Whether you’re speaking of his work inside the ring or his exploits outside of it, Ring of Honor star Sledge certainly has his fair share of stories to tell. Now, as he described in our recent conversation for Love Wrestling, the Metalhead Maniac is attempting to get on the road and share those stories with those around him as part of his goal of getting into motivational speaking.
“Reading the issue of PWI, I really enjoyed or appreciated that you said you wanted to get into motivational speaking and start to get to inspire wrestlers and the next generation,” I began. “Is that something that you’re consciously starting to chase now that people are starting to be able to interact with people on a person-on-person basis?”
“Absolutely, man,” the Metalhead Maniac replied emphatically. “It’s gonna start with [that] I was actually talking to one of my old teachers when I was high school and one of my old wrestling coaches. He sees what I’ve been doing, and he reached out to me. Right before the pandemic happened he reached out to me and was like, ‘hey, will you come talk at my class?’ And I said, ‘absolutely. I’d love to do it.’ Now with everything, as you know, obviously, the world shut down, and now with pandemic opening back up, he’s going to see what the COVID restrictions are going into next year, and then we’re going to set it up where I come in and speak in school.”
“That’s one of my biggest goals, man, is I battled depression,” Sledge continued. “I started battling depression at 12 years old [when] my dad passed, and I still battle it to this day. Depression led to my addiction, you know, and let the kids know that it’s okay to talk to people. You don’t have to feel like you’re alone in this world, because you’re not alone in this world. It takes one person to lend an ear that could save a life. One person and I need to let them know, I need to let everybody know, from high school to middle school, if you’re dealing with shit at home, understand that it’s better to talk it out than hold it in. Because, if you hold it in, a lot of bad things can happen. You could explode at any moment. You need to talk to somebody, whether it’s your counselor, your teacher, your next-door neighbor, even your friend, you need to let it out. Especially with COVID, man, this whole COVID thing, the suicide rate has skyrocketed due to COVID because everybody’s in a dark place. And, it’s really hard sometimes to get out of that dark place.”
“But man, you get out of a dark place, man, I’m telling you right now, man, there is light,” stated the Metal Head Maniac. “You can do anything you want in this world. I am a true believer in that, and I am a true believer in that the hard times don’t last. And, all the hard times do is make the good time even better. Trust me.”
“I love it, man,” I responded. “I’m certain that there are more people that you can count than just this one, but to close it out, I just wanted to ask you about J.D. Horror. You brought up just one person potentially helping you out and one person having any error or being that ear. I like closing things out with talking about positive people and people that have influenced us in life. So I think that gives a pretty good spot for him.”
Sledge tapped his chest emphatically before beginning his answer.
“JD, man, we have – that’s why I tapped my chest, man. We have the same tattoo on our chest. He literally picked me up from the ground and helped save my life and put me on the right path that I’m on now. That guy will always be my brother. He will always be family to me. Whether he’s blood or not, we’ve been through it all. We both went through the same stuff at the same time. And it’s my fault, I don’t spend enough time with him because I’m so busy. But, he has a great podcast. Fantastic podcast, man. This is – if you like spooky shit, listen to his podcast! His podcast is [called] True Crime Horror Story. They’re amazing. I would listen to them while I’m on the road. He would send me the first cut and just listen to it on the road. Some of the stuff and the way he narrates it, I’m like, ‘dude, that’s some sick shit, bro! I don’t know if I would be able to say that!’ It’s crazy. Man, he does some dives into some shit. Like, call your doctor afterward. I’m telling you, man. It’s some crazy shit. But, he’s fantastic. I just love him so much. I would not be in the position that I’m in right now without him.”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any of the above transcriptions. Thank you!