Stokely Hathaway might be enjoying success currently in AEW with his manager duties for The Firm stable. He did, however, have a difficult time in a transition between WWE NXT and his current employer.

While interviewed by Renee Paquette on “The Sessions”, Hathaway admitted that he had battles with mental health following his release from WWE due to pressure. He did say that sought out help for the issue.

“I think it was just trying to just manage everything. I do regret leaning into the being funny thing, because I think it’s hard for people to take you seriously. So like, who am I going to say, ‘Oh yeah, like, I feel this way, I feel that way.’

Like, I don’t think there was anyone to really like, listen or that I could talk to. Then especially with like social media, like everything nowadays, like it’s, one, it’s hard to take people seriously, and two, I feel like, I don’t want to say it’s like a thing to use mental health as like a crutch, but I just felt like no one would believe me if I said, ‘Hey, like, I feel this way or feel that way.’ So I just felt like it was the right thing for me to do.”


“I think for me, there was a lot of pressure. I think there’s always a lot of pressure because I feel like as a black talent, I get judged more harshly than other people. Like, I feel like everything I do is analyzed, over analyzed, right?

Obviously, everyone gets a critique, but I feel like mine is at a different level, and I’m also incredibly hard on myself. So like, it was one of those things where I’m hard on myself. I had to realize that like, it’s wrestling. It’s just wrestling.

This isn’t a live or die situation. So for me, it was just dealing with that, and it was also like, you know, again, I regret leaning into the funny thing, because, you know, like, I’m very, like, very introverted, like, very closed off, and I went, ‘You know what? I have this small circle of people that I trust. I should probably utilize that.'”

Hathaway is like a lot of talent from WWE who were released from the company, feeling on edge and evaluating on what’s next. The good thing for him is that he has a close group of friends to help him, which is very important. Thankfully, he seems to be doing better now, and it’s not hard to find him on AEW television now.

What do you think of Stokely overcoming his mental health problem? Sound off in the comments!

Andre Porter

Andre is a passionate wrestling fan and journalist with years of experience covering the WWE. He has attended numerous wrestling events and has a deep understanding of the sport. In addition to his writing, Andre is also a graduate of The University of Arts with a BFA in multimedia and enjoys film, comics, and all Philadelphia sports. He is also an avid follower of John Cena on Twitter.

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