Matt Desrocher. (Submitted photo)

Matt Desrocher. (Submitted photo)

PART ONE: Surrey’s Matt Desrocher conquers demons with wrestling

After a rocky upbringing, Desrocher learned valuable lessons during his journey up wrestling’s ladder

Matt Desrocher always wanted to be a professional wrestler.

In fact, some of his earliest memories as a child were from watching those glorified professional wrestlers on television.

“When I was three years old, my dad used to sit me down on his lap and I was just mesmerized.”

Those early memories created a fire inside Desrocher, one that to this day was never extinguished.

The wrestling world has taken Desrocher on a self-described ‘roller coaster ride,’ one that’s seen him travel across the world doing what he loves.

However, it wasn’t an overnight success story for the Surrey native, who’s battled his fair share of adversity on his journey up the wrestling ladder.

After that time when he was a wide-eyed three-year-old mesmerized by those wrestlers on television, it would be a long time until Desrocher got involved with his main passion.

As a kid growing up, his dad wanted him to play a sport, and wrestling wasn’t an option. He ended up playing a sport that was entirely different — baseball.

“Although I was forced to play baseball at first, I did end up loving it,” Desrocher said. “Still, it wasn’t what I wanted to do.”

Baseball eventually became about more than just a sport for Desrocher. It ended up being a way to take out his aggression.

Outside of baseball, Desrocher was bullied while facing a rocky life at home.

“I had a lot of problems both at school and at home,” Desrocher said. “I was bullied from kindergarten to grade nine.”

He also mentioned that his parents were on and off at the time, while both brought different spouses around him.

“It was a little bit of a mind screw at that age to see all these different people coming in and out of your life,” he said.

The problems that were engulfing Desrocher kept escalating. In his personal life , things weren’t settling down.

Desrocher took all of his aggression out on baseball at the time, and it led to him blowing out his arm at ten years old. It effectively ended his baseball career and closed off his aggression outlet as well.

With his channel of aggression eliminated, Desrocher developed other habits in order to escape from his demons.

“As I got older, I realized that I had suicidal tendencies because of the bullying,” he said. “At the time, with everybody and everything in my life, I felt like I didn’t matter to them.”

“I felt like I wasn’t appreciated or loved. I felt like I was scum, and it led to self-inflicting pain.”

While Desrocher admits that the path he was heading down wasn’t a positive one, he did have a watershed moment where he was able to turn it around.

“Everybody grows up,” he said. “One day I thought, why do I care what these other people think of me? If I can’t find someone who agrees with my beliefs, my life, or my style, I don’t need them in my life.”

“I just decided to put the past behind me and concentrate on something new.”

That ‘something new’ for Desrocher ended up being wrestling.

Desrocherwrestling

At just 15 years old, he discovered a wrestling promoter down in the Okanagan. Desrocher first got in touch with him by email, and he started making posters for the promoter.

Soon he found himself on a Greyhound bus travelling to Kamloops to meet this stranger.

“I was 15 and I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said. “I jumped on a bus to Kamloops to go to some stranger’s house, just because of a dream.”

Despite the red flags, Desrocher admits that the experience was overwhelmingly positive. He met with promoter Don Andrews and his family, who ended up inviting Desrocher to watch his first live wrestling show.

“There were no actual words to describe how amazing it was,” he said.

Not only did he watch his first show, but he ended up making connections with a couple of guys who would prep him for the wrestling world in Mark Vellios (Michelle Starr) and Nathan Burke (Disco Fury).

Once Vellios and Burke opened up their All Star Wrestling School, they invited Desrocher to train with them. He jumped all over the opportunity.

Desrocher said that the first day was ‘awful,’ and that it only got progressively worse from there.

“They tried to beat me up for the first month and a half to see what I could handle,” he said.

Despite limping to school covered in bruises, Desrocher said he wasn’t deterred.

“I had no thought of quitting whatsoever,” he said. “I knew right away that this is what I wanted to do.”

