Pro wrestlers only rarely have positive “Where Are They Now?” stories. Generally speaking, if you haven’t heard about a wrestler in awhile it means they aren’t doing very well.
A few exceptions exist to this rule, of course, as there are some wrestlers who left the business and have done well for themselves in other areas. Val Venis is off running a successful marijuana business in Arizona, Batista is making Marvel movies, and The Rock might be President someday. For every one of those stories, however, it feels as though there are 100 more which are significantly less positive.
Wrestling, like other sports, offers a short window within which an athlete can make money. Once you hit your late 30s and beyond, such athletes are left to fend for themselves. If they didn’t put enough money away, they could be at risk of going broke later in life. This has happened with plenty wrestlers throughout the years, although it seems the problem is improving somewhat.
WWE’s Wellness Policy has helped many wrestlers avoid falling down too hard on their luck. The company will pay for rehab and has many former stars signed to Legends contracts, which provides a little extra on top of what they make at independent shows.
Here are 15 of the most depressing “Where Are They Now?” stories involving WWE wrestlers.
15. Mo from Men on a Mission
Remember Mo from Men on a Mission? Turns out things aren’t going great for him as he has needed a new kidney for years but is unable to afford one. He has reached out to WWE for help but as of yet, no help has been forthcoming. Mo pointed out that perhaps if his problems had been drug or alcohol-related the company would have helped him, but since it’s his kidney they won’t.
In 2013, Mo told wrestling media outlets that he needed a new kidney but his insurance would only pay 80%, leaving another $30K as an out of pocket expense, plus another $30K annually for treatment. As of 2017, Mo still hasn’t been able to afford the new kidney and a GoFundMe account was set up under his real name of Bobby Horne.
14. Justin Credible
Thanks to his friend X-Pac, Justin Credible is currently in WWE sponsored rehab. The 43-year old began posting some disturbing messages on social media earlier this year, so ‘Pac reached out to his old X-Factor stablemate to offer help.
Credible retired from in-ring action in 2015, although he came out of retirement in March for a match with Sandman and New Jack. The end of any athletes in-ring career can be tough, especially if they haven’t saved up enough money or planned for a second career.
His runs in WWE left a lot to be desired. His Portuguese Man-of-War gimmick was ill-received and he did not get much television time during his second run with the company during the Invasion angle. He only lasted a couple of months with the re-vamped ECW brand in 2006 as well.
13. Brutus Beefcake
Brutus Beefcake spent his career following Hulk Hogan around. When the Hulk Hogan gravy train from WCW stopped flowing, Beefcake was left with no source of income, and evidently, he didn’t save much money.
Beefcake’s poor financial state was most obvious in 2004 when he was discovered working for the Boston public transit system. He wasn’t just discovered, however, he nearly caused a mass panic. Beefcake left his booth unattended, which wasn’t that big a deal, but he also left a bag of cocaine in the booth, and that certainly was a big deal. Someone spotted the baggy, and because of world events at the time, assumed it to be anthrax. Beefcake came clean and told authorities it was just his bag of cocaine. No charges were filed against Beefcake, but he checked himself into rehab after.
This one shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Tammy Lynn Sytch has had a rough 2017. She spent the first part of the year in jail, a result of multiple DUIs. Sunny’s problems with drugs and alcohol have unfortunately overshadowed much of what she was able to accomplish during her career.
After repeatedly paying for her rehab, Sunny became the first person WWE cut-off from their Wellness Policy of paying for rehab for former employees. The company released a statement saying Sunny continues to make poor choices and that is why they were cutting her off. Although it has not been officially confirmed, it is believed they have since begun paying for her treatment again.
After being released from prison this year, Sunny began doing some interviews and making a few appearances. It seems as though she’s doing better and hopefully the trend continues.
The former Ugandan headhunter, Kamala, has lost both his legs to diabetes and is currently on disability. He lives in Mississippi where he spends his time crafting his own handmade wooden chairs, which he also sells. He lives with his niece now and says he also enjoys writing and performing musically. Last summer, Kamala joined a class-action lawsuit against the WWE alleging the company concealed the long-term risks of concussions.
Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett came up with the idea for the Kamala gimmick in the 1980s. Previously he had been wrestling under variations of his real name, such as “Big” Jim Harris or “Ugly Bear” Harris. The Kamala gimmick got over with audiences in the USWA and eventually WWE, he would go on to use it the rest of his career.
10. Adam Rose
Things have not been going well for Adam Rose. The Exotic Express he rode on WWE’s main roster in 2014 and 2015 came to a crashing halt in 2016. He recently announced that 2017 will be his last year as a wrestler.
Rose was suspended for a WWE Wellness Policy violation that he claims was as a result of medication he takes for ADHD. While he was serving the suspension, there was an incident which led to authorities charging Rose with domestic battery. He was subsequently released from the promotion.
Somehow Rose decided it would be a good idea to sell t-shirts with his mugshot on them. Had he been arrested for something less heinous than spousal abuse this might have been a good idea. Now 38, Rose is searching for a new way to make a living. The t-shirt business doesn’t seem like a great idea either…
Remember Maven from the first Tough Enough? The now 40-year-old has been spotted working various odd jobs, such as hosting a show on the Home Shopping Channel and working as a bouncer at a night club.
Shortly after being released by WWE in 2005, Maven appeared on MTV shows The Surreal Life and The 70s House.
In 2012, his story got a little sadder when he was caught “doctor shopping” looking for prescriptions for pain killers. WWE reached out to offer him rehab after the incident, which Maven accepted. After undergoing WWE-sponsored treatment, Maven started working as a bouncer in New York. Before WWE he had been a middle school teacher in Oregon, though it appears he has not gone back into this profession.
