June 11, 2011
An interview with Matt Cappotelli
First off, how are you keeping these days health wise, with all thatís gone on?
Iím doing great, man. Iíve just had an MRI yesterday, actually. I donít know the results of it as of yet. I get checked every six months and everythingís been fantastic.
What got you interested in pro wrestling?
I was a fan since I was a little kid. My dad used to take me and my brother to shows when we were kids, so Iíve followed it forever. It was always an interest of mine, I just never had an idea of how you actually got into the business. I didnít even know there were such things as indys or promotions like that.
What led to you entering for Tough Enough (season 3) in 2002?
I was in college at the time and I actually was playing football. I stopped playing my third year due to injury. I had of course watched the first season of Tough Enough Ė I was actually going to audition for the second season but I missed the deadline for the entry, so I had to wait. I told myself if they do a third season Iím gonna make sure to get my tape in on time! I trained for that year and got in good shape and was ready for it when it came around.
How did you find the process itself of TE3?
It was pretty rigorous, man. I had to mail in a videotape of myself and I had to go to auditions, phone interviews. It was pretty time consuming Ė I think a lot different than it is now Ė but it was good because they weeded out a lot of the people whose hearts werenít in it and really not gonna do anything.
I almost hesitate to bring it up, but dare I ask Bob Holly?
Yea, go ahead man (laughs)
Iíve read through the (Wrestling) Observer and in magazines at the time what went on, but I was just wondering what exactly led to it? Had you seen it coming?
No, it kinda caught me off guard. Thatís why it was handled the way it was because I was pretty much blindsided by it. Looking back now, I kind of understand a little bit. Iíll never agree with it Ė I think thereís right ways and wrong ways to do things, you know, and I would never handle myself like that, the way he did. Itís just, you get veterans who think young guys like me at the time didnít deserve the shot that I had and wanted to let me know the hardships they went through. I guess that was his way of showing it. He did what he did and Iíll never agree with it but what ya gonna do!
After Tough Enough had finished you found yourself down in OVW. How did you find your time at there?
It was great, I learnt a ton. I donít think thereís any better place for me to go and learn, with Rip Rogers, (Jim) Cornette and Danny Davis, those guys there, leading into Paul Heyman, having Al Snow as a trainer and Lance Storm. Thereís so many talented people to work with that it just was really a fantastic place to work.
You were OVW champion at the time and were on the verge of being brought up to the main roster full time when you were diagnosed with the tumour. At such a young age of 26 did you feel like your world was falling apart?
Itís definitely not something Iíd expected. When youíre pretty muchÖÖ.something youíd worked so hard for for so long and youíre on the brink of doing what you came to do and then itís taken out from underneath you, itís definitely a shock and I think the thing that kept my head above water was the fact of where my faith was. Itís always been there for me and it was what I relied on and still rely on. Itís all part of Godís plan and Iím just a small piece of it. Who am I to say what direction itís supposed to go? Iím supposed to do the best I can with what Iím dealt
You mentioned your faith. How has it helped you through all of the god times and the bad?
It keeps everything in perspective. I compare sometimes Ė people ask me how do you handle something like that. You see in America a lot of people win the lottery. They think itís the greatest thing in the world. They win all these millions of dollars, but 90% of these people are miserable and in ten years theyíre broke. Everything, you have to have a perspective on it, good or bad and I just focussed on this situation and being able to make it the biggest positive I could. Knowing that God has given me something to share a story. It was a way for me to stand up and say ďHey, this is what Iím going through but this is where my confidence is.Ē Itís why Iím doing what Iím doing.
On a side note Ė my fatherís quite similar. About 8 years ago he ended up through a hospital operation being paralysed from the waist down. Heís been the same Ė he had done a lot of church stuff but actually the difference of the kids and young people who had known him being active and then all of a sudden being in the chair, they were like ďWhatís happened?Ē He found it good to say ďOk. Would I have chosen this to happen? No, but hereís what I can bring to it.Ē Heís found itís actually completely changed the way he delivered his faith as well.
Yea, yea. I look back at the platform I was given through wrestling and it was something bigger than I could have imagined and it was a bigger way to share my faith and my story than I could ever dreamed of doing. Really God used me and itís been all worth it.
Do you still follow wrestling today?
Yea I do. I work full time now I another career and I keep with it as much as I can. Iíve got a lot of good friends there (WWE) that I like to watch and make sure that theyíre doing alright.
Are you still in touch with anyone (in the business)? Obviously you came through Tough Enough with John (Morrison).
Johnís probably still to this day one of my best friends. I keep up with him all the time. We talk pretty regularly. When heís in town weíll grab some lunch or something. Heís one of the good guys in the business. Between him and CM Punk, those guys Iím really tight with.
Would you consider getting back into it if the opportunity arose? Obviously, the health side of things would preclude some of it.
Iím open to anything, you know. What that is I have no idea. Iíve had doctors tell me that I should never, ever wrestle again. Iíve had some say you might be ok, nothing would ever happen to you, you might be fine. No-one can give me a definitive answer whether or not itís even feasible. Iíve kind of learned along the process that it doesnít matter what I think or what I feel, God will lead me to where I need to be and if he wants me back thereíll be a door open somewhere.
Do you have anything youíd like to say to your fans?
Itís been amazing. I know that I wasnít one that I guess people would look at as making it yet. I was on the verge of doing what I wanted to do and arriving on the big show, but still the outpouring of support through what Iíve gone through is so amazing. It means a lot to know that people out there look at me and my story and care about that. The best thing anyone could do for me, the biggest compliment I could get, would be for people to just share my story and say ďHey, you ever hear about this guy and what he went through? Let me tell you about hi, let me tell you his story.Ē I donít know if youíve been able to see, thereís a website called www.notafan.com?
I have seen it, yea.
It was something that I did with a friend of mine whoís a Pastor of a church and itís become a pretty large following. Itís just a chance for me to share my story. I just encourage people to check that out. If people have never heard of me and never heard my story itíll give them a glimpse into what I went through ad what this is all about.