In a series of posts on his official Twitter account, independent wrestling star Erick Stevens, best known for his work with promotions including Ring Of Honor Wrestling, Black Label Pro, Full Impact Pro, Absolute Intense Wrestling, Beyond Wrestling, NWA Florida, Freelance Wrestling and more announced that he has retired from the wrestling business, with the GCW The Collective weekend being his last time as a professional wrestler, finalizing his original plans to retire from the business at some point this year, before the global Coronavirus pandemic shut down events for several months.

Stevens, who also operates a YouTube channel and Instagram account with his family, where he is known as The Family Food Dude, noted that while he retired in 2010 and later returned to the wrestling business, this time around, things are much different as there is no bitterness and that he is grateful for everything in the world of wrestling, as well as the support of his family, but that it is time for his spot to go to somebody new in the business.

“Tonight is my last night as a professional wrestler. Before I elaborate, please understand that this isn’t an impulsive decision, nor is it a cliche temporary thing, I always said I’d know when it was time to go and now is that time. Certainly not the storybook ending I imagined, but this ain’t a storybook. In spite of the circumstances, I’m happy, I’m grateful. I quit on myself a decade ago and I was lucky enough to get a second chance to live my dream, most people never get that chance and spend the rest of their lives wondering, what if, but I don’t have to, because of the support of my incredible family and some generous promoters, I got to drag my old carcass into the ring and go to war with the best and brightest, even got to tangle with some old friends like Alex Shelley and Eddie Kingston.

I wasted ten years by quitting on myself, my window to do anything big in this business closed a long time ago, but I’m grateful that I got to once again travel around the US and do what I love. With my family and business obligations, my plate is just too full. I missed my daughter’s first soccer practice this weekend, I don’t want to miss another one, I can’t dedicate the time I need to perform at my personal standard. My spot on the card, my payday, my airfare, they need to go to somebody else, my time is over, I had my fun, it’s time for me to go. I have loved pro wrestling with every fiber of my being since I was 13 years old, I’ve sacrificed my body, my relationships, my money, my time and my mind for this, because that’s what you do for something you love, that’s what you do for something that makes you feel alive. I’m not leaving the way I did in 2010, I’m not bitter, I’m not mad, I’m happy, I’m grateful and I’ll still be staying in touch with my friends, old and new alike.

Thank you to my wife, without her this wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you to Absolute Intense Wrestling, Black Label Pro and Beyond Wrestling for believing in me. Thank you to all of my opponents, thank you to the fans, you let a 13 year old boy live his dream and I’ll always love you for it, but I can’t love you obsessively anymore. I’ve given all I have left to give, my heart can take the pounding, my mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye and that’s ok.”