Dan Matha is one of the unknown commodities on the current NXT roster, but after seeing him, please don’t write him off as a “typical WWE big man.”
It’s well known that WWE has long had a penchant for hiring big men with chiseled physiques, regardless of their in-ring ability. Anyone remember Nathan Jones? What about Jon Heidenreich? Those are just a few examples.
But Matha shouldn’t be automatically placed in that category. Though there isn’t much information available on him, Matha comes with plenty of athletic ability. At 6-foot-7 and more than 300 pounds, Matha has a background in football that allowed him to get noticed by the world of professional wrestling.
He played football for the University of Pittsburgh but never took the field for the team due to injuries. He transferred to Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was good enough as an offensive tackle to earn a mini-camp invite from the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2014, he played in he Canadian Football League as a member of the Montreal Alouettes.
He then cracked into professional wrestling, working at Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville — which at one time was WWE’s primary developmental territory. There, he trained under former Tough Enough contestant Matt Cappotelli. He also learned from the legendary Rip Rogers.
WWE signed Matha to a developmental contract last September after liking what they saw during his tryout. He’s big and he’s athletic. If he can demonstrate skills on the microphone, he’s in good hands in NXT — a place that has developed raw big men, with Big Cass being a prime example.
It seems that there are big plans for Matha in NXT. Just a few weeks ago, he was set to make his NXT television debut, only to be attacked by Samoa Joe as part of Joe’s ongoing angle with Shinsuke Nakamura. Some may see this as a bad sign for Matha, who got in absolutely no offense in his defense, but the potential is there to turn that into a good thing.
Catching up on NXT, and the Joe/Dan Matha segment was BRILLIANT. One of the best set ups and TV moments WWE has done in a long time. Wow.-J
— Voices of Wrestling (@voiceswrestling) October 14, 2016
Matha can take a few weeks off to recover from the attack and plan his next move. When he returns, he can unleash his fury on an unsuspecting member of the NXT roster. Maybe he comes out following one of the matches during the Dusty Rhodes Classic and destroys both members of a team that just lost their match. Perhaps he’ll choose to target a Superstar higher up the ranks, someone like No Way Jose. Either of these ideas would work, so long as the fuel for his rage is one thing and one thing only.
The embarrassment from the attack by Samoa Joe awoke the sleeping giant, so to speak. Matha could claim that he was just going to be the “nice guy”, but he realized that would get him nowhere. This is just an idea, but it could lead to an eventual clash between he and the established veteran, Samoa Joe.
Matha has the “look” that WWE loves. If he can establish an interesting character to go with his size and athleticism, he is more than just a prospect to keep an eye on in the world of NXT.