While it's true that the 1980s was an amazing time to be a wrestling fan, you can make an argument that the 1990's were even better. During the first part of the decade, you had guys like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair on the top of the wrestling world. The mid-1990s may not have been the most exciting time, but the Monday Night War more than made up for it. The top guys became household names, and every single wrestler seemed to benefit from wrestling's new found popularity. Wrestling was so popular in the 1990s that even the mid-card wrestlers are still remembered fondly today.
While you might have an image in your mind about how a certain '90s wrestler looks, the reality is that a lot of time has since passed. It's only natural as people age they tend to look different. While some of the wrestler's appearances on this list have changed for the good, most look like a shell of their former selves. This is mostly due to the fact there was a ton of drug taking and partying going on during the 1990s.
Here are 20 wrestling stars of the 1990s that you might not recognize anymore.
21 Tank Abbott
Tank Abbott entered WCW in 1999 with the reputation of being one of the toughest men in the entire UFC. He was especially known for his hard hitting punches, knocking out his very first opponent in just 18 seconds. Abbott seemed like a great fit for pro wrestling, but things just didn't work out for him. He was actually brought in to be a legitimate contender for Goldberg, but that feud never happened. Of course, WCW would decide to turn the potential beast into nothing but a comedic character.
After being released by WCW in 2000, Abbott would restart his MMA career. Abbott's last fight was a loss in 2013. He was scheduled to face Dan Severn in 2016, but the fight had to be canceled because Abbott failed a physical. That's not hard to believe considering these days he looks more like Santa Claus than an actual fighter.
20 One Man Gang
While it's true that One Man Gang spent the better part of his wrestling career in the 1980s, he did do a few things of note in the '90s as well. The One Man Gang under the new gimmick of Akeem wrestled the Big Boss Man in a losing effort at WrestleMania VI in 1990. Shortly after that the One Man Gang would he take his talent over to WCW where his biggest accomplishment was capturing the United States Championship in 1995.
The One Man Gang continued to wrestle on the independent scene until he had to retire in 2009 due to injuries. He was always a very big man during his wrestling career, but he has put on an unhealthy amount of weight since retiring. His back problems have gotten so bad that he's no longer able to work. The One Man Gang isn't super old at 57 years old, but you would think he is a lot older based on the way he looks and moves.
19 Scotty Riggs
Scotty Riggs is kind of a forgotten '90s wrestler. This is due to the fact that he was never given much of a push during his career. In the the mid '90s he teamed up with the future Buff Bagwell to form the American Males. While Bagwell went on to have a decent amount of success, the only noteworthy thing that Riggs did was when he became a member of The Flock.
Riggs would briefly join ECW, before wrestling on the independents until he retired in 2009. Rigg's original gimmick in WCW was The American Males. The team's gimmick was based on the fact that Riggs and Bagwell were absolutely obsessed about looking good. That's why it's ironic today that Riggs seems like he could care less about how he looks. He looks out of shape and his gray scruffy beard does not help his appearance.
When you think of some of coolest wrestling characters of the '90s, Raven is definitely one of them. The grunge-inspired Raven gimmick first debuted in ECW. He had memorable feuds with the likes of Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman. After becoming a hardcore legend in ECW, Raven joined WCW in 1998. While he had a hard time getting a push with all of the politics in WCW, his run was at least still entertaining.
Looking at Raven today, you can tell all of the years of taking chair shots have taken a toll on his body. He seems like he has just given up on his appearance. Not only has he put on some weight, he has whiter hair than Ric Flair. He used to be known for his grunge look, now he just looks like a grungy old man.
17 The Sandman
When you think of wrestlers who were such an integral part of ECW's history, you can not forget to mention the name of The Sandman. There weren't many wrestlers who defined what it meant to be extreme quite like The Sandman. He would famously come down to the ring drinking beer with a cigarette in his mouth, and then he would beat the living hell out of his opponent usually with his Singapore cane.
When wrestlers are away from the screen they don't usually act like the characters they portray on television. However, Jim Fullington is The Sandman on and off the screen. It's evident by pictures and stories on the internet that Fullington loves to drink and party. All that booze as well the insane punishment his body took in ECW, has Fullington looking a bit worse for wear these days.
Sunny is considered by many to be the first ever Diva in WWE History. She joined the company in 1995 and made her debut as the manager of The Bodydonnas. She would go on to manage wrestlers like Farooq and the Legion of Doom 2000. Not only was she was one of the top managers in the company, the gorgeous blonde was also the WWE's top sex symbol.
After being released by the WWE in 1998, Sunny would go on to have briefs runs with both ECW and WCW. Throughout the years, Sunny has only made sporadic wrestling appearances, but her miserable personal life has helped her remain in the spotlight. Sunny has been arrested numerous times, mostly due to her drinking problems. While it's only natural for someone to look older as they age, her excessive drinking seems to have sped up her aging process.
