Between The Ropes
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
ESPN Florida AM 1080 and AM 1060
Simulcast online at BetweenTheRopes.com
TNA wrestler Matt Morgan joined Brian Fritz and Vito DeNucci on Between the Ropes this past Tuesday night to discuss Sunday’s Lockdown Pay-Per-View, the evolution of his television character, and more.
Morgan addressed his time competing in WWE rings and the lack of character development put into most of the company’s debuting “big man” grapplers. “When I was in WWE, they threw a pair of black trunks or silver trunks on me, and Ta da! Here’s this big, giant seven-foot guy with no … no-one ever gave me any rhyme or reason as to why I was out there – I was just out there. And that’s attribute to the way WWE ninety-percent of the time brings in big guys. It’s good and it makes for shock TV at the time, but in the long run there’s no longevity in those runs if you‘re not really well-developed.”
Morgan is happier with how TNA has handled his role on television. “With TNA, they did the exact flip-side of this. They basically did a Bubba Rogers type of thing, where the longer they wait to display me in the ring, the more it’s going to mean. I could not have gotten that big of a reaction from fans booing me at the beginning of that show (The April 3rd episode of Impact when Matt Morgan revealed his allegiance to Team Cage) with the ‘Morgan sucks!’ chants to chanting my name an hour later just by doing one thing. That’s attributed to the writing in TNA. As much as people are overcritical about that, that was all them. They were planning that for two months.” Morgan said that despite his desire to wrestle since starting with TNA, everyone on the management side of the promotion – from Vince Russo to Jim Cornette to Jeff Jarrett – assured him that his debut in the six-sided ring would have more significance after he was established as a regular on-air personality.
Morgan spoke highly of the TNA roster and is excited at the prospect of working with each wrestler in the company. “This is a great company. Take for instance this match that I’m in (Lethal Lockdown). It’s a great melting pot – a great microcosm of what TNA is all about. You have a guy from 5’9″ all the way to 7’1″. And every one of those guys in between can go … As far as who I’d love to work, you can take your pick. From A to Z I’d love to work everybody on that roster.”
Matt Morgan has garnered a reputation among wrestling insiders and pundits as a great mic worker, but only recently in Total Nonstop Action has the former OVW “Blueprint” been given adequate promo time to get his character over. Morgan pointed out the importance of a performer connecting with their audience. “If the fans do not identify with you as a character, I don’t care how big, how good a wrestler you are – you could be Karl Gotch, Lou Thesz for all I care – but if you do not care about this wrestler, why am I paying to see you? If I am not emotionally invested in his character, why am I going to pay to see you? So you gotta have both, and I really think TNA is still feeling themselves out with that and have done a great job in giving fans both sides of that coin.”
Morgan also looks forward to displaying his agility and wrestling skills to TNA fans, but plans to pick and choose the proper times for utilizing his more spectacular maneuvers. “In TNA, there is no glass ceiling as to what I can do in that ring. They are not going to limit me to what I can and can’t do in there, and I’m stoked Sunday to be able to start doing it and start murdering people … (Brock Lesnar) gave me one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned in my entire life: With this business, you pick and choose the moment you decide to use these things (high spots) … It has to be a very meaningful match. You have to pick and choose, you just don’t do it because you can do it … You come and do it at the biggest Pay-Per-View of all? Hell, now you’ve done something and you’ve established something to set yourself apart from other giants of the past.”
Many grapplers have credited Japanese wrestling organizations as a major factor in improving their ring skills. Morgan includes himself in this group and recommends that any big man beginning their career in the business to tour The Land of the Rising Sun. “When I got to Japan, I had all this athleticism and intensity, and that’s why they booked me obviously – because of my size – but most importantly they broke me back down and built me back up as far as my in-ring work.”
To hear this interview in its entirety – including the mistakes that Morgan feels WWE made in booking him, further discussion regarding his experiences in Japan, and more – visit the show online at http://www.BetweenTheRopes.com, where you can also become a site member and access hundreds of previous BTR broadcasts and interviews. Join Brian Fritz, Vito DeNucci, and Dickerman for Between The Ropes every Tuesday night from 6:00-8:00 PM ET on ESPN Florida AM 1080 and AM 1060 or worldwide on BetweenTheRopes.com.