It’s no secret that sports, entertainment and sports entertainment are all young man’s/woman’s games. The latter, in particular, is heavily-reliant on exquisite physiques and unbelievable athleticism, and those traits are usually found in younger people. Wrestlers dedicate their bodies to the sport they love, but sometimes, they just lose that itch to step into the squared circle and decide to hang up their boots.
The roads that former wrestlers go in retirement or semi-retirement are varied. Many decide to stay in the entertainment industry and go into acting like The Rock or Batista. Some stay in the fitness industry and become trainers like Torrie Wilson or yoginis like Diamond Dallas Page. Other former wrestlers stay within the sport as a producer or commentator such as Road Dogg and Booker T, respectively.
However, those are all prominent positions which means the former wrestlers who have those roles remain public figures. What happens to those who completely withdraw from the spotlight and pick up a regular 9-to-5 job like you and I have? What types of jobs does “took bumps for 15 years” on your resume get you? What do wrestlers do when they are no longer….wrestling? We will look at the professions that these former wrestlers went into and why they decided to go that route. Here are 15 retired wrestlers who now have jobs you wouldn’t believe.
15. Disco Inferno – Gentleman’s Club Host
Disco was a WWE jobber in the early 1990s before starting a six-year run in WCW. Long before fans chanted “You Suck!” during Kurt Angle’s entrance, WCW fans were chanting “Disco Sucks!” during Inferno’s entrance. He made the most out of a horrible gimmick and that earned him respect backstage. He would later become a booker for WCW and was a disciple of the entertainment aspect of booking popularized by Vince Russo. Inferno never joined WWE outside of his enhancement talent stint, but did have a couple of stints in TNA.
After living in Atlanta for over a decade, Inferno moved to Las Vegas in 2009, and became the host of a strip club called the Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club. He is still with the club today, and also dabbles in the gambling scene in Vegas. (BTW, Inferno being arrested in Atlanta in 2007 for running an illegal poker game should have been foreshadowing into his future career plans).
14. Mideon – Chef
Like many wrestlers, Dennis Knight, aka Mideon, was a football player before trading the gridiron for the squared circle. He had a short stint in WCW in the early 1990s before joining WWE in 1996. He was originally part of The Godwinns tag team and was named Phineas I. Godwinn (short for PIG). He would later join the Ministry of Darkness and change his name to Mideon which was a creepy gimmick that would have fit in with the present-day Wyatt Family. The Naked Mideon character then debuted, which was straight out of the Attitude Era.
After leaving WWE in 2001, he then wrestled on the independents for a couple of years near his home in Florida, but after retiring, Mideon then became a full-time chef. He currently works in the Tampa area and runs his own private catering company, Dennis Knight Catering.
13. Adam Bomb – Actor
Standing at 6’6” and weighing 290 lbs, Bryan Clark fit the look of what Vince McMahon likes out of his wrestlers. However, when he joined WWE in 1993, he was saddled with a ridiculous gimmick called Adam Bomb. He had green contact lenses and a red tongue, and was billed as someone who survived the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Harrisburg, PA. The gimmick was as bad as it sounds and when Bomb turned face, he then threw “rubber nuclear missiles” into the crowd.
He had slightly better gimmicks in WCW as Wrath and then in the KroniK tag team. Clark had one last run in WWE after WCW was bought out, but he retired due to injuries in 2003. After withdrawing from the spotlight for several years, Clark reemerged as an actor and recently appeared in the film Axeman 2: Overkill, in which he plays the title character.
12. Santino Marella – TV Analyst
The Canadian-born, Italy-billed Marella actually competed in MMA and wrestling prior to joining WWE in 2005. With the WWE, he had a relatable gimmick and was actually awarded by The Wrestling Observer as having the best gimmick in wrestling in 2007 and 2008. Santino won the Intercontinental title twice, the U.S. title once and was a onetime tag team champion.
After suffering a third neck injury, Santino retired in 2014 and went back into MMA, but this time as a trainer. He operated a gym in Canada where he trained athletes for the 2015 Panamerican Games, and also served as a judo instructor. In 2016, Santino, now known by his real name of Anthony Carelli, joined Sportsnet 360 Aftermath as a panelist and TV analyst. He also decided to have one last match, as in 2017, he came out of retirement and wrestled in his own gym alongside Chavo Guerrero to cap off his in-ring career.
