WWE is a big company. Not only do they run two major shows a week – Raw and SmackDown – but there’s also 205 Live, NXT and Main Event, as well as bi-weekly Pay-Per-Views, countless house shows, original programming on the WWE Network and they’ve even just started a brand new show in the UK. Add in the trainers, security, ring crew, social media people, merchandise producers, costume and set designers, caterers, drivers and the guy who has to polish Triple H’s head so it’s nice and shiny (that one is totally made up, sorry) and WWE is one of the biggest employers in America.
It’s perhaps no surprise then that some famous faces from the past are a part of the mass of humanity that makes up the world’s biggest wrestling company. Whether they’ve stayed on to pass their expertise to others or are still good at their job, these 15 are all still a part of the WWE team, even if they’re not nearly in the limelight as much as they were.
15 Albert (a.k.a. Tensai)
We’ll start with an easy one.
Matt Bloom has gone under many different names over the course of his wrestling career. He first arrived in the WWE as Prince Albert, which quickly just became Albert, then A-Train. He then became Giant Bernard in Japan, then he came back to WWE in 2012 as Lord Tensai, a Japanese man who was most definitely not Japanese. He’s won a fair few titles, including the Intercontinental Championship, but was never anything more than a midcard talent. His best work, however, has, undoubtedly, come a long way since he stepped away from the ring.
Bloom began working as a trainer in NXT after his retirement in 2014 and, in 2015, he was promoted to the role of interim head trainer, following the Bill DeMott scandal. Eew, Bill DeMott. Since then, Bloom has become the full-time head coach for NXT, even appearing as such in the My Career mode for WWE 2K16. Even though many fans know that Albert is still a part of the WWE machine, it’s hard to imagine that the serious Head Trainer of NXT was once a member of Tons of Funk, so he definitely deserves a place on this list. Now, everybody, one last time – “somebody call my mama...”
This guy is my absolute boy.
Christopher Chavis made a name for himself in the WWE in the early 90s, going on a huge undefeated streak and even challenging Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania IX, one of the highlights of that particular show. Then again, Tatanka could have defecated in the middle and this still would have been a highlight of WrestleMania IX.
Tatanka originally parted ways with WWE in 1996, but would wrestle again for WWE in the mid-2000s, including a tag team victory over MNM at No Way Out 2006 alongside Matt Hardy. Yes, you read that correctly. Tatanka was signed onto a Legends Contract with the WWE in 2015, meaning that he is signed onto the company to appear on sporadic occasions or in a non-wrestling promotional capacity. One of these moments included the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal in 2016, in which Tatanka put in a pretty decent performance at 54 years of age. What a guy.
13 Road Dogg
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages... okay, there’s no way I’m doing this whole routine.
Brian James became one of the faces of WWE during the Attitude Era as “The Road Dogg” Jesse James, one-half of The New Age Outlaws. Alongside fellow Outlaw, Billy Gunn, Road Dogg won five World Tag Team Championships and played a big part in the success of D-Generation X, including taking part in the infamous “Norfolk invasion” angle of 1998. AKA, the one good Invasion in WWE history.
In 2014, Road Dogg took on a new position as a producer, and is now the head of the creative team for SmackDown Live. For a man who has been in the wrestling business for over 35 years, this seems like a pretty sensible position, especially considering a large portion of those years were spent with the WWE at their most successful time. Road Dogg might have been known for his on-screen antics, but now he finds himself in a very respectable, very serious job backstage, which is quite weird when you think that this was the guy who was once known as “The Roadie”. How times change.
12 “Mean” Gene Okerlund
“Mean” Gene Okerlund is the absolute best. No questions asked.
Gene Okerlund was, for many fans in the 1980s and 90s, the entry point into WWE. As WWE’s lead backstage interviewer, Gene would feature in brilliant vignettes with the top stars of the day, getting to know the ins and outs of their character, all with a fiery attitude, a sharp tongue, but a warm, inviting presence that made a lot of fans fall in love with him. Hell, I love Gene and he’s old enough to be my Grandpa. Imagine that; Grandpa “Mean” Gene. Christmas would be amazing.
