Wrestling is an over-the-top business that tends to attract people whose personalities can be best described as remarkable or strange. The type of people that don’t seem like they would be good fits for the typical workplace, these folks seem more at home in the ring wearing flamboyant getups and portraying crazy characters. That is why it still amazes us that so many people who made an impact on the wrestling business over the years went on to find employment in jobs that you or I could get. Picturing someone like The Boogieman clocking in at a grocery store or office building is so incredible to envision that we knew we needed to put together a list of wrestlers living like regular folks.
In order for a wrestler to be considered for inclusion here, they need to have achieved some level of fame or success in the wrestling business first and then begun working a more typical job. That means that a wrestler that never made it past your local indy or earned some level of notoriety on a national or international basis will not find their way here. Other than that, we were just looking for wrestlers who’d either played the most out their characters before working a regular job or someone whose new line of work is especially mundane.
15 Diamond Dallas Page – Yoga Business Owner and Instructor
If it weren’t for the fact that Diamond Dallas Page is a ceaseless self-promoter who has spread the word about his yoga business around nearly everywhere, his second career would take our top spot. A journeyman wrestler who got started in the business late in life, he seemed destined to serve as a manager or mid-carder at best. Yet, through hard work and sheer force of will, DDP managed to become a twelve time champion in WCW and WWE combined. A career highlighted by three runs as the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, he even managed to first win the belt in a match featuring Ric Flair, Sting and Hollywood Hogan. Forced to find unique ways to rehab his many injuries during his career, he found that yoga was a huge help and with the help of his ex-wife created a successful business teaching a manlier version of it.
14 Paul Burchill – Firefighter, Paramedic, and Student
Considered to be one of the best in-ring workers the WWE had its employ during the two thousands, an era with arguably their best roster ever, Paul Burchill should have been a massive deal for the company. Instead, they turned him into a pirate with an admittedly cool entrance, (swinging on a rope in front of the legendary Smackdown fist) the character had a limited shelf life and before too long he was in need of a rebranding. Unfortunately, they saw fit to team him with Katie Lea Burchill an immensely talented woman’s wrestler but Vince’s plan to have them start an incestuous relationship thankfully never saw the light of day. Released in 2010, he never got his just due but he seems to have happily moved on with his life. A firefighter and paramedic, he wasn’t content at that and has decided to earn a master’s degree that would make him a nurse practitioner.
13 Bull Buchanan – Deputy at the Sheriff’s Office
Brought into the WWE as a part of The Truth Commission, a militaristic style stable, the man who would come to be known as Bull Buchanan was a key member of the short-lived team. Moving on to serve as a protégée of The Big Bossman, the pair tagged together for a while until Bull was knocked out by his partner while his back was turned. Moving on to the Right to Censor faction, he remained under Steven Richard’s leadership until the RTC disbanded and he was sent back down to developmental where he found the gimmick he is best remembered for. Serving as John Cena’s muscle during his run as the “Doctor of Thuganomics”, he was renamed B² up until he was released in 2003. A deputy at the Sherriff’s Office in Carroll County Georgia after his time in the business came to an end; we can’t imagine crooks would want to get on his bad side.
12 Trevor Murdoch – Fiber Optic Cable Installer
A tag-team specialist during his time in the WWE, Trevor’s ring name was given to him because he looks uncannily like wrestling legend Dick Murdoch, who was known for teaming with Dusty Rhodes. Working with Lance Cade, they seemed like an odd couple considering how vastly different they looked; Lance was a chiseled looker while Trevor was a beer-bellied good ole boy, but they were magic together. Three-time tag team champions in the WWE, they would fight men like The Hardys, D-Generation X, and others during a several year run. Leaving the company in 2008, he retired from the ring after a few years in the indies. After running a bar he and his wife bought for several years, he eventually sold the business and went on to work for a heavy equipment company, where he installs fiber optic cable, a far cry from his backwoods character.
11 Rick Steiner – Real Estate Agent
A former amateur wrestler who placed second at the Big Ten Championships in 1983, scored the fastest pin in University of Michigan history (fifteen seconds), and qualified for the NCAA, he was a founding member of The Varsity Club. Once his brother Scott joined the industry the pair were a natural tag team and spent several years traveling the world and picking up shiny gold belts wherever they went, including the WWE, ECW, and New Japan. Working for WCW during the Monday Night War, Scott would eventually turn on his brother and join the nWo, meaning that the “Dog-Faced Gremlin” as Rick was known, was left to his own devices. Still winning lots of gold as a singles star, he would stay with the company until its end and then retired after making indie and TNA appearances. A school Board member in Cherokee County today, he makes his living as a real estate agent, where he leads a team known as Rick Steiner and Associates.
10 The Berzerker – Car Salesman
John Nord went under several names during his time in wrestling, including The Barbarian (not the WWE version), The Viking, and Yukon John, but his biggest claim to fame is as The Berzerker. A character that is unlikely to leap to mind when thinking of the early nineties WWE, he is the equivalent of a character actor because when you see his picture you’re likely to say something like, oh yeah. Acting more like a beast than man, he would do things like lick his hand, hold his wrist, and constantly make a Huss Huss noise while in character. Working for several other companies over the years, including All Japan, the AWA, and WCW, he was last active in 1998. Fortunately for him, his family owned an auto dealership in Minnesota, where he was able to find work and in a must see for wrestling fans star in their commercials.
9 Disco Inferno – Gentleman’s Club Employee
He’s so cocky. He’s so cool. He’s just a disco dancing fool. A member of the WCW Cruiserweight division, Disco was initially played mostly for laughs but he managed to far exceed those limitations. A former Television and Tag Team Champion, he was a part of The Filthy Animals with Rey Mysterio, Billy Kidman, Eddie Guerrero and briefly renamed himself Hip Hop Inferno. Also briefly joining the nWo, where he could be seen accompanying some of the group’s coolest members, including Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, he was extremely entertaining in the role. Staying busy in wrestling in one form or another ever since he has also worked for companies like World Wrestling All-Stars and TNA but is best known today of late as a podcast co-host with Konnan and Vince Russo. However, he has held a day job for several years now as an employee at a Vegas Gentleman’s Club where he has served many roles including bouncing.
8 David Flair – Seal Wire Company Daily Operator
The eldest son of two-time WWE Hall of Famer and legitimate wrestling legend Ric Flair, David had his work cut out for him if he wanted to escape his dad’s shadow in the wrestling business. A short-time member of the nWo, he spent the majority of his time in WCW feuding with his father or out and out avoiding him. A former United States Champion and World Tag Team Champion, he spent some time teaming with the wrestler Crowbar with the underrated Daffney at their side. He was also managed by Vince Russo in a storyline where he tried to destroy his family. Working in WWE developmental for a time, he made one appearance on WWE television when The Undertaker decimated him prior to his WrestleMania match against his father. Retired since 2008, he currently works as the daily manager of The Seal Wire Company which produces copper and steel wire.
7 Francine & Nidia – Stay at Home Mothers
On the surface, it may seem like Francine and Nidia are little alike but after reflecting on it, their current career path is just the beginning of their commonalities. Two women who clearly threw themselves into the wrestling industry full force during their time in it, Francine was known as the Queen of Extreme while Nidia was the Queen of the trailer park. Always willing to look silly in service of a storyline, both of their characters carried themselves with an air of confidence, even though they seemed like polar opposites, which fans loved to see ripped away from them. Opting to step away from the business after making their marks on it, they’ve both given birth to daughters who they adore and have decided to spend their time raising them ever since.
6 Nova/Simon Dean – Bank Manager
An ECW original who is remembered best for his association with Raven, Stevie Richards, and The Blue Meanie, Nova, as he was called at the time, was a member of The Blue World Order. Parodying Hollywood Hogan, he was the supposed leader up until the stable broke up. Staying with ECW until its bitter end, he would eventually be brought into the WWE where he was rechristened Simon Dean and rebranded as a “physical-fitness guru”. Coming to the ring riding a Segway at times, he would proceed to mock the weight of crowd members and then attempt to sell them his “Simon System” weight loss plan. Relegated to the mid-card or lower, he would eventually retire and then work for the company behind the scenes where he has said he learned how to survive in the business world. The manager of a bank in Louisville Kentucky, he has been quoted as saying “instead of worrying about whether I’m going to get hurt in the ring, I’m worried about what the interest rates”.
