Wrestler has his class act rumbled

15th July 2005 at 01:00

A New York City teacher who took sick leave to care for his "anorexic sister" was actually moonlighting as a professional wrestler called Matt Striker before thousands of baying fans on a popular TV wrestling show, SmackDown!

Social studies teacher Matthew Kaye was rumbled after his colleagues at Benjamin Cardozo high school in Queens were tipped off about thisisstriker.com, a website showcasing his pumped-up, medallion-wearing, trash-talking alter-ego and his exploits against arch-nemesis Kurt Angle.

Admittedly, students may have already been on to Mr Kaye, who also went by the names "Hot Stuff" and "Hydro" in the ring and was famous for showy signature manoeuvres called "lungblower" and "overdrive".

"I swear I saw him on SmackDown! last week," reads a posting in March about Mr Kaye on ratemyteacher.com, a popular US student gossip web site.

New York education officials recommended late last month that Mr Kaye, who resigned in April with disciplinary action pending, be struck off as a teacher.

A letter from investigators to the city's schools' chief Joel Klein, shared with The TES, recounts the story of "administrators' discovery that Kaye was a professional wrestler known as Matt Striker".

As well as cooking up a cover story about escorting his anorexic sister back to New York from California while he was actually touring Japan with a wrestling troupe, Kaye had his mother call in sick on his behalf, telling Benjamin Cardozo high staff that her son was handling a "family emergency".

An unrepentant Kaye came out swinging on his website last week. "It's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not," he reasoned.

By the time of his resignation, he added, he genuinely was sick. "I had two lumps removed from my back - you can see the scars when you come to boo me."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today