Matt Striker recently spoke with the Don’t Try This At Home Radio team over WrestleMania weekend, highlights are below:
On training to be a wrestler
“That comes from going to Johnny Rodz’s school, going to the dog house. Training with Low Ki and Homicide. When I walked in, I was this undersized blue-eyed white kid. They beat the holy hell out of me, so I had to learn. When they were done with me, when my ear was folded and my nose was bloody. They asked me, “Will you be here tomorrow?” and I said “Yes sir, I’ll be here tomrorow.” We’d go and sit outside, and I loved hip hop growing up, so we’d freestyle rap. I was able to connect on something beyond just how we look.
Here we are in this day and age, we’re trying to educate people to get beyond just what they see. Don’t just see people with your eyes, see people with your heart. To Low Ki and Homicide and all the guys at that gym, they saw me through my heart. Once I started to learn to wrestle, I finally got in there with guys from Larry Briscoe to Kurt Angle. You might see me walking down the street and say “I can take that guy”. You think twice about that when you see me in the ring. And I’m not a tough guy, it’s called self-defense, not self-offense. All I need to do is defend myself and defend my people. I’m not out here trying to break anyone’s neck.
As far as wrestling stuff goes, that’s what I love. I love William Regal and Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit and Dynamite Kid. To me, that’s the good stuff. All this stuff? [Does Hogan hand gestures] That’s good, but it doesn’t work in the streets.”
Favorite commentary moments
[Laughs] “I was taught pride was a sin. Things that stay with me, when I got to lend my voice to Undertaker and Shawn. Anything where I could commentate for my real friends in the locker room. Guys like Edge, if I could call moments for them, knowing that we’ll get in the car later as Matt and Adam, that stuff was fun for me. I liked calling the real moments, I loved the emergence of guys like Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio, and Wade Barrett. I knew they were going to be stars. If I could lend my voice to those moments, then I’m gonna live forever.”
On Lucha Underground
“The thing about Lucha Underground is that a lot of people point to it and say that it brought Lucha Libre to the forefront. The real historians are going to point back to the night that Psicosis and Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio tore down the ECW arena. Before that, people forget, it’s Konnan. Growing up, we would get AAA and CMLL on the UHF channels. It would go on for like 3 hours and everyone had a match and there were two referees! I like that new styles are coming to the forefront, especially Lucha because everyone can relate to it, it’s not just for kids. The lucha libre style is something that can’t be replicated.”
Wrestling on the Radio
“Wrestling on the Radio is something that needs to be explored. If you have someone that can really paint a picture, someone that can really talk about what’s going on, then wrestling can be presented on the radio just like Baseball, Football, and other sports.”