As wrestling fans, we're very aware of how life after wrestling changes the outward appearance of our beloved in-ring warriors. Some change for the better and some for the worse. Understandably so, as factors like age, wear and tear, treatment of one's body, potential "genetic enhancements," as well as many other variables come into play for these stars. Wrestling can be especially hard on ones body, especially in the case of former ECW superstars. Also, given the extraordinary power of the ego in the wrestling business, some performers are willing to go the extra mile to try to re-achieve or maintain their look from their hay-day.
Now, we don't aim to poke fun on such matters as "who got old" or "who got fat." The goal is simply this: re-visit some of our favorite ECW namesakes and see how time has treated them, to reiterate, for better or for worse.
Some ECW veterans have managed to be ageless wonders, such as the case with guys like Rob Van Dam, Taz, and even Paul Heyman. Of course, this list isn't gender specific as Francine and Dawn Marie have done much to change their respective good looks.
They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. However, we're not here today to discuss how much things have stayed the same. We are here to discuss change. Change is inevitable and can sometimes turn familiar faces into lone strangers. Let's begin as we venture into how change has affected some of our favorite ECW stars.
17 Mikey Whipwreck
The lovable underdog, Mikey Whipwreck, was always a fan favorite of the offbeat variety. He never saw much on the winning side of things, but that didn't seem to matter much to the ECW faithful. Fans admired his grit, hard work, and apparent disregard for pain inflicted upon him.
Whipwreck's appearance has certainly changed over the years. The once slim, undersized, fiery red head has now donned a more ample figure. Gone is the cherry Kool-Aid tinged mop and in its place a clean shaven, bald head. The former ECW champion, however, never really got by on looks. He was a one of a kind wrestler that we'll never see replicated in our lifetime.
Bald, thin, or whatever Mikey's change be as it may, we still love you, Mikey. You may be harder to recognize these days, but your contributions transcended that of outward appearance. You made it look good on 'ya, kid. We thank you.
16 Joel Gertner
Joel Gertner did an outstanding job of playing a sleazebag in ECW. He did an even better job of looking like one. Gertner was always seen in his loud, colored jackets with matching neck brace. Of course, under the jacket there was no shirt to be seen, just Gertner's chest hair, which seemed like the icing on the cake. He also had a greasy hair style that just screamed scumbag.
Gertner was always very entertaining, especially with his lewd poetry at the beginning of pay per view events. His appearance was so iconic, in its own odd way.
Over the years, Gertner has shed some weight and stopped adding an entire bottle of gel to his hair every day. He shows a semblance of the old Gertner in some interviews when he wears his bowtied neck brace, but he is a far different looking person today.
Surprisingly, after years of playing the convincing scumbag, Gertner is actually a charming looking, clean cut guy.
Also known as Hollywood Nova while a member of the Blue World Order, Nova underwent some drastic changes over the years. Arriving in WWE as Simon Dean, the fitness fanatic, Nova had shed the flowing locks and toned up his physique quite a bit.
The Simon Dean image was a far cry different from Nova, but, since retiring in 2006, Nova has added a few pounds to his frame and now dons various styles of facial hair.
The former ECW and WWE Superstar has spent his retirement working as a banker, while looking every bit like you would expect a middle aged banker to look. At the same time, Nova has held up quite well over the years and looks as well as any of us can hope to look when we reach his age.
I have to admit, if I walked into my bank tomorrow and talked to Nova about getting a loan, I wouldn't be certain I had talked to Nova at all.
13 Perry Saturn
Perry Saturn always had a unique, intense look throughout his career. His grizzly, rugged demeanor and expressions helped make Saturn a mainstay in ECW, which followed along with him into WCW and WWE. One thing is for certain, Saturn was a scary looking dude. He wasn't someone you'd want to meet in dark alley, or a well lit alley for that matter. Even when forced to wear a dress or run around like a nut with a mop, Saturn was still more than intimidating than any of the toughest guys you know.
Since retiring, Saturn has packed on the pounds and his body of tattoos have spread to his face and head. He took on a Bam Bam Bigelow likeness. While the cold, stern gaze hasn't left Saturn, he has changed drastically. You may recognize the eyes, but chances are there isn't much you would recognize about Perry Saturn today.
Regardless of any aesthetic observations, Saturn, the former three time ECW tag team champion, is still one of the best to ever come through the promotion.
12 Shane Douglas
While Shane hasn't undergone a complete metamorphosis, he has seen a lot of weathering. Shane is a perfect example of someone whose body was so damaged by the business, that any attempt at a comeback after WCW was nothing more than an attempt.
