Editorial: Nicole Matthews – Beauty and the Brawn

nicole-matthews

Since debuting in 2006. Nicole Matthews has been internationally regarded as one of the top female wrestlers in the world regularly earning a spot in the esteemed journal Pro Wrestling Illustrated on their annual list of the top 50 female wrestlers. Matthews could have easily pursued her trade in the top wrestling companies on the continent, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) or Total Nonstop Action (TNA), but instead chose to stay closer to home, where she regularly appears for Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW). She and her partner, Andy “The Dreadful Bird”, are set to fight for the ECCW Tag Team Championship, currently held by The Bollywood Boyz in a three team dance at Ballroom Brawl, which happens on January 18th at 7 pm at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver.

After spending her youth watching wrestling, Matthews was trained by some of the top wrestlers in the Northwest, one of them goes by the name Scotty Mac. Mac recalls that there was something about her that made her stand out from the others. “I saw her athletic ability and potential when she was training,” Mac says. “I didn’t know she had the “strong style bitch” character in her, though. Nicole comes off as a strong and independent woman that the fans can really get behind…or hate, if that’s what she wants.”

In 2005, Nicole wanted to be hated, teaming up with Sid Sylum, someone she knew before even before training. “We knew each other as fans at ECCW when we were teens and we trained together, so we had a really good friendship.” Nicole recalls. the duo ignited audiences everywhere with their cheating tactics. “It it was some of the most fun I had in wrestling. We had a lot of fun being goofballs every night” Sylum says now. Matthews agrees with Sylum about the team’s energy. “When you get to bullshit and team with someone you like out there, it’s that much more fun.” Soon after, other wrestling companies took notice of this upstart young female wrestler, and then shortly after, she was getting booked across North America, and then the world. Most notably, Matthews has held the tag team championship twice from SHIMMER, the top females-only wrestling federation in the world, with fellow Canadian Portia Portez.

Despite her international success, Matthews is quite happy in Vancouver. I asked her, if she ever gets frustrated over not getting pegged by the bigger federations. “To get ‘the call’, you have to really put the effort in making them notice you by constantly sending in promo videos, pictures, etc.” She says. “I honestly haven’t made that effort, so I’m certainly not shocked I haven’t been called. If I would make the effort, then yes, I would be frustrated. But at this point, if I were upset about not having a job with either WWE or TNA, I would have no one to blame but myself. I’m quite content with my life.” The Pacific Northwest though, is not overflowing with female wrestlers for her to wrestle. Matthews over the last little while has been wrestling the men.

“I personally just like wrestling talented people. I don’t mind wrestling less developed or less experienced women to help them out, but it does get a little boring to have basic matches all the time. I think if I was a less competitive person, or that if I wasn’t super self critical and always needing to improve, I would be alright wrestling the same three girls over and over. My goal has always been to be the best, male or female. I want people to watch and say I’m a good wrestling, not that I’m a good women wrestler.” All that being said, I don’t judge women wrestlers who aren’t into the inter gender scene. My somewhat big and obnoxious personality, my size and my style of wrestling gives me the opportunity to do what I do, and not all girl wrestlers have those qualities.”

Her efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. “ I love watching Nicole Matthews wrestling the men in the ring because she’s not your stereotypical women’s wrestler.” longtime ECCW fan Tom Pavlovic says. “She strives to break down the barriers associated with women’s wrestling and carves her own path in this business.” Another fan, Steve Harbord is more direct with his comments. “She’s the best female around here and she can hold her own against the guys so I am all for it.”

“Plus, she’s hot.”

The next stop for Matthews is the Commodore Ballroom for “Ballroom Brawl”, the first ever sporting event held at the legendary Granville street venue. The enormity of this opportunity isn’t wasted on Matthews. “I expect ECCW to put on the best show it ever has. It is incredible that we get to perform at the Commodore. I honestly cannot even put into words what it means to me. It’s an awesome opportunity for ECCW to expand. Most indy companies don’t get to do something as cool as this. There are very few buildings with the atmosphere the Commodore has, and I can’t wait for ECCW to add to that with our uniqueness and talent.”

For more information about Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling, Ballroom Brawl and other upcoming dates, visit eccw.com

Tickets for Ballroom Brawl can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com

By Bill Taylor

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