11. Spike Dudley – Financial Planner
Spike Dudley was one of the most popular little guys in wrestling history and was a staple of ECW. He was part of the Dudley Family and his three-quarters facelock bulldog was one of the best finishers in wrestling. Dudley then went to WWE for five years where he won the Cruiserweight, Hardcore, European and Tag Team Championships. Dudley then had several stints in TNA and always seemed to pop up at various Hardcore/Extreme Homecomings/Reunions. He still wrestles from time-to-time on the indie circuit, and it’s usually against his former ECW counterparts. Today, Dudley is a financial planner with MassMutual, where he helps people plan for retirement, college and taxes. He is also eager to apply his expertise in this area in helping current and former wrestlers, as they transition from the ring to a career that doesn’t require them to take bumps.
10. Monty Brown – Personal Trainer
Brown was an accomplished athlete ever before setting foot in a wrestling ring. He was an American football player who even played in Super Bowl XXVIII for the Buffalo Bills. Brown spent four years in the NFL, and the last was spent with the New England Patriots. He later said he joined New England so he could be closer to WWE’s headquarters in Connecticut. After retiring from football, Brown went to TNA for a couple of years and finally did make it to Stamford when he joined WWE in 2006 as “The Alpha Male” Marcus Cor Von. Brown’s WWE run was uneventful and he lasted only a year with the company before retiring from wrestling.
Brown is now onto his third career as a personal trainer and works in his native Michigan. Judging from his Twitter account, he still stays abreast of the WWE and is particularly fond of another football player-turned-wrestler, Mojo Rawley.
9. Paul Burchill – Firefighter
The most-recent wrestler to undertake a pirate gimmick, Burchill was a staple of the lower-tier of the WWE roster from 2005-2010. His pirate gimmick almost never came into being, as Vince McMahon wasn’t even aware of the Johnny Depp character from The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. But Burchill persisted, and after his pirate gimmick tanked, he had an implied incestuous relationship with his on-screen sister, Katie Lea. After leaving WWE in 2010, Burchill went to the indie scene where he took on such Superstars as AJ Styles and Matt Hardy.
Also, while being an independent wrestler, Burchill became a firefighter which is apropos considering that his finisher at one time was a rolling fireman’s carry slam. Even though Burchill was born and raised in England, it was in Kentucky where he retired to and went to firefighting school. Burchill had become a fan of the state when he trained at OVW for two years prior to join the WWE’s main roster.
8. Trinity – Stuntwoman
Trinity’s first career match and her first match in WWE were both against the same woman, Beth Phoenix. Just a month after her wrestling debut, she then joined TNA where she had a three-year run before joining WWE. She didn’t have many eventful moments as a wrestler, but she did have an infamous outfit during a bikini contest where she used nothing but yellow caution tape as her bikini top. She retired in 2007 after being released by WWE, but did return for a one-off appearance in TNA in 2013.
Today, she competes in Roller Derby in the NYC area but her full-time job is as a stuntwoman. She has done stunts in such movies and TV shows as Indiana Jones, Spider-Man 2, Sex and the City, and Gotham.
7. Meat – Chiropractor
Shawn “Meat” Stasiak is the son of Stan Stasiak, who was a former WWWF Champion in between Pedro Morales’ only reign and Bruno Sammartino’s second reign. The younger Stasiak had a gimmick straight out of the Attitude Era, as he was essentially a piece of meat for the stable of Terri Runnels, Jacqueline and Ryan Shamrock. As you would expect with that gimmick, Meat never became a main eventer, but he did win the Hardcore title 15 times. Meat was fired for creepily recording a conversation between Davey Boy Smith and Steve Blackman without their permission, and he then went to WCW.
He rejoined WWE after WCW was bought out, but requested his release in 2002. Stasiak wanted to pursue other interests and then got into the alternative medicine business. He became a licensed chiropractor and operates his own chiropractic clinic and personal training studio just outside of Dallas, Texas.
