Where Are They Now? The Warlord: Part 2
Working on the road is no easy task, but sometimes you meet good people who make it easier along the way. By chance, after his time with WWE, Terry Szopinski -- a.k.a. The Warlord -- met an up-and-coming talent in Chris Jericho.
"Chris is a good guy and a great wrestler," The Warlord stated. "Now I see him in WWE as one of its biggest stars. He was a good kid and is an incredible talent."
Traveling overseas touring, Szopinski and Jericho met each other and spent a good amount of time together. With the toughness of sometimes not knowing when your next meal would be when traveling, The Warlord introduced the future Undisputed WWE Champion to a smart solution on their food issues.
"I took him to this place where they bring you plates of beef and you eat as much of you want," he explained. "Chris and I went through so much that when we went back they wouldn't let us back in. We did that the next night and continued to do so all over Japan."
Unfortunately, in 1996, things would change drastically for Szopinski , whose time in the ring was put on a prolonged hiatus following a bad car accident.
"It was bad," he remembered. "I herniated three discs at the base of my neck, and had a problem with my neck for a long time."
This didn't stop The Warlord, though. After several years, he had recuperated enough to return to battle inside the ring. But, that was just a brief time as another accident -- this time involving a motorcycle -- would set Szopinski back once again.
"I tried making a comeback in 2001, but I had a motorcycle accident that tore up my quadriceps and cracked my left knee cap in half," The Warlord said. "It's funny, the bad injuries didn't even happen in the ring. They happened in accidents."
Amazingly, The Warlord's work ethic led him to another complete recovery, while also starting on a new career path.
"I work private security for the Relief Group International," said Szopinski. "They handle the auto relief group and are about to start investment banking as well."
Now, several years after two devastating accidents, The Warlord is in the best shape of his life, still competing on the independent circuit, while also having his powerful hand in several other projects.
"I'm in better shape now than I was at the beginning of my career," stated the former NWA Six-Man Tag Team Champion. "I do the security work, I do bodyguard work and I'm beginning to train some starters from the Miami Hurricanes football team. I'm also going to class starting in May to become a bail bondsman. I've got my hand in a little bit of everything."
With his bodyguard work on the side, Szopinski has had the opportunity to work with several notable entertainment and sports figures, including rapper 50 Cent, NFL running back Thomas Jones and Mixed Martial Arts fighter Kimbo Slice -- who he will once again escort during Kimbo's upcoming May 8 fight.
"It's a lot of fun - all these MMA guys bow to you, as wrestling got their whole thing going," Szopinski said. "And Kimbo nicknamed me ‘The Wall' as I lead everyone out there, so I'm the wall."
Szopinski's career has certainly been an interesting one, with several ups and downs. Throughout that whole time, however, he has always cherished his fans.
"I keep every letter [the fans] send to me and put it up on my bulletin board. I've gotten a lot of fan mail and answer every letter back," he said. "I appreciate all the years they've followed me and it's always been amazing."
The honor given to him by one notable fan in particular has meant a lot to the former WWE Superstar, and he sends a specific thanks to that person for his kind words.
"Batista names me as his favorite of all time," said Terry Szopinski, The Warlord. "It's the biggest flattery I've ever had, and it really means a lot."
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