Courtesy: Steve Belcher
I'm fairly certain I'm breaking all kinds of wrestling rules with this post, but I figured it's my blog and my opportunity to make a shout out. So here goes nothing.
On Monday, former Stride Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Roger Matheus posted the following on his Facebook page:
"I have to step away from wrestling. I have multiple injuries in my back and knee and it's taken its toll. I appreciate everyone that has supported me, I'll never be able to thank you enough."
|Courtesy: Steve Belcher|
It's shocking news, to say the least. I knew Roger had some nagging injuries, but I had no clue it was something that would lead to an early retirement.
I first met Roger in early 2016 when he came to Stride Pro Wrestling. I didn't talk much with him at that time as his intimidating presence inside the ring could be felt backstage, at least from my perspective. I quickly learned though that Roger is a down to earth guy who loves his family, his country and the world of professional wrestling. I had a chance to chat with him about his background on a My 1-2-3 Cents podcast about 18 months ago. You can listen here.
Of course, if you've followed Stride Pro Wrestling or this blog you know Roger and me had a pretty big storyline for the first half of 2018. It all started when he threw me into the ring after interfering in a championship match. This all lead to him power slamming my 12-year-old daughter and a cage match between us.
Courtesy: Jamie Woodworth-Myers
I think it's obvious I have no business in a wrestling ring. I'm a 45-year-old ring announcer with a Dad bod. However, the powers that be thought it would be good for me to see action once again (I also wrestled in 2012). When the idea of Roger being my opponent was pitched, I balked, fearing the Mad Viking would literally destroy me in the ring.
|Roger kicks me|
Courtesy: Tom Harness
However, I can't say enough about Roger and his approach. Yes, there were legit kicks and he did toss me around like a rag doll at times. But I felt safe in there with him. It took lots of interference but I ended up with the win and in the months since then, Roger has been booked as an unstoppable monster.
|Matheus & Abyss vs. The Midwest Monster Hunters|
That's the hard part of his retirement. He was back on track to reek havoc on Stride Pro Wrestling once again.I'm grateful to have had a chance to be in the ring against Roger and to have seen his last match (a tag team event with Abyss against the Midwest Monster Hunters). Also, thanks for taking care of my baby girl with that slam.