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Marc_Mero

Marc Mero

Marc Mero (born July 9, 1960) is an American retired amateur boxer and professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation as Marc Mero and with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling under the ring name Johnny B. Badd.

Early life

Mero was born in Buffalo, New York. His parents divorced when he was eight years old, with his mother supporting him and his three siblings by working two jobs. At the age of 12, Mero began playing hockey, eventually becoming his league's Most Valuable Player. In 1973, Mero's family relocated to Liverpool, New York, where Mero played for the Mid State Youth Hockey League. At age 15, Mero began playing for the Syracuse Stars Junior Hockey Team.

Mero began playing football in his senior year, with his high school team winning the New York State Title under the tutelage of future University of Central Florida coach George O'Leary. In the same year, Mero began training as a boxer under Golden Gloves coach Ray Rinaldi. Mero went on to win four New York State titles, including the New York Golden Gloves tournament. Mero intended to become a professional boxer, but his career was sidelined after his nose was broken in an accident. He briefly pursued a bodybuilding career, placing third in the Mr. New York State bodybuilding contest.

Career

In 1990, Mero decided to become a wrestler, travelling to Tampa, Florida to train under the Malenkos. He debuted in 1991 in the Floridian Sun Coast Professional Wrestling promotion. Several months later, Mero attended a World Championship Wrestling television taping and was given a tryout, losing to Doom in a squash match. Mero appeared with WCW as a jobber for several months before being signed to a contract by booker Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes repackaged Mero with the ring name Johnny B. Badd and the gimmick of a Little Richard look-alike. He was initially managed by Teddy Long. As Johnny B. Badd, Mero was known for his flamboyant mannerisms and for his "Badd Blaster", a confetti gun that he would fire before his matches. Mero won the WCW World Television Championship on three occasions.

In 1996, Mero left WCW because he strongly objected to an angle where he was associated with another man's wife (Kimberly Page). After leaving WCW he signed a contract with the World Wrestling Federation. Wrestling as "Wildman" Marc Mero. Mero was managed by his wife, Rena "Sable" Mero. On September 23, 1996, Mero defeated Faarooq Asad in the finals of a tournament for the vacant WWF Intercontinental Championship. He held the title until October 21, 1996, when he was defeated by Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

In February 1997, Mero tore his anterior cruciate ligament, and spent six months rehabilitating. He returned in late 1997 with the new persona of "Marvellous" Marc Mero, a boxer-turned-wrestler. The WWF storyline had Mero become jealous of Sable's fan following and wanting her out of the WWF. At Over the Edge, he defeated Sable with a small package, which resulted in her leaving the WWF for a short time. After he dropped Sable as his valet, Jacqueline became his manager.

In 1999, Mero and Sable left the WWF. At the time, Mero had three years remaining on his contract, with a guaranteed salary of $350,000 USD. Mero subsequently did not wrestle for 18 months due to various nagging injuries and a shoulder surgery.

On April 26, 2000, Mero returned to World Championship Wrestling, appearing with his trainer, Ray Rinaldi, in the audience on an episode of WCW Thunder and confronting Tank Abbott. Mero opted not to return to WCW on a full-time basis due to his physical condition at the time.

In 2001, Mero returned to wrestling in the short-lived X Wrestling Federation along with Rena Mero.

In November 2004, Mero began wrestling for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as Johnny B. Badd. He appeared sporadically with TNA throughout late 2004 and early 2005. Mero retired in 2005, opening and operating the Marc Mero Body Slam Training Institute in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

In January 2008, WWE and Jakks Pacific announced that Mero would be featured in their "Classic Superstars" line of action figures.

Comments on steroid usage in wrestling

In June and July 2007, Mero commented on the Chris Benoit murder-suicide, appearing on numerous cable news programs and criticizing both the wrestling industry and World Wrestling Entertainment (the erstwhile employer of Benoit). In an interview with WFTV, Mero admitted to using both anabolic steroids and recreational drugs over a period of seven years and claimed that steroids had contributed to the early deaths of many wrestlers. In interviews with MSNBC and The Sun, Mero produced a list of 25 (later expanded to 30) wrestlers who he had wrestled with who had since died, calling for greater regulation of the wrestling industry.

Mero's comments attracted criticism from WWE employees such as Mr. Kennedy, who labelled him a "goof" and a "silly bastard", and Dave "Fit" Finlay, who claimed Mero had "nothing to do with this business". Kennedy himself was later suspended by WWE for purchasing steroids.

On July 15, 2007, Mero attended the memorials of Nancy and Daniel Benoit in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Following his comments, Mero began making appearances at schools in Central Florida and lecturing on the dangers of drug abuse.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

Amateur boxing

Professional wrestling

Personal life

In 1992, Mero married Rena "Sable" Greek, adopting her daughter from a previous marriage. The couple separated in mid-2003 and divorced in 2004.

As of July 2007, Mero required a heart valve transplant.

Notes

References

External links

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