When people talk about companies that chew their employees and spit them out, WWE is a prime example of the kind of company they are talking about. WWE provides no retirement benefits, no time off and no health plan that other companies are fortunate enough to provide for their employees to enjoy. One would think WWE Superstars would have a few more health benefits considering they are literally sacrificing their bodies for the company, but this is unfortunately not the case. That’s why so many current and former Superstars are still wrestling into their 40s, 50s, and beyond, putting their bodies through unnecessary punishment. Of the few lucky wrestlers that were able to retire from wrestling, many of those wrestlers haven’t been able to keep up with their terrific, athletic image and physical conditioning either by choice or because of serious health issues.
Some wrestlers like Shawn Michaels have been able to retire and still look good even today. However, not all Superstars reached the height of HBK and have fallen on difficult times physically and financially. For many wrestlers that have hung up the boots, retirement hasn’t treated them quite as well. The rigorous workouts are no longer a staple in their lives, and their muscle mass has begun to deteriorate. The hard life on the road 300 days a year and the rampant drug and alcohol abuse has clearly caught up with some of the other former professional wrestlers. Not only are former wrestlers not staying in shape, but medical issues from the wear and tear of wrestling are starting to pile up. While some retirees have found other ways to stay healthy, such as Diamond Dallas Page who has sponsored his own form of yoga, others have completely let themselves go upon retiring. This article is about these superstars. Here are 15 wrestlers who have aged poorly since retiring.
15 Ahmed Johnson
Ahmed Johnson made history in WWE by becoming the first African-American wrestler to win a singles title in WWE. Prior to wrestling, Johnson was a middle linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and participated in wrestling, basketball and track and field throughout high school, adding to his athletic resume. Johnson’s massive physique made him a prime candidate for a big push in the company, and after winning the Intercontinental Championship, Johnson would be put into a program with Shawn Michaels. Unfortunately, an undiagnosed kidney problem caused Johnson to vacate his title and miss his scheduled WWE Title match with Michaels. This was just the beginning of a string of injuries that would plague Johnson for the rest of his career.
Johnson would move on to WCW, but his weight grew out of control. Johnson retired in 2003 and his weight hasn’t improved. Johnson was a freak athlete though you wouldn't know it if you saw him today. The sight of him out of shape is unfortunate considering how big and powerful Johnson used to be. Now, he's just big.
One of many popular wrestlers in WWE during the early '90s was Tatanka. Using his actual Native American heritage as his gimmick, Tatanka's awesome physique and immense popularity with the fans gave him the potential to be just as legendary as an Ultimate Warrior or "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Tatanka engaged in several memorable feuds with legendary superstars and even held a lengthy undefeated streak. Still, Tatanka was never able to break through the glass ceiling and would leave WWE during his physical prime.
Tatanka has never officially retired, but his appearances in wrestling have been sporadic to say the least. He has said he’s open for a WWE return, but his bodybuilder physique that he had earlier in his career is gone. His returns to WWE in 2005 and again in 2010 have shown that Tatanka still has it, but he’s looking more like a buffalo, as his ring name suggests, than a warrior of his tribe.
In the '80s, WWE became obsessed with over the top gimmicks, and Kamala was one of them. Kamala, to compensate for his poor mic and wrestling skills, adopted a wild savage gimmick and given a “handler” to be his mouthpiece. During his career in WWE, Kamala would feud with the likes of Andre the Giant, Jake the Snake, The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan.
Even during his wrestling days, “The Ugandan Giant” was never in great physical shape. In recent years, Kamala’s health took a turn for the worst, when in 2011 his left leg was amputated from complications from diabetes. A year later he would lose his other leg and has been seeking donations for his financial needs. In 2017, Kamala would require emergency surgery to clear fluid from his heart. Kamala is still recovering but remains in intensive care.
12 The Undertaker
The Undertaker is one of the most iconic wrestlers of all time. Despite wrestling a very limited schedule for the past several years, The Undertaker’s wrestling career seemingly refuses to “rest in peace.” The Undertaker was more recently known for defending his WrestleMania undefeated streak, which eventually came to an end against Brock Lesnar. Though "The Phenom" was no longer in his prime and wrestling everyday, he still remained capable of delivering stellar matches on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Undertaker’s last match was against Roman Reigns and, judging from the ending, The Deadman seems to be hanging up the gloves. This potential retirement probably comes at the right time, as The Undertaker looks very worn in candid pictures with fans. Taker dyes in his hair for WrestleMania, but when he’s on his own, images of Taker with graying hair, a weathered face and walking his a cane show him to be very human. His nickname of “Deadman” hits a little too close to home when viewing some of these pics.
