Guest: Justin Credible
Release Date: January 3rd, 2018
Recap by: Sean McGraw
X-Pac is joined by Jimbo, Denise, Bill and TK. This week’s guest will be Justin Credible.
Today Marks the Birthday of a Wrestling Legend:
Jim Ross has turned 66. X-Pac was on the Ross Report. It was a lot of fun because whenever Pac goes on a podcast it’s usually someone with whom he has a good rapport with. It makes it easy because it’s just a conversation between friends more or less. Ross was pre-recording a bunch of shows for his podcast. Pac thinks it’s because of his New Japan commentary commitments with AXStv.
The panel isn’t sure if Rossdoes commentary live in Japan or remotely (I’m fairly certain that Ross has said that he and Josh Barnett do their NJPW commentary after the fact. Although I don’t think that commentary team does a very good job with the product. You can tell Ross doesn’t commentate regularly and often messes up wrestler’s names. Barnett has claimed on the Stone Cold Podcast to do no prep and just go into the studio cold. This combination leads to a very underwhelming commentary of the product. For my money, Kevin Kelley and Don Callis are the best commentary team in all of professional wrestling so my advice would be to watch New Japan with their commentary whenever possible.) X-Pac says Ross said he was getting help for his research for Wrestle Kingdom because of all of the people who complained about last time.
A Second Generation Wrestler Makes His Debut
Brian Pillman Jr. wrestled in Indianapolis for the New Year’s Bash. He looks just like his dad. He did very well for it being his first match. X-Pac advocates for generational wrestlers to use their parent’s name and not pretend to be somebody else (a la Curtis Axel). Pillman Jr. lost his dad way too young. He should carry his father’s name with pride and get whatever advantage you can get for being Brian Pillman Jr. On the other hand, Bray Wyatt is great and probably shouldn’t have tried to go as a Rotunda because the Rotunda name itself isn’t overly obvious.
A Big Wrestling Event is Happening Very Soon
Wrestle Kingdom is going to happen in a few hours (as of the airing of this podcast). Will this be New Japan’s biggest event ever? X-Pac says internationally yes but not in Japan – not even close. The roundtable discusses that it’s a little bit of a roundabout way to actually watch New Japan Pro World on the TV. (New Japan Pro World is great, but they still have a long way to go. Their site is clunky and has weird Japanese to English translation. You can get an app for Amazon Fire devices, but the navigation on that is a little clunky as well.) The panel runs down a stacked card including a discussion on the hair vs. hair match. Hirooki Goto has the best hair in the company now that Tanahashi cut his. X-Pac was once approached about losing his hair in a match in Mexico. The promoter asked him how much he wanted to do it. Pac said $50,000. They ended up getting a nearly-bald Kenzo Suzuki to do it for $5,000.
Interview with Justin Credible
X-Pac is glad that Justin is feeling well and is clean and sober. Justin was able to lay off the drink over the holidays so that was a success for him. He is focusing on his mental health. Justin says that his therapist told him that he needs to learn to love himself. Justin says that he doesn’t know where that lack of confidence comes from. When he was in ECW he was comfortable. When he went to WWE he just didn’t have any self-confidence. X-Pac says when Justin got into the ring he was just fine. The negative self-image was something that he had outside of the ring. X-Pac says that people need to figure out where that feeling is coming from in order to deal with it properly. He says at times he still has trouble with it himself.
The incident that happened with Justin recently is brought up. Justin hasn’t seen the footage and he doesn’t want to because it’s likely to do more harm than good. He hasn’t spoken to the promoter. He’s at the point now where he goes from feeling nothing to blackout in an instant because he’s been an addict for so long that his body doesn’t handle it well anymore. Something really good came from a terrible incident though. DDP has reached out to Justin. They are going to pair up with a director and possibly shoot a documentary on his story that he hopes will have a positive ending. X-Pac says that that is up to Justin. “It’s your story and you should tell it. Don’t let other people tell your story bro.”
This is a good opportunity for Justin since he feels he didn’t have any legs left in the wrestling business. Pac says it’s a good opportunity for him to live a good life. He deserves it because he’s been beating the s**t out himself ever since Pac met him. Pac wants Justin to have the kind of contentment that he has in life right now.
What was it that made Justin want to have a drink that day? What led up to it happened before starting on December 1st. Justin doesn’t have a good living situation currently and is out of work. He and his son are living off of his son’s disability checks. He has extra time on his hands and wants to have a little fun. He remembers having a few drinks and dancing with his wife in the kitchen. An hour later, cops come, he gets arrested. He’s in jail over the weekend and it’s a horrible experience. He doesn’t have a problem stopping for a week or two, but his problem is staying stopped. He kept beating himself up over the jailing and by the time the show comes it’s just more of the same thing wanting a buzz. Is it an anxiety issue? No, not at all. Justin was supposed to just sign autographs that day. It was supposed to be a really easy gig, but when he drinks he becomes delusional. He wanted to do an unplanned spot similar to what Terry Funk did with him at a show years ago. It obviously didn’t turn out well.
Justin thinks that it stems from him not being happy with himself deep down inside, not being happy with his situation – that he’s broke; that he’s morally bankrupt. Professionals say that being in your own head is the worst place to be in that type of a situation. X-Pac agrees. Pac says that when you’re by yourself and you start listening to yourself when you’re in a bad place it’s not a good thing. They need to get on the phone immediately with someone that can talk sensible and rational. X-Pac says he thinks that Justin is now in a place where Justin knows that he doesn’t deserve to be miserable and so now he can move forward. Justin says that it’s a lot of work to feel so bad. He could use half the energy to feel good. He’s going to take every day and every opportunity as it comes. He struggles with still living in ’98, ’99, 2000 because he says he lacks a purpose now. X-Pac says the key is to get the now to be so good that you don’t want to get in the time machine to go back.
