As wrestling fans, we sometimes get so entrenched in the product that we forget the characters performing are normal people just like us. Hulk Hogan may consider himself immortal, but the fact is one day he’s going to pass on. As huge wrestling fans growing up, wrestlers were our idols. It’s truly sad to see our once heroes wither away, but’s that just a part of life.
When we think of your favorite wrestlers, you have a certain image in your mind of what they look like. Unfortunately, in the photos below you will get a chance to see when they were at their absolute rock bottom and knocking on Heaven’s door. While most of the wrestlers on this list ended up passing away shortly after these photos were taken, a couple of them were thankfully able to get help before it was too late.
Without further ado, here are 15 chilling photos of wrestlers looking close to the end.
Yokozuna’s time in the WWE wasn’t all that long, but in his rather short tenure, the big man accomplished a lot. Although his two WWE Heavyweight Championship’s reigns were brief, the fact the WWE trusted him enough to hold the prestigious belt has to mean something. Yokozuna was also the winner of the 1993 Royal Rumble.
As the years went Yokozuna continued to play a major role in the WWE, including a successful run as a tag team champion alongside Owen Hart. However, as the years went on the already massive man started to put on an unhealthy amount of weight. By 1996, he weighed in at over 700 lbs and was deemed physically unfit to wrestle. After his release by the WWE, Yokozuna had only gotten heavier. It was only a matter of time before his body gave out and that is exactly what happened on October 23, 2000.
14. The Ultimate Warrior
When it comes to the most memorable wrestlers of the past thirty years, the Ultimate Warrior has to be near the top of the list. Despite not being the greatest in-ring performer, his energy was contagious inside and outside of the ring. He’s was as over with the fans as you can possibly get. Not many wrestlers can say they beat Hulk Hogan clean during his prime.
As fast as The Ultimate Warrior rose to fame, he fell just as fast. After being fired by the WWE multiple times, it was looking like Warrior would never enter a WWE ring again. However, Hell must have frozen over as he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014. However, just days later he tragically passed away from a heart attack. As much as the news of his death was shocking, it wasn’t a huge surprise considering the way he looked on his Monday Night RAW appearance the day before he passed.
13. Nicole Bass
Nicole Bass’ wrestling career may have been brief but it was a memorable one. The bodybuilder made her debut during wrestling’s peak in popularity in the late 1990s. After making a name for herself in ECW, she joined the WWE in 1999. After being involved in feuds with the likes Jeff Jarrett and Ivory, Bass left the company on bad terms. She filed a lawsuit against the company claiming she was sexually assaulted by longtime WWE employee Steve Lombardi.
Bass’s life post-WWE was not at all glamourous. Her lawsuit against the WWE was eventually dismissed in 2003. Her health also began to decline mostly in part to her excessive steroid usage. In recent years Bass was looking nothing like a freak of nature, she was once known as. Her once muscle bound body had been replaced by fat. With the unhealthy way she was looking it was only a matter of time before she passed away.
12. Jimmy Snuka
While Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka had a long and successful career he will always be remembered for one particular moment. In a 1983 cage match against Don Muraco, Snuka delivered a Superfly Splash off the top of the cage onto Muraco. Many future wrestling stars like Mick Foley and Tommy Dreamer were at Madison Square Garden that night, and that splash was said to inspire them to become professional wrestlers.
As much as Snuka is remembered for one in-ring moment, there was also one moment that occurred outside the ring that Snuka could never live down. It was widely assumed that Snuka had beat his then girlfriend to death in 1983. The trial for the murder finally took place in 2016, and Snuka was forced out into the public spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Snuka looked nothing like the man who once leaped off a 15-foot high steel cage. His sickly look was probably due to the fact that he was battling cancer and dementia. After being deemed unfit for trial, Snuka would pass away shortly after.
11. Giant Gonzales
By all accounts, Jorge Gonzales was not a great in-ring performer. His wrestling career was also fairly brief. However, he remains a memorable figure in wrestling history to this day. While he got his start as El Gigante in WCW, it was his stint as Giant Gonzales in the WWE that everyone remembers. It’s hard to forget him considering he stood at 7’7″ tall and wore one of the most bizarre bodysuits in WWE history. The hairy giant’s biggest moment came when he squared off with The Undertaker at WrestleMania IX.
Gonzales was forced to leave the wrestling business in 1995 due to his poor health. His diabetes eventually confined him to a wheelchair. During the last years of his life, he looked a lot older than he actually was. Gonzales sadly passed away at the age of 44 in 2010 from complications of diabetes and severe heart issues.
10. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Jake “The Snake” Roberts was an absolute master when it came to ring psychology. However, he was also the master when it came to destroying a promising career. He was one of the most popular wrestlers in the WWE during the late 1980s, but by the early 1990s his demons were getting the best of him. Roberts got a second chance with the WWE in the late 1990s, but his drug and alcohol problems got the best of him and he was fired.
By the 2000’s it was a miracle that Roberts was even alive. In 2012, Roberts might have been at the lowest point in his life. His health and drug addiction had gotten so bad that he had trouble just getting off of his couch. Just when it looked like Robert’s days on this planet were numbered, Diamond Dallas Page came to his rescue. With a lot of hard work and determination, Roberts was able to scare the Grim Reaper away.
9. Perry Saturn
The story of Perry Saturn might just one most tragic in wrestling history. Saturn was a fixture in the wrestling business during the 1990s and early 2000s. Whether it was his time with The Radicalz or even his Moppy gimmick, whatever Saturn did was sure to entertain.
