Former WWE Star Zach Gowen Explains Why His Pro Wrestling Career Didn't Last

Zach Gowen became the first one-legged wrestler to ever perform for WWE in 2003. After stepping into the ring with the likes of John Cena and Brock Lesnar, Gowen was released by WWE less than a year later. Gowen opened up about why his career with WWE didn't last while appearing on "Insight with Chris Van Vliet."

"I didn't have the wherewithal ... or the emotional maturity," Gowen said. "[I didn't have] the self-control or the foundation to be able to handle the gift that I'd received. It was beyond my ability to just be a human being, or to be a wrestler, or to be someone responsible. I indulged quite a bit. Pretty much every opportunity. Because you have to understand, at high school, I never drank, I never smoked, and never went on any dates. So all of a sudden, at 19, a year later you're a WWE Superstar, all of that becomes available, and it was like, 'Yeah, finally. I've arrived. This is great.' And it wasn't so much the drugs and the alcohol at that time, it was the inability just to be a productive member of a team. The inability to conduct myself as a representative of a worldwide billion-dollar company. I didn't have the tools to do it."

Gowen went on to say that he "dropped the ball" numerous times behind the scenes at WWE, and couldn't find a way to fix things. WWE eventually had to wash their hands of Gowen because of that. After being let go by WWE in 2004, Gowen continued his career on the indies before calling WWE after hitting rock bottom. Gowen ultimately took advantage of WWE's Wellness Policy, which permits former employees to enter rehab at the expense of the company. He mentioned in the same interview that entering rehab saved his life.

If you use quotes in this article, please credit "Insight with Chris Van Vliet" and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.