During a wrestler’s career, it is expected that they are to be in peak physical health throughout. They must look their best and have an incredible cardiovascular system that is good enough to last a wrestling match. This takes a lot of time and dedication from the wrestlers. All this on top of the constant travel and pain that they go through on a daily basis to entertain people. This is an element of the business that is often overlooked and under-appreciated.
It should come as no surprise, that after they finally retire and hang up the boots that the interest in staying in top shape suddenly disappears. After all, just think about your job. Would you want to continue working at it when you no longer need to? Wrestling takes a toll on people’s bodies. This is something that is well-documented, with injuries plaguing the talent that step between the ropes. That is another reason why many wrestlers begin to increase in size following retirement.
Lots of former stars fall to substance after stepping away from the limelight due to not being able to deal with the lack of fame and fandom and this also causes many former wrestlers to gain weight.
There are countless examples of former wrestling stars that have put on weight and enjoyed the buffet following retirement, and this list will look at 15 of them.
15. One Man Gang
It appears the wrestlers who were a little larger during the prime of their careers could do with speaking to the Big Show about his recent diet plan. One Man Gang is another name who was certainly one of the bigger wrestlers during his run with WWE, and his size has only increased following retirement. Should you bump into him at a convention it might take a second look to realize that it’s him.
The size increase has been drastic and borders on a potentially dangerous level. But given that he has always been large it is something he will be used to. It’s clear that the buffet has been utilized a few times following retirement.
14. Greg Valentine
Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine has never been in brilliant shape. The veteran wrestler always boasted a slight belly even during the prime of his career. But that has certainly increased since walking away from the spotlight.
Whether it’s the fact that he is no longer competing in the ring or whether he has given up training and decided to simply decided to enjoy the finer things in life, Valentine looks much bigger than he ever did. Of course, because he was never known for having a fantastic physique, Valentine doesn’t look as odd as some other former wrestlers, but the amount of weight he has gained is quite staggering.
13. Honky Tonk Man
The Honky Tonk Man was never exactly the definition of fit. But he definitely wasn’t as out of shape as he currently finds himself. There can be no doubting his importance in the history of wrestling. He was arguably the greatest Intercontinental Champion in history. His feuds with the Macho Man Randy Savage changed wrestling history forever.
But now instead of stretching his championship streak, he appears to be stretching his waist line. If he would get the Intercontinental Championship belt today, he may need to put in a few extra notches. Kidding aside, it is understandable the Honky Tonk Man doesn’t focus on staying in shape as he hung up his boots many years ago.
12. Iron Sheik
Iron Sheik has always been a bigger guy like a few others on this list. But Sheik wasn’t out of shape during the prime of his career. He was just a thick, strong man. His physique worked alongside his character very well at the time and his look made him very different to the rest of the roster.
The legendary performer is one of the most fondly remembered wrestlers from his generation and he actually does still make odd appearances, where his weight gain is very clear to see. Instead of being thick with muscle, Sheik’s belly is now less toned and more chubby. As he grows into old age it appears his desire to stay in shape has been left behind.
11. Axl Rotten
Axl Rotten sadly passed away after an overdose in early 2016. Before that took place it was clear that Axl Rotten’s body was beginning to increase in size as he began to enjoy time away from the wrestling ring. He was never someone you looked at as out of shape during his prime run with ECW. But when he arrived in WWE’s version of the extreme brand there was a notable change, and that only continued once that run was over.
Rotten also competed for TNA where that decrease in mobility and increase in size was tracked once again. After a spine injury saw his movement seriously reduced, he only continued to gain weight before his unfortunate passing.
10. Abdullah The Butcher
Similar to Yokozuna, Abdullah The Butcher was always one of WWE’s bigger wrestlers. That is something that never changed throughout his life, with The Butcher now arguably bigger than ever as he enjoys retirement.
Thankfully for him, he was always portrayed as a hardcore wrestler. He was involved in some of the most barbaric matches in the history of wrestling, with his weapons once giving an indie wrestler Hepatitis C. Towards the end of his wrestling career, Abdullah worked for Japanese promotions such as Dragon Gate. It was clear his weight was causing problems, with the former wrestler struggling to walk at that point.
Either he has been sucking too much blood or simply enjoying a few extra cheat days since his retirement from the big leagues. Gangrel is certainly a much bigger man than he was during the days of The Brood.
