I recently spoke with former WWE star Matt Striker. In the first part of the interview below, Striker discussed being a wrestling fan growing up, wrestling while teaching and getting outed, signing with WWE, how he became a commentator, competing at Wrestlemania 23, ECW and more.
Make sure to check the second and final part of our interview, where Striker discussed commentating, if Vince would yell at him on commentary, being replaced by Booker T, Vince as a boss, “Macho Man” Randy Savage not being in the WWE Hall of Fame, his WWE release, TNA and much more.
Also, you can check out Striker in action this weekend as he faces WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler at this Saturday’s Wrestling Under the Stars II at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, NY. You can also check out a promo from Striker about the match and Lawler’s heart attack on RAW in the video here.
Wrestling INC: It’s been a couple of months since you left WWE. How are you doing right now?
Striker: I appreciate you asking. I’m okay. It takes a while to get over your first girlfriend or first love. But I’ve been filling my time with wrestling and seminars and doing some stunt work and some other things outside of the wrestling world that have been rather rewarding.
Wrestling INC: You were a big pro wrestling fan growing up, how long were you a fan?
Striker: All my life, since I was about six or seven years old. There were times where I didn’t follow as closely, but I was always following. It’s just one of those things. But yeah, all my life since I was about seven years old.
Wrestling INC: Did you follow everything? Did you follow NWA and WWF?
Striker: My friend, I followed things that people don’t even know existed. When I was nine years old I was going to school and talking about Hercules Ayala and Jos LeDuc. People were like, “what do you mean, there’s someone other than Hulk Hogan?” And I’d be like, “yes, there’s an entire world out there. I followed everything. Everything.”
Wrestling INC: Who were your favourites growing up?
Striker: Stateside, I always liked Roddy Piper because he was an antagonist. I liked Eddie Gilbert. I liked The Masked Superstar. As far as internationally, I was always a big fan of World of Sport from England, as well as Japan, so I kind of like a lot of the Rollerball Rocco’s and the Marty Jones’s of the world. And of course the original Tiger Mask, I just really enjoyed a lot of different styles.