After several years away from wrestling, Maven wrestled a few matches in 2015 and 2016 for some smaller promotions.
Leon White, aka Vader, has been given less than two years to live by doctors due to chronic heart problems. He was given the news late last year following a car accident he had been involved in. While doctors were examining him following the car wreck they checked his heart, which led to the bad news.
Wrestlers such as Scott Hall and Jake Roberts are currently avoiding appearing in articles such as this thanks to the help of Diamond Dallas Page. The same help was offered to Vader, but conditions were attached to the offer that Vader couldn’t agree to.
DDP said there was no way he could help Vader improve his health while he still wrestled in matches. Vader says that he needs to wrestle and if the doctor’s comments are true, he wants to die in the ring.
7. One Man Gang/Akeem
One Man Gang’s problems are less related to his own activities as they are natural disasters, but that doesn’t make his story any less sad.
The poor guy lost his entire home last summer due to flooding. Real name, George Gray, he had been living in Baton Rouge and unfortunately fell victim to last August’s flooding which left Louisiana in a state of emergency. It has been called the worst natural disaster in the United States since Hurricane Katrina. As with many people who lost their homes in the flood, he had not taken out home insurance and so at 56 years of age he simply lost everything. A GoFundMe page was set up to help him. The page raised $15k total.
After retiring from wrestling he took a job as a prison guard, but back problems forced him to quit.
6. Rip Rogers
Younger fans will only know Rip Rogers as the guy who wrote the now-infamous “…dive.” tweet that Randy Orton caused a stir with upon re-tweeting. During his day, however, Rip Rogers was a wrestler and a former NWA Mid-American Heavyweight Champion.
A GoFundMe page was set up for the 63-year-old Rogers who has been having trouble paying the bills, despite his past head trainer position at OVW. Rogers set up the account on his own accord. On the page Rogers rips the wrestling industry, stating he deserved more than the compensation he was given for his talents, and that he doesn’t deserve to be as broke as he is.
His GoFundMe account was not based on having sustained an injury, or being physically unable to work. He just went broke and needed money.
In 2015, Virgil started a GoFundMe page with the goal of becoming a million-dollar man himself. The page only raised a thousand dollars…..
Virgil has become the poster-child for broke wrestlers scrounging every last dollar their past wrestling fame can make. A website titled Lonely Virgil was created which posted photos of the former Ted Dibiase lackey at conventions and autograph signings with no fans around. Sometimes Virgil wouldn’t even need a convention, he’d just set up a table in a public place and hope people recognized him, and then paid him for an autograph or picture.
Ted Dibiase would later state that Virgil would call convention promoters and ask to get himself and Dibiase booked on shows. On the day of the show, just Virgil would show up, as Dibiase had never agreed to attend in the first place.
4. Rico Constantino
Things have not been going well as of late for Rico Constantino. Although the now 55-year-old had been doing well for himself with a career in law enforcement after his WWE days were done, things took a turn for the worse for him in 2016.
It was discovered that people had been looking for Rico for nine months, and when they found him he had been suffering from the impacts of multiple concussions. He was suffering daily migraine headaches as well as seizures. Rico set up a GoFundMe account and raised just under $8k to help him with his medical bills.
Rico only spent a couple of years on WWE’s main roster after having been in developmental for quite some time. He became the “stylist” for Billy and Chuck, and would later manage 3-Minute Warning as well.
3. Dynamite Kid
Tom Billington suffered a massive stroke in 2013 and has been living in a care home in the UK. He’s in need of constant medical attention. The 58-year-old largely became a shut-in after his wrestling career ended in 1996. Billington also lost the use of one of his legs due to injuries he sustained while wrestling.
Last year, Billington’s family put out an appeal to WWE for help. They requested enough money to have him transferred from a care home back to his home, but there is no word on whether or not he has been able to get home yet.
Dynamite Kid had a notorious reputation while he was in WWE. He would play cruel pranks on other wrestlers until one day the Rougeau brothers got even by breaking his jaw. Billington would quit the company shortly after the incident. .
2. Matt Cappotelli
Former WWE Tough Enough contestant, Matt Cappotelli was on his way to becoming a star with the promotion. He was rumored to be called up to the main roster after having won the OVW Heavyweight Championship when he was dealt some terrible news. He had a cancerous brain tumor and would need to undergo surgery.
The surgery was a success but he never returned to the ring. His contract with WWE was not renewed after it expired in 2009.
Recently he announced that he was once again diagnosed with a brain tumor and would undergo surgery. The surgery was again considered a success but there was some of the tumor considered inoperable. Earlier this summer, WWE posted an interview with Cappotelli regarding his second bout with cancer.
1. Perry Saturn
Perry Satullo, better known to wrestling fans as Perry Saturn, was missing for years. Friends and family were unable to locate him until he re-emerged in 2010. It turns out he had been homeless for about two years and a half after he had become addicted to painkillers and methamphetamine. He only let family and friends know where he was after he had conquered his addictions.
Saturn would say his problems started in 2004 after he came to the aid of a woman who was being assaulted. During the altercation, Saturn was shot in the neck and shoulder. The injuries resulted in his becoming addicted to pain pills and leaving the public for years.
In 2016, more problems for Saturn surfaced when he revealed he was suffering the impacts of traumatic brain injury. Perry stated he’s unable to work, drive and gets daily headaches. Chris Jericho donated $5K to his campaign.
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