Unfortunately for professional athletes, and for the fans who adore them, playing sports for a living can only last for so long. After all, wrestling is something that takes an enormous amount of energy and focus – not to mention the fact that it comes along with all sorts of risks. WWE stars are no different, and even your favorites must eventually move on.
Sometimes they retire because they’re badly injured, sometimes they go on maternity leave and sometimes they simply get their contracts terminated. And even though some of them are off doing bigger and better things, some of them are having a bit more trouble figuring out where to go next. So, what happened to your favorite former wrestler, and where are they now?
Gene Snitsky Turns to Acting
It may be kind of hard to imagine Snitsky playing any other role than…well, Snitsky. After all, Gene Snitsky (which is actually his real name,) rose to fame in the WWE by kicking baby dolls into the audience. That seems like the kind of thing that would put a typecast stamp on someone, doesn’t it? But apparently, Snitsky now plays all kinds of roles!
Well actually, he seems to prefer such horror films as Zombie Death Camp and Bikini Girls Vs. The Surf Wolf. He’s also done some work with television shows like ABC’s What Would You Do? Snitsky got his foot in the door with acting while he was still participating with the WWE, and he just announced his retirement in 2018.
Batista: From the Ring to the Silver Screen
This face may look a little familiar, and not just because he was successful within the WWE, but also because he went on to guard the entire galaxy. Dave Bautista, dubbed Batista during his stint with the WWE, rose to fame when he filled the role of Drax in Guardians of The Galaxy and Avengers: Infinity War.
Producers knew that Batista would play a perfect Drax, due to his large stature and ability to terrify most anyone that approaches him. Bautista has discovered new happiness in film, and he’s made the decision to focus his efforts in that arena and cut ties with wrestling. Now, he’s got a large fanbase that includes people who adore him for both his wrestling and his acting!
Cameron Becomes an Actress
In 2011, Cameron hit the ring as a developmental wrestler under WWE’s wings. Although she spent a few strong years with them, she never really made it to the top of the game, and she was ultimately released from her contract in 2016.
After her departure from the WWE, she made a couple of appearances on other wrestling shows, such as her short return to NXT. Cameron went on to try her hand at acting on television, but never quite made her mark in that industry, either.
Haku’s Handy with Cars
Tonga 'Uli'uli Fifita is most well-known for his long-time status as Haku in the ring. During his time in the world of wrestling, Haku was feared greatly – no one wanted to take him on. But these days, Haku is living a little differently, and something tells us that his name no longer strikes fear into the hearts of his enemies. Why? Well, Haku spends his days now working on cars, in a dealership in Florida.
Haku may have found his love of cars when he was gifted a Ford by his nephew, The Rock. After retiring from wrestling, Haku opened up a car detailing shop where he uses his hands to repair and upgrade automobiles, rather than try and crush people to death. However, we’d sure hate to see how he handles a client that gets on his bad side.
Eve Torres: Jane of All Trades
Torres made a huge stir when she hit the WWE scene in May of 2007. The bombshell Diva ended up bringing home the Championship three times, and along the way, Torres gathered quite the fanbase. Before beginning her wrestling career, she worked as a professional dancer for the LA Clippers and the SoCal Summer Pro League.
Nowadays, the multi-talented beauty is devoting her efforts into helping other people have a good time. Torres, along with her sister-in-law, launched an event planning company that they called “InJoy the Party.” The ladies plan a wide range of events, and apparently, they have a wonderful track record.
Kane Does Politics
Kane, whose real name is Glenn Jacobs, was a huge hit in the WWE – no pun intended. In fact, execs in Hollywood were so impressed with him that he’s appeared in several movies and TV shows, such as the killer role he played in See No Evil. But now, Kane is out there trying his hand at something new: politics.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Kane is well-known for his libertarian values. After all, he’s been involved with “the cause” for a while now. But in May of 2018, he seriously kicked things up a notch when he won the primary election for Knox County Mayor in Tennessee. He continued on in the election and ended up winning the seat, overall, and has been acting Mayor of Knoxville ever since.
Call Bret Hart if You Need Loans
Bret “Hitman” Hart, was an animal in the ring, during his time with the WWE. He took home the WWF World Heavyweight Championship five times, along with the title of Triple Crown Champion. He’s dabbled in television throughout the years, guest starring in such shows as The Simpsons.
But after a series of health problems, including a stroke that he suffered from as a result of an accident, and a prostate cancer diagnosis, he was forced to retire from his beloved sport. Fortunately, he was found free of cancer in 2016 but decided to move into a more stable position for his family. He operates a business loan company that he’s dubbed Sharpshooter Funding.
Paul Burchill: Firefighter
When Burchill first hit the scene, fans really seemed to like him. But things never really did pan out for him in the WWE. It seems as though there was somewhat of an identity crisis in finding out how to play this character that suited him, but unfortunately, he never found his true identity in the ring. In fact, officials brought in on-stage sister Katie Lea to see if she might be able to successfully partner up with him, but that failed, too.
Finally, Burchill threw in the towel and left the ring for good in 2010. After he retired, Burchill decided to try his hand at fighting fires and saving lives. He got a degree in nursing science before becoming a firefighter in his home state of Kentucky where he lives with his wife and three boys. Check out how this former Diva Champion capitalized on her triple-threat status.
Bella Sisters Takeover
Gorgeous twin siblings Brie and Nikki Bella hit the scene in 2006 when they entered the WWE Diva Search. Over the years, each sister claimed the title of Diva Champion, with Nikki actually winning it twice. During a match, the twins would pull a switch-a-roo and sub in for one another if one of them needed a break, they called this signature move “Twin Magic.” In fact, it was actually Brie that claimed the second Diva Champion crown, defending her sister's title while pretending she was her.
Nikki went on to draw WWE superstar, John Cena’s, attention her way when they met while training in Florida Championship Wrestling, a sector of the larger organization. The wrestlers actually ended up becoming pretty serious and they even got engaged at one point. However, after the WWE’s golden couple spent a year planning the wedding, things took a turn for the worse and they ultimately ended their relationship in 2018.
