After This Former Wrestler’s Mom Died, He Looked in Her Casket and Had a Life-Changing Revelation
A Dark History
When it comes to self-destruction, there’s no one who knows it better than former wrestler Marc Mero, also known as “Johnny B. Badd.” Despite his best efforts and family help, Marc simply couldn’t get over his drug addiction and drinking issues.
Revelations and New Outlook
It wasn’t until one shocking and painful revelation took place that the ex-WWF star decided to change his life for good. Now, as a motivational speaker, he travels the country trying to set the young people of America on the path to success.
Growing Up Poor
Growing up in Buffalo, New York, Mero always had an interest in sports. However, he worried his dreams would never come true since he came from a poor family. Often, he would wear second-hand clothes bought from a yard sale, which led to merciless teasing from his classmates.
Thankfully, Mero had a supportive and loving mother. She channeled her love and energy into his life and told him to take all of his frustrations and dreams and pour them into sports. So sports he did. Mero began playing hockey before moving on to football. Eventually, he would land on boxing as his sport of choice.
Falling in Love with Wrestling
After winning several state titles, Mero fell in love with the sport of wrestling and decided it was his true calling. Realizing he was skilled in the sport, he signed a professional contract and even found his name, Johnny B. Badd, which was inspired by the Chuck Berry song.
Rising to Fame
As Mero rose to fame, he went on to fight infamous wrestlers such as Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin. He even married fellow pro-wrestler Rena Greek, although the honeymoon was over quite quickly and the two divorced in 2004. Mero seemed to rise to the top in the world of wrestling but, unfortunately for him, the higher he climbed, the harder he fell.
The Career He Always Dreamed Of
Even though the Mero had the career he always wanted, drug addiction soon took hold. Due to his many injuries, Mero turned to prescription painkillers, which would soon expand to other drugs. Soon, the pro-wrestler found himself spiraling out of control.
Health Takes a Backseat
In an interview from 2011, Mero told World Wrestling, “You find yourself doing things that you shouldn’t be doing health-wise – keeping your body strong through anabolic steroids, taking pain medication way beyond the doses you should be taking just to get through a wrestling match without looking like you’re limping or hurt.”
Pushing Away Family
As the drug addiction took its hold, Mero found himself pushing his family away and trying to hide his addiction. Due to the minimal drug testing the wrestling community conducted, he was able to mask his addiction, although he witnessed many friends and fellow wrestlers die from the same addiction.
Mother’s Never Give Up
One person who refused to give up on him was his mother. She continued to stay by his side and never lost faith that he would find healing, as well as peace. Even though she begged Mero many times for him to confide his problems to her, he always kept them private—he was too ashamed to tell his mother of his failures.
The Spiral of Pain and Deceit
Unfortunately, Mero found himself at the bottom of the deep, dark hole of drug addiction. Selfish and confused, he continued to hurt his mother, the one person in his life who loved him the very most.
A Foundation for Success
Mero’s mother had built a foundation for success for her children. She loved them unconditionally and wanted only the best for them. Sadly, Mero never realized it until it was too late. While he was on tour in 1995 in Hiroshima, Japan, he received a call that would change his life forever.
Tragedy in Hiroshima
The tragic news of his mother’s passing hit Mero hard. According to the doctor, she had died of a stroke at the young age of 58. Mero recounts that he walked the streets of Hiroshima aimlessly and remembers looking to the Heavens and shouting “I’m so sorry!” All his mother wanted to do was help him and he had never shown her appreciation in return for her kindness.
Good During the Bad
Thankfully, there was some good that came out of this terrible time. At his mother’s funeral, Mero remembered that he couldn’t bring himself to look into his mother’s casket—however, when he did, he couldn’t believe how beautiful she was. It was at that moment, Mero knew he had to change his life and find a new life mission.
Like A Phoenix Rising
In 2007, Mero founded a charity called Champion of Choices. His goal was to help young people make better choices in life, avoid bullying, and understand the full horrors of substance abuse. He now delivers motivational speeches across the United States at local high schools and has made it his life’s mission to do good and not cause pain. Despite many dark years, Mero came out of the darkness and is now an inspiration to us all.