Living the life of a pro wrestler certainly isn’t as glamorous as it seems, particularly for wrestlers of the 80s and 90s. The product back in the day was more like a circus littered with drugs, alcohol and various controversies behind the scenes. Thankfully, today, the WWE has taken the proper steps in fixing this up by paying closer attention to concussions and the overall wellness of the wrestlers, handing out several random drug tests per year.
As great as this all sounds, it wasn’t always the case (especially for the wrestlers on this list). Drug testing didn’t exist years ago and concussions were still a gray area which the WWE really didn’t look at. This has caused a plethora of former WWE stars to file a class action lawsuit against the company for neglecting concussion-like injuries. Several of the wrestlers on the list have filed the lawsuit against the WWE, which shouldn't be surprising.
For the most part, most of the wrestlers on this list you probably won’t recognize for all the wrong reasons. Although, we do feature some stars that still look pretty darn good like our number 20th entrant, but just not like they did back in the day! So without further ado, let’s find out who that is and who else made the list. Here are 20 pictures of pro wrestlers you won’t even recognize, enjoy!
20 20. Melina
Melina took part in the festivities during the Ruthless Aggression era becoming one of the most dominant Divas of that time period. Her in-ring work was far ahead of the other ladies during her peak, but it all eventually got to her head. Melina wasn't easy to deal with backstage and she became one of the most unpopular Divas in history. Several former WWE Superstars claims Melina was arrogant and generally kept to herself.
Her WWE career ended in 2011 and she’d proceed to hit the indie circuit. After a stint heading back to school, Melina has decided once again to return to the world of pro wrestling dawning a new look with short blonde hair. She’s currently working the indies and it wouldn’t surprise us to see veteran make an appearance on WWE TV once more, perhaps working down in NXT.
19 19. Raven
At the age of 52, the former ECW, WCW and WWE star has aged pretty badly by looking at recent photos. During his prime years in the 90s, Raven enjoyed the party life, consuming loads of alcohol and drugs and hooking up with numerous ECW, WCW and WWE stars.
It seems like that, mixed in with Raven’s reckless in-ring style, all caught up to the former ECW Champion when looking at him today. Nowadays, the Atlanta, Georgia native is still selling his fame through various wrestling conventions, appearances and on his website pushing various pieces of memorabilia. Had Raven kept a cooler head during his pro wrestling days, you wonder how different things could have turned out for the former 27-time WWE Hardcore Champion.
18 18. Nicole Bass
Nicole Bass had a brief stay in the pro wrestling business during the late 90s. She stared with ECW and was then brought into the WWE. Her most noteworthy role was playing Sable’s bodyguard. Despite her great presence, her run fell short after she attempted to sue the WWE for sexual harassment behind the scenes. The case was ultimately dismissed.
Since she left, Bass has continued trying to sell her brief fame by taking part in various wrestling conventions. She made headlines last year for all the wrong reasons after she was caught shoplifting from a grocery store. The items stolen from Nicole accounted to $1,400 dollars worth of items. Good heavens.
17 17. Jillian Hall
Joining the WWE in 2003, Jillian Hall is mostly remembered for her comedic gimmick as an aspiring singer. She did well in her role and had a lengthy run with the company lasting seven years. In 2011, Hall would join the indie circuit and announce her abrupt retirement from the sport in 2014.
Her life outside of the WWE hasn’t been the smoothest, as she’s long ways away from her days as a recording artist, reaching the number 20 spot on the UK’s Holiday album chart. Since her departure, Hall has been charged for battery which later led to a separation from her husband and her look has changed as well. However, she seems to be in better spirits nowadays. You can follow her on various social media platforms.
16 16. Rick Martel
Only a small percentage of wrestling fans would actually be able to identify the person above as being Rick Martel, who looks nothing like his glory days. It only makes sense, as he's 60 years old, so it’s only normal.
The Quebec native had quite the impact on the pro wrestling industry becoming one of the most iconic AWA Champions in history, holding the title for 595 days. His WWE stint wasn't as successful in terms of accomplishments, but he still served a purpose during the late 80s all the way into the mid 90s.
Today, Martel is happily enjoying his retirement alongside his wife and daughter. Rick is just happy to be a family man after years and years of travelling on the road. However, he does still attend the occasional wrestling convention to make a couple of extra bucks and chat with the fans.
15 15. Tori
Not Torrie, not Terri, but simply Tori. Remember her? The Portland, Oregon native was a part of the WWE during the peak of the Attitude Era, joining forces with the likes of Kane and D-Generation X alongside X-Pac. Her run with the faction was short-lived and the company would attempt to revamp her as The Black Ninja. The masked gimmick also didn’t last very long and Tori would later serve her final WWE spell as a trainer on Tough Enough.
In 2001, she departed from the company. Some believed her release was because of an alleged abuse incident backstage with Raven, but it was later revealed she was simply retiring from the business to pursue a career elsewhere.
