Few names in Canadian wrestling are as well-known or highly-respected as Nicole Matthews. As both one of the country’s premier in-ring talents and one of the head trainers at the Lions Gate Dojo, there are few individuals in the country who have such a detailed eye for talent as the former ECCW Champion. Not only that, but Matthews has made a habit of working with younger talent in recent years, including her pre-pandemic work with stars of both the squared circle and the internet, the Vörös Twins, in The Shining. As part of our upcoming interview, Matthews discussed her work with the two and their talent as pro wrestlers.
“I love working with the Vörös!” Matthews commented. “I think we have a really good dynamic in our group. I’m kind of like, the serious, surly one of the group and they’re like, more the Vörös kind of personality and everything. We actually have quite similar wrestling styles. When we were both – when we weren’t like working together, but we were all babyfaces, when we were on shows together I’d have to be like ‘okay, what are you guys doing for your shine?’ so that we’re not doing the same thing. We have, like, kind of similar mindsets when it comes to that. We have similar athletic abilities and similar likes and dislikes of wrestling. So yeah, it’s been great, because we’re very much on the same wavelength when we’re doing matches. And like, yeah, [I’ve had] a couple of really proud six-man’s with them that I’ve loved. They’re always so fun, and very dynamic, and never boring.”
Continuing on, the Shimmertaker not only gave her thoughts on a number of the Pacific Northwest’s finest, but why she enjoys working with people with comparatively less experience in the business.
“You know, working with younger talent like that, it kind of keeps you wanting to come up with creative ideas, too, so you’re not getting complacent,” she stated. “And I’ve said once I become complacent in wrestling, I don’t really want to wrestle anymore. So it’s nice to have that for sure. I think it’s just we just have been very lucky with a lot of talent coming up. They’re just good people with good work ethic, and it’s been rad to see. That’s not even including – it’s funny, because I think of them as young guys, but like they’ve been wrestling three or four years. And the Vörös’ have been wrestling for seven years at this point, so they’re not like that young anymore. Even the ones who are like less than 15 matches in. Evan Rivers, he’s had like ten matches! And like, there’s the [Booyah Wrecking Crew] who are like two brothers…and then there’s like a few people coming up from that generation.”
One other name that Matthews is quick to put over is a relative newcomer to the squared circle, Miles DeVille.
“One guy who’s gonna blow people’s fucking mind is – the timing of the pandemic was really unfortunate for him because he was really starting to put it together in February. But, when wrestling’s back to somewhat normal, Miles DeVille is gonna blow everyone’s mind. He reminds me so much of ELP the way he wrestles and like [he’s] just athletic and creative and I’m like, ‘oh man, he’s putting it together, and like he’s gonna blow people’s minds.'”
As any professional wrestler will tell you, talent without work ethic is, frankly, moot. Far too often, incredibly gifted individuals will simply see their careers peter out due to their inability to meet the rigorous demands of professional wrestling. While the Pacific Northwest certainly isn’t immune to individuals or instances like that occurring, the training environment is better than ever given the current conditions.
“We all just push each other,” she remarked. “It’s a really good – it’s a good environment that’s like healthy competitive, right, because they all want to be as good as each other. So yeah, I don’t know. I think it’s just a lot of things came at once. And I really hope that there’s more of a light being shone.” She laughs. “Shone? Shine? Shined?”
“Like there’s just so much talent right now,” Matthews concluded. “So there’s more of them. And, like I think the environment now like, wants that to happen.”
“We want younger people to come up. Because like the old people are like me, Artie, Tony, and Suede and we’re just like, ‘oh my God, our backs are hurting right now. Please come up!”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any transcriptions used.