Josh Mathews in November 2010
|Birth name||Josh Lomberger|
November 25, 1980 |
Sea Isle City, New Jersey
|Spouse(s)||Rue DeBona (m. 2006; div. 2008)|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Josh Mathews
|Billed height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Billed weight||143 lb (65 kg)|
|Billed from||Sea Isle City, New Jersey|
|Trained by||Al Snow
Josh Lomberger (born November 25, 1980), better known as Josh Mathews, is an American presenter, announcer, and former professional wrestler signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). He is best known for his tenure with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Professional wrestling career
Tough Enough and independent promotions (2001–2002)
Lomberger was a runner-up to Maven and Nidia in the first WWE Tough Enough in 2001. After Tough Enough, Lomberger gained some in-ring experience on the independent circuit and in Xcitement Wrestling Federation, which was run by WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Hart.
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
Velocity and backstage interviewer (2002–2005)
Lomberger was eventually hired by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and began using the name "Josh Matthews". In December 2002, he began appearing as the backstage interviewer for the SmackDown! brand and as an announcer on Velocity. In January 2003, his name was tweaked to "Josh Mathews". He also hosted the WWE webcast Byte This! after Kevin Kelly was released. He later hosted several shows on WWE's official website including Weekly Top 5, The WWE Experience and After Burn.
In 2004, Mathews was given some limited ring-time on SmackDown! when John "Bradshaw" Layfield slapped Mathews for not showing some respect to his chief of staff Orlando Jordan when he was interviewing him. He later offered and was accepted to be Booker T's temporary partner for a tag team match on an episode of SmackDown!. He and Booker ultimately won that match. He was later assaulted by Jordan and requested from General Manager Theodore Long that he be given a one-on-one match against him. Booker T wanted to be at ringside during the Mathews-Jordan match, as JBL would no doubt be present, and would give Booker T an excuse to beat down JBL before their match at Survivor Series. Mathews once again emerged victorious against Jordan, with some considerable help from Booker T. He also tried to help Booker in his WWE Championship match at the Survivor Series, but was given a Clothesline From Hell by JBL for his efforts. On March 31, 2005 episode of SmackDown! Mathews was attacked by Kurt Angle. Mathews was then (kayfabe) possessed by The Undertaker on the December 9, 2005 episode of SmackDown! while interviewing Randy Orton.
Mathews filled in for an absent Todd Grisham on a summer 2006 episode of Raw. He also hosted pre-shows for WWE pay-per-view events, and he provided color commentary on Heat from time to time before the show was cancelled in May 2008. He was the host of WWE.com's Weekly Top Five when it started and hosted it until April 2009 when he was replaced by Jack Korpela. During Todd Grisham's stint as ECW commentator, Mathews replaced him as Raw's backstage interviewer. Mathews, along with WWE Diva Candice Michelle were WWE's correspondents at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in an effort to encourage WWE fans to register to vote for the 2008 Presidential election.
On the April 7, 2009, episode of ECW, Mathews was announced as the new play-by-play commentator, as the previous commentator, Todd Grisham was moved to SmackDown after Tazz departed WWE. In addition to commentating on ECW and ECW pay-per-view matches, Mathews along with Matt Striker represented the ECW brand on Superstars every week starting with the inaugural episode on April 16, 2009. After ECW's closure, Mathews became the color commentator of NXT. On the April 9, 2010 episode of SmackDown, Mathews was attacked with a sleeper hold by Dolph Ziggler when he was interviewing him. On December 10, Mathews officially replaced Todd Grisham as the play-by-play commentator for SmackDown, commentating alongside Michael Cole. On the February 4, 2011, episode of SmackDown, Mathews and Cole were joined by Booker T, forming a three-man announce team. Mathews was replaced by William Regal as a commentator on season five of NXT in 2011.