Kevin Nash Tries his Hand at Acting
Kevin Nash is arguably one of the most well-known and respected names in the entire WWE, and possibly even the world of wrestling, period. Nash took home the title of World Heavyweight Champion in 1995, and two decades later was brought into the Hall of Fame. Now, Nash is actually doing quite well for himself in the realm of acting.
You may have seen Kevin Nash playing such roles as “Tarzan,” in Magic Mike, who was one of Mike’s male stripper buddies. He first dipped his toes in the acting pool in the second rendering of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, The Secret of the Ooze, and kept it pretty consistent afterward. He has also acted on television, appearing on shows such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Love Boat.
Chris Jericho: Rockstar?
Jericho made a name for himself as a badass wrestler when he popularized his move, “The Walls of Jericho,” which was an escalated version of the “Boston Crab.” Once he’d gotten his opponent in position, he’d drop that move and it was all over for them. But what did Chris Jericho decide to do when his wrestling days were over? Well, he decided to sing, of course!
Jericho followed his musical passions when he retired from the WWE, forming the band “Fozzy,” in 99’. Fozzy was no simple garage band, either. In fact, Slash asked Jericho and his band to come on tour with them one year. Some speculated that Slash invited them along because he was a fan of Jericho’s WWE moves, but Slash denied the claims, offering up instead that Fozzy would have complimented him on the tour.
AJ Lee: Wrestler Turned Writer
AJ Lee, who was born as April Jeanette Mendez, has made quite a name for herself in the world of wrestling. Lee kicked off her professional wrestling career from Florida in 2007, where she worked with WWE’s developmental branch for a couple of years before being promoted. Lee’s fanbase grew along with her success as AJ Lee, a character who was a bit unstable in the head department but loved nonetheless.
In 2017, Lee published an autobiography that she titled Crazy is My Superpower. The book gained national recognition and allowed her to move into the role of producer at WWE. In fact, the book was such a hit that there are rumors it is being made into a television show of its own. Supposedly, Lee will even be writing up a number of the show’s episodes. We’ll keep our eyes peeled!
Jimmy Wang’s Redneck Party Bus
Jimmy Wang Yang has always had a fun-loving spirit, which he’s now infused into his most recent career choice – running a party bus! But Jimmy Wang’s party bus isn’t just any old party bus, it’s got its own theme. It’s a redneck party bus, which also just happens to be its name.
Wang and gang invite partygoers along for a unique experience that no doubt includes country music, white tank tops, and whiskey. It probably looks a lot like a scene from The Trailer Park Boys – which is hilarious to watch but questionable for partaking in. But hey, if country music and hard liquor is your thing, then Jimmy Wang’s Redeck Party Bus may just be for you!
Spike Dudley: Ragdoll to Riches
Spike Dudley, born Matthew Hyson in 1970, entered the WWE after he wrestled with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling under the ring name “Brother Runt.” During his time with the WWE, he fought alongside brothers, D-Von, and Bubba Ray Dudley. But his brothers couldn’t save him from the injuries and losses that he ended up facing over the length of his career.
Finally, after being destroyed during so many fights, Dudley made the decision to retire from full-time wrestling. These days, he lives in Rhode Island with his wife, where he works in finances. Of course, financial planning isn’t nearly as exciting as his old gig, but he doesn’t risk breaking his neck every day, and he’s supporting his family. Keep reading to find out which one of your favorite retired wrestlers is teaching yoga now!
Ivory is Living Her Best Life
WWE fans may not realize just how huge of a heart Ivory was hiding behind those awesome wrestling moves. The former Diva decided to give up getting in the ring to do something that she really loves – helps animals! Ivory has a special place in that big heart of hers for our furry friends, and more particularly, dogs.
When Ivory left the WWE in 2005, she started devoting some of her time into volunteering at an animal shelter near her home. But in 2007, she decided that she wanted to work with animals full-time, and she opened a doggy daycare and grooming facility that she dubbed Downtown Dog.
CM Punk Picks up a Pen
CM Punk was the WWE’s alternative poster child. He made a big name for himself in the wrestling world portraying this “punk” character that everyone fell in love with. But when CM retired from the WWE, he wound up fighting for a different company – the UFC. CM traded in his slams for kicks.
But Punk’s new gig wouldn’t last very long. In fact, he only ended up fighting once, while signed with the UFC. He was defeated during the fight by submission, and it was then he made the decision to get out of fighting altogether. As an avid comic book fan, Punk decided to follow his dreams straight into the world of authoring them himself! He’s done so well for himself in the business that he’s rumored to be working with Marvel on a series about Drax. We wonder what Batista’s take on this whole thing is!
Diamond Dallas Downward Dogs
Diamond Dallas Page, commonly just referred to as DDP, was a fan favorite during his time with the WCW, a subsidiary of the WWE. Diamond was brought into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2017 after he had become a champion in the WCW. Even after his retirement from the world of wrestling, he continues to pursue a life of fitness – only now, it’s a little less crazy.
These days, Page runs his own yoga program for other athletes who had become injured while playing their respective sports. Some of the people that know him best probably think it’s a little ironic, considering the fact for the first four decades of his life, he wouldn’t do anything like yoga. His program has become incredibly popular among athletes and retired athletes, many of whom have spoken out the great results it has provided for them.
Rick Steiner: Real Estate Man
At one point, Rick Steiner held the title of US Heavyweight Champion. For the most part, however, Steiner’s success within the WWE was due in large part to his teaming up with his brother, Scott. Together, the siblings formed “The Steiner Brothers,” who went on to win multiple team championships.
In 2004, semi-retired Steiner got his foot in the door of the real estate business. Today, Steiner is living in Atlanta and selling houses out of his office in the Communities Real Estate Brokerage. Apparently, he’s very good at his job, as he’s been doing it for quite some time, and he makes a pretty comfortable salary. Good for him!