Douglas, The Franchise of ECW, was once of the most impressive looking guys in the business. At one point, he was arguably one of the top 10 wrestlers among the three major promotions. However, Douglas had a knack for alienating people and making enemies instead of friends. With no wrestling in his life, Shane became your ordinary middle aged man. With more lines on his face than friends in his phone contacts, not that that's very many, Shane Douglas may be hard to spot passing him on the street.
11 The Sandman
The Sandman was never any type of athletic specimen and was always a little soft around the midsection. He wore patterned sweat pants and t-shirts to the ring. No one ever thought there was a Hulk Hogan physique beneath the 100% cotton guise, so no one should expect Sandman to look great today.
It appears as if Sandman never put away the Budweisers after semi-retiring from wrestling. The beer gut is alive and well. Also, his bleach blonde hair has also semi-retired, into a dirty blonde/gray hybrid, much akin to Sid Vicious.
Also, Sandman was never exactly Rob Van Dam as far as his moving capabilities were concerned, but the guy seems to have a lot of difficulty moving around these days. This is to be expected as the guy never really seemed to care for taking care of himself.
Sandman, though, is still one of the most memorable figures in ECW history.
10 Kid Kash
It's true, Kid Kash resembled Kid Rock and based his gimmick off of that fact. Yeah, he called his finisher The Bawitdaba, So, off the bat, you can imagine that a guy who got famous by looking like another guy might be pretty forgettable.
He was a thin, though very physically fit, long haired tough guy who dressed in loud colored brimmed hats with silky shirts to match.
After ECW, Kash wrestled for various promotions, altering his look a little bit from place to place. Today, he no longer resembles the Kid Kash of yesterday or the Kid Rock of any day. He chopped the hair, added some tattoos and muscles, and is almost unrecognizable compared to his ECW days.
In 2008, Kash made an attempt at breaking into the MMA world. However, after finishing his MMA career with an 0-1 record, it's safe to say that while many wrestling fans wouldn't recognize him, even fewer fans of MMA would be able to pick him from a lineup.
I like to imagine he shows up to dive bars in his Kid Rock attire and does karaoke. Probably not, but we can dream.
Roadkill was a frightening image to behold during his time in ECW. He was a giant 6'3'' man who weighed in at over 300 pounds. Oh, he also dressed like the scariest Amish person that one could imagine. His ECW career and image were very memorable, where he teamed with the much smaller Danny Doring, so Roadkill looked much larger to scale.
After ECW, he would appear in WWE and OVW for a few tapings, looking nothing at all like his former self. Naturally, when someone stops dressing like the Amish man of your nightmares, you wouldn't be too quick to identify them. He resorted to wrestling in trunks. He grew his hair longer, unlike his traditional buzz cut. He also shaved his iconic Amish beard and began to don some very cheesy sideburns. He left WWE in 2008.
No one has seen much of Roadkill since his WWE departure, but unless he decided to actually embrace and join the Amish culture, it's unlikely you would have a clue who he is.
8 The Blue Meanie
BREAKING NEWS!!! The Hulkster is BACK! pic.twitter.com/Tsgv6eYn2t— Brian Heffron aka The Blue Meanie (@BlueMeanieBWO) July 11, 2016
The Blue Meanie was the portly, goofy villainous character in ECW's Blue World Order, based off of the similar looking Blue Meanie Characters from The Beatles' Yellow Submarine movie.
Meanie was always entertaining and even made it to WWE, where he was quite popular. Unfortunately, his most memorable moment in WWE was when JBL decided to put a legitimate beating on Meanie during the final segment of the inaugural ECW One Night Stand pay per view (this moment left him quite unrecognizable, at least temporarily).
Brian Heffron, Meanie's real name, has undergone some weight loss since his days of mainstream wrestling. Although he somtimes has blue in his hair or beard, the much thinner Heffron looks like a completely different person when completely distancing himself from any paint or attire related to the Blue Meanie Gimmick.
The Meanie was downright ghastly, but that didn't stop him from having a relationship with the stunning Jasmine St. Claire. Looks aren't everything, folks.
7 Sid Vicious
While Sid may not be synonymous with ECW, that doesn't change the fact that he made an impact during his time there. Sid's tenure in the land of Extreme was short and forgettable but one thing always remained true of Sid during his wrestling years, he was a hulking monster. Sid was simply frightening. He had the frame of a 250 pound body builder, except Sid was seven feet tall. Who can forget Sid's intense gaze as sweat and oil dripped from his bleach blonde locks?
