Thomas Matera

Thomas Matera - Photo by Kevin Bellanger Photography

The Professional Wrestling Journey of Thomas Matera

There is a fascinating element in entertainment that attracts fans to combat sports. Whether the audience is blown away by one’s fight skills, or intrigued by an athlete’s eccentric personality, the end goal from a show outlook is to create an enjoyable presentation. The fighting stage also benefits the athlete. Every competitor has a divine purpose in putting themselves mentally and physically in harm’s way for a worldwide viewer to judge. However, it is that purpose which makes their journey unique, chasing their dreams to be recognized as the best in their craft. Professional Wrestling has many great players who’s in-ring work has garnered a worldwide fan base and opened many opportunities to flourish in the sport.

Adored Indy Wrestling star, Thomas Matera, known to many as Thomas Santell, has spent the last two decades engulfed in his role as a professional wrestler. The wrestling industry is a grueling world of many demands and hardships. Yet, miraculously, Matera has been able to navigate through these challenges and currently find himself with a blossoming career. Fans were first introduced to Santell with his brief stay in the WWE, as a member of the developmental tag team duo, The Heartthrobs. Very “green” to the pro wrestling art, Matera’s time in the company found himself soaking up knowledge from squared circle legends, and performing in front of a worldwide television audience. However, Matera wouldn’t experience the full benefits of being a WWE superstar, as he was unable to live up to the standards laid out by the establishment. Santell would be released from the WWE. The experience would prove to be humbling, in Matera’s drive to become a better pro wrestler.

“My time in WWE wasn’t as long or remarkable as I wanted it to be, because I didn’t have high-level experience and never received many chances to grow,” Matera told MYMMANEWS. “When I got released, it gave me a sense of wanting to prove something in being the best I could be, which inspired me to travel to various countries to compete.”

From competing across the ring with legends to finding himself looking for small wrestling gigs to traveling across the world competing, the journey would continue for Thomas Matera. All of these happenings would lead him to become one of the most popular entertaining grapplers on the Indy wrestling circuit, becoming what many know him today as Thomas Santell. The wrestling star persona, Thomas Santell is a throwback tribute to “Back to the Future” character, George McFly. Santell initially gained massive heel heat for the audience for his infuriating personality and in-ring dirty tactics. Yet, the audience deposition soon changed, as Santell soon became a popular babyface whose appealing character became something the fans can relate too. Santell would become one of the top stars in Beyond Wrestling.

“Everyone can relate to my Back to the Future persona, George McFly, being the underdog, and saw I could go in the ring. I believe these are the things that got me over with the fans, which made them finally appreciate me.”

The wrestling indies have given individuals like Matera the stage to showcase their various talents with 100 % creative control. Matera has thrived in this outlet, which had opened up another unique opportunity to showcase his abilities. Since its inception in 2018, Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport has not only attracted massive attention due to its unique ruleset but also unveiled “another side” of our favorite wrestlers competing in a different setting. Always looking to challenge himself, Matera will be a participant in the Gotch-Robinson Cup tournament at Josh Barnett’s: Bloodsport 3.

Many fans are familiar with the nerdy, Ovaltine promoting, scientific wrestler, known as Thomas Santell. But, don’t let the glasses fool you, Matera has been holding back some secret techniques that make him a top candidate to win the Gotch-Robinson tournament. On his day off from wrestling on the road, you can find Matera practicing Muay Thai, Submission Grappling, and MMA at the Fighting Art Academy (FAA), in Springfield, Massachusetts. Matera has been a lifelong student of Martial Arts, as he has been spotted competing in various grappling tournaments throughout New England. Sights of his grappling submission skills can be detected in some of his wrestling matches. Bloodsport will set the stage for Matera to show off the full extent of his MMA skills.

“Bloodsport is a very unique platform I am excited to compete in, “he said.” Many fans know my history and what I have done over the years, so I feel many people will be rooting for me to win”. “Fans are going to see what I bring as Thomas Santell along with my Muay Thai and Submission grappling game.”

Sadly, Matera and many competitor’s excitement to showcase their skills won’t be happening. The current worldwide crisis of the Coronavirus has led to the canceling of many social gatherings, including sporting events. Josh Barnett’s: Bloodsport is not prone to the Coronavirus effect, as the much-anticipated fighting event has been postponed for a later date. Like anything in life, challenges unexpectedly arise, something Matera is accustomed too. A dark time for many, Matera plans on using this trying time in taking care of family, helping others, and finding new ways to bettering himself. As for Professional Wrestling and Martial Arts? Thomas Santell is looking forward to the combat sports journey ahead.

“I don’t look at things as canceled, but merely postponed. When things clear up, I look forward to resuming my Martial Arts training and my teaching/coaching career. I don’t know what wrestling holds for me, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t like to appear and offer something different for AEW, PWG, MLW, and various other promotions. I will continue to keep my mind and body in great health, and when Bloodsport resumes, I look forward to competing with some of the best the wrestling and Martial Arts world has to offer.”

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