Fans will see a different side of former WWE signee and Impact Wrestling star Rob Terry in "Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life." The documentary film explores the controversial world of professional natural bodybuilding alongside top pros competing for Natural Olympia. Terry is among those featured as cameras follow him preparing for another event.
"This is something that spans the majority of my life," Terry said. "From people on the outside and even internally within the pro wrestling world. ...You get to really know who I am and what I am. For me, this is a great opportunity to open up the facets and opportunities that came my way and got me into the wrestling world. I'm really looking forward to [audiences seeing the doc]."
The 40-year-old traces the roots of his physical transformation back to age 13. The Welsh performer was captivated by the larger-than-life figures of pro wrestling. It inspired him.
"That alone was a huge factor for me. You had these British gladiators and watching movies I probably shouldn't have. Arnold Schwarzenegger ones, these movies rated for 18. The one thing that all these people who I've been watching had in common was these crazy physiques. I think that really molded me at a young age.
"I actually came with my family to Orlando. We vacationed to the parks. There was a gym in the hotel we stayed at. I went with my dad to the gym and we did a little light workout. I ended up feeling I was getting a pump. It was the craziest feeling to me, and I absolutely loved it. It was the only thing I connected with what I thought would build me to be like the people I saw ...I just wanted more. That was the definitive day I started my journey to get in shape."
From then on Terry was determined to put in the work. Added motivation to stay on the natural route and avoid enhancers was the fact he had a kidney removed at age eight.
"Having one kidney, that vital organ. You aren't going to go very far if you decide to be enhanced," Terry said. "I didn't have that option anyway. It was reinforced by principles of how I wanted to do it. The situation of having the one kidney. That is why I'm true to myself and always will be."
The documentary is directed by Vlad Yudin, The Vladar Company and founder of "Generation Iron Brands," Along with Terry, he also sat down with others within the sport such as former American Gladiator and natural bodybuilder Mike O'Hearn and American IFBB [International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness] pro bodybuilder Kai Gre. With those on both sides of the argument of natural vs. enhanced, it's sure to create dialogue within the industry. Terry is friends with those from both categories.
"As natural athletes, they were in crazy, natural shape at one time. Then they may make the decision to move on to the other side of enhanced," he said. "There are certain people that want to make that division, but it's not everyone. I think a lot of people are on the same page. It's a choice. It's my choice to be like a natural athlete. I have a hundred percent respect for the competitors who may not. We all have the discipline and dedication, but I won't put myself through the steps for me to be enhanced."
After his last contract with Impact Wrestling, Terry sought to accomplish another career aspiration in pursuing a career as a fighter. The proud dad remains a current member of the St. Petersburg Fire Department, juggling multiple ventures in the process.
"When I was back in the U.K. and before moving to America, I had a friend that did [firefighting] back home. It's a little different compared [to here]," he said. "Nevertheless it was something that appealed to me. I was really driven on the other things that I wanted to do, maybe more of being a natural pro bodybuilder. Find a way to get into pro wrestling. That is where I directed my energy.
"It was shortly after I came out of my contract with Impact Wrestling that I kind of did have downtime. I thought it was the perfect opportunity of getting into the department. It's a really hard process. You have to go to school for it and it's a very sought after position. So I was really lucky to get into St. Pete. I'm with them now and love it. I always had that deal as a pro wrestler where you may play a superhero, but I can tell you being a firefighter you are a real life hero, and I respect that. I respect all my colleagues and everything they do to make a difference. To be part of that, makes me feel good."
When it comes to "Natty 4 Life," he hopes it opens a lot of ideas, as well as creates a new level of understanding. Everyone has a choice in his eyes. Terry wants to lead by example.
"Being natural just because I choose it doesn't mean it's for everyone. I really want to give these younger generation guys an option," he said. "What would really mean everything to me is if they said if you can do it this way, maybe I can give it a shot. The enhanced route isn't for everyone.
"So if I can raise awareness that you can do it naturally and natural bodybuilding elevates. Then that is a huge compliment for me. It would be really cool for me to see sponsorships and everything else to help elevate the sport. That would be phenomenal because natural bodybuilding is [going] well. So to elevate the game even more would be the best.
"Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life" is available on VOD starting this Friday, July 31. Rob's full interview 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.