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  • #31
    The Doc

    The Doc


    Column Titles: Doctor’s Orders, Under the Bright Lights
    Additional Contributions: Smackdown Recapper (2004-2006); Raw/WWE PPV Recapper (2006-2007)
    Home State: NC
    LoP Columns Debut: Late 2003
    LoP Main Page Debut: October 2010
    CotM Wins: 2
    Year of Hall of Fame Induction: 2016

    (Hall of Fame Induction written by Steve)


    There are a few names in LOP Columns history that are blatantly conspicuous by their absence within this Hall. Hopefully that has been largely corrected with our recent inductees. I get the feeling that for many, it will be after this.

    Of that conspicuously absent lot, there are very few that can claim an LOP columns history dating all the way back to 2003. There are very few who can claim LOP main page runs that lasted in excess of 5 years. There are very few who can claim to still be actively continuing that run, with no foreseeable end in sight.

    Of that lot, there is only one writer who can claim all three. That one writer is The Doc, Chad Matthews.

    LOP has been criticized, in the past, for the fact that main page columnists have to earn their spot by working their way up the ranks, traditionally by way of the Columns Forum. Those registering those critiques, of course, were and are typically folks who have either an inflated opinion of their own writing prowess or who are short on patience, often some combination of the two. Those who have actually been through the system can attest to the fact that it makes that main page call up that much sweeter, that it means more due to the work you had to put in to achieve it. That it feels like a true accomplishment as opposed to just something that was handed to you.

    Virtually every LOP writer since 2002 has gone through that system, has worked their way up the ranks. Doc certainly worked his way through the ranks, and in a manner that was very much different than many that came before or since. After first trying his hand at writing two, count 'em, two well received columns back in late 2003, he didn't quite feel ready to jump in head long. It was not too long afterwards, though, if you journey back into the annals of LOP, that you'll find that the name Chad Matthews is attached to Smackdown Results posts dating back to 2004. He would contribute results for almost 6 years, off and on, along the way dipping into the CF once more, this time looking to make a mark, with the now lost to the sands of time column Under the Bright Lights.

    Still, between school and moving around and just in general not quite feeling ready to fully commit yet, Under the Bright Lights ended right as it was starting to gain some steam. It would be a few more years before he made the firm decision to set out upon the path towards following in his mentor, Daveyboy's, footsteps. And despite his long history as a contributor to the site, despite having built a rapport with the owner of the joint within that time frame, he sought no preferential treatment and expected absolutely nothing to be handed to him. After having reached hundreds of thousands of readers over the course of his recapping days, CMV1 sought to work his way up just like every other columnist.

    Entering into the fray in the midst of a renaissance within the CF, Doc started what would wind up being his permanent run in 2010 alongside Hall of Fame names like Shane, Super Chrisss, Uncle Joe and 'Plan. It was a running theme in his cracks at column writing, as his first very brief stint in 2003 saw him posting alongside Hall of Fame names like Winter, Pt2, doublehelix and Xanman and his second, somewhat longer, stint in 2005 saw him jump into the midst of even more Hall of Famers with names like 1,000,000 BC, Monkey, Zuma and RIPBossman. The guy just couldn't seem to stop himself from jumping headlong into the deep end. Surrounded in that 2010 run by folks who would establish their own sterling legacies at LOP, Doc worked at shaping his voice and standing out from the pack, a goal that was achieved in short order by gaining a main page spot mere months after taking up the endeavor.

    Thus would begin a run that's virtually unprecedented in LOP Columns history. A run that has, to date, lasted almost 6 years. Only Super Chrisss and the omnipresent Tito can claim sustained ongoing main page runs that exceed that length. Along the way he has established himself as, in the minds of many, the standard of excellence for LOP columnists. Consistently churning out quality, constantly looking to improve upon an already successful formula, Doc has put together a legacy that rivals, if not outright exceeds, that of his LOP Columns hero, the previously mentioned LOP Hall of Famer, Daveyboy. Indeed, it is arguable that Doc is the Daveyboy of his era, not only drawing in readers with unfailing regularity but also inspiring others to take their shot at maybe, one day, following in his shoes.

