Those who check out a recent episode of "House in a Hurry" on HGTV may have seen a familiar face in Kevin Fertig. Known by WWE fans as Mordecai and Kevin Thorn, the former superstar has found another career for himself in real estate. The Indianapolis based realtor was tasked to find a couple moving into town a home within 48 hours. A former colleague in Tommy Dreamer connected Fertig with the person casting for the series, feeling he would make a good fit.
"I ended up meeting this couple because they were calling on a listing I had," he said. "...I did a FaceTime video with them and walked around this house. And said, 'Listen, this is going to be the weirdest thing you'll ever hear. I used to be a professional wrestler. They want me to do this show. I need someone moving from out of town. Would you want to do it?' They said absolutely....For a 22-minute episode, we filmed for 48 hours."
After the episode's initial airing Fertig was appreciative to have the support of the pro wrestling community. The 43-year-old considers himself blessed.
"Just from the boys calling me and telling me great job," he said. "It has been a cool couple of days. HGTV was really happy with the ratings. It's hopefully a cool thing that might be able to open up some doors for other guys out there who are at this stage of their career where the independent scene is just not paying the bills. You still love wrestling, but you have to get a 'real' job and get out there and hustle a little bit. Real estate has definitely been good to me."
His journey to even finding this new career path wasn't easy. Fertig recalls looking for jobs after leaving the ring behind.
"I couldn't find them. I put 10 plus years of WWE experience on a resume, and I get human resources people calling me, 'What kind of skill set can we use to hire you?' I mean I sold being punched in the face like it killed me. You don't think I can sell copy paper or stuff like that. It got a little old."
Fertig found work in bartending and running a local bar. He began to gain a following, meeting patrons including several realtors. They felt he would excel in their world. Fertig decided to give it a shot.
"It started taking off. In standard form, I had a vision of where I wanted to go. They had a vision that would make them look good. After breaking off, they told me I probably wouldn't sell another house that year."
He detractors wrong by winning awards and rising up the ladder in a matter of more than two years through RE/MAX. Fertig embraced his wrestling roots by becoming the "real estate badass" guiding people to the point they can say, "The champ is home."
"It is what we learned in the business, even not working for WWE. The best independent guys out there are guys who know how to market themselves whether it's t-shirts, social media, a brand," he said. "Real estate is so much like pro wrestling in a bunch of ways. It's a bunch of egos that are realtors, but they have one common goal. To get to the dance of the closing table. That's why I went with the tag: 'The champ is home.' It's just so right there, in your face.
"To me, Madison Square Garden, WrestleMania, all that stuff. Owning a home is kind of the same thing. When you're the champ, you can do no wrong. You think of guys like Hogan, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, when they were champions they ruled these arenas. That's what owning a home is to me. You can run around in your underwear or have fun dropping elbows on your kids if you want. It's your house."
Fertig was admittedly nervous when he started out. It's been a learning process.
"It's a lot of paperwork. The hardest thing I would do was mixing my protein shakes, going to the gym and working out before," he said. "It's a lot of stuff to keep up with. You have someone's life in your hand. This is a decision that could be with them for the rest of their lives just as much as your life. There is nothing cooler to me than getting to see people's faces when they thought they couldn't get a house. And here they are in the closing room signing their last little thing. To see the smile on their face with joy like that. It's pretty cool."
"...There are times you want to throw your fists in the air and throw something at somebody. That's the one thing. I can call another realtor and say I can come over there and body slam you and put you through a table. Normally they believe I would do it. Would I though? Maybe, I don't know."
Though Fertig has gotten a lot of referrals from his wrestling friends, he hasn't sold a house to one yet. Perhaps a future goal to accomplish.
"Believe it or not, Rick Steiner is killing it in Atlanta. Mike Knox is killing it in Florida. Simon Diamond I want to say is in the Philly area. Former ref Kevin Keenan is up in Philly," Fertig said. "A lot of guys are getting out there. We're using our talents. That's all it is. When you get a house, you list it. You market it. I have to think of the best approach to market the house and sell it. It's definitely a job built for the boys as long as they use it to that potential."
Kevin Fertig can be found @TheKevinFertig on Twitter and Instagram, as well as Facebook at Kevin Fertig Realty.
Kevin's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.