Aron Stevens explains why he quit pro wrestling after WWE

In the larger-than-life world of professional wrestling, suggests Aron Stevens, the real people behind the characters sometimes get lost. The tragic loss of Daffney, followed closely by a Dark Side of the Ring The episode focusing on the unraveling and suicide death of Chris Kanyon, the NWA star says, forced him to assess the impact of the fight on his own sanity.

“It’s a problem in this industry,” Stevens said at an exclusive The Wrestling Inc. Daily maintenance. “We’re so used to these great personalities and something so huge, but sometimes in real life you just don’t know where you fit into.”

For Stevens, this identity and career crisis apparently came to a head in 2016. After a successful run with WWE, in which he won (but failed to cash in) Money in the Bank before becoming the comic genius and beloved of The Miz. A “double stunt” and partner of the WWE World Tag Team Championship, he was released.

“I was in a very unhealthy place when I left WWE,” he described his mental state at the time.

Over the past few days with WWE, Stevens says he’s done “a lot of questions.” Despite multiple character changes, he has met with presumably unexpected success, even when working with the most ridiculous material. Although the company “took my legs off in a creative way” he remembers getting better audience reactions than even their champion and feeling there was “nothing more” he could do. to convince the top ranks that he deserved opportunities.

“On the surface, I was very like ‘This is good’, but on the inside it was killing me,” Stevens shares in a particularly emotional part of the conversation, noting that his “personal relationships have suffered” as a result. because of the uncertainty of his career.

“I became someone I hated – and I became someone I hated,” he continued. “Was I angry with the company, or was I more angry with myself maybe?” In the end, it was an unhealthy path I was on, and I recognized it. “

When “got to a point where my life was sort of crumbling, and I couldn’t figure out who I was,” Stevens said he saw too many people in the business taking Daffney’s miserable paths and Kanyon. It was at this point that he decided to retire from the business instead.

For two years, Stevens happily focused on his acting career. In 2019, he was in Hawaii working on the TV reboot of Magnum PI when NWA called. After a conversation he was persuaded to attend an upcoming recording of NWA Power. Soon after, he says, he teamed up with a longtime personal friend and onscreen “Sensai” The Question Mark for an angle that changed the way he viewed wrestling.

“I was able to see the company through his eyes,” Stevens recalls.

“For a long time, I did not mean that I took [wrestling] for granted, but I kind of did it, ”admits the former NWA national champion. “Not everyone understands that. Not everyone has the true appreciation of the fans. I don’t even say ‘adulation’, just appreciation.

This included Joseph Hudson, a fellow wrestler working for smaller promotions before joining the revived NWA first as Josephus before finding tremendous support and love from fans as the question mark master “Mongrovian ka- rah-tay ”. As Hudson’s character grew in popularity, Stevens saw the fight through his friend’s eyes, which changed his perspective.

“I was mad at the company for a while,” notes Stevens, “I said ‘Enough’, and that’s why I left. I was in this with NWA, but I wasn’t completely sure. “

Even before Hudson unexpectedly died earlier this year from natural causes, Stevens’ love of wrestling was restored. Now, he says, he “doesn’t want to waste any more time.”

“With acting and everything being like that, I can still wrestle full time; it’s kind of my goal now, ”he notes.

“I’m amplifying things and proving that I can do it full time again. It’s a wonderful thing, “Stevens concluded,” but I wish [Hudson] was there to experience it with me. “

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