    If he'd just stopped at columns then we'd still be doing this based upon that legacy, alone. He didn't stop there, though. Chad Matthews took it to the next level, a level that thousands of internet wrestling writers have literally dreamed about, and became the first published book author in the history of Lords of Pain, opening the door for others, such as 'Plan and hopefully others yet to come, to walk through and prove yet again, without dispute, that Lords of Pain boasts the flat out best wrestling columnists in the history of the internet. Period. It's not even close. Hell, I'd put Doc and 'Plan alone up against any full roster of columnists that another site could put together on their best day.

    His legacy continues to be shaped as you read this, with further publishing endeavors yet to come and his LOP Radio podcast endeavor, The Doc Says..., consistently ranking among the top of the charts. If you haven't noticed, the dude is a workhorse. No matter how many things are on his plate, either personally or professionally or here in the semi-real world of the internet, The Doc keeps on chugging along as the single most consistent columnist on this website, perhaps in its entire history. Very rarely is it that a week will go by without a column bearing his name appearing on LOP, to say nothing of the previously mentioned podcast that hits the air like clockwork every single Wednesday, and they always, for lack of a better term, draw. The simple fact of the matter is that the name itself, "The Doc", has come to represent a trustworthy level of excellence. The man is a brand.

    And he's not done. Far from it. The Doc, whether it's his intention or simply a byproduct of his passion, is well on his way to establishing himself as the greatest LOP contributor in history. It's a tribute to what he's already accomplished that more than a few already consider him as such.

    So yeah, there are a few names in LOP Columns history that are blatantly conspicuous by their absence within this Hall. This one, arguably the most conspicuous of the lot, is no longer among them.

    It is my honor to welcome to the Lords of Pain Columns Hall of Fame, The Doc, Chad Matthews.



    Ladies and gentlemen, Lords of Pain Hall of Fame columnist, The Doc, Chad Matthews.



    Do you remember when you made the transition from reader to writer? I recall mine vividly. I was sitting at my college apartment about 18 months after I had first logged onto LOP and its Forums. I read an exorbitant amount of columns back then because, frankly, I was consumed by the fact that other people had opinions about wrestling and had found an avenue through which to share them. I would assume that most can relate when I say that I had my period of wrestling fandom when I was surrounded by people who also enjoyed watching wrestling and then one day it was just me, growing older and forming more mature opinions on the product but no longer having anyone with whom to converse about them. Enter LOP. Suddenly, I'm sharing my opinions in the forums and reading the very well put together thoughts shared by people whose writing skills were on-par with the columnists whose work I'd read on ESPN and Yahoo.

    So, there I am reading the Smackdown Recap in early May 2004 and there is a notification that the recapper is stepping down from his post and, should anyone be interested, please submit sample reviews to “[email protected]” I wrote the first of many CMV1 reviews that night and received my first email from LOP's Vince McMahon the next day asking, “When can you start?” And so began the journey to the LOP Columns Hall of Fame for yours truly.

    I always bring up my time as LOP's WWE Reviewer whenever anyone asks about my time here. That was invaluable for me and I maintain to present day that no post in any sort of writing better prepares you to think fast and connect brain to fingers faster than doing a live review. Given how much goes on in a Royal Rumble match, I used to practice doing live recaps by watching and typing every detail of old January Classics. I reached a point where I could basically watch with my eyes, recap with my fingers, and analyze with my brain in real time. Doing reviews also helped me find my analytical “voice,” develop my match rating criteria, and – perhaps most importantly – taught me how to write and helped me hone my skills at it through hundreds of hours of experience between 2004 and 2007.

    Board exams and courting the future Mrs. Doc took me away from writing at LOP for about two years, but when I opened a health clinic in my home town, God I found myself needing that outlet again. I first had the inkling to get back in the game while reading Sean Taylor's look back at WrestleMania's past in the spring of 2009, so I want to thank him for writing something that made me want to write columns again. Later that year, on a whim, I rejoined the Columns Forum (I'd had a few brief stints during my reviewer/recapper days with a column called “Under The Bright Lights” - an homage to Harley Race's 2004 Hall of Fame speech); that was my first and only real stint in the CF. For about 9 months, I wrote among a group of excellent columnists (Shane, WarChild, Benjamin Button, Super Chrisss, and ChrisBear to name a very few), all of whom stimulated me to become better than I ever thought that I could be. I thoroughly enjoyed that period of my life and have come to think of my time in the CF as like a graduate course in writing that just so happened to include a lot of classmates who ended up enhancing my existence for nearly a year. I want to thank every single writer who read and feedbacked my work in those days, but especially Shane, whose feedback meant the most to me personally. His ability to so intelligently write about pro wrestling helped me find a new gear with my own writing.

