A former WWE and WCW champion appeared at a number of Midlands schools Tuesday, and has plans to be at several more on Wednesday.
He isn't out doing promotion for the upcoming Wrestlemania. He's delivering inspirational messages to students.
Marc Mero, aka Johnny B. Badd, has moved beyond the ring. Mero, who claims to be "America's #1 School Presenter," on his website, spoke at two Lexington County schools Tuesday.
The former WWE Intercontinental Champion and WCW World television Champion made appearances at Meadow Glen Middle School and Pelion High School.
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Mero is scheduled to appear at Pleasant Hill Middle School and River Bluff High School on Wednesday, along with a stop at Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church.
Mero is appearing in Lexington County as part of his national speaking tour. At these engagements, Mero tells his audience, often students, about his journey and what he has learned.
According to his website, Mero is trying to inspire his audience to examine their lives and to become empowered to make a difference.
"Just finished a powerful presentation at Meadow Glen Middle School in Lexington, SC," Mero posted on Twitter following his visit.
A few hours later, he tweeted about his upcoming appearance at Pelion High School, saying, "I am so pumped up and excited to present to this awesome school."
In a clip of one his previous speeches, Mero connected with audience by personalizing his speech.
"I learned what is truly important, and that is how precious this gift of life is, and our families, and how quickly it can be taken away," Mero said. "See, I no longer live in time, I live in moments. See, it's not what's in your pocket that matters, it's what's in your heart that truly matters. Love, love is just a word until somebody comes along and gives it meaning. You, you're the meaning."
This seems a far cry from Johnny B. Badd, his wrestling character who lived life in the fastlane.
One of his catchphrases was "I'm a bad man."
When he moved from WCW to WWE a lot of mileage was squeezed out of his relationship with his then real-life wife Sable.
His signature moves included the Badd Day, Badd Mood, Golota, Sitout Powerbomb, Tutti Frutti and Kiss That Don't Miss. Although Mero has moved on from his wrestling career, which ended in 2006, he hasn't left Johnny B. Badd behind.
These days, Mero uses Badd as an acronym — Be Against Destructive Decisions. According to his website, he has dedicated "his life to helping others be the 'Champion' they’re destined to be."
His appearance at Pelion definitely had an impact. Several people tweeted about his speech, the message he delivered and how they were inspired.
Marc Mero Midlands Appearances
Former WWE, WCW champ Marc Mero is scheduled to appear at three Lexington County locations on Wednesday
▪ Pleasant Hill Middle School, 9 a.m.
▪ River Bluff High School, 1 p.m.
▪ Mt. Horeb UMC, 6:30 p.m.