She’s still pursuing that path today with a career in yoga, running her own studio. Over 50 years old today, Tori looks different but has still kept in decent shape after all these years.
14 14. One Man Gang
Breaking out in the late 80s in the WWE as One Man Gang. he'd have a solid run with the company, also working as Akeem and in a tag team known as The Twin Towers. His run with the WWE was up in 1990, but One Man Gang continued to make a living working the indie scene for decades. Up until 2009, the former WCW and WWE star was still performing for various indie promotions.
Recently, he was affected by the flooding in Baton Rouge. The wrestler, along with 125,000 others, did not purchase insurance to cover the costs which led to One Man Gang being homeless. He did set up a GoFundMe page however and it was able to raise quite a few bucks to help him get on with his life. He’s also looking to make some extra dollars by joining the class action lawsuit against the WWE for concussion related injuries.
13 13. Shelly Martinez
Known as Salinas from her days in TNA, Shelly Martinez had a failed stint with the lackluster ECW brand, where she was known as Ariel. She had loads of potential, as he was oozing with charisma and her look was certainly marketable. It was her backstage interactions that would eventually cost her the dream job she always wanted. After an exchange backstage with Batista, Martinez was released by the company immediately. According to rumors, Shelly was sticking up for Melina after a dispute with Batista. The WWE wanted none of it and chose to release the ECW star.
She would take her talents to TNA and even returned for a special one night only event this year, losing to Rebel. Nowadays, she is still attending wrestling conventions but enjoying her time off as you can see through her Instagram and Twitter pages. She also looks really different at the age of 36, but we’ll categorize it as a good kind of different.
12 12. Rodney Mack
Like we recently saw with Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series, Rodney Mack saw his win streak evaporate on an episode Raw following a quick and brutal loss to Goldberg in his Madison Square Garden debut. Now the match didn’t have as much luster, but it was still a big deal given his push and Mack’s open challenge dominance at the time.
An injury would later derail his momentum even further and he’d be out of the WWE quickly. He would return in 2006 only to see his run once again get halted as he was sent packing shortly after, this time for good.
At the age of 46, the Lafayette, Louisiana native is still paying the bills working in the pro wrestling industry. As you can see in the picture above, he doesn’t seem to be working for the most glamorous of indie promotions. Mack is still touring alongside his wife and former WWE star Jazz. Speaking of Jazz....
11 11. Jazz
Unlike her husband, Jazz had a good run and made the most of her stint with the WWE. During the early 2000s, Jazz was a major heel for the company feuding with the likes of Trish Stratus and winning the Women’s Championship on two occasions.
After her time with the company, Jazz took some time off to start a family with her husband, the previously mentioned Rodney Mack. The couple have two children together. As of September of 2016, Jazz is back in the ring at the age of 43, working an indie schedule like her husband. As you can probably tell, Jazz looks really different in comparison to her WWE days.
She recently made headlines by joining the other names that are currently suing the WWE for concussion related injuries.
10 10. Simon Dean
Judging by the picture above, Steve Richards still looks to be in great shape, Meanie still looks like Meanie, but Dean/Nova looks like he's packed on a few pounds. Wasn’t the guy promoting fitness during his failed WWE stint? Well it’s clear that went out the window real fast.
Listening to some of his comments on various podcasts, you’d think the guy was running on a treadmill while speaking. He seems heavily out of breath each time. This is probably because Dean chose a life as a banker instead of pro wrestling. However, he didn’t need to stop training all together, which is likely what happened and why he’s gained a couple of extra pounds. Despite his new career path, Simon still appears at various wrestling conventions and indie events.
9 9. The Kat
Stacy Carter, aka The Kat, was another Diva that had a tough time behind the scenes. With no prior experience, The Kat was thrust into the limelight of the WWE because of her connections, as the ex-wife of Jerry “The King” Lawler. Her contributions actually worked and that’s only because she joined the company during the wackiest time in pro wrestling history, the Attitude Era. After only a couple of years, the WWE decided to release Carter because of her negative attitude behind the scenes.
Stacy would go onto join the indie circuit before leaving the business for good. Although she still does appear at various wrestling conventions, her Instagram is loaded with dog pictures which is disappointing considering she was called The Kat. At the age of 46, although she might not be recognizable, Carter’s still looking pretty darn good.
8 8. Mr. Anderson
Mr. Anderson really aged since his WWE departure. The former WWE star is still quite young at the age of 40, but looks more like a dude that’s 50 nowadays.
Anderson’s career was like a rollercoaster filled with highs and lows. The WWE had big plans for the New Jersey resident, but various Wellness Policy violations and a reckless demeanor in the ring would ultimately ruin those big plans. He was released by the WWE and would join TNA, having a decent spell with the company before he was once again released for failing a random drug test given out by the company.
Nowadays, Anderson is working the indie scene along with hosting his own podcast, Push The Button. Anderson discusses an array of topics on the show from the world of politics to the current landscape of pro wrestling.
