William Regal was this week’s guest on X-Pac 1,2,360. Both Sean Waltman and Regal have dealt with addiction issues over the years and they wasted little time getting into the subject. Regal discussed being released by both WCW and the WWF due to problems with drinking and drugs, and also discussed quitting cold turkey and never looking back:
“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 fifty-two nightclubs and over three hundred 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 ’97 and ’98 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 WWF 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 WWF and people there didn’t know about the problems I had. They figured it out pretty quick.
“I went into rehab and, after ten 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 ‘Ok, 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. WWF didn’t have to put me in rehab because they didn’t do that stuff at the time. They looked after me. Even after ten 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-20’s, 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.’
Rush’s Analysis: While Regal’s past problems with drugs and alcohol are well-known amongst longtime fans, he hasn’t discussed it on the record very often over the years. It was cool to hear him tell his story, particularly in a supportive environment with Waltman asking the questions. I was also glad to hear him add the caveat at the end about the same thing not working for everyone. Addiction is not a simple problem. Not everyone can just decide one day to stop and have that be that. Amazing, that that’s what worked for Regal.
To hear this interview in its entirety, check out X-Pac 1,2,360.
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