Luther Reigns

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Luther Reigns
Matt Wiese.jpg
Reigns in September 2008
Birth nameMatthew Robert Wiese
Born (1971-09-22) September 22, 1971 (age 48)[1]
New York City, New York, United States[2]
ResidencePhoenix, Arizona, United States[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Horshu[1]
Inspector Impact[1]
Inspector Max Impact[2]
Luther Reigns[1]
Billed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)[1]
Billed weight285 lb (129 kg)[1]
Billed fromHell's Kitchen, New York[1]
Trained byNavajo Warrior[1]
WCW Power Plant[1]
Ultimate Pro Wrestling[1]
Debut1997[2]
RetiredSeptember 16, 2006[3]

Matthew Robert "Matt" Wiese[3] (born September 22, 1971) is an American actor and former professional wrestler. He is best known for his tenure in WWE, where he performed on its SmackDown brand under the ring name Luther Reigns.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Championship Wrestling (1997–1998)[edit]

After a friend's recommendation, Wiese tried out for the Power Plant, World Championship Wrestling (WCW)'s professional wrestling school.[4] Upon completing his training in the Power Plant, Wiese started his wrestling career as an enhancement talent in WCW in 1997 using the ring name Horshu. To complement the name, his hair was shaved into a horseshoe pattern and he would try to work the word "shu" into his promos, which most notably spawned his catchphrase "There's no business like 'shu' business, baby!".[1] He was also among six wrestlers who "auditioned" for an anti-New World Order faction called Piper's Family on the March 3, 1997 episode of Monday Nitro, spearheaded by "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. After being tested in 30-second impromptu match with Piper, Wiese was quickly defeated via sleeper hold after attempting to use dirty tactics to defeat Piper.[5]

AWA Superstars of Wrestling (1999–2003)[edit]

After his stint in WCW, Wiese made his way to Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) for more training. After his finishing up in UPW, Wiese debuted in AWA Superstars of Wrestling under his Horshu ring name. During his time there, he won the World Heavyweight Championship and held the title for a total of nine months. However, he was stripped of the title due to missing mandatory title defenses. Horshu left the promotion shortly afterwards. After an interview with Vince McMahon, he received a developmental contract from World Wrestling Entertainment in June 2003. He soon signed on and was sent to wrestle in Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE's then-developmental territory, where he competed under the ring name Inspector Max Impact.

World Wrestling Entertainment (2003–2005)[edit]

Reigns at a house show

After a few non-televised matches before Raw in 2003 and 2004, Wiese was promoted to World Wrestling Entertainment's main roster in April 2004 under the name Luther Reigns, where he became the "assistant" to then-SmackDown! general manager Kurt Angle. Reigns later made his in-ring debut at The Great American Bash by defeating Charlie Haas, a former member of Kurt Angle's team, with whom Angle was feuding at the time.[6]

In September, Reigns and Angle introduced the newly drafted Mark Jindrak as a new member of their team during their tag team match against Big Show and Eddie Guerrero. This led to a four-month feud with Big Show. Reigns and Jindrak then formed a new Team Angle with Angle as the leader. From September 2004 until mid-February 2005, Reigns and Jindrak helped Angle win most of his matches as well as dealing with his enemies. Reigns and Jindrak also began to compete for the Tag Team Championship on occasion. However, the faction split in mid-February as Reigns and Jindrak went off on their own to feud with The Undertaker. On the February 17 episode of SmackDown!, Undertaker defeated Jindrak, after which Reigns smashed a television camera over Undertaker's head. On February 20, Wiese wrestled against The Undertaker at No Way Out. Jindrak was thrown out before the match started and although Reigns managed to hold his own, Undertaker ultimately won the match.[7]

Following this, the team of Reigns and Jindrak began to have a falling-out. Reigns became upset at Jindrak for tapping out in a "Double Jeopardy" handicap match against the Undertaker on the February 24 edition of SmackDown! when Reigns refused to tag in. After the match, Reigns and Jindrak briefly argued before coming to blows and had to be pulled apart by officials. The following week on the March 3 edition of SmackDown!, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio defeated Jindrak and Reigns to retain the Tag Team Championship. After the match, Jindrak tried to help Reigns up to his feet after he was pinned, but Reigns smacked Jindrak in response. The two argued until Jindrak knocked Reigns out with a left hook. On the March 10 edition of SmackDown!, Jindrak and Reigns competed in a singles match, which ended with Jindrak pinning Reigns after a left hook, effectively ending their team. Reigns later took part in a 30-man interpromotional battle royal at WrestleMania 21 as a representative of the SmackDown! brand, but was unable to win as fellow SmackDown! superstar Booker T won the match.

