Josh Mathews will step away from broadcast at Impact Wrestling's Slammiversary pay-per-view on Sunday and return to the ring as he'll team with Scott Steiner to face Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park in a tag team match. The 14-year veteran recently spoke to Wrestle:List, where he promoted the pay-per-view and talked about who has affected his career. Mathews also revealed that he still hears the voice of Vince McMahon in his head.
"There are quite a few people who helped me on the way," said Mathews. "When I first started I was in the car with Michael Cole and Taz and learned a tremendous amount from them. I also learnt from Jim Ross and Paul Heyman had a tremendous influence on my career. When Paul Heyman was the lead writer for SmackDown, and SmackDown was produced on Tuesday, postproduction was done on a Wednesday, and the show was put out on Thursday, Paul would be there for the edit of the show."
Mathews first broke into WWE as a runner-up in the first Tough Enough in 2001. He was eventually hired by the company and began as a backstage interviewer. Mathews shifted into a commentary role in 2006 and worked for WWE until 2014.
"We would be there; Michael Cole, Paul [Heyman], Taz and myself would be in the studio until 5 o'clock in the morning and changing the call of the show," Mathews recalled. "Those guys would be in the booth, and learning from Paul [Heyman] how to do this from a commentary standpoint."
One of the things many commentators have talked about while with WWE is the tremendous "hands-on" approach used by Vince McMahon. Vince is known for talking to the commentators through his headset backstage, something that Mathews said had a tremendous effect on his career.
"When you sit down and do the main shows you're working directly for the man who owns the company [Vince McMahon] and he's listening to every word you say," said Mathews. "He also had a tremendous effect on my career and still continues to to this day. I can hear him in my head when I call things, 'Don't scream at me' and 'Don't over sell this' I can hear it. That has molded me in to the play-by-play announcer I am today."
Mathews replaced Mike Tenay as Impact's lead play-by-play voice when the show moved from Spike to Destination America in 2015. He'll give way at Slammiversary to a different announce team as he climbs back into the ring.
You can listen to Wrestle:List's complete interview with Mathews embedded in the video above. More quotes are available by clicking here.
TNA Slammiversary will take place on Sunday from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Make sure to join us here at WrestlingINC.com for live play-by-play coverage.