it - to learn how to wrestle at this place called Pro Wrestling Hawaii. Here I am, 6'11", 380 pounds of lard ass of me on Waikiki Beach, learning how to lock up on these wrestling mats. He brought these wrestling mats; they were basically yoga mats or pads that people basically train abs on in gyms, right? I'm sitting there learning how to lock up with this guy. I literally only did one session of training with this guy and he collected $500. I heard from other guys in my gym he did this with, about 20 or 30 other people, and he left the islands for like about a year with a lot of our money. None of us were able to go get our money back.
So I was sitting there, pissed off, wondering how do I start. So I called wrestling schools on the east coast, where I knew I'd be once I graduated from college in Hawaii. So I called obviously Monster Factory with Larry Sharpe, who is a good friend of mine today now. I remember calling him and saying, "Hey, Mr. Sharpe. This is Matt Morgan." And he was like, "okay, tell me about yourself." "I'm almost seven feet tall, 382 pounds." He goes, "kid, you know how many times people call me and say they're almost seven feet tall? Call me when you're serious." He kept hanging up on me. So I was like dude, apparently this isn't going to be the route for me to take to go through a training school. That was the only school I knew of, at least where I was going to be living. So I was like, 'how the Hell do I get into this?' I still couldn't figure out how to start it.