Some wrestlers, like The Undertaker, have had long, fruitful careers with the WWE. His in particular has spanned several decades and is still going strong. Others, like Mick Foley have retired from the ring, but are still involved with the shows. Even Jerry Lawler has held steady since becoming a commentator in the 90s. He probably doesn’t count that small while when he quit. Whether the stars are still wrestling, commentating or helping out somehow behind the scenes, they’re still somewhat in the spotlight and involved with the company; people know how they’re doing.
However, wrestling can be a tough business and the shelf life of a lot of careers isn’t very long. Whether injuries are their downfall or they just fall victim to the cruel mistress that the WWE and other circuits can be. Some wrestlers choose to abstain from continuing on within the world of wrestling and opt for different retirement plans; mostly career changes and a big step back from the spotlight. Thanks to the internet and cell phone journalists, it’s a little more difficult to fall into complete obscurity like it would’ve been in the early days of the WWE or even at the start of the New Millennium.
That being said, some do manage to avoid the spotlight and attention, even if it’s just for a short while. After all, these people are performers and may find it difficult to be hidden in the shadows for an extended period of time. Life after wrestling does go on, even if we don’t hear or see much of it. For some, that’s simply the point. After working such grueling schedules, it’s important to become more focused on personal relationships and families. The following list will look at 15 wrestlers who disappeared.
Terri Poch (Tori) was a bodybuilder and fitness model who broke into pro wrestling in the late 1990s. She spent the early days of her career with the WWE as a super fan girl of Sable, who took every opportunity to degrade her; she feuded with Jacqueline and after that, she portrayed the highly neurotic girlfriend of Kane. That storyline was a segway into her stint with D-X after turning on her “boyfriend” and becoming X-Pac's new love interest. She was sidelined with a torn labrum in 2000 and returned with a whole new look as the villainess The Black Ninja. After that, she was bounced over to “Tough Enough” as a trainer and accused Raven of verbally abusing her backstage. She was released in 2001 and decided to retire and focus on her career as a Yogi. She currently flies way under the radar and owns her own yoga studio in Portland.
14 Rene Dupree
Rene Dupree bounced from league to league like a rubber ball. He first started out in Grand Prix Wrestling, then he broke into the WWE. After which, he moved to the independent circuit and then a Japanese program named Hustle and then ended in All Japan Pro Wrestling. He made history in the WWE as being the first teenager to win a title of any kind Kenzo Suzuki took home the WWE Tag Team Championship hardware.
In 2007, he requested to be released from his contract, a request which the WWE complied with. He pretty much fell off of the North American map and disappeared into obscurity, unless you were a fan of Japanese Pro Wrestling, where he saw quite a bit of success as part of a team again. He married a woman he met in Japan in 2009 and hasn't been in action since 2014, but sometimes finds the time to trash Triple H.
13 Ahmed Johnson
Before hitting the WWE, Ahmed Johnson was a middle linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys from 1990-91. He then switched careers and made history as the first African American to win a singles championship in the WWE when he beat Goldust to become Intercontinental champ. During his short, three-year WWE career, he held onto his title until he had to vacate it due to an injury. Following issues he had with a storyline, he joined the WCW for about a year, but wasn’t feeling it and decided to retire from wrestling.
He went back to school in Texas and studied criminology and became part of the staff at Booker T's wrestling school. He briefly made an appearance in the wrestling world last year when he became part of a class action lawsuit against the WWE, which stated that the performers had incurred traumatic brain injuries during their runs, but were not informed of the risks.
12 Candice Michelle
Candice Michelle’s career was supposed to have failed before it could even start. She had a less-than-impressive showing in the WWE’s Diva Search, where she didn't even make the top ten. Someone (probably Vince) liked what they saw and brought her on board as a member of the Raw roster anyway, but she was soon drafted to SmackDown and became one of Vince’s Devils. She went back and forth between the brands, all the while managing to do a Playboy shoot in between.
She was released from her contract in 2009, but has said that it allowed her to transition into motherhood: a role which she loves. She also enjoyed a small acting career and spent some time as the Go Daddy Girl, but since her retirement, she has focused on being a mother to her three daughters that she and chiropractor husband Ken Gee Ehrlich have.