Bull Buchanan: A Man with a Badge
Bull Buchanan is another former wrestler that decided to go into a public service position. Buchanan traded in the ring for the streets when he went into law enforcement after his retirement from wrestling. In spite of his incredible size, his career within the world of wrestling never really took off as he’d intended.
When he got out of wrestling in 2003, he put his efforts into working towards being a police officer. Now, Bull works a Sheriff’s deputy in Carroll County, Georgia. His size may not have helped him out that much in wrestling, but we can bet that it does wonders for his new job. After all, would you want that guy to tackle you to the ground?
Shawn Stasiak did an okay job as a wrestler, but he was never one of the “top dogs” in the league at his time. Sure, people started to become a little more impressed when he was portraying Meat and working with the Pretty Mean Sisters, and he also took home the WCW world tag-team championship on three separate occasions, all of which he was working alongside Chuck Palumbo.
But the championships weren’t going to save him from being let go from the WWE in 2002. After he was released, Stasiak turned to a career as a chiropractor. It may have had something to do with the fact that he, and other athletes, are so grateful to the chiropractors in their lives. He was quoted as saying that he feels blessed to be able to help others find relief from their pain, in all of its forms.
Another Wrestler Turned Firefighter
Scotty 2 Hotty always brought the heat to the crowd when he would wrap up a tag team match with his infamous closer move, “the worm.” Sure, maybe it didn’t secure their teams (Too Cool) win every time, but it sure made the audience go wild! As much as fans adored Scotty 2 Hotty, he ultimately was still let go from the WWE in 2007.
Oddly enough, his ring name would foretell his future after retiring from wrestling. Why? Because Scotty 2 Hotty decided to fight fires, training at Lake Tech Fire Academy in Orlando, Florida. Now, the former wrestler is enjoying his few days on, few days off schedule, and living it up as an agent of public service!
Oh, Golly, Molly Holly
Molly Holly stepped onto the WWE scene in 2002, after parting ways with her old wrestling persona, Mighty Molly, who existed solely to compliment her former partner, The Hurricane. She went on to become a champion in the women’s league, and she was really able to grow into her own as a solo wrestler. Molly Holly was extremely proud and happy to be able to say that she made it to where she was because of her ability and passion.
Fans were sad to see her leave the WWE a short three years after her start, but she was ready to do something else with her life, something that ultimately made her life a little more fulfilling. These days, she does a ton of charity work for different non-profits that support children, along with counseling troubled teens and working as a licensed masseuse. It sounds like she’s got her hands full of all of the philanthropy.
Sean O’Haire: Hair Extraordinaire
Could the fact that doomed wrestler Sean O’Haire became a hairdresser after leaving the field of wrestling to have anything to do with his name? Probably not, but it’s still kind of funny. Unfortunately, O’Haire’s life was anything but, and he had a hard time finding himself or what made him happy. He dabbled in mixed martial arts and kickboxing, before venturing into the WWE. In 2006, he retired from professional fighting and went into hairdressing.
O’Haire, unfortunately, developed a drinking problem and suffered from depression, which led him down a dark a deadly road. In September of 2014, his dad found him hanging by a bedpost in the home they shared in South Carolina. At the time of his death, he was 43, and apparently, his bills had bogged him down and it had all just become too much for him to deal with.
And Oh, The Rock
Yeah, we know, how dare we wait this long to mention the biggest name to have come from the WWE, of all times: Dwayne Johnson! If anyone from the WWE has become a household name, it’s certainly The Rock, who has basically starred in more box office hits than we could count on our toes and fingers. That’s not to mention all of the other insanely cool stuff he has done since parting ways with the WWE.
Word on the street is that Dwayne Johnson will be running for office in 2020…the office. And honestly, he probably has a decent chance of becoming president of the United States. After all, there’s a television star running the country right now, why not a movie star next? Even if the rumors weren't true, you can bet that he’ll keep bringing the awesomeness.
Yoga with Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus began working in the fitness industry as a model, before hopping into the ring in 2000. She became an instant hit and fan favorite, and actually pulled in the title of the single most successful woman in the WWE. Over her years in the sport, she nabbed the championship seven times, along with a WWE Hardcore Championship.
In 2006, Stratus retired from her full-time career in wrestling to focus on a different type of health and wellness – yoga. She lives in Canada with her family of three and runs a successful yoga operation that she’s aptly called “Stratusphere.” Stratusphere offers one-on-one yoga classes in and around the Toronto area.
Booker T Moves from Wrestling to Politics
Yes, you read that right. It seems as if Booker T, who was pretty amazing during the extent of his WWE career, is planning to run for office this year. The six-time world champ, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the WWE in 2013, previously spoke about his intention of running in Houston and claimed he will get the ball rolling in 2019.
Booker T grew up in Houston and now he’s looking to give back to his community and try to manifest some real changes where he sees issues. He claims that he will focus his efforts on assisting low-income individuals and families and trying to help curb the homelessness issues that currently plague the city. According to Booker, the people of Houston will be seeing some new light in 2020.
Shawn Michaels: Outdoorsman
Shawn Michaels is quite possibly one of the most popular wrestlers in the world of wrestling. In fact, he was known by all sorts of endearing nicknames by fans and critics alike, including The Heartbreak Kid. He also had a pretty lengthy career in the WWE, jumping into the ring with them for an entire decade, from 1988-1998 and returning after a state of semi-retirement to wrestle once again in 2018.
But these days, Michaels has traded up his spandex for fishing poles and a simpler life with his family. Michaels stays busy with co-hosting his hunting show, “Shawn Michaels’ MacMillan River Adventures.” Michaels put out a tell-all autobiography that details his life in wrestling, that he titled, “Wrestling for My Life.” When he’s not working on his television show, he’s at home hanging out with his wife and children.
Jacqueline Moore: Health Aficionado
Jacqueline was an absolute beast when she was a wrestler, but it’s possible that her body is even more of a powerhouse now than it was when she was slamming people around the ring. You may know Jacqueline from being the woman that took home the USWA Women’s Championship an incredible fourteen times! She was brought into the WWE’s Hall of Fame in April of 2016.
