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Matt Wiese

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Matthew R. "Matt" Wiese (September 22, 1971) is an American actor and former professional wrestler. He is best known for his tenure in World Wrestling Entertainment under the ring name Luther Reigns, where he performed on its SmackDown brand.

Early life

Wiese was born in Danville, Illinois before moving with his family and being raised in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan. At age 16, he left to fend for himself and became involved with criminals and gangs while living in the ghetto. At age 19, he was involved in a fight with a gang member before he was shot, stabbed, and had his throat slit. A few years later, he was arrested for committing aggravated assault on a police officer before being subsequently sentenced to five years in jail. Upon his release, he became an assistant manager for a McDonald's in Hell's Kitchen and after five years in the position, a friend recommened that he try out for the Power Plant, World Championship Wrestling's professional wrestling school.

Professional Wrestling Career

World Championship Wrestling (1997-1998)

Upon completing his training in the Power Plant, Wiese started his wrestling career as an enhancement talent in World Championship Wrestling 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!". 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. The idea of this faction was quietly dropped by WCW.

AWA Superstars of Wrestling (1999-2003)

After his stint in WCW, Wiese made his way Ultimate Pro Wrestling 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 (2004-2006)

After a few non-televised matches before Raw in 2003 in 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 as a heel 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.

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, which subsequently led to Jindrak entering the ring and attacking Big Show alongside Angle and Reigns and then shaving his head bald. 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.

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, leading to Jindrak turn face. 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 would go on to win 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. According to Wiese, the reason he requested his release was due to creative differences with Paul Heyman, 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.

Retirement (2005-2006)

Following his departure from WWE, Wiese attempted to become a real estate salesman, 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. 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. He returned to WWCW on September 16, where he wrestled Aaron Aguilera to a no contest after Norton interfered. 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

Media

Filmography

  • The Girl Next Door (2004)
  • True Legend (2009)
  • Spring Break '83 (2010)

Personal life

In early 2006, he began working as a bodyguard, most notably for the AVN pornography convention in Las Vegas.

On April 19, 2010, it was reported that Wiese had suffered a stroke in December 2009. Weise 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. Wiese stated that the stroke "had to happen" and that it "was a gift from God."

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

External links

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