For former WCW wrestler Lodi, his near 30-year career has been filled with both physical and spiritual journeys in life.
Now an industry veteran, Lodi originally rose to prominence as a member of Raven’s Flock in WCW between 1997 and 2000, immediately making a name for himself by carrying funny signs to the ring as he accompanied his fellow members.
Later, Lodi would be known as the part of an "unusually-scripted" tag team with Lenny Lane. Although both were heterosexual, the duo were cast as a pair of ambiguously gay partners. The flamboyant tandem was dubbed The West Hollywood Blondes and drew quite a bit of controversy before eventually being re-packaged with a totally different gimmick.
After WCW, he wrestled for Dusty Rhodes’ Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling. and promoted cards in the southeast.
Lodi now works as a personal trainer in North Carolina, operating the Your Flex Appeal studio in Charlotte, all the while training young hopefuls in the ring. He's highly regarded as one of the best teachers of the mat game in the United States today. Lodi is also currently responsible for training Brock Anderson, the son of the legendary Arn Anderson, who recently made an appearance on AEW Dynamite.
But it hasn't always been smooth sailing for the former Flock member.
Lodi — whose real name is Brad Cain — has suffered nearly crippling injuries throughout the course of his athletic career. He has suffered three broken necks, the most recent one happening just a few years ago, leaving him with paralysis in his left arm.
Due to his prior injuries, Cain had previously developed a drug addiction and was hooked on GHB and painkillers for seven years. He entered rehab in 2000 and moved on from those problems. Years later, Lodi would give up drinking as well.
He knew this time, however, it would be a long way back after emergency surgery, on the third go-around. However, he was able to make a full recovery, without the use of alcohol or drugs. And although doctors told him he would likely never wrestle again, he's back in the ring and continuing on with his 27-year career.
In a recent, exclusive interview, Brad 'Lodi' Cain spoke with SK Wrestling about his time in the ring, his triumphs, and his tragedies.
"That time of my life was - absolutely, and I speak of this often - it was truly out of control," Lodi said about starting out with WCW and his time in the Flock. "Me, growing up a wrestling fan and loving wrestling, and suddenly I'm on TV three nights a week? And four if we had a pay-per-view on Sundays."
He mentioned getting to work with the legends he grew up idolizing, like Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Sting. Lodi says that while it was a mind-blowing exerience to be a part of such an impressive roster, he realized his demons held him back.
"It was absolutely, at one time... one of the best times of my life. But also, because of some of the choices I chose to make outside of the ring, one of the worst times in my life."
During this time, Lodi became well-known for carrying amusing signs to the ring. He credits one of his former Flock mates for coming up with the gimmick.
"That was 100 percent Raven," Lodi said about the signs he'd carry to the ring as a member of The Flock. He added, "Raven is a genius; I love him to death. He's one of the guys I'm the closest with in the wrestling business."
"Raven, throughout my career — just riding with him, and rooming with him, and being on the road with him... I say it all the time, he sees wrestling like other people see 'tic-tac-toe'. It's just easy for him, and he taught me so much. The things he taught me, I still use to this day."
It wasn't long before he was battling aggravating neck problems that would jeopardize his career. His injuries would lead to a heavy reliance on pain killers and alcohol that threatened not only his health, but his life, as well.
After his stint in rehab, Lodi beat his addiction to pills, and would later disavow alcohol. But even after getting his life back on track, he would face another setback: A third broken neck. He recalls his road to recovery:
"Every doctor from the first (injury), to the second one, to especially the third one, told me I would never wrestle again. And, here I am. I had a full schedule last year before COVID hit. I was working every weekend."
"I'm as active on the independent scene now than I ever had, and I'm enjoying it. Obviously, at this point, I've got more years behind me now than I do ahead of me."
Lodi said that, with his latest neck surgery in 2017, it was his faith and his belief in a higher power that helped him battle through adversity.
"After 27 years in this businees, I have been blessed to do this," he said. "And I think a lot of that is due to God's grace and God's favor. (For him) to have the ability to take someone like me, who made a lot of really bad mistakes at one point in my life, and probaby should have died mutltiple times."
"I feel like he kept me around for a reason. Now? Part of my story and part of my life is sharing with others the mistakes that I made, and hopefully keeping them on the right path in this business."
Now fully recovered from both injury and addiction, Lodi is the head of Team Fearless, dedicated to not only teaching wrestling skills to youngsters, but also spreading his personal message of the gospel. He not only still makes regular appearances in the ring, but uses his travels as an opportunity to speak to groups about his beliefs and spread the word of God.
"It's always fun to see some of the younger talents that you've been able to help, make it. My goal now? I had my time to shine, and that's over. I enjoy wrestling now, but I also use my wrestling now to spread the gospel."
"With my kids? My goal is not only to spread the gospel with them if they need to hear it. But, I want them all to be a bigger star and more successful than I ever was."
"That's the biggest success for me now, to see these kids succeed. That's success for me these days."