Born In: Buffalo, New York, United States
Marc Mero is a retired American amateur boxer and pro-wrestler, who is currently a motivational speaker. Gifted with natural athleticism, he was a highly successful amateur boxer in the 1980s. However, he could not translate all that talent into a professional boxing career. He became a professional wrestler, and enjoyed much fan following working for different wrestling promotions. At WCW, he made his name as Johnny B. Badd, where he would often come out with his iconic confetti gun, the ‘Badd Blaster’ and entertain audiences with his 'Tutti Frutti’ finishing move. At the WWF (now the World Wrestling Entertainment), he was the ‘Wild Man’ and later ‘Marvelous’ Mark Mero - The Intercontinental Champion. He was a well-liked individual among his wrestling co-workers. Following the loss of many of his friends and loved ones in a short span of time, he turned all his attention to motivational speaking. He uses all the little ‘hills and valleys’ from his life and career as examples to motivate kids during his packed-out lectures in schools around Florida on the positives of living life without grudges, and the negatives of drug use and bullying in school surroundings.
Also Known As: Johnny B. Badd, The Wildman
Spouse/Ex-: Sable, Darlene Spezzi (m. 2009–2019), Sable (m. 1994–2004)
children: Mariah Richardson
Born Country: United States
Height: 1.85 m
City: Buffalo, New York
U.S. State: New Yorkers
Marc Mero was born on 9 July 1963 in Buffalo, New York. When he was only eight years old, his parents separated, and his mother took care of him and his siblings by working two jobs.
Athletically gifted, he was playing for the Syracuse Stars Junior Hockey team at the age of 15. Later, he was part of his football team that won the New York State Title.
Around the same time, he became a highly touted amateur boxer under the watchful eye of coach Ray Rinaldi.
Marc Mero became a member of USA boxing team in 1981. However, two weeks prior to his first professional boxing match, he shattered his nose from an accident, and the lengthy layoff effectively quashed his dreams of becoming a professional boxer.
While working for a swimming pool construction company in Venice, Florida, he met some pro-wrestlers at his local gym. Based on their advice, he joined the wrestling school run by Boris Malenko in Tampa, Florida.
In 1991, he made his pro-wrestling debut at a Floridian Sun Coast Professional Wrestling (FSCPW).
Following a successful tryout with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in Atlanta a few months later, he signed a contract with WCW booker, Dusty Rhodes. He appeared as ‘Johnny B. Badd' in his first televised match against Sid Vicious in the 1st May 1991 episode of WCW’s ‘WorldWide’.
His initial pro-wrestler role in WCW was that of a villainous character managed by Teddy Long. On July 1991, he debuted in the pay-per-view, ‘The Great American Bash’.
In the September 1995, ‘Fall Brawl’ event, he beat Lord Steven Regal to raise the World Television Champion title; one that he would retain, lose and regain many times in the years that followed.
His World Television Champion title loss to Lex Luger on 9 March 1996 episode of Saturday Night was also his last appearance for the WCW promotions.
Mark Mero and Rena (his wife at the time) together signed a contract with World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He made his WWF debut on 31 March 1996 in ‘Wrestlemania XII’.
In 1996, he became the Intercontinental Champion. But in February, the following year, he suffered a six-month layoff from wrestling owing to an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury.
He returned to WWF television on 6 October 1997 as ‘Marvelous’ Mark Mero, a boxer turned wrestler. His character’s long-running ‘feud with Sable’ story-line was that of a husband jealous of his wife (Rena’s) new found stardom, and therefore wanted her out of the WWF.
He and his wife, Rena ‘Sable’ Mero together exited the WWE promotions in 1999 owing to ongoing disputes between the company and Sable. At the time, he still had three years remaining on his contract.
Between 2000 and 2004, he tried other in-ring promotions, which included a brief return to WCW, followed by a stint with the short-lived, X Wrestling Federation, and finally settled down with TNA (Total Nonstop Action) Wrestling.
Performing once again as Johnny B. Badd, he made his TNA debut in the ‘Xplosion’ episode aired on 2nd October 2004. His most noteworthy moment was the ‘Impact’ episode on November the following year.
After announcing retirement from all in-ring competitions in 2006, he opened his wrestling training institute in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
He founded the non-profit organization ‘Champion of Choices’ in 2007 that speaks about the dangers of bullying and drug use to school kids. He continues that work to this date.
He regularly gives talks in schools in Central Florida as part of his non-profit organization. ‘Champion of Choices’. In fact, many of his life lecture videos on his YouTube channel have over 5-million views.
He released his positive-attitude book titled, How To Be The Happiest Person On The Planet in 2010.
As an amateur boxer, Mark Mero won the New York Golden Gloves, a prestigious state title, three times in a row.
He was perhaps the first wrestler in WWF (now World Wrestling Entertainment) to be signed on a guaranteed contract, translating to assured payments irrespective of whether he performed that week or not.
Following his long layoff from boxing in 1980s, he had got into the habit of doing and dealing in cocaine. That effectively demolished any chance of him making it as a professional boxer.
He married Sable (Rena Greek) in 1994, and adopted her daughter from her previous marriage. However, the couple divorced in 2004.
His second marriage with Darlene Spezzi in 2009 too lasted 10 years.
During his fourteen-month long hiatus from wrestling in 1999-2000, he lost more than a million dollars to impulsive day trading.
His WCW ring name, ‘Johnny B. Bad’ was a wordplay on Chuck Berry’s song, ‘Johnny B. Good’. His booker, Dusty Rhodes came up with the idea.
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