Story by Chris Graham
Matt Hyson appears to be on a path to reuniting with his brothers in TNA – though he isn’t confirming or denying published reports to that effect.
“We’ll have to wait and see on that,” said Hyson, known to wrestling fans as Little Spike Dudley, who teamed with The Dudley Boyz for several years in ECW and the WWE.
The wrestling rumor mill has been hot and heavy with Hyson’s entree into the TNA fold. The Dudley Boyz – now Team 3-D – joined the TNA roster last year after their release from the WWE.
Hyson has been working the independent circuit with the Dave Hebner-Hermie Sadler UWF promotion – which is affiliated with TNA. One wrestling-news Web site lists Hyson on the lineup for the upcoming “Lockdown” pay-per-view being put on by TNA on April 24.
Hyson’s own Web site leaves the April 24 date open.
“Wrestling is all a timing thing, and you know, if there’s a place for me in TNA, I’d love to work there. But I’ve just got to kick back and wait,” Hyson told Off the Top Rope.
Hyson has been keeping himself busy since his own release from WWE on the indy circuit – which he said has rejuvenated his career.
“It really just brings a spark back. It reminds me of why I got into this business in the first place. We all love wrestling, and for a long time, especially when I was working in the WWE, it became very much a corporate business, and it took a lot of the fun out of it,” Hyson said.
“We’ve got a great group of guys – headed by the Hebners and Hermie – who are in it for the right reasons, and that’s to put on a great show,” Hyson said.
“The fans love it, the wrestlers love it. It’s just so much fun. It brings that life back to you, you know. I haven’t had fun wrestling in a long time, and now I’ve found it again,” Hyson said.
Hyson had that feeling back in his ECW days – where the boys backstage were at one with the Joes sitting at ringside.
“It was like a cult following – like a music band comes along, changes everything. Well, ECW came along and changed everything – at a time when wrestling was getting very comic-booky, very costume- and character-oriented. ECW was just right in your face with violence and hard-core wrestling and guys just giving it their all night in and night out. It was an awesome experience. I miss it dearly, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Hyson said.
It has been five years since the promotion closed up shop – and fans at WWE and TNA and indy events across the country still chant “E-C-W! E-C-W!” at its former stars.
“That’s how much of an impact it had and continues to have – as that cult following, and even fans who weren’t around for the ECW run, go back and watch videotapes and DVDs, and go, ‘Oh, my God, this was crazy!’ And it was like that for us, too, because we never knew what was going on. It was a lot of chaos – organized chaos,” Hyson said.
That the WWE is keeping the ECW name alive through DVD sales and an annual pay-per-view show seems to bother Hyson.
“They’re milking it for all it’s worth – and that’s great for the fans that never got a chance to see it. I mean, whatever. It’s them doing what they do best – which is squeeze the dollar out of everybody,” Hyson said.
“The new shows that they’re putting on, the new pay-per-views, are very watered down. ECW was about anti-WWE, anti-WCW – so it’s very difficult to have a true ECW pay-per-view when it’s owned by Vince McMahon,” Hyson said.
“It’s a watered-down show – but, whatever. If the fans like it, what the hell,” Hyson said.
Hyson understands – because at heart, he is a wrestling fan, too.
“I always knew I wanted to do something in wrestling, but at my size – especially when I broke in, there weren’t a lot of cruiserweights, there was only a handful of us – I was actually unique,” said Hyson, a 5-7, 135-pounder.
“That actually worked to my benefit that there weren’t any small wrestlers. I was sort of the exception to the standard 6-foot-3, 300-pound guy,” Hyson said.
“I grew up a huge wrestling fan. I never meant to make it a career. I just wanted to get involved, and one thing led to another, and all of the sudden, Hey, I can quit my day job. This is pretty cool,” Hyson said.