Andy Warhol once said that everyone gets their fifteen seconds of fame and wrestlers are no different. There are those wrestlers who get their fifteen minutes of fame which eventually ends up turning into lifetime fame. Then there are those wrestlers who get their moment in the sun and try to bask in it as long as they possibly can. The primary reason for these wrestlers basking in their fifteen seconds of fame is because unfortunately it is all they can bask in.
Moreover, these wrestlers have struggled to find their footing after having had their fifteen seconds of fame. On the bright side, at least these wrestlers can say they have gotten their fifteen seconds of fame- something not all wrestlers can say they have gotten.
Here, we take a look at fifteen wrestling stars that are still trying to live off their fifteen seconds of fame.
14. Marty Jannetty
It must be mighty tough being Marty Jannetty considering you are constantly reminded of how not only did your tag team partner Shawn Michaels excel during his wrestling stint, but is often regarded as one of the best performers in the history of the wrestling business. After all, the “I’m Shawn, you’re Marty” shirt is one of the most iconic wrestling shirts of all-time. While Michaels has called it a career for good, the same can not be said about Jannetty, who still takes independent bookings here and there despite now being well past his heyday at the age of fifty-six. In addition, Jannetty is a pretty easy find at autograph signings as he is frequently at a number of them in a number of cities.
13. Kelly Kelly
When Kelly Kelly first debuted for WWE- rather, ECW, she was given her own segment entitled Kelly’s Extreme Expose. The blonde haired bombshell by way of Jacksonville, Florida would perform a striptease week in and week out to the pleasure of the male fan base, yet offered nothing in the wrestling department. In fairness to Kelly squared, WWE’s focus on women with wrestling ability was practically nonexistent during her tenure. Kelly Kelly came a long way when all was said and done as she went from an exhibitionist to a 1x Divas Champion. She’s been out of the WWE since 2012 and is a newlywed as she recently tied the knot with former hockey player Sheldon Souray. Kelly Kelly has parlayed her time in WWE as well as her relationship with Souray into a role on the reality TV show WAGS.
12. Ken Kennedy
When Ken Kennedy first stepped foot in the WWE he looked like he was destined for big things. Hell, he was originally supposed to be revealed as Vince McMahon’s bastard son! Unfortunately for Mr. Kennedy that never come to fruition. Instead, a release was on the horizon as a result of his injury history and Randy Orton deeming him an unsafe worker for dropping him on his neck during a match. Kennedy then went on to wrestle for TNA where he appeared as his given name of Ken Anderson. He reached the pinnacle at TNA as he won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on two occasions. But, in March of 2016 he was given the boot as a result of failing a drug test. Anderson’s been on the independent scene ever since competing for promotions such as Insane Championship Wrestling and Preston City Wrestling.
11. Honky Tonk Man
At the age of sixty-four the majority of both males and females are retired or on the verge of retirement. The Bolivar, Tennessee born Honky Tonk Man doesn’t fall into this department. Instead, he still finds himself still working on the independent scene for reasons only he can explain. The Honky Tonk Man last appeared in WWE in 2008 when he faced off against Santino Marella. Despite this, it hasn’t been hard to find him. The Honky Tonk Man has been on the independent scene ever since 2000 and there isn’t anything indicating that he has any intentions of stepping away from the ring any time soon. And even if he steps away from the ring he shouldn’t be too hard to find at autograph signings as he makes frequent appearances at wrestling conventions.
10. Chris Masters
It’s hard to believe that Chris Masters had one of the hottest segments in WWE when he debuted and introduced the “Masterlock Challenge”. At just thirty-three years old, Masters has been out of the WWE since 2011, after his second failed stint with the company. Masters has competed in promotions such as the All Wrestling Organization, Preston City Wrestling (predominantly) and Ring Ka King (a TNA subsidiary). Masters may not have had the most polished wrestling career, but he was quite the hero in March 2013. At this time, someone had broken into the home of Masters mother and maniacally lit the home on fire. Straight out of a Hollywood film, Masters pulled a ten foot tree from the ground so he could enter the home through its windows. Masters then pulled his mother out of the burning home. You sir are a hero!
When you’re fifty-two years old you aren’t exactly a spring chicken. When you’re all those things and you’re name is Sabu, the amount of abuse you’ve taken is at the forefront of the wrestling business. Yet, this hasn’t stopped Sabu from hanging up his wrestling boots. Sabu, who spent the majority of his wrestling years with Paul Heyman’s ECW, also had stints with TNA and WWE as well. Currently he sees himself wrestling for a number of independent companies such as Juggalo Championship Wrestling and has practically wrestled in any and every independent promotion that comes to mind. Sabu is also one that’s pretty easy to find at autograph signings. But, for those wanting to see him wrestle, don’t fret, it doesn’t look like Sabu’s calling it quits any time soon.
In WWE, Carlito made a name for himself with his memorable catchphrase, “I spit in the face of people who don’t want to be cool”. He would then almost always follow this up by taking a bite out of his trademark apple and spitting out its pieces on who he deemed didn’t want to be cool. But, in 2010, WWE spit in the face of Carlito figuratively when he refused to enter rehab. WWE had thought rehab would be the best option for Carlito to rid himself of an alleged addiction to pain killers. He adamantly refused and was given his walking papers as a result. Carlito’s been on the independent scene ever since and has returned to the World Wrestling Council promotion, where he got his start. It must be pretty ironic for Carlito that his brother Primo (who is less talented than he) is in WWE and he’s on the indy scene.
