DEFY Champion, Randy Myers opens up about how wrestlers can use their status as a positive platform.
In 2020, the conversation on mental health awareness is more open and accepted than ever before. DEFY Champion, Randy Myers spoke to Spencer Love about how he uses being a wrestler as a positive platform for others and how professional wrestling has helped him better his mental health as well.
Credit to Spencer Love for passing along the following quotes.
His love of DEFY Wrestling:
“When I got involved with DEFY, it was at a point where I was taking my first-ever break from professional wrestling. I’ve been doing wrestling for the last twenty years, so I’ve been going, like, every weekend, (a) couple shows for quite a while. And then, it was a time where I developed some mental health issues that I’d kind of needed to focus on, so I’d taken a step away from wrestling. But, then, there was a big show at DEFY down in Seattle, and they had Davey Boy Smith versus…who was he wrestling that night? It was a stacked card, and I needed to go down and I needed to witness this live. So, I went down. I had heard good things, I went down, had some friends down there, and I was blown away when I saw the product. The fans were incredible, the actual in-ring was awesome, and just the vibe was phenomenal. So, I just went down there as a fan and was blown away."
“Then, Matt Farmer, who’s one of the promotors of it, we’ve known each other for quite a while. We toured a couple years, probably ten years ago, eight years ago now. So, we knew each other, and then we kind of got to talking. He sent me a message asking me if I wanted to be on their next show. Like I said, I was taking some time away, but I was so blown away and this kind of rejuvenated me and it got my heart pumping again. It got those juices flowing. So I was like “of course, I’d love to take part in your show.’ I thought I was going to maybe only go down for one, but then the crowd was so loving and embraced me so much that I was like ‘well, I can’t leave. They pulled me back in. It’s like the mafia, right? You try and get out but they pull you back in, but happily.”
Succeeding names like Artemis Spencer, Shane Strickland, and Schaff as DEFY Champion:
“It’s incredible. Representing DEFY as a whole, being in that lineage of champions that (were) just named, it means so much to me. I can’t even really put it into words. I (feel) like DEFY’s what I always wanted from wrestling. I always wanted something that was an inclusive product where you could feel safe as a fan no matter who you were, no matter what kind of place you were coming from in life. Whether you’re a freak, a geek, a misfit, a weirdo, felt that you were strange, or felt that you needed to change, or any of those things. (If) you ever felt that you were different, this is the place for you. It’s so embracing and so loving.”
“To represent a company that is what I’ve been looking for twenty years in wrestling means the absolute world to me, and means every drip of sweat I’ve had, means all the blood, means all the tears that I’ve cried, all the times I said I was going to quit, all the workloads I didn’t want to do but did anyway, all the gross cans of tuna I shoved down my throat, they were all worth it.”
Using his platform as a professional wrestler in a positive way:
“I was having trouble with wrestling for a while there a while back. I felt like I was playing a cartoon character, and I wasn’t showing all the aspects of me. I felt there was more. There (were) more aspects to performing that I wanted to show than just the greed for wanting a championship, or the anger of wanting revenge. I felt there’s so many other emotions and aspects and so many other sides of me that I wanted to share with the audience.”
“Fans have shared stuff with me in the past, their true, personal lives. I wanted to un-crack that and start sharing who I really was and be the performer that I wanted and maybe needed in my youth, and the performer that I need still at this time that’s going out there and is championing these issues that are important. It goes beyond just the fight in the ring. There is so much more, and if we have this platform and we’re given this stage to deliver a message, I don’t want to go out there and just grunt and say that I want this championship and you know that I’m better than you and I’ve always been better than you.”
“If there’s any ears that are open to what I’m saying and it gives me an opportunity to get in to those ears, that’s what I want to do. That, to me, is the championship. That, to me, means so much that I could maybe make one person feel more comfortable in that audience.”
How professional wrestling has impacted his journey with mental health:
“More and more I realize each day. During this time when we have it off, it’s been hard. It’s been really a struggle for me, because wrestling is my therapy. It gets this aggression out in me, that fire, that energy. I look at it like nuclear power. If you can use that nuclear power for good, then that’s awesome and you can get that power out. But that energy’s not going to go away. It’s not just going to disappear. It can go - it can be led in the wrong direction quite easily.”
“Wrestling is so much about control. It looks like extreme, wild violence at times, but it’s so much about control at the same time, and so much about consent, and so much about caring about that person you’re in the ring with. It’s about being able to get that energy out in a wild, frantic manner, but it’s done in the most healthy of ways. For me, when I first got into professional wrestling, I was a 17-year-old kid who was kind of lost and could have easily gone down the wrong path. But then, I found wrestling.”
“I was at a point where I’d broken up with my first love, and I was really heartbroken about that, so I really wanted to do self-harm. Define professional wrestling, which was like a way that I could do a bit of self-harm, but it was therapeutic self-harm. It grew me rather than being destructive. It built.”
To hear the full interview, click here.