Alex Shelley Says He Was Homeless After He Left ROH

Aug 2, 2019 - by James Walsh

ROH Wrestling recently conducted a 10 Questions interview with Alex Shelley. Shelley revealed some of the dark times he went through after leaving ROH and the wrestling business, including going homeless and getting divorced, advice he received from Kevin Nash, and more. Below are some highlights.

Alex Shelley on the best advice he’s ever received on the business coming from Kevin Nash: “Two bits, both from Kevin Nash, always resonated with me. One: ‘People can tell if you are having fun.’ Absolutely true, and it cuts the crap on transparency as far as acting a certain way that’s unnatural for the individual. Not everyone needs to play by the same rules. Two: ‘Better to look like the world’s strongest guy than be the world’s strongest guy.’ This is an aesthetic and athletic training approach. We were drinking beer and watching infomercials for P90x when he dropped that one on me, and he’s right, time and time again.”

Shelley on going through dark times after leaving ROH: “Again, full transparency: I went through a lot of life changes when I left ROH. I got divorced, I was homeless, no income, I was paying for school and working for free, and I had some dark, dark days. Helping people is on my bucket list. I’d like to go back to school again, maybe for psychology this time. Pain management is a huge up and coming field, so is sports psych, and to bring this answer full circle, I’d like to be able to help people not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. And maybe charm them with my rapier, Oscar Wilde wit. Laughter is a solid medicine.”

Shelley on why he decided to return to wrestling: “At the time, I was on “E” — in life, in wrestling, and I really didn’t have anything else to offer. I had obligations coming up anyway that would take me away. The time away was a gift, and the weight was a gift. You can’t miss something until there’s separation. It turns out I’m not too bad at all this, and my perspective is pretty unique, I think.”

Shelley on working in Japan: “Cards on the table, my friends. I basically lived with [Kazuchika] Okada when I would go to Orlando; that lasted for like two years. I lived in the dojo with about half the roster. Jay White stayed in my home and was adopted by my family, and [David] Finlay and Juice [Robinson] and Tama [Tonga] are all guys I really miss. Obviously, the wrestling, too.”

His thoughts on Matt Taven: “I think he’s awesome. I really do. I know he’s done things, but he’s also done things his way. His career path is similar to mine, and the guy has sacrificed heaps to get where he is. He’s really an incredible talent, and it’s an honor to have a shot at his belt and be in the ring with him. Maybe that’s not the answer you’re looking for, but it’s the honest one.”

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