Every wrestler has their own path to the WWE. Most wrestlers don’t get signed at a young age without having a track record of hard work behind them. The performers will typically wrestle for little money on the independent scene. That route requires another job to support their livings while they wrestle on the weekends to make a name and hopefully get on the radar of WWE. Others had a slower time getting to WWE. They worked in other fields with a career before making the jump completely into the world of professional wrestling.
The current WWE roster hosts various wrestlers with interesting backstories before they made it to the world of international fame. Some worked in other forms of athletics, others had blue collar jobs to pay the bills and a few have wacky gigs you could have never predicted. We'll take a look at the more surprising ones that you likely wouldn’t expect the current Superstar to have in their earlier years. All of the following stars have certainly come a long way from their humbling beginnings. These are fifteen current WWE Superstars that had weird jobs before getting signed to a contract by the WWE.
14 Roman Reigns: Office Furniture Installer
The current life of Roman Reigns has him making millions of dollars as one of the biggest stars in WWE. Reigns did put in hard work for many years before joining WWE. A failed NFL career saw Reigns take a job at his sister’s business as an office furniture installer. Roman along with his cousins Jimmy and Jey Uso, all worked together assembling the furniture in offices for his sister’s company.
The long days work made a living for Reigns but he felt the time was right to try out the wrestling career similar to the Usos. WWE signed Roman to a developmental deal and it was the best thing to ever happen to him. Reigns was the chosen one of WWE to succeed John Cena as the face of the company. WWE is giving him every chance to be “the guy” in leading the business into the future.
13 John Cena: Limo Driver
Another massive WWE star to have a surprising past is John Cena. One of his jobs before becoming a professional wrestler was working as a full-time limo driver. Cena is a huge fan of cars and driving in general making it an easy way to make a living. The limousine service business clearly brings in money given the high cost of one and Cena made a living driving until moving towards his bigger goals.
WWE hiring Cena ended his time as a limo driver but he certainly had a few more work related limousine moments. Cena vandalized the limo of JBL during one of their feuds. It had to be hard for him to ruin one of the cars similar to what he drove around on a nightly basis. Cena does continue his driving passion owning dozens of high priced cars for collection today. He just doesn’t have to drive anyone around in them aside from Nikki Bella.
12 Kevin Owens: Gas Station Attendant
Kevin Owens had his first child at a young age before he became a big star in wrestling. That meant he had to find a job quickly to provide for his family. Owens worked as a gas station attendant for a short period of time as a way to pay his bills and take care of his son. Wrestling didn’t turn into a full-time living for many years.
Owens also worked at a warehouse during his time as a ROH wrestler and actually considered leaving the wrestling business at one point to find a new career path for the betterment of his family. Things changed quickly with his popularity growing as the new face of ROH. Owens became too big of a star for WWE to ignore and Triple H signed him to NXT. The rest is history with Owens becoming a fixture on WWE television.
11 Naomi: Orlando Magic Dancer
Naomi may very well be the most athletic woman in WWE history given some of the moves she pulls off in the ring. The talent for dancing has consistently played a strong part in her career. An elaborate dance routine during the “glow” entrance is important to her presentation. Naomi does have a background in dancing that landed her an opportunity with WWE.
The most high profile job of her dancing career saw her work in the NBA as a cheerleader for the Orlando Magic. Naomi held the high profile dancing job for two seasons before moving on to a WWE contract. A long road from developmental to many wasted years on the main roster finally culminated into a push in 2016. Naomi is now the SmackDown Women’s Champion and an important part of the Women’s Division.
10 The Miz: Reality TV Personality
The Miz made a living as a reality television personality for quite some time before landing his dream job in WWE. Miz’s first big break on television came when he was casted to be a part of The Real World in 2001. The reality television series often showed Miz referencing his love for wrestling and testing his wrestling character before even getting into the business.
Various other shows like Real World/Road Rules Challenge, Battle of the Network Reality Stars and Fear Factor brought him on to their casts. Miz eventually used his reality television personality to get booked by smaller independent wrestling shows for a short time period until WWE signed him. Many wrestlers treated him poorly due to his reality television past but he overcame it to become a one-time WWE Champion.
9 Rusev: Cab Driver
The past job of Rusev is not as impressive as the story behind it. Rusev came to the United States with the goal to become a WWE Superstar. Gangrel trained Rusev and shared a story about his life as a trainee. Rusev used to work a 9 to 5 job, attend wrestling training every day and then work as a cab driver at night.
Not only did Rusev attend wrestling training, but he worked two jobs to afford the school and a living. Very few people deserve what they’ve accomplished in WWE more than Rusev. Today, he has his dream job in WWE with a great home and a stunning wife. Rusev truly worked to make of all his dreams come true in impressive fashion.
8 Lana: Actress In Pitch Perfect
The wife of Rusev did not have the same difficult path to WWE as he did. Lana was an actress in Hollywood and a dancer before coming to WWE. The biggest roles in Lana’s acting career were working in the hit films Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2. Lana appeared in various other movies taking on smaller background roles.
A background in dancing and her great look led to WWE giving her a chance. Lana signed to a developmental contract in hopes of using her acting and athleticism to succeed in wrestling. The actual wrestling part of the job has still yet to come, but Lana is definitely a successful personality for her managing work at the side of husband Rusev. She's still hoping to have acting roles in the future as a side gig to her wrestling career.
