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COMMENT





Colt Cabana a Matt Classic
Cabanaramma goes MTV
By RICHARD KAMCHEN - SLAM! Wrestling


Colt Cabana

Longtime Ring of Honor (ROH) wrestler "Classic" Colt Cabana wants his MTV -- and he's going to get it.

Performing under a "generic mask" as a 1950s throwback wrestler, 26-year-old Cabana (a.k.a. Scott Colton) will wrestle as Matt Classic for MTV's new weekly wrestling show, Wrestling Society X (WSX).

"They've put a lot of money and energy behind this," the six-foot-one, 235-pound Cabana told SLAM! Wrestling.

His character will come to the ring wearing a towel over his shoulder and proceed to stretch and hurt his opponents, Cabana said. That will mark a sharp contrast to most of the WSX program, which will showcase high flying aerobatics and exploding cages, as well as live performances from hip hop and rock 'n' roll bands.

WSX, produced by Big Vision Entertainment in conjunction with MTV, taped its first season of shows last November and will air on MTV January 30, going head-to-head with ECW.

Pro wrestling has been a part of MTV since since the "Rock n' Wrestling Connection" of the mid-1980s that featured Cyndi Lauper in various WWE feuds; more recently, the channel aired WWE's Sunday Night Heat.

Cabana said WSX could serve as a useful platform for many of the wrestling stars who found themselves under- or unemployed following the demise of WCW and the first ECW incarnation.

Among others, MTV in a news release said Wrestling Society X's roster will include Vampiro, Sean Waltman, Teddy Hart, Jack Evans, as well as Matt Sydal and Lizzy Valentine.

Originally from Deerfield, Illinois (a northwest suburb of Chicago), Cabana has been wrestling since 1999. He said he remembered getting hooked on wrestling at age three while watching Andre the Giant getting his hair cut at the end of a televised match.

His journey to becoming a wrestler officially began in April of 1999 when he started training, often between college breaks from his freshman to sophomore years, at the now-defunct Chicago-based Steel Domain Wrestling School under the tutelage of Ace Steel and Danny Dominion.

"Scott Colton came to the Steel Domain as a very quiet fellow believe it or not," said Steel, adding Cabana and C.M. Punk, who trained together and became fast friends, eventually got keys to the school and worked out in the ring together every chance they could. "Cabana was a natural athlete and no doubt could and would pick up anything he was shown. He could run any spot we taught him and was a naturally stocky kid from his football days."

Although later graduating from Western Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in business marketing (a degree he said he got mainly to appease his parents), Cabana said his focus remained on making a living in the squared circle.

Cabana debuted June 19, 1999, wrestling all over the U.S. Midwest before breaking into the newly formed Philadelphia-based ROH in 2002.

"Scrap Iron" Adam Pearce said he remembered being with Cabana on one of the latter's first trips to St. Paul, Minnesota and Cabana uttering the phrase "Colt Cabana is so cool he freezes vodka," during a promo.

"I repeat it to him either because I like the line or because it's one of the worst lines of all time," Pearce said.

Since then, Pearce and Cabana, who went to rival high schools, have shared many road trips, ribs, and laughs along the way.

"Road trips in those early days were always the highlight, whether it was putting Eddy Grant's Electric Avenue on repeat for seven hours, or duct taping the inside of minivans with Punk, Ace, and Dominion," Pearce said. "Or on one occasion, driving through random Wal-Mart parking lots, asking patrons if they sell chaps inside, only to water bomb them as they tried to answer. Never a dull moment to be sure.

"He's a friend and compatriot, and one of the reasons I even compete in ROH."

Cabana first introduced himself to ROH fans when he got into a feud with his longtime friend Punk. They would go on to form the Second City Saints stable (which also included Steel) that Cabana likened to the Fabulous Freebirds.

"Colt Cabana has been a valuable member of ROH since our very first year," said ROH booker Gabe Sapolsky. "It has been a pleasure watching him grow and develop into not just a top notch wrestler, but a great entertainer. Cabana has been involved in some of the greatest moments, matches and feuds in ROH history, and his contribution to the company has been invaluable."

Cabana has had many notable feuds in ROH, but one that immediately came to his mind were with Nigel McGuinness, with whom he said he enjoyed a wrestling-based feud, "which was great," Cabana said. Another was his bloody eight month program with Homicide, with whom Cabana said he was "really able to grow the most as a wrestler and performer."


More recently, Cabana has been involved in a love triangle with Jimmy Jacobs and Lacey.

"I think the sky is the limit for him. He is a true professional in the ring and in the looker room." Sapolsky said.

Having toured in Europe, Japan, and Puerto Rico, Cabana said much of his style is based on the knowledge he picked up from the many experienced wrestlers there. Language in non-English speaking countries was not a barrier to learning, he said.

"We all understand the same language of pro wrestling. There's a brotherhood there."

Cabana talked of the importance of traveling and learning as much as one can, broadening one's style and experience as much as possible.

"I can fly, I can wrestle. I pride myself on doing a lot of different styles," Cabana said, referring to his wrestling style as a "hybrid," a mix of Memphis, highflying, and the popular European catch style of wrestling. "I've learned to adapt and it's made me a better wrestler."

"I've known Colt Cabana from the very beginning of his wrestling career, and from the beginning it was clear to me that he had the desire, respect for the business, and most importantly the talent to succeed," said Pearce. "His comedic timing and overall ring ability is vastly underrated in my opinion, as he's a guy that could work every day and not have a bad match with anyone."

Besides wrestling, Cabana said he enjoys entertaining through his in-ring comedy.

"I'm a naturally-born witty guy and I like to make people laugh. I feel that people want to see a good show and have a good time."

While now doing MTV show, do not expect Cabana to leave ROH anytime soon: "ROH is my home, my family. They've treated me great. There're no huge backers, just one big team."

Cabana has also done preliminary work with the WWE and knows many of the guys working there, including Punk, Ken Kennedy, and Brian Kendrick.


Cabana executes a Frankensteiner.
One great experience for him there came in 2006, wrestling Gene Snitsky and Goldust in a tag match at the former Rosemont Horizon (now the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois), the same building where he went with his father to see Hulk Hogan and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper go at it during their huge run. The crowd chanting his name during the match may have been the best part of the event.

"It was definitely a mark out moment for me," Cabana said.

Calling his WWE experience a great one and saying he would like to work there, Cabana went on to say doing preliminary matches is not what he is looking to do right now.

Steel suggested Cabana could be a star in New York.

"Cabana rose up to the plate and became every bit the Indy star Punk and Chris Daniels were. He broke from the pack in ROH and became a marketing genius pushing his merchandise at shows, and an overseas phenomenon who has tours in the UK named after him," Steel said. "It's only a matter of time before the big leagues get this guy 'cause he's readymade for TV."

RELATED LINKS:

  • www.coltcabana.com
  • WSX web site
  • Ring Of Honor website
  • "Scrap Iron" Adam Pearce website


    Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!


  • ROH: Best of Colt Cabana - Good Times, Great Memories DVD

    Winnipeg correspondent Richard Kamchen can be e-mailed at richardkamchen@hotmail.com.