After her retirement, she still kept up with her love of wrestling. In fact, she stays involved today by training current and future stars of the WWE, such as Maven. She’s also always up for anything that keeps her active and thrilled – like competing on Fear Factor! We know one thing, we would seriously not want to be on her bad side!
Mick Foley: A Man with Many Masks
Mick Foley went through a lot of transformations during his time in the world of wrestling. When he hit the ring in the WWE, he was first known as Mankind, a character he would end up coming back to in the end. Foley did pretty well for himself in the league, teaming up with other big names, like Kane, for group matches.
Foley wound up retiring from the sport in 2000, and appearing as the WWF “Commissioner,” for a couple of storylines before he decided to move on. Now, Foley’s made quite a name for himself in the literary world, both for adults and children. He’s published numerous books in different genres, and he’s even snagged a place on the NY Times list of best sellers.
Edge Goes into Acting
Edge, born Adam Joseph Copeland, stunned fans when he left the company. In 2012, a year after his retirement, he was inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame. And it was more than deservingly so, as, over his years in the ring, he racked up over 30 championships. But in 2011, Edge announced his impending departure to a teary-eyed audience on Raw.
But that wouldn’t be the last fans would see of Edge, as these days his face can be seen on the TV screen in your living room. He’s discovered his love of acting through appearing on shows like Haven, Mind of Mencia and Weakest Link. In 2004, he released a tell-all autobiography that he dubbed Adam Copeland on Edge.
Steve Austin Takes Action
Steve Austin is another former wrestler that decided to immerse himself in the world of acting when his time in the ring was up. Austin didn’t so much retire from the WWE as completely walk away from it. In 2002, he started missing shows, claiming that he was extremely tired. Finally, he missed one too many and his character was removed from the roster.
These days, Austin can be seen working alongside major actors, like Adam Sandler, in movies such as The Longest Yard and Grown Ups 2. He has even starred in a couple of his own movies, like 2009’s Damage, and The Stranger from the following year.
Kaitlyn’s Clothes Shop
“Kaitlyn,” whose real name is actually Celeste, began her career as a fitness model, hitting the scene when she was 19. Soon after, she was signed by the WWE and began her new career, developing her in-ring persona. Kaitlyn ended up becoming a Diva’s Champion, once in 2012 and again the following year.
In 2014, Kaitlyn cut ties with the WWE and retired for a few years, before returning for few matches in 2018. The same year she left the company, she started up one of her own when she launched her clothing store, Celestial Bodiez. The year after the opening, she and her ex-husband also launched their own smoothie bar. Unfortunately, the pair split, which caused some ripples in their business ventures.
Santino Marella Opens a Gym
Santino Marella met with his career in the WWE in a pretty unusual way. He was chosen from his seat as a fan in the audience by Vince McMahon, to fight Umaga. Marella ended up doing pretty well and was on the map ever since. But in 2014, Marella got out of the ring and focused his efforts elsewhere in the health and wellness industry.
These days, Marella works at the gym that he opened in Canada. His gym is unique in the sense that he created it with the intention of training fellow athletes. If you don’t find him at home at The Battle Arts Academy, you may see him on Sportsnet 360, appearing on shows like Behind the Lights.
Rosa Mendes: Entrepreneur
In 2006, Mendes found herself in the top eight of the WWE Diva Search. She was ultimately eliminated from the competition but found herself signed to a developmental contract with the company, anyways. She went on to take over the scene for an incredible decade of in-ring excitement but announced her departure (due to pregnancy,) in 2016.
In 2018, Mendes made public that she would be returning to the ring to partner up with Adam Rose to take on Joe Keys and Gia Scott. She’s also launched her very own health and wellness blog, where she shares her tips and tricks. The website allows her to spend time with her daughter, Jordan Elizabeth.
Alex Riley Jr. Glows
Alex Riley Jr. is a former wrestler who never really found his footing within the WWE. In fact, word on the street is that no one within the company liked working with him. But despite this, if it’s even true, he still stayed with it for about eight years. Even so, his fanbase was never particularly large. In 2012, he lost fourteen consecutive matches and announced an upcoming major surgery, retiring from full-time wrestling for good.
After his knee surgery, Riley made some appearances as a commentator, on shows like Main Event and Superstars. He also transitioned into acting for major shows like the successful Netflix original, G.L.O.W (the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, as it so happens.) But if you’re looking for his name among the others in the line of credits, look for the one he was given at birth: Kevin Kiley Jr.
Sara Lee: Super Mommy
Sara Lee made her WWE debut in 2015, after winning their competition, Tough Enough. The win secured her a one-year spot with the company, but that’s all she seemed to need! At the end of her contract, she was due to have a child and announced that she would be retiring from the sport altogether.
In late 2016, Sara Lee (Sara Weston,) gave birth to her daughter, Piper. Today, she lives in Florida with her daughter and husband, WWE’s own Wesley Blake. She devotes her time and energy to her family, committing herself to full-time mommy duties.
Virgil Seems Confused
Virgil is another former wrestler that got out of the ring to venture into something…different. Virgil went into teaching high-school mathematics in Pennsylvania. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s actually pretty noble to leave a job that pays a ridiculous amount of money to educate children, instead.
However, Virgil wasn’t exactly satisfied by his newfound teaching career, either. Could it be the fact that he missed the fat paychecks? It would seem so, as a few years back he decided to launch a crowdfunding operation because he missed the big money. Cue the mass amount of eye rolls.
April Mendez Writes a Bestseller
April Mendez, fondly known as AJ Lee, rose to WWE stardom after her debut in 2009. She even found herself winning the Divas Championship on three separate occasions. But in 2015, Mendez decided it was time to hop out of the ring and focus her efforts elsewhere. So, what did she do? She wrote a tell-all autobiography about her incredible life.
