There is a misconception around all athletes that when they are performing for a certain company or team it means they are earning a substantial amount of money. While this money is a regular income while WWE's stars are part of their show, there are always times when a wrestler is injured out of nowhere and they are then left without any income and a pile of medical bills. This is why many in the WWE Universe think that former wrestlers made enough money while they were performing to retire happily and many of them did. Shawn Michaels is quite happy spending time on his ranch and as a trainer in WWE's Performance Centre now, knowing that he never has to set foot in a ring again.
This isn't the case for a number of other stars. Bad decisions have defined their careers and now they are in a position where they are asking the WWE Universe for help, or WWE themselves have been forced to step in to help their former stars before they ended up in real trouble. Some have been fortunate enough to get out of a bad place recently, but that doesn't mean things were always going to be ok.
The following list looks at WWE stars the WWE Universe thought would be rich, but actually are struggling to make ends meet right now.
Sunny is well remembered by many of the WWE Universe. She is still considered by many to have been the first WWE Diva, but that claim to fame hasn't been something that Sunny has been able to cash in on for a long time.
The former Diva has had a shocking two decades since she left WWE and it has seen her sink to levels where she was offering fans Skype shows online. She was even selling her Hall of Fame ring at one point. Sunny has reached a level of low that no other wrestler before her has when it comes to ways to make money, and her recent run-ins with the police have been quite costly. Maybe Sunny isn't as poor as many other stars on this list, but she is a WWE Hall of Famer that many fans wouldn't expect to find selling herself online to make some quick cash.
X-Pac was once one of the integral parts of D Generation-X and NWO and is a well-known star all over the world. X-Pac has had quite a hard life, most of which he has publicly shared including the abuse he suffered when he was much younger before he battled substance abuse to help him get through life.
Pac ruined his reputation when he was part of a "private" tape with fellow WWE star Chyna, and his addiction has meant that he isn't one of the most reliable wrestlers when it comes to attending shows either. While he is still able to wrestle and constantly makes appearances on the Independent Circuit, his addiction hasn't left him in a good place financially or physically.
13 Scott Hall
Scott Hall became iconic back in the 1990s as Razor Ramon and is still considered to be one of the best wrestling characters of all time. Razor had stints in WWE, WCW and even TNA before it became obvious that his addiction problem was becoming worse.
Hall was reaching the point where he was performing on shows just to pay for his habit. This got him into trouble with the police a number of times before WWE stepped in and sent him to rehab in 2010. This didn't work, and he continued to flounder until Diamond Dallas Page finally found out and decided to help his old friend a few years later. Scott recovered enough to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014 and has since been able to live a sober lifestyle, despite not being financially stable.
12 Perry Saturn
Perry Saturn isn't one of the most memorable names to have ever been created by WWE, but he still made an impact during his wrestling career, even if the scenes with a mop are perhaps worth forgetting.
Saturn was struck down by injuries and released from his WWE contract, which would have been fine for him to then move on to a regular job if he wasn't later shot twice in the neck as he tried to help save a woman who was being attacked. Saturn then became addicted to narcotics and was homeless for three years before he married his current wife in 2009. Saturn recently released a video where he was begging the WWE Universe for help. He has been in a rough way for the past few years and his injuries are really coming back to haunt him now, as are his medical bills.
11 Marty Jannetty
Marty Jannetty will always be remembered as the tag team partner that Shawn Michaels threw through a barber shop window. It has been his claim to fame for a number of years, and shockingly he is still being booked on Independent shows all over the world because of it.
Jannetty fell on some hard times after he was released from WWE and was conned out of some money by a friend a few years ago when he said he was investing in a gym. Jannetty made the news recently when he found out he had a daughter, who he then discovered wasn't his daughter and thought it was then acceptable to ask the world on social media if he could sleep with her anyway. Jannetty may be better off financially than a number of stars on this list, but he isn't someone who will be booked on many more shows in the near future.
Kamala is remembered for having a dominating presence in WWE throughout the 1980s. He had an original look that has since been adopted by a number of WWE stars, which has kept his legacy alive. Despite this Kamala has been handed a lot of bad luck over the past few years.
His health has deteriorated over the past few years and back in 2011 he was forced to have his left leg amputated due to his high blood pressure and diabetes. His right leg was then amputated the following year. When the WWE Universe realized the struggles Kamala was facing in his day to day life, they launched a campaign to help him. He is still getting by now by selling handmade wooden chairs but is desperately in need of help when it comes to his financial position.
9 The Dynamite Kid
The Dynamite Kid holds his own place in WWE history as one of the greats, he was one of the most influential and innovative wrestlers to ever set foot in a WWE ring, and many WWE fans think that he can still live off his name. That unfortunately isn't the case for the former star.
Wrestling discussion boards are full of stories of how Dynamite Kid used to abuse his wife and child and even once woke his wife up by holding a gun to her head. As with many WWE stars, Dynamite's injuries finally began to pile up and have forced him to spend much of his life in a wheelchair. He has gone on to remarry and his new wife has claimed that even though his time in the ring is the reason for his current health problems, WWE has done nothing to help him and she is now forced to struggle to provide adequate care for her husband.