Sadly, after a nasty leg fracture in 2001, Sid never managed to get his wrestling career back on track. After a difficult recovery process as well as being weathered by the years, Sid's massive frame diminished. His neon locks were set back to his natural, dirty blonde default. There are some photos of modern day Sid that many of you would see and undoubtedly ask, "who am I looking at?"
As time gets the best of us all, I still wouldn't want to hassle The Ruler of The World. If he were to ever be brought up on charges for his alleged altercation with Arn Anderson, even Arn would have trouble picking Sid out of a lineup.
5 Al Snow
In all reality, you would probably recognize Al Snow if you have been a fan of wrestling for a few decades. However, if you're only familiar with the Al Snow of today, you may not recognize the Al Snow of ECW fame.
The years have been very kind to Snow. Gone are the days of his sophomoric antics and ridiculous attires and appearances. Snow is a much more civilized looking individual currently. With his short hair and gray facial hair, Snow has removed himself from any semblance of former characters.
In fact, Snow is currently in better physical condition than he ever was in ECW. You can catch Snow occasionally on TNA Impact, where he is clearly in fantastic condition, at age 53.
When you stop and think about other wrestlers in their 50s, who you probably wouldn't recognize today for more negative reasons, you would definitely not include Snow in your list. For a guy who used to walk around with "help me" written backwards on his forehead talking to a mannequin head, Snow looks as professional and coherent as one could hope.
4 Tammy Lynn Sytch
You may recognize Tammy Lynn Sytch if you never had an clue who she was, as you stumbled upon that website that you told your mom you visited several times on accident.
Sytch is truly a shell of her former self. Once viewed as one of the most beautiful women in the sport of wrestling, and the first official WWE Diva, Sytch is now most known for adult videos and drug arrests.
While it's easy to speak ill of Sytch, let's not forget that she was pretty legendary in her own right during her time in WWE and ECW.
However, as is the case with so many, a series of poor decisions coupled with the desire to stay relevant after wrestling took a toll on her. Sytch aged quite rapidly after reported drug incidents, trouble with weight due to inactivity, among other things you can probably imagine.
She was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012 and was still looking very nice at the time. It's amazing what can happen in a few years.
Aside from all of this, we certainly wish Tammy the best.
3 Spike Dudley
Everyone's favorite underdog from Dudleyville, Little Spike Dudley was a fan favorite in ECW. Adorned in traditional Dudley Family tye-dye, overalls, and broken glasses secured by a piece of tape, Spike was like something you had never seen before.
He weighed around 150 pounds and took beatings from Heavyweights on a regular basis. It was his ability to take a beating and squeak out the occasional win that made fans love him, especially since he looked absolutely harmless.
Like it or not, Little Spike has grown up and looks like a man. The former wrestler/school teacher has shaved his head and, of course, no longer dresses like a backwoods, tye dye loving member of a very bizarre family. He's matured quite well and, despite being beaten mercilessly often, he's no worse for the wear.
Good on 'ya, Spike.
Sabu was known for being the homicidal, suicidal, genocidal maniac in ECW with zero regard for his own personal safety or anyone else's. He was one of the most polarizing figures in ECW history because of his unique appearance and the fact he would do just about anything to send a crowd home happy. After plenty of tables, barbed wire, and more steel chairs than anyone can count, Sabu's body finally turned on him and had taken enough punishment.
Sabu had an almost Undertaker like mystique about him, with his long hair, Arabian headdress, and theme inspired ring pants.
All of that mystique has gone away though. A tough life of wrestling and living on the road has rendered Sabu hardly able to walk. His face is tough to look at with the multiple scars and fine lines on its surface. Also, he has gone in favor of a shaved head.
To reiterate a recurring theme in this list, the wrestling business can change you in many ways. Sabu is one of example of one of the negative impacts of wrestling.
Somehow, he still manages to get in the ring and go through a few motions.
A picture speaks a million words, which is good because Raven has had roughly a million changes in his appearance since debuting in wrestling. The now 51 year old Raven made his wrestling debut in 1988 before joining ECW in 1994. That made for quite a long career as he still takes independent bookings.
While we all know Raven has made great contributions to wrestling, perhaps it's time for him to hang it up. After years of abuse and attempts to reinvent himself, it's hard to even recognize who he is from one day to the next.
Aging, hair dye, piercings, make up, tattoos and all of the ensembles Raven puts together have made him indistinguishable from the guy in ECW who simply dressed like anyone who was obsessed with the 90s grunge rock era.