A close bond between the two men.
On June 29th at the age of 38-years old, 'Tough Enough' season 3 co-winner and former OVW Heavyweight Champion Matt Cappotelli passed away after an on-and-off fight against cancer. During his run in OVW Matt had to step away from the ring so he could have a brain tumor removed. In the summer of 2017 Cappotelli was diagnosed with brain cancer once again and coming into this year he was fighting off the cancer as his wife Lindsay provided numerous updates on the health of Matt and this past May she shared that things were not looking so clear.
Matt's body succumbed to the cancer after a long fight and his passing grabbed the attention and brought love from all areas of the pro wrestling world. One individual who has always had a close relationship with Matt Cappotelli was the man who he won Tough Enough season 3 with, John Hennigan. Hennigan spoke with TV Insider to promote IMPACT Wrestling's 'Slammiversary XVI' PPV and the conversation switched over to the life of Matt Cappotelli and Hennigan explained that even after almost a month it is still hard for him to talk about his good friend's passing.
“It’s hard to talk about Matt,” Hennigan said. “He was one of the most positive people I’ve ever known. He never wanted to burden anyone with anything, he always worked his ass off, everything. He had a real positive outlook on life and his interactions with people. There were times in 2006 when he was first diagnosed that I kept thinking about it wasn’t fair that it would happen to Matt. That’s the same with anyone with cancer. It’s not like a fair thing, you can’t think about it in those terms, but Matt really affected me a lot."
On a lighter note John Hennigan will be in action under the name "Johnny Impact" at 'Slammiversary' where he will be involved in a Fatal 4-Way match along with Rich Swann, Fenix, and Taiji Ishimori. Hennigan went on to explain why he feels that this match will be special and entertaining.
“There are so many options, different places to work,” he said. “Part of the fun about wrestling for all these different places is a lot of them have different ideas about what wrestling is…The matches I’m going to have are going to be vastly different every day, and that’s not even going beyond the independent stuff. When you throw in Lucha Underground, wrestling on IMPACT Wrestling, there are differences between those two as well. Lucha is hard-hitting, acrobatic, fast-paced. It has this cool world that is uniquely Lucha Underground. IMPACT is similar, but it’s a different world. The stuff going on there is the evolution of traditional wrestling product into a cutting-edge, modern, present-day program. I think the best way to make an example of that is I’m returning there at Slammiversary on July 22. The match I’m going to have is Rich Swann versus Taiji Ishimori versus Fenix versus Johnny Impact. Rich Swann and I both worked for WWE, Taiji works for New Japan and NOAH. Fenix is one of the best luchadores in the world. He has worked for pretty much every company in Mexico. The blend of styles that is happening at IMPACT is a great example of why I think wrestling is so popular right now. It’s just this big melting pot of cultures and styles and people. It’s really cool.”
'Slammiversary XVI' has a finalized match card and to take a look at the action on tap for Sunday's PPV, head over to Fightful's "events" section.