In late 2010, Mathews also very often worked as the color commentator on Raw due to Jerry Lawler's increased in-ring competition. On April 3, 2011, Mathews commentated the majority of WrestleMania XXVII, though he received a 'Stone Cold Stunner' from an angered Stone Cold Steve Austin, cutting his night short.
The following night on Raw, Mathews found himself aligned with Jerry Lawler, and against Michael Cole. He then became the alternate spokesman for the anonymous Raw General Manager, when Michael Cole was not commentating. On the April 25 edition of Raw, Mathews announced that the Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole and Jack Swagger match at Extreme Rules will be a Country Whipping Match, in which Cole and Swagger won. On the following pay-per-view, at Over the Limit, Mathews supported Lawler, Bret Hart and Eve Torres in having Michael Cole kiss Lawler's foot. The following night, again as the spokesman for the anonymous Raw GM, Mathews read the e-mail that the General Manager denied The Miz's request for another title shot, seemingly done with John Cena.
He left the Raw broadcasting table the following week, after Cole and Lawler reconciled, though he remained on the show as a backstage interviewer/backup commentator. He was reunited with his former ECW and SmackDown broadcast partner Matt Striker on the November 10, 2011 episode of Superstars, becoming the new full-time broadcasting team.
Mathews and Striker also called the November 9, 2011 broadcast of NXT, thus marking his second return to the show since his run as NXT commentator ended after Season 4. On the April 23, 2012 episode of Raw, Mathews was throttled by Brock Lesnar after Lesnar believed Mathews had made a smart-aleck comment towards him. Later in the year, he was attacked at SummerSlam, this time by Kane, who was angry over being defeated by Daniel Bryan. Mathews was once again attacked by Kane on the August 31, 2012 episode of SmackDown after he lost his match against Alberto Del Rio.
Mathews was the play-by-play commentator of Saturday Morning Slam throughout the show's 2012-2013 run. He was also a commentator of Main Event. On September 27, 2013, he started as commentator of Superstars with Tom Phillips. On the October 18, 2013 edition of SmackDown, Alberto Del Rio attacked Mathews while threatening John Cena about what he was going to do to him in Hell in a Cell. On June 25, 2014, Mathews was released from WWE.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2014–present)
After being released from WWE, it was reported that Lomberger had signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) to work in their offices in Nashville, Tennessee. Throughout November and December, Mathews appeared in an episode of #ImWithSpud Wednesday on TNA's YouTube channel. In December 2014, TNA confirmed that Mathews would take Mike Tenay's place when it debuts on Destination America in January 2015. As of 2015 Mathews is the lead announcer of Impact Wrestling.
- "Josh Mathews Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved April 21, 2008.
- "Josh Mathews Bio". WWE. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
- "WWE SmackDown! Results – November 4, 2004". Online World of Wrestling. November 4, 2004. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
- "WWE SmackDown! Results – November 11, 2004". Online World of Wrestling. November 4, 2004. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
- "Survivor Series 2004 results". WWE. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
- "WWE SmackDown! Results – March 31, 2005". Online World Of Wrestling. November 4, 2004. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
- "WWE SmackDown! Results – December 9, 2005". Online World Of Wrestling. November 4, 2004. Retrieved March 27, 2008.
- Josh Mathews blog confirming final episode of Heat
- "Tazz's Alumni WWE Profile". WWE. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
- "Let the Chase to Backlash begin". WWE. April 7, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
- Ross, Jim (April 15, 2009). "Draft Thoughts...Another Von Erich to Enter the Ring??...Steamboat to put tights back on?? WGN..". J.R.'s Family Bar-B-Q. Retrieved April 18, 2009.
All three brands will be featured weekly and each brand's announcers will call their respective bouts.
- Bishop, Matt (April 3, 2011). "The Rock costs Cena as The Miz retains at WrestleMania XXVII". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- "Longtime WWE announcer gone from the company". Pro Wrestling Insider. June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- Namako, Jason. "Mike Tenay's new TNA role revealed in press release". WrestleView. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
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