“Rocky” is Titusville area resident Aaron Madden. He left the pro wrestling ring around seven years ago, but he still loves the sport's entertainment franchise and the many people still involved, some of whom he has trained. He has been asked many times to return to the ring but is reluctant in his 40-plus year old body.
Madden said over a year ago he’d consider a return only if the storyline was right. Pro wrestling is built on good storylines and Madden is well aware of its importance from his time entertaining fans since the early 2000s.
For a year now, Madden and Revenge Wrestling in Erie have been building this plot. Madden has been attending Revenge Wrestling events in Erie allowing one of the key bad guys of the sport, Derek Dillinger, to actively engage him in his ringside seat, taunting the aged wrestler any chance he got. But Madden has been steadfast in his refusing to allow Dillinger to get under his skin. "I'm not interested," Madden would tell him and the crowd.
“Derek Dillinger has been repeatedly trying to provoke me to wrestle a match against him,” Madden said in a social media post Tuesday night. “I’ve never shared a locker room with this guy, never had a cross word with him. Hell, I don't even think that he was even wrestling when I walked away from the business. But for some reason, he has a major problem with me.”
His social media post came after last week when he took his teenage daughters to a Revenge event in Erie. Dillinger came out of the ring to confront Madden, who stood sandwiched between his two daughters Aarolynn and Addyson. In front of the Erie Sports Center crowd, Madden insisted he wasn’t interested in returning to the ring despite Dillinger’s taunts.
Tim Walters of TMK Pro Wrestling Photography was right there taking photos. Suddenly Dillinger, to the surprise of the crowd, took a swat at Madden’s daughter Aarolynn appearing to connect with the side of her neck and cheek.
“I've been doing this a long time and I've never heard a gasp that loud from a wrestling crowd,” said Walters. “People were legit pissed.”
The scene, though rehearsed (Madden’s daughter was not assaulted or hurt,) has now set the stage for Rocky's comeback. Revenge Wrestling, Madden and Dillinger have their story line and the people who love a solid “good vs. bad” story are in for a treat.
When Madden took to social media Tuesday it was to say that, though he wasn’t interested in coming back… no one touches his baby girl. This dad would not stand by and do nothing.
“THE RUMORS ARE TRUE,” he started.”Even though I'm almost 46 years old and long retired from professional wrestling, I truly believed that nothing could make me step back into the ring…. But… he crossed lines that he can't ever step back from. Derek, you wanted my attention. You wanted to piss me off. Just know and understand that I am humble enough to not be provoked by your insults towards me. BUT AS A FATHER..., the moment you laid hands on my daughter was the moment you were granted everything that you have been asking for. Just remember you asked for everything that's going to happen to you.”
And his post erupted.
Wrestling fans seem to love it. It is a story of a father stepping up to protect his family. Dozens of respondents got online to support Madden and get behind him 100% for the actions of Dillinger against Madden's young daughter.
Madden, knowing he is a police officer often having to deal first hand with violence, saw the comments coming in and decided to take the post down because ”it was generating a ton of heat and I wanted to cool it down a bit.”
Madden emphasized that his daughter was not harmed and that it was part of a story to get people excited to root for a side within the entertainment world of professional wrestling. Part of the "entertainment" is the buy-in, Madden acknowledged.
He, as a fan, and other fans understand the storylines are somewhat scripted, but what happens inside the ring is still a very physically demanding and dangerous endeavor. Those that love the genre love that it is athleticism meets Hollywood.
That’s why, at 45 years old, if Madden was going to put his body on the line, it had to be for the right storyline and timeline to get physically prepared.
“One landing gone wrong and it’s right back in it,” he said of his concerns and recent back problems. “I will make sure I’m in my best shape.”
Madden has started training with a high protein, low carb diet and working out every day.
“I don’t want to go out there and embarrass myself,” he said. “I hate it when guys like Rick Flair stay too long. So, I’ll be looking my best for this return.”
As for the storyline, what father of young girls can't relate?
Madden, or rather Luscious Rocky Reynolds will officially return on February 10 at the Erie Sports Center. Doors open at 6 p.m. and wrestling will start at 7 p.m.