An Inside Look: Part 1
By: Roger Wright
Date: 27th Jul 2021
Roger sat down, passed water to someone and leaned back in the chair. With both hands he pulled back his hair and let out a deep slow exhale.
There’s a game life plays
Makes you think you’re everything they ever said you were
Like to take some time
Clear away everything I’ve planned
What was that question again? Oh yeah, what is my biggest flaw? What a loaded question, I mean I think we could all pick more than just one, hell we probably all have five or six. But when I really think about who I am, where I am, it really becomes clear. My biggest flaw is also my greatest strength, I donít know how to give up. When I want something, I go all in, give it everything I have to give. Itís accounted for all the tragedy in my life, all the negative, but all the positive as well.†
There is something to be said about diving full steam and head first into something, about giving everything to it. You put yourself out there, really lay everything you have on the line when you do it, and the result can be disastrous and miraculous. It would be easy for me to say thatís how I always was, and as far back as I can remember it is exactly who I have always been.† Trust me though, it wasnít always easy.†
When mom and dad passed things were crazy hard, I was 18 years old, left with a ranch and a 15 year old brother. Understand when I say ranch we were not rich, there wasnít money just flowing in from every corner. We got by when my dad ran things. We always had food, but we didnít have the new truck, the new tractor, everything went back into the ranch. Then dad was gone and it was all mine, and at 18 I didnít know how things worked.†
Sure you could send me out into the fields and I could run the tractor, break in the new horse, fix the fence, bail the hay, but I didnít understand how everything worked. That was a learning curve for me, and the downslope didnít feel too good.† Like we mentioned before, I dove head first into running the ranch, probably as a coping mechanism for my parents passing away, probably because I knew there would be no college for me anymore.†
There just was not enough money for me to pay someone to run the ranch, add in the fact someone had to take care of my brother Matthew, there was no other choice. So while I dove head first into the ranching world, I watched everyone around me go off to college, go off to learn how to be adults. In a way it was a blessing.
That first year was rough, Iíd be lying if I said things were not hard, hell I almost lost the ranch that first winter. Learned a tough lesson about finances that year. But we scraped by, probably wonít ever eat canned beans again. I kid, but that was how bad it got. The next year went better, much better, a year of learning really helped me, and we were actually making good money. Things went well for four years, Matthew got through high school and went off to college.†
People ask me all the time if I am bitter about that, but no, things worked out great for him and me. Shane came back from college, freshly graduated with his business degree, and that is when things really took off for me. He helped me invest my money, to grow my business, because that is what my ranch was, a business. My dad never saw it as such, but after four years I realized that was what it was.†
I expanded the land, added more cattle, Shane crunched numbers to maximize the profits, and we were off and running. At 23 years old I took Shane on as a partner for the ranch, and we gave birth to what would become Roger Wright inc. Everything was going great, and then one day I was at the feed store, loading 50lb bags of corn feed into my truck when I met a man named Jesse Styles.†
Jesse had seen me wrestle in high school, remembered me from the state finals when I was a senior, said he had kept an eye on me for years, and was opening his own wrestling organization. Told me I had the look, the skill, and he believed I could really be one of the best the industry had ever seen. Safe to say I was skeptical, but I took his card, kept it on my nightstand for a few months.
Thatís when things went off the rails for the first time. Hunter Valentyne entered my life. Turns out an aging professional wrestler had taken offense to something I had done when I was just 18 years old. His initial revenge had proved to not be enough for him, no he wanted to do more than take my parents from me, he needed to destroy me in front of millions of people. He did what he had to, to get me to join New Edge Wrestling, the company Jesse owned.†
Shane worked out how we could use the money from my contract to pay someone to run the ranch, and he worked in the background managing things while I was gone. I went off to dive head first into my next venture in life, wrestling.† Jesse told me I would make an impact, he knew it in his heart. Six months later I made the biggest impact I could on his company, I became the champion, defeating four other men in what I could only tell you was hell.†
That hell didnít end there though, I learned quickly that when you climb that mountain, when you reach the peak, things have only just begun for you.† The† only thing better than a success story is a fall from grace story. For six months I fended them all off, defended that title with everything I had, beat everyone they put in front of me, and then Hunter got his first strike of revenge on me. I spent months preparing for him, keeping him within my sights and when the time had come to get him in the ring, he quit. His replacement in the match beat me and took my title.†
It was a stroke of genius on Hunterís part, that might be the only time you ever hear me say something like that about the man.† It left me dejected, spiraling down a hole and doing the very thing everyone has come to expect from me. See as much as I will dive head first into something positive, I will do it for something negative. I dove head first into depression after that, found my way to the bottom of a bottle, well let’s be honest, the bottom of every bottle I could find.