Never known for his incredible physique, adding a few pounds hasn’t exactly hurt Gangrel. His initial weight gain actually took place while working for WWE, and it was one of the main reasons that he got released from the company. Now that he isn’t working in the spotlight anymore, being a slightly larger size doesn’t really have any impact on his career. Gangrel is able to live much more comfortably.
Sadly, this is another entry of a wrestler who is no longer with us. Chyna passed away in 2010, with her life taking a difficult turn in the years prior to that. With substance abuse and questionable career choices all at the centre of her life, it was inevitable that a change was going to happen.
Chyna was always known for being in incredible shape with a very muscular physique. She was often more impressive than many of her male counterparts. The fact that she was so well known for her physique likely added to how obvious the changes were. With her face becoming puffy, Chyna lost much of her muscle and gained some weight. The former female superstar began to focus on feeding her habits which ultimately led to her passing away.
Another talent who was never a big muscle guy, Taz always did look in good shape throughout his career despite not having the biggest or the best physique. However, in 2018, he appears to be much bigger than during his wrestling career.
Unlike many of his fellow wrestlers, Taz appears to have no desire to get back into the ring for one more match. He is focusing on his brilliant podcast instead, which is likely why the former ECW star has gained some weight. There is no need for him to stay in top shape as he won’t be throwing on his trademark orange singlet anytime soon. Taz doesn’t need to remain in top condition if he has no desire to be.
Given the fact that Sandman has spent his entire wrestling career drinking as part of his gimmick, it shouldn’t really surprise anybody that following his retirement he has gained weight. It appears that it has all caught up with him after some time. His post-wrestling chugs are no longer being worked off now that he isn’t wrestling. With the chugging, the smokes and the hardcore style he wrestled, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that he has gained a little weight.
Sandman could probably still smash a kendo stick over anybody’s head if he got the chance, with him being one of the most extreme wrestlers in the world. But he might just take a little longer on his walk to the ring, while he downs a cold one of course.
5. Ahmed Johnson
In a similar way to Iron Sheik, Ahmed Johnson was always had a thick build. This is why he also had a professional Football career, playing for the Dallas Cowboys during the 1990s prior to his wrestling career.
Because of his impressive size and strength, he had the perfect body to be a monster in wrestling and that is exactly what he was. However, following retirement Johnson went from being intimidating to chubby as he piled on the pounds. Nowadays, Johnson looks incredibly different to what he did during his wrestling career, after suffering from several injuries that likely played a factor in his current health and size increase.
4. Scott Hall
The story of Scott Hall is one that is well known by wrestling fans, with the legendary wrestler falling from being one of the all-time greats to a man who would turn up at independent shows drunk, struggling to speak. Hall slumped into a drink and drug problem like so many former wrestlers sadly do, thankfully DDP stepped in and helped Hall before he got too far into his problems, but that doesn’t mean that he looks the same way he once did.
Hall was once seen as one of the best looking wrestlers in the business, and those looks are certainly no longer the same, whilst his chiseled abs are also a thing of the past. He might look better, a lot better, but nowhere near how he used to.
During the 1990’s nobody would have ever expected Sunny to appear on this list later down the line as she was a major sex symbol for WWE and was a fan favorite because of those looks, which provided her many opportunities throughout her time in wrestling.
However, many of the fans that lusted after her during Sunny’s prime would potentially not even recognize her in 2018 due to the difference. There is no doubt that she has had a hard time after leaving wrestling, with many controversial stories surrounding her. From her arrests and adult entertainment work to the substance abuse, it isn’t exactly surprising to see how much weight Sunny has gained.
It might be a surprise to see the legendary Yokozuna on this list. After all, he was one of the largest WWE Superstars in history during the prime of his career. It shouldn’t really be a surprise to know that he got bigger after hanging up the boots.
However, Yokozuna didn’t just get a little bigger, he gained an incredible amount of weight, eventually peaking on the scales at around 700 pounds. Unfortunately, that size gain eventually played into his untimely passing. Gone at the young age of 34 after a heart failure in England, his increased size likely put a major strain on his body, leading to his heart problems.
1. Jake Roberts
The problems of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts have been well documented, with all the highs and lows that have come with it. Jake’s journey after retiring has been an incredibly difficult one for the legendary wrestler.
Falling into drink and drug problems there were times when many in the wrestling industry thought we were going to lose Roberts, especially when he hit rock bottom; struggling to walk and function like a regular human. Thankfully, Diamond Dallas Page stepped in and the transformation of Roberts has been incredible to witness, returning to a better shape he was able to return to WWE on Monday Night Raw.
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