Pro wrestlers, like other athletes, tend to have financial difficulties later on in their lives. That's just the nature of how things go for professional athletes. Whereas for people who work regular/mundane types of jobs work until their retirement age, wrestlers are sometimes too old and beat up to continue in the domain during their later years. This has led to numerous stories, many of which you'll read about in this article, about wrestlers having to take normal jobs or end up selling memorabilia to make money.
There are a few wrestlers, however, that made enough money to either retire comfortably or invest in new projects when their in-ring days ended. Sadly, those cases tend to be outnumbered by those where a wrestler is left with about as much money as they started their career out with and now need to find another line of work.
Various sports leagues and WWE have made an attempt to curtail this problem before it gets worse. WWE is now paying for the rehab of several of their former employees and today's current crop of WWE Superstars is said to have a better understanding of the importance of long-term financial planning. If only the ten on the list had the same recognition years ago.
15 Went Broke: Perry Saturn
Former ECW, WCW, and WWE wrestler, Perry Saturn, was missing for close to seven years. In 2004, he was involved in an altercation trying to break up a sexual assault. In the process, Saturn took a bullet to his neck and shoulder. The result, he became addicted to painkillers and eventually methamphetamine.
Saturn didn't reemerge again until 2010 when he had conquered his various addictions. This period took a toll on his life financially, and he states he was homeless for about two and a half years.
14 Went Broke: Kamala
Kamala's real name is Jim Harris and the 67-year-old has experienced some trying times in recent years. In 2011, he had his left leg amputated as a result of diabetes and high blood pressure. His situation hadn't improved the next year either which necessitated the amputation of his right leg as well.
At one time, Kamala was one of the hottest gimmicks in wrestling. He had big matches with Hulk Hogan and was a big star in Memphis as well. That he had never even been to Uganda wasn't common knowledge to wrestling fans at the time.....
13 Living Comfortably: Stone Cold Steve Austin
You don't have to worry about any sob stories regarding Steve Austin's financial status. The retired WWE Hall of Famer's net worth is estimated at $45 million. Even if Austin had blown through all his Attitude Era money, he would still be doing well. Austin lands regular roles in Hollywood and also has his own television show and podcast. He has stayed busy in retirement and as a result, is sitting atop a nice chunk of money.
12 Went Broke: Maven
The first season of Tough Enough in 2001 featured three wrestlers who would go on to do very different things in their careers. Maven won that initial season, and many felt he was on his way to a big career after that. Unfortunately for him, while he did take part in WWE storylines from 2001 to 2005, he never developed into a top-notch performer. He was out of the business by 2007.
In 2012, he was arrested for doctor-shopping in Florida looking for prescription painkillers. It was reported in 2013 that Maven was working as a bouncer at a New York City club. He had also previously appeared on the Home Shopping Network.
11 Went Broke: Lex Luger
Lex Luger's life spiraled after the closing of WCW in 2001. There was really no place for Lex to go at the time and problems in his personal life were creeping into the media as well.
10 Living Comfortably: Mick Foley
Mick Foley has been referred to as the cheapest wrestler on the planet. No matter what the method, Mick Foley would never shy away from saving a buck. Sharing a hotel room, sharing a rental car, sharing a sandwich even, Mick Foley would do it if it saves him a dollar.
9 Went Broke: Rico
Wrestling fans will remember Rico best for his time in WWE from 2002 to 2004. During that time, he was the valet for Billy and Chuck and the team of 3-Minute Warning. After his WWE career ended, Rico completed his law enforcement training and began working for the Nevada Taxi Authority as a Sergeant Inspector.
8 Went Broke: Joey Mercury
While he seems to be doing better nowadays, there was a period where things looked quite bleak for Joey Mercury.
In an interview he would give years later, Mercury stated that he had been using drugs and alcohol since he was just 15 years old. Crack, cocaine, and heroin was all part of his drug regimen.
7 Living Comfortably: The Undertaker
The Undertaker's net worth is estimated to be around $17 million. He worked a long career to build up that nest egg but now he gets to retire with it and Michelle McCool. The couple has a child together as well. In addition to the child he has with Michelle McCool, Undertaker also has three other children.
6 Went Broke: Brutus Beefcake
Brutus Beefcake made a good living in professional wrestling by following Hulk Hogan around wherever he went. This isn't to say that Brutus wasn't over when he was in WWE because he was. His barber gimmick in the 1980s was as over, but of course, that did not last.
5 Went Broke: Sabu
Sabu, has had a terrific career in pro wrestling between ECW, WCW, WWE and TNA. Unfortunately for him, his style of wrestling can cause long-term problems. Sabu badly needed hip surgery last year, but he was unable to afford it. A GoFundMe was set up in his name by James Ryder to help him pay for the surgery. Unfortunately, the account has only raised slightly over half of its goal of $50,000.
4 Living Comfortably: Batista
Dave Batista's net worth is estimated at $13 million. He was on WWE's main roster from 2002 to 2010, and then returned briefly from 2013 to 2014. While his WWE career might have built up his fortune, he's now building it in Hollywood. Batista has carved out a role for himself in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is highly entertaining in the role as well to his credit.
3 Went Broke: Sunny
For wrestling fans who grew up watching Sunny on Monday Night Raw, seeing the problems she has had in recent years with drugs, alcohol, and financial difficulties has been tough. Sunny's contributions to WWE during her time there are often overlooked due to her frequent scandalous behavior outside of the company.
2 Went Broke: Virgil
Virgil has become something of a poster-child for struggling, broke wrestlers. A website (Lonely Virgil) has been set-up for the sole purpose of posting photographs of Virgil looking lonely at wrestling conventions.
There is some speculation that Ted DiBiase had to have a talk with Virgil about some of his methods for getting himself booked at conventions. Apparently, Virgil would call conventions to get himself booked with Ted. When the show came, only Virgil would show up, as DiBiase had never actually been part of the deal. Virgil would still be able to collect his money though, which was his plan all along. Upon finding out about this, Ted put an end to it.
1 Living Comfortably: The Rock
They don't come much more comfortable than The Rock. Dwayne Johnson's net worth is estimated to be around $125 million.
There is even a strong building of momentum for The Rock to run for President in 2020. It is even said that the former WWE Champion has put together a team of people to analyze and study the situation to see if he could possibly make a political run.
Rock earned a fortune in WWE but he would earn a second one in Hollywood. In 2016, Forbes named Dwayne as the highest paid actor in Hollywood. He conquered Hollywood every bit as much as he conquered the squared circle. If he successfully runs for President, Rock just might be declared the most successful human being ever.
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