11 Shawn Stasiak
Shawn Stasiak, better known as Meat during his time with the WWE spent most of his short career with the WWE as the "play thing" of PMS and never really got to show his true potential. Maybe he would have if he didn’t ended up being fired for recording a conversation between Davey Boy Smith and Steve Blackman without their knowledge.
He jumped to the WCW for a while, but once again found himself with the WWE when they bought WCW out. They threw him into a storyline where he looked like a dunce once again and he called it quits in 2002 and went to school to become a chiropractor and a motivational speaker.
Mostly recently, he announced plans to return to wrestling and win the WWE Championship in honour of his father Stan Stasiak, who was the WWWF champion many, many moons ago.
10 Steve Blackman
The Lethal Weapon Steve Blackman was in the WWE from 1997-2002, where he won the hardcore title six times and still holds the title for most consecutive days as champion. Unfortunately, the injury bug would bite, forcing Blackman to leave the WWE behind in 2002.
Following his departure from the WWE, Blackman opened up a self-defence school in his home state of Pennsylvania, where he taught jiu jitsu and wrestling. He re-opened the school in 2006 and started to teach MMA.
He came out of the shadows after the Benoit tragedy and engaged Marc Mero in an argument on Nancy Grace. He also made a small appearance on the 15th anniversary of Raw, but that was a one and done deal. He is currently a bail bondsman in Pennsylvania and doesn't seem to be involved in the WWE or MMA, but he’s probably a heck of a bail bondsman.
9 Perry Saturn
Perry Saturn hit the professional wrestling scene in 1990 and made stops at ECW, WCW, WWE TNA and the independent circuit before retiring in 2004. In the April of 2004, Saturn came to the aid of a woman who two guys were trying to rape. He was shot two times by the assailants. Once in the back of the neck and once in the shoulder. He initially thought he had just been punched, but soon found out that his injuries were more severe. As a result of the incident, Saturn became addicted to meth and disappeared onto the streets. His friends and family had no idea where he was and he was presumed dead for a while until he resurfaced in 2010 after kicking his addiction.
He returned to the WWE after, but would go on to sue them for a brain injury he suffered. He is currently out of work and has set up a Go Fund Me page for his and his wife's expenses.
8 Magnum T.A.
Terry Wayne Allen, or Magnum T.A. was once the biggest name in the National Wrestling Alliance and was set to overcome Hulk Hogan's fame and success until a cruel twist of fate would force him to retire. In the fall on 1986, Allen's Porsche hydroplaned and wrapped around a car where he would end up sitting for two hours before the paramedics arrived. His C-4 and C-5 vertebra "exploded" and the doctors didn't know if he would walk again. He overcame the odds and gained the use of his legs back, but dissolved into obscurity in the process.
He did work as a commentator for NWA, UFA and the WCW, but never even came close to reaching the heights of her previous career. He currently runs a small community hedge fund and and a communication tower business. Fun fact: he is Stardust’s (Cody Rhodes) godfather.
Ivory debuted in the professional wrestling circuit in the mid eighties, but she wouldn't make her WWE start until 1999 and left six years later in 2005. After starting out as a valet, Ivory became part of Right to Censor, a very conservative and modest group that formed in the wake of Chyna's Playboy shoot. It goes without saying, but they weren't big fans of her actions and were her main antagonists. After her switch from valet, she won the Women's Championship three times. Not bad for someone who liked big red circles with slashes through them.
As mentioned above, she left wrestling behind in 2005 and became a landscape artist. She also got involved with her niece's organization that help lets that were affected by Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, she opened her own animal daycare where she and her business partner also train and groom animals.
6 Muhammad Hassan
Marc Copani, Muhammad Hassan, came into the WWE in 2004. At first, he identified as an Arab-American wrestler who was just looking for a little relief from the prejudice and stereotypes that grew in popularity after the September 11th attacks. He used to raise his hands and praise Allah during his ring entrances, but had to stop due to complaints from Muslim-Americans.
