Marc Mero

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Marc Mero
Marc Mero 2013.jpg
Mero in 2013
Birth name Marc Mero
Born (1960-07-09) July 9, 1960 (age 56)[1]
Buffalo, New York,
United States[2]
Residence Orlando, Florida,
United States
Spouse(s) Sable (m. 1994; div. 2004)
Darlene Spezzi (m. 2009)
Children 1
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Johnny B. Badd[3]
Marc Mero[3]
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Billed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
Billed from Syracuse, New York (as Marc Mero in WCW)
Macon, Georgia (as Johnny B. Badd in WCW)
Buffalo, New York (as "Wildman/Marvelous" Marc Mero in WWF)
Trained by Boxing:
Ray Rinaldi[3]
Boris Malenko[3]
Dean Malenko[3]
Joe Malenko[3]
Debut 1990[3]
Retired 2006[4]

Marc Mero (born July 9, 1960)[1] is an American retired amateur boxer and professional wrestler, as well as a motivational speaker. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation under his real name and with World Championship Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling under the ring name Johnny B. Badd. In 2007 he founded the non-profit organization Champion of Choices.[5] Today, Marc Mero gives of his time and talent to impact young lives through the nonprofit organization he founded in 2007 called Champion of Choices, this self-proclaimed “Happiest Person on the Planet” shares his powerful story of tragedy and triumph, speaking candidly about where his good and bad choices took him. His anti-bullying, substance abuse, and suicide prevention message reaches students during a dynamic stage production.

Early life[edit]

Mero was born in Buffalo, New York. His parents divorced when he was eight years old, with his mother supporting him and his two 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.[3][2]

Mero began playing football in his senior year at Liverpool High School, with his team winning the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Title under the tutelage of future University of Central Florida coach George O'Leary.[6] 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.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Training (1990–1991)[edit]

In 1990, Mero decided to become a wrestler, traveling to Tampa, Florida to train under the Malenkos. He debuted in 1991 in the Floridian Sun Coast Professional Wrestling promotion.[2]

World Championship Wrestling (1991–1996)[edit]

Several months after his FSCPW debut, 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.[3] Rhodes repackaged Mero with the ring name Johnny B. Badd (as a nod to the Chuck Berry song "Johnny B. Goode") and the gimmick of a flamboyant Little Richard look-alike.[7][8][9] He was initially a heel and managed by Teddy Long.[10] After turning face, he was known for his "Badd Blaster", a confetti gun that he would fire before his matches.[11] Mero won the WCW World Television Championship on three occasions.[3]

In 1996, Mero left WCW because he strongly objected to an angle where he was associated with Diamond Dallas Page's wife (Kimberly Page).[12]

World Wrestling Federation (1996–1999)[edit]

Mero in the ring in 1996

After leaving WCW, he signed a contract with the World Wrestling Federation, wrestling as "Wildman" Marc Mero (at the time, WCW owned the right to the Johnny B. Badd gimmick). Mero was managed by his wife, Rena "Sable" Mero, whom in storyline he "rescued" from Hunter Hearst Helmsley.[3] On September 23, 1996, Mero defeated Faarooq Asad in the finals of a tournament for the vacant Intercontinental Championship. He held the title until October 21, 1996, when he was defeated by Helmsley.[13]

In February 1997, Mero tore his anterior cruciate ligament, and spent six months rehabilitating.[14] He returned in late 1997 with the new heel persona of "Marvelous" Marc Mero, a boxer-turned-wrestler.[15] The WWF storyline had Mero becoming jealous of the fan following Sable had acquired in his absence and wanting her out of the WWF. This led to a temporary alliance with Goldust and his valet, Luna Vachon, in which the three humiliated Sable during matches, but it turned into a short feud when Goldust became physical with Sable. The storyline was resolved in a match between Mero and Sable at Over the Edge, in which Mero feigned remorse, offering to lie down and allow her to pin him, before defeating Sable with an inside cradle, which resulted in her leaving the WWF for a short time. After he dropped Sable as his valet, Jacqueline became his manager.[16] In 1998, Mero competed in the WWF Brawl for All. Jacqueline's interventions in matches soon ended up costing Mero several victories and he ultimately fired her also.[17]

Mero's last appearance on WWF television in the United States was on the November 30, 1998 episode of WWF Raw.[18] He had a shot at the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship, then held by Duane Gill, and promised to retire if he couldn't beat Gill. Gill won the match with the help of The J.O.B. Squad. He wrestled one final time at the UK WWF Capital Carnage PPV six days later, losing a tag match (with Jacqueline as a reluctant partner), to Sable and Christian. In 1999, both Mero and Sable left the WWF. At the time, Mero had three years remaining on his contract, with a guaranteed salary of $350,000.[6] Mero subsequently did not wrestle for 18 months due to various nagging injuries and a shoulder surgery.[11][19]

Return to WCW (2000)[edit]

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.[19]

X Wrestling Federation (2001-2002)[edit]

In 2001, Mero returned to wrestling in the short-lived X Wrestling Federation along with Rena Mero.[20] They remained with the company until its closure in 2002.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2004–2005)[edit]

In November 2004, Mero began wrestling for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) under the Johnny B. Badd name. He appeared sporadically with the company throughout late 2004 and early 2005.[11]

Retirement (2006)[edit]

Mero retired from in-ring competition in 2006, opening and operating the Marc Mero Body Slam Training Institute in Altamonte Springs, Florida.[4]

In January 2008, WWE and Jakks Pacific announced that Mero (as Johnny B. Badd) would be featured in their "Classic Superstars" line of action figures. This figure was eventually cancelled for unknown reasons.

