CINCINNATI — CINCINNATI — Sean Stewart is known to some pro wrestling fans as Lord Crewe, a maniacal force in the ring. But to seniors across Cincinnati's east side, he's a lifeline and a steadfast friend.
Stewart is a driver for 55 North, formerly the Hyde Park Center for Older Adults. He delivers meals, drops off and picks up seniors from medical appointments, and even takes them grocery shopping.
"My grandma used to say I was an M&M," Stewart said. "I've got a hard exterior, but I'm sweet in the center."
His gentle demeanor is in stark contrast to the gruff pro wrestler who has traveled the country, and soon, the world.
Stewart started wrestling in 2015 after he stopped playing in a band. He was looking for another outlet to perform, and when a pro wrestler at a gym told him he had a good look, he joined the Northern Wrestling Federation. He's since wrestled for Primetime Wrestling, IWA Mid South and Paradigm Pro Wrestling.
"I wanted to do this so bad, it didn't matter to me what I had to do to get there," Stewart said. "It's cool because so many of the people who I serve have become so invested in what I do outside of here."
People like Donna Kinney, who Stewart picked up for a doctor's appointment on a Monday in late January. Stewart and Kinney have developed a friendship over the past couple of years.
"I think it's pretty awesome," Kinney said. "It's his passion and he really enjoys it. I have a sign at home that says 'Follow Your Bliss,' so whatever makes you happy and he loves wrestling and does a great job."
"We talk about everything," she said. "I tease him all the time but he really is a terrific person."
The next passenger in Stewart's 55 North car was Day Lemming, who was going to a dental appointment in Pleasant Ridge. They've bonded over football, and the hometown Cincinnati Bengals had just clinched a trip to the Super Bowl.
"He's my kid," she said. "Him and I, we get in here together and we talk football and football."
Lemming said she wanted to go watch him wrestle someday, and she always asks about his matches.
"I think everybody if they have a passion, they should go for it," Lemming said. "I lean on him sometimes, and all I know is that arm has gotten bigger and harder. Man! It's almost like a rock."
Stewart laughed in the driver's seat.
"You're making me blush over here," he said.
It wasn't the first time he blushed that day.
"The first time I saw him all buffed up, I was like 'Woah, there's a fine-looking man under all the clothes he wears," Kinney laughed.
His passengers all wanted to hear more about where Stewart — Lord Crewe — planned to wrestle next. They were engaged in his career and life. But he was invested in their lives, too.
Stewart said he took the job at 55 North when a friend mentioned it to him a couple of years ago. He needed the work and remembered how much help his own grandmother often needed, even if it was just a friendly face or listening ear.
"So, that's one of the fun things about this job is getting to meet these new people and getting to hear their stories," Stewart said.
Lord Crewe is looking into an overseas tour this year, which means he'll have to step away from his role at 55 North for a time. However, he'll have plenty of fans — and friends — cheering him on from back home.
This story was originally published by Evan Millward on Scripps station WCPO in Cincinnati.