His career came to a controversial and abrupt end after a match against the Undertaker and Daivari. The Undertaker easily took the match, but then Hassan began to pray and then five men wearing masks, black shirts and camo pants appeared and beat and choked The Undertaker with clubs and barbed wire, before Hassam put him in the camel clutch and then Daivari was dragged off. The bit happened to coincide with the London Bombing attacks and the WWE was subsequently pressured to remove Hassan, which they did.
Following his release, Copani, who is actually Italian, virtually disappeared from 2005-2016 and went to to become a social studies teacher and vice principal.
Dennis Knight, better known as Mideon wore a lot of hats during his professional wrestling career. He was a Texas outlaw, a pig farmer, a hired bodyguard, a Satan worshipper and of course, the WWE's resident exhibitionist. When he hit the WWE scene, he was part of Southern Justice, but soon found himself as a minion of the Undertaker in The Ministry of Darkness. He didn’t seem to enjoy the how constrictive clothing was very much. To the delight or dismay of some.
He quit wrestling in 2006 and donned one last hat. A chef hat. He started working as a chef in Florida, his home state and eventually opened up his own restaurant and catering business. Quite the career path for someone who originally wanted to be a football player and once wore a Leatherface mask as a gimmick. Hopefully he wears more clothes these days.
4 Mason Ryan
Everyone has heard the term, "ran away and joined the circus", but Mason Ryan actually did. OK, not quite the circus, but he did join Cirque du Soleil. Prior to his WWE debut, Ryan was part of their developmental territory FCW. His first appearance was on Raw, but he would soon join "The New Nexus" and the upward trajectory of his career path soon turned into a downward slide. He was sidelined with an injury fairly early into his short tenure and would only make a few appearances here and there once he was all healed up.
He fell down to NXT, but it didn't help like expected and he soon found himself bouncing between TNA and the Independent Circuit before ending up with IGF and then eventually, Cirque du Soleil. He said he wasn’t too sure if he would like it at the beginning, but really enjoys it now.
3 Brutus Beefcake
Brutus Beefcake (Ed Leslie) is best known for his time with the WWE and his nine championships between the WWE and WCW respectively and his vain, male stripper persona and taking a prize after each victory: the hair of his adversary. In 1990, his face ended up getting crushed in a parasailing accident, but that didn’t slow him down since he would continue to be in action via various circuits until 2000.
After his retirement, he opened a wrestling school and was fairly low-key for the longest time, aside from causing an anthrax scare on the subway when he forgot his bag of cocaine. He re-appeared in 2013 outside of Toronto City Hall with a sub and a pair of shears, claiming that he was there to save Rob Ford from his own crack cocaine addiction. He was subsequently escorted off of the property.
2 Scotty 2 Hotty
Scott Garland, better known as Scotty 2 Hotty, didn't make a full jump into the WWE at first. He made sporadic appearances as a jobber while attending college and supplemented his income by working as a bank teller and the manager of a a store. Right before fully joining the WWE, he was working for an insurance company and planned to tryout for the WCW, but was scooped up by the WWE. He became part of the infamous Too Cool duo with Grand Master Sexay, who happened to be Jerry Lawler’s son, and then they became a trip with the addition of Rikishi. Rikishi liked to stink face people and Scotty liked to do The Worm. It was kind of their thing before Scotty disappeared from wrestling.
In 2013, he started training to be a firefighter and paramedic, but ended up becoming a real estate agent instead. He recently re-emerged in the wrestling scene and became a trainer for the WWE's developmental territory.
1 Jimmy Wang Yang
For someone who got his start because he stalked Diamond Dallas Page, Jimmy Wang Yang's career didn't make any big splashes. He was in and out of the WCW, WWE, All Japan Pro Wrestling, the Independent Circuit, ROH and then back to the WWE for four years after he impressed the higher ups and earned himself a contract. He portrayed a redneck cowboy as a play on stereotypes. Once that was over, he hit the Independent Circuit once more and then TNA.
It was a never-ending merry-go-round for Yang until he decided to stop all together. He halted bouncing around in 2011 when he retired and opened up his own pest control service. He also owns a redneck party bus and princess party bus business, because he doesn't want people to drink and drive, but wants to make sure that they can still have a good time.