[MISC] Interviews with Raven and Matt Striker

Credit: WrestleTalkRadio.com

WTR Sunday Night featuring Matt Striker and Raven

July 10, 2005; Hosted by Tim Stein and Jason Clevett (in Calgary), JJ Sexay (in Oklahoma City)

Recapped by Ian Hamilton

Listen to the full show here.

It was another wild night on WTR Sunday Nights when Matt Striker and Raven joined the show and talked about anything and everything to do with wrestling… and more!

The show opened up with “Bombshell” – the Dudley Boyz WWE music, which pretty much tells you what the first item on tonight’s agenda was. With over 20 guys (and gals) released from their WWE contracts this past week, with Jason Clevett branding Dawn Marie’s release as “bullsh*t”, especially since the company reportedly wasn’t paying off her contract. He talked about some of the other releases as well, and what he thought the future held for those no longer under the gainful employment of WWE.

Tim, and the rest of the crew, sent out their condolences to the people of London after the terrorist attacks on Thursday morning, which segued into a discussion of the infamous terrorist angle on SmackDown that aired this past week.

They then hyped up the upcoming interview with Matt Striker, with Jason warning that they couldn’t talk about Striker’s current situation (with him being fired for using his sick days to wrestle), before going off on something of a rant about the reaction towards Striker from certain sections of the Internet.

After a short break, they returned and talked about the surprise return of the Blue World Order on SmackDown last week, and Stevie Richards’ involvement in the segment in particular. As they worked out some problems with the live stream (which are fixed on the archived stream), they brought up several other news stories, including Shawn Michaels’ turn on Hulk Hogan last week, before taking another quick break to sort out those issues and coming back with Matt Striker.

Jason introduced Matt by naming a load of the gimmicks he’s impersonated in 3PW, before Matt said that he was sitting right next to Mikey Whipwreck during the interview, with Whipwreck trying his best to make him crack up. Matt talked about how he watched wrestling as a youngster, doing Ric Flair impressions as a 10-year-old, and practising diving headbutts onto a teddy bear. Matt described how he got the idea of ripping-off 80s gimmicks from Tod Gordon, before bringing up how he sang the Russian national anthem during a tag team turmoil match in 3PW.

Jason then brought up how Matt was a sex symbol among certain sections of fans, to which Matt said it was just one of the “gifts” he was given, and he was utilising them as a wrestler, he seemed amused by the thought of people calling him attractive. Mikey Whipwreck then hijacked the phone for a few seconds, before Matt came back on the air to plug a few shows he’s involved in, including the Ballpark Brawl in Buffalo and World-1’s return. They then talked up the possibility of a feud (which could be the world’s most confusing feud) between Matt Striker (the one we spoke to) and Matt Stryker (“unibrow”, from Ring of Honor). Listen to the full show here.

They then went off on a tangent, including Matt saying that Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street “were probably gay”, and discussed gay marriage before Jason steered the interview back towards wrestling, and brought up Striker’s appearance in the Kurt Angle Invitational as Matt Martel, and the recent releases in the WWE.

JJ asked Matt which character he loved to impersonate the most – he said it was Roddy Piper, because it led to him wrestling Jimmy Snuka. He also liked doing the Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan, although doing the Warrior left him blown up before he wrestled his match.

Jason asked Matt about his experience working for Ring of Honor this past weekend, and Matt put over the company, saying the company’s locker room had “essentially filled the void left by ECW”, before mentioning that there was a good chance that he could return to ROH in the future. He said it was very emotional and the fans really meant a lot to him.

Matt then talked about some his favourite opponents, where he brought up OVW trainee Mike Mondo, before Matt cut off from his train of thought as Mikey Whipwreck vomited on a few ants in the background. Jason once again tried to bring the interview back onto wrestling, asking him what the fan’s support meant. Matt said that his energy reflects the fans’ support of him – and that it’s better to be hated for what you are, and not loved for what you aren’t.

Matt ended the call by thanking fans for their support – both of him and the independent scene – before they played something from Robert Goulet, which Mikey Whipwreck played off of as they went into a break.

