Superstar Spotlight

A monthly in depth look at the ECWA performers by Josh Martin

ECWA Referee
Matt Bennett

by Josh Martin

By: Josh Martin

     Referee Matt Bennett officially joined the ECWA in July 2006 at the recommendation of fellow referee Paul Turner. Since joining the promotion, Matt has done an exceptional job in the officiating department. Since he is modest and soft spoken, most of our fans have not had a chance to get to know more about Matt, since he has only been with the ECWA for a short time. I had the opportunity to catch up with Matt and ask him several questions to capture an in depth look at this talented referee.

Ring Name? Matt Bennett

Height? 5' 10"

Weight? 175 lbs.

Character hails from? Butler, NJ

Birthdate? (month & day) October 25th

Years Pro? 5

Trained by? I am a graduate of Kevin Knight's Camp IWF in New Jersey where I was helped greatly by Roman Zacharko, Biggie Biggs, AJ Sparxx, and Dylan Black. I also have participated in training sessions with Dr. Tom Prichard, Al Snow, The Honky Tonk Man, Stevie Richards, Little Guido, Tito Santana, and acting/character/speaking workshops with MSNBC Producer and Professional Actor Richard Rossilo

Favorite ECWA wrestlers you like to referee for? Frederick of Hollywood, Ace Darling, Valedictorians, Heavyweights, & Scotty Charisma

Favorite ECWA matches you have officiated? Bryan Logan defeating Mike Tobin for the ECWA Mid-Atlantic Championship was a very good match.   Dan Eckos, Sean Royal, and The Guy With Red Hair defeating Rob Eckos, Billy Bax, and Frederick of Hollywood also stands out to me. As an official, I am required to stay impartial during a contest but looking back, I can say that it was great to see Dan finally show up his older brother Rob when he pinned him to win the match.

How long have you been in wrestling? I have been in wrestling for about 5 years. I have been consistently working various independents almost every weekend now for about four of those years. Prior to that I only refereed shows at the wrestling school before branching out to other organizations as well.

What made you want to get into wrestling? I always wanted to be involved in wrestling in some sort of way. As a referee I am able to be physically involved but the focus isn't all on me. Wrestling appeals to me because of the mixture of athletics and entertainment. It's all about making an audience leave their problems behind and getting them into the emotions of a match or storyline

When did you join the ECWA? My first show with the ECWA was in July 2006

How did you joining the ECWA come about? Paul Turner and I are both referees for Jersey All Pro Wrestling in New Jersey. At one of their
events, Paul and I were talking and he told me that the ECWA had a referee opening. He put me in touch with Jim Kettner and I was brought in based on Paul's recommendation. I would like to publicly thank Paul here for helping me.

What do you like about the ECWA? I like all aspects of the ECWA. Management is not only great to work with, they also put on some of
the most professional shows I've ever been involved with. The locker room is full of great guys. They all know their wrestling and everyone is very down to earth. When I first started working for the promotion, they welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like part of the ECWA family.

What do you think about the ECWA fans? They are awesome. They are very dedicated to the ECWA product and I think that their involvement
makes for a better show. Everyone involved in an event will provide a better show when they know that the crowd they are in front appreciates what they are doing. After the shows I like to mingle around as the fans talk to the wrestlers. I enjoy seeing how they interact with their favorite ECWA

What have been your favorite ECWA moments? I am rather new to the ECWA. One moment that will live forever in my head was the recent return of the Cheetah Master. I had heard rumors in the locker room about him and how loved he was by the fans. The reaction he received was unbelievable and unlike anything I have ever witnessed. I was ringside helping Referee Paul Turner to the back after he was thrown out of the ring. I remember telling Paul how amazed I was by the crowd response as I helped him up.

Your thoughts on the current state of the wrestling business? Wrestling needs that one break out star to make it popular in the mainstream public again. If/when that happens; we will all be seeing better houses and more opportunities. Don't get me wrong,  wrestling is doing fine now, but another boom period like the one in 1998 would help all of us in the world of professional wrestling.

Favorite Food? Italian food, dishes with a lot of chicken, and my grandmother's home cooking

Favorite music? I would say that I am a fan of about 80% of all music. I can't get into or enjoy country or most types of rap. All other types I can usually find something that I like.

Favorite band/artist? This changes weekly so I really can't give a definite answer. Billy Joel is old school amazing and can always lift my spirits when I'm in a bad mood.

Favorite colors? Blue, Grey, and Black

Favorite sports team? I don't follow sports enough to have any true favorites. I tend to cheer for the home teams or the underdogs.

Favorite athlete? My younger brother, Brandon Bennett, who excels at Soccer, Baseball, and Basketball

Favorite wrestlers? Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, Hiro Matsuda, Bret Hart, Jake Roberts, Mr. Perfect, and Chris Candido

Favorite TV shows? Real World, The Simpson, Family Guy, and MTV's True Life

Favorite movies? I don't see many but I think the newest Rocky movie is great. I am also a big fan of the old movie "Lean On Me" about the story of Principal Joe Clark of Paterson, NJ

Favorite actors? Dane Cook, Robin Williams, Adam Sandler, and Morgan Freeman

Favorite actress? Drew Barrymore

What sports do you like to watch? I enjoy watching basketball, football, and hockey. I usually only watch sports when I'm with a group that wants to see it.

What sports do you like to play? I've never really been an athlete; I'm more into going out and shooting pool when I feel like being competitive

What hobbies do you have? I enjoy surfing the internet, spending time with the people I care about and watching funny stuff such as comedic movies, stand-up comedy, and cartoons such as Family Guy and The Simpsons. I have also acquired an addiction to the Guitar Hero video games lately and I rock out while playing that quite often until the middle of the night.

What do you do in your spare time? In my spare time, I watch a lot of wrestling tapes, trying to pick up on different mannerisms and ways of refereeing. I also spend a lot of time with my friends. I think we have been to every diner and eating establishment in North Jersey and could probably review each one or write a book on it. Sleeping is a big priority and I try to catch a quick nap most days. I feel that a well rested person can accomplish more then a person who is tired and dragging throughout the day. The rest of the time is spent with my family, who are always very supportive of me in everything that I do.

What kind of work outside wrestling to you do? Besides being a full-time student at a local university on a full academic scholarship, I do part
time work in the office of an online company and short order cooking for a bar & grill pub.

What are your aspirations (professional & personal)? My professional aspirations are to continue refereeing to the best of my ability and hopefully obtain more experience with a major promotion. I had a small taste by working the recent TNA house show in Philadelphia. Also I recently refereed on the Nickelodeon children's network for their WACK Wrestling special. These experiences were something I will never forget and I hope to have the opportunity to do them again in the not to distant future. In my personal life, I hope to successfully finish my education and settle on a job that I am happy to go to everyday that will provide for me and my family.