The number of people employed by WWE continues to grow with the company needing help in various aspects of the business. Recent years have seen more former stars hold down spots in the company. Talented wrestlers have been able to continue their careers in other aspects of helping WWE. There are quite a few roles where WWE will continue paying someone to help them out even if they no longer wrestle in the ring. Some of the names are known as you see them appear on WWE television to break up fights or contribute to a backstage segment in need of extra bodies or familiar faces.
There are the producers that help the wrestlers put matches together. These former wrestlers use their knowledge to add input to the direction of the current wrestlers and the stories they are telling. Other former stars have joined the company in training roles helping teach the young wrestlers at the Performance Center. WWE even employs some wrestlers to special deals for legends contracts and/or ambassador roles. These performers do appearances and help promote the company while continuing to get paid by WWE. We’ll look at some names you may not realize are still getting paid by WWE today.
15. Bob Backlund
Most fans have not had a thought about Bob Backlund since his most recent role on WWE television as the manager of Darren Young. WWE felt Backlund would have been the best person to help get fans interested in the talent of Young with a motivational speaker role. The gimmick led to minimal success and both men found their ways off television faster than expected.
Young got released a couple of months ago, but Backlund is still employed by WWE as an ambassador. WWE will send Backlund to events every now and then as he remains under contract. Backlund is a former two-time WWE Champion with his reigns taking place in the 70s and 90s. Vince McMahon clearly has a soft spot for Backlund and he is still getting a paycheck from WWE thanks to it.
The wrestling career of Sean “X-Pac” Waltman is still going on the independent circuit. X-Pac wrestles all over the world for various promotions that bring him in for the nostalgia act. Things seem to be going great for X-Pac as he is staying clean and having a productive role in wrestling. WWE also has X-Pac on their payroll as an ambassador with a legends contract.
X-Pac is close with Triple H and will have a place in the WWE family as long as he stays clean. The wrestling mind of X-Pac has always seen him wanting to end up in a teaching role to help the young talents. X-Pac has mentored a lot of young independent wrestling talent that went on to become stars for WWE. There will likely be a bigger role for X-Pac in the future, but he is now hired as an ambassador.
13. John Laurinaitis
Many fans assumed John Laurinaitis was no longer in WWE when he lost his role as the Vice President of Talent Relations. Laurinaitis was one of the most hated men in wrestling for the way he went about hiring and firing talent in WWE. Johnny Ace lost the position in 2012, but he still works for WWE backstage today.
The less stressful role as a producer sees Laurinaitis help backstage in putting the show together. Laurinaitis has been in various WWE documentaries sitting at the gorilla position with a headset on. Vince McMahon developed a close relationship with Laurinaitis that has seen him employed by WWE since coming over from WCW in 2001. There is likely another WWE related paycheck for Laurinaitis as a part of the Total Bellas reality show since he married the mother of the Bella Twins.
12. Scotty 2 Hotty
Memorable Attitude Era wrestler Scotty 2 Hotty found his way back to WWE in the role of a trainer at the Performance Center. Scotty left the wrestling industry in the 2000s after his WWE in-ring career ended. The new career path saw him become a firefighter for a couple of years before getting the wrestling bug once again.
NXT brought Scotty and Grand Master Sexay in to reunite Too Cool in a surprise match against The Ascension. This opened the communication for Scotty to get a job in WWE as a trainer. Scotty is one of many talented names that provide insight and advice for the wrestlers trying to make their impact in NXT and beyond. It just shows that there has always been more to Scotty than just knowing how to do “The Worm” dance move in entertaining fashion.
11. Eve Torres
Eve Torres has maintained a close relationship with WWE after her decision to retire from the ring. The retirement of Torres came right when she was hitting her peak as a great heel character. WWE still valued her and decided to keep her under the contract to be an ambassador for the company. Eve wanted to leave to spend more time with her husband Rener Gracie and start a family.
The fighting skills she learned from training with Gracie saw her start to teach self-defense classes to ladies on her free time. This became a new passion for Torres in her new life outside of WWE. At one point, WWE paid her to teach her self-defense class to the ladies at the Performance Center. Eve may return to television at some point, but she remains employed by WWE regardless.
10. The Boogeyman
A surprising name to land an ambassador role with a legends contract is The Boogeyman. The wrestler to play the character is a close friend of Booker T and landed the initial role thanks to the connection. WWE couldn’t get much juice out of The Boogeyman character, but it still exists today. Boogeyman still appears every now and then when WWE wants someone with a wacky look to take part in an event.
We have seen him appear as a comedic character on the Edge and Christian sketch show along with appearances on Raw and SmackDown in recent years. It remains to be seen if WWE gets anything positive out of keeping Boogeyman under contract, but it certainly helps him out. This is the reason Boogeyman randomly will get action figures with other legends that have bigger name values.
9. Terry Taylor
The wrestling career of Terry Taylor is rather lackluster considering the most memorable run came as The Red Rooster. However, various wrestling promotions employed him in a backstage role. Taylor has worked for WWE, WCW and Impact Wrestling all in important roles. WWE currently has Taylor employed for a special coaching role at the Performance Center.
Taylor teaches a “finishing class” for the wrestlers most ready for a call-up on the main roster. The wrestlers with more experience or strong potential will get in Taylor’s class where he tries to give them the final tools needed to succeed on a bigger stage. It is a bit confusing that one of the least successful coaches is the one that teaches the class of stars, but NXT has been successful with this system.