Mendez’ book, that she called Crazy is My Superpower, details the struggles she faced when dealing with poverty when she was young, along with mental illness and her rise to fame and fortune. The book was a hit and earned a spot on the NY Times list of bestsellers. She also operates her own website where she sells her books.
Jesse Ventura: Governor
Jesse “The Body” Ventura made a pretty big stir during his time with the WWE. He debuted back in 1975 and worked in wrestling for a decade. In 1999, he began to dabble in acting, working with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger. And looking at that is pretty funny when you consider that both men ended up in politics.
Yes, Jesse Ventura also went into politics, hitting in the scene in 1991, when he became mayor of a town in Minnesota called Brooklyn Park. Seven years later, he successfully ran for Governor of Minnesota, taking the seat from 1998-2003. According to the rumor mill, you may just see Ventura running for President next year, too.
Shad Gaspard: Jack of All Trades
Shad Gaspard made his WWE debut in 2006 when he was introduced as part of the duo, Cryme Tyme, who became an instant fan favorite. But just a year later, they both vanished from the WWE for reasons that remain a mystery. Shad would return for a few appearances, between 2008 and 2010. But in 2010, he was released again and this time, it was for good.
But Shad’s departure from the WWE led him to be able to explore different creative avenues. In 2011, he published a graphic novel that he dubbed Assassin and Son, which won multiple awards both that year and the next. Shad also dabbled in acting, appearing in Get Hard, alongside Kevin Hart and Will Ferrel.
Ronda Rousey Is an Overall Celebrity
Ronda Rousey has become one of the most popular women in sports after turning women into flying ragdolls in her cage-fighting career. She’s been featured in various films, modeling gigs, and even video-games, and has literally turned herself into a celebrity. Rousey was the first female American to win an Olympic medal in judo, which helped her make the jump to professional MMA fighting at just 21 years old.
Although she’s been known to be quite brash and overconfident at times, Ronda Rousey has every reason to think highly of herself. She recently retired from fighting and moved to the tough world of wrestling on the WWE. This femme fatale remains one of the most formidable women in entertainment, and appeared in some very popular films and TV shows recently, including "The Expendables", "Furious 7", and "Entourage".
Barbara Blank Is a Reality Star
You may recall Barbara Blank from the WWE, where she goes by a different name. The popular Kelly Kelly is one of the most beloved and followed female wrestlers in the WWE. She started out in cheerleading and gymnastics but quickly found that her charisma and athletic abilities were much better geared for the popular show sport. After just six years as a pro-wrestler, Blank won the 2011 WWE Diva Championship.
Barbara Blank is currently what you might refer to as a “mini-celebrity”, and has retired from the WWE in 2012, shortly after securing her WWE Diva Championship the previous year. She focuses most of her attention on acting at the moment and has even appeared in a bunch of popular TV shows. Her most meaningful appearances to date are in the long-running "Days of Our Lives" and in E!’s reality show, "WAGS", a show that follows the lives of girlfriends and wives of famous athletes.
Becky Lynch Does Stunts and Acting
Top-tier WWE wrestler Becky Lynch, also known as “Irish Lass Kicker,” is highly respected in the wrestling world for her intense fights and incredible mic matches with opponents. The Irish wrestler began working for the WWE in 2013 and has since become their first-ever SmackDown's Women's Champion back in 2016.
Most fans of Becky Lynch don’t know that she also has a college degree in acting, and even did stunts for films and television. She has recently attended an MTV event wearing high heels and a beautiful black outfit, that showed just how in shape she is. Lynch was holding her beloved WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship belt as she was posing for the cameras.
Hulk Hogan Is Always Camera Ready
Hulk Hogan is one of the biggest names in all of wrestling, and his fame doesn’t end in the ring. Hogan, also known as Terry Bollea, is a 6-time WWF World Heavyweight Champion and was inducted into the WWE’s hall of fame in 2013. He has been a part of the sport in one way or another since the 1970s and is still active within the WWE today. Hogan became so popular among fans that he even starred in his own reality show called Hogan Knows Best.
The wrestling legend has appeared in quite a number of films over the years, including Rocky III, Mr. Nanny, Muppets From Space, and Santa With Muscles. He has also appeared in several music videos and video games, as well as releasing his own video game in 2011. He has two children with his ex-wife, one of whom is his daughter Brooke who had her own reality show that spun off from her father called Brooke Knows Best. Hulk recently appeared on RAW for a special reunion show which included other fan favorites from the past like Stone Cold Steve Austin and tweeted out to his fans that he and the other veterans were going to take over the WWE.
Big Show Is Still in Showbiz
Big Show, born Paul Donald Wight II, took over the WWE for several years on end. The 7-foot tall pro wrestler has always been named rather aptly, first going by “The Giant” before changing his name to what he’s known as today. He’s won 7 world championships over the course of his career, including numerous World Heavyweight Championships. He’s got an impressive fan base and has headlined at a number of huge pay-per-view events.
Perhaps it was foreshadowing when he switched his name to “Big Show,” but the wrestler has appeared in major films and television shows such as The Waterboy, Jingle All the Way, Psych and Burn Notice. He is currently married and has 3 children, 2 of whom are from his current wife and 1 of which is from his first marriage. He is said to have accumulated a net worth of around $20 million.
Lita Went From Music to Acting to Producing
Lita, born Amy Christina Dumas, started her professional wrestling career in Mexico, using the stage name of Angelica. She moved back to the United States and signed with the WWE in 2000, where she became a 4-time champion over the course of her 6-year long career with the organization. In 2006, she left to pursue her dreams of being a rock star, which started with launching her band, The Luchagors. She stayed with them until 2014.
The former wrestler has appeared on several different television shows, including Dark Angel, Headbangers Ball, and Fear Factor. She’s also been turned into a character for dozens of WWE video games, like WWF No Mercy, WWF SmackDown 2: Know Your Role, WWF SmackDown: Just Bring It and WWF Raw. Dumas is reportedly a vegan and animal welfare activist. She has even started her own non-profit organization called A.D.O.R.E (Amy Dumas Operation Rescue and Education). She is also back with the WWE working as a producer.