11 Scott Hall
“Hey, yo.” Scott Hall was a legend in WWE as Razor Ramon and went to WCW as founding father of the New World Order. Despite being a huge star, Hall’s demons prevented him for becoming even bigger in WCW. When Hall returned to WWE, Hall’s demons remained and WWE had to release him before his second chance in WWE could ever materialize.
Scott Hall became “semi-retired” and continued to battle his addictions. His noticeable weight gain removed almost all of the machismo “The Bad Guy” brought to WWE. It seemed Diamond Dallas Page was able to get Hall clean, but a story recently popped up of Scott Hall arriving to a wrestling convention in a drunken rage where he engaged in a tussle with King Kong Bundy
“What about Raven?” Well, let’s talk about Raven. Raven is widely regarded as one of the best talkers in all of professional wrestling. He’s extremely intelligent and brought a sadistic psychology to his promos and feuds. Raven’s acclaim first occurred in ECW, but his greatest success was arguably in WCW. He signed with WWE (his second stint after a brief run as manager Johnny Polo), but his time in McMahonland wasn't nearly as memorable.
After WWE, Raven floundered in TNA and in the indies. Sporting his grungy look, Raven never had the superhero body, but he has still aged poorly since his WWE days. To be fair, Raven isn’t a young man anymore, and his violent career has clearly taken its toll. Hopefully, Raven is taking care of himself as much as he can, and if he is ever asked to participate in any other violent matches in the future, he should quote himself, “Nevermore.”
9 Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
A longtime friend of Hulk Hogan, Beefcake began his wrestling career with The Hulkster and became an iconic WWE superstar with his “barber” gimmick. Beefcake’s association with Hogan helped him in his wrestling career, and he would eventually have feuds with, and team up with his good buddy. Beefcake’s real life friendship gave him opportunities to be associated with Hogan throughout his professional career.
Despite The Barber’s memorable gimmick, Beefcake was never seen as more than Hogan’s lackey. The Barber's career after WCW has been almost nonexistent without Hogan's association, and his physical appearance went from beefcake to dough boy. His relationship with Hogan has recently soured as well. The Barber is an iconic former WWE Superstar, but with his embarrassing physique, it’s highly unlikely WWE is going to bring back Brutus into a WWE ring, considering the sad shape that he's currently in. The Barber should be looking to trim some fat rather than his opponent's hair.
8 Ric Flair
The 16-time World Heavyweight Champion, Ric Flair, is regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. Flair is known for his stylin’ and profilin’ and wrestled for decades in WWE and WCW. Flair lived the gimmick womanizing and boozing, and the hard life on the road took its toll. Ric Flair “retired” after his match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania, but his body has yet to reap the benefits of “retirement.”
Ric Flair, after his match with Michaels, participated in a few additional matches, but for the most part, his days as a wrestler were over. However, Flair’s demons and lifestyle choices have done a number on his body. Flair has suffered from a number of medical conditions, and his health has been less than satisfactory as of late. The Nature Boy is on the path of recovery from his health issues, even saying his drinking days were over and hopefully, “The Dirtiest Player in the Game” can bring back some of those youthful good looks.
7 Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Jake Roberts was one of the greatest wrestlers to never win the WWE Title. His sadistic promos made him one of the darkest characters ever in WWE as well, donning him the moniker of The Snake. Jake The Snake’s career had the potential to be huge, but politics, drugs and alcohol hindered his rise to the top.
Eventually, The Snake’s demons got the better of him. WWE released Roberts, and his health deteriorated even further. Jake Roberts would eventually move in with DDP and get his life turned around. Prior to this turn around, Jake completely let himself go to the point where he could barely walk. Jake’s health remains poor, but had DDP not stepped in, it’s very likely Jake The Snake wouldn’t be here today. The Snake has since gotten clean and started using DDP Yoga to get his health turned around to the point where he can now walk without feeling short of breath.
When thinking about legendary WWE female athletes, Chyna has to be on top of the list. In fact, Chyna should be on the list of top WWE athletes, period, not just female WWE athletes. The “Ninth Wonder of the World” came into the WWE as the bodyguard for D-Generation X and looked to be in terrific shape. Chyna would later pose for Playboy and became a sex symbol of the '90s and early 2000s. However, that great physical conditioning vanished when WWE could no longer find any use for her and released her in 2001.