Was it life I’ve betrayed for the shape that I’m in
It’s not hard to fail, it’s not easy to win
Did I drink too much, could I disappear
And there’s nothing that’s left but wasted years
The next year of my life was spent in a drunken stupor trying to find my way back to where I was. Trying to find who I was, to rekindle the fire that was in my heart. Losing that title took everything from me. It was only a year later that I realized that title didnít define me, I had defined it. Even through that down time, my life had been great, but I never saw it. I was too busy wasting the year away thinking about what could have been, what I thought should have been.† My popularity had helped the ranch grow, the money was flowing. I didnít even need the wrestling money anymore.†
My business had grown, and with it my ability to buy alcohol.† See that was my life at 25, buying enough alcohol to get drunk. Iím not talking about getting all buzzed and stumbling around having a good time. No, I would drink until I passed out, wake up the next morning and start drinking again just to get rid of the hangover. I became a functioning alcoholic. I wrestled drunk, I did everything drunk, except drive, I had money, who drives when they have money?††
Through all of that I still managed to turn it around. My determination, my desire to be the best overcame the depression, overcame the drinking and I reached the top again. Four times I became champion, I finally got my time in the ring with Hunter, and ended it once and for all. Sure others emerged to hate me, to push me, case and point Johnny Stylez, but thatís a story for another time.†
At 26 things were on the up and up, I was sober and the best I had ever been in the ring riding high at the top of the company. The title was mine, the girl was mine, everything was great, and then it wasnít.† I had gone full force into a relationship with Blair Buchannan, she was the prize of the ball for me. Everything I had, I gave to her, and she ripped it all away for a chance at my title, taking it from me with one fell swoop.†
Betrayal is a difficult thing for me to understand, not because I donít get how it works, but I donít get how someone can do it. The lengths that people will go to for it, the things people will do just to betray someone, it baffles me to no end. But there I was again, spiraling down towards depression, going into it with everything I had. Part of me during that spiral held onto the belief that maybe, just maybe things were not over between me and Blair, that we could salvage it in some way.†
She strung me along, let me think there was a shot. Kept me around, and I pretended that everything was fine. We had a kid, the greatest thing that has ever happened to me in my life. But Blair did what she does best, when I left wrestling she left me. She was quite brutal about it though, she left me for Hunter, calling it another win for Valentyne. I retreated to the ranch, cherished the moments I had with my daughter, and lived a great life.†
If I could change my life
Be a simple kind of man
Try to do the best I can
If I could take the sides
I’d derail every path I could
An’ I’m about to die
Won’t you clear away from me
Give me strength to fly away
That desire to give everything I have hit me hard again. My dad always told me family was the most important thing, and like any father out there I wanted to do the best I could for my daughter. This led me to some rather bad decisions, failed attempts to get back with a woman whom deep down inside I knew never wanted me, never even wanted the daughter that we had together. NEW came back around, Jesse revived it and I signed up wanting to prove to myself I could reach the top again, and be around the mother of my daughter.†
Somehow I thought being together in NEW would rekindle something between Blair and I. Saying I was wrong is an understatement. But to say it was terrible would be another story. I went from sharing time with Marie to being the only parent in her life. But like all things I dove in too hard with Anicka, gave everything there was to give her, and she ripped my heart out just like Blair. Maybe thatís my thing, women who hurt me.†
When it ended with Anicka I went full force into that depression mode again, turning to the one thing I mistakenly thought would help me, the bottle. That led to some issues, I almost lost my daughter, almost lost the ranch, hell damn near lost my business. I did lose OPW, but I gained something I wouldnít trade for anything, I gained a new purpose in life. I got the opportunity to be a simple man, do things around the house, live a life out of the spotlight.
All of that led me here though, to this place where I am at right now. I wouldnít change who I am, wouldnít change a damn thing I have done in this life. So you asked me what is my biggest flaw, I give everything I have to everything that I do. It has hurt me many times, but at the end of the day it has made me a better man, a better father, and I wonít ever stop doing it. Itís who I am, and who I will always be.
….To Be Continued