In Real Life: Lesson Two
You will have to forgive the tardiness of this column, but after this past week's encounters, I have not been up to writing or doing much of anything for that matter. I cannot begin to relay to you how it feels to be kicked in the face and then slammed down from almost 10 feet in the air! A great man once said, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Can anyone tell me who said this? Contact Matt Striker now.
Alas, because I am a man of my word and I can never let my legions of admirers down, I am here for you. So let us commence with this week's "Striker In Real Life."
Hello, Matt Striker. I'm wondering why you gave up teaching to be a wrestler? I wish you were the General Manager. That would be sick and I would want to see you on SmackDown or Raw.
Well, Askari, first off, my love and passion has always been wrestling. Ever since I was a child, wrestling has been the only thing that I could really relate to. My parents and an old girlfriend at the time encouraged me to go into teaching because I was always smart, I always liked kids and I always enjoyed my freedom. Teaching allowed me to be involved in all of those things.
When the opportunity came to head to WWE, though, I had to make the move. It is what I tell all of my students and anyone who will listen: FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS! Never let anyone or anything stop you from giving your dreams your very best shot.
As far as being General Manager, I truly think that Armando Estrada does a great job of being ECW GM and Vickie Guerrero has been responsible for making some of this year's most exciting match-ups on SmackDown as Acting GM. As far as William Regal goes, he is one of my personal favorites, whether in the ring or as Raw GM. His experience in sports-entertainment is hard to match and he is extremely entertaining to watch. I find him hilarious at times and downright vicious when he has to be. Suffice to say, all three GM positions are filled quite adequately.
My question is what books do you recommend? I read quick and often, and I am always looking for thought-provoking books. I figure you might be able to help me. Forever your student, Dennis.
Well, Dennis (or Denis as the French would call you), reading is something that I love to do. Many times, people see reading as a chore, but that isn't the case if you read something that you enjoy. For instance, I recently finished William Regal's Walking a Golden Mile. It was an easy read because it was about something and someone that I am truly passionate about. Next up for me is Batista's new book.
Despite these selections, I don't only read about wrestling. I enjoy reading political fiction such as Last Days as well as Kenneth Davis' Don't Know Much About... series. I am also an avid comic book reader and recently have gotten into the Marvel graphic novel called Infinity Gauntlet.
As always, the best book to read is "The Good Book." Hope this helps.
Finally, "Arthur" checks in with this question:
Dear Mr. Striker, I am an ECW fan and have seen many of your matches. I just wanted to ask, how did you get into the wrestling business?
This answer is partially explained in my first response, but to elaborate further, I fell in love with wrestling when I was 7-years-old, and I have watched this great sport all of my life. I read all types of books and magazines and became so ensconced in it and all of its aspects.
My history with wrestling dates back to my grandfather on my father's side who used to watch wrestling and throw his shoe at the TV every time a man by the name of Johnny Rodz came on. Fast-forward to a young, blue-eyed Matt Striker who finds himself outside of a gym in Brooklyn, N.Y., where the infamous Johnny Rodz works out.
I entered the gym and proceeded to see names of all the great athletes who have passed through Johnny's clutches -- names such as S.D. Jones, Tommy Dreamer and countless other past and present WWE Superstars.
I stayed at Johnny's gym every day as he beat me up and slammed me around, but I came back every day. Even with a torn ankle and cracked ribs, I kept coming, learning and respecting the art of professional wrestling.
Finally, Johnny thought I was ready and I had my first match. That was nine years ago, and after traveling many miles and sleeping in my car while learning to appreciate the path laid before me by so many great athletes who sacrificed EVERYTHING -- just so that I can be a professional wrestler.
I am still learning and respecting and getting beaten up; I wouldn't change any of it for anything. It goes to show you that even if things seem tough, even if it's so dark that you cannot see, you must continue on. You MUST follow your dreams.
I think we had some good questions here today and just know that if you don't see your question here, chances are I answered them via e-mail. So, keep sending your issues to me. (Contact Matt Striker now.)
I look forward to helping all of you, as I know you look forward to my help...
The boy lies in the grass, unmoving --
staring at the sky.
His mother starts to call him
as a hawk goes soaring by.
The boy pulls down his baseball cap
and covers up his eyes...
- Neil Peart, RUSH