7. Mike Knox
Mike Knox has been a part of a number of roles he’d rather forget. For one, he played a role as one of Muhammad Hassan’s jihadists that would inevitably prove to be Hassan’s last appearance within the WWE. As controversial as Hassan was, the majority of fans probably wish that Knox was canned as opposed to Hassan. In more recent times, Knox has appeared as a member of TNA’s failed Aces & Eights faction under the name Knux. Aces and Eights was bad; but, what was next for Knox was abysmal. Knox was then in a faction not just a member, but the head of the very forgettable Menagerie. Knox never did anything memorable in either TNA or WWE, but that hasn’t stopped him from stepping away from the wrestling business. Knox currently wrestles for the Inoke Genome Federation.
An inspirational, funny and sobering chat w my old friend #PerrySaturn NOW on#TalkIsJericho. Perry has been to hell & back and talks all about it starting with the politics of #WCW, changing the finish of our #LoserWearsADress match behind #EricBischoff's back, jumping to @WWE w #EddieGuerrero, #ChrisBenoit & #DeanMalenko, the origin of his popular #Moppy gimmick, spiraling into drug addiction after getting let go by #WWE, losing everything and living on the streets, searching through garbage cans for food, how his dog kept him alive, how he kicked his habits and got sober, singing #Grease karaoke in Japan, his old partner #JohnKronus & how #TheEliminators came to be, why #VinceMcMahon fired a producer after a Jericho-Saturn backstage vignette & more NOW on @iTunes & @podcastone!
The story of former Radicalz member Perry Saturn is just sad to say the least. Now fifty, Saturn suffers from CTE and has fallen on especially hard times due to his amounting medical bills. To make matters worse, Saturn believes the likelihood of being homeless is far from farfetched. Saturn recently set up a GoFundMe account and he tells his story as such, “Hey guys, it’s Perry Saturn. I haven’t spoke to anybody in a while. […] That’s it, guys, you’ve [gotten] to see me fall to the bottom. I’m done. [In] a week or two, I will be homeless. I have nothing left. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m just gonna struggle, and I don’t want to be homeless. I’m scared, I’m terrified. I don’t know where my next meal’s gonna come from. I know I’ve asked so much from everybody, but if you could please just help me and give to my GoFundMe account. I’m sorry. I don’t know what to do”. Godspeed, Saturn!
5. Buff Bagwell
In fairness to Buff Bagwell, he’s done mighty well for himself ever since stepping away from the wrestling scene. However, how he’s done it isn’t the most conventional ways of making a living. On the contrary, Bagwell is currently a male gigolo of all things. I’m sure Mama Bagwell is proud (hell, she’s probably just happy that she’s no longer on a forklift in matches in WCW). Bagwell works for a company named “Cowboys4Angels” where he charges a pretty penny for his services. Bagwell’s rate is an astronomical $25,000 for a whole week and $400 for a single hour. He also appeared on Showtime’s television show Gigolos. He still makes the occasional appearance on the independent scene, but his day job seems to provide him with plenty of financial security.
4. Ezekiel Jackson
The mere mention of Ezekiel Jackson’s name generally upsets WWE fans; the mere mention of Ezekiel Jackson’s name generally infuriates ECW fans. Jackson’s defining moment in WWE is becoming one of the most unmemorable Intercontinental Champions in the company’s history by way of defeating his former Corre brethren and leader, Wade Barrett. In ECW, he is recognized as the company’s last ever ECW Champion by way of defeating Christian in the final episode of ECW before it became defunct. Now, Christian wasn’t an ECW original, but he was a wrestler that was respected and liked by fans and wrestlers; the same cannot be said about “Big Zeke”. Jackson was released in 2014, right after WrestleMania and has since been wrestling on the independent scene as well as having had an extremely short stint in TNA.
In early 2013, WWE released a number of vignettes for a character with a ballroom dancer gimmick. Fandango, or “FAAAHHNNN-DAAAHHHNN-GOOO” as he commonly reminded any and every one, refused to wrestle all competitors upon debuting in March of 2013. Instead, Fandango would point at the improper pronunciation of his name being grounds for him to refuse to wrestle. Fandango would finally tie it up in the squared circle at the “Showcase of the Immortals” at WrestleMania 29 against Kevin Owens’ best friend, Chris Jericho. Not only did Fandango debut at WrestleMania, but he also defeated the self-proclaimed G.OA.T., Jericho. Fandango’s career has been all downhill ever since and he can unfortunately lay acclaim to being the company’s biggest current jobber.
In October of 2013, Virgil was spotted in of all places a New York City subway station selling signed pictures of himself. To make matters more strange, this occurred on more on than one occasion. In 2015 Virgil created a GoFundMe page not because he had undergone a terrible catastrophe; rather more, Virgil created the GoFundMe page because he had aspirations of becoming a millionaire. In 2016, the man Virgil was a kayfabe personal assistant for, Ted DiBiase, revealed that Virgil had booked him for a number of autograph signings without receiving his consent. In short, Virgil is a wreck that looks to have either fallen on especially hard times or is intent on doing any and every thing it takes to make a buck regardless of if it is odd and/or non-ethical.
In 2011, the WWE inducted the Heartbreak Kid, “Mr. WrestleMania” himself, Shawn Michaels into its Hall of Fame. At the same induction ceremony Sunny a.k.a. the “Original Diva” was also enshrined in WWE’s Hall of Fame. With a title as prestigious as the “Original Diva” you’d think Sunny would’ve moved on to bigger and better things away from the ring. Unfortunately you’d be wrong. Sunny’s time away from the WWE has been marred with nothing but turmoil. In 2012 Sunny was arrested five times in four weeks for an array of charges including disorderly conduct and third degree burglary. From May 2015 to June 2015 she accumulated another three separate arrests as well proving she hadn’t learned from her mistakes. She currently makes a living by providing NSFW adult rated Skype sessions.
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