Hall of Fame
WWE Superstars - Extremists
Matt Striker Ruthless Aggression Action Figure #22-$12.98 USD
Matthew Kaye (born June 26, 1974) is an American professional wrestler currently performing for the ECW brand of World Wrestling Entertainment under the ring name Matt Striker.
Matthew Kaye worked as a social studies teacher at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Queens, New York while becoming a wrestler.
Kaye made his first appearance in World Wrestling Entertainment during a commercial for its King of the Ring pay-per-view in 2002. Kaye played a person who, while auditioning for the King of the Ring tournament, tried to climb the ropes but fell off.
Kaye resigned from his teaching job after the school discovered he was constantly calling in sick due to his wrestling bookings. He had gone on a wrestling tour for Pro Wrestling ZERO1-MAX in Japan, and wrestled WWE Superstar Kurt Angle as Matt Martel in an invitational match on the February 24, 2005 edition of WWE SmackDown! in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, using sick days to excuse his absence. After recognizing Kaye, someone reported him to the school board and it was discovered that he had been in Japan when he claimed to be sick (the one who reported Kaye is unknown). In a statement, Kaye said he didn't realize sick days and personal days "were two entirely different things."
After the story broke out and was posted on news sites around the world Matt Striker made a second appearance in WWE on the July 11, 2005, edition of WWE Monday Night RAW in East Rutherford, New Jersey to face Kurt Angle once again. Kaye said his name was Matt Martel and that he was from New York but Kurt Angle recognized him as Matt Striker, and reminded the audience that Striker was the guy in the news who got fired from teaching for being a wrestler and that Angle had defeated him before when Striker said he was from Philadelphia. Calling Striker "a liar" Angle finally decided to give him a second chance. In the 3:00 minute time limit match Angle defeated Striker for a second time, but Angle only managed to make him tap out with 1 second left on the clock.
WWE, impressed with Matthew's performance against Kurt Angle, signed him to a contract on July 12, 2005.
On July 18, 2005 Striker made a third appearance for WWE in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, once again attempting to win the Olympic gold medal from Kurt Angle in his invitational. Striker this time said he was Matt Martel and that he was from Philadelphia. Once again exposing him to be a "Big Liar" Kurt Angle attacked and beat Striker/Martel for a third time, though Martel did manage to get Kurt Angle in his Happy Monkey chokehold and hold him in it for nearly two minutes.
Matt Striker ECW #3 Action Figure-$12.99 USD
Matt Striker made his official signed debut on an episode of WWE Sunday Night HEAT airing August 7, 2005, where he defeated Johnny Parisi.
On September 28, 2005, Striker appeared on WWE's Byte This! webcast show and did a less-than-flattering impression of Ultimate Warrior, including numerous references to steroids. He, Grisham and Droz had several jokes at Warrior's expense, resulting in an edited version to be released on WWE.com days later that takes a more light-hearted approach. This was due to Warrior releasing a paragraph-long statement, calling the host Todd Grisham a "queer," and frequent contributor Droz (who was left a paraplegic by a wrestling accident) a "cripple."
On October 21, 2005, Matt Striker turned heel when he walked out on his tag team partner - then babyface Shelton Benjamin - in a match against Kerwin White and Nick Nemeth, only one week after Striker helped Benjamin fend off an attack from the pair. He would go on to release a promo on WWE.com referring to WWE as his school. Striker teamed with Kerwin White to defeat Val Venis and Shelton Benjamin on the Taboo Tuesday 2005 pre-show HEAT, with Striker pinning Benjamin to obtain the victory.
Striker's heel teacher gimmick had him hosting a segment called Matt Striker's Classroom on RAW, which was debuted on December 12, 2005, where he would insult the crowd about their family values and treat them as intellectual inferiors. The gimmick, which has been compared to that of Dean Douglas, often insinuates that many people in the arena are "smoking the pot" as one of the many insults. Shortly after, in a match that took place on December 18, 2005, Matt Striker faced Lance Cade at a house show. During the match, Striker had taken a slam from Cade that went awry, thus dislocating his shoulder and putting him out of action until January 23, 2006, when he continued his Classroom segments once again.
Striker would continue to host his segment during WWE.com Unlimited for several weeks. On February 20, 2006, Striker announced that he was in the then-latest edition of GQ Magazine. Striker would later return to defeat Jobbers on HEAT.
Striker would reappear on the RAW on April 17, 2006 for another Classroom segment. During this Striker claimed that "School is Cool". This brought out Carlito who took the teacher's apple and spat it in the face of Striker. Striker returned to RAW in-ring action on its April 24, 2006 where he teamed up with Chris Masters and then-WWE Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin to face Carlito, Rob Van Dam, and Charlie Haas in a six-man tag team match. Striker would end up on the losing end of the match when Rob Van Dam pinned Shelton Benjamin in the closing moments of the contest.
During WWE Backlash 2006, Striker would begin to feud with the (kayfabe) mentally impaired Eugene, after Eugene made an appearance on Matt Striker's Classroom during the PPV. This feud would also involve a tweener Carlito, for a short while, who ended up attacking both Eugene and Striker after Eugene inadvertently caused Carlito to lose a match to Striker by Disqualification on the May 8, 2006 edition of RAW. The feud apparently ended when Eugene gained a mentor in Hacksaw Jim Duggan and finally was able to defeat Striker, after losing to him only two weeks before. After this match, Striker proceeded to smash Eugene's head on the steel ring steps. He fled to the back as Duggan approached him, however. Striker later defeated Duggan at a house show.
Afterwards, Striker would end up back on the web-show HEAT, defeating jobbers. He made small appearances on RAW during June 2006, mainly on WWE Unlimited, but occasionally wrestling as well. During July 2006, Striker would appear on RAW, occasionally teaming with Rob Conway to lose to the debuting Highlanders tag team. During these tag matches Striker would abandon Conway. This resulted in a match between the two on HEAT, which Striker won. Striker's final match on RAW was on July 31, 2006, where he was defeated in quick fashion by John Cena. This match came as of a result of Striker insulting Cena during one of his Classroom segments a week prior, claiming that then-WWE Champion Edge was greater than Cena.
Striker made his in-ring debut on the September 18, 2006 edition of ECW, teaming up with Mike Knox and Test to face Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, and The Sandman. Despite Striker eliminating Sandman from the match after pushing him from the ring apron onto the ring barrier, him, Knox, and Test lost the match by disqualification due to Test pushing the referee.
Striker would continue his feud with the Sandman for the next few weeks, until Sandman came out victorious in a Singapore Cane on a Pole match on the October 17, 2006, edition of ECW. Striker lost the match by Countout.