Was there a specific moment that inspires you to keep yourself in the right mind? It always comes down to that initial feeling of wanting to get better. He has a responsibility to his wife and kids even if he doesn’t care about himself. He also has to work his mind to put good things into his mind and get him to think positive.
How important is the support of Justin’s wife and family in a situation like this? It’s huge. He doesn’t have a lot of friends where he lives now. He has always been kind of a homebody anyway so a lot of the interactions and feedback he gets are from home. What does his wife do to help him move forward? They were on the journey together for a long time. They worked in ECW for a few years. They are a little co-dependent and they are best friends but have similar addiction problems so they work together to go forward and not dwell on the past.
What does WWE’s wellness policy and what that all entails and how it helps guys with addiction problems? They have a second to none program to help guys. They’ve put him through treatment more than once. He did it once for heroin addiction in 2011, and now for alcohol. They put him in a nice facility in Tampa for 30 days and they still pay for a therapist and a psychiatrist on a weekly basis. Vince and Paul and Steph don’t have to do it – it’s not part of the deal. Justin doesn’t know if he would have the resources to get better otherwise. X-Pac says that most addicts don’t and in that respect the boys that deal with addiction are very blessed. Justin says that it’s a privilege and it’s really great that the WWE has helped so many good people. Pac says that he’s going to get on a support conference call. He’s never been on one and even though he’s good now, it doesn’t mean you don’t keep working on your program because that’s when you could end up slipping.
X-Pac says that nowadays it’s so much easier to be in the business and not be tempted with things that can get you addicted. The guys seem to be more straight and narrow types and he’s really grateful for that. Justin says that’s true. Even in the indies or at the cons it’s just not seen. It’s an improvement for the business. When they were in it, it was still the Wild West. Now the athletes are clean cut and don’t go out and party all of the time. Justin says he thinks it has a lot to do with where the business originally came from – the real carny aspect of it. Pac is really happy that the debauchery is not a “thing” anymore.
Justin reflects on how the business has changed in terms of injuries. They did some pretty silly stuff to stay out there. If you weren’t out there you didn’t work and get paid and you’d be replaced really quickly. Justin has stories of being in the ring and then blacking out and waking up in bed, and having his wife drive because he was so badly concussed and having one day off before wrestling 2 out of 3 falls the next show. It’s a different day and age now. At least now guys are getting taken care of.
What would you say to people that don’t know what it’s like to deal with addiction? It’s really hard to explain. When he got out of rehab the last time his mother said to him, “now that you’re cured.” It doesn’t work like that. The disease is always progressing and you can’t always expect people that don’t deal with it to understand. You just have to try to notice when people are struggling. Guilting and shaming aren’t proper deterrents, because that’s just adding on to the pile. “Addiction is a horrible beast that I would not wish on my worst enemy.” X-Pac wants to stress that addiction and relapse are not a moral failure issue. People have to understand that. When you’re not going through something like this, you can never begin to relate.
Justin tells about how he met Chester Bennington of Linkin Park a few times but wouldn’t really consider him a friend. To the outside world it looks like he had everything. Chester was, from what Justin heard, doing fine days before his death. Mental health and addiction work hand in hand and the Mental Health phrase has a negative stigma to it. Pac agrees. Mental illnesses aren’t necessarily indicative of being an addict, but Pac would say that nearly 100% of addicts have some sort of mental illness component with it. Addiction is a mental illness. They are so intertwined that you can’t separate the two.
I had no idea that Justin Credible had been in such a bad place. The last I had heard about him was that he was a chef so I had assumed that he had been doing well. This episode came as quite a shock and it was very eye opening. It was a very good listen for anybody that is dealing with addiction or knows somebody that is dealing with addiction. It gives an in-depth look into the unique perspective of somebody that is currently on the road to improvement. Having X-Pac who has dealt with his own issues be part of the conversation is also a good addition to perspective. I know somebody that deals with addiction issues as well. There were a few times during the conversation that had me worried for Justin and I really hope that he can continue to get himself out of a bad situation. It’s great to hear that he has access to the WWE’s resources in his recovery and struggle and that he has a great support system. I was also glad to hear that X-Pac continues to work on his own situation even though he’s doing well now. I appreciate what these guys have done over the years to entertain me so hearing a story like this is both heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. Justin Credible sounds like he’s a really good guy and I wish him nothing but the best moving forward.
00:00 – 25:17 Intros and News Discussion
25:18 – 26:05 Ad Break
26:06 – 1:11:19 Interview with Justin Credible
1:11:20 – 1:14:13 Show wrap up
Sean is a media professional from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sean’s earliest memory of wrestling is seeing Kane on WWF television in 1998. Sean watched primarily WWF in the Attitude Era and dropped off just before the initial brand split. Seeing recap promos of the Undertaker building up to WrestleMania 20, he became hooked and has been an avid fan ever since. Sean’s wrestling preferences currently lean more towards NJPW/ROH/NXT but he remains a fan of it all. In his spare time Sean enjoys cooking, baking, and going to the gym. You can follow Sean via Twitter @stmcgraw and Instagram @stmcgraw09.