15 Perry Saturn
Perry Saturn began his wrestling career in 1990, but it wasn't until he joined ECW in 1995 that his career started to take off. As a part of the devastating tag team The Eliminators, Saturn won the ECW Tag Team Championship on three different occasions. Saturn's ring skills eventually caught the eyes of WCW who signed him in 1997. While Saturn did win a few titles in WCW, he was mostly stuck in a mid-card position.
After he spent a couple years with the WWE in the early 2000s, Saturn's career and life went in the toilet. He became addicted to meth and he was even living on the streets for a couple of years. After some people thought he might have been dead, Saturn resurfaced in 2011 sporting a new look. He had put on a few pounds and shaved his trademark goatee. However, the most drastic change to his appearance was his new gigantic face tattoo.
Kamala had the most success of his career in the 1980s with the WWE, feuding with the likes Jake 'The Snake' Roberts and Hulk Hogan. However, he also had some memorable moments in the 90's as well. Fans will probably remember him most for being a part of the first ever casket match against the Undertaker at the 1992 SummerSlam.
While Kamala had a brief run with WCW in 1995, he spent the rest of his career mostly on the independent scene. His career ended up being cut short due to serious health problems. High blood pressure and diabetes forced Kamala to have both of his legs amputated. The Ugandan Giant is now forced to live in a wheelchair and looks like a very sad man these days
13 Dan Spivey
Dan Spivey had a good career, but it could have been a lot more memorable if wasn't cut short due to injuries. During the early 1990s in WCW, he teamed with the likes of Sid Vicious, and Mark Callous ( before his day as The Undertaker). However, he's probably is most remembered for his short-lived gimmick of Waylon Mercy with the WWE. The character was unique for the time and it looked like it might have some legs. Unfortunately, Spivey's body didn't hold up and the gimmick was finished before it really started. Luckily the gimmick found new life as the inspiration for current WWE Superstar Bray Wyatt.
After retiring from wrestling in 1995, Mercy found himself with a heavy drinking problem. That problem would eventually lead to a DUI arrest. While Spivey is now sober, you can tell by the way he looks today that his drinking took a toll on him.
12 Lex Luger
When you talk about some of the most successful wrestlers of the 1990s, Lex Luger's name has to be part of the conversation. He had success in both WCW and the WWE. While wrestling for WCW he was a two-time World Heavyweight Champion and a five-time United States Champion. Although he didn't win any titles during his time in the WWE, he was the co-winner of the 1994 Royal Rumble.
Luger's career fizzled out after WCW went out of business in 2001. This was because he battled legal and health issues. Luger suffered a spinal stroke in 2007 that left him wheelchair bound. While his health has improved a bit in recent years, he looks nothing like his former bodybuilder self.
11 Dawn Marie
Dawn Marie may not have gotten her big break in the business until she joined ECW in 1998, but she still managed to make her mark in during the last couple years of the decade. She made her debut as the somewhat dimwitted valet of Lance Storm. Although she was portrayed as a heel, the fans at the ECW Arena fell in love with her due to the lack of clothing she wore. As the manager of the Impact Players, she would help Lance Storm and Justin Credible win the ECW Tag Team Championships on two occasions.
After ECW closed its doors, Dawn Marie would go to have a memorable three-year run with the WWE. She wrestled on the independent scene for a few years, before wrestling her last match in 2008. While she was portrayed as a bimbo on television, in reality, Dawn Marie is actually a very intelligent woman. She famously dressed up in sexy nurse outfits during her wrestling career, and now she is ironically a nurse for a living, but in less skimpy outfits I'd imagine.
Dennis Knight wrestled for numerous promotions in the 1990s, but he is best known for his time spent in the WWE. He joined the company in 1996 as one-half of the tag team The Godwinns. In 1998 Knight was given the gimmick of Mideon, who was a member of The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness.
Dennis Knight's wrestling career cooled off in the 2000's. His terrible Naked Mideon character didn't do his career any favors. Today, Knight is no longer in the wrestling business. He changed career paths drastically, as he is now a chef. Knight has also changed up his look a great deal since he last appeared on television. The now bald Knight looks a lot more sophisticated than the man who once paraded around wearing nothing but a thong.
9 Marc Mero
The majority of Marc Mero's wrestling career took place during the 1990s. He got his big break in the business when he joined WCW in 1991. Under the ring name of Johnny B. Badd, he would go on to become a three-time WCW World Television Champion. After not being happy with the WCW creative team, Mero joined the WWE in 1996. While he had some success in the WWE, