Many people still do not get why professional wrestling exists. They argue that it’s “fake” yet they watch movies with lightsabers and superheroes. Wrestling is a combination of sports and entertainment. The action may be scripted but it needs real athleticism to make it happen. Wrestlers put their bodies on the line every night whether they are in front of thousands of people in the WWE or in a less-than 100 crowds in an independent show.
Wrestlers take a big risk from all the bumps they take in the ring. It’s painful to fall into a ring and it’s even more painful if you do it several times a week. Sometimes it takes a toll on these wrestlers and it affects them later in life. Whether it is health problems from all the bumps in the ring like what happened with the Dynamite Kid, who has been in a wheelchair since 1997, or Kamala’s diabetes that cost him two of his only legs.
On the other hand, wrestlers might be in constant pain and they will get addicted to painkillers, as well as alcohol. They will rely on these substances to keep the pain away just as the case for many wrestlers in the business. Here are 15 most messed up wrestlers that you might have forgotten. It should be noted that these wrestlers are not all from the WWE. These wrestlers are the ones you might have forgot that exist and still alive, but their personal lives are messed up whether because of health issues, drug abuse or other controversial stuff.
One of the most unique and intimidating WWE superstars ever, Kamala was a gentle giant outside the ring. He was a beloved man by his peers and fans, and he seemed to have stayed away from the demons such as alcohol and drugs that have plagued most people on this list. However, Kamala was included in this list because of his deteriorating health, which is pretty messed up.
Kamala has been fighting diabetes since 1992 and the disease had caused him to lose his legs. Diabetes has even affected his heart and kidneys. He relies on disability checks and sales from his handmade wooden chairs and autobiography for money. Kamala recently underwent emergency surgery to clear fluids from his heart and lungs. You can help him by donating in his GoFundMe page.
14 Abdullah The Butcher
You might have forgotten about it already but Abdulla The Butcher is actually in the WWE Hall of Fame. The 76-year-old legend was inducted back in 2011 for his contributions to the wrestling industry. The Butcher was one of the pioneers of hardcore wrestling and he had a successful run in Japan. He also held championships in Georgia Championship Wrestling and Stampede Wrestling.
Back in 2014, The Butcher lost a $2.3 million lawsuit filed by a fellow wrestler, Hannibal. The indie wrestler sued the WWE Hall of Famer for giving him Hepatitis C during a match in 2007. The Butcher does not have that kind of money and he has asked fans for help to pay some his bills. It should be noted that The Butcher has been accused by other wrestlers of infecting them with Hepatitis C by sharing an infected blade. Pretty messed up, right?
13 Jerry Lynn
Jerry Lynn is one of the most underrated wrestlers in history. Lynn retired from active competition in 2013 due to back pain. He is on this list because of how messed up his body was and not because of any substance abuse problems. Lynn underwent neck surgery in 2015 and it was just one of many that he will need to relieve himself of chronic pain.
Lynn is a former ECW World champion, two-time X-Division champion in TNA, and a one-time ROH World champion. He has risked everything for the sake of entertainment and it had affected his life. Despite the financial burden of his surgeries, Lynn was able to get back on his feet. He currently works as a producer for ROH and he even got a guest-trainer gig at the WWE Performance Center.
12 Haiti Kid
Many of you might not remember who Haiti Kid is so I’m here to refresh your memory. Haiti Kid was really from Haiti and he suffers from dwarfism. He made his debut with the WWE back in 1971 and he worked with many legends such as Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Hillbilly Jim, King Kong Bundy, and many more. Kid even got to appear in a movie titled Penitentiary III back in 1987.
There have been no recent updates on Kid’s whereabouts at the present time but he had fallen hard times. He was reportedly spotted living in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn in 2009 and there were even some news outlets that claimed he was dead. There is no confirmation about his current status but we are hoping that he is doing well.
11 Nick Gage
Probably one of the most messed up wrestlers on this list, Nick Gage is not a former WWE Superstar. Gage is known for his successful stint with Combat Zone Wrestling, wherein he is a four-time CZW World Heavyweight champion, two-time Iron Man champion, four-time CZW World Tag Team champion, two-time Ultraviolent Underground champion, and one-time Death Match champion.
However, Gage’s career took the wrong turn in 2010 when he was arrested and imprisoned for robbing a bank. The 37-year-old hardcore legend was addicted to oxycontin and other painkillers for ten years, and he was even homeless at that time since he was living with his mother and girlfriend. He was released in 2015 but he violated his parole and he went back to prison for another year.
An ECW original, the Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal…Death–Defying Sabu is one of the greatest product of the promotion. Sabu is a two-time ECW World Heavyweight champion, one-time ECW World Television champion, and a three-time ECW World Tag Team champion. He also had stints with WCW, TNA, NJPW, and WWE but he never duplicated his success.
Sabu was in desperate need of hip surgery last year and a GoFundMe page was established to help him with the medical expenses. He is also known for his substance abuse during his career but his health deteriorated because of his high-flying and risky wrestling style. Sabu, now 52 years old, has taken a lot of punishment and he is paying its price now with his life and health is pretty messed up.
9 Buff Bagwell
We are going to the really, really messed up wrestlers in this list now with Buff Bagwell. The five-time WCW Tag Team champion had some memorable moments as a wrestler but he could have been more successful if he had put more effort. He is still wrestling in the independent circuit but he also has a very odd job outside of wrestling.
