Matt Striker Talks Being Outed As A Wrestler While Teaching, Signing With WWE, Working WM, ECW

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 back tomorrow for 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 departure, TNA and much more. You can also follow him on Twitter @Matt_Striker_.

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. Bell time is 7 p.m. You can also check out a promo from Striker about the match and Lawler's heart attack on RAW in the video above.

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 so. 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 favorites 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.

Wrestling INC: It was hard to keep up with international stuff back in the day. Were you involved in a lot of tape trading?

Striker: No, I wasn't a tape trader. A fellow wrestler and I joke around that looking back, tape trading was a pedophile's dream because all you had to do was post an ad in the back of Inside Wrestling and you'd have 12 year old boys sending you video tapes. But no, I was a magazine reader. I read a lot of wrestling magazines and periodicals and stuff. I would just read it cover to cover so I would absorb everything that was there. I didn't really diligently seek, oh, I want to see what happened at WWC this month. Just what's in the magazine this month? Oh, Abdullah and Carlos Colon again? Cool.

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