Steroid usage in wrestling[edit]

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.[21] 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.[6][22] In interviews with MSNBC and The Sun, Mero produced a list of 25 (later expanded to 31) wrestlers with whom he had wrestled and had since died, calling for greater regulation of the wrestling industry.[6][7][23]

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".[7][24][25][26] On July 15, 2007, Mero attended the memorials of Nancy and Daniel Benoit in Daytona Beach, Florida.[27] Following his comments, Mero began making appearances at schools in Central Florida and lecturing on the dangers of drug abuse and bullying; he also promotes a similar-interests website with which he is affiliated.[28] As of April 2, 2009, he has had many appearances in schools and community colleges across Florida.[29]

Personal life[edit]

In 1992, Mero married Rena "Sable" Greek, adopting her daughter from a previous marriage.[3][15] The couple separated in mid-2003 and divorced amicably in 2004.[3][30] Marc married for the second time on July 11, 2009 to Darlene Spezzi.[31] Mero is a Christian.[32]

In July 2007, Mero stated that he required a heart valve transplant.[33] Mero had announced that he was prepared to undergo heart surgery in November 2014,[32] however tests revealed that his enlarged heart had shrunk. Mero claims that doctors believe he will still need surgery someday.[34]

During a Mother's Day Presentation, Mero states that he has overdosed three times.[35]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Amateur boxing[edit]

Professional wrestling[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Wrestler Profiles: Marc Mero". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved August 18, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Benaka, L. (1992). "Marc Mero". Retrieved 2007-07-06. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "About Marc". Archived from the original on June 30, 2007. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b Fritz, B. (October 17, 2007). "Ex-competitor Marc Mero urges wrestling to move away from use of painkillers, steroids". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 17, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Marc's story in his own words". 
  6. ^ a b c d Kerasotis, P. (2007-07-01). "Wrestling's reality hits hard". Florida Today. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Rothstein, S. (July 29, 2007). "'I'm sick of my friends dying'". The Sun. London. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ Kapur, B. (December 6, 2004). "TNA Turning Point a success". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  9. ^ Foley, M. (2000) Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.202)
  10. ^ a b Milner, J. "Teddy Long". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Johnny B. Badd". Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Power Slam". Amazing but true!. SW Publishing. January 1999. p. 28. 55. 
  13. ^ a b "History of the Intercontinental Championship". Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  14. ^ Mr X. (August 23, 1997). "WWF, WCW battling for share of Ottawa". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f Oliver, G. (January 13, 1999). "Mero enjoys carrying Sable's bags". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  16. ^ Powell, J. (June 1, 1998). "Stone Cold beats the odds". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  17. ^ Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 2: WWF 1990 - 1999. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ASIN B00RWUNSRS. 
  18. ^ "WWF Raw is War Report November 30th 1998". 
  19. ^ a b Oliver, G. (May 12, 2000). "WCW beckons for Mark Mero". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  20. ^ Waldman, J. (November 14, 2001). "XWF working without a deal". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  21. ^ Maxwell, S. (June 28, 2007). "Ex-wrestler boils about WWE pressure-cooker". Retrieved July 18, 2007. 
  22. ^ Artz, E. (June 27, 2007). "Former Pro Wrestler Admits Steroids, Discusses Benoit". Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  23. ^ "'Scarborough Country' for June 28". June 28, 2007. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  24. ^ Kennedy, K. (July 2007). "Message from Ken Kennedy". Archived from the original on July 15, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2007. 
  25. ^ "Separate Funerals Set for Wrestler Benoit and Family". July 13, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2007. 
  26. ^ Rothstein, S. (August 31, 2007). "WWE Suspends Ten Superstars". The Sun. London. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  27. ^ Mosconi, A. & Red, C. (July 15, 2007). "Wrestling with tragedy". Retrieved July 16, 2007. 
  28. ^ "Champion of choices". 
  29. ^ Kerasotis, P. (March 30, 2008). "Former wrestler won't see big show". Florida Today. Archived from the original on May 27, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2008. 
  30. ^ Baines, T. (June 22, 2003). "J.R.: Goldberg back on track". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  31. ^ Aldren, Mike (2009-07-20). "Daily wrestling news & gossip". London: The Sun. Archived from the original on 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  32. ^ a b Adam Martin (November 16, 2014). "Marc Mero issues statement giving an update on his health". WrestleView. 
  33. ^ Meltzer, D. (July 14, 2007). "Saturday news update: Benoit funeral, Reaction to media coverage from yesterday and editorial on how bad the industry looks...". Retrieved July 16, 2007. Marc Mero is facing a heart valve replacement. 
  34. ^ Jason Namako (November 18, 2014). "Health update on Marc Mero, does not need heart surgery". WrestleView. 
  35. ^ "Marc Mero's Emotional Mother's Day Story". 
  36. ^ Lyon, S. (December 28, 2003). "WCW Wrestling Classics TV report". Wrestling Observer. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  37. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 - 1996". Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 


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