8 Lex Luger
Lex Luger is perhaps best remembered for his time in WWE when he portrayed an American Patriot style gimmick and was set to become the next Hulk Hogan. Despite this, he didn't manage to get very far in WWE and later floundered in WCW. Even though Luger was remembered as a huge WWE star, he's another one who hasn't been able to continue to live off the name he once made for himself.
Luger's personal life began to fall apart in the early 2000s thanks to his addiction problems that saw him arrested a number of times in the years that followed. Following Miss Elizabeth's death in 2003 he was charged with 13 felonies and had to pay almost $30,000 to make bail before he was acquitted. Luger managed to waste a lot of his money on drugs and legal troubles which left him in quite a state until he found the light, sobered up and was able to begin working for WWE once again, but in a less physical capacity.
7 Jerry Lynn
Like many ECW stars over the past few decades, Jerry Lynn became a well-known star after working for WWE for a few months but has struggled ever since then. He was never given the same kind of spotlight as stars like Sabu and Rob Van Dam, which is perhaps why he has been asking for help in recent years.
Lynn has been able to continue working for Ring Of Honor and proved that he still has it even at this stage of his career, but he was yet another wrestler in a long list that has been forced to ask the internet for help when he fell behind with his usual bills. It seems like a real problem with a number of former wrestlers, something that WWE should think about helping with.
Virgil is a prime example of an ex-wrestler who was in the spotlight for a while, so the WWE Universe expects him to have made enough money to be able to live a comfortable lifestyle now.
This obviously isn't the case. The former star can be seen as the most lonely wrestler at each and every convention nowadays since most of the current generation of WWE fans have no idea who he is. Virgil has reached a point where he can no longer cash in on the fact that he was once a WWE star, which is a sad reality for him, but if he didn't con fans out of money and sell Ted DiBiase merchandise that he wasn't licenced a few years ago then perhaps fans would be much more sympathetic to his rough situation right now.
5 Tony Atlas
Surprisingly, even being in the WWE Hall of Fame or being part of Legends' House isn't enough to ensure that you're financially stable in life following the end of your wrestling career. Tony Atlas found this out the hard way when it was revealed that he was on the verge of being homeless once again just weeks after he had been living in The Legends' House on the WWE Network.
There were some sad reports that WWE hasn't stepped up to help Atlas, who was still struggling to pay his mortgage a few months ago, which left him in a position where he was begging fans for money at autograph signings and conventions, which is a sad position for any WWE legend to be in, especially one who was loved as much as Atlas.
4 Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Jake "The Snake" Roberts has the unfortunate statistic of being one of very few WWE legends who was unable to lift a WWE Championship in his entire career. He's a WWE Hall of Famer and grandfather of 10, but even Jake Roberts has had his fair share of financial struggles over the past few years.
Jake's problems hit a new level in 2004 when he let his snake "Damien" starve to death because he was struggling to live off the money he was making from Independent shows. Finally WWE sent him to rehab in 2007 but this was a waste of their money since he once again found solace in substance abuse. DDP finally stepped in and helped Jake lose weight and overcome the addiction to the point where he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014. Jake has found his feet over the past few years, but as a legend of the business, he would have been in a much better place had he found help earlier.
One of the faces of ECW for a number of years, Sabu had quite the reputation when he was much younger, a reputation that he has tried to continue into his early 50s, which haven't turned out quite as well as he would have hoped. Sabu's hectic style in the ring has left him in a position where he can no longer wrestle like he used to and has been forced to reach out to fans to ask for their help when it comes to his hospital bills. Sabu's main problem is his left hip, which he really needs to have replaced, but he is having trouble funding himself. The likes of Rob Van Dam and other wrestling friends have tried to encourage the WWE Universe to help the former star raise money for this treatment.
2 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is one of the best-known wrestlers in the world, but that doesn't mean that he hasn't been through his own fair share of hard times. Hogan's wife filed for divorce back in 2007 and really took Hogan to the cleaners in the settlement.
Hogan stated that he actually considered ending his own life for a short time following this because he was left with very little when Linda walked away. Thankfully, Hogan went on to successfully sue Gawker for releasing a tape of him online. The Immortal One was awarded $115 million in the suit and was finally able to get on with his life. For a time Hogan was in a bad place, but thanks to the lawsuit and his new wife Jennifer McDaniel, Hogan has been able to get through it.
1 Ric Flair
The Nature Boy Ric Flair is one of WWE's biggest legends. He's a two-time WWE Hall of Famer and a 16-time World Champion, but many of his personal mistakes have cost him dearly when it comes to his finances.
Ric was known to be something of a party animal in his early career and he managed to waste a lot of money on this habit. That being said, his four costly divorces over the past few decades have been the biggest drain on his income. Flair was in a lot of trouble back in 2010 when Ring of Honor filed a $40,000 lawsuit against him, but the case was dismissed. Flair was later seen to be in so much debt to HighSports Inc that he could have faced 90 days in jail but an unknown person paid off these debts and Flair was spared jail time. He has since cleaned up his act somewhat. Flair may be known for his styling and profiling ways, but outside of the ring his life is a wreck and he has very little income left from his glory days.