7 7. George “The Animal” Steele
Some of you probably didn’t even realize this legendary face was still alive today. At the age of 79, the Florida native George “The Animal” Steele is still alive and well. George is remembered as one of the first pro wrestlers to make the jump from sports and entertainment to Hollywood, appearing in the Tim Burton film Ed Wood.
Today, Steele is happily retired although he did manage to show up on Raw six years ago during the November 15th, 2010 episode. You can still find George keeping active on social media, giving his thoughts on the business, and he’s even been a guest on various podcasts over the years. We wish the WWE legend nothing but the best in his retirement.
6 6. Spike Dudley
You really have to check this picture twice in order to figure out that it's former WWE star Spike Dudley, who looks more clean cut today in comparison to his pro wrestling days. During his career, Spike was like a stunt dummy, known for his reckless bumps during his ECW and WWE days. Who can forgot the poor guy being launched into the crowd like a toy?
After years and years of taxing his body with various promotions and on the indie scene, Dudley finally decided to trade in his tights for a suit, working as a Financial Transition Specialist. Spike chose this route for a more stable source of income to provide for his wife and kids. It’s worth mentioning that Spike still makes the rare indie appearance along with meeting fans at wrestling conventions.
5 5. Dawn Marie
It's hard to believe that the lady holding a cat in the picture above is former WWE Diva Dawn Marie. Although her run with the WWE was brief, she did manage to make an impact on-screen working memorable storylines alongside Vince McMahon as his Legal Assistant and a feud with Torrie which sparked the interest of several WWE fans. The entire ordeal had a weird twist which saw Dawn almost marry Torrie’s on-screen dad, Al Wilson.
Ultimately, her WWE run came to an end in controversial fashion while she was at home on a maternity leave. Dawn sued the WWE for her abrupt dismissal and the case was apparently settled in 2007.
Today, Dawn is enjoying her life as a full-time mom at the age of 46.
4 4. D’Lo Brown
During the Attitude Era, several wrestlers flew under the radar and D’Lo Brown was one of them. During the greatest period in pro wrestling history, Brown had plenty of accomplishments, winning the European Championship four times along with a stint as the Intercontinental Championship. His work rate was above average and the WWE relied heavily on the veteran during his time with the company.
After a brief WWE return in 2008, Brown would proceed to finish his career with stints in TNA, AJPW and various indie promotions around the world. He even held a wrestling class out of Vegas during 2014 and 2015.
Today, at the age of 46, Brown is still enjoying his life residing in Vegas. Along with a degree in accounting, D’Lo has been seen making some extra bucks working in Nevada as a night club bouncer.
3 3. Vampiro
With a broken neck and on the injury list, the WWE opted against bringing in Vampiro for a stint during the merger. This was yet another reason why the Invasion story failed as badly as it did, as they were missing several key pieces including Vampiro who had quite the fan base during his run with WCW.
Following his time with WCW, Vampiro became a journeyman travelling the world. The veteran joined almost every indie promotion known which included CMLL, All Japan Pro Wrestling, TNA, Xtreme Pro Wrestling, AAA Mexico, Wrestling Society X, Juggalo Championship Wrestling and, his current home, Lucha Underground.
Nearing his 50s at the age of 49, the Ontario native looks nothing like his former self, with a bald head and looking much older that his glory days. Despite the new look, Vampiro is doing great working as a commentator for Lucha Underground and partaking in storylines there as well.
2 2. Marty Jannetty & 2 Cold Scorpio
The dark side of pro wrestling is rife with wrestlers that abused drugs and just can’t seem to let go. This picture features two examples of that with Marty Jannetty and 2 Cold Scorpio. Both Superstars saw their runs get halted because of drug abuse, as Scorpio has admitted his WWE run felt short because of this problem. Marty, on the other hand, remains in limbo with the problem to this very day.
Scorpio is 51 and Marty is 56, however this hasn’t stopped the two from both actively performing at indie events. The two are also frequently spotted at autograph signings around the globe, though it's not particularly easy to recognize them.
Both wrestlers have also joined the class action lawsuit against the WWE for concussion related incidents. Despite that, Jannetty still rips the WWE for not inducting him into the Hall of Fame. Don’t hold your breath Marty...
1 1. Ahmed Johnson
The aging process hasn't been particularly kind to Ahmed Johnson. He went from one of the most jacked wrestlers of the 90s to looking like a shell of his former self nowadays.
It seems like a distant memory today, but Johnson was actually a pretty big deal back in the day, becoming the first African American to win a singles title in the WWE. He was pushed quite heavily by the company in the mid 90s, but ultimately his lack of in-ring improvements saw him fail. After leaving the WWE, he failed to impress with WCW, getting the boot after he refused to lose weight, which was foreshadowing for his terrible weight gain in the future.
Like so many of the others on this list, Johnson joined the class action lawsuit against the WWE for traumatic brain injuries.
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