Here at TheSportster, we understand former workers in the wrestling industry need to make a buck, even after they retire. It’s no surprise to see many of these gentlemen and ladies participating in wrestling conventions all over the country. These guys have every right to try and get you to spend your Friday paycheck on an autograph and photo, it’s the American way. We just think that some of these wrestlers have overstayed their welcome.
We understand their perspective, as they were performing in front of thousands of people decades ago, but c’mon, you’re not relevant anymore. Maybe that's the wrong thing to say or maybe this is about tough love. Some of them shouldn't be setting up vendors next to guys like Kevin Nash, Bret Hart, and Booker T.
The wrestling industry is harsh and so is the reality about letting go when it’s all said and done. If you have seen Mickey Rourke’s movie The Wrestler, then you’re familiar with the scene when he’s in a room full of other guys and trying to get people to buy his stuff. Let’s just say that scene is depressing and it makes you wonder why these guys go through with it.
We don’t want anyone to go hungry and we surely don’t want to see these guys get in debt but please, hang it up and earn money from your wrestling heydays in some other way. Maybe start a podcast, write a book, or even reach out to guys still in the business that can get you a job.
Without further ado, here are 15 wrestlers that should stop hanging around conventions.
15 Mike Sanders
He had a decent career in the WCW by becoming a part of several feuds and segments from ’98-’01. He even became the Cruiserweight Champion when he defeated Elix Skipper in a powerbomb match on Nitro. When the WWE bought Ted Turner’s WCW in 2001, Sanders got lost in the shuffle and was sent down to Heartland Wrestling Association, a WWE development organization at the time. He had one dark match on WWE’s Sunday Night Heat and was let go within the year. He bounced around the indie circuit and debuted in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling but didn’t find much success. He's appeared at prominent wrestling conventions like WrestleCade.
14 Claude Giroux
Quite simply, Giroux was part of the worst segments in the WWE in the mid-90s is why he’s on here. Call him Lil Hulkster, Lil Macho Man, Dink the Clown, or Tiger Jackson, Giroux wasn’t a great wrestler compared to Sky Low Low, Mascarita Sagrada, Haiti Kid, and Dylan Postl (formerly Hornswoggle). Yes, he has some comedic scenes, but based on pure wrestling, his skills weren’t that great. He’s been hitting the conventions at Legends of the Ring and Pro Wrestling World this year, but we bet nobody knows who he is unless he has a clown mask on.
13 Muhammad Hassan
Once again the WWE decided to be a little stereotypical and give a wrestler a character that's kinda offensive. Hassan became a major heel but was literally portrayed as a terrorist and it all came to a crashing end on an episode of SmackDown when Hassan started praying in a match with The Undertaker and five masked man came out and started wreaking havoc. The London Bombings happened days later and Hassan’s career in the WWE would take a blow. He would retire shortly after but apparently he misses the fame, so he continues to pop up at wrestling conventions. Recently, he went to a Warriors of Wrestling event in Staten Island, NY, this month.
12 Lenny Lane
Just like Sanders, Lenny Lane had a decent run in the Cruiserweight division with WCW during the mid to late 90s. He won the Cruiserweight Championship one time, but other than that his career as a wrestler was average at best. If he wasn’t a promoter of his own show (Prime Time Wrestling) and actually made himself win the title (now that’s an ego), he would probably be best known for debuting as Chris Jericho’s lackey in WCW. How many people are really going to want to give their hard earn money to Lane when wrestling legends such as Booker T, Demolition, The Steiner Brothers, The Hardy Boyz, King Kong Bundy, and Gene Okerlund are at the same convention?
11 Austin Idol
The NWA played a vital role in the territorial days, but as the years go by, the wrestlers who were involved with that company seem to become more and more irrelevant. No offense, but who’s really going to recognize a guy like Idol, except for some 50-year old guy? His best feud came against WWE’s Jerry “The King” Lawler in the ‘80s but his career went downhill once the territories collapsed. You can definitely find Idol at NWA gatherings, such as the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends FanFest events. He scheduled to appear this August and is charging $30 for an autograph and photo.
He had the look and strength to be a part of the WWE for a very long time, but for one reason or another, things didn’t work out for the guy. His biggest claim to fame is probably feuding with The Undertaker and becoming a WWE tag team champion with Road Warrior Animal. Other than that, Heidenreich’s achievements are pretty slim. If you go to a convention where legends like Honkey Tonk Man, Kevin Nash, and Bret Hart are attending, do you really want to spend time with Heidenreich? We didn’t think so. Heidenreich didn’t get that memo, as he’s been seen at Pro Wrestling Syndicate, Legends of the Ring, and Warriors of Wrestling events this year.