Chyna became heavily involved in drugs and alcohol, which allegedly began while she was still employed in WWE. However, when Chyna left WWE, her vices turned her into a trainwreck. Chyna would dabble in adult films and make public appearances completely intoxicated. After retirement from wrestling, she shared almost no resemblance to the first-ever woman to hold the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
5 Lex Luger
Lex Luger played a big role in both WWE as The Narcissist, and was supposed to be the next Hulk Hogan for the company. Lex would jump ship back to WCW and become one of WCW’s biggest stars during the Monday Night Wars. Luger lived up to the nickname of “Total Package,” having the superhero good looks and body type, but his tremendous shape resulted from steroids. This heavy use of steroids mixed with alcohol and other drug use eventually caught up with the former WCW World Heavyweight Champion.
Luger’s rampant drug and alcohol abuse didn’t stop after WCW. In fact it seemingly got worse with Luger having several run-ins with police. Now, Luger has nothing to be narcissistic about and isn’t sporting a "total package" look in any way. A spinal infarction temporarily paralyzed Luger, but he has since recovered much of his mobility. However, the muscle mass he once enjoyed is completely gone.
4 Paul Orndorff
Paul Orndorff was one of the biggest heels in WWE during the '80s. His battles with Hulk Hogan lasted nearly a year, and his muscular frame rivaled even that of the Immortal One’s. Mr. Wonderful’s career was largely successful, but it could have been even more so. Orndorff battled an untreated bicep injury which plagued him for the remainder of his career. To his credit, he fought through the injury, but in doing so, the injury would force him to retire.
Due to this injury, Orndorff began to lose muscle mass, and by the '90s, much of his mass was already depleted. The bicep injury that hampered the latter end of Orndorff’s career eventually forced him to retire in 1995. Since retirement, Orndorff got off the steroids that he admitted to using and there isn’t anything wonderful about his physique any longer.
It’s not fair to pick on “The First Diva,” but Sunny is a prime example of someone who just let themselves go after their time in the spotlight of professional wrestling. Sunny was manager and backstage interviewer in WWE and, at one point, was the most downloaded woman on the internet. Unfortunately, Sunny’s tenure in WWE and WCW was riddled with alleged drug use and attitude problems.
After wrestling, Sunny continued with her horrible habits, and her weight ballooned significantly. Her run-ins with the law became routine, and Sunny turned to a career in the adult film industry. With her weight and habits out of control, it’s highly unlikely too many people are downloading Sunny anymore. It’s a complete shame to see how far Sunny has fallen considering her “first diva” nickname was well deserved. Maybe if she just looked the "Diva" part instead of acting it as well, Sunny's career and life could have taken a different path.
2 Marty Jannetty
One half of the popular WWE tag team the Rockers, Marty Jannetty was believed to be just as athletic if not more so, than his former tag team partner, The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels. Sadly, Jannetty never had the career HBK had. Rumors of drugs and alcohol weighed down his career, and Jannetty’s singles career failed to materialize. Jannetty has blamed Shawn Michaels for spreading the rumors, but other issues such as fighting with police hasn’t helped Jannetty’s cause either.
Jannetty’s career sputtered off and on and as he aged, his physical appearance worsened. His weight gained became noticeable, despite still possessing a great deal of skill in the ring. Now, with Jannetty’s checkered past and lackluster health, the former Rocker is struggling to find work even in the indies. Jannetty has recently joined fellow wrestlers in the class action lawsuit against WWE, making a return to the company doubtful at best.
1 Perry Saturn
Perry Saturn is one of professional wrestling’s tragic stories. Saturn had a promising career in ECW, then with WCW, starting off as a member of Raven’s Flock. He would move to WWE along with his fellow "Radicalz," Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Dean Malenko. Saturn won the United States Title in WCW but found limited success in WWE. Saturn would be punished for legitimately attacking a jobber during a WWE match and forced into a gimmick where he would fall in love with “Moppy.”
Despite his up and down career, Saturn had a great physique and definitely had the look of a wrestler. Sadly, his addictions, which he had throughout his career, ruined him. Saturn’s money dried up when he was released from WWE, and Saturn found himself homeless without the means to fund his addictions. Unfortunately, Saturn looks so terrible, currently, that not even Moppy would take him back.