Forbes recently conducted an interview with former NXT cruiserweight champion Buddy Matthews, who tells the publication that he is more than ready for his upcoming matchup with top NJPW superstar Kazuchika Okada at Battle In The Valley this Saturday. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
Ready to showcase himself during matchup with Okada at Battle In The Valley:
“I feel like I’m a better performer when there’s less buildup to it, less pressure and what not. I’m just going to go out there, do what I do best and tear it up. I don’t think there’s any bigger match that you could have in a debut in New Japan Pro Wrestling. I wanted to swim with the whales and they gave me the biggest whale they could find. Back in WWE, in 205 [Live], I had a chip on my shoulder to prove myself, and that chip has only gotten bigger. Expect a bigger, more intense and more driven Buddy Matthews going forward.”
On WWE’s lack of long-term storytelling:
“Let’s use an action movie for an example. It’s not explosions and bombs going off and guns getting shot the entire two-and-a-half ours. You have to have dips in it. And I feel like that was their thing is they never wanted to have dips and those slow points to let it kind of sit and let people digest. It was constantly ‘move, move, move, move…If I gave you a rundown of my stories and gave you the dot-points, you’d be like ‘that happened? That’s awesome, it sounds good.’ But when there’s weeks and weeks and a lot of disconnects, the story doesn’t get put together how we actually viewed it. I just feel like they don’t let stuff sit there and move progressively. It either sits in the same spot and it’s on repeat, and we get over it and we get bored with the situation or there is no sitting there it’s like ‘we’re going to do this…’ and when you think it’s about to get to the big explosion, it [doesn’t]. It’s like, in a movie reference, if we start off with a big bang at the start and the bad guy dies halfway through the movie.”
On the recent WWE cuts:
“It’s tough, it sucks that people lose their livelihood. But everyone gets fired eventually. Austin was fired, Hogan was fired, everyone gets fired eventually. Obviously we want long-lasting careers and to set ourselves up. You look at the board and they’ve hoarded everyone and then they’re throwing everyone out at once. So that sucks, but everyone is going to get fired one day. But, at the same time, it’s happened to me and it was like a weight off my shoulders. I’m excited for the future and I can finally do stuff that I wanna do. I haven’t been to Australia in three years because I couldn’t get time off. It shouldn’t be that way. It shouldn’t be that way at all. Not like I’m against it—I wanted to work—but it should also be a thing where I can go home to visit my family. I’ve probably been home, in the last eight years, for 30 days.”