Matt Lee And Jeff Parker On Talk Is Jericho: Podcast Recap

Matt Lee and Jeff Parker were previously known as EverRise in NXT. Now signed for AEW and going by the name 2.0, the team recently appeared on Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast. They talked about how they started out in backyard wrestling and their love of teaming together. They also discussed living in Canada and how they managed to cross the border multiple times without visas, how the name EverRise came about and more. The recap can be found below:

On their beginnings and backyard wrestling:

Jeff: “Certainly as our relationship developed that’s what we became. We became the wrestling kids. I’m sure everybody goes through that. And that just forged our friendship even more. Then you get all of your friends into it, it is the 90’s. Everybody loves wrestling and tells everyone ‘Suck it!’

Matt: “And of course you’ve got to start a backyard wrestling promotion.”

Jeff: “Of course! You’re not going to backyard wrestle?! We started a promotion called Shadagi pro-wrestling. It’s named after our hometown in Quebec. We started in the basement and as things grow you need a bigger venue. So you move to the backyard. You put up some garden hose…”

Matt: “Jeff had the perfect backyard setup. He had 2 trees, so we ran the garden hose between them.”

Jeff: “Yeah my old man bought some garden hose, so the first thing you gotta do is an over the top rope battle royal right? We had one side of ropes and some leftover carpet. My father would get so angry because we would kill the grass and break fences.”

Matt: “We used deckchairs as turnbuckles for high-flying moves. We broke so many of those!”

On staying together as a team:

Matt: “It was in our yearbook. It said ‘Future WWF Tag Team Champions.’ It didn’t pan out but you know.”

Jeff: “But we were the Tag Team Champions of Shadagi pro-wrestling [laughs].”

Matt: “But it was always the thing. It was like let’s go for it. It seemed like it would be easier to be successful, because there are less teams around.”

Jeff: “There was never a question do split up and go solo. Luckily as we started the scene in Montreal really started to pick up. There was multiple companies when we started in 2001. There were a lot of little places we went to. We didn’t make a lot of money, we got like $10 but we were wrestling for experience. I remember the first time that we got $50 and I thought we had made it! We always went everywhere as a team.”

On the origin of their name:

Matt: “Our name was 2.0. We were like the second version of a team in this little company that we have worked for. It caught on, the fans were chanting. When that happened, we thought this was great.

Jeff: “Like any name it sounds stupid at first. But when you say it enough, it sounds normal.”

Matt: “Then it became 3.0, because we got better. Like any software, you’ve got to upgrade. This name just followed us around and we stuck with it [2.0].”

On how they travelled to the USA from Canada without a visa:

Jeff: “So we travelled to The States with no visas for years. So we got it down to a formula. I would be driving, and after you do it for a while you realise there’s no nerves anymore. We have a trunk of spandex but whatever. We are going to Comic Con. This was the spiel every single time:

Immigration: ‘Where are you going?’
Jeff: ‘Newark, New Jersey.’
Immigration: ‘What are you going there for?’
Jeff: ‘We are doing pro-wrestling training.’
Immigration: ‘Pro-wrestling? Like the fake stuff?’
Jeff: ‘Yeah like Hulk Hogan. My mum is really proud of me.’

They would look at me like I am a f*cking loser, so they would say ‘OK just go.’

Matt: “Once you cut yourself down a bit and be joke, that’s the key.”

On how they got to WWE:

Jeff: “We did so much extra work. You have no idea how to get in, especially when we were coming up. There was always the thing of if you are under 6 foot then forget about it. I’d love to get to WWE but it’s not going to happen. But then you get your Bryan Danielson and CM Punk getting signed. When Sami Zayn got signed, that was a game changer.”

Matt: “When Sami had that match with Cesaro at one of the TakeOvers, that really opened everything up.”

Jeff: “And once of my guys can do it, why can’t I? So when Kevin Owens got signed, we asked him what can we do? He said that he could get us extra work. Anytime that we could drive, we could go for it, we did like 40 shots.”

On what life is like as an extra:

Jeff: “Generally we would have to leave the night before, because the call time was noon and it was a 6 hour drive. We would hit the road to get there for noon. Same road story to get to America. So with extra work you have got to be dressed to the nines and be presentable. I’m not driving 6 hours in a suit.”

Matt: “Yeah we would stop off somewhere and change our clothes.”

Jeff: “You bury the suits under the seats too, now it’s a mess. But the email is always the same; ‘Show up at noon, check in with talent relations and go to catering. Basically stay out the way and don’t be an idiot. And there is a list of rules man. Stuff like don’t ask people for autographs.”

Matt: “You know that someone did these things right? Every couple of months they would ask new rules. Who ruined this for us?”

Jeff: “You always see the extras line. It’s everyone standing in a row, against a line, hands crossed position, wearing an ill-fitted suit.”

Matt: “Let’s say you [Chris Jericho] walk by, it only takes one person to say hi, then everyone has to say hi. Shaking hands down the line.”

Jeff: “At first it is terrifying. You want to stand out so you get a job, but at the same time you don’t want to stand out. When you do it enough, you are familiar with the situation. Just don’t cause a scene and it’s all good.”

