To the wrestling world, they are known as Devyn and Raphael, but if you are tuned in to Centric every Saturday, you know them as Delenia and Matthew. Recently, I had the pleasure of catching up with them and they discussed their life inside and out of the ring, as well as what is like being on My Current Situation.
Balancing Life, School, and Wrestling
BW: Biggest Fear when trying to balance motherhood, school, wrestling AND planning a wedding?
Devyn “My biggest fear was neglecting any of my responsibilities due to time limitations. I wanted to make sure that I provided the right amount of time needed to each area of my life. Maintaining balance was difficult, but it was a top priority for me.”
BW: How do you manage to balance everything?
Devyn: Matt is a HUGE help when it comes to taking things off of my plate when I need extra time for my studies. There have been days when I have been locked in a room with food, water, my books, and my laptop and he ran the household seamlessly. Sleep eludes me most days, but I know it will all pay off in the end.”
BW: Were you intimidated dating an older woman?
Matt: “As far back as I can remember, I was always a very mature person for my age. When I was a kid, I always wanted to hang with the older kids and loved taking leadership roles in school. I distinctly remember spending an entire summer chasing a 13 year old girl when I myself was only 9, haha! Obviously there is a limit to how old I would go. I remember once, after hearing so many people were into it, I decided to take a look at grannies make love and I realised that wasn’t for me. But I was definitely digging slightly older women. It was never intimidating dating an older woman because we matched on every level and we just worked. Being with an older woman is always how I saw myself ending up!”
BW: You didn’t take his proposal seriously the first time, what changed during the year?
Devyn: “Once I knew he really wanted to put a ring on it, I began to watch him more closely. I stopped listening to what he was saying, and focused ONLY on what he was doing. People will say whatever they feel, especially in an emotional moment, but their true intentions will ALWAYS shine through if you give it time.”
Matt “As cliche as it sounds, it was truly love at first sight. It was one of those things where I just knew. She smelt amazing when we first met, and I later found out that her perfume had pheromones for women in it. We were instantly attracted to each other! I saw her hesitance and I was aware of her past marriage, so I knew my patience with her had to be exceptional. The first time I proposed, I wanted to make it really special. Her mom had never been to one of her wrestling events and I knew how much it would mean to Devyn if her mom came. So in addition to inviting her mom, I invited the rest of her immediate family as well as mine to a wrestling show in Indiana, where I had organized this huge surprise proposal! It just so happened that, on that same day, a blizzard hit Indiana and no one could make it. I was absolutely devastated. We barely made it home after driving on those icy roads. When we did, she fell asleep but I was wide awake, and I just couldn’t wait any longer! I slipped the ring on her finger as she slept and waited for her to wake up to see it on her hand. When she did, she was completely speechless and in tears. She said yes! I truly believe that God works in mysterious ways and our families weren’t meant to be there because we still had some things to work out before we were TRULY READY to be engaged. We did a lot of personal growth and healing in that years time, and I proposed again. The second time was extremely intimate and romantic, so you’ll have to wait and see if there’s a second season of “My Current Situation” to hear that one!
Marrying a Wrestler
BW: At any point were you afraid to get married again?
Devyn “HELL YEAH! Haha. I would even go as far as to say that I had already decided that I would never get married again. I had my plan of how many cats I would own, and everything! Which is why I was so apprehensive when Matt approached me pursuing a relationship. That wasn’t the plan, but he came into my life and turned things upside down. God has a sense of humor, haha!”
BW: Did you ever think you would marry a wrestler?
Matt “I knew I wanted to be a professional wrestler at the age of 5, and I knew I wanted a hot wife soon thereafter. But honestly, there was never a requirement, on my end, that she had to be a wrestler. She most definitely had to be successful. I always dreamed of her being like a movie star or something of that nature! But now that I’m with the woman I chose to spend the rest of my life with, and she happens to be a wrestler as well, I couldn’t be happier!”
My Current Situation
BW: What was it like having TV cameras follow you to wrestling shows?
Devyn “It was a lot easier to adjust to than having the cameras in our home, because when we are at shows we are used to having eyes on us and people watching our every move. Devyn LOVES to be in front of the camera, it took Delenia a long time to adjust.”
Matt “I LOVED it! Like Devyn was saying, it was much easier when it was at shows, but even when we were at home or out in public I thought it was the coolest thing ever.”
BW: Q- Did any promoters reject the cameras?
Matt “Of course not! Most of the promotions we brought the idea to were more than on board and excited to do it. The toughest part was all the paperwork that had to be done, but even that was a non-issue.”
BW: Any objections to being on “MCS”?
Devyn “No, because it was genuinely our story. There was never any script and it was an opportunity for us to share our experiences and hopefully help someone. It was a healing process for me as well because I was repressing negative memories and this forced me to face them head on. It was difficult, but necessary.”
Matt: “I never had any objections because, like Devyn said, it was an opportunity for us to share our experiences and potentially reach someone who needed to be pulled out of a dark place. Devyn and I both have come the fire and the flood and in my past I would always ask myself “Why?” Why did I have to endure so many trials and tribulations? With the way the opportunity to be on MCS just fell in our laps, I have no doubt in my mind that I have the answer to my question.”
BW: Now I have been Facebook friends with you two for awhile, so I watched the journey to the alter “online,” watching My Current Situation, I am able to learn about the process to the altar. What was something that we did not see that you wish we did
Devyn “The actual process to find the venue. That was a journey that lasted over a year. There were even times where I wanted to just give up and go to the courthouse because it was such a headache. But every time I got close, I realized how important it was to have our families there to share in the moment. I’m glad that we stuck it out, because it truly exceeded my expectations.”
