Lash LeRoux has not been in a wrestling ring in nearly 15 years, and that was by choice. Such a decision helped him find peace and identity outside of the ring and due to that, the former Misfit In Action can fit right back in — if he wants to.
LeRoux, who now makes a full-time living being an illustrator, will do his fourth session of “Time Limit Draw” with AdFreeShows.com on May 24 at 9 pm EST. The “Ragin’ Cajun” spends more than an hour with AdFreeShows subscribers to draw a specific wrestling subject each session, and this month’s legend will be the late Owen Hart, who passed away on May 23, 1999. It’s been a great way to connect with fans and LeRoux has loved every second of it.
In an exclusive interview with WrestleZone’s Dominic DeAngelo, Lash went into great detail about his absence from the business and remembers being emotionally affected by WCW shutting down in 2001.
“I read a book later on that made a lot of sense,” Lash stated. “It said there are certain vocations in this life, certain jobs that you have, that are not really jobs, they’re lifestyles.”
Lash cites labor-intensive jobs such as special forces, first responders and a doctor as examples. That goes to the other side of the spectrum with “over the top” occupations in the entertainment business, pro wrestling included.
“If you take that away from them, it’s like mourning a loss in your family. It’s like you lost a part of yourself, not that you just don’t have that job anymore.”
After WCW was bought out, LeRoux did work briefly under the WWE banner, but things just didn’t pan out. He began to travel the world to wrestle with stops in Germany and Australia before working the independents. At around the age of 30, LeRoux decided to call it quits, and he did it unceremoniously.
“I didn’t even mark the date, man. I just walked into a show, I felt beat up, I was heavier than I should’ve been. I had several concussions at that point and I walked in and I was wrestling Bull Buchanon that night at a high school in Pell City, Alabama and I walked in and I saw I was wrestling Bull in the main event, knew we would have a great match.
“I said, ‘Hey Bull, I’m retiring tonight.’ He goes, ‘Alright, man. Yeah. Sure. Okay, cool.’ I said, ‘No, I really am, I’m retiring tonight.’ ‘Alright.’ He never took me seriously. I saw him years later as a matter of fact, he goes, ‘Where you’ve been?’ I go, ‘I told you I was retiring!’ ‘I thought you were ribbing me!’ ‘No that was a long rib!’
“We had a great match,” Lash continued. “I walked out of the ring, I did not cut a promo, I didn’t announce it, I didn’t make sure it got out there on the Internet, I just walked out, hung my boots up and have not been in a wrestling ring since then.”
“I’ve always been a ‘let’s do things right and let’s walk off into the sunset type of guy,’ not because I’m never going to say never, but I didn’t want to play or toy with the idea. I’m one of those kinds of guys that when I make my mind up, I flip a switch.”
Life did take a turn for Lash and it wasn’t in the way he would have dreamed of from a physical standpoint.
“In 2016, I turned 40 years old in 2016. I was 316 pounds and had a 46-inch-waist. I had 34 concussions, I had two compression fractures in my lower back, a ruptured disc. I said to myself, ‘Medication that I’m taking to cover this stuff up is not sustainable, me being this heavy is not sustainable, it’s not who I am. Do I want to live the rest of my life like this?’ And I looked in the mirror and I said, ‘no.’”
LeRoux took that as a motivator and in a year and a half, he was down 100 pounds.
“I went from 316 to about 211, then I started hitting the gym again man, and when I hit the gym again, my body just responded cause I hadn’t been doing any of this stuff for 10 years,” he said. “I’m about 234 now with a 34-inch waist. I’m leaner than I was in WCW. It was hard work. It was just pure hard work. I learned the value of being consistent rather than being just intense, right?
“Every day I’m doing a little something, you know? And I’m working hard every day. Not because I’m trying to make some big comeback and not because I’m trying to keep the doors open, but because I found myself again.”