6. Sean Mooney – News Anchor
Before there was Michael Cole, there was Todd Pettengill, and before Pettengill, there was Sean Mooney. Mooney broke into the WWE as a host in 1988 when he was still in his 20s and he would later become a play-by-play announcer and an interviewer. Mooney was actually the interviewer for the first Monday Night Raw in 1993, but he would depart WWE later that year. He would make a couple of one-off appearances including Raw’s Homecoming to USA Network in 2005 and the 1,000th episode of Raw in 2012. After leaving WWE, Mooney remained in front of the camera as an anchorman in New Jersey and then Boston. Mooney is currently a news anchor in Tucson, Arizona, and also hosts a podcast called Prime Time with Sean Mooney.
5. The Patriot – Car Salesman
Long before Kurt Angle had the All-American gimmick, there was The Patriot who was thrust into a feud with Bret Hart. He was a part of the upper mid-card picture in 1997, and even wrestled Hart for the World Heavyweight Championship. A torn triceps ended his run in WWE and it also ended his pro wrestling career. After retiring, The Patriot admitted that he used steroids throughout his 10-year wrestling career and even used them before that when he was an All-American (seriously) college football player at South Carolina.
Once he retired, he moved back to South Carolina and began working as a car salesman for a Nissan dealer. He also operates his own e-commerce website, where you can purchase customized memorabilia from The Patriot. A personal phone call or video message from Del “The Patriot” Wilkes will only cost you $25!
4. Rick Steiner – Real Estate Agent
The Dog Faced Gremlin was the less-prominent member of the Steiner Brothers (and also the less-enhanced member). The Steiner Brothers competed all over the world and won 10 tag team titles in WCW and WWE. After he and Scott went solo, Rick also won the TV and United States Championships. Unlike Big Poppa Pump, Rick never got the call to go back to WWE after they bought WCW, so he wrestled in TNA for a short while. After Scott left WWE, the Steiner Brothers then reformed in TNA until Rick was released in 2009.
The Steiners still make appearances on the indie circuit from time-to-time, but now Rick’s full-time job is as a real estate agent. He is the lead agent for Rick Steiner & Associates in Atlanta, and with so many former WCW wrestlers still living in ATL, there’s a good chance Rick has helped them find a home.
3. Evan Karagias – Tax Accountant
Before he was a boytoy for Madusa and a member of 3 Count, Karagias was a model and actor in New York City. He acted in a couple of daytime soap operas and also modeled for Calvin Klein. He then entered the wrestling world, and was with WCW for four years and WWE for one year. When he was released in 2002, Karagias then went to the indie circuit while also resuming his acting career. He appeared in All My Children, Passions, ER and other TV series. He appears to be retired from both wrestling and acting as he last wrestled in 2010 and last appeared on film in 2012. Today Karagias lives and works in North Carolina, where he is a franchise partner for Rapid Cash Refund, working as a CPA and tax accountant.
2. Ivan Putski – Security Guard
Putski was one of the biggest stars in the WWWF/WWF in the ’70s and ’80s. Even though he never held a singles title, he feuded with the likes of Superstar Billy Graham, The Iron Sheik and Jesse Ventura. Putski was also one of the first people to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as he was enshrined in the third annual class in 1995. Putski had one of the physiques that Vince McMahon loves, and he was also a strongman competitor before and during his wrestling days. After leaving WWE in the ’80s, he had various one-off appearances and also wrestled from time-to-time with his son, Scott Putski. After retiring, Putski went back to Austin, Texas which is where he grew up after his family migrated from Poland. Recently, he served as the head security guard at Jack C. Hays High School.
1. Steve Blackman – Bounty Hunter
Blackman joined the WWE when the company was flirting with many MMA fighters including Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn. He wasn’t the biggest name among the mixed martial artists that the WWE brought in, but he may have been the best wrestler of the bunch. Nicknamed the Lethal Weapon, Blackman was prominent in the Hardcore Division and held the belt for a record 172 days. When the Hardcore belt and division fizzled out, so did Blackman’s time with the WWE.
After leaving WWE in 2002, Blackman opened up a self-defense school near his home in Harrisburg, PA, and also hosted a couple of UFC events. He now works as a bail bondsman in Pennsylvania and operates a company called Blackman’s Bounties.
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