Matt Morgan Discusses Headlining TNA, Goals, The IWC, & More

Chris Cash

Alfonso Castillo from Newday conducted an interview with TNA’s Matt Morgan that you can read HERE.  The following are some highlights of the interview:

On his career goals in TNA:

“Cornette and other people who have helped coach and train me over the years have always said, ‘You don’t stop until you’re headlining pay per views. And even then, you don’t stop. You keep doing whatever you can to improve.’ And that’s what I’m still trying to do. I headlined this last pay per view and I’m main eventing again at No Surrender in a four-way match with Kurt [Angle]. People can just rest on their laurels, and I know it’s cliché to say that’s just not what I want to do. But it’s the truth. I don’t. My goal is to not just be a TNA world heavyweight champion, but at some point, to be able to put the weight of this company on my shoulders, and carry it in al different facets.”

On TNA pushing him despite him not being a past WWE headliner:

“When I first came, look at what they could have done. Test came in the first day I did. They could have done the same thing with me that they did with him. They could have put me in a match – said I’m a former WWE wrestler and put me in a mid-card match in the next pay per view, and blah blah blah. I probably would have wrote myself out of there in a few months for all I know. But they decided to take their time with me. And now I’m very lucky. I could almost be considered a home grown TNA talent at this point. They put the time and energy into rebranding me, rebuilding me and now I’m at where I am now. And I do believe they will put… that pressure on me [to carry the company.]”

On the prospect of getting a one-on-one world title pay per view main event:

“I don’t want to ruin it. But, of course, that’s the goal – to do a one-on-one setting pay per view main event. But I think that comes along with the storyline, as well. I guarantee that will happen. I’m not just being an arrogant wrestler hoping that’s going to happen. I‘ve already been told. I know it will. As long as I keep improving and doing what I’ve got to do and people want to see me, I’ll be fine.”

On TNA’s ratings and whether he could be a draw for TNA:

“Everybody talks about ratings and draws and buy rates and all this kind of stuff. Everybody still acts like it’s 1998. Guys, wake up. It’s not 98. People get so caught up with, ‘Oh, well they did a 1.5 this week, which is down from the 1.3. Who was in the main event?’ No. That just means that there’s a select amount of people who were not tuning in for that particular moment or for that night. It’s not that big of number in the big scheme of things like it used to be back when the wrestling business was getting these huge, booming ratings. Those were telling numbers then – if they were to drop three whole ratings points. – not .2 or .26. Not things like that. 

On the Internet wrestling community:

“And now were in a day and age where they’re so – and I don’t know why – they’re so into negativity. It’s like, you read Star Magazine or you read People Magazine. Negativity on the magazine rack, it may sell. But on the Internet, it’s almost like they follow suit too much. There’s never a positive story. Very rarely do you see a positive story. That’s why I never read the Internet and I never will. Cornette taught me that my first year in the business. And I said, “Why?” Because it’s so darn negative. If you’re a young kid – I have 17-year-olds who have talked to me about ratings. Now, I’m sorry, but when I was 17 I was not thinking about ratings as a wrestling fan. I was thinking about going to see my favorite wrestler. I was thinking about things like that. I think the NWO was about to get hot at that time. That’s what I was thinking about – not about the ratings crap, and not about like being overly negative. “

On gauging TNA’s success from live crowds:

“I respect it, because that’s letting you know something’s up. And that’s the gauge that I always trust the most. And I know what you’re saying. The people in the Impact Zone might have rose-colored glasses. I understand that. But, honestly, not all the time. They get hot. If they don’t like something, they do let you know. I’m not going to give you an example. But if there’s something they don’t like, they let the entire company know, for that matter, not just the wrestlers in the ring. And I like that personally. Others probably not, but hey.”

On being his own worst critic:

“Cornette almost gets mad at me sometimes because I totally over-analyze certain things, or I used too. Not as much this year. And I’m noticing it is working. I’m just going out to the ring and letting things come to me and reacting instead of trying to make them happen, and then you end up looking like a D-rated actor, because wrestlers aren’t the best actors in the world to begin with. We’re the best re-actors, when we’re on our games, I think.”

On making strides recently in his development:

“I mean, I’m 32 years old, and I’m really just coming into my character. I hate to say character, but coming into my persona right now, where things re clicking and I’m not thinking about things. I’m just reacting to them. I can’t stress that enough. I don’t know if that makes sense to you, Alfonso, but for me it does, because you can see it out there. You can see me having fun. You can see me, whether it’s a grimace or a smile, it’s a shoot.”

On criticisms that he is too derivative of other wrestlers: 

“I guess I could see the Goldberg thing earlier on, because I’m overly intense. And I think fans get into it if you’re an intense, big guy with muscles. ‘Oh, you’ve got to be doing Goldberg.’ The only thing I recall being derivative of anything directly was doing a tribute to the Undertaker’s top rope walk when I first started, and that’s because that’s my favorite pro wrestler of all time and he always will be. And he’s a big influence on my career. And that’s all I was. And as my character changed, I stopped doing it. I did it a total of three times on TV. And now people think, ‘Oh, he’s trying to be the Undertaker.’ No, not really, because I’m doing things – like my finisher. Have you ever seen anybody else do the Hellevator? I haven’t. No ones ever done it, that’s why. I could tell you right now a little kid over in Japan is copying me, doing it. No one’s calling him the Matt Morgan derivative. You see – little things like that. They’ll always find ways to be negative, because they were wrong in judging you when you first started your career, and people don’t like to be proven wrong. And that’s fine by me. And I don’t read their stuff to begin with, so I have no idea what they’re saying.”

On the unique part of his wrestling persona:

“I’m seven-foot. You’ve talked to me for a while now. I’ve graduated college magna cum laude. I think I put some of that in my promos and my pre-tapes. I think I put that into my character when I get a chance, on the verbal end, to do so – as much as I’m obviously allowed to, if it fits into the realm of my promo. Obviously I’m not going to be saying supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in my promo if it doesn’t have anything to do with the guy I’m wrestling.”

On some fans discriminating against him because of his size:

“A lot of the fans want to see – I don’t want to say the live crowd – but the Internet side of the community of wrestling fans want to see a lot of the flippy-doos. Nut when they guys do it and they break their necks doing it, they’ll criticize them for not illustrating great storytelling in the ring. And it’s like, well you just got done saying you wanted everybody to push these guys, push these guys. And then they go out and do their thing, and you bury them for that. It’s like, stop being so negative and just be honest. And that’s what I think comes into play. If they can’t write something nice, they just continue to bury them.”

On criticisms of the type of hardcore wrestling exhibited in his feud with Abyss: 

“I’ve had opportunities to say, ‘I don’t want to do this’ or ‘I’m not comfortable doing this.’ I always think it’s up to the wrestler, and it really is. Vince McMahon is not breathing down your neck saying, “You’re fired unless you do this.” I swear to God as my witness, it’s up to performer. If you’re not comfortable doing it, you just don’t do it. They’re not coming up to me and saying, ‘Matt you’ve got to be bleeding from your forehead at this particular part of the match.’ No one says that. That’s up to us to come up with. That’s up to us to say yes or no to. And no one is telling me to light myself on fire and do a triple moonsault off the top of the Impact Zone either. If I do that in order to get the 15 people that are smart marks in the front row to pop, that’s my fault. That’s my fault for doing that.”

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