Breaking News
More () »

Following battle with addiction, former WWE star opens wrestling academy in Lancaster County

Jesus "Ricardo" Rodriguez says his biggest fight didn't come in the ring. It was his battle with alcohol addiction that led him to Lancaster County.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — After several years of wrestling in front of lights and cameras, former WWE superstar Jesus “Ricardo” Rodriguez has found a smaller ring, tucked inside a Manor Township, Lancaster County shopping center.  

But Rodriguez's past wasn’t all fame and world title belts.

“An unfortunate downside to all the traveling and life we led was the addiction side of the 'rock and roll lifestyle,' of being on television, and what happens when the lights go out," said Rodriguez.

In the midst of all the glitz and glamor, Rodriguez found his biggest fight was against alcohol—something he says cost him everything.

“One day I woke up in San Antonio, Texas and I woke up in a hospital in a detox center," he explained. "I don’t know how I got there. I ended up reaching out on social media, on Twitter, that I needed to get help.”

That decision led Jesus to Blueprints for Addiction Recovery, a Lancaster County addiction rehab facility.

The road to recovery led him to open Three Legacies Wrestling Academy, all while continuing the sobriety process.

“Wrestling saved my life and it gave me a purpose and it gave me a sense," said Rodriguez. "Whether as time went on, that was [to] perform in front of others or teach others how to live a certain dream they always wanted to do, and that’s professional wrestling.”

For those now training at Three Legacies, his story is an uplifting one.

“It’s inspiring," said Clayton Adams of Hershey. "He’s very good at wrestling. I’m glad they believed in me enough to help me out and give me an opportunity.”

“There’s always someone out there," added Darian Overly of Lancaster. "It doesn’t matter how low you are. There’s always someone out there who will try to help you.”

And for Rodriguez, his advice to others who may find themselves in a similar situation is simple.

“Definitely getting help, surrounding yourself with positive people, surrounding yourself with people who will motivate you and move you to want to better yourself and that’s something we also want to do here," he said.

If you’re interested in jumping in the ring at Three Legacies, there are training opportunities for all skill levels as well as classes on refereeing and commentating. 

Anyone 16 and older is welcome to sign up.

Download the FOX43 app here.

Before You Leave, Check This Out