The 1990s might not sound like they were that long ago, but we're closer to 2030 than we are to 1999. And when you consider the questionable route WWE has taken since the turn of the millennium, we’ll excuse you for being just a little bit worried about where the company will be in 13 years time. Although if they carry on their current methods, you can bet Triple H, Goldberg and probably even Kevin Nash will be main eventers.
They’ll probably still look the same by then, but as with all humans, people's appearances can change a lot. From haircuts that strip away any sort of resemblance they might have had to the gaining of a few extra pounds, it’s the little things that make all the difference. This list is comprised of not only those who have undergone radical changes in their looks, but there are also a few stars who you probably just wouldn’t recognize. And that’s not because they’ve changed their look, it’s because you probably just don’t remember what they looked like. From the lower mid-card WCW guys to the one you might not recognize with his clothes on. And speaking of WCW, number 20 is…
Debuting originally in WWE, Crowbar is probably best known for his time in WCW from 1999 to 2001. And even though his success was limited, he did get to team with Flair… David Flair. With Daffney as the third member of the group, Flair and Crowbar picked up the Tag Titles but the WWE weren’t interested in picking up his contract, leaving him to the independent circuit and the early days of TNA.
19 Bart Gunn
Let’s face it, you probably wouldn’t recognize Bart Gunn even if he looked exactly the same as he did back in the Brawl For All days. Best known for winning the real, actual fighting tournament in 1998, Gunn previously partnered Billy Gunn as a pair of cowboys with relative success in the mid-90s. It was in the Brawl For All that he is best remembered for ultimately.
18 Dennis Knight
Whether a part of The Undertaker’s Ministry or *shudder* walking round almost naked, Dennis Knight wasn’t a big part player in the Attitude Era. In fact, even putting him into Naked Mideon mode didn’t do much for him – who knew that wouldn’t get him over?
17 Evan Karagias
A member of 3 Count along with Shannon Moore and Gregory Helms, Evan Karagias and his squad were basically WCW’s attempt to cash in on the popularity of Backstreet Boys during that time. And in fairness, at least they were something a bit different. But for Karagias, that was as good as the wrestling industry got.
16 Scotty 2 Hotty
Scott Taylor was perhaps one of the most over stars of the Attitude Era, and he was probably the most unlikely of the lot. Small in stature, Taylor became Scotty 2 Hotty and went on to huge things with Grandmaster Sexay and Rikishi. Master of The Worm (which drew the same excitement as a People’s Elbow), Scotty’s look was helped by his flash of gelled blonde hair.
15 The Kat
The former Mrs. Jerry Lawler (no, really), The Kat was probably best known for being Chyna’s understudy during her run in WWE. That was until her release from the company in 2001, which led to Lawler himself departing in anger. Needless to say, he returned as soon as the two split up… later that year.
14 David Flair
Like the previously mentioned Crowbar, David Flair achieved relative success in the late 90s WCW. The son and spitting image of The Nature Boy, Flair didn’t last long in WWE, decimated by The Undertaker and departing very quickly. But even though he’s a part of one of the most successful wrestling families in history, DF didn’t consider staying around the industry.
13 Mikey Whipwreck
The master of the stunner and one of the key players in the heyday of ECW, Mikey Whipwreck was massive in the company. A former ECW champion (in the days where being ECW Champion meant something), he picked up multiple tag belts along the way as well as TV Titles. But after WWE took on ECW, Whipwreck didn’t see his contract picked up and he retired.
12 Bull Buchanan
Don’t be alarmed, he’s not grown any hair or anything crazy like that. But let’s face it, you probably wouldn’t recognize him whether he looked identical to his 90s-00s run or not. Debuting as a part of The Truth Commission, Bull went onto become Big Bossman’s sidekick, a member of Right To Censor and, subsequently, John Cena’s rap partner.
11 The Barbarian
From The Powers of Pain to wearing fur and antlers, that’s the way life went for Sione Havea Vailahi. Having left WWE and made the move to WCW, he did the exact same move later in the 90s as he spent five years with WCW in his second spell. His second spell in the soon to be McMahon’s company saw him make the transition back to his earlier character, but visions and memories of his antler wearing days remain.