Straight back from the break, they played the Offspring’s “Come Out and Play” as Jason introduced Raven, who was acting as if he were asleep. Raven talked about the few major things he had lined up for the next week, including a couple of hookers and Abyss at the next TNA PPV. Jason talked about Raven’s past history with Jim Mitchell in TNA, including how Mitchell shaved his head.

Jason asked Raven how he felt to finally become NWA champion – Raven said it was “pretty cool”, and that he was jaded and cynical, but he said it was a “validation” of how TNA had a belief in him. He said that Monty Brown could be a champion in the future, and that only Jeff Jarrett and AJ Styles had put themselves over as major champions.

Raven then totally blew Jason out of the water when he was asked to compare the NWA and ECW titles, before Raven put WTR on hold for a few seconds. When he returned, Raven finally said that the NWA belt was more important to him at this stage in his career, but said that both were equally great, especially since the ECW belt was the NWA belt of its time (before explaining how the Shane Douglas double-cross technically meant the ECW title was the NWA title.) Listen to the full show here.

JJ talked about how Raven studied criminal law in Delaware, but Raven said that he went into wrestling because he didn’t want to be “a 50 year old guy lying on the couch going ‘ehh, I could have done that'” – before saying that failure is simply not trying to do something.

Jason then talked about Raven’s participation at the Hardcore Homecoming event. Raven said that the luster of working at the ECW Arena was gone, because he’d worked there for CZW before, before saying that Hardcore Homecoming just “wasn’t the same” as working an ECW show, mainly because Paul Heyman and Tommy Dreamer weren’t doing the show. Raven said the show as more “Shane Douglas, Sabu and Terry Funk’s night”, but still put over that it was a fun show to work.

JJ then asked Raven what he thought of “One Night Stand” – to which Raven said that he didn’t see it, and that he didn’t watch much wrestling anymore. Raven talked about how wrestling these days seemed to ignore the drama and go for the high-spots, saying how the big money draws, like Hogan and Dusty were not technical workers, but they understood the dramatic side of the business. He then said that fans remember more dramatic angles – like the “chair shot heard round the world” from Tommy Dreamer – rather than a sequence full of flipping moves.

Jason asked Raven about his feud with CM Punk, which apparently put Punk “on the map” (although Punk denies it). Raven said his job in ROH was to establish Punk as a wrestler, but his ROH career was cut short because there were other bookers always offering him more money when ROH came calling.

A chat room question asked Raven which TNA wrestlers he’d pick if he reformed the Flock. Raven answered “Mikey Batts, Tex Slazenger and Cassidy Riley”, before jokingly saying “Monty Brown, AJ Styles and Abyss”. Raven explained that the concept of the flock was that nobody knew who they were. They then played a voicemail from someone asking Raven which promotion he enjoyed working in the most. He said he least enjoyed working in the WWF, and was happiest working in TNA, since he’d managed to beat most of his personal demons, and was making more money in TNA than he was anywhere else.

Jason then talked about Raven working with Gorilla Monsoon as a commentator, before JJ asked him about his run in WCW as Scotty Flamingo. Raven said that they told him he had some good plans for him, “as the Ric Flair of the 90s”, before they put the Cruiserweight belt on him – then Bill Watts came in and then his push disappeared overnight.

Another question from the chat room asked Raven about his “master plan” that he had before he left the WWF. He couldn’t remember about the storyline with Tori as a masked ninja, but he brought up the Seven concept that got shot down by WWF. Listen to the full show here.

Jason asked Raven if we’d see an ECW-like Raven in TNA – to which Raven said he didn’t see how he’d changed. They then asked him if he wears his kilts in public. Raven then talked about training new wrestlers, saying that most of them were “trained by nobodies” and “would probably get nowhere” in the business. He talked about independent workers who didn’t sell, and said that it was the single most important skill in the business – but it also happened to be the most over-looked skill as well.

Raven talked about the Secrets of the Ring series he was taping with ROH, and said that he wasn’t doing it for the money, but because he wanted to teach new wrestlers what they were doing wrong. He then said he had the dog collar match to prepare for, as well as some poker and some sex, as they wrapped up the show.

No guests were confirmed for next week’s show – although one of the billion wrestlers who were released by WWE last week was teased as a potential guest. Who will it be? Find out next Sunday, as we’ll also be covering TNA’s “No Surrender” PPV. Listen to the full show here.