Okerlund re-signed with WWE in 2001 after a small stint in WCW and has been employed with the company ever since. He hosts a number of shows on the WWE Network, including WWE Vintage, which takes a look at some of the classic moments from WWE history, and WWE Story Time, on which Gene serves as narrator. When you have such a legendary and talented figure as “Mean” Gene at your disposal, you have to make use of them, and WWE certainly know this. Although, I’d definitely be up for seeing Gene on TV more regularly. It would be nice to have some non-wrestlers with a personality, just saying.
11 Steve Corino
Fun fact: Steve Corino and Kevin Owens have the exact same tattoo. What do you mean that wasn’t fun?
Steve Corino made his wrestling debut over 20 years ago and has competed in various promotions across the globe, perhaps most notably in ECW, where he would hold their world championship. He’s also a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion, but, unless any of you are over forty, that will mean nothing to you. Come on, Billy Corgan, make the NWA cool again.
For a man with a career as lengthy as Corino’s, it’s amazing that he only began working in WWE properly in 2017, when he signed on as a trainer for the Performance Centre. He had a small stint as a guest trainer in late 2016, but became an official WWE employee a few months later, leaving Ring Of Honor’s announce desk to do so. Whilst Corino might not have made his name in WWE like other members of this list, it’s still shocking that he took so long to arrive with the company and pretty shocking that the company were willing to take him on in such a high-profile role, considering he’d spent most of his life working against them. I guess Vince McMahon is more reasonable than we thought. Then again, this is the man who booked himself in a tag team match with God...
10 Gerald Brisco
I bet you didn’t know this guy still worked for MISTER MACK-MAN!
Gerald Brisco has had one of the most varied careers in all of wrestling. For nearly two decades, he was one of the most respected wrestlers in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), winning dozens of titles, including numerous tag team titles with his brother, Jack, as The Brisco Brothers. No, not the ones from Ring of Honor – those are The Briscoe Brothers. Although, you can probably imagine the match they’d put on.
After years of being one of the most regarded and idolised performers of his generation, Brisco started working for the WWE and became one of Vince McMahon’s on-screen “stooges” alongside fellow formerly-respected wrestler, Pat Patterson. Throughout the Attitude Era, Brisco would engage in hilarious backstage skits, including mocking Hulk Hogan for leaving WWE, getting beaten up by Steve Austin and battling Patterson in an Evening Gown match for the Hardcore Championship. Gerald, you didn’t need to do this, you were already famous. But I’m so glad you did.
Brisco has worked for WWE since 1984 in numerous different capacities, but is currently a talent scout for NXT. It says a lot that the WWE would put their trust in Gerald to select their next crop of talent and is a position well-earned through Brisco’s years of hard work and devotion to entertaining the fans, in whatever way that may be. A true legend of the business and a worthy Hall of Famer, Brisco is an invaluable talent to the WWE and I don’t see him leaving the company any time soon. Well, maybe if he starts wearing dresses again. A funny, but disturbing sight.
9 Irwin R. Schyster
Ah, the days where a wrestler’s name was also their job. Simpler times.Mike Rotunda has performed under various different names across his career, but was perhaps most famous as Irwin R. Schyster, or I.R.S. for short, a wrestling taxman who scolded crowds and wrestlers for not paying their taxes. See, these where the days where you didn’t have to flip over an ambulance to get heat. How much easier it was back then.
The former tag team champion is still very much a part of the WWE machine; he works as a producer and road agent for the company (a road agent is someone who travels with the wrestlers, serving as a go-between for the talent and management, planning matches, relaying information etc.), which is a vital, but unappreciated part of pro wrestling. With his decades of experience, I.R.S is the perfect person to have on your side if you run a wrestling company and it’s also a pleasant experience for him too, as he gets to spend time with his sons, Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas. Although, I guess seeing the state Bo Dallas is in is something no father should ever see. Sorry, Bo.
8 Eve Torres
Remember that time Eve Torres kicked Zack Ryder in the groin at WrestleMania? No reason, just thought I’d mention it.
Eve Torres began working for the WWE in 2007, after winning the Diva Search competition that year. She made her official main roster debut in 2008 and went onto win the WWE Divas Championship a record-tying three times, becoming one of the company’s top female performers during the period. Although, being one of the best women in WWE in the mid-2000s is a bit like being Michael Phelps at an amateur swim meet – it’s not too hard to be the best.