    After winning Column of the Month in May 2010, I was feeling pretty much ready to graduate to the main page and re-engage the masses. That was my goal when I joined the CF: return to the MP as a column writer. Then came LOP's NXT. During the summer of 2010, an incredible pool of talent was assembled, pairing LOP's best of the past and present with up-and-comers like myself. Talk about a rude awakening. That was humbling at first, but it was ultimately the catalyst that propelled me to where I am as a writer/author today. I came into it with a chip on my shoulder and used every piece of feedback as fuel; it was an invaluable experience. I want to thank my coach through that process, Phantom Lord, and heap massive amounts of thanks toward Mazza, who commented after one of my entries, “Doc is who he is.” No single comment in 12 years of writing for LOP has sparked a greater desire to be better than that one.

    The bottom line is that I want to be the best at everything that I do. At that time, the guy to top in order to be the best was Hustle. So, when I got called up to the main page shortly after LOP NXT, I set out to take the spot he'd earned as LOP's finest. Had it been Davey Boy, who originally inspired me to write for LOP in the first place, then I'd have done the same thing. I wanted to be the standard-bearer. Hustle was in the midst of his unprecedented daily streak and, while I knew I couldn't do that, I also knew that if I stayed consistent enough and offered the widest variety of engaging topics and formats, I could catch up to him someday. So, as much as I want to thank Davey Boy for the inspiration, I want to thank Hustle for the motivation. I've never acknowledged this publicly, but every epic series, every experiment with style, and every attempt at becoming the best-rounded columnist not just on LOP but anywhere – at least during those first few years, pre-book – were motivated by Aaron Hyden's Hustle.

    I want to thank Calvin Martin most of all. He's kind of like the Wizard of Oz, isn't he? We all talk about him, but nobody ever sees him or hears from him, but he's afforded me so many opportunities here on LOP. He gave me the chance to go head-to-head on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday/Friday nights with the most popular columnists on the internet and try to make LOP the fastest place to get the best reviews. He gave me the chance to come back to the main page as a column writer and has always been receptive to all the ideas that I've thrown his way (like the LOP Hall of Fame, which I'm very proud of, that we do every year during WrestleMania Season). He gave me an avenue to promote my book; when I finished The WrestleMania Era, my biggest concern of working with a small publisher was how I was going to let people know that the book existed. My book peaked at #3 on the wrestling charts, behind only the latest from Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho; that simply doesn't happen without LOP and Calvin Martin.

    Overall, my LOP journey has been incredibly rewarding and there are so many others who I would like to acknowledge. In addition to those already mentioned, I want to thank Mattberg (who introduced me to LOP in 2002), Winter (who I thought was just an awesome columnist back in the day), my pals from an old forum called Wrestling Matters, specifically Stinger, Q, and Snowman (I spent countless hours conversing about wrestling and life in general with them; I miss those guys), PEN (with whom I attended my first 'Mania, an experience that was the stimulus for a lot of column series), the readers who have regularly left comments in response to my columns and podcasts (there are fortunately too many to name individually, but I appreciate and respect each one of them), the various fellow writers and fans who I interact with daily on social media (also too many to name individually, but know that I love our conversations), and last but not least, every wrestler who has ever given me something to write about (no group of people on earth has earned my respect more).

    LOP has given the greatest outlet for stress management that I could have ever asked for. Wrestling is a hobby that I've been very passionate about since I was three years old, but I've been able to turn the passion for my hobby into a second career as a writer thanks to LOP. I love this place. Thank you so much for the induction into the Columns Hall of Fame; it really does mean a great deal to me.

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