Matt: “There were days where the extras would do matches in front of nobody. They would say at 2 o clock sit up in the stands in your gear. This is an opportunity. You are sitting in the stands for an hour or 2. You think do I stretch? What are we doing? Sometimes the matches happen, sometimes not.”

Jeff: “We always just wrestled each other. If it’s someone you don’t know, it can be a disaster. We want to bat 1,000, it’s not a time to try new cool moves. They won’t sign you here and put you on SummerSlam. Show the fundamentals and show that they can do something with you. Four minutes in and out.”

On how they got signed:

Jeff: “So we get a try-out in September 2016. William Regal liked us, we had done extra work with him. The try-out was brutal and rightfully so. I was in construction, so I took 6 weeks off for the boot camp. the trial goes really well, and it was just after the Cruiserweight Classic. Canyon Ceman pulls us aside and he goes ‘We love you guys a lot, but there’s only so many under 6 foot white guys I can have on the roster right now.’ How can I argue with that. But then he said ‘We are doing a season 2 of the Cruiserweight Classic, so we are going to use you for that. OK, awesome. Go home and wait for an email, never comes. This goes on for a year.”

Matt: “So then we were like, well we got to keep doing extra work. Just keep showing up, you can’t win if you are not in the game. WWE is in Montreal and we are extras, and we have a match with The Authors of Pain on RAW.”

Jeff: “So we start out and we get beat up, it’s all good it’s the business. Road Dogg comes up to us in our locker room, which is a cubby hole, and says ‘You can speak French right?’ Yeah of course. He then says ‘OK hang tight.’ 15 minutes later he says ‘OK you are going to have a promo. Charly Caruso is going to interview you in Montreal at ringside. Promos is how we made our mark. They set it up to where we should be, we interview, AOP grabs us, 1,2,3 and we are done. then the writer gives us the paper with our lines. There is a line on the paper that says ‘We come from a long line of French Canadians. If anyone knows about French Canadians, we’re fighters.'”

Matt: “Can we say this? We ask Road Dogg if we can say it this way? Road Dogg responds ‘Vince won’t know what you are saying anyway.’

Jeff: “Now it turns out the promo will be at Gorilla, we will do it live and have an entrance. We are standing 10 feet away from Vince, in our hometown, and we have to do a promo. We do our thing and Matt says the line in French, which gets a huge pop, I think more of a pop than what we got. We come through Gorilla and we’ve got to talk to Vince. We have to thank him. It goes to commercial, so I go over. I say ‘Sir before you sit down I just have to say thank you.’ We were expecting to say ‘good job and push us off.’ Instead, he goes ‘Great sh*t out there! Great enthusiasm.’ Damn, career is made, I can ride off now. Mark Carrano come up to us and says ‘Guys, great job. You will get a huge bonus. Jeff there is a problem with your paperwork, can I see you in the office?’ OK, I go to the office. He goes ‘OK there is nothing wrong with your paperwork. This is the first time this has happened in 10 years. Vince wants me to get your information so I can get you out to Florida.’ So this is just me! I go back to the locker room and Matt knows something happens, I give him the 411.”

Matt: “We knew we had to make this work for both of us. I emailed Canyon Ceman to let him know what’s what. They told me to come to. We had another try-out and we are way more comfortable. We do promos on the first day and we do promos one by one. They call me and I said ‘I want to do a promo with Jeff.’ We go up and we sang from The Little Mermaid. Everyone does the same ‘I’ve been doing this for…'”

Jeff: “When we got signed 2 weeks later, Ceman said to us ‘OK you’re signed. Your friends can stop calling us now.”

On how the name EverRise came to be:

Jeff: “So getting stuff through legal in WWE is not an easy process.”

Matt: “We knew we didn’t want to be 3.0 anymore, it has no context in WWE. Originally we were going to be Parker Martell. We were going to say something that was going to be in a promo and that would become our team name. 2 days before we were set to debut in September 2019, we were pulled aside. They told us ‘You’re going to debut on TV tomorrow, but Hunter wants you to have a name. So we go into a room with Road Dogg and start pitching names, nothing sounds right.”

Jeff: “Everything is awful. We go from French names, but then Hunter says we will end up wearing berets at some point. Every time we get through something that might stick, we can’t get it through legal. We get to TV day and it’s 5:45, show starts at 8.”

Matt: “We are going live in 2 hours, what is going on here! This is the rest of our lives! So we are standing there trying to figure out our song. We are just then told ‘You’re going to be EverRise.’ This was never discussed beforehand. When I asked why they told me ‘If I had a band as a teenager, it would be called EverRise.’ It sound like they open for Creed.”

On their favourite match they have competed in:

Matt: “So we had one right at the end of April against Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari. That was my favourite television match that we had there.”

Jeff: “Definitely that one for WWE. For Chikara we had this 10 on 10 tag in New York City. We sold out this club of 400 people and it was team Ring of Honor vs. Team Chikara. It was where we got to level up. It was a one hour match that was insanity.”

Featured image: Wrestling INC.

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