“Vince was crazy about him” – Backstage details on what happened to SmackDown’s original ‘Reigns’
Does the name Luther Reigns ring any bells? If it doesn’t, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
Matthew Robert Wiese made his WWE main roster debut in April 2004 under the ‘Luther Reigns’ moniker, where he was introduced as Kurt Angle’s on-screen assistant. Angle was the SmackDown General Manager at the time, and Luther Reigns was pushed as his muscleman.
Despite possessing the look and skill set to succeed in the WWE, Luther Reigns’ WWE career didn’t pan out as expected because the promotion released him by 2005.
During the latest edition of ‘Ask Kurt Anything’ on AdFreeShows.com, Kurt Angle opened up about his experiences working with Luther Reigns and the backstage perception of the forgotten wrestler.
Kurt Angle stated that Luther Reigns was an excellent worker who also had the necessary microphone skills to succeed in WWE.
Angle revealed that Vince McMahon was initially very high on Luther Reigns, and the former SmackDown star was earmarked for big things in the company.
Angle felt that WWE pairing him with Luther was a clear sign of the company’s intent to push the star.
“Luther had it all. He was a pretty good worker, not exceptional, but he was pretty good. He had a great look. He could talk on the microphone,” Angle said. “I’m not sure why he didn’t pan out, but he was cool to work with. You know, they didn’t have him to do a lot of in-ring stuff, and he never really came to fruition.”
“Nothing ever came out of him, so I’m not sure why that didn’t happen because I know Vince loved him at the beginning. He absolutely loved him. (Vince) was crazy about him and had big plans for him; that’s why they put him with me,” Angle added. “And we had that society, whatever Angle, whatever we were called. Honor Society was it was called, and nobody even knows it (laughs). Yeah, but he was good; he should have panned out.”
What happened to Luther Reigns after his WWE release?
Luther Reigns won most of his matches on the now-defunct Velocity show before being released by the company. He requested his WWE release and was granted his wish in May 2005. Luther cited creative differences with Paul Heyman as the reason behind his WWE release request.
Luther Reigns soon retired from active in-ring competition.
Confusion arose three years ago in a steroid scandal as filmmaker Jon Bravo dragged Universal Champion Roman Reigns’ name into the entire controversy. Bravo covered a story that accused many top celebrities of purchasing steroids from convicted steroid dealer Richard Rodriguez.
While Reigns firmly denied knowing Richard Rodriguez, it was later revealed that the situation could have resulted from a classic case of mistaken identity. The WWE wrestler in question was actually Luther Reigns.
The 49-year-old Matt “Luther Reigns” Wiese has stayed away from professional wrestling since 2006.