NXT’s ‘Moonchild’: The CJ Parker story
“When I was 13 years old, my friends and I vandalized our middle school. We smashed windows, spray painted walls and slit screens. We literally caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. I was lucky the felony charges got dropped.” — CJ PARKER
CJ Parker’s childhood was tumultuous to say the least. The middle school vandalism incident described above was just one of several that would threaten an entirely different outlook on his life. Thanks to the realization that something had to change, Parker’s life took a turn for the better. It just so happens that the culmination of that change has created the Superstar we’ve come to know as the “Moonchild.”
When Parker returned to NXT in August, the charismatic Superstar was barely recognizable. Donning multi-colored dreadlocks and a matching color scheme from head to toe, the opinions of onlookers ranged from admiration to outright befuddlement. Regardless, don’t expect Parker to be offended. According to him, the judgment of those around him will no longer dictate his choice of actions.
“When I was in school, I was always the class clown. I hid by jokes and one-liners because I was afraid to let people see who I really was,” Parker told WWE.com. “I started hanging with the wrong crowd and did the wrong things because I didn’t want to stand alone from the pack.
“The same thing happened when I came to NXT. It can be pretty intimidating around here and for the longest time, I just tried to fit in. I feel like I wasn’t letting the NXT Universe into my world. I wasn’t being true to them or myself,” he said.
Parker took his own advice to heart when he chose to “photo bomb” the selfie-taking resident model of NXT, Tyler Breeze.
“I’m an out-there kind of guy and I’m not ashamed to say it. I like to laugh and I like to have fun,” Parker said. “Tyler Breeze is a perfect example of what is wrong with the world. He’s superficial and materialistic. He worries too much about things that don’t matter. I feel sorry for him.”
In fact, it seems only appropriate that Parker turned his attention toward Breeze, considering his own lifestyle focuses on the much simpler aspects of life.
“I call myself the Moonchild because I live by the ‘I.L.U. philosophy’: Integrity, Love and Unity. I stand up for what I believe in, I love life and I want to bring people together,” Parker explained. “I don’t need a lot of money. I shop at thrift stores, ride my bicycle whenever I can and love eating grass fed/farm raised foods.”
True to form, Parker admitted to consuming a fresh, 6-ounce filet of wild Alaskan salmon, organic asparagus and a sweet potato prior to sitting down with WWE.com. The meal exemplifies Parker’s commitment toward healthy living outside the ring while striving for success on NXT.
“This may sound corny, but Monday Night Raw actually saved my life. When I decided this was what I wanted to do, watching Raw every Monday gave me something to look forward to,” Parker said.
“WWE gave me a purpose, especially when I felt I had nothing positive going on in my life. Not only do I get to live my dream, I get to be myself. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Today, Parker has a more defined set of goals, from being a social activist for WWE to even one day joining the Peace Corps. Achieving the pinnacle of success on NXT/WWE may open the door to not just achieve his dreams, but to also make an everlasting difference.
“When I make it to the top of the mountain, I’m going to stand up loud and proud and spread my message: Change somebody’s life for the better, value those who have been undervalued, be the change that you want to see in the world and most of all,be yourself.”
Follow CJ Parker on Twitter @WWEMoonchild.
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