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Matt Cappotelli

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Matt Cappotelli
Birth nameMatthew Lee Cappotelli
Born(1979-11-12)November 12, 1979
Caledonia, New York, U.S.[1]
DiedJune 29, 2018(2018-06-29) (aged 38)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.[1]
Cause of deathGlioblastoma
Alma materWestern Michigan University
Lindsay Seeders
(m. 2006)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)The Flava
Matt Cappotelli
Billed height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Billed weight225 lb (102 kg)
Billed fromRochester, New York
Trained byAl Snow
Bill DeMott
DebutJanuary 27, 2003

Matthew Lee Cappotelli (November 12, 1979 – June 29, 2018) was an American professional wrestler. After co-winning Tough Enough III with John Hennigan, he worked in Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), the primary developmental territory for WWE. He ended his career due to a malignant brain tumor.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Cappotelli, along with John Hennigan, won a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) contract by winning Tough Enough III.[2] During the show Hardcore Holly aggressively roughed up Matt while training, stiffly striking Cappotelli repeatedly, leaving him bleeding.[3][4] After winning, he made sporadic appearances on WWE shows.[1] At Vengeance, Cappotelli competed in The APA Invitational Bar Room Brawl which Bradshaw won.

Cappotelli was then sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).[1] There, he formed a tag team known as The Thrill Seekers with Johnny Jeter.[5] On November 9 at an OVW television taping, Cappotelli captured the OVW Heavyweight Championship by defeating his former tag team partner, Johnny Jeter. On February 8, 2006, he announced that he had previously been diagnosed with a grade 2/3 astrocytoma and surrendered the title to OVW owner Danny Davis at a television taping in Louisville, Kentucky.[6] Cappotelli announced to OVW wrestlers and fans on April 4, 2006, that he would undergo surgery for brain cancer in Boston on May 1.[7] WWE's official website later reported that the surgery was a success,[8] and that the majority of the brain tumor was removed.[9] He was released from his contract in January 2009.[1] Toward the end of 2013, Cappotelli became the trainer for OVW's Beginner Program.[10][11]

Personal life and death[edit]

Cappotelli attended college at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he was also a member of the football team.[12][4] Cappotelli was married to Lindsay.[1] They resided in Louisville, Kentucky, where he also worked as a personal trainer.[1] He was close friends with professional wrestler and Western Michigan alumnus, Colt Cabana.[13] Big Brother winner Lisa Donahue was his cousin.[14] In July 2017, Cappotelli announced that he was diagnosed with grade IV glioblastoma multiforme.[15] In May 2018, Cappotelli's wife announced that, after consultations with his neuro-oncologist, Cappotelli was ceasing medical interventions for the tumor.[16][17] He died on June 29, 2018, at the age of 38.[18][1]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Oliver, Greg (June 29, 2018). "Tough Enough winner Matt Cappotelli dies". SLAM Wrestling. Archived from the original on July 1, 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "MTV Onair – Toughenough". MTV. Archived from the original on August 9, 2001. Retrieved April 8, 2007. In the end, Matt and John were chosen to be the winners of Tough Enough 3.
  3. ^ "The Ringside Voice Interviews – Matt Cappotelli". The Ringside Voice. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Mooneyham, Mike (February 26, 2006). "Cappotelli Proves He's Tough Enough". The Wrestling Gospel According to Mike Mooneyham. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Westcott, Brian; Dupree, Jim. "NWA – National Wrestling Alliance NWA Ohio Valley Wrestling Southern Tag Team Title History". Solie. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  6. ^ Brady, Hicks. "2006: The year in wrestling". PWI Presents: 2007 Wrestling Almanak and book of facts. Kappa Publications. p. 17. 2007 Edition.
  7. ^ Dee, Louie (April 6, 2007). "Matt Cappotelli to undergo brain surgery". WWE.
  8. ^ "Cappotelli undergoes surgery". World Wrestling Entertainment. May 1, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  9. ^ "Cappotelli recovering well". World Wrestling Entertainment. May 9, 2007.
  10. ^ "Helping wrestlers get a grip". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, KY. November 12, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  11. ^ "Matt Cappotelli Beginner's Program". Ohio Valley Wrestling. Archived from the original on August 20, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  12. ^ "Football History: All-Time Jersey Roster: #34". Western Michigan University. June 1, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  13. ^ Schenk, Ruth (December 14, 2009). "Faith Warrior". southeastoutlookchristian.org. Archived from the original on December 14, 2009. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
  14. ^ @TheLisaDonahue (June 29, 2017). "Prayers needed for my cousin ❤️❤️" (Tweet). Retrieved September 4, 2017 – via Twitter.
  15. ^ "Matt Cappotelli". www.facebook.com. July 14, 2017. Archived from the original on February 26, 2022. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  16. ^ "Slam! Wrestling News". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. May 21, 2018. Archived from the original on April 28, 2015. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  17. ^ Johnson, Mike (May 21, 2018). "Matt Cappotelli to discontinue treatments in his battle against cancer, how you can assist his family". PWInsider. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  18. ^ Xu, Linda (June 29, 2018). "Matt Cappotelli, Former WWE Wrestler and 'Tough Enough' Winner, Dies at 38". TheWrap. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  19. ^ Westcott, Brian; Dupree, Jim. "NWA – National Wrestling Alliance NWA Ohio Valley Wrestling Heavyweight/Ohio Valley Wrestling Heavyweight Title History". Solie. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  20. ^ Hoops, Brian (January 19, 2019). "Pro wrestling history (01/19): Ric Flair wins WWF title in 1992 Royal Rumble". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  21. ^ Wilkens, Tom (January 25, 2007). "2006 PWI Achievement Awards Winners Revealed". Wrestling News World. Archived from the original on June 30, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2015.

External links[edit]