After this, Reigns resumed his feud with Big Show after saying that Big Show embarrassed the SmackDown! brand at WrestleMania 21 when Show lost to Akebono in a sumo match. Reigns unsuccessfully tried to tip over a Jeep to prove he was stronger than Show, who then successfully tipped the Jeep over. Big Show subsequently defeated Reigns in a singles match on the following edition of SmackDown!.

Reigns then wrestled mainly on Velocity, winning the majority of his matches until he requested his release from the company, which was fulfilled on May 11, 2005.[8] According to Wiese, the reason he requested his release was due to creative differences with Paul Heyman,[9] as Heyman originally planned to have him and René Duprée moved to Raw to perform as a tag team. Wiese instead wished to form a stable with Christian and Tyson Tomko with Christian as the leader of the stable. However, Heyman repeatedly dismissed the idea and Wiese instead negotiated his release.[4]

Retirement (2005–2006)[edit]

Following his departure from WWE, Wiese attempted to become a real estate salesman,[9] but his plans ultimately fell through. Instead, Wiese returned to wrestling under his Horshu ring name and returned to Ultimate Pro Wrestling in mid-2005 to face Tom Howard for the UPW Heavyweight Championship, but was unable to win the title. On October 13, Horshu lost to The Patriot in a match for Impact Zone Wrestling.[1] before returning to wrestling on June 17 and defeating Sheik Hussein in an impromptu match in his debut for Scott Norton's Wild West Championship Wrestling.[1] He returned to WWCW on September 16, where he wrestled Aaron Aguilera to a no contest after Norton interfered.[1] Later on in the night, Horshu teamed with Heidenreich in a losing effort to Norton and Aguilera in what turned out to be Wiese's final match.[1]

Media[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

Personal life[edit]

In early 2006, Wiese began working as a bodyguard, including for the AVN pornography convention in Las Vegas. He also performed tour security for touring rock bands, including Saliva.[citation needed]

On April 19, 2010, it was reported that Wiese had suffered a stroke in December 2009. Wiese stated that he believed his steroid use, which began during his time at Arizona State University, and the painkiller addiction he developed from wrestling were contributing factors to the cause of the stroke.[3]

On April 10, 2015, several media outlets reported that Wiese, along with Russ McCullough and fellow WWE alumnus Ryan Sakoda, had filed a class action lawsuit against WWE, alleging, among other things, that "the WWE has known for years  ... the brutality in the ring has resulted in dementia, Alzheimer's disease and a lot more".[14] The suit was litigated by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who has been involved in a number of other lawsuits against WWE. The case, known as McCollough, Sakoda, Wiese, et al, v. World Wrestling Entertainment, is currently in litigation. Following the 2007 Chris Benoit incident and research into CTE, the lawsuit has expanded into CTE litigation and is currently a class-action filed by over 60 wrestlers.[15]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Horshu's OWOW profile".
  2. ^ a b c "Cagematch profile".
  3. ^ a b c "Former WWE star Luther Reigns recovering from stroke in Glendale".
  4. ^ a b "Matt Wiese's MySpace account".
  5. ^ "This Week in WCW - 3/1/97 - 3/3/97".
  6. ^ "The Great American Bash report on June 28, 2004".
  7. ^ "No Way Out 2005 report".
  8. ^ "Real Reason for Luther Reigns' WWE Release".
  9. ^ a b "More WWE News: Edge/Lita/Matt Angle, Reigns, HBK, More".
  10. ^ "The Girl Next Door's cast listing".
  11. ^ a b c d e "Wiese's TV and movie appearances".
  12. ^ "Spring Break '83 listing".
  13. ^ "Let's Be Cops".
  14. ^ "Wrestlers sue WWE".
  15. ^ Bieler, Des (July 19, 2016). "Dozens of wrestlers sue WWE over CTE, effects of traumatic brain injuries". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  16. ^ "WSL World Heavyweight Championship history".
  17. ^ "Awards".

External links[edit]