SEE ALSO: Joe Funk carries on family legacy in All Star Wrestling

Desrocher still felt that way, even after his first match.

Six months into his training, Desrocher was up at a show in Hope, and they needed another body. That’s when he got the nod for his first match.

Desrocher donned his mask and walked into the ring filled with excitement.

Five minutes later, he was sitting on the sidelines in a blistered and bloody mess.

“Boy oh boy did I get chopped (slapped across the chest).”

“It was one after another. Boom, chop, boom, chop. My chest was welted, blistered and bloody by the end of it.

“(Michelle) Starr came up to me and asked if I was okay. I told him, ‘I’m fantastic.’ Even though that fight was only five minutes, those five minutes told me that this is what I wanted to do.”

Desrocherwrestler

Desrocher ended up having his first balloted fight on July 22nd, 2011 at the Cloverdale Fairground, fighting as ‘Matt Xstatic’ in front of friends and family, a match Desrocher ended up winning.

“I can’t even tell you how amazing that was,” he said. “I started to cry a bit during my entrance because my family was there, and I knew that this was something I wanted to do since I was a kid.”

His initial foray into wrestling ended up blossoming into a profession with loads of opportunities. Soon after his first match, he started to get offers for bookings in Alberta and in the Northwest United States.

Things picked up fast and as they did, his confidence started to grow.

As it did, Desrocher would be the first to admit that his confidence grew to inordinate levels.

“I got blacklisted because of my ego,” he said. “I got too cocky and I let all of the bookings get to my head.”

“I started not to care about where I was fighting. I just took bookings for money.”

“You’re allowed to have an ego, but you have to be humble about it.”

Eventually, things started to fall back into place for Desrocher. It kicked off with a Cruiserweight Championship victory when he was 19 years old, during the first ever tables, ladder and chairs match at All Star Wrestling.

“That match kind of kicked me in the ass,” he said.

Despite the challenges, it was a step in the right direction for Desrocher.

He was back to his old ways, travelling around Western Canada and Northwestern USA, when a meeting back in Cloverdale with WWE Superstar Jinder Mahal ended up changing his life. That interaction would send him on a journey to work with The Great Khali on the other side of the world.

This is part one in a series. Part Two will debut next week.



trevor.beggs@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Trevor on Twitter

All Star WrestlingMatt Desrocher

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Matt Desrocher. (Submitted photo)

Matt Desrocher. (Submitted photo)

Matt Desrocher. (Submitted photo)

Matt Desrocher. (Submitted photo)

Just Posted

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Newton Elementary School in Surrey, according to an information bulletin Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Image: Google Street View)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at second Surrey elementary school

Newton Elementary closed for two weeks, set to reopen Dec. 14

Joy Johnson, seen here during an installation ceremony on Oct. 22, is Simon Fraser University’s 10th president and vice-chancellor. (Submitted photo)
SFU’s Surrey campus tackling COVID-19-related research

‘We can learn now,’ SFU president Joy Johnson said, ‘so should something like this happen again we’ll be prepared. We have to learn from this current pandemic’

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y Village at a federal flood funding announcement April 24, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress file)
Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy

All Nations Chiefs from the Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets holding online forum Dec. 2

Mayor Darryl Walker gives a welcoming hug to Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell at the inaugural meeting of the current White Rock council in 2018. (Alex Browne photo)
White Rock council under fire for inaugural prayer

BC Humanist Association charges city violated Supreme Court ruling two years ago

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
OUR VIEW: We expect integrity from leaders

Is it too much to ask that conflict related to the city’s business be met on the battleground of fact?

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

Chilliwack school board trustee Barry Neufeld is taking heat over using a ableist slur to refer to three Black Press employees. (Paul Henderson/ Progress file)
BC School Trustees Association president keeps heat on Chilliwack Trustee Barry Neufeld

In a news release, Stephanie Higginson called on voters to take careful note of Neufeld’s behaviour

Most Read