Former WWE, WCW, and TNA wrestler Marc Mero sat down for an interview with new Wrestling Inc. contributor Drew Rice for a Wrestling Inc. Daily exclusive. Among a variety of topics discussed Mero touched on how he served as a pioneer for WWE wrestlers receiving guaranteed contracts following his signing with the company in 1996.
When talking about Mero’s arrival with the WWE, and what it was like for him to be one of the first to get a guaranteed contract. Mero said he had been used to getting guaranteed contracts while in WCW, and while other talents may not have liked it at the time, that he had helped open the door for other wrestlers to receive them.
“Well, knowing that [WWE wrestlers] were getting paid per how much they drew at the house shows, and so on, I didn’t know anything different [from getting guaranteed contracts]”, remembered Mero. “From the moment I signed with WCW my first contract was guaranteed. And then it doubled the next year, and then doubled again. So I was used to making fairly good money and I thought I was worth it. I knew Vince really wanted me, and look, it opened the doors to every single wrestler eventually getting a guaranteed contract, or mostly every wrestler after me was getting guaranteed contracts. Like, Mick Foley and Steve Austin went before me, and they never got a guaranteed deal after I got one. So as much as I think some guys were upset that I got it, if you really look back at it, it opened the doors for everyone to get it eventually. It was like breaking that glass ceiling.”
While discussing his time with the WWE, Mero opened up about his experiences with the medical treatment and care he received while with the company. Mero went on to list all the injuries he suffered through his career, and noted that the WWE provided him with the best medical support possible. Mero also gave an update on the current status of his own health.
“When I blew out my knee in the WWE, where I had to get total reconstructive surgery, I had my ACL, medial collateral meniscus, I had my whole knee redone,” recalled Mero. “And [the WWE] sent me to the best doctor in the country, Dr. Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama. So, I was blessed to have one of the greatest physicians work on my knee. And if I didn’t have a scar on my knee, I wouldn’t know which knee it was, that’s how good it is.
“But first coming back it took a while to heal fully. So, I had to be careful on going right back to certain moves, certain moves I would be leery of doing. I still did the ‘Wild Thing’ off the top rope a few times, but it wasn’t an every night thing. Because remember, people don’t realize that you’re doing that at a house show every night. You know, you’re wrestling 5 to 6 times every week. And when you’re landing on your knees off the top rope every night, it takes its toll on you and on your body. Because you’re taking most of the punishment, not the guy you’re landing on.
“Now that I think back on it, I think I’ve had 14 surgeries now. On my knees, elbows, shoulders, back, I’ve had a lot of stuff done. But I’m the healthiest I think I have ever been. I’m not having to take those falls anymore.”
The topic of DDP Yoga was brought up, and Mero said that he started doing DDP Yoga and has even made a room for it in his house. Mero says that DDP Yoga is great for flexibility and that it has really helped him. Interestingly, AEW wrestler Ricky Starks recently thanked DDP Yoga for his flexibility after reportedly suffering a fractured neck last month.
“I actually set up a room [for it] in my new home,” admitted Mero. “I actually moved close to [DDP], we don’t live too far from each other. But instead of driving over to his house every day and doing the yoga, I do it on the app and I have my own yoga room now. But it is great for flexibility and stuff. That’s why it is so important, especially at old age, flexibility is so important and that’s what we lose. That’s why you see a lot of older people hunched over walking or walking gingerly. So, for me, it really helped me out a lot.”
Mero’s full interview can be found below: