In Real Life: Lesson Six
( Deep breath )
I come to you with this edition of "Striker in Real Life" in a different mood than past editorials. Most of the time I am jovial, cocksure and sanguine. Yet today I am stoic, even indifferent to the events of the past few weeks.
It is apparent that I, Matt Striker , am officially: THE MOST HATED MAN IN WRESTLING! Do I care? NO!Does it bother me that so many people wish harm to me? NO! Matter of fact: I ENJOY IT!
I do things for me, not for you or your adulation. I am my own person, always have been! People question my decisions, my actions, or sometimes my lack thereof, but I assure you EVERY SINGLE THING I DO AND HAVE EVER DONE HAS A MEANING AND A PURPOSE.
I am calculating and manipulative and I will admit that.
When you see me, think of me as an alligator. When you look at an alligator all you see is a vacant, barren look in its eyes -- but at a moment's notice that alligator can attack, and before you know it, you and your world are NEVER the same!
With that said, lets get to your needs and wants:
"Hello, Matt! I wanted to know if you like comics, and which are your favorites? Also, I would like to see you back in that ring, you have great charisma!"
Well, Richie, m'boy, I will admit that growing up I was a great lover of comic books. Before the Internet and extended cable television, my generation was forced to seek entertainment within ourselves. Our imaginations took us places that cable and "YouTube" can only dream of.
One of our escapes was in fact reading, which is why I encourage every fan to read. Whether it's a newspaper, WWE Magazine, a novel or yes, a comic book, READ SOMETHING!
I started out reading Archie comics as a kid. I would get the Archie digests at the supermarket with my grandmother, mother or father. I always enjoyed them. As I got older I moved into my real passion, as it pertains to comics, which was: MARVEL books.
My best friend Matt was, and still is, a HUGE "Spiderman" fan, and from that I got into a ton of SPIDEY, AVENGERS/ WEST COAST AVENGERS and other assorted comics such as POWERMAN and IRON FIST, the WHAT IF... series and, of course, the original SECRET WARS!
I will admit I haven't read a lot of comics since the HEROES REBORN books of the last few years, but a great friend has put me on to the INFINITY DIVIDE series which I plan to read in the near future.
Next up to bat is:
Wyatt and he'd like to know:
Hey,Striker. I was just wondering what kind of sports you liked when you were a kid because I read some of the letters and in one of them I think you said that when you were a little kid u used to play sports.
Wyatt, I'll let your grammar and awful Internet jargon slide as I answer your question.
As a boy growing up in Parts Unknown I played a lot of sports.
From stickball (baseball with a broom stick and a handball for all of you non-city dwellers) to basketball, to football (wide receiver and free safety for Bayside HS) to baseball (shortstop -- no height jokes, please -- second base and centerfield).
I played a lot of soccer as well. My best friend growing up was Italian (still is) and he would have played pro soccer in Sicily if his father would have let him. In any event, I was always his goalie when he would practice.
Because he was SO good, I became that much better.
Our crowning achievement was being chosen, together, to play in the under-21 World Cup in Italy. It was awesome!
The one sport I favored overall was hockey. I started playing hockey when I was about 10 years old and enjoyed great success at the game. My speed and eye for playmaking made me an incredible set-up man. With pinpoint accuracy I could put a pass on a stick in any situation. I had the luxury of playing with some great goal scorers in my career and it certainly made my job as a set-up man easier. As I got older, I became more of a goal scorer and defensive forward. I have played in tournaments with guys like Joe Thornton, Rick DiPietro and others currently in the NHL.
One of my greatest achievements in hockey is winning SIX STRAIGHT COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS -- still to this day that record stands!!
Hockey is one of my favorite sports behind wrestling and boxing.
A follow up to this is DAN asking what my favorite teams are:
FOOTBALL -- WASHINGTON REDSKINS -- Since the days of John Riggins, Art Monk and Joe Theisman, I have been a "HOGS" fan. They did OK this year, but we shall see what the coaching situation brings in the coming season.
BASEBALL-- ST. LOUIS CARDINALS -- Growing up playing shortstop there was no one better than OZZIE SMITH! Being from New York, I will root for the YANKEES against anyone but ST. LOUIS.
I absolutely despise the METS and truly believe they are one of the worst professional sports organizations along with the NEW YORK JETS ... LOSERS ALWAYS!!
BASKETBALL -- I lower my head as I write this but I am a lifelong NEW YORK KNICKS fan. Things are awful for this team now but hey, so goes life ...