The Great Khali Is Great on TV
The Great Khali is known for being a real-life giant, towering over the rest of us puny humans at a whopping 7-feet tall. But his height isn’t the only thing that made him (understandably) feared in the ring. If the ex-wrestler climbed up on the ropes and threw himself on top of you – you had better brace yourself for about 350 pounds of rage to flatten you into a pancake on the mat. Before Khali went into the WWE, he terrified perps working as a police officer.
The wrestler, born as Dalip Singh Rana, made his WWE debut in 2006 in an epic SmackDown and retired in 2014. Shockingly enough, before he fully retired, he left temporarily due to a head injury. He surprised everyone when he was back just days later to take on 3 other wrestlers in a tag team match. These days, he teaches future stars of the sport at Continental Wrestling Entertainment, the school that he established himself . He has also been dabbling in acting since 2005 and has had numerous cameos in film and TV.
Lex Luger Is Active Behind the Scenes
Lex Luger is widely regarded by many was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. It probably has something to do with the fact that he’s a 5-time WCW US Heavyweight Champion, a 2-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and a WWA World Heavyweight Champion – among others. He never won one during his time in the WWF, but he still managed to accumulate a net worth of nearly $3 million.
Luger, who was born Lawrence Pfohl, is semi-retired and fought his final match in 2006. In 2007, the athlete was temporarily paralyzed after he suffered an injury to the neck. Today, he still works closely behind-the-scenes of WWE, in an effort to help prevent any young athletes from violating the wellness policy. Lex has been made into a playable character in several of the WWE’s video games, including 2K16, 17, 18, and 19.
Stacy Keibler Maintains a Family and a Career
Stacy Keibler is fairly well known in the entertainment world, even to those who don’t follow professional wrestling. She started out as a model and actress before she found her place as a “Nitro Girl” for the WWF. The Nitro Girls were basically a cheerleading/dance team that would entertain the crowd at live televised events. Once she found her footing in the federation, she became known as “the Legs” of the WWE.
Stacy has been featured in several television shows and even hosted her own at one point, a show called Supermarket Superstar. She has appeared on hits such as How I Met Your Mother and Psych over the years, before marrying her current husband and raising a family with him. Before the couple met, she was actually known to have dated A-lister George Clooney for a bit. She has also been made into a character in several video games, including Dancing with the Stars.
Randy Orton Uses His Background for Acting
Unlike almost all of the other (former) pro wrestlers on this list, Randy Orton is still currently signed with the WWE and going strong in his career. Orton is a 13-time WWE World Champion and has headlined several pay-per-view events. In 2011, Orton suffered a neck injury, which went untreated for years and nearly ended his career. After finally treating it, he came back to the ring in early 2020.
Before Orton got into professional wrestling, he was fighting a different kind of opponent as a U.S Marine. Because of his credentials, he was initially cast to play the title role in The Marine 2, but his injuries caused him to be replaced before filming. He has appeared on screen a few times since, including in the WWE Studios own The Condemned 2. Orton is now married to his 2nd wife, with whom he had a daughter in 2016.
Gangrel Is Holding Onto His Fangs
David William Heath went by “Gangrel” in the ring, and was known for his rock-and-roll vampire style, with his signature fangs and long blonde hair. He made his WWE debut in the early ’90s, after being trained in Florida by Boris Malenko himself. On both his initial televised match in '94 and his last in '95, he was defeated by the 1-2-3 Kid (Syxx).
Heath returned to the WWE in ’98, during the height of the vampire craze in pop culture. Officials believed that his gimmick would sell more tickets and bring in more viewers. His entrance included drinking “blood” from a grail and spitting it into the air before jumping into the ring. These days, he’s still wrestling sporadically on the independent circuit. He’s also made a few appearances in film and on television, like his disturbing role as a prisoner in 'The Human Centipede 3'.
The Snake Has a Way With Words
Jake “The Snake” Roberts popped up on the WWE scene in the mid-1980s. He was best known for using dark psychological antics in the ring, hence his slithering nickname. Roberts also used to bring actual snakes into the ring with him, usually a python named Damien. The former wrestler was part of a group who became the subject of 'Beyond the Mat', a documentary film released in 1999.
Roberts has been with the WWE ever since he first signed with them in 1986. In 2014, he appeared in an episode of 'Raw', with his python in tow. Later that same year, he was inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame. The former wrestler has dealt with a number of personal issues, including substance abuse, for which he has completed several rehab programs. In 2014, it was reported that he was suffering from muscular cancer. In 2018, he started a series of spoken word shows called 'Tales From the Pit'.
Brutus Beefcake Is Maintaining a Legacy
Brutus Beefcake, born Edward Harrison Leslie, is a 9-time champion and pay-per-view headliner that began his pro-wrestling career in the 1970s. He debuted with the WWE in 1984 and became a part of The Dream Team, along with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. Beefcake stuck around the industry for decades, and most recently wrestled for Big Time Wrestling in 2010.
In 2013, Leslie received some odd press when he showed up to City Hall in Toronto, toting a sub sandwich and scissors, claiming that Rob Ford, the mayor, needed an “intervention.” The mayor was in the midst of a substance abuse scandal, but security still was not having any of it and they removed him from the premises. Beefcake himself had been in rehab years earlier. Leslie still makes an appearance here and there, but he’s largely retired. In 2007, he opened a wrestling school and started passing his knowledge on to younger generations.
Garbage Man Is More Into Education
Michael David Droese was known as “The Garbage Man” when he first appeared in the mid-’90s. When he signed with the WWF in 1994, his gimmick was jumping into the ring with a trash can that he would use to beat his opponents over the head with.
He worked with the organization for a couple of years before his final match in ’96. Afterward, he continued wrestling on the independent circuit, which he still does today. His most recent performance was in May of 2019, at Chikara’s Infinite Gauntlet. After his retirement, Droese started working in an elementary school as a special education teacher.