My dog and I having a stare down over who gets the pillows this morning. It went broadway - wrestler lingo for a draw. pic.twitter.com/1NoI7qiX3R— Raven (@theraveneffect) March 8, 2017
Remember the long-haired outsider who had fans of WWE, WCW, and ECW encapsulated in the 90s and early 2000s? He looks a little different nowadays. One of the most intriguing stars during his time and holding feuds with Kane and Big Show to name only two, Raven also went on to become one of the major players in the early days of TNA. He didn’t switch gimmicks or character either, it was just a natural success and he achieved considerable success.
9 Ahmed Johnson
When Ahmed Johnson was a WWE Superstar, he was a little confusing to say the least. His rants for promos didn’t exactly make him the most understandable on the mic, even if he had the best physique in the company. A true brute, Johnson left WWE and joined rivals WCW, where he put on a few pounds. Now named Big T, Johnson was on the bigger side, but not by much.
8 Perry Saturn
The tale of Perry Saturn is incredibly sad, with homelessness and illness affecting his post-WWE life. Following success in WCW and ECW, Saturn was always stuck as the fourth most successful member of The Radicalz. And having been stuck with the Moppy angle after issuing a beating against a jobber in a dark match, Saturn left the company and went onto new ventures. Touring with WWA and having a stint in TNA, it all went downhill from then.
7 Lex Luger
The tale of Lex Luger is the saddest on this list, because his unrecognizable muscular physique and long blonde locks have deserted him. Now wheelchair bound, Lex picked up a spinal infection in 2007 that has severely impacted his day-to-day life. He does do some work with WWE though, working on their Wellness Policy. But when it comes to a return to the ring, that one is simply impossible.
6 Rock n Roll Express
Instead of putting these in separately, it’s probably best to just put them in as the tag team that they were. Just to make it clear, this entry is about Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton. Well they’ve both aged, quite a bit. Now with both approaching 60 (Morton’s already there), it’s not much of a surprise that they look a little different than their heyday.
5 Shawn Stasiak
Whether you remember him better as Meat or Stasiak, the ex-WCW tag champ didn’t really get the best treatment by creative in the two biggest companies at the time. Do we all remember his return as part of the Invasion, where Vince turned him into a complete (stupid) idiot?
4 Essa Rios
It’s not much of a surprise that Essa Rios looks a bit different to his 1997 debut, because he’s aged. Joining WWE at just 18, Rios was incredibly athletic and held the Light Heavyweight Championship on his debut as the Rios character, but his time in the company was relatively short. Going into no storylines in mid 2000, Rios was kept off television before eventually leaving the company in 2001.
3 Juventud Guerrera
Originally a WCW star, Guerrera took a full decade from his debut in that company to making the transition across to WWE as part of The Mexicools. Alongside Super Crazy and Psicosis, the three rode to the ring on lawnmowers and had the typical Mexican stereotype that WWE loves to play on.
Having spent a decade fighting in Mexico, Vampiro made the transition into the major leagues in 1998 when he joined forces with Ted Turner’s WCW. Most noted for his face paint, it was no surprise when he ended up teaming with and subsequently taking on Sting at the turn of 2000. But the face paint and long hair has deserted Vampiro nowadays, with the 49 year old opting against it.
1 Marty Jannetty
The man who was superkicked and thrown through a barber shop window by long-time partner Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty had his fair share of struggles since his heyday in wrestling. Leaving WWE in 1996, Jannetty has made appearances across the indie scene and was last season in Vince McMahon’s company back in 2009 – and he probably won’t be back any time soon. Part of a lawsuit against the company, he’s not quite held in the same regard as Michaels.
And for Jannetty, he’s not in stellar shape compared to when he was at his prime. Drug abuse played big problems during Jannetty’s earlier years in wrestling and the WWE recognized this, releasing him as he failed to get himself sorted.
Today, the Rocker is still competing but he’s almost unrecognizable to the man who is widely regarded as one of the best tag-team wrestlers of all-time. The long locks have long gone and the svelte figure is a thing of the past unfortunately.
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