8. Daniel Bryan: KB Toys & McDonald’s Cashier
Daniel Bryan did not have a lot of money growing up and worked many odd jobs to get the funds for wrestling training. The teenage to young adult years of Bryan saw him work for places like McDonald and KB Toys. Both jobs were specifically to help his family out with money and find a way to get trained to become a professional wrestler.
The autobiography of Bryan discussed doing anything possible to live his passion of wrestling. Considering Bryan is a vegan, against fast food and anti-consumerism today, he clearly would not enjoy a place like McDonald’s. Teenage Bryan however loved getting any job that led to him making money for a better life. Those days are long over after Bryan became a huge star for WWE and started a family with wife Brie Bella.
7 Seth Rollins: Noodles & Company Waiter
Another wrestling star to work in the food industry to fund his wrestling passion was Seth Rollins. During his early years in Ring of Honor, Rollins worked as a waiter at a Noodles and Company restaurant in Davenport, Iowa. The reputation of Rollins was growing and many considered him the next big star. That didn’t pay the bills and Rollins worked hard during the week along with attending college before his weekend wrestling schedule.
Rollins would start to make a living in wrestling towards the end of his ROH run and it coincided with him landing an NXT contract. WWE clearly saw something special in him that earned him a deal at a young age. Rollins was able to stop waiting tables and started his path to become a huge WWE Superstar. Noodles and Company at least has the pride of knowing they employed “the champ” for a few years.
6 Carmella: New England Patriots Cheerleader & Los Angeles Lakers Girl
The dancing background of Carmella has seen her work for two of the greatest sports franchises. Carmella worked for three seasons as a cheerleader for the New England Patriots. She changed sports but kept with the dancing theme by auditioning for a spot as a Los Angeles Lakers girl. The Lakers hired her for a season. Both teams have been the dominant franchise for their sport over the past decade making it a high profile gig.
Carmella decided to take a break from the dancing and ended up landing a job in WWE. Her father was a wrestler and she wanted to try to follow in his footsteps. The athleticism of Carmella saw her get pushed in NXT and now become a part of the main roster. WWE definitely plays up her past accomplishments working with the Patriots and Lakers.
5 Big Show: Bounty Hunter
The young adult years saw Big Show work various jobs like anyone else in that time frame. Big Show however was significantly larger than the average human making his job search a bit different. One of the more interesting jobs he held was being a bounty hunter. The size and strength of Big Show was utilized when he would get paid to capture criminals and bring them in for money.
Big Show did this for a few years along with bouncing and being a receptionist at various times before entering the wrestling business. Hulk Hogan discovered him and brought him into WCW. Big Show would spend the next two decades of his life as a relevant performer in the wrestling business. The career of Big Show is winding and he has made more than enough money to never have to bounty hunt again.
4 Brock Lesnar: Farmer
The passion of farming is something most would not instantly associate with Brock Lesnar. His parents both owned and operated a dairy farm that led to Brock and his siblings working there as teenagers. It clearly is something that Lesnar loved considering he has moved to a farm in Saskatchewan. Brock and his family currently operate their own farm and spend their life secluded from the rest of the world.
Another past job of Lesnar saw him work at a construction company before landing his first WWE contract. The success in WWE and UFC made it obvious would never have to work a traditional job ever again, but he remained adamant about the farming. Brock appears to want to spend the rest of his life farming long after he leaves WWE.
3 Michael Cole: War Correspondent
Michael Cole had a very strong background in journalism before joining WWE. It's never really discussed due to how long ago it was, but Cole is a respected broadcaster. Cole spent nine months covering the Yugoslavian civil war. A war correspondent is one of the most difficult jobs one can have in broadcasting and Cole pulled it off.
Cole also covered the 1988 United States Presidential race on the Democratic side, the later campaign of Bill Clinton, the Oklahoma City bombing and returned to politics for the 1996 Presidential Election. All of these genuinely important fields padded his resume before he signed with WWE in 1997. Cole has remained with the company over the past twenty years and is now the voice of WWE as the lead Raw commentator.
2 Becky Lynch: Flight Attendant
Becky Lynch was the queen of odd jobs before signing with WWE. The passion of wrestling saw her train under the tutelage of fellow current WWE star Finn Balor back when both were just kids finding their ways. Lynch retired for a few years due to wrestling not allowing her to make a living. She worked numerous jobs from acting to stunt work to personal training.
The most interesting job Lynch took was a flight attendant spot. Becky’s mom was a very successful flight attendant and she attempted to follow her mother’s career path. Lynch would work as a flight attendant with Aer Lingus for two and a half years. Eventually, Becky found her way back to wrestling and landed a contract with NXT that would change her life forever.
1 Sheamus: U2 Bodyguard
Sheamus has the top spot for one of the weirdest jobs someone has held before signing with WWE. The cool gig saw him work as a bodyguard for the massively successful rock band U2. Lead singer Bono often visited a bar that Sheamus worked as a bouncer at in Dublin whenever U2 was there on tour. It landed Sheamus the role of the bodyguard anytime U2 was in the area.
The job saw Sheamus make sure no one started any trouble with Bono, his party and any other members of U2 wanting to have fun after a show. Sheamus would go on to achieve his own fame when landing his dream job in WWE. If the two ever meet again, it will likely be as peers at a red carpet event rather than Sheamus doing grunt work for the legendary singer.