The 21st century has turned out to be quite the exciting era for professional wrestling, with the fans getting more insight on how the product works; the increasing popularity compelled the WWE to provide their entertainment product multiple times a week. Vince McMahon’s company established itself as the undisputed top promotion after buying out WCW in the early 2000s and started to hire even more wrestlers to make their product stand out.
As the years have passed by, the WWE has hired and fired many wrestlers, as they give more chances to wrestlers who come up through their development territory, or impress on the Independent circuit. There has been an uncountable number of wrestlers in the WWE ever since the start of the new century and in these short years, there have been many released wrestlers who have been forgotten by the fans. Many of these wrestlers kept on wrestling for smaller promotions, with some others opting for a new career.
But these wrestlers don’t look similar at all from what they did in their WWE days and some have undergone rigorous changes, as we take look at how these 20 Forgotten Wrestlers from the 2000s look like today.
20. Chuck Palumbo
Chuck Palumbo was one of the exports from WCW, as he was brought on to be part of The Alliance and played a part in the Invasion angle. He later formed a tag team with Billy Gunn called Billy & Chuck which seemed like WWE’s first homosexual gimmick (it was all a ruse). Palumbo won the Tag Team Championships during this time and later even had a biker’s gimmick in his WWE career. But his singles career was a bust and he was released because of it, as he now has his own business where he builds and repairs motorcycles. He looks in pretty good shape nowadays as this picture shows, as he’s still got the build to fight it in the ring and looks happy in his new endeavor, which is proving to be more fruitful than his wrestling career.
19. Yoshi Tatsu
Yoshi Tatsu seemed like a talented individual when he stepped into the WWE, bringing a lot of experience with him from his New Japan Pro Wrestling days. But he failed to find the proper gimmick in the WWE and could only make it as a lower-mid carder who would often put over other superstars and be reduced to the “B” shows of WWE. He found himself in NXT during his last years in WWE, as Tatsu would be released in 2014 enabling him to go back home. Since returning to Japan, Tatsu has been featured quite well in New Japan Pro Wrestling and looks to be in good shape right now as this picture of him proves. He looks at home in Japan and is proving himself to be a great character, something the WWE could never unearth out of him.
18. Dawn Marie
Dawn Marie was signed by the WWE after her impressive work in ECW, as she had the looks to woo just about any fan and was made to utilize that aspect of her. She would be this sexy, evil woman who had a rather controversial feud with Torrie Wilson which involved Dawn marrying her real-life dad and killing him in their “honeymoon” because of rigorous sexual activity (kayfabe). Marie was a pleasure to the eyes, as she spent a number of years in WWE because of it before being released when she was on maternity leave. Dawn may have looked sexy back then, but if recent pictures are to be seen, she doesn’t look that “hot” anymore. She seems to have let go off her figure and doesn’t look anything like in her WWE days, as the recent picture of her proves her shocking transformation.
Rico is a wrestler who is probably not remembered by many WWE fans because of how forgettable his WWE career really was. He was given a gimmick of a homosexual hair stylist and was who was the manager of Billy and Chuck, as he later also wrestled for a bit. He continued his time as a manager until he was abruptly released by WWE in 2004, as he decided upon a career change some-time after that. Rico is now a Sergeant Inspector for the Nevada Taxi Cab Authority as this picture of him(standing on the right) shows. He looks buffed up and unlike anything his character was in WWE, as Rico probably realized that wrestling wasn’t the best option for him and decided to do some good by becoming an Inspector.
Mordecai seemed like a really intriguing character when he initially debuted in the WWE as this weird, religious character who swore to get rid of the world’s sins. His supernatural, eerie vibe made him interesting but he couldn’t keep up his momentum and would soon fade away. He was later repackaged in a vampire gimmick in ECW, but even that didn’t really help his WWE career. Mordecai, who goes by the name of Kevin Thorn nowadays in the Independent wrestling scene is now reduced to wrestling in the minor leagues and has been forgotten by many WWE fans. This picture shows his vast transformation from his initial WWE days, as he has impressively maintained his terrifying look and continues to portray his terrorizing character “Kevin Thorn” really well in the Independent scene.
15. Tyler Reks
Tyler Reks looked like quite the wild character when he arrived in the WWE, as he had the physical appearance and wrestling skills to impress in the WWE. But he surprisingly fell out of line in WWE and was mostly treated as a lower-mid carder in the company. Reks would later team up with Curt Hawkins, but the two failed to really win anything. Reks was released from WWE in 2014 after which he retired from Pro Wrestling, only making sporadic returns in Independent shows at times. He’s now into the marketing business and co-founder of a marketing company named Local Marketing 2.0 and despite moving on from wrestling, he’s kept his physique in check. Reks looks to be in great shape nowadays and is pretty pumped up,as one can only wonder how well he could’ve done in WWE had they treated him better.
