It’s hard to imagine Lucha Underground without play-by-play Matt Striker, but Impact Wrestling announcer Josh Mathews said he was offered that role, but turned it down.
Mathews spoke to Fightful and detailed the negotiations that took place between the two sides and cited their iron-clad contracts as a major reason he chose to go to Impact instead. Mathews, as well as Lucha underground’s King Cuerno and Drago, will compete on Impact Wrestling’s Slammiversary event on July 2, and Mathews is happy Lucha Underground allowed them to compete on another wrestling television show.
"I think there’s some changes that have been made at Lucha, I don’t know what those changes are, but I think it opens up their contracts a little bit," Mathews said. "Obviously it did, because it allowed those guys to come over and compete at Slammiversary. It’s cool and it’s good for everybody. I remember when Lucha was starting and here I was, ready to go to Nashville and sign my contract with Impact. Lucha Underground approached me with doing their shows and their first episodes. I flew out to Los Angeles and I saw the thing and I was blown away, but their contracts were pretty iron-clad and I wasn’t ready to sign that deal."
Mathews also said Lucha Underground made one last effort to sign him after their original play-by-play announcer couldn’t make it to the show’s first tapings. Mathews had to decline again and so the show had to bring in Striker, who is still with Lucha Underground today.
"Yeah it was [a seven-season type of deal] and I was in L.A. doing Undercover Boss, a lot of people don’t know I did work on that show for a couple of seasons," Mathews said. "We were shooting an episode of Undercover Boss in L.A. and Lucha Underground called me and said, ‘Our play-by-play announcer can’t get into the states. He’s in Mexico and can’t get into the shows tomorrow. Could you please do it?’ I couldn’t do it. It didn’t work out. They flew Matt Striker from the East Coast, but it came very close. I was in the same zip code as they were in."
The full interview can be seen in the video above.