Loverboy Matt Riviera Born Today – May 18th, 1983 – Today in Wrestling History
Matt Riviera may not be a household name for many. For those of us that follow indies closely we know this athlete. For me personally, I know him as a local athlete living his dream. There is much more to Riviera though, he is not just an athlete. He holds credits in movies, television, and music as well.
The early years of Matt Riviera
The future Loverboy was born on May 18th, 1983 in Russellville Arkansas. His love of wrestling started before he was even 18 years old. Starting below bottom, he was too young to work, meant creating a position of sorts for himself. Early on Matt would write articles and taking photographs at events.
Matt Riviera would finally complete wrestling school at the age of 21. By this point he had already been working as a promoter for almost half a decade. Understanding education matters, and intertwining it with wrestling, Riviera would acquire a degree in broadcast journalism.
Matt hits the mat
In 2001 working with Arkansas Association of Wrestling Matt Riviera would have his first professional match. With his tag team partner, Running Wolf, they challenged Frank Thornton and “Big” Wes Jones. Riviera would work for many Arkansas owned promotions through the years.
Then he joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). Here Matt would see success in singles and tag team action (often with Rob Conway). In the NWA Riviera would hold many titles as well including the NWA Mid South Unified Championship. This title was unified with the Traditional Championship Wrestling (TCW) Heavyweight Championship in 2014. TCW was a wrestling promotion that Matt Riviera took from local house show to televised on a national level.
Matt Riviera is the first Championship Wrestling of Arkansas (CWA) champion. He lost the title at his first defense against Jerry “The King” Lawler. I was able to see both matches live. They are available on the CWA Network as well.
Music, TV, Movies, and podcasting
While Matt Riviera has yet to reach the success of other wrestlers in movies, he has had a few roles. His first role was in 2009’s Blood Forest where he played a deputy. The following year he had a bigger role in Step Away from the Stone. More recently he appeared in the thriller, Happy Hour.
That last movie is the one that got Matt a call up by VH1 producers for a new reality television show. Megan Wants a Millionaire was the show that was cut short, only three episodes were aired. Matt was one of the millionaire’s vying for Megan Hauserman’s love. This would not be the only appearance Riviera would make on a reality matchmaking show.
You can catch the Matt Riviera Show podcast for his insights on wrestling in general. He also has a hip-hop song available called “Best Meat’s in the Rump (Juicy)”. This song was a collaboration with DJ Mr. Mixx of 2 Live Crew fame.
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This article was originally published on the Gravis Ludus Wrestling website.