Matt Striker on Lucha Underground, NXT, working indies

Phil Johnson sent this in.

Lucha Underground’s play by play commentator Matt Striker recently took some time to participate in an exclusive interview with PWMania.com. Striker talks about his his time with the WWE and his early time with NXT. He discusses his time on the independent scene, what working in Lucha Underground has provided him the opportunity to do and what he has gained from that opportunity. Check out some highlights from the interview below:

His time working in WWE NXT: I remember sitting in LaGuardia Airport and the executive producer of WWE television, who normally files privately and I don’t know why he was flying commercially but I don’t know why he would sit and talk to me but he told me of this concept and it was given the green light. It was his brainchild and to this day. You can say whatever you want about WWE producers but the man is a television genius. Every single Cole vignette or video or any entrance that you see and love it comes from the mind of that man. So what came to me and said it I thought it was awesome. So we got a list of all the development that he had envisioned I knew that I had wrestled with him down in Deep South and my trip to OVW so when they brought up a Wade Barrett or a Brodus Clay I knew that just right away that these guys were just going to be great. I was wrong about a few guys too. Oh, what was his name? It wasn’t Eli Cottonwood. He looked like Bruce Prichard. He was very tall, Jacob something. I thought that kid was going to be a star. Tall blond, good looking and then 3 weeks later the kid was gone.

But when they brought in Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan, it was let’s see what this guy can do? I would snicker in the corner. I had no idea who this guy was. When they brought in Low Ki as Kaval and teamed him with Layla and Michelle, again it was like great for some of my buddies to show you guys how good they are. I came up with guys like American Dragon and Low Ki and stuff like so I was able to see who was going to be what and also able to see who wasn’t going to make it. He was in the Ascension. He isn’t a kid now but what do they call him? Was it Connor O’Brien? I mean he’s been in the system for years but I there was always something missing there and he disappeared for a while and now God bless him and all do respect and he’s got this new Ascension thing going on and all but you got see what it takes but to answer your question to see who has it I was pretty on point with just the exception of a couple of guys. It wasn’t Jacob Goodnight that was Kane’s character.

Working in Lucha Underground: Well the first thing was for me it was great to just sit back down, put on some headsets and just watch wrestling. Not that I didn’t like being concerned with driving storylines, the main thing with Lucha Underground was the storylines build themselves. All I was told to do was just talk about the wrestling and I can do that. That’s the first thing that stood out. The second thing that stood out was a lot of the guys at Lucha Underground are encouraged, are not afraid, go out and top the next guy, go out there and make it hard for the next guy to get a reaction and that’s not the case a lot of times.

Competing and commentating in the indies: Well the first thing was for me it was great to just sit back down, put on some headsets and just watch wrestling. Not that I didn’t like being concerned with driving storylines, the main thing with Lucha Underground was the storylines build themselves. All I was told to do was just talk about the wrestling and I can do that. That’s the first thing that stood out. The second thing that stood out was a lot of the guys at Lucha Underground are encouraged, are not afraid, go out and top the next guy, go out there and make it hard for the next guy to get a reaction and that’s not the case a lot of times.

So I kind of had to marry the now with the then so psychology will never change, emotional investment will never change and I’m sure the wrestling will never change and selling and registering will never change. It’s just how to get the people to believe what you’re doing because they’ve seen everything. Guys have seen power bombs on tables on fire and kick out at 1! So I mean you have to make them believe that a small package at the end of the match so they can bite here and make it believable. That was one of my biggest things. And there are a lot of great guys out there now like Curt Hawkins and all these other guys that can marry the two styles and make it into a nice potpourri.

Striker talks more about WWE NXT, his passion for wrestling, hockey, his feud with Kurt Angle, WWE’s ECW brand and more. You can read the interview in its entirety at this link.