I recently spoke with Matt Morgan for his first interview since leaving TNA earlier this summer. In the third and final part of the interview below, Morgan discussed his time with TNA, his TNA departure and return last year, working with Hulk Hogan, leaving TNA this past summer, if a WWE return is possible and more.
You can check out the first part of the interview here, where Morgan discussed appearing on Tough Enough, meeting Vince McMahon at the Titan Towers gym, his time on the show and more. For part two of the interview, where Morgan talked about his stuttering gimmick in WWE, working with Brock Lesnar, being released by WWE and if he saw it coming, working overseas, signing with TNA and much more, click here. You can also follow Morgan on Twitter @BPmattmorgan.
Wrestling INC: When you left and returned to TNA last year, you were basically gone for the summer and then you returned. Was there any kind of planned story line or angle for your return?
Matt Morgan: I absolutely do think there was a planned storyline in place. The whole point of me taking time off last summer was to get me off of television for the time being because I had consistently been booked for a three to four year window there. I never missed more than two back to back Impacts. Never. Ever. Being there consistently, and eventually with a guy my size, you could get overexposed to a point where you’re doing a little bit more damage than you are doing good for yourself. With that being said, they definitely took me off television for that purpose, and when I came back they were going to have something for me a little bit stronger.
So when I came back, I think what they did is they tried to combine ideas between Joey Ryan having a storyline beef with the office and Matt Morgan having a “storyline beef” with the office. Our beefs were completely different. His beef was him just trying to get a job and my storyline beef with the office was I should be the poster boy of your company, that kind of thing with the over the top, arrogant, heel type stuff.
So I think that’s why they combined me and Joey as a tag team at first. We were off and running at first for a while there. I think they started to stray away from me and Joey as a team for me as a singles, to go in the direction with Hulk [Hogan]. Let me be very clear about this. When I went back, Hulk was really wanting to work with me, to do stuff with me, to help me improve and things like that to get me to where he thinks that I could be. To his credit he spoke up an awful lot for me.
Basically, what ended up happening was I ended up going from tagging with Joey to doing an angle with Hulk himself. The man can’t obviously wrestle anymore with all the surgeries the poor guy’s had over the years. He did his best to do what he could to present an angle with me and him. But at the end of the day, I never really had an opponent to wrestle while I was doing that angle.
Promo wise, I learned a lot and it was really good for me. And again, I’m in the middle of the ring with, and I know everybody says it, but this dude here’s like my freaking role model and one of my idols as a kid. My Mt. Rushmore of idols was Michael Jordan, Don Mattingly, Hulk Hogan and then as I got older, obviously The Undertaker took over that spot for me as a role model.
Anyways, so that was a really cool experience for me.
Wrestling INC: It seemed like you were just getting involved with the angle with Hogan and then you left TNA a couple of months later. What ended up leading to your departure from the company?
Morgan: I just think it was… I was about to start a story line, a pretty major one actually. Unfortunately it just didn’t materialize and they went in a different direction with another person’s character. I 100% understand why they had to do it with this particular character, but as far as I’m concerned with my storyline, that left me odd man out where I was going to be taking some time off and sitting at home again.
I remember talking to Dixie [Carter] about it and her telling me to hang in there a little bit more and things like that. “I’m sure creative will come around, we can find something.” The problem with that was, again, I was going to be sitting. I’m in my prime right now and I just felt it wasn’t best for me and my family, most importantly, I have a kid on the way. I’m having my first child coming and I’m a nervous wreck about it as it is, let alone sitting at home doesn’t make that any better, financially speaking. I had to do what was best from my family’s financial standpoint.
Dixie, I can’t say enough about the woman. She’s the best boss I’ve ever had, someone to this day I still keep in complete contact with. It was tough, it really was because like I said earlier in this interview, I didn’t expect to fall in love with TNA the way I did when I first started there. I was just looking out first for an opportunity, right? And then after that opportunity, I just kept improving and improving, whether it’s promos and in ring, things like that to the point I was before I left. And I’m very proud of my career at TNA. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity that they did give me. So yeah, me and Dixie both thought that at the end of the day, that was what was best for Matt Morgan as well as for TNA at that moment.
I just can’t thank TNA enough for allowing me the maturation process of growing into the wrestler I am today. From starting off as having to prove myself as Jim Cornette’s swearing bodyguard, to a singles baby face, and to learning to be a tag team wrestler for a while with Hernandez, to moving on to work in main event storylines. To being able to headline six or seven pay per views is a complete honor for me, something that I take very seriously and I’m very proud of. I’m very, very happy for the fact that TNA allowed me those opportunities. I can’t say enough good things about the company.
I know a lot of people want to bury the company and talk down about it, which makes no sense to me when they’re the only competition there is out there for WWE. I think people out there need to support, not just TNA], but all wrestling. Indy wrestling, Ring of Honor, you name it wrestling, my grandma’s backyard wrestling for crying out loud. Fans should support it just because if you’re a true wrestling fan, you really shouldn’t give two craps too much about the backstage politics and who did this to this guy. And I understand how sexy and what kind of headline news that that makes on wrestling sites.
I understand that wholeheartedly. I ‘m a fan, but I was a fan growing up seeing those same headlines when I was younger when WCW was going around at the time. At the end of the day, whatever you think about the company [TNA], at least show your support of it, because that wrestling roster that they have there, I’ve never been on a better wrestling roster in my career, from top to bottom. The talent that the company had while I was there was insane. It’s really rare to get a bad matchup. So again, just very, very blessed and very honored that I had the opportunity that Dixie Carter, Eric [Bischoff] and Hulk Hogan afforded me.
Wrestling INC: So it seems like the door is open if you want to go back.
Morgan: I’ve never burned a single bridge there so I don’t see why not. And yes, I would assume so. We shall see.
Wrestling INC: Do you think a WWE return is possible?
Morgan: I think it’s very possible. I think I went out and I did what I was asked [after his WWE release]. I went out and got the experience that I would need to get as far as main event experience. More importantly, I think I’ve matured into the, not just the character, but the man I am today. I’m about to be a first time father on top of it. When I was first in WWE, I was a functioning addict. I was a painkiller abuser. I’ve been sober for seven years now. It was a Godsend that I was able to leave WWE when I did because that’s when I was able to go out and get myself clean.
I think with that company there’s so many fresh matchups for me. There’s so many endless possibilities. That company’s really cooking right now on all cylinders. Triple H done an amazing job. I just watched RAW the other night, the thing that he’s got right now with Randy [Orton], as well as Daniel [Bryan], is absolutely perfect. Perfect. And all the people that are bitching and moaning going, ‘ah, they shouldn’t disrespect him by calling him small and shit like that. They ruined his moment [winning the WWE Championship at SummerSlam].’
That’s the whole point! That’s the hook! The fans out there that think he’s never going to get higher – as far as reaction – than he was at that moment, you should see the reaction he gets when he finally climbs that hill and conquers. It’s going to be something that, instead of maybe for eight months of him being super duper over, it’s something that they’re trading for years and years and years of drawing power. As him as the top dude, the top dog. My hat’s off, he’s done an amazing job.
Between that, the Performance Center and just the overall general direction company is going in, at the moment is very cool, very exciting. Like I said, I like the opportunity for all the fresh match ups that are out there for me. There’s a brand new roster than when I was there.