Welcome back to the Dark Match Dungeon! This is where I tirelessly scour the internet for nothing more than the satisfaction of bringing you mostly-forgotten footage of today’s wrestling stars before they hit it big. We’ve done a good deal of these columns, and I think you know the drill by now. Let’s talk about Colt Cabana today. In addition to being an internet-breaking podcaster, he’s spent almost a decade and a half being one of independent wrestling’s most well-traveled stars. In fact, he’s currently in Japan with Chris Hero, taking part in Pro Wrestling Noah’s Global Tag League tournament. If you’re a fan of his, you’ll know that he briefly spent some time in WWE, but what did he look like when he first showed up on their radar? Take a look at this match against Matt Hardy from Velocity and find out.
What To Look For:
- Josh Mathews discussing the return of King of the Ring, which strikes me as a happy coincidence.
- Cabana selling Hardy’s cornered punches like he’s wrestling Ebessan at King of Trios.
- Matt Hardy as a beloved babyface. Remember that?
- Is that… is that Road Warrior Animal bumrushing Hardy at the end? My God, it is! I swear to you, I did not remember that he dropped the “Animal” and the shoulder pads for a heel run until I found this video. What a weird time.
This footage is from April 2006, right in the middle of a series of WWE dark matches that eventually got Cabana signed to WWE under the name Scotty Goldman. Unfortunately, most of his run was spent in developmental, and he only got a few months of screen time on SmackDown to his name before being released, which I’m sure sat oh so well with a certain CM Punk. But fear not because, as previously mentioned, his Art of Wrestling podcast has proved that he’s landed on his feet in a comfortable studio [dramatic pause] apartment.