8. Billy Graham
The relationship between “Superstar” Billy Graham and WWE has seen its ups and downs through the years. Graham was one of the biggest stars of his era with a character before his time. Hulk Hogan and various other successful characters of the 80s were viewed to be inspired from what Graham did in the 70s when making his name. Graham won the WWE Championship in the 70s as one of the better champions before the company went national.
WWE and Graham made peace after years of hostility. Graham has a positive relationship with WWE and they even released about a DVD about his career many years. The current role of Graham has him getting paid under legends contract. WWE does not bring him to television much likely due to his older age, but the legend remains part of the WWE family.
One former wrestler extremely happy to be under contract to WWE is Mike Rotunda aka I.R.S. The heel character of I.R.S. was a hit in the 90s working in the mid-card as the sidekick of Ted DiBiase. Rotunda had a great career that allowed him to transition into a producer role for WWE. The gig allows him to help add input into the matches assigned to him each week on Raw, SmackDown and live events.
Rotunda’s biggest bonus of working in WWE is the fact that both of his sons are on the roster. I.R.S. gets to spend time with his children Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas every Monday and at the live events they’re on together. The combination of getting to make a living doing what you love and working with your children is a true dream come true.
6. Scott Armstrong
Scott Armstrong is a member of the Armstrong family that is not remembered as fondly as his brothers. Road Dogg is a lead producer that helps write the SmackDown show, but his brother Scott is also on the roster. Scott is one of the lesser known producers that spent the majority of his career wrestling outside of WWE. The company brought him in to work as a referee for a few years.
Armstrong has transitioned into a producer role and helps the wrestlers backstage on television dates. The fact that he works with his brother and is still making a living in the wrestling industry after all these years is a blessing. Scott and Road Dogg are the sons of Hall of Famer “Bullet” Bob Armstrong. WWE values Scott enough to keep him on roster after all this time.
The wrestling career of Tatanka is not remembered as fondly as most others on this list unless you were an early 90s fan with a bit of nostalgia. Tatanka was quite popular for a short time with an unbeaten streak. Fans were legitimately shocked when he turned heel to join Ted DiBiase’s evil Million Dollar Corporation. WWE brought him back on multiple occasions through the years proving they value him.
Tatanka and Matt Hardy teamed together for quite some time on the SmackDown brand a decade ago. WWE even put him in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 32. Tatanka still is getting paid by WWE as an ambassador. WWE has him make appearances every once in a while, especially during WrestleMania weekend autograph signings. Tatanka is happy to be under a legends contract.
4. Jamie Noble
Former Cruiserweight Champion Jamie Noble was one of the most underrated wrestlers of the early 2000s. Noble played a comedic character that delivered in the ring for WWE as they tried to get their Cruiserweight Division some momentum at the time. The talent of Noble was best shown when he was the ROH Champion to defeat CM Punk and lose it to Daniel Bryan. Noble being a place holder between these two legends showed how incredible he was.
WWE placed both Noble and Joey Mercury on television as Seth Rollins’ lackeys in addition to their backstage roles. Mercury was let go from WWE and is wrestling on the independent circuit right now. That made fans believe Noble was released too. However, Jamie is still a producer in WWE today helping put together matches backstage and is regarded as one of the best at the job.
3. Gerald Brisco
Most wrestling fans will remember Gerald Brisco for one of two things when it comes to his career. Fans of the 90s remember him for the comedic work as Vince McMahon’s stooge along with his partner Pat Patterson. Older fans got to see him work in the ring during his peak putting on impressive performances using his shoot wrestling background.
Brisco still works for WWE today as a scout looking for talent to join the Performance Center. Many of the amateur wrestlers to get signed came by the recommendation of Brisco through the years. Independent wrestling standout Matt Riddle got into wrestling thanks to Brisco as well after his UFC career, but WWE passed on him. Regardless, Brisco has been responsible for finding some impressive talent.
2. Sgt. Slaughter
Former WWE Champion Sgt. Slaughter started working backstage for WWE in the 90s. Following his retirement, Slaughter would be seen breaking up fights and coming out when security was needed since he was already at the venue for his job as an agent. WWE transitioned him into an on-screen role as the Commissioner for a short time period.
Slaughter has had many appearances and cameos through the years on WWE television despite no longer working backstage. The current job of Sgt. Slaughter in WWE sees him work as an ambassador. Slaughter makes a couple of appearances for WWE each year and is usually at WrestleMania weekend enjoying the festivities with all his old wrestling friends. The Hall of Famer will likely always be under the legends contract due to his loyalty to the company in the 90s.
1. Kelly Kelly
One lesser known former WWE star to have a legends contract is Kelly Kelly. No one thinks “legend” when discussing Kelly Kelly’s wrestling career, but she certainly developed a close relationship with the company. Kelly Kelly made the decision to retire from wrestling and she got a reality show deal to appear as WAGS thanks to a former relationship with an NHL player.
WWE signed Kelly Kelly to a legends contract at some point over the past few years. The fact that she started visiting shows earlier this year and WWE promoted it on social media means they likely came to an agreement in early 2017. Kelly Kelly doesn’t have the wrestling talent to survive in the current era of women’s wrestling, but WWE can still benefit from having her promote for them making appearances. It is really the perfect role for Kelly Kelly in WWE today.
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