SmackDown play-by-play announcer Jim Ross posted a blog on his official website remembering Andrew “Test” Martin, who was found dead in his Tampa apartment last night.
Ross is quite familiar with Martin as he hired him alongside two other Canadians in Adam “Edge” Copeland and Jay “Christian” Reso in the late 1990′s.
“I hired Andrew in the same class with his other fellow Canadians Edge and Christian in the late 90′s in an outstanding group of young talent whose advanced training was over seen by future WWE Hall of Famer Dory Funk and by Tom Prichard,” Ross wrote.
Ross recalls a conversation with Martin at WrestleMania XXIV last year in Orlando. The two spoke at length regarding his real estate endeavors and his plans to become a physical therapist. Martin also told Ross he saved his money and only wrestled “when he wanted to.”
“Andrew had done well in WWE, saved his money, made some good investments, and told me he only wanted to wrestle when “he wanted to” which the randomly scheduled international tours would allow him to do,” Ross wrote. “He did not express interest in the American indy scene and was genuinely excited about the prospects of the aforementioned physical therapy career.”
In a bit of previously unreported news, Ross reveals that Martin took up World Wrestling Entertainment’s offer to enter a rehabilitation facility in West Palm Beach, Florida last August. At the suggestion of others, his former employer reached out to him to see if he needed some help handling some alleged personal issues that he was rumored to have been experiencing.
“The rumors of Andrew’s issues were true and he was afforded the opportunity by WWE to attend The Hanley Center Rehabilitation facility in West Palm Beach, Florida for several weeks beginning in August of 2008,” Ross wrote. “Andrew successfully completed the WWE funded program and was highly regarded by the Hanley Center with being such an asset to them after completing the program of which Andrew took seriously, according to the facility. Since being released from the facility after successfully completing the program, Andrew had been doing well in his 12 Step AA program and was in contact with WWE with regular phone calls. Ironically, Friday was the day for his regularly scheduled “touching base” but when called his voice mail box was full.”
It should be noted that Ross was not aware of Martin’s alleged problems and stint in rehab until recently.
Ross concludes his post with the following note remembering Martin: “I will remember this young man as a bright, intelligent individual and am thankful that my last conversation with him was so positive and that he was excited about his future in a new field. Our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans and may God rest his soul.”