You can find some highlights from WrestleZone’s interview with Josh Mathews below.
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On how he was received at the start of his unconventional journey into the world of pro wrestling:
Josh Mathews: It was so long ago at this point. After the season of tough enough aired and I sorta entered into WWE… I went from the season ending… spending a year back in school and doing the indies and stuff and then I was signed as an announcer after that. The veterans in the business they didn’t respect me because I hadn’t earned it yet, but they liked me because the knew I wasn’t just a kid trying to be on a reality show. From watching the show, which they all did, they could see that I was passionate about wresting, the sport of wrestling, and respected it and knew the history of it. If you come with those three things: if you respect it, are passionate, and know the history the door is open a little bit more for you than someone who doesn’t know the history or doesn’t respect it or things like that. I was never hazed or treated badly or anything like that. My experience starting out my first three, four, five years was always positive.
On why he transitioned from wrestler to backstage interviewer/commentator:
JM: I just wanted to work for WWE as a kid. When Tough Enough ended and I realized getting into wrestling was going to be harder… well not harder because the hard work didn’t bother me. It was the fact that I had already been there. I started doing independent shows I quite honestly didn’t like them. I didn’t like traveling alone. I was barely 21. I’m traveling from city to city, I’m wrestling guys I don’t know. Mind you, I started in a WWE ring and now I’m in these rings that were don’t have the same quality of a WWE ring and I just didn’t like it. At the time I had been talking to MTV about being a VJ and then WWE approved me about being an announcer. That was something. I was ready to do. I was ready to stop wrestling and focus on school and broadcasting and then this all sorta fell into my lap and I just went with it.
On getting beat up a lot at the start of his career as an announcer:
JM: The best thing about that was Kurt Angle beat me up, so did Kane and Brock Lesnar. I never said anything I would show up and see the show format and we would do it and I knew two weeks later there was going to be a lot of money in my bank account. Anytime anyone touched me I got paid very well for it. I think the first person to beat me up was Heidenreich. If I so much as lost a suit jacket button they would get me a new one I was thrilled anytime someone beat me up on television.
Josh Mathews Comments On How It Feels To Be Hated, Teaming With Scott Steiner, Feuding With Jeremy Borash, Being a Spirit Guide, More On The Next Page