Mariah Moreno, one of the first out trans women to step into a pro wrestling ring, is retiring from pro wrestling citing personal mental health concerns.
The 15-year veteran pro wrestler made the announcement via Instagram on Wednesday in a tearful video in which she detailed she had been dealing with “insane” anxiety and depression for some time.
“I don’t know exactly why I feel the way that I do,” Moreno said. “I’m trying to figure that out. I’ve been hiding it all this time … I started closing myself off from the world.”
Moreno assured fans that she “loves herself and loves her life” but that “the struggle to transition has taken a toll on me.” Moreno stated that she has pulled out of all future pro wrestling bookings, including the main event of Pro Wrestling VIBE’s “Paris Is Bumping: The Legends Ball” on Saturday.
Moreno was originally scheduled to face fellow trans female wrestlers Dark Sheik, Edith Surreal and Candy Lee in the first all-trans femme main event in pro wrestling history.
“I’m no longer going to be a part of wrestling because it’s not for me right now. I don’t think it’s ever going to be for me,” Moreno said, holding back tears. “I don’t have the urge or I can’t focus to get to the next level in wrestling … I feel like I’ve wasted my time. I think I made the wrong choice on focusing on something that was completely not attainable for me.”
Trained at Los Angeles-area wrestling school Santino Bros., Moreno initially rose to prominence in California hardcore promotion XPW alongside fellow out wrestler “The Hardcore Homo” Angel. She wrestled for multiple independent promotions across the country during her career, becoming a beloved figure within the LGBTQ pro wrestling community and beyond.
At the time, Moreno was one very few out trans wrestlers in North America, and is credited by some as the first to blaze the trail for the multiple out trans wrestlers going today. She was inducted into Paris Honors, the defacto LGBTQ pro wrestler hall of fame established by Pro Wrestling VIBE, in 2021 and wrestled in the main event of “Paris Is Bumping: Solid Gold ‘21” that same night.
“I’m proud and so happy that I was able to accomplish what I have and do what I did, but I wanted more,” she continued. “It’s killing me that I can’t get more.
“It’s nice being the first trans wrestler in pro wrestling, but I was the first to get all the hate, death threats, emails, dislikes, all that garbage. I was the first to get it and it got to me. It changed me … to all the trans women [in wrestling] out there, don’t let the hate change you.”
She directly addressed the community converging on New Jersey this weekend for Pro Wrestling VIBE’s Pride & VIBE Weekend LGBTQ pro wrestling festival.
“I’m not going to go because I’m not in the right mental state right now to be around a lot of people, to be wrestling, to be in the ring with anybody,” Moreno said.
“I’m so broken right now that I won’t be able to see everyone this weekend and meet people that I’ve been wanting to meet for so long,” she continued. “If you guys are watching this, I wanted to see you guys so bad … I love you guys so much, and everybody that is going be at [Pride & VIBE], live it up for me, please. Take care of yourselves. Be good to yourselves. I’ve always wanted to see this, an all-Pride show.”
We have some bad news but we wanna say: Thank you Mariah Moreno. We love you. This weekend is for you. pic.twitter.com/fdilhfQgYU— Pro Wrestling VIBE (@PWVibe) June 15, 2022
Moreno specifically highlighted Pro Wrestling VIBE found Billy Dixon, thanking him for believing in her.
“I hope I can come back in some form,” Moreno said.
Pro Wrestling VIBE confirmed that Moreno would not be appearing at “Paris Is Bumping: The Legends Ball” on the promotion’s official Twitter account, but also offered a message of support to Moreno.
“We’ll miss her so much and want to thank her for her massive contributions to VIBE,” read the post. “Mariah Moreno is a legend.”