On a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman sat down with legendary indie star Matt Cross,who is in MLW competing in the Opera Cup. Defending Opera Cup winner Tom Lawlor is in the tournament as well, along with other new names like Davey Richards and Bobby Fish. Cross talked about Fish joining MLW, and noted his history with Fish.
“I think as far as if we get a singles, that would be a first time ever, so there’s a lot of opportunities,” Cross noted. “My favorite memory with him was when I tagged with Darby Allin against the two of them, ReDRagon (Fish and Kyle O’Reilly), for Defy in Seattle. In my opinion, Defy has the best independent crowd in the country right now, so to be able to do that a couple years ago was just phenomenal, and it was sort of like wrestling 101. And everything clicked and came together, and we just had this match where we’re just hitting on all cylinders.
“It was so much fun, so to get the chance to kind of distill that down to just the two of us now, I got my new chrome dome look, I guess. Before that, everyone was always mistaking me for him also. There’s so many tweets where it’s like, ‘You look like Bobby Fish,’ and I would think he hears the same, so it’s like, a Highlander thing. ‘There can be only one,’ so maybe him and I need to face each other to find out who gets this look or whatever you want to call it.”
Cross and Allin recently met each other at a punk rock festival. Cross explained the encounter, and discussed his experiences at punk rock shows.
“It’s called Punk Rock Bowling. I think there is a bowling component sort of historically,” Cross said. “I didn’t bowl. Darby didn’t bowl, but it involves bands as well. It’s kind of the premier event in punk rock. It’s three days long in Las Vegas every year, and it’s just the who’s who in punk rock. And without punk, I wouldn’t be a wrestler. It was so funny to me. I think even my caption for that photo was something along the lines of, ‘So many people approached me over the three days and were like, we can’t believe you’re here! This is so crazy!’ And I had to laugh to myself because I was going to punk shows long before I was wrestling, and I’ll go until the day I die.
“If I died at a punk show, awesome. So it was just funny because they only know you from a certain universe, and when you cross over to this music scene, which I’m much more comfortable in and I belong even more so than in wrestling, they’re like, ‘We can’t believe you’re here!’ And I’m like, of course I would be. This is why I’m alive and this is why I’m here. So it was my sort of weekend off just to enjoy myself, which is funny as a wrestler because you always couple that with this tinge of guilt because you’re like, ‘oh, I should be wrestling. I should be out there, I should be doing it.’
“Some fans’ tweets helped me kind of keep it in perspective. They’re like, ‘No, you’re allowed to have some time off and you’re allowed to enjoy yourself, and you don’t have to fall on your head every weekend of your life.’ Well not that I didn’t fall on my head still, but I was getting hurt in a different universe for once, and Darby is also a big fan of punk rock so he was there as well to see a lot of the bands. Youth of Today was a big second wave straightedge band, so I was happy to see him in the pit, in the mix.”
Hausman noted how wild it must be for fans to see Cross and Allin moshing with them. Cross commented and talked about the other crazy things they did as well.
“It was, I would imagine, a pretty awesome experience for some of the fans who happened to catch us together because that would have been mind blowing in some degree to be like, ‘wait, is that so and so? Are they in the pit? Are they jumping on our heads and slamming into us?,'” Cross said. “You couldn’t stage dive because there was a gap, but I saw him sort of crowd surfing. I also was crowd surfing at one point. If you were a wrestling fan, we were quite literally jumping at your head, so hopefully that was a cool moment for some people.”
Cross opened up about his relationship with Allin, noting how similar Allin is to new AEW signee CM Punk.
“I’m a bit taken aback because I don’t know him in that regard because it’s, I guess, similar to CM Punk where sometimes these guys have their circles, and then they’re a touch wary of people outside of their circles, which I understand because, in both cases, you almost sort of blow up overnight. And then the interest level is crazy,” Cross noted. “And then it’s like, ‘well, who are all these new people? Are they interested in me? What are they interested in?’ It’s just like, a different world for those people.
“So sometimes, I don’t want to speak for them, but sometimes, they may retract and be like, ‘let me stick with who I know and whose intentions I know.’ There’s some comfort there, but he’s cool. We’re both straightedge and we’re both into these really strange bands. There’s almost an instant connection. To draw that CM Punk parallel again, when I first met him, it was 2001. We’re independent wrestlers, he lives in Chicago. I’m in Cleveland, very similar Midwestern cities. I think I was wearing a Misfits shirt.
“He was wearing a Misfits shirt and we’re both straightedge, so it was inevitable in some ways. You’re like, ‘oh, what’s up other dude who’s also parallel universe me?’ So it’s sort of the same, whereas with Punk, we’re almost the same generation. He was slightly before me, so I was looking up to him in some regards, and maybe there’s some elements now with Darby and myself. There’s almost this weird timeline of, okay, there’s this brethren, or this passing, or carrying of the torch between the genuine, punk, straightedge community of wrestlers. So for us, it’s all very familiar. I saw him and, instantly, it was cool to see him there. And again, he was in the pit, in the mix and everything, so it was a lot of fun for both of us.”
You can following Matt on Twitter @MDoggMattCross
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