KC Navarro Discusses WWE Tryout Rumors, Kylie Rae's Main Event Match, Warrior Title Defense Against Buddy Matthews, & More! - Exclusive

Tomorrow night in South Bend, Indiana, Warrior Wrestling returns with its latest indie dream card, as it presents Warrior Wrestling 27: Back To The Bend. The main event will see AEW star and House of Black disciple Buddy Matthews battle Warrior Wrestling Champion KC Navarro. 

While many pro wrestling fans are familiar with Matthews' work in WWE and now AEW, most of them are likely just now getting acquainted with Navarro. The indie standout most recently spent time under a deal with Major League Wrestling, but has previously held gold for promotions like Combat Zone Wrestling and House of Glory. Him momentum has continued to build, and at the end of 2022, it was reported that Navarro, along with Kylie Rae and former ROH stars Vincent and Dutch, had participated in a WWE tryout.

In this exclusive interview with Wrestling Inc. Senior News Editor Nick Hausman, Navarro talks about his upcoming Warrior title defense, what he's learned working with Buddy Matthews, his much-rumored WWE tryout, and more!

Putting Gold On The Line Against Buddy Matthews

Nick Hausman: You have a huge Warrior Wrestling title defense coming up ... Let's start there. What are you thinking heading into this match?

KC Navarro: Not going to lie, I'm a little nervous. Why? I have faced Buddy Matthews before. Anybody that knows, knows I wrestled Buddy Matthews. I was his first match back on the Indies when he left the WWE, okay? That match has over a quarter million views. Go check it out. But this Buddy Matthews isn't the same as that Buddy Matthews in 2021. This is a darker Buddy Matthews, a guy that hangs around Malaki Black and his other goons. I don't know what to expect. I hope that Malachi and the other boys don't show up, because I don't want none of that. But I do have the FTC LLC, so I can feel good about that.

Sure.

But I just know Buddy's on a different level right now, and he's a different, darker guy. He's probably a lot more methodical than he used to be. He was a hard opponent before, but I'm sure he is even harder now. But I don't think that's going to bother me as much knowing that I have a group behind me, too. And I believe that I've gotten my skills sharpened 10 times more since then. I'm way more experienced since then. I'm known as one of the top prospects in the world right now. And I'll take that. I mean, I am the Warrior World Champion for a reason. I took it from Ospreay for a reason, and I think if I could take it from Ospreay, I could damn sure take it from Buddy.

Will Osprey right now is one of the centers of the universe. To be able to say you took the title off of him is a pretty big honor for you, I would think.

A hundred percent. A hundred percent it was.

So with Buddy Matthews, you guys obviously have some history. You've watched him grow over the last, I guess, year and a half now with House of Black. What do you think of the way that AEW has allowed him to kind of reinvent himself? This is very different than what we saw previously from him in WWE.

Outside of all the wrestle stuff, Buddy's one of the most creative people I know. With this, having this freedom to be able to do something very creative, he has such a creative mind. I think him in the House of Black are going to do such big things, and this is going to be a side of Buddy that no one's ever gotten to see. I mean, I'd never even seen it before. So I think this is going to be a big turnaround for his career, and I'm sure big things are going to come out of it.

Learning From A House Of Black Disciple

When you get close to a guy like this, and you're learning from a Buddy Matthews, how close do you feel to leveling up right now? I mean, it's no secret that you are a rising star right now in the industry and, to the best of my knowledge, you're a free agent at the moment. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Correct, I am currently a free agent right now, exploring options, doing my thing, looking to go international this year. Got some cool things that are going to be announced, especially this Saturday, so you're not going to want to miss that. Even something about this title that might change this Saturday. So you want to check out Warrior this Saturday. But learning from a guy like Buddy Matthews is really cool because he's got the experience, he's done it all. He's wrestled at WrestleMania, he has won titles, he has wrestled everywhere in the world because of where he was at. But I do feel like to start my year off with Warrior against a guy like Buddy, I think is going to set the fire for the year for me.

It's crazy because Warrior has so many dream matches, like crazy huge matches. The idea that House of Black could show up and ambush you, I mean that seems like a viable possibility. I don't put that past Principal Steve.

Very true. You never know. I mean, I know Principal Steve isn't very happy I joined the FTC LLC, but hey, listen, man's got to do what a man's got to do. I'm a star. When you see stars like Floyd Mayweather, what does he have? Protection, always. Conor McGregor, protect — everybody's got protection. Even 6ix9ine, that snitch guy, he's even got protection. So if you're a star, you got to have protection. I joined Frank. Frank paid me. I'm world champ. What can I say?

I mean, Frank the Clown is a very, very talented individual. I don't think enough people give Frank his flowers now while they should and can.

Hundred percent. Frank's another one. Super creative. Dude's got a mind for this business that is super different that I don't think people give him the credit for because of the character he played on a show on the {WWE] Network, you know what I mean? Frank's a good person outside of the ring, but he is very smart and he knows how to get business done.

