With the acclaimed Uncharted Territory series heading down south for the first time ever, our own Joshua Macala got the chance to speak with ACTION Wrestling’s Matt Griffin about topics like AC Mack’s title win, a BEYOND vs ACTION event, and more.
1) Before getting into Uncharted Territory, I feel like the catalyst for this all was AC Mack winning the IWTV Championship Alex Shelley in a match which both IWTV and Beyond were treating as a foregone conclusion that Shelley would retain and face Matt Makowski. Is there that extra sense of pride in that win because now IWTV has to list asterisks with title defenses which they didn’t do then?
Matt Griffin: “The whole idea of 2022 in my head was to assert dominance coming from the Southeast. ACTION has been an IWTV staple since we began, and we deserve attention. I don’t mind however being overlooked. There was a huge one-two shot that so many people didn’t see coming…..AC Mack defeating Alex Shelley for the IWTV World Championship and Uncharted Territory coming down here. I’d been asking for an IWTV “mixtape” type of show for years and I’m glad they bought in and want to help expand, showing talent what the southeast has to offer.
And……….if anyone wants a title shot at AC Mack, they have to come down this way. *Chef’s Kiss”
2) When AC Mack won the IWTV Championship, I was at a wrestling show (shout out to Pro Wrestling GRIND) and I remember it had ended and everyone was just huddled around their phones. I found out from Robert Martyr that AC Mack won the title. It just feels like one of those moments wrestling fans will remember what they were doing/where they were when it happened forever. Do you feel like this title win by AC Mack is more relevant than perhaps any other time the IWTV Championship changed hands?
Matt Griffin: “I think that this was the best example of the traveling champion coming to town, like in the territory days, but not leaving with the belt. AC Mack said back in August after winning the Scenic City Invitational that he wanted his title shot. He didn’t miss when taking that shot. It was an incredible atmosphere all night that kept building in anticipation for AC Mack’s entrance.
To me? Yes, it’s the most relevant title change. It was a story built across multiple promotions in the southeast and done in a way to send shockwaves. With AC being the first openly gay male champion, it also made headlines in the days after. I looked at Ashton Starr during the post-match celebration and tears were in his eyes, tears of pride. It was the most rewarding match I’ve ever promoted, I wish I could live in that moment.
3) A short time later, AC Mack was back up north for WWR+ at the show in which Uncharted Territory was put on the line. At that show, the crowd just felt deflated knowing they’d lost Uncharted Territory. What was it like for you knowing that first off the show was on the line and then later on when AC Mack and the show was coming to the south?
Matt Griffin: “It felt like victory. Utter victory in that so many wrestlers will be able to get exposed to the country and world that didn’t get the chance before. We don’t have to send talent to Massachusetts anymore, instead, they have to come here. Too many wrestlers over the years haven’t received the exposure they deserved and it’s a goal of myself, Dylan Hales, and Scott Hensley to fix that. UT coming down here is a huge deal to us.
4) Ever since AC Mack won the IWTV Championship (maybe even in the weeks leading up to it) there seems to be this north vs south feud started by Beyond Wrestling. What are your thoughts on that in the sense that there are also a lot of wrestlers who are in the midwest, Texas, west coast, and outside of the United States? Do you feel like those fans might be alienated because they don’t have a horse in the race, as it were?
Matt Griffin: “I think everyone should see what happened here and band together to make their scene the best they can. I hope they are jealous and alienated, and do something about it. ACTION’s long-term goal, as can be seen in our partnerships with SCI & SUP, is to push our wrestlers to prominence. I hope other scenes do the same. New Texas is killing it in Texas, St. Louis Anarchy is a hell of a promotion, Black Label Pro is a top notch promotion, all of those and many more are leaders in their areas. Not to mention West Coast shows like West Coast Pro, Prestige, and more. I hope other scenes follow the same blueprint.”
5) There are fans in New England who just seem to hate the fact that Uncharted Territory has gone to the south. Do you feel like eventually they will get over that and the show- the wrestling- can ultimately speak for itself and win them over?
Matt Griffin: “If they are fans of wrestling itself, then yes. This could be an epic run and I hope they’ll watch UT, ACTION, SUP, SCI livestreams and be converted. There’s some amazing talent trading and matches that could happen.”
6) Is there added pressure creating the new season of Uncharted Territory knowing that it will likely be constantly compared with the previous seasons when Beyond was in control?
Matt Griffin: “I’m not in charge of UT, thankfully, though I will contribute. The creative pressure on any show can be overwhelming and intense.”
7) Does the north-south feud end with a Beyond vs ACTION supershow?
Matt Griffin: “Ask Cordeiro, Drew. We are game. ACTION even ran an event at Wrestival.”
8) Will there still be a Discovery Gauntlet (or something similar) in Uncharted Territory?
Matt Griffin: “Yes, it was announced after you sent this :)”
9) Final thoughts, shout outs, plugs, etc… ??
Matt Griffin: “Thanks everyone for being a fan of independent wrestling. Follow ACTION at @WrestleACTION1, follow SUP at @sup_graps, follow SCI at @SCITournament. My personal handle is @MattTheMouth”
I think this whole project has a chance to be a huge difference maker for IWTV and independent wrestling. I hope everyone gives it a chance!
Uncharted Territory begins Monday, May 9th 2022 in Red Bank, TN and live on IWTV. Tickets and more information can be found here: https://shopiwtv.com/collections/just-added/products/uncharted-territory-season-4
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Catch Beyond and more indie wrestling promotions on IndependentWrestling.TV.