Thank you @DPRConstruction in Atlanta for having me for your employee drive-in movie night. You guys are always so awesome! Book LashWCW@aol.com and add some next level fun to your office event!! pic.twitter.com/CDqrdNzWUN
— Lash LeRoux (@LashCanDraw) May 24, 2022
Lash LeRoux has found serenity in his life and it’s not with him being identified as a pro wrestler. In addition to his illustrator work, LeRoux has become an associate pastor at Anniston First Baptist at McClellan in Alabama.
“My entire life, my perfect balance has been when my spiritual [side] is in line, and my physical is in line and my professional is in line, all those things harmonize like a three-legged stool and if I take one of those legs off then it starts to collapse whether it’s the physical, the spiritual or the professional and when I do have all those things hitting, on all cylinders, man things start happening and life is grand and I’m enjoying it so much right now this ride.”
Lash knows that if he always defined himself as a pro wrestler, his perspective could have taken a negative turn. However, working at elements outside of your career (in addition to the physical self-care) can allow you opportunity for options if you want it.
“The freedom that it gives you is this: you get a lot of people that get bitter in their older age if they have been a former wrestler and time starts to pass them by and that sort of thing. Well now I’m 45-years old, right? I’m 45-years old. Bobby Lashley just held the heavyweight title at 45-years old. I’m about the same age as AJ Styles which was considered a generation after me.” Names like CM Punk, Edge, Christian Cage and Samoa Joe also get mentioned as some of his generational colleagues.
“There’s some freedom for me in being able to look in the mirror and be in shape and know that now, nobody is keeping me out of the wrestling business, nobody is pushing me away, I don’t have to be bitter or resentful and go, ‘Oh, well now it’s passed me by and I can’t wrestle anymore. I know I’d be mad about injuries to say that I’d been mistreated by the wrestling business.’ If I stay away from wrestling now it’s by choice. Nobody is forcing me out, nobody is forcing me in and there’s so much freedom and peace in that.”
AHA!! Found a sample page Lash LeRoux sent me of a coloring book he was working on after WWF bought out his contract when they bought WCW. I knew this was still in there! https://t.co/Vz4DEcM5Bd pic.twitter.com/aaS5IoOAih
— Hal Haney (@HalHaneyArt) February 25, 2021
On a level of 1 to 10, how much of an itch does Lash LeRoux has to step back into the ring?
“Man, it grows every day. I can’t be dishonest about that. That itch is now getting up in the ‘eight,’ ‘nines,’ but that doesn’t mean I’m looking to pull the trigger at all, by no means,” Lash makes clear. He does see a positive movement in pro wrestling overall.
“We’re on an upswing I think,” he said. “You can just tell that the overall morale and passion for the business among the wrestlers themselves, not just the fans, I think has ticked back up again. It’s not quite what it was in the late 90’s, but I feel that same buzz, you know and you can’t help but watch other products on TV and you can’t help but to see that there are other options.”
Lash noted the rise of streaming services has created an almost “territory-like” dynamic for the industry.
“You have kind of that same model in a more modern-day setting which is you could have a territory that works off a streaming service, you know? And that’s kind of what you get with smaller companies.”
With the rise of social media engagement and how people consume media, a wrestler can be more accessible and in many ways, that’s a good thing, but Lash says his absence off the internet has helped to give him an advantage, at least he likes to think it has.
“For about the last ten years, I have been off social media. I was a ghost on social media. People didn’t know how to find Lash LeRoux even if they wanted to find Lash LeRoux,” he said. “I’ve been off television and been out of the wrestling culture long enough to make it nostalgic, kind of hearken back to those old WCW days, but I’m young enough that I’m not necessarily past my prime either so look, I’m in a sweet spot that I really get to enjoy.”
You can join in on the “Time Limit Draw” festivities on May 24 at 9 PM ET by signing up for the Slapnut tier on AdFreeShows.com! Catch the complete interview with Lash in the video at the top of the article.
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