To put a button on the Buddy stuff. Now obviously, like I said, you're learning from him. You're getting more and more talented, more and more attention.

Sure.

You've had these matches with Buddy, he's with AEW. Have you had any contact with Tony Khan? Has he talked to you, or has anybody from AEW talked to you about signing? Has that ever come up, or no?

Nothing I can comment on right now, but I mean, I have met Tony, times when I was at AEW during the Jacksonville era. I was there a couple times. I was there from January of 2021 to April, and then that's when things started opening up, and then I just started doing my own thing after that.

A Much-Rumored WWE Tryout

The other thing that I read recently is, I guess in December, were you down at the Performance Center doing some kind of tryout for WWE?

I don't know. I think they're all just rumors. I don't know what everybody's talking about.

Well, I had read that it was you, it was Kylie Rae, it was Dutch, it was Vincent. Does any of this ring a bell to you?

I don't know, man. I hit my head a lot, so I'm not too sure.

Okay. All right. So no comment on that. Because shortly after that, I will say, somebody who's going to be at Warrior Wrestling, Kylie Rae, got to do a TV match on WWE.

I did see that.

You did see that? Oh, that's fun.

I did see that.

Okay. What did you think about Kylie getting that opportunity and if she was a part of the... I mean, I don't know if she was at the tryout. Again, your head's real fuzzy.

Sure.

But what do you think about Kylie here getting that kind of opportunity right now?

I think Kylie's a great person, phenomenal athlete. I think that's no secret. She is the heart and soul of Chicago wrestling, if you really think about it, especially for women's wrestling. I think it's time for Kylie to be at the big time now, and I think she's going to prove that come this Saturday. I feel like she had an awesome showing on the "Main Event" show, and I think she's going to do the same thing this Saturday.

Yeah, she's consistent, for sure. And so from your vantage though, what do you think... Because it's a really weird time with WWE right now. Everything's very in flux. What do you think WWE is looking for right now at the moment in new talent?

I think they're looking for the "it" factor, the one in the million. I've heard Triple H say that before in interviews that he's done. And I think they're just looking for stars. I think they're looking for new talent, young talent. And I can't really speak much on it because I don't work there. I'm not in Triple H's head. If Vince comes back, I'm not in Vince's head. So I don't know what they're truly looking for. But from what I've gathered from people and from interviews with Triple H, that's kind of what I've gotten.

2023 Goals

Where do you want to wrestle internationally in 2023?

See me, I feel like at my young age, at 23, doing this for — it's going to be eight years in May. I started when I was 15, I feel like I've done almost everything I could in the U.S. I've faced the best in the world. I have won titles, world titles, I've wrestled all over the place, including Alaska. People don't give that credit, but I've done that too. And now I just think it's time to just branch out. I feel like the one thing I haven't done in wrestling is go international and face international stars. And I just want to go places that a lot of people don't go to. I know a lot of people do Japan, I know a lot of people do the U.K., Canada, Mexico. I'm kind of looking to go to countries that a lot of people don't go to, and I think I locked one down, and maybe I'll just announce that this Saturday.

Speaking of international talents, El Hijo del Vikingo, AAA Mega Champion, Warrior Lucha Champion, he's going to be putting those on the line at Warrior this weekend. He's only been in the States a very short time. You guys have not had a chance to cross paths yet, right?

No, I don't think I've ever met him directly and I've never shared the ring with him ever.

Is he somebody that's on your bucket list, maybe for 2023?

A hundred percent. That's one guy I've never worked. I would definitely love to work him. I hear great things about him. Everything I've ever seen from him is just amazing. And I feel like I learn so much being a younger talent. So yeah, a hundred percent. I'd do that any day of the week.

Outside of going international, is there anything else for 2023 that you've really got your mind set to?

I feel like the main one is really go international. The other ones are kind of personal things, but I feel like, if I'm going to just be, I guess cliché, I think I want to prove a lot of people wrong. I feel like that's just a big goal of mine every single year. I feel like every time I start to pop off or people get to know me, they always doubt me, especially because of my size.

I've read a lot of those rumors about this tryout that everybody keeps talking about. And I saw a lot of people saying negative things like, "Oh, he's only five foot," or whatever, and I'm not. I'm 5'7". Thank you. Appreciate it. And Rey Mysterio was like 5'3". I think people forget that. And just because Rey was the only one to do it, who's to say I'm not the next one to be able to do something like that, do something big for a smaller guy? Guys like Lio Rush inspired me. Lio Rush is the same height as me. If Lio can do it, why can't I? If Rich Swann can do it, why can't I? If Rey Mysterio can do it, why can't I? So I think it's just prove people wrong and conquer the world, and just wrestle everywhere, man, and bless the world, man.

Warrior Wrestling 27

Saturday, January 21st

General Doors: 6:30pm; Bell Time: 7:00pm

Bendix Arena

120 Doctor M.L.K. Jr Blvd

South Bend, IN 46601

Available to stream on Pro Wrestling TV.

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