In 2004, Saturn’s life took a turn for the worse. He was shot in the neck when he was stopping two men from attempting to rape a woman. His injuries and emotional trauma eventually led him to a point where he was addicted to meth and living on the street. While he resurfaced in 2013 and looked like he might get his life on track, that has not been the case. Saturn is currently battling health and financial problems. He looks very ill and if he is forced to go back to the streets it might be the last time we see him alive.
Rosey is best remembered for his four-year run with the WWE from 2002-2006. He first made a name for himself teaming up with his cousin Eddie as part of Eric Bischoff’s muscle men in 3 Minute Warning. After his cousin was released, Rosey became a Super Hero In Training and started teaming up with The Hurricane. The team would win the WWE Tag Team Championships at Backlash in 2005.
After being released by the WWE in 2006, Rosey, whose real name is Matt Anoa’i, wrestled all over the world. In 2014, Matt was hospitalized due to heart problems. These heart problems started to happen due to the amount of weight he had gained in recent years. Matt was recently pictured with his young brother Roman Reigns looking rather heavy. It wasn’t too long after that when Matt passed away from heart failure at the age of 47 in April of 2017.
7. Scott Hall
Scott Hall is considered one of the top wrestlers of the 1990s, but his career could have gone to even greater heights had he not battled so many personal demons. His drug and alcohol problems pretty much ended his career in the early 2000s. By the 2012 Hall had been arrested so many times that all his mugshots could fill up an entire photo album.
It was in early 2013 when Scott Hall hit rock bottom. He had gained so much weight that the stress on his joints confined him to a wheelchair. It came to a point where Hall actually considered committing suicide. Thankfully, Hall was able to find a miracle in the form of Diamond Dallas Page who has him looking like a lot more lively today, to say the least.
6. Balls Mahoney
Balls Mahoney was one of the most recognizable faces in ECW history. Alongside his partner Axl Rotten, the two men dominated the tag team ranks. After ECW closed its doors in 2001, Mahoney found new life in the WWE in 2005 when they revived the ECW brand. Despite the brand revival being a failure, Mahoney did pretty well for himself.
After being released by the WWE in 2008, he continued to wrestle on the independent scene. In recent years something about Mahoney’s appearance didn’t seem right. He looked like he lost a good amount of weight as well as most of his teeth. He looked like he was finally feeling the consequences from all those chair shots to the head. With the way he was looking, it wasn’t a huge shock when Balls passed away in 2016 at the young age of 44.
It’s safe to say there will never be another Chyna in the wrestling world, as she was truly one of a kind. The “Ninth Wonder of the World” will be remembered for her time as the enforcer in D-Generation X. She was also the first and only women to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. It’s just unfortunate her past relationship with Triple H prevented her from ever reaching her full potential.
After her ugly exit from the WWE in 2001, Chyna’s life became a hot mess. Anytime her name was brought back into the spotlight it was always for the wrong reason. Her bad drug habits landed her in the hospital many times. Just a few days prior to her death on April 20, 2016, she posted a video on YouTube. To say she looked worse for wear would be a huge understatement as she was barely able to put a coherent sentence together.
4. Iron Mike Sharpe
Iron Mike Sharpe will go down as one most famous jobbers in WWE history. He wrestled with the company from 1983 until his last televised match in 1995. He could probably count all his victories in the WWE on one hand. Sharpe is probably best remembered for his loud grunting in the ring as well as the leather band he always wore on his forearm.
Sharpe retired from the ring in 1996 and seemed to live a happy life. However, a decade ago Sharpe suffered a cut on his leg while gardening. That cut would get badly infected and would lead to many health issues including kidney problems. For the last years of his life, Sharpe became a recluse, never leaving his basement apartment. By the time he passed away in his sleep at the age of 64 in 2016, he looked almost completely unrecognizable.
3. Bobby Heenan
Bobby Heenan will go down in history as one of, if not the greatest manager in wrestling history. During his illustrious career, he managed the likes of Andre The Giant, Harley Race, and King Kong Bundy, just to name a few. Once Heenan could no longer take any bumps, he became a successful color commentator for both WWE and WCW.
In 2002, Heenan announced that he had throat cancer. Since that time Heenan’s health problems have continued to add up. He lost a ton of weight and his easily recognizable voice was no longer. In 2007, he had reconstructive surgery on his jaw which significantly changed his appearance. In recent years Heenan has suffered a few falls which had led to many broken bones. With the way “The Brain” is looking these days it’s wouldn’t be a stretch to say his days are sadly numbered.
2. Dynamite Kid
Dynamite Kid is considered one of the most influential wrestlers in history, having inspired many wrestlers. His athleticism in the ring was something that had not been seen before. Dynamite Kid caught his break wrestling for Stampede in Calgary but is probably most remembered for his partnership in the WWE with Davey Boy Smith.
Unfortunately Dynamite Kid never truly lived up to his potential as he battled through serious injuries and drug problems. In recent years his health has seemed to have gotten worse by the day. He now is confined to a wheelchair after suffering numerous strokes. A GoFundMe page was started in 2016 in order to raise funds for Dynamite to get back to his home in England. For the campaign, a video was released showing the man looking like he’s on his deathbed.
1. Andre The Giant
When it comes to the most iconic wrestlers in history, not many were bigger figuratively and literally than Andre The Giant. “The Eighth Wonder of the World” was truly a sight to see and was worth the price of admission. His impressive near 15-year undefeated streak is something that will never be broken. His feud with Hulk Hogan is also something that will be entrenched in the minds of wrestling fans forever.
The fact that Andre was an actual giant, it was only matter of time before his body would start to break down. By the early 1990s the only way he was able to get around was with the aid of crutches. In 1993, Andre was looking like his time on this Earth was coming to an end. This photo of him was actually taken just three days before Andre tragically passed away.
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