Matt “Along with the journey to find the perfect venue, I wish the cameras would have caught the journey to plan my bachelor party! My Best Man Cory and I went over a bunch of different options, including a trip to Vegas. We ended up settling on hiring midget strippers, but when that fell through, we ended up having to throw together a last minute bachelor party in true “Matt & Cory” fashion, haha!”
BW: Were you two involved in a storyline together?
Devyn ” No. When we met, I had only had a handful of matches! we were in completely different “Wrestling Circles” and I could honestly say that we met by chance.”
BW: How long were you two wrestling when you first met?
Devyn “I had only been wrestling for three months!”
Matt “I was in the game for about 6 months myself. Not long at all! We have truly grown and come up together in this business!
BW: Do you think things would have been diff. if you were further along in your careers?
Devyn “Absolutely! We have really started from the bottom together and grown to this point in wrestling and in television. I think that one of the things that makes our relationship so strong and real, is the fact that we’ve seen each other at our lowest and fought tooth and nail side-by-side to achieve our dreams. Even though it was difficult, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Delenia and Matt versus Devyn and Raphael
BW: Is it difficult to switch back to Matt and Delenia when you are home?
Devyn “It’s not difficult because I am comfortable with who Delenia is and Devyn is whoever I want her to be. They are literally night and day. Sometimes Devyn comes out at home, but only when necessary, *wink* haha!
Matt- I feel as if the best characters in wrestling were always simply extensions of themselves. For example, The Rock was an extension of Dwayne and Triple H was an extension of Paul. So in the same way, Raphael is an extension of Matt. I look at it as if I operate on a dial. When I’m home, I’m resting comfortably at about a five. When I step through that curtain however, I crank it all the way up to ten. Sometimes twenty!”
BW: How did your friends/family feel about you moving from St. Louis to Atlanta for Devyn?
Matt “I’m honestly not sure, haha! I’m sure they were concerned, but I have always had a good head on my shoulders, they knew that and I’m sure that’s what they took refuge in. I never got the, “You shouldn’t do that!” or the “That’s a bad idea!”, speech. I was only met with support!
BW: Recently on a Facebook Live video, Devyn you discussed being protective over your boys. How did you know it was time to allow Raphael into their life?
Devyn “I never thought that there was a ‘right’ time, but I knew that I didn’t want to invest too much time without seeing if they had chemistry, because that would have been a deal-breaker. When they first met it was supervised by me, of course, and as time went on my trust grew. I allowed him to spend time alone with them and establish their own relationship. Before I knew it, he had taken on a leadership role in their life and I knew he was the one.”
BW: Recently, my 6-year old son asked me if wrestling was real. I told him it was scripted but the action was real Have you had the wrestling birds and the bees conversation with them?
Devyn “I had to have the conversation with them very early on in my career because they worried about me a lot, especially when I was on the road. Being a single parent, I know there were times that they were overly dependent on me because I was all they had so I took the necessary steps to reassure them that I was safe. I was worried that would affect how they viewed wrestling as fans, but I believe knowing all of the behind-the-scenes sacrifice necessary to be successful makes them appreciate the business even more!”
Matt “They know their dad punches and slams people for a living and they think it’s the coolest thing in the world! Just being our kids and seeing us wrestle, travel and train, they have such a respect and appreciation for the business. Sometimes I wish I had that growing up, being the huge fan that I was.”
The Importance of My Current Situation
BW: How important did you think it was for a black wrestling couple to be on a show like this?
Devyn “With the representation of young black people on television especially in reality TV being mostly negative, I was excited for the opportunity to show the world something different! Those shows are very popular, but I think it’s time for a change and I know that there is a market ready to receive that change.”
Matt “I think it was extremely important because, like Devyn said, it is such a positive representation. Our story also bridges the gap between the black community-professional wrestling- and reality tv. We recently did an interview for “Rolling Out” Magazine where we stated that we were excited to be positive role models for our youth, and we meant it! It’s VERY important!”
BW: What kind of advice can you give to couples in the wrestling industry?
Devyn: “Stay true to yourself and each other! Also, look at your mate’s success as your own. Surprisingly, I have seen a lot of jealousy issues in other wrestling couples, and I struggle to understand it every day. Support each other and keep your wrestling life separate from your personal life.”
Matt: “I really couldn’t have said it better myself! Be each other’s reason for success.”
BW: What kind of advice can you give those interested in doing reality TV?
Devyn “Keep in mind that there is life after the show, so don’t compromise your morals and values for the sake of views. The right people will appreciate your story in its rare form without the additives. You have to be able to look at yourself every day. Never do anything that will compromise how you feel about yourself.”
Matt: “Be prepared to have the world see you completely naked, and be ready for whatever comes as a result of that.”
BW: Anything you would like to say to the fans?
Devyn- “Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you in and out of the ring. I hope that my life lessons touch someone and keeps them from making the same mistakes I have. I love an appreciate all of you and I’m grateful for the support.”
Matt- “I hope the fans of our wrestling become the fans of our show, and the fans of our show become the fans of our wrestling. I feel that bridging the gap between the two would create something special for the world to witness and I am beyond grateful to spearhead the building of that bridge with my lovely wife. Professional wrestling always has been and always will be my passion and I cannot thank the the fans, the trainers, the promoters and everyone in between who have helped me get to this point in my career, enough. Stay tuned, because the best is yet to come!
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