AEW star Eddie Kingston recently wrote a blog for the Player’s Tribune, which saw the Mad King discuss topics like his battle with depression, and his journey to AEW. Check out highlights below.
When the match [against Cody Rhodes for the TNT Championship] aired on TV, something weird started happening with my phone. Twitter, social media, all that stuff — I still don’t really get how it works. It’s not my thing. So I saw all this shit start popping up on my phone with that little bird, but I was confused. Then I started getting all these text messages, and then someone from AEW texted me, “Eddie, you’re trending.”
And I said, “Trending? What is that? Does that mean I get paid more?”
She hit me back, “No, this is a big deal. They’re tweeting #SIGNEDDIEKINGSTON. It’s everywhere. There’s thousands of people. They’re begging AEW to sign you.”
It’s still so weird to me, even now, because I have such a hard time accepting love. I’m a hard-ass New York guy. I don’t trust it. I’m suspicious. I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. So when all these random people were standing up for me, I was just numb. I was uncomfortable. I didn’t get it. Even when AEW called me and told me that they wanted to offer me a contract, it just didn’t sink in. It was too surreal for a guy like me.
It wasn’t until two weeks later — I was on vacation out in Montana with my girlfriend, and we were just sitting in the car, about to go inside her friend’s house, and I paused for a second and I turned to her and said, “Hey wait.”
She said, “What’s wrong?” I said, “You know I’m signed right? I’m on national television. My nephew can watch his uncle on TV. Like, I’m really signed. I mean, 20 f*cking years in this. I was about to lose my house. I was about to….” And I just started crying. This wave came over me, and I finally understood what was happening, and I started bawling right there in the car.
How he still gets panic attacks, including one right after ALL OUT against Miro:
I still have panic attacks. As a matter of fact, I had one right after I fought Miro at the All Out PPV. My phone started blowing up with all these people telling me great job, just showing me love, and I just couldn’t handle it. I got overwhelmed. My chest got tight. The walls started closing in. I started to go numb. It felt like I was breathing through a straw. But I was able to calm myself down and slow my breathing, because I’d been strong enough to reach out and get professional help, and I know what to do now. I know how to live with my anxiety and depression. And I’m not afraid to talk about it. I don’t care what the old-school guys in the business have to say about it. It ain’t 1987 no more.
I know that I am not fixed. I am not perfect. I still have some really dark days, to be honest with you. But when I wake up in the morning, no matter how bad I feel, I know one thing for sure, and I’m damned proud of it….
I know that no matter how this all turns out from here, I can always look my nephew in the eye and tell him that his old, broken, beaten-up Uncle Eddie never quit.