Former WWE broadcaster Matt Striker on the C.M. Punk situation, WrestleMania being headlined by part-timers, and the WWE Network
VOC Nation interview with Oscar from Matt Striker
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On why he works the small independent promotions: "I remember when I first started, guys helped me out. Guys stayed late in the gym to work with me, or some big name stars would come back to Gleason’s (gym where Striker was trained by Johnny Rodz) and I remember how great that was. I’m going back (to the small venues) because it’s the right thing to do, and maybe some wrestling student there will go on to great things based on my appearance."
On what it took to stay relevant in the WWE for eight years: "The first thing is to check your ego. Some guys honestly believe that they either really won that match or that they really are the champion. Everyone has a blog now, everyone has a radio show or podcast now; people need to put their ego in check and realize that they’re not that important. The business has gone on before them and it will go on after them. (While everyone was focused on being) the next John Cena, I focused on being the best backstage guy and the best promo guy, and seeing how many hats I could wear."
On the CM Punk situation: "I’ve known Punk since I started; he and I are good friends outside of wrestling. There’s no sense in trying to dive into someone’s head…you’re going to be wrong nine times out of ten anyway. Everyone has an opinion, but the only thing anyone knows (for sure) is what they read on the Internet, and none of the Internet pundits are walking around backstage; it’s all second and third hand information. The only person that knows for sure is (CM Punk).
On WrestleMania being headlined by part timers: "The whole view of the WWE is, ‘what is the stock doing today?’ That’s all anyone cares about. The Rock headlining WrestleMania the last two years was a business decision and was about putting the most amount of money possible in people’s pockets. (Batista being involved) is (best for business). He’s going to be featured in a Marvel movie that’s going to be released right around WrestleMania. He’s going to put new eyes on the product, which gets them to buy the product and buy the network, and the stock goes up and people make money.
On the WWE Network: "I think that the medium that the network is based on is interesting and unproven. Now there’s so much technology that you can watch your computer on your TV. WWE (has the chance) to catch lightning in a bottle. When MTV put on the Real World, everyone said it was a mistake, and now you can’t find a music video on MTV. I think WWE is going to do just fine. The original programming will carry the new viewer, and the classic stuff will carry the people who love wrestling.
On the DVD he did with Highspots: I watch it now and I cringe. There is so much more to put out there. The best for me is when young wrestlers come up to me and tell me that they watch the DVD and they’re learning (from it).
On other promotions having programs on the WWE Network: If other wrestling programs can be featured on the network without having to give up their rights, I think it would be very interesting. WWE is not a wrestling company. The fan that watching Ring of Honor is not going to be the same fan that is a WWE fan.
On Independent Wrestling: "Support independent wrestling. There are so many guys out there that are busting their ass for little to no appreciation. Without the independents, you wouldn’t have CM Punk or Daniel Bryan."
Matt Striker will be appearing in Brooklyn, NY at Johnny Rodz' Gleason's Gym on February 15.
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