It has been a very busy 2023 for Oakdale High School alum Matt Vandagriff. The former Mustang has been in the professional wrestling business and has been perfecting his craft. So much so that he has been invited to wrestle for a promotion in London this fall.
Scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16, Vandagriff will be taking on James Mason at Empire Fights Back IV for the British Empire Heavyweight Championship.
“I am very excited to travel and perform in the United Kingdom. It’s been a goal of mine and to see it in writing is pretty cool,” Vandagriff said.
He describes 2023 as a “Bet on myself year” as he set goals into place for himself back in December of 2022 and wrestling overseas was one of the goals.
“I put in so much work in to professional wrestling, I have trained so much and have really focused on making this (2023) my year.”
The pro wrestler is currently a champion for three different promotions. He is the Big Valley Wrestling Champion in Las Vegas, International Champion in Venue Wrestling Entertainment and Future Legends Clothing Champion.
“The most recent title I won was at Big Valley Wrestling. I defeated then-champion Papa Jace on July 28,” Vandagriff explained.
Earlier this year an opportunity of a lifetime presented itself to Vandagriff.
“New Japan Pro Wrestling was hosting an academy in Los Angeles. I was invited to take part in it. New Japan Pro Wrestling is legendary and I wanted to be a part of it,” he said. “It was a 12-week event and I live in Las Vegas but I would commute twice a week because I knew this was a once in a lifetime thing.”
During his experience with New Japan Pro Wrestling, Vandagriff would do hundreds of squats each day, along with other intense cardio workouts.
“They take things very serious; they take professional wrestling very serious and that’s what I need,” he said. “I am forever grateful for that experience.”