Sledge Talks Starting Out, Battling Addiction, And Signing With ROH

JERSEY CITY, NJ - JUNE 03: Joey Ace and Joe Keys battle during Capitol Wrestling Live on June 3, 2017 at Cathedral Hall in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - JUNE 03: Joey Ace and Joe Keys battle during Capitol Wrestling Live on June 3, 2017 at Cathedral Hall in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The “Metalhead Maniac” Sledge signed with Ring of Honor back in 2019. Since then, he continues to make his presence felt on the Ring of Honor roster, most notably against PCO on the latest episode of Ring of Honor.

The Beginning of Sledge

Sledge recalls his first time seeing wrestling which was SummerSlam 1991. “Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental Championship. After that match, I was hooked,” says Sledge. “I remember watching wrestling with my dad and watching guys like LOD, The Rockers, The Undertaker, Papa Shango, Ultimate Warrior. That’s what really got me into wrestling.”

Growing up, he remembers idolizing the Brood and Gangrel as a whole. “Gangrel is one of my all-time favorites to this day and he can still go too. He has high-quality matches still to this day,” says Sledge.

Sledge has been wrestling for a good decade now. “Realizing I would have to go to school and put the grind in to get to where I want to go,” is what made him really want to start training. He had a lot of mentors starting too, especially guys like “Sinn Bodhi, Gangrel, Chris Masters, Ezekiel Jackson, and Stone Cold Steve Austin.”

Early on in his career, he worked a lot for Big Time Wrestling. “Kirk White is an amazing human being,” says Sledge. “He trusted me and put me in a lot of big-time matches as well. Doing Impact with BTW and working with LA Knight (fka Eli Drake) was great. Eli Drake helped me a lot as a wrestler as well.”

Sledge’s Battle With Addiction

“I don’t consider myself a roll-model,” says Sledge. “I was just a guy who was able to pull himself out of a dark situation.” Sledge struggled with drugs and alcohol but was able to come back from that and continue his quest to be the best on Ring of Honor.

“I still have my dark days,” says Sledge. “If my story helps people, it tells them that there is light after darkness.” Sledge was able to return and eventually sign with Ring of Honor to get to where he is now. But before that, he would go on to continue to become the best working with wrestlers from around the world.

Sledge Returns To Professional Wrestling

“It was rough,” says Sledge. When he returned to the ring following his absence to deal with his addiction, it wasn’t easy. “Another learning curve. But getting the trust back from people like promoters was even harder.”

Shortly after he returned to the squared circle, Sledge got to wrestle in big matches for a couple of big companies, Impact Wrestling and NWA. Firstly, he wrestled Eli Drake in Impact Wrestling. “With Impact, I knew it was going to happen. I was supposed to wrestle someone else instead of Eli Drake,” says Sledge.

“All of a sudden we got a curveball thrown at us and I ended up wrestling him last minute and I couldn’t have asked to wrestle anyone better. Eli Drake is just so good and so talented and being able to wrestle him on PPV was great.”

Sledge also faced off with NWA World Champion, Nick Aldis. “The NWA thing fell in my lap that day. I wasn’t even supposed to be there, I went with my friend who was booked on the show. While I was there they just asked me if I want to wrestle with Nick Aldis and I was like sure. It fell in my lap that day.”

Sledge Signs With Ring Of Honor

“I wrestled on the indies for a couple of years, and it took a little while, but I made myself known and showed them that I wanted to be there. I did that by working hard and doing ring crew work until they noticed me,” says Sledge. He was offered the try-out at Madison Square Garden.

“We had solid coaches like Will Ferrera and Jonathan Gresham,” says Sledge. While in the Ring of Honor Dojo, he trained with people like Dak Draper, Joe Keys, Quinn McKay, Kaun and Moses. “Training with them was an amazing thing,” says Sledge. “It was exciting to come and learn and be pushed by everyone else there.”

Shortly after he started training, Sledge had his debut match against O’Shay Edwards. “It was a little nerve-wracking,” says Sledge. “With the lights and cameras on you, it was definitely an egg-shell kind of way. A lot of pressure. A guy like O’Shay Edwards is an absolute beast, and he is someone I trained with as well. I wouldn’t have asked for a better opponent in a debut match.”

Sledge is also known as the “Metalhead Maniac.” He came up with that name fairly easy. “I needed a moniker because “Sledge” was just okay by itself,” says Sledge. “It was one of those things and everyone has a moniker that identifies them with that name. I love metal music and I’m a maniac in the ring, so it was pretty easy to come up with it. Almost 10+ years and haven’t changed it.”

This past Monday, Sledge took on PCO on Ring of Honor. This was arguably his biggest match to date for Ring of Honor. “He eliminated me out of the battle royale,” says Sledge. “He is a legend, why would I not go after one of the biggest fishes in ROH. If I stay at the bottom, I’ll stay there for good. What better way to come back in my ROH Television Debut against a guy like that and show the world what I can do.”

Next. Braun Strowman has value where ever he performs. dark

What’s Next For Sledge?

“There’s not a guy on that roster I’m not looking at to wrestle and there’s not a title that I’m not going to hold,” says Sledge. “It’s just a matter of time. I want to be the biggest thing in Ring of Honor. It will happen.”