9 Alex Porteau
Known as “The Pug” during his stint with the WWE in ’96 and ’97, Porteau bounced around several organizations before calling it quits at the turn of the century. He worked for World Class Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Council, and World Championship Wrestling before donning wrestling gear and hijacking the theme music of The Steiner Brothers when he went to the WWE. He only lasted a year in the biggest show on earth andm quite frankly, he wasn't be missed. He’s been known to show up at New England FanFest events and other smaller conventions over the years.
8 West Hollywood Blondes
Lenny Lane and Bradley “Lodi” Cain were a parody to the famous Hollywood Blonds (Steve Austin and Brian Pillman) of WCW. They debuted as a team in 2000 and pretty much flunked, even getting heat from the organization Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation because Lenny’s character was overly flamboyant with homophonic behavior. They had to be removed from television for six months because of the outcry. Pretty much the WCW folded around the same time and so did their careers on national television. Their single careers didn’t fare any better, but nevertheless, you’ll find the West Hollywood Blonds at wrestling conventions.
7 Lance Anoa'i
The forgotten man in the great Anoa’I family, you would think he would have been in the WWE by now but that’s not the case. He was used in a tag team dark match with Rhett Titus on SmackDown in 2015, but they lost to The Ascension in a squash. He’s been a pro wrestler since 2010 and it must be hard to compete when you’ll always be compared to guys like The Rock, Roman Reigns, The Usos, and so on. Picture going to a convention and seeing Disco Inferno, Sabu, Stan Hansen, Scott Hall, and Terry Funk, and then noticing there's a guy who kind of looks like an Uso, but you're just not sure. You probably wouldn't bother with them.
6 Tim Horner
Star Blazer, Kendo the Samurai, and White Lighting; need we say more? Horner began his career during the territorial days and he made his way to Jim Crockett Promotions in 1984. He had a decent run as one-half of The Lighting Express but once he left for WWE and WCW, his became a jobber. His journey was below average at best and he's more known for being a producer on the WWE’s SmackDown than his wrestling career. He will be taking your money on August 4th, at the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends FanFest in Charlotte North Carolina.
We get it, you destroyed Bart Gunn at WrestleMania XV in a real boxing match that lasted 35 seconds and basically ended his career. But why are you still hanging around wrestling conventions? You can put pro wrestler under your resume, but aren’t there boxing conventions out there? Butterbean has 77 wins under his belt and has also competed in mixed-martial-arts. You would think he has earned enough money but he’s still charging $20 bucks for an autograph or photo. He was recently seen at the Legends of the Ring Convention in New Jersey this month.
4 Scott Putski
Scott Putski will always be known as the son of Ivan “The Polish Hammer” Putski, a major player in the WWE in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Many sons surpass their fathers in wrestling, however, Putski is still riding on his dad's coattails, going to every convention that his father attends. He’s had stints in all the major promotions but could never get over with the crowd. His best moments came during a feud with Brian Christopher in WWE and losing a World Television Championship match against Chris Jericho in WCW. Scott was recently seen at WrestleCon 2016, which took place in Dallas, Texas, over WrestleMania weekend.
3 Tommy Lister
"You got knocked the f*** out" became one of the most iconic lines in cinema history when the comedic movie Friday hit theaters in 1995. What does this have to do with Lister? He played the villain, Debo, and got knocked the f*** out at the end. His debut to the WWE Universe was in the b-movie No Holds Barred, where he played the antagonist Zeus. His first match was tag teaming with Macho Man Randy Savage and they went up against Hulk Hogan and Brutus the Beefcake at SummerSlam '89. He's one of the worst wrestlers of all-time, however, you can still find Lister at wrestling conventions today.
2 Ted Arcidi
His bodybuilding background gave him a great look for the WWE in the ‘80s, however, the guy never did anything memorable for the company. He was billed as the world’s strongest man. Before you had The Ultimate Warrior, you had Arcidi taking the reigns as a guy who had no business being in the ring. He literally was the epitome of a bodybuilder with stiff actions. It was the reason why he was released from the WWE is such a short time. His pro wrestling career didn’t amount to much after that and somehow he still hits the conventions to this day. He was at Pro Wrestling Syndicates event this past month in New Jersey.
I met the guy back in 2006 at Comic Con in NYC. So I hate to do this but, yes, he was rocking the infamous “Ted DiBiase & Virgil” banners and, yes, he did look lonely. Virgil has become synonymous with wrestling conventions over the years. He shows up everywhere and everyone makes fun of him for it. It’s a shame because he did have some great moments in wrestling history. Moments like turning on Ted DiBiase, wrestling Yokozuna at Survivor Series ‘93, and becoming a member of the nWo. He’s been scolded by DiBiase for using his name to get into conventions and there are actual websites that showcase how lonely he is at these events. We hope nothing for the best for Virgil, but he has to let it go.