Nearly three weeks have elapsed since Wrestlemania 30 and several events have occurred at Spirits on Bourbon since then. But we still have an interview with WWE wrestler Matt Striker for ya’ll to read, because why-in-hell-not?
Spirits hosted the Chair Shot Reality Show on April 5 with Striker as their special guest. One interesting thing about Striker: before becoming a professional wrestler, he was a high school social studies teacher from New York and we think that is pretty cool. We sat down with Striker at the conclusion of the CSR show for a quick Q&A.
Spirits: Why did you decide to get into professional wrestling?
Matt Striker: I was always doing it on the side. Then the opportunity came for something big. It was really just the winds of destiny that took me there. It wasn’t a cognitive decision like ‘I’m going to go do this.’ It was something that I was pursuing and the opportunity came and the break came. I’m a God guy and I trusted that God would lead me in the right place and evidently he has.
What has been the biggest challenge for you along the way?
I am a very shy person by nature. I struggled with the self-promotion. Walk around like you’re a star; people come up and they see you. The way I was able to come to terms with that is instead–and I see a lot of people do this–of looking down, I’ll spend some time and talk to someone because I might get to know you and I might make a friend out of it whether I’m Matt Striker the wrestler or Matt the bus driver. We might end up being cool with each other. That’s how I reconcile my anxieties. That was my biggest fear.
What kind of work goes with self-promotion?
It depends on what you want to put out there about yourself. Now it’s a lot easier with social media. All you gotta do is Tweet your stuff, Facebook your stuff or Instagram your stuff. But then it was just more of walking around with a certain air about you I never felt comfortable walking around with. I was real fortunate. My grandfather was in the music business. A lot of very famous music names during the time of Frank Sinatra or Perry Como would come through my house and I saw how they were and I saw how humble they were and how family was important and being kind and generous was important and I wanted to pattern myself that way. It’s a lot better when someone says ‘Oh, I met Matt Striker, he’s a pretty cool guy’ than ‘Matt Striker, what a dick.’
What has been the biggest reward of your WWE career?
The ability to influence. A parent can tell a kid a hundred times to do well in school and don’t do drugs and he’ll dismiss it. Maybe a celebrity or someone the kid looks up to says ‘hey man try your hardest in school and if you can steer clear of drugs.’ That message might get through. And again, I’m a God guy, so I believe we’re here for a reason. So hopefully that’s my reason. We had two kids today to whom I said do good and school and I saw their mother mouth the words ‘thank you’. To me that’s the most rewarding.
Do you have a family? Any kids?
None that I know of. I’ve got some sisters and a mom and stuff, but I haven’t wanted to make the mistake of getting into a bad marriage because my parents were divorced. I’m just waiting until the right girl comes along and if she is reading this blog she can email me. Send pictures.
So you’re anti-drug?
I’m not anti-drug. I am anti-abuse. I smoked a ton of pot in college, I’ll admit it and I do believe it has its benefits and medicinal properties. I’m not anti-drug; I am anti-addiction and habit. You can be addicted to chocolate and it’s going to suck for your and your diabetes. So I am not anti-drug per se, no.
Is there still a lot of drug abuse in professional wrestling?
No there is not, not since the time I was there. I can honestly tell you with my own two eyes that I never saw anyone do a drug, ever. I can testify to that.
Not even steroids?
No. What they do in the privacy of their own rooms, my eyes never saw anyone take any drug or take any type of things that were illegal. I never saw anything like that. I saw people drink and smoke cigarettes and some things like that. The guys that smoked pot were the ones that went off and smoked pot, but I never actually saw anyone ingest any type of illegal substance, ever. I am 100 percent on that statement.
Do you still teach?
I kept my license and stuff and there’s five universities in a 10 mile radius of my home, so that’s something I might be looking to do. There’s a whole life ahead of me, God willing. For all I know, I could not wake up tomorrow and this could be the last interview I ever gave. I don’t know, if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans. Who are we to make plans? What’s ever going to happen is going to happen.
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