Eve is currently an ambassador for WWE, which means she gets rolled out every once in a while, for big events, special appearances or to speak on behalf of the company. Having such a talented, decorated and beloved performer as Eve on their books is a pretty big bonus for WWE and, at the age of just 32, there’s every chance we could see Eve back in the ring one more time. Hey, it worked for Mickie James, so why not Eve? Just feed her to Asuka and send her to SmackDown, it’s a winning formula.
7 Billy Kidman
You thought Brock Lesnar messed up the Shooting Star Press? Look up this guy, he did it on a regular basis.
Billy Kidman is a pretty influential wrestler who doesn’t get a lot of attention. As part of WCW’s Cruiserweight division, he, alongside wrestlers such as Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and many others, helped revolutionise the American wrestling industry and the lay the groundwork for the influx of smaller, athletic performers we see today. Kidman won the Tag Team and Cruiserweight titles numerous times in both WCW and WWE and was one half of the last-ever WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions (alongside Rey Mysterio), which is... an honour? I guess? I literally only know about these belts because AJ Styles was in the tournament to crown the first ones.
Kidman was rehired by WWE in 2010 as a producer and road agent and has turned up a few times on WWE’s programming since then. He was part of the crowd that broke up a brawl between John Cena and Brock Lesnar on a 2012 episode of Raw and even appeared as Paul Heyman’s doctor in a November 2013 tour of Europe. I would not trust Billy Kidman with my health, dude almost killed himself numerous times with that damn Shooting Star Press. A pretty cool guy with a great history behind him, Kidman isn’t one of the first names you’d associate with WWE, but, as it turns out, he’s been a part of their show for several years now. What a crazy world, eh?
6 Dean Malenko
The Man of 1,000 Holds is currently the man with one job, and that job is with WWE.Dean Malenko was a pretty successful midcard talent in the '90s and early-2000s, famed for his incredible technical ability inside the ring. Daniel Bryan credited Malenko with being his favourite wrestler growing up and it’s easy to see Malenko’s influences in Bryan’s submission-based style of wrestling; submissions were Malenko’s forte. He is also responsible for one of the most famous promos in WCW history; Chris Jericho’s “Man of 1,004 Holds” speech in 1998, which was inspired by Malenko’s nickname “The Man of 1,000 Holds”. Go back and watch it, you’ll see a few similarities to Jericho’s most recent gimmick. Well, I say a few, I mean one – he was reading a list.
Malenko, like about half the other people on this list, is a producer and road agent for WWE. Perhaps his most infamous moment as a match organiser came at WrestleMania XXVII, when he was tasked with planning the WrestleMania, ahem, *classic*, between Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Malenko apparently received a lot of flak from backstage over the layout of the match, but, let’s be honest here, no one could have made that match enjoyable. Well, maybe if someone had run down to the ring and literally beaten Michael Cole to a pulp. That would have satisfied me.
5 “Superstar” Billy Graham
Well, let me tell you something, brother! Oh, wait, hang on, this isn’t Hulk Hogan. It’s just the guy Hulk Hogan ripped off.
“Superstar” Billy Graham was a huge star in the 1970s. His prior work as a bodybuilder (during which he trained with none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger) meant that, when he stepped into a pro wrestling ring, he looked nothing like anything anyone had ever seen before. He inspired about the muscle-bound meathead look that dominated mainstream wrestling for the next two decades plus and won plenty of championships along the way, including the WWE Championship. Hmm, a really muscly WWE Champion, eh? I guess that makes Billy Graham the American Jinder Mahal. Oh God, Jinder Mahal is WWE Champion, isn’t he...
The Hall of Famer is currently signed to a Legends contract with WWE and makes numerous appearances for the company at special events. His last notable appearance on Raw came in 2005, when he encouraged Randy Orton to make a name for himself, resulting in The Viper challenging The Undertaker at WrestleMania 21, the first time The Deadman’s Streak was ever acknowledged as a worthwhile prize in WWE. A legendary figure in the WWE and in wrestling in general, it’s nice to know that we could see Graham on TV again as part of his Legends contract. Maybe he should have appeared sooner and given Randy some more advice; don’t fight Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship. I still can’t believe it.
4 Scotty 2 Hotty
Turn it up!