The 47-year-old Bagwell also works as a gigolo on the side. What is a gigolo? Well, Bagwell is basically a male escort and he even appeared on the Showtime’s television show Gigolos. But for those who are wondering why Bagwell looked a little different, he was in a serious car accident in 2012 but he was able to recover and wrestle again after two years.
8 Tyson Tomko
Hey, do you still know who Tyson Tomko is? Tomko is the former bodyguard of Christian and his famous match was against Stevie Richards, who was under a disguise of a hermaphrodite. He managed to spend four years with the WWE but he developed an addiction to painkillers. Tomko was able to continue working with other promotions such as TNA and the independent circuit but he made headlines in 2011.
Tomko was arrested on robbery charges after he took 210 tablets of Oxycodone from a pharmacy. He allegedly took the painkillers and went to a nearby restaurant. He locked himself in the restroom wherein he proceeded to crush and melt down the Oxycodone before injecting it to himself. After the arrest, Tomko was able to post bail and enter rehabilitation sponsored by the WWE.
We are now in the really sad part of the list and what a way to resume with Virgil and his lonely Virgil meme. Virgil made his name as the sidekick of Ted DiBiase and he even won the Million Dollar championship. However, he never made it big and he had to retire in 2013. He was also known to have been broke but he was able to earn money from appearances.
Virgil even had a falling out with DiBiase because he booked his former colleague without his knowledge on many independent wrestling shows. The 55-year-old was making money off DiBiase’s name but the silliness of his post-WWE career does not stop there. Virgil asked fans to make him a millionaire by giving him money. Let’s just say it did not work out for him and he is still lonely.
I’m sure a lot of people still remember who Sunny is. One of the hottest women in wrestling history, Sunny was the first ever Diva and she set the internet on fire during its early stages. However, substance abuse has aged Sunny quickly and she does not have the same beauty she once had. Sunny has gained weight but it has not stopped her from doing messed up things.
Sunny has been arrested multiple times in the past six years and she was in-and-out of rehabilitation facilities. It got so bad for Sunny that he agreed to star in an adult film titled Sunny Side Up: In Through the Backdoor. Sunny also started Skyping for money, as well as posing with her loyal fans in bed. Talk about sad and messed up, right?
5 Dynamite Kid
One half of the British Bulldogs with Davey Boy Smith, the Dynamite Kid was a revolutionary in the wrestling industry. His aerial maneuvers influenced many wrestlers over the years including Chris Benoit, Daniel Bryan, and Jay Lethal. He was a one-time WWE Tag Team champion with Davey Boy but he had a much successful career with Stampede Wrestling and in Japan.
However, Dynamite Kid has been in a wheelchair since 1997 because of the injuries he suffered during his career. He also suffered from heart problems and stroke but he still remains alive. Only a few people feel sympathy with the Dynamite Kid because of his history. He sexually abused one of his ex-wives and held his children at gunpoint. It’s no surprise that he receives little to no support from his peers.
4 Lex Luger
Destined to become a WWE Champion, Lex Luger was never able to win the big one in the WWE despite having the look and physique. Luger was a star for WCW, winning the WCW World Heavyweight championship twice. He was able to wrestle until 2006 when he suffered a spinal infraction. Besides his quadriplegic state, Luger had problems with drugs and alcohol.
Luger was in a relationship with Miss Elizabeth at the time of her death from an accidental overdose of Xanax, hydrocodone, and vodka. Despite his past legal problems and current health issues, Luger currently works with the WWE. There are no specifics on his role with the WWE but it is under the Wellness Policy. Luger also speaks all over the United States, talking about his past and how Christianity changed his life.
3 Perry Saturn
Many people thought Perry Saturn was dead in the late 2000s after he vanished from the public eye. However, Saturn revealed that his downward spiral started in 2004 when he was shot after saving a woman from being raped. He became addicted to methamphetamine and he was homeless for almost three years. He was able to resolve his issues and he got back into the wrestling industry by making appearances.
But fast forward to last year, Saturn started having health issues, mainly stemming from past concussions. He is in constant pain due to headaches while also having a sensitivity to light, brain fog, the inability to drive or work and even dementia. He is currently being taken care of by his fourth wife and he recently received financial help from his very good friend and the G.O.A.T. Chris Jericho.
2 Marty Jannetty
The former tag team partner of Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty became famous for being thrown into a barber shop window. Jannetty never found success after his breakup with Michaels but he still makes appearances for independent wrestling promotions. He had no choice but to continue wrestling because a friend swindled most of his money in a failed investment for a gym.
However, it’s not the reason why Jannetty’s life is messed up. It is because of his social media activity wherein he asked his followers if he should have sex with his so-called daughter. Jannetty found out that she was not really her daughter after a DNA test revealed they are unrelated. He claims that his Facebook was hacked and he was not interested in having sex with his alleged daughter, whom he met in 2014.
1 Hulk Hogan
Let’s end the list with Hulk Hogan, who might have been forgotten by some after the WWE erased him from their history in 2015. The WWE parted ways with Hogan because of a controversial sex tape that showed him saying racial slurs. It destroyed the reputation of the wrestling legend and he revealed in several interviews that he was messed up at that time.
Hogan filed a lawsuit against Gawker media, the publication that released the video online. The 64-year-old won and he has started repairing his image. The WWE even started mentioning his name on their shows again and he has been rumored for a return in the near future. Hogan is one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time and he is the face of the company during its Golden Era.