Niagara Gazette — Matt Johnson’s homecoming isn’t going to be an ordinary one.
When he returns to the Cataract City, the 2009 Niagara Falls High School graduate won’t be Matt Johnson. He’ll be “Maverick” Matt Milan – and he’ll be a professional wrestler.
Johnson will wrestle as a member of Squared Circle Wrestling (2CW) this weekend when the promotion visits Cruisers Hockey & Bar located at 9799 Porter Rd. Though he has wrestled in Buffalo, this marks the first time he’ll wrestle professionally in Niagara Falls.
“This is always something that I’ve wanted to do – wrestle in an amazing promotion like 2CW in front of my hometown,” Johnson said. “It’s literally right across the street from where I grew up so it’s perfect.”
Johnson grew up a fan of professional wrestling. He was a standout wrestler at Niagara Falls High School and was a two-time captain for the Wolverines. He earned All-State honors in 2009 and set the since-broken record for pins in a season.
Standing at 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, Johnson is scheduled to wrestle against former 2CW champion Slyck Wagner Brown on Saturday. The two have never competed, which is intriguing for Johnson.
“That’s the fun part of pro wrestling – being able to work out something great with a guy you’ve never wrestled before,” he said. “It’s a huge challenge because this guy has been all over the place and is a former champion so it’s a good chance for me to show what I can do.”
Johnson isn’t the only wrestler with Western New York ties performing on the card Saturday. Former WWE and TNA wrestler Spike Dudley was born in Williamsville and is slated to compete against MASADA.
“He’s a tremendous up-and-coming talent,” Dudley said of his opponent. “He’s a big dude with a lot of heart. He’s just a hard-nosed independent wrestler. Young guys are always full of juice and vinegar – it puts me back to where I was 15 years ago when I was first breaking in.”