5 Steve Blackman – Bail Bondsman
A member of the WWE roster during the height of the Attitude Era, Steve Blackman in a lot of ways seemed like the antithesis of the way wrestlers acted in that time period. With a history in martial arts prior to entering the company, he was known as “The Lethal Weapon” and would make his entrance carrying weapons to the ring which made him stand out. Carrying himself in an overly serious manner, aside from his entrance he completely lacked the showmanship of the era which counterintuitively made him stand out. After feuding with Ken Shamrock, wrestling in the hardcore division, and teaming with Al Snow, Steve left the company to little fanfare. Turning himself into a bail bondsman in Pennsylvania where he lives with his wife and daughter, surprisingly his company’s commercials show him acting more over the top than he ever did in wrestling.
4 Victoria – Restaurateur
When people talk about the renascence women’s wrestling underwent in the late nineties and two thousands, names like Lita and Trish Stratus seem to always jump to mind first. Unfortunately, because of that fact, some talented women aren’t getting the credit they deserve like Molly Holly, Jazz, Mickie James, and Victoria. An intimidating woman who managed to be equally amazing at playing villains and heroes, she was able to come off as legitimately crazy one month and then convince fans to fully embrace her, the next. Victoria Also managed to have one of the coolest looking finishers the business has seen, which she called The Widow’s Peak. Leaving the company in 2009 and spending a few years helping to turn TNA’s “Knockout” division into an industry leader for a time, her time in the spotlight seems to have come to an end. An entrepreneur, she opened a custom car shop in 2008 that closed after a fire in 2010 before opening and running two restaurants, one of which she sold and the other her husband runs today.
3 Haku – Vehicle Detail Shop Manager
The man known as Haku in the WWE and Meng in WCW is a thing of legend. Considered to be the toughest man in wrestling history by many of his contemporaries, we’ve never heard tales of him boasting directly but badasses like him don’t need to. After working for the WWE for six years he’d proven that he was good enough in the ring that WCW came calling and brought him in just prior to the Monday night war. A multiple time champion, including a tag run in the WWE with Andre the Giant, he will always be remembered as the last WCW Hardcore Champion, a belt he held when he made the jump back to the WWE. Working today as the manager of a detail shop in his hometown of Kissimmee, Florida, we know we’d think first before arguing with him as a customer or employee.
2 Mideon - Chef
During the time Mideon worked for the McMahon family one thing remained constant; the characters he played were anything but boring. Debuting as a part of The Godwinns tag-team, the pair came out in overalls and carrying slop buckets before remaking themselves as suit-clad bodyguards known as Southern Justice. Next kidnapped by The Acolytes, he was brainwashed and rechristened Mideon, a gothic follower of The Undertaker who regularly teamed with Viscera. Rebranded one more time, his final gimmick was probably his most outrageous, Naked Mideon would run around arena wearing nothing but a fanny pack, boots, and thong. Perhaps he’d had enough of the outrageous life as after he retired he created a new life for himself as a professional chef in high-end restaurants.
1 Mr. Fuji – Movie Theater Usher
Best remembered for his run as a suit-clad manager who accompanied villainous wrestlers to the ring during the height of the rock ‘n’ wrestling era, Fuji was nearly impossible to forget. Forever associated with acts like The Barbarian, Demolition, Kamala, The Orient Express, and Yokozuna among others, he lent these men instant credibility as evil-doers. Possibly most associated with Don Muraco, the pair would go on to star in legendary segments like Fuji Vice. Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007, he retired in 1997 and found himself work as a movie theater usher. We never lived in Knoxville, the city he lived in but it would have been amazing to see this wrestling legend tearing ticket stubs at your local multiplex. Recently deceased, he left behind a legacy of hard work and even after leaving the industry he knew best, Fuji seemed to enjoy staying busy.
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