william regal

William Regal has been through a lot during his legendary career. He is currently one of the most treasured assets in WWE for his ability to not only scout out great talent but also see a diamond in the rough.

Some newer fans might only know William Regal as NXT’s distinguished GM. But he had an incredible and technically savvy career in the ring way before he landed at the WWE Performance Center.

It took a long road for Regal to get where he is in WWE. He actually struggled through a rather concerning battle with addiction during a great deal of that time.

Most fans might not have been able to tell by his ringwork, but Regal was tieing one on nearly every night in a pursuit to keep up with the rigorous lifestyle set before him. Fortunately, this is a story of overcoming demons as Regal spoke to X-Pac’s 1,2,360 about his own journey toward sobriety.

“I didn’t drink until I was 25, I didn’t do anything, it was just not something that I did. I left home when I was 16 and I was in nightclubs every night after work. I lived in a resort area where, within a mile walk of my house, there was 52 nightclubs and over 300 bars, and I was in one of them every night. I never drank, I just liked going out until I came to America and I sort of started doing a bit of this and a bit of that. I started taking a lot of pain pills and everything else. I coped with it for a while and then, the last few months of 1997 and 1998 were a complete mess. Then I said enough, I just had enough of it.”

“I don’t shy away from the fact that I’ve got no faith in anything, I don’t believe in any of that stuff, I think it’s just a matter of you’ve got to find whatever works for you. Personally, for me, it was just ‘stop making excuses,’ because that’s all it is at the end of the day. When you can stop making excuses for yourself, you’ll pack it in. I hate to say it, but a lot of these places will give you nothing but excuses as to why you stay the way you do. Well, your Mom was this or your Dad was an alcoholic. It’s nonsense, you just have to take responsibility for yourself, I don’t care what you grew up with, there’s a point where you just have to go stop it, just behave yourself.”

“I was told this a very long time ago if you live in the past, you die every day, if you’ve done the kind of stuff where you got something to, you just beat yourself up for it which will just cause you to feel sorry for yourself, give you more excuses. Luckily for me, people knew me and have given me a lot of extra chances. It’s like when I came to the WWE the first time. I got let go from WCW because I was a mess and they should’ve let me go a long time before they did. I’m not under any illusions, I don’t blame anyone, they did the right thing, but I got hired instantly to the WWE and people thee didn’t know about the problems I had, but they figured it out pretty quick. I went into rehab and after 10 weeks in there, I got out one day and I messed up. That was the last step for me, that was the time I just went, okay, that’s it, just stop it, stop making excuses. That was the end of it, that was it. From then on, it’s never been a thing since.”

“I got opportunities again. WWE didn’t have to put me in rehab because they didn’t do that stuff at the time. They looked after me, even after 10 weeks they said we’ll continue to pay for it, but we’re going to let you go. I was told you can come back when you sort your life out. I came out and straight away, within a few weeks, I got a call from Eric Bischoff. I heard you’ve straightened yourself out, do you want a job back here, so I had a lot of chances because I put a lot of work in before, people knew I’d been through a bit of something. That was what it was for me, just stop making excuses. I can’t say that’s going to work for everybody because I had a stable home life, I always had people around me, I can’t imagine when somebody’s got nothing and then, what else can you do? I can only speak for me, I’m not one of these people that say you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that. People ask me, why did you do all that? Honestly, I was just looking for something that wasn’t there, you get everything you want by the time you’re in your mid-twenties and you go, now what? It’s like you want to explore and, that just happens to be there and let’s have a go at that for a while. Sometimes, people never get out of it, sometimes you snap out of it, some people need a system or a crutch to get through it. Good for them, whatever works for you, just get yourself through it.”

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Aaron Varble hasn’t just been writing for more than a decade in various formats including sketch comedy, stand up, television, radio, and other various projects; nor is he just another professional wrestling fan with a master's degree in journalism and Tourette’s syndrome. He's always looking to explore the why not with the why and the how come along with the how. Follow on Twitter @TheVarble