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  • Writer's pictureBen Veal

Marc Mero on Finding Purpose After Wrestling and Sharing His Story To Inspire Others

Updated: Feb 17

The professional wrestling industry is filled with far too many tragic tales of former superstars gone too soon. The glitz, glamour and bright lights of the squared circle all, ultimately, fades away - and success stories of life after wrestling are seemingly becoming harder to find.

Marc Mero - Champion of Choices

The last seventeen years of former WWF Intercontinental Champion and WCW Television Champion Marc Mero's life, however, have shown that it is possible to reinvent yourself, and find real purpose, after achieving - and walking away from - grappling superstardom.

As America's number one schools presenter, Marc Mero - through his non-profit organisation Champion of Choices - travels the globe with a purpose-led mission: to reach and impact students' hearts and equip them with the tools and inspiration needed to face everyday challenges and view their life from a new perspective.

Ahead of making his first trip back to the United Kingdom in 25 years, the former 'Wildman' joined Ben Veal on the #WrestlingLifePod to share memories from his time in the ring, and to talk enthusiastically about his passion for making a positive difference in young lives globally.

Wrestling Life with Marc Mero: Spotify | YouTube | Apple Podcasts | Amazon Music

Marc Mero: "I went through some really hard times"

"After I finished wrestling I went through some really hard times," shares Marc. "I came to a place in my life where I didn't even want to be here anymore. There was a pivotal moment that happened in my life where I was going to end it all. But I fell to my knees, I asked God into my life and everything changed. It's crazy how this happened: at that time I'd lost my financial empire through divorce and bad decisions and everything else. I got a job training people at a Gold's Gym, and I remember how humbling it was ... [people would come in and be] surprised that I went from being a wrestler to training people at a Gold's Gym."

"But we used to have this Wall of Fame at the gym, where your [personal training] clients would get on the wall if they got really good results. And my clients were all over the wall, so I decided to open up my own personal training facility, and it really took off. But then I got a call from Melbourne High School in Florida. All they wanted me to do was come and speak to their football players ... I went over and spoke to the kids, and [afterwards] I started getting Facebook messages saying how much I changed their lives and inspired them."

"There's no greater feeling than helping another people"

"That school spoke to another call and recommended me, and they had me speak to the whole school. It just snowballed from there. Some of my videos went viral, and the next thing I know, I'm travelling all over the world speaking: I've been to Russia, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, the UK, all across the US and Canada.

"I now average around 230 events a year; it's a crazy schedule. I thought when wrestling was over, I wouldn't have to travel anymore and I could just be home - for so many years of my life I was travelling and living out of hotel rooms. But I love it, I've never enjoyed anything more. I found my purpose in life, and I believe God has a purpose for each and every one of us."

"It's been the most incredible experience, not only changing lives but also getting so many letters from children and parents that their lives were saved."

"I found my purpose later in life"

Despite making the decision to turn his attention to the needs of young people back in 2007, it is Marc's belief - formed through the conversations that he has had globally with youngsters, parents and teachers - that now, almost two decades later, the children of today need help and encouragement more than ever before.

"I wish I could say that life is getting easier for young people, but unfortunately we are seeing so many detrimental effects on students [in today's world] ... our smartphone has outsmarted us. We are seeing so many kids who are addicted to social media, up all night long scrolling through Instagram or TikTok or whatever, and the problem is they don't get the proper rest they need and they're always looking at other peoples lives. We're seeing suicide rates skyrocketing among young people in America and all over the world."

Marc Mero with WWF Intercontinental Title

"I've seen so many lives positively changed as a result of our programme, and I'm going to keep on continuing to do it for as long as I can. Someone said to me once: Marc, you can't save every kid ... I realise that I can't help every single person out there, but I tell you, I'm going to go down fighting helping as many as I can. When death finds me, it's going to find me living!"

"A lot of kids search my name and find old matches of mine"

"I owe so much to my former employers WCW and the WWE, who gave me this platform and gave my name a worldwide following. But it's amazing - when I'm travelling now and walking through airports, people will stop me and say that they saw me on social media speaking, and it's so nice when people recognise me for what I love doing now. I only wish the WWE would work with me in promoting the [Champion of Choices] school programme and to bring more attention to the needs we have both in our country and around the world."

Marc Mero as Johnny B Badd in WCW

"I was a part of wrestling in what was probably the greatest era thus far. You're sitting in a locker room and there's The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, the list goes on and on, and then in WCW of course there's Sting, The Road Warriors, guys that were just so incredible and iconic - and I got to wrestle both with and against them."

"When I look back on it now, I was just so blessed. I got to work with all of these amazing people and it was just incredible ... and of course, bringing my ex-wife [Sable] with me, and seeing her become a star, was another incredible time in our lives. So many great memories, but also some sad moments too when you look back and wish things could've been different. But I have no regrets. All of the paths I took in life led me to where I am right now."

Episode 009 of Wrestling Life with Ben Veal is out now: real talk from real talent.

Join the conversation on social media: #WrestlingLifePod

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