Aaron Madden is a Titusville police officer and family man who enjoys a quiet life at his Centerville home.
But as the Crawford County fair approaches, Madden is preparing to enter the wrestling ring as his alter-ego, Rocky Reynolds.
Madden will wrestle against Jet Rebel at noon Saturday, Aug. 18, as part of his own promotion, MadMar Entertainment.
Madden has been wrestling since 2000 when he competed in the National Wrestling Alliance Tri-State Division, where he once held the junior heavyweight championship and competed alongside current WWE champion A.J. Styles.
Madden fell in love with professional wrestling as a child, vividly recalling that at first he didn’t quite understand what he was seeing.
On Georgia Championship Wrestling he saw the Road Warriors Hawk and the Animal brutally attack Dusty Rhodes, leaving his white dress-shirt covered in blood.
“It really disturbed me for that whole week, but I tuned in next week, because I wanted to see what happened to him,” Madden said. “I was hooked.”
His first match with the Wrestling Alliance allowed him to meet one of his childhood heroes, Jimmy “Superfly” Snooka, which was an inspiring encounter for Madden.
Madden won his first match while playing the heel, a “bad guy”, in wrestling terms.
“I put on an awesome match,” Madden recalled. “I had just won. The crowd hates me. When I walk out I get grabbed by Superfly, and he says, ‘Hey, good match, brutha.’ My very first match.”
Since then, Madden has stepped into the ring with some of the biggest names in the business, with one of his fondest memories being of squaring off against Bill “Ax” Eadie of the tag team Demolition.
Along with the good memories, Madden also recalled what he thinks was a brush with death.
“I was in a four-way ladder match for the NWA junior heavyweight championship,” Madden said. “I stole the show that night, but not the way I wanted to.”
Madden performed a swanton bomb from a ladder, which is performed by leaping into a swan dive and then flipping and landing on one’s opponent.
The ladder shifted backwards, which resulted in Madden not having enough distance to reach his opponents, instead landing on his head outside the ring.
Madden said he woke up in the hospital hearing his wife crying.
“I just moved all my fingers and toes,” he said. “Once I knew I could do that, I knew I was going to be okay, so I started laughing.”
While Madden gives his all to entertain the crowd, he has always made sure that his daughters know he’s okay in the ring.
“I’ve always told them that daddy is just playing with his friends, so they wouldn’t get concerned when bad things happen to me in the ring,” Madden said.
Madden spends much less time in the ring nowadays in favor of spending more time with his family and taking care of his health.
“I started feeling those aches and pains,” Madden said. “Every bump takes away a little of that quality of life. I’ve seen too many older friends who stayed in too long.”
Nowadays, Madden usually enters the ring just once a year when the Crawford County Fair comes around. Though he feared losing his local celebrity, he has found other ways to be known in his community, such as entering bodybuilding competitions and focusing on his law enforcement career.