Life as a wrestler isn’t always as glamorous as it seems. When your 15 minutes of fame are up many past wrestlers don’t know where to turn to, falling into a depression which ultimately leads to substance abuse to mask the pain they are dealing with. As you will see in this article, so many wrestlers faced this exact problem, struggling with life after the WWE.
Others fell into depressions for different reasons; The Rock shocked many of his fans when he discussed his very own battle with depression during an interview with Oprah. Could it really be that someone as positive and optimistic as The Rock actually hit depression? Yes, he in fact did, and we will have more on him and his battle with depression later on in this article.
The biggest thing to take from these situations is that there is always a way to get out of a difficult situation no matter how difficult it seems. The 14 wrestlers on this list are an example of this, no matter how bad things seem, you just have to dig yourself out. Here are 14 wrestlers that struggled with depression.
14 Shawn Michaels: Post WrestleMania 14 struggles
13 Marc Mero: Marc’s story goes viral
Mero went through some rough times during his pro wrestling career. Marc turned to drugs as a way to cope with depression, and this ultimately lead to 3 major overdoses which almost saw Mero lose his life. His mother unfortunately got it the worst. Mero would always neglect his mother who would always try to help him throughout his struggles with addiction. One day Marc received a phone call no one ever wants to get, he was notified about his mother's passing. Instead of hitting rock bottom and suffering from a worse depression, Mero changed his life completely. Not only did Marc proceed to get cleaned up, but he is now touring with a non-profit organization giving motivational speeches in high schools and colleges.
12 Kurt Angle: More than just some DUIs
An unwillingness to enter rehab ultimately cost Angle his career with the WWE. The WWE realized Kurt needed help after receiving several alcohol-related charges. His problem only got worse while he was working for TNA, picking up three additional DUIs.
11 X-Pac: Downwards spiral in Mexico
Despite several friends (including Triple H) advising Waltman to go to rehab, X-Pac simply went on with his drug-infused ways. Like many others in the past, Waltman turned to drugs and alcohol as a way to escape depression. Doing so almost ended his life during his stay in Mexico with AAA Wrestling. The former European champion almost committed suicide admitting he was in a very dark place in his life, and it took a conversation with his former partner Alicia Webb, to save his life.
10 Lex Luger: Turn to God
Like the 'Heart Break Kid' Shawn Michaels, Lex Luger turned to a spiritual approach in order to get him out of his long battle with drug and alcohol abuse. Luger hit a serious depression after the passing of his partner Miss Elizabeth, who overdosed in his home. Lex was charged with 5 years probation for the possession of illegal drugs.
9 Goldust: 3 days of hell
8 Jake Roberts: The Resurrection of Jake Roberts
Roberts was diagnosed with depression and coped with this mental disease through constant abuse of drugs and alcohol. Roberts admitted in his documentary that he had completely given up on life and was just waiting for his death.
7 Joey Mercury: Intervention with Vince
Joey Mercury admitted to being addicted to alcohol and drugs since the age of 15. As you can imagine, being addicted for so long leads to a dependency which eventually leads to depression. After entering rehab, Mercury once again relapsed after becoming addicted to painkillers following a brutal eye injury. Following yet another drug addiction, the WWE had seen enough, and Vince McMahon (out of all people) had an intervention with Mercury before his release. Joey credits McMahon for saving his life.
6 Chyna: Post WWE Spiral
Following her WWE departure, Chyna spiraled out of control. Chyna left the WWE on horrible terms after it was discovered that Triple H was having an affair with Vince's daughter, Stephanie McMahon. Chyna not only lost her boyfriend, but in addition lost her job through a fax message by the CEO Vince McMahon. As you can imagine, this led to a serious depression for Chyna who would end up turning to substance abuse to ease her pain.
Following a horrifying interview with Howard Stern, it was clear Chyna needed some serious help after slurring her words throughout the interview. Following the guest appearance, Chyna entered a special rehab facility specializing in depression. This unfortunately didn’t do much, as she later appeared on an episode of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2008. On the show Chyna admitted even her family relationships were spiraling.
5 Eddie Guerrero: Struggled with depression
In his autobiography Cheating Death, Stealing Life, Guerrero openly discussed his problems with dealing with depression and experiencing various substance abuse problems. Despite overcoming these issues and winning the WWE Championship, Eddie Guerrero once again struggled before his passing. His brother Chavo admitted Eddie was in rough shape.
4 Ryback: Saved by The Secret
During an interview on Chris Jericho’s podcast Talk is Jericho, Ryback admitted that a negative mindset caused his initial failed stint with the WWE. Ryback discussed being depressed and ashamed to go back home following his first release from the company. Once he got back home, Ryback turned to alcohol for one year straight.
3 Bret Hart: Post WWE struggles
Following his release from the WWE, Bret admits to walking around with a chip on his shoulder following the events that transpired through the Montreal Screwjob, all the way back in 1997.
Things got a lot worse for Bret later on, not only did he have to deal with the passing of his brother, but in 2002 Hart suffered a severe stroke after hitting his head in a bike accident. Remarkably Bret was able to recover but still had some emotional imbalances. In order for Bret to fully heal he admitted he finally needed to put the Screwjob behind him.
2 Hulk Hogan: Devastating Divorce
In November of 2007, Hulk officially hit rock bottom when his wife Linda Hogan, filed for divorce. Hogan admitted during an interview with Oprah that things got so bad that he contemplated suicide. Hogan confessed to consuming large doses of alcohol and Xanax, while doing so Hogan sat with a gun to his head contemplating what to do. It was a call from American Gladiators co-star Laila Ali, that saved Hogan from his suicide attempt.
1 The Rock: Admits to depression on Oprah
Just a couple of days ago, The Rock appeared on Oprah discussing his battle with depression. The interview was very emotional and quite candid. The Rock discussed being depressed at one point in his life, and having no one to turn to feeling alone and isolated. The Rock admitted through his fight with depression that the hardest part was realizing that he actually needed help. Having someone by your side is key according to the former WWE Champion.
The Rock suffered from depression when he was 23, living back home with his parents and being uncertain about his future. Despite his father telling him he was making a huge mistake, Rocky still decided to pursue wrestling. This changed his life and taught him so many lessons along the way. Dwayne encourages those who are battling with depression to speak about their problems, as there is no better remedy according to The Rock.
Sources: youtube.com, bleacherreport.com, thesportster.com, dailymail.co.uk, abcnews.go.com
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