Local Civil Engineer Strives to Ensure Public Safety
By Rick Aaron, www.good4utah.com
SANDY (ABC4 News) – During the week a local civil engineer strives to ensure public safety his weekend activities are not safe – or even civil!
Monday through Friday Matthew Roblez works in an office but when Saturday night rolls around he’s no longer Matthew. He becomes The MK Bandit.
Roblez is a part of owner of McNeil Engineering in Sandy and the 2018 Utah Engineer of the Year, painstakingly evaluating the structural integrity of buildings.
“I make sure that they’re not going to you know, fall over in an earthquake,” Roblez told ABC4 News. “Or at least they’re gonna to maintain their stability until people get out and everybody’s safe…I’m protecting these people. Everybody who’s involved in construction is, it’s not just me but that’s my mentality. It’s a life safety issue.”
But the wrestling ring is his office on the weekends when he transforms into MK…a professional wrestling villain or “heel”.
“When I come through that curtain I am not Matt,” Roblez said. “Matt’s somewhere else and it’s MK and it’s interesting because when I have memories of it, it’s almost like Matt’s watching that happen. It’s kind of an odd experience to describe. It’s literally getting into a different person.”
And that person is “The Federal Director of Athletic Competition Overseeing All Sports Entertainment Activities As Appointed By Donald Trump”, he says.
“The problems I have is with you: the Utah wrestling fans,” he said into a microphone during a September match in Salt Lake City.
“My job as a heel, as a bad guy is to get everybody to hate me so bad that when the good guy vanquishes me, they love him,” Roblez said. “Because without Lex Luthor, Superman is just a guy that can fly.”
Roblez is a combination actor, stuntman and instigator in what he describes as an interactive theater production.
“Shakespeare for the masses, yeah it’s a melodrama,” he said. “The thing that I really like about professional wrestling is it’s one of the last theater, entertainment where the fans feel part of the event. The fans have become part of the event.”
And he has a hate/hate relationship with those fans.
“You people are as ugly and ignorant as I remember you,” he tells the fans.
And their reaction to him?
“I think he really sucks,” one attendee said.
“Great,” Roblez responded. “That’s good. That’s what I want. If he woulda said ‘He’s a good guy and I like the role he’s playing’ I’d feel like I failed…When you go out there and people are screaming and throwing things at you you’ve done your job, you want that to happen…A lot of times when I’m in different places it’s dangerous. In certain places they have to sneak me in the back, sneak me out the front because they get it but they really take offense to what it is you’re doing. In other places Albuquerque, Salt Lake the guy that’s screaming at you, wanting to kill you, is throwing stuff at you will come up to you afterwards and say ‘Great show’.”
Don’t call this fake because Roblez tells me while the moves are planned out the injuries are real, like the time he was lit on fire during a match in Albuquerque and suffered burns on his face.
“I’ve been thrown off ladders,” he said. “I’ve been punched in the face. I’ve been gorilla pressed you know over someone’s head and thrown. I’m going to get hurt. You just are.”
His pain is pure catharsis for the crowd.
“The most fun for me is when I get punched in the face,” he said. “You can’t walk up to the client you hate and punch him in the face or the guy at the store that treats you wrong but you can hate me. I can be the embodiment of that and you go home feeling like you just won. That you just punched your boss in the face or whatever. You know what I mean? And that’s what I like the most when I get that reaction and people are cheering.”
Roblez flies all over the country to perform on the weekends before returning to the other role of his double life Monday morning.
“What’s really helped me in professional wrestling is the professionalism I learned in engineering,” Roblez said. “What’s really helped me in engineering is some of the things that I’ve learned in professional wrestling because it’s the same management techniques cross over…So even though I may have a work product in one side where I’m punching people in the face and a work product here where I’m handing someone a set of drawings you’ve got to be professional on each side.”
Matthew/MK tells ABC4 that his ultimate goal is to make it to the highest level of the sport – the WWE so maybe sometime we’ll see him antagonizing the good guys and infuriating the crowds on Monday Night Raw.