HOCKEY -- I am a tried and true blue NEW YORK RANGERS fan. As I mentioned, hockey is my favorite sport and the "Broadway Blueshirts" have always been my team.
NCAA BASKETBALL -- The DUKE BLUE DEVILS have been a mainstay in my household since I can remember. My grandfather was a legend with the school's Children's Classic Golf Tournament and I could have went to that school on a full scholarship.
NCAA FOOTBALL -- The FLORIDA GATORS, since my sister Kori attended the university, we would always go to games when I would visit her. The Gators have always had an exciting football program.
NASCAR -- Yes, even a Northern boy such as myself has the "need for speed." I really like the way TONY STEWART& BOBBY LABONTE drive and guys like STERLING MARLIN are easy to root for as well. I am enjoying watching the maturation of A.J ALLMENDINGER as well.
All-time, I have to go with RICHARD PETTY and RUSTY WALLACE as my faves.
WORLD SOCCER -- My allegiance will always lay with INTER MILAN !
JOE wants to know:
DEAR MATT STRIKER, WHAT'S THE ADRENALINE LIKE AT A WWE EVENT AND HOW DO YOU KEEP BIG DADDY V UNDER CONTROL? HOW DOES IT FEEL TO PERFORM AT A WWE PAY-PER-VIEW LIKE WRESTLEMAINIA ?
Joe, words cannot describe the atmosphere at a live WWE Event. YOU HAVE TO SEE IT TO FEEL IT! I tell everyone GET TO A WWE LIVE EVENT IF YOU CAN!! It is spectacular. We all truly love what we do, we love the rush and the thrill of the fight. We sacrifice our bodies and lives EVERY SINGLE NIGHT because we love it!
Big Daddy V and I simply do whatever we want before we go to the ring. Whether it involves me oiling up V's massive back or going over strategy and watching video of our opponents, or even planning our next move, Big Daddy's intensity is building until he comes down that aisle and explodes!
Being in WRESTLEMANIA is a dream come true. It truly is the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup and World Cup rolled into one magnificent evening of lifelong memories. When I lay to sleep at night I thank Christ for every opportunity and blessing I have been given.
Finally, we have Jessica and she wants to know :
Matt, I see you write about God and Jesus a lot -- what religion are you and do you go to church?
Jess, many times I get controversial questions here and I ponder whether or not to answer them, but the Bible says in JOHN 14, "Who so ever denies me, I shall also deny them before thy Father ..."
My parents divorced when I was 3 years old. I am fortunate to have a great relationship with BOTH my parents, though I don't see Mom as much as I'd like to. My parents never pressured me toward any one religion and I thank them for that.
My Father is Jewish. His parents came over from Russia during the Russian Revolution. My father speaks English, Russian and a little known language called, Yiddish (a mixture of German and other dialects).
My mother never really adhered to any religion; her side of the family is from Austria and some relatives from way, way back are Italian.
I discovered and searched for religion on my own.
I began to read ALL of the books and studied each religion on its HISTORICAL BASIS!
Religion is a man-made entity and most people follow whatever their parents tell them to without any knowledge of why they do so!
Did you know that there are religions that were started just because someone nailed a piece of paper to a church door in the 1500s and <poof> a religion was born that people adamantly follow to this day with no root whatsoever?!
Another so-called religion began because a King wanted to divorce his wife and the church wouldn't allow it -- so he simply created his own ...
I have found FOR MYSELF and I must say: I respect everyone's beliefs and right to practice whatever they so choose as long as it does not impede anyone else's comfort or right to exist. But with that said, after all my studies and years of learning I have CHOSEN Christianity as my faith.
I am a spiritual man and I believe the edict "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" is a universally transcendent motto that encompasses all beliefs and all that is morally and ethically just in the world. It is a simple rule to follow without complication.
I have my opinions about certain religions and their practices and beliefs, but they are MY OPINIONS and I will not force them upon anyone.
I attend church in my heart and read my Bible and pray in my way every single day.
Just be kind and kindness will find you, be helpful and you will be helped.
That is the mantra I live by, and if you hate me -- I don't care. I am the man you love to hate!
"The young always have the same problem -- how to rebel and conform at the same time.
They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another."
- Quentin Crips
"Got to have a Jones for this, Jones for that. This running with the Jones' boy, just ain't where it's at!"
- Boz Scaggs, "LowDown"
Be yourself !!