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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Man They Call Matt Striker
August 30, 2005 by Rhey Higgins


Striker seemed destined to work for the New York City Board of Education until retirement age. But, while Striker loved the opportunity to reach young people in the classroom, he remained enamoured with wrestling.

So, in his spare time, he began to train for the mat with a television mainstay of his childhood: the Unpredictable Johnny Rodz, a WWE Hall of Famer who ran a wrestling school out of Gleason's Gym, beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Soon, Striker was wrestling for various small promotions. To meet expenses, Matt began teaching. While filling in for a teacher on maternity leave at a Long Island middle school, Striker noticed one student eying him with curiosity. After a while, Striker's nocturnal profession became a topic of discussion in class. Striker used that to discuss goals and motivate his students. He took that approach with him to Cardozo High School in the fall of 2004.

Then, in December, Matt had a chance to go overseas to wrestle. He called in sick to free up the necessary time. There were no repercussions until he appeared in the Angle Invitational on RAW. In Queens, Striker's students instantly recognized their teacher. It didn't take long for students and teachers to figure out that he'd been in Japan when he was supposed to be ill. It began a furore that resulted in national media coverage and his forced resignation from his teaching job.

But the exposure thrust Striker into the national spotlight and launched his WWE career. Now that he's here, Striker hopes to continue to impress while in the ring with bigger names like Kurt Angle -- until he's a name inside the ring himself. -Matt Striker's bio on WWE.com

And thus begins the career of Matt Striker (born Matthew Kaye in Ossining, NY), dreamed of being a wrestler his entire life; he spent all his free time training to live out his dream of some day being a WWE Superstar, and even wrestled in several indie feds (MLW, PWWorld-1, and 3PW, just to name a few), and won a total of ten different titles in his one year on the indies. But, along the way, he ran into problems that seems to have plagued a lot of the greats in their past; financial problems.

In order to overcome these problems, Striker took a job as a social studies teacher in Queens, NY. However, even with a full-time career holding him back, Striker refused to let his dream die. He continued wrestling the indies, whether it be over the summer, during weekends, or even school holidays. Then, he made a decision that, at the time, seemed like it would change his life forever...and not for the better.

Striker, being the wrestler-at-heart he is, started using vacation days and sick days to wrestle a tour at New Japan Pro Wrestling. All seemed to be going well at first, but eventually he was caught. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Striker had no choice but to resign from his teaching career in a highly-publicized event. However, fate smiled on Striker. All the publicity caught the eye of Vince McMahon, and Striker was hired to the WWE, taking on Kurt Angle in the Kurt Angle invitationals twice and, while he lost both times, he still proved that he could hang with the WWE's finest.

While Striker hasn't been seen on RAW since, he has appeared several times on Heat, remaining undefeated. With great wrestling skills, decent mic work, and a lot of publicity behind him, Striker looks to not only have a great career in front of him, but he also gets to do what only few others can: live out his lifelong dream. And that's the remark from this smark!

by Rhey "The JBL Of OWW" Higgins..


LaserLights5 wrote:
This guy has to be the dumbest person I have ever see. He went on selfishly with no thought about anything else, he never even stopped to think what he could be do to him self. And to be honest, I would have done the exact same thing. After I saw Striker on the Angle Invitational I decided to do some research and I found that Striker isn't just another name getting a push from a publicity incident, he has all the skills to back up any thing that he could be confronted by. If you watch the matches he had with Angle you will see a guy who has the potential to come back in a year or two and whip a big name wrestler like Angles butt. As you stated before, the man has won 10 title in indie feds in just about a years time, I cant speak for anyone else, but I find that amazing. This guy has a big future ahead of him as a US/IC champion or a TNA X division champion, where ever he ends up he is going to be big.
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