People of the Pines: A Unique Examination of Various Ocean County Residents

In a small town, when someone is able to achieve success or celebrity, it’s a BIG deal. Rhett Titus was born in Toms River, raised in Forked River and graduated from Lacey Township High School. Today, Rhett is a professional wrestler who travels all over the globe for his matches. Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Rhett about his journey from small town teen to wrestling on national television.

Rhett’s life has always revolved around wrestling and he recalls some of his earliest memories being centered around the ring. “I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t obsessed with wrestling. In kindergarten I remember having to draw a picture of what your job would be when you grew up and I drew myself as a wrestler.”

When he was just 17 and a senior in High School, Rhett’s son was born and he realized that if he did not try to pursue wrestling then, he never would. “I tried out with the Ring of Honor Training Academy ( now known as the ROH Dojo) in Bristol Pa with CM Punk & Samoa Joe and was put through a vigorous workout to try to break you and quit but I survived and was accepted into the school.” After graduating High School in 2005,  he started his official training under Austin Aries and never looked back.

Over the years Rhett has been able to realize some of his greatest goals and achievements. “Originally my goal was to have at least one match for Ring of Honor and I accomplished that in Dayton, OH in my very first live match. Then a few years later Ring Of Honor offering me my first contract felt very rewarding. Wrestling on WWE Smackdown was also a really cool accomplishment,” he reminisced.

Rhett recalls the difficulty of training at the ROH Academy. He says it was, “Very hard and disciplined but it made me a better person. I was the youngest wrestler to ever come out of there, so I’d get hazed a lot by some of the older wrestlers but I eventually earned their respect. I learned a lot from former WWE star Austin Aries and then current WWE star Daniel Bryan.

All of these successes have not been without challenges and sacrifice. The wrestler had to learn to balance traveling every weekend with raising his son. Though he mentions that, “My family has always been very supportive, even driving to see my first match in Dayton, Ohio and still going whenever they can.”

Another big challenge he has faced has been recovering from injuries. In 2011 he tore his meniscus and continued to wrestle until his surgery was underway. This made for a very difficult rehabilitation, as he had built up so much scar tissue from wrestling with his injury.

Surprisingly, wrestling on injuries haven’t been his worst experience in the ring. Rhett expanded, “I did a county fair show when I was younger and it started torrential down-pouring at the beginning of the match, but as they say the show must go on. It was like a slip and slide in the ring, very dangerous but I was able to go on with the match and make it out alive!”

Recently, Rhett got married and commented, “My wife is very understanding and supportive. She found it a little weird when we first started dating how I would be leaving every weekend and missing holidays and family events but she has grown to understand it. She’ll always pack my food and my bags prior to a trip and is always there to greet me when I get back home.”

What’s next for Rhett? “I feel like I am in in the prime of my career right now and the sky’s the limit. You never know where this crazy business will lead you next but all you can do is buckle up and enjoy the ride!” Keep an eye out for upcoming shows by following him on social media!

Twitter/Instagram: @RhettTitusAnx

Chelsea Eriksen is a freelance writer and marketing professional who has over 8 years experience writing for major magazines, websites and blogs. She graduated from Wells College in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a minor in Advertising. Following her graduation, she interned for Relix Magazine and Big Hassle Media in NYC and soon after joined Effective Immediately PR’s publicity team in NYC and became Vice President until 2015. During her time there, she helped to grow their team from 5 publicists to over 25 in just 3 short years and expanded their offices to the West Coast. She has worked with a range of clientele, from independent artists and budding businesses all the way up to major brands including Clarks, Converse and Sonos. Currently she works as a PR/Marketing Coordinator for Direct Development PR in Hazlet, NJ and resides in Forked River, NJ. For any marketing, social media, public relations or content writing needs, you can reach Chelsea at

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