Addiction, a vicious thief that silently ravages health, mental well-being, and sometimes even personal passions, made a substantial heist from the life of Jesus "Ricardo" Rodriguez, a figure revered in professional wrestling circles.
Rodriguez, whose name became synonymous with Alberto Del Rio as his personal ring announcer, stepped foot into the wrestling arena in 2006. His two-decade career witnessed him don various roles - from a masked luchador to a commentator and backstage producer, spanning numerous wrestling promotions.
However, in 2014, when he sought his release from WWE, he was engulfed in bitterness, ready to sever ties with wrestling entirely. Rodriguez candidly revealed this tumultuous period during his interview on "Developmentally Speaking." "I had reached a point of utter resentment towards everything associated with wrestling.
It fueled my anger, and the WWE was the eye of my storm," Rodriguez confessed. His feelings of alienation drove him deeper into the abyss of alcohol, attempting to escape or somehow rationalize his emotional turmoil.
Rodriguez's Constructive Wrestling Journey
Amidst this dark phase, a glimmer of hope surfaced when Rodriguez got a chance to channel his vast wrestling knowledge into something constructive.
He journeyed to India to assist wrestling giant The Great Khali in founding a wrestling school, effectively launching an independent wrestling scene in the country. This event marked the beginning of Rodriguez's challenging voyage through alcoholism, dotted with pitstops in Austin, Mexico City, Cairo, and Los Angeles, where he aided various wrestling schools and promotions.
The journey, however, was far from smooth. "Each new city served as a chapter in my life, yet I found myself heavily engrossed in alcoholism. I was always on the move, I didn’t stay put," he added, lamenting a series of poor choices he made.
"Wherever I went, I was invariably drawn to alcohol, my consistent 'fix.' " Rodriguez's struggle towards sobriety persists, underlined by his return to rehab in March 2022 to combat his addiction head-on. He is presently working on a documentary, "Wrestling With Recovery," as a testament to his journey.
In parallel, he has taken up the role of an agent for Major League Wrestling and plans to inaugurate his own wrestling school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, intending to host shows come fall.
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