Mike O’Hearn is happy to see the positive response for “Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life,” an eye-opening documentary opening up viewers to the world of professional natural bodybuilding. The icon within the industry is joined by others within the industry including former Impact Wrestling star Rob Terry, who tell their respective stories about why they chose to take the road free of performance enhancers.
“The first 25 years of my career I couldn’t talk about that part of the sport. So it’s great to be here today and talk about it. It’s great to show that other side,” he said. “I know there are a lot of documentaries that talk about the harshness of anabolic [steroids]. It’s nice to show you the other side of people that are trying to do something without.”
Similar to what wrestlers deal with, the four-time Mr. Universe believes there is still a line in the sand between believers and non-believers. He hopes the doc opens some eyes.
“You get the majority of society if they see somebody like Rob Terry or any of these guys that are larger than life and muscular, society’s comprehension is they have to be doing something else,” he said. “I think the great thing about the movie is it shows you that there is some hard work and dedication and years behind the iron can create something that is a beautiful thing. It can do something much more than the average human. We’re still at that phase where the majority of society, especially in today’s day and age where it’s, “I don’t have to work for it. No way you can do that. That’s not realistic.”
The 51-year-old has gone on to find success in the natural bodybuilding world, but also across entertainment. Fans may remember O’Hearn on the past incarnations of “American Gladiators” and “Battledome.” His sculpted physique also graced the cover of magazines with regular books on a number of TV and movie projects. Believe it or not, he even came close to becoming a WWE superstar back in 1991.
“Shane McMahon flew out. We had dinner and went off to meet Vince,” he said. “We sat down and looked at a contract for WWE. But I had ‘American Gladiators’ at the time. So we went into discussions, but American Gladiators didn’t want to let me out of the contract. So I couldn’t do wrestling at the time.”
Fast forward eight years later and the star brushed with the idea again. This time Terry Taylor took him for a week to run the ropes and work out in the ring. O’Hearn was a part of a cross promotion with his show “Battle Dome” and WCW. Although other commitments took him into other avenues away from wrestling, he still has a connection to the business.
“I’ve known these guys and people like Dwayne [Johnson]. John Cena I remember would be at the front desk when I was training at Gold’s Gym too. I’ve seen these guys throughout the years,” he said.
“That’s the great thing about health and fitness. These wrestlers are into working out. They’re into health and fitness. Being in the magazines since the late 1980s, I’ve gotten to know these guys through the years. They’re great. Some of my closest friends Billy Gunn, Big Show, Kevin Nash, Steve Austin, all these guys. Just great people. Great individuals.
“Wrestling is a badass sport. It’s fun. I got to go out to a camp out there and tussle with the guys. It’s a fun thing. These guys are great athletes too. I know people may not understand how tough it is, but they are great athletes. Billy Gunn’s son has been training with me Austin for the last year. We just sent him off to camp out in Florida. So it will be cool to see him jump on the AEW bandwagon.”
“Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life” is available now.
Mike’s full interview aired as part of today’s 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.