Scotty 2 Hotty, real name Scott Garland (but that’s boring), gained notoriety in the WWE as a member of Too Cool, alongside Grandmaster Sexay and Rikishi. The dancing trio would entertain fans with their impressive routines, hip-hop style characters and general tomfoolery, to the point where the Scotty won two tag team titles, one with each other member of Too Cool. And, of course, if we’re talking about Scotty 2 Hotty, we have to talk about his finisher – The Worm –, which is simultaneously the best and worst finisher in wrestling history. Look it up if you haven’t seen it, it’s something else.
In September 2016, Scotty was signed on as a trainer at WWE’s Performance Centre, helping to craft the next generation of premier sports entertainers. For a guy who never really made it beyond the midcard, it’s weird to think WWE that would choose to keep him around, but he was always a solid worker and seems to be doing a pretty good job. A mainstay of the Attitude Era, Scotty 2 Hotty has his own place in wrestling and now he has a very special place on the WWE team. I really hope he teaches all the new recruits The Worm. Seriously, go and watch it. Now.
3 The Red Rooster
So, was his gimmick that he was an actual rooster, or...?
Terry Taylor was a pretty talented wrestler back in the 80s. He won numerous singles and tag team championships in the NWA and picked up the “Most Underrated” award from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter for two years in a row in the early 90s. The reason for this was because, at this time, he was playing a character in WWE called The Red Rooster; a wrestler who would wear red tights and gear, style his house in a red Mohawk and walk around like a rooster. Jesus, wrestling is really messed up sometimes, isn’t it?
Despite making him dress up like a chicken for two years, WWE managed to hired Taylor back in 2012. He currently works as a trainer, imparting his 30+ years’ experience onto the new recruits of WWE. I do hope he isn’t teaching them all how to crow or something like that; when you play a rooster for as long as Terry did, must be quite hard to snap out of it.
2 Ranjin Singh
It wouldn’t surprise me if you didn’t remember this guy at all.
Dave Kapoor was born in San Diego, California, but, because he is of Indian descent, he was, of course, tasked with portraying a stereotypical Indian character in WWE. He first appeared in 2007 as the manager and storyline brother of The Great Khali and managed Khali to a World Heavyweight Championship. Their partnership was ended by a debuting Jinder Mahal in 2011... oh God, I’ve just remember Jinder Mahal is the WWE Champion. I need to abandon this paragraph now. Sorry.
Singh has made a few appearances since 2011, but has quite a lot on his plate behind the scenes; after all, he’s only the head writer for both Raw and Smackdown. You heard me, this is the guy who has a large input in what storylines play out on WWE TV. I’m not expecting a lot of love for Ranjin here. To be fair, a lot of what WWE writers come up with is subject to change from higher-ups, such as the McMahons or Triple H, so all the terrible stuff that’s come out of WWE in the past few years isn’t all Singh’s fault. Stuff like, I dunno, Jinder Mahal win- ok, ok, I promise, that’s the last time I’ll mention it.
1 Lex Luger
All aboard the Lex Express, everyone!
I don’t like Lex Luger – I think he’s a terrible human being who ruined Miss Elizabeth’s life and caused her untimely death – but that’s just my opinion, so I’ll try and remain neutral. Luger had a successful run in WCW before his time in WWE, winning their world championship, but it’s his time in WWE that most people will remember. He co-won the 1994 Royal Rumble alongside Bret Hart in a bizarre experiment; WWE managed wanted Luger to become the next top star, but the locker room backed the WWE veteran, Hart. So, to decide who would go on to win the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, both men won the Royal Rumble by going out at the exact same time. This was done so that, when the fans reacted to both men having their hands raised, WWE could see who they preferred. They chose Bret and, a few months later, Hart won the WWE Championship, something Luger never managed.
Luger became a working relationship with WWE in 2011 and his role is, well, it’s just hilarious; he’s a wellness counsellor. Yep. The man with a string of drug and alcohol problems is now lecturing other wrestlers on how to take care of their bodies. Look, I know I said I’d stay neutral, but come on; how did anyone think this was a good idea? Maybe I’m being too harsh on the guy, but Luger is the last person I would want to have telling me how to look after myself, but, I guess since I’m about as terrifying as a mouse in a pink miniskirt, I won’t be getting any of Luger’s counselling any time soon, so I should be fine.