Earlier this year, wrestling manager Stokely Hathaway reportedly turned down a $250,000 contract extension from WWE, but there were no details as to why he made the decision. Hathaway joined “The Sessions with Renee Paquette” to candidly speak about the situation. “In February, I woke up one day and I just felt miserable. And I guess the right way [to describe it] would be ‘crazy,’ right?” That’s when he voluntarily committed himself to a mental health facility over the course of a weekend.
He said it was an “interesting” experience, “Mainly, I would say, in Florida, it’s like prison for the mentally ill,” Stokely said. Similar to a prison cell, the room offered a bed with no sheets, a motion detector sink, a small bar of soap and toothpaste, and strict rules about when to enter and leave your room. “It was like three days of that. And afterward, I was like, ‘Maybe I’m not as crazy as I thought,” Hathaway said.
The stress of a reported main roster call-up being in the works after his successful run as manager of The Diamond Mine in “NXT,” combined with the stresses of everyday life, sent him to a breaking point. Trying to deal with the situation through comedy didn’t facilitate people taking him seriously when he needed help. “At that time, I didn’t tell anybody,” he said. “I literally wasn’t on my phone because they took my phone away. … They allowed me to get my phone for a few minutes. But afterward, I told people close to me that I could trust, and obviously, it worked because nobody knew anything about it.”
Hathaway was released by WWE in April and made his AEW debut the following month. Hathaway has been regularly featured on AEW television managing rising stars such as Lee Johnson and Ethan Page.
If you use any quotes in this article, please credit “The Sessions with Renee Paquette,” with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.