Saturday, November 18, 2023

Archive Interview: Matt Cross

(originally published 10/01/03)

Using his arsenal of amazing high flying maneuvers, Matt Cross (aka, "MDogg20") has been impressing fans all over the world. He and Josh Prohibition currently hold both the XPW and CAPW Tag Team Titles.

Q: How long have you been involved in the business?

A: Including backyarding days and my untrained indy days 4 years. Professionally I've been wrestling for just over 2 years.

Q: Why did you enter the pro-wrestling industry?

A: ECW and feuds like RVD/Jerry Lynn, Mike Awesome/Masato Tanaka, and Super Crazy/Tajiri made me want to wrestle.

Q: Where did you receive your training to become a pro-wrestler?

A: Cleveland All Pro Wrestling Training Center under JT Lightning.

Q: What do you like the most about being in the business?

A: Being able to travel and put on good matches for different crowds. I have a lot of friends in the business now and it's great to see em when I can. I've also become good friends with many fans so it's cool to have met so many different people through wrestling.

Q: You tend to work for promotions that have a high risk style: IWA Mid-South, JCW, XPW, Combat Zone Wrestling, Cleveland All Pro Wrestling. What is it about the hardcore style that appeals to you?

A: Since ECW is the sole reason I'm wrestling that has always been the style closest to my heart. I'm not really too into storylines or punch punch kick kick garbage so I try to wrestle in a style that I myself enjoy as a fan. Those feds also tend to get the most recognition which is nice.

Q: With the amount of hardcore promotions that exist and new ones constantly appearing, do you think that the hardcore style is the future of professional wrestling?

A: That depends on what you mean by "hardcore". To me Jerry Lynn and Rob Van Dam matches epitomized "hardcore" but they never used light tubes, tacks, glass, or any of that garbage. I don't think gimmick or garbage matches are the future of wrestling but I do think "hardcore" in terms of action, pace, build, and innovation is the future.

Q: WWE and WCW both had their own Hardcore divisions at one time. What were your opinions of their versions of hardcore wrestling, and is it a style of hardcore wrestling that you would like to take part in?

A: Those were jokes that only existed to try and exploit the growing, undeniable popularity of ECW and its true brand of hardcore wrestling. No, I would not be interested in taking part in matches like that or any "hardcore" match with weapons or whatever. I'll leave that to the guys that do it better and I'll stick to what I do best.

Q: Although backyard wrestling gets negative press by mainstream publicity and is discouraged by WWE, the, "Best of Backyard Wrestling" video series is well known, and there is now a, "Backyard Wrestling" video game. You were a backyard wrestler yourself and are involved in both the video series and the video game. Do you feel that the fact that you're a pro-wrestler and XPW Tag Team Champion who has this type of involvement in backyard wrestling helps backyard wrestling become more acceptable to the mainstream press, the pro-wrestling industry, and pro-wrestling fans?

A: I don't think so because I'm not the biggest proponent of backyard wrestling. I had 4 "backyard" matches in my entire career for no fans and they were all jokes based on pure boredom. We never took it serious and we never thought it would lead to anything. When we decided to pursue wrestling we did what you have to do and that's went and received formal training. After about a year of that we hit the indy scene and started working our way up. I guess I have no problem with backyard wrestling if it's just done for fun and as long as the kids know it'll never get em anywhere and they're not taking ridiculous risks. They play pick up games of basketball, backyard tackle football, and baseball so who am I to tell em they can't mess around with their friends wrestling in the backyard if they want to. I don't think I've contributed to making backyard wrestling any more acceptable because if you ask me about any sort of career in wrestling the first thing I'll tell you to do is get trained.

Q: Which persona appeals to you the most: Face, Heel, or Tweener?

A: I've been a Face in about 98% of the matches I've ever worked and I always enjoy getting the crowd behind me and being on the receiving end of chants and everything. On the other hand though, every time I've been a Heel I've really enjoyed it as well. I think it's a lot easier and most wrestling fans are fat and idiots so it's cool to be able to call it like it is, lol.

Q: What is your gimmick?

A: Um, I wear silver pants, I get pissed, I wreck people, I scream a lot, lol. I've been going by "Iron" Matt Cross a lot more lately which is like a more serious competitor compared to MDogg20 when I used to do a lot more dancing and what not.

Q: Which do you feel has been your best match so far?

A: Probably Josh [Prohibition] and I against Jardi Frantz and Bobby Quance for XPW back in February for the My Bloody Valentine Tour in LA. That match was a lot of fun and everything seemed to really click.

Q: Which has been your favorite match so far?

A: I've enjoyed many of my matches against Josh Prohibition, Chris Hamrick, Chris Hero and many others. It's impossible to pick just one match as my favorite.

Q: Whom would you like to wrestle, that you have not yet done so?

A: AJ Styles one on one.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: Lift weights, spend time in the gym, work out, exercise, lol, plan and execute public stunts (ala MTV's, "Jackass"), play in my band (I currently play drums in a Misfits cover band but I also play bass), write music, ride motorcycles, go to Punk Rock shows.

Q: What is your long-term goal in the business?

A: I really have no idea. I don't know what I'm doing tonight let alone in the future. When I started wrestling my goals were to wrestle in another country, be flown somewhere to wrestle, wrestle on PPV, and get a WWWWWWWW f'n E darkmatch. I've accomplished the first 2 so hopefully I can work on getting the second two under my belt. I'd like to be on the level of someone like Chris Daniels as far as worldwide recognition, and be able to wrestle anywhere in the states and have fans. Hopefully the video game and our nationally released video, "Don't Come Home Bleeding" will lead to other ventures into the entertainment industry which is where I'd like to end up. For more info on me and what I've been up to be sure to check out Thanks for your time.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Matt Cross. In 2003, I began running my own website, World Wrestling Optimum, which consisted of news, articles, and interviews, including this one.

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