14. Ashley Massaro
Ashley Massaro looked like a promising, sexy diva when she won the 2005 “Divas Search” Contest in WWE and later went on to appear on Monday Night Raw, where she was bullied at first by the “veterans”. Massaro was built like this underdog who was also the manager for Brian Kendrick and Paul London for a time and a decent wrestler too. She did get a Women’s Championship match against Melina at WrestleMania 23, but things didn’t go so well for her after that and she left the WWE in 2008 and was forgotten thereafter. Ever since leaving WWE, she hasn’t stepped into a wrestling ring and is more intent on looking after her family, but continues to look extremely beautiful. Massaro has retained her gorgeous looks over all these years and is proving to look like the sexy diva she was back in WWE.
13. Muhammed Hassan
Muhammed Hassan was an absolute heat-magnet back in the Ruthless Aggression era when he portrayed this provocative Anti-America character who was hated by everyone. Hassan would actually benefit of this and be pushed to the top, but his WWE career came to an abrupt end when he was part of a controversial segment when he “prayed” for six men covered in black to come and beat up the Undertaker and take him backstage. Hassan had to suffer for WWE’s mistakes and retired from wrestling and is a high-school principal right now. He also has changed quite a bit as this picture shows and has seemingly let go of his figure. He was part of the mass class-action lawsuit against WWE made by former wrestlers and one can’t really blame him for holding a grudge against the company who screwed him over in the end.
Cherry lived up to her in-ring name in the WWE as she looked really sexy in her time as the valet of Deuce n Domino on Smackdown. She helped them win the WWE Tag Team Championships and was at their side for a long time, helping them get the wins and enticing the fans with her amazing outfits. She wrestled in some matches but mostly served as a valet, but was released soon after the team of Deuce n Domino broke up. Cherry has since not wrestled in any promotion, but she often makes appearances in wrestling events as this recent picture of her with Natalya shows how her relations with WWE is still pretty good. Cherry doesn’t look as sweet as she did back in the WWE days, but has retained her prettiness and is still well respected among some WWE Divas.
11. Zach Gowen
Zach Gowen was a one of a kind wrestler for the WWE as he wrestled with a prosthetic leg and put in an inspirational act in the WWE in his short time in the company. Gowen was a stunning wrestler despite his physical state and even after being released by WWE, Gowen got a lot of opportunities in the Independent scene. Gowen looks to be in a pretty good shape nowadays as he recently appeared on American Ninja Warrior and this picture proves how good he looks these days. Gowen’s story is nothing short of spectacular and despite being a forgotten figure in WWE, he is still inspiring many like him to prove their mettle in wrestling and is nothing short of a hero because of it.
10. Trent Barreta
Trent Barreta looked to be a talented wrestler when he first appeared in the WWE as part of “The Dude Busters” with Caylon Croft, but he couldn’t really impress enough to become big in the company. He was only a lower-mid carder who was soon demoted to NXT and had a failed career in WWE before leaving in 2013. He may have been quickly forgotten by the WWE fans, but his talent was noticed by New Japan Pro Wrestling who signed him soon after. He went on to impress in Japan, where he formed a formidable tag team RPG Vice with Rocky Romero. He later moved onto the singles competition and even challenged Kenny Omega for the IWGP United States Championship recently. Barreta looks to be in the best shape of his career right now and looks like a superstar, coming a long way from his horrific WWE stint.
9. Ultimo Dragon
Ultimo Dragon was already an established top star in Japan before he arrived at the WWE in 2003, as his debut was highly hyped up by the company. Dragon put on some great matches in his short WWE stint, as he only stayed there for a year or so before heading back to Japan. Although he may have been quickly forgotten by the WWE fans, he continued his brilliant work in Japan as he nowadays works as a freelancer and travels around the world working for independent promotions. This picture shows how the Dragon has grown old, as he may not be as athletic as before, but is more than capable of putting on a great show and pull of some of his iconic moves which inspired many wrestlers who grew up watching him.
8. Luther Reigns
Luther Reigns may be remembered by fans for his time with Kurt Angle in the WWE when he worked as his “assistant” and formed Team Angle with Mark Jindrak and Kurt as the leader. Reigns was this buffed up wrestler who showed great power and worked well under Angle, but he couldn’t survive in WWE once that phased out. He was released by WWE in 2005 and retired some-time later and worked as a bodyguard after that. This picture shows how Reigns has retained his great physique, despite retiring from wrestling a long time ago and is looking to be in a very good shape right now. He may have had a failed stint in wrestling, but he seems to be doing decently and has appeared in some movies in short roles as well, which proves how his physique has caught the eye of many people.
7. Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones was already a well-known strongman before he arrived at the WWE and made quite the impact in his first few months, helping the Undertaker fend off A-Train and The Big Show. Despite getting a push at first, Jones was later sent back to developmental to improve his skills and returned with a terrible gimmick. He was the “Colossus Of Boggo Road” who was a part of Team Lesnar in the 2003 Survivor Series. Jones later left the WWE due to the rigorous travel schedule and appeared sporadically for wrestling promotions before retiring in 2008. Jones has appeared in movies like Mad Max: Fury Road and Conan The Barbarian ever since, as he looks really ripped right now. He’s maintained himself amazingly well and is reaping it’s rewards right now, as his acting career is definitely better than his wrestling career.
6. Shawn Stasiak
The son of the legendary Stan “The Man” Stasiak didn’t have the best of times in his first stint in WWE, but his impressive work in WCW made WWE sign him back in 2001. Shawn Stasiak played a part in the Invasion angle and did well, but after that ended, he turned out to be a bust in his singles career. He got a terrible gimmick which didn’t work and left the WWE in 2002 on his own accord. Since then, Stasiak has become a licensed chiropractor who also does some motivational speaking whenever he gets the time too. This picture shows how Stasiak has kept himself in good shape and still looks pretty muscular these days, as his decision to leave wrestling turned out to be a great one as he’s really ravishing as a successful chiropractor these days.
5. Stevie Richards
Stevie Richards did some great work for ECW before he was signed by the WWE, where he couldn’t really fit in that well. He was a mid-carder at best and mostly appeared in the “B” shows in WWE, also being part of some stables in the company. Richards would surprisingly survive for almost a decade in the company in this kind of a role before being released in 2008. Richards has since worked in the Independent scene as well as for TNA and Ring of Honor, as he looks to be in a pretty good shape these days. This picture shows him promoting a protein shake, as he looks to have become more muscular and stout from his WWE stint, keeping himself in good health which has enabled him to keep on wrestling over all these years.
Eugene was quite the entertaining wrestler in the WWE back in the Ruthless Aggression era, as he would prove to be a unique individual who stole other wrestlers moves to put his opponents down. He was this mentally challenged character which worked well in WWE for a few years, but fans were tired of it after a certain point of time. He was released from the WWE in 2007 and went on to wrestle for other Independent promotions and has quite the change in looks ever since. This recent picture proves how much Eugene has changed since his WWE days, as he has gone bald and looks bigger than before. He doesn’t wrestle often nowadays, but Eugene can still put on quite the show when he does step into the squared circle.
3. Perry Saturn
Perry Saturn looked like a wrestler with much potential in WCW when he had a great feud with Raven and asserted himself as a compelling wrestler. Saturn later joined the WWE, where things didn’t really go so well for him. He was a lower-mid carder who was later given the gimmick of being obsessed with a mop. Although he did manage to make it work and entertain the fans, it was cut short by an injury after which WWE released him. After that, things started to go wrong for him as Saturn would be addicted to drugs and disappeared from sight for many years. He looks absolutely awful these days as he has a neurotic condition which disables him from working. This picture shows how worn out he looks these days, as things have deteriorated badly for Perry and his post-WWE journey is quite a sad one.
2. Vladimir Kozlov
Vladimir Kozlov looked like the next big monster heel for the WWE when he debuted in the company as this destructive, foreign-heel who let his wrestling do the talking for him. He was given a big push before it all came crashing down for him, with a face-turn and tag team with Santino Marella being the final nail for his WWE career. He did win the Tag Team Titles, but was mostly a lower-mid carder who would put others over. Kozlov left the WWE in 2011 and spent some time wrestling in Japan, but then decided to open his film production company Quasar Entertainment. Despite not wrestling for years, recent pictures of Kozlov shows exactly how amazingly ripped he looks these days. He has transformed himself into this physical specimen who looks much better than his WWE days, as Kozlov has a better figure than most wrestlers these days.
Snitsky was a really mean character in the WWE who made a shocking debut in the company when he caused the miscarriage(kayfabe) of Lita after his match with Kane. He went onto get the famous punchline and was a great monster heel for the WWE, who couldn’t really attain main-event fame. He kept on wrestling as a heel for many years before WWE released him in 2008 and he has gone quite the change since then. This recent picture of Snitsky proves how much he has transformed since his WWE days, as he has grown this big beard and become really muscular. His transformation formed some jokes saying that he was Braun Strowman’s dad and Snitsky looks much better these days than he did in WWE, proving his dedication to get better after being forgotten by the WWE fans.
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