Tito Santana Is a Master Educator
Tito Santana maybe in his 60s, but lest we not forget what a beast he was in the ring during his days in the WWF. The fan-favorite has been wrestling professionally since the late ’70s. He has won a number of championships, including the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship. Before beginning his career in wrestling, he was actually signed to the Kansas Chiefs, but was he cut in the middle of training camp.
These days, Santana still makes his rounds in the world of wrestling. In 2004, he was inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame, and in 2012, he was entered into the Modern Category at the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. Nowadays, Tito teaches Spanish at a middle school in New Jersey, where he lives with his family. He also occasionally teaches wrestling at the Independent Wrestling Federation. The former pro has also taken part in a charity match with the IWF that was held to benefit the Semper Fi Fund, a charity for wounded veterans.
John Nord Turned to the Autoshop Business
Known as John Nord, Yukon John, Nord the Barbarian, and The Berzerker, Nord is a man of many masks that has been a professional wrestler since the ’80s. His first appearance was with Mid-South Wrestling, before he moved on to the American Wrestling Association. In 1991, he signed on with the WWF under the name The Viking. His final match with the federation, however, was just 2 years later, on an episode of Monday Night Raw.
Following his retirement, Nord started working at his brother's car dealership. Nord was part of the same lawsuit as other wrestlers, who attempted to sue the WWE for their injuries. In 2018, he appeared on a courtroom reality show as a defendant in a case where a woman alleged that he had her open credit cards for him and spent nearly $5,000 without paying her back. In 2019, he was sentenced to 5 years of probation for a DWI. The judge prohibited him from driving at all, considering that he has had around 10 similar cases.
Billy Kidman Went Behind the Scenes
Billy Kidman, or Peter Alan Grunter, started with the WWE in 2001 and has been working with them on-and-off ever since. Kidman gained worldwide fame during his time with the WCW, in which he wrestled as a member of several influential stables, including Raven’s Flock and The New Blood. The WWE bought his contract after his impressive participation in The Filthy Animals.
In February of 2008, Grunter wrestled in his last official match as a pro, but that doesn’t mean the WWE had seen the end of him. In fact, he’s currently working with them as a producer. Like many other former pro wrestlers, he released an autobiography in 2014 that was called 'Billy Kidman: Shooting Star'. He was married to WWE diva, Torrie Wilson, for a few years in the early 2000s, but the two got divorced in 2008 and he has not since remarried. His net worth has grown exponentially over the past few years and is an estimated $50 million today.
Dean Malenko: The Man of 1,000 Holds
Dean Simon, or Dean Malenko, as he was known in the biz, grew up in a family of wrestlers and started at a young age. He started wrestling professionally in '79, and by 1998 he had won a number of championships, such as Cruiserweight and U.S Heavyweight. The former pro worked with the WWE as a road agent for over 17 years, until he left in April of 2019.
During his career, Malenko was hailed by many as the “man of 1,000 holds." These days, Malenko is still active within the industry and works as a senior producer with All Elite Wrestling. He has been married to his wife for decades, and they have 3 children together. In 2010, he gave his family quite a scare when he experienced a heart attack, although he luckily recovered from it.
Kurt Angle: a Father and an Author
Angle started building up to his professional wrestling career in college, while he attended Clarion University, where he won the NCAA Heavyweight Wrestling Championship. He signed with the WWF in 1998 and immediately started showing signs of a lengthy and promising career in the industry. Over his many years in the business, he’s won more than 20 championships, including 6 World Championship Heavyweight titles, and the WWE Championship, for which he is the first pro-wrestler to win.
In August of 2006, Kurt was released early from his WWE contract, citing his injuries as the reason. In 2015, he had to have emergency surgery due to fluid buildup on his spinal cord, only a week after he’d undergone another surgery to have a (benign) tumor removed from his neck. The former wrestler is married to his wife, Giovanna, with whom he has 3 daughters and an adopted son. Angle released a book in 2001 called 'It’s True! It’s True!'.
Trevor Murdoch: Business Owner
Trevor Murdoch, born William Mueller, is one of the few redheads we have on this list. The former pro got his start in the industry in ’97, and signed on with the WWE in 2005. He won his very first match, a tag-team round with partner Lance Cade, and fans were impressed.
Murdoch officially retired from pro wrestling in 2017. He lives with his wife, Amanda, and a newborn son in Missouri, where he owns heavy machinery and a fiber optic installation business. Murdoch has been made into a playable video game character in a few of the WWE’s games, including 'WWE: Smackdown vs. Raw', both in 2007 and 2009. Murdoch still makes appearances at events every once in a while.
Sable: Family Woman
Sable basically laid the groundwork for the modern-day ladies of the WWE. The blonde bombshell debuted in the mid ’90s, when she first appeared in the ring with Triple H. She developed a huge fan base, due to her fierce looks and incredible skills in the ring. Sable used her celebrity status to get her foot in the door of the acting world. She appeared in a few major shows and films, including 2001’s 'Corky Romano', starring Chris Kattan.
Sable’s first husband was killed in a drunk-driving crash 5 years before her WWE debut. She married fellow pro-wrestler Brock Lesnar in 2006. The couple has two sons together and has been married ever since. Sable is said to have an estimated net worth of nearly $10 million, and currently focuses on her family life.
Rey Mysterio's Life Is Documented in Two Films
Oscar Gutierrez, better known as Rey Mysterio, hooked fans with his wild style in the ring, and of course, his colorful signature masks. Believe it or not, Mysterio started his career in professional wrestling before he turned 15 years old. He is credited with helping to popularize the Lucha Libre style and won several awards over the course of his career, including the World Cruiserweight Championship. In fact, he basically helped launch the entirety of the Cruiserweight division! He is a 2-time Intercontinental Champion and 4-time tag team champion.
Mysterio retired from WWE in 2015, but he is still very active in the world of wrestling. He returned to the AAA, where he had been for a few years before his career took off. In 2015, he signed with Lucha Underground and worked with them until 2018, when he returned to the WWE for the men’s rumble match. There are two documentaries about his life, called 'Rey Mysterio: 619', and 'Rey Mysterio: The Biggest Little Man'. He has also been made into a character in a number of WWE video games.
Road Dogg: Host, Writer, Director
Road Dogg, The Roadie, Jesse James, Brian James is a beloved staple in the WWE, and has been around since he first joined in 1994. He’s won several championships, both solo and with his partner, Billy Gunn.
He first left the WWE in 2001, but returned over a decade later to induct his dad (Bullet) into the Hall of Fame. Then, a year later, he entered into a Royal Rumble match, and started hosting 'Are You Serious?', on YouTube and WWE.com. These days, James is still with the company, working behind the scenes as a writer and producer. Before beginning his career in wrestling, he was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he made it all the way up to the rank of Platoon Sergeant.
The Honky Tonk Man Enjoys His New Status as a Hall of Famer
The Honky Tonk Man, born Wayne Farris, started his career with the WWF in 1986, and less than a year later he had already won his first Intercontinental Championship. He left in 1991 to work with the WCW, but returned again several years later in 1997, as a color commentator. Then in 2001, he jumped back in the ring for a special Royal Rumble performance.
Farris made an appearance as the defendant on an episode of the court reality show, 'Judge Jeanine Pirro'. The episode, which aired in 2010, was the highest-rated in the show’s history. He has also done cameos in other films, TV shows, and even a music video. The Honky Tonk Man is also a playable character in several video games, including 'WW2K15'. The former pro was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in April 2019.
One Man Gang: Prison Guard
George Gray, or The One Man Gang, started out his career in pro wrestling as “Akeem the African Dream.” Luckily, the WWF changed it to the name that stuck, but it wouldn’t necessarily save his career. Gray is considered semi-retired and still makes the occasional appearance in the ring.
In 2016, his Louisiana home was destroyed during the major floods and he lost nearly all of his belongings. He launched a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of being able to replace what had been wiped out, but was unable to raise the amount that he really needed. The former athlete took on a job as a prison guard, but severe issues with his back forced him to retire.
Vince McMahon Is Running the Show
You don’t have to be a fan of wrestling to recognize Vince McMahon. The 74-year-old has a current net worth of around $3 billion, due to his being involved in several aspects of the entertainment world. McMahon is the head honcho that oversees the entirety of the WWE, where he has been since 1989.
Aside from his business within the WWE, McMahon also helped launch the World Bodybuilding Federation, and in 2017, he started his own production company, Alpha Entertainment. Unfortunately, he has been wrapped up in numerous sexual harassment (and other) claims over the past several decades, most recently in 2006 when an attendant at a tanning salon accused him of groping and trying to force himself on her. McMahon has several mansions spread out across the country, including a $40 million home in Greenwich, Connecticut.
X-Pac, born as Sean Waltman, started his career as The Lightning Kid, and first signed with the WWF in 1993. Throughout that decade, however, he found himself struggling with substance abuse after a neck injury, which hindered his ability to get in the ring. Then, in 1998, he signed with the WWF under his new name, X-Pac. Waltman has remained very active within the WWE until early 2019.
In April of 2019, at WrestleMania 35, Waltman made the announcement that he would be performing in his final match that day. He did make sure to include some stipulations for WrestleMania and TakeOver matches. In 2016, the wrestler launched his own podcast to talk about what’s happening in the world of professional wrestling. Waltman is currently a single father and widower, due to the fact that his ex-wife and children’s mother passed away in 2018.
Triple H: Actor, Producer, Philanthropist
Triple H, or Paul Michele Levesque, is a big player in the world of pro wrestling. Not only because he’s a beast in the ring, but also because he happened to marry into the McMahon empire. Before the 5-time Intercontinental Champion tied the knot with his new wife, Stephanie, in 2003, he was married to (late) fellow former wrestler, Chyna, who passed away in 2016. H’s talent and drive pushed him to pursue additional career ventures alongside his WWE duties, such as acting.
Levesque was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019, as a part of the “Generation X Stable,” which he co-founded in the early ’90s. Today, he acts as the Executive VP of Talent, Live Events, and Creative for the company. He enjoys a salary of over $1M per year, which he uses to take care of his wife and their three daughters. Triple H also owns over $1M in stock in the WWE. The couple started their own charitable organization dedicated to curing cancer. Whenever he gets the chance, Levesque goes to see his favorite band, Motörhead, perform.
Goldberg: Actor, Gym Owner, Activist
Bill Goldberg has made quite a name for himself, both in the wrestling and entertainment industry. He wrestled with the WWF under the simple nickname of Goldberg, and won a number of championships, including the WCW US Heavyweight Championship (twice), the WCW Triple Crown, and the World Tag Team Championship. Then, he decided to try his hand at some different aspects of entertainment, like mainstream acting.
Goldberg appeared in a number of films and television shows, including 'The Longest Yard', 'The Celebrity Apprentice', and 'The Goldbergs', along with lending his voice to an episode of Seth MacFarlane’s hit show, 'Family Guy'. These days, he lives with his wife, a former stunt-woman, and their son, in California. The former wrestler now owns and operates his own MMA gym. He often uses his celebrity status to support causes like animal welfare. He has even addressed Congress to speak out against animal fights. Goldberg was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2018.
Gigantic Kurrgan Became a True Spartan
Robert Maillet is a Canadian actor and semi-retired pro wrestler that made his WWF debut in 1991 as The Cajun Giant. Maillet was officially signed as a member of The Oddities and The Truth Commission in 1997. He wrestled professionally for a few years before deciding to move his career in a different direction – acting.
Maillet’s first on-screen appearance was in 2006’s '300'. He went on to land roles in several major Hollywood hits, such as 'Sherlock Holmes'. He has worked in TV shows, including SyFy’s hit show, 'Haven'. His most recent projects were completed in 2018, including his role as Sluggo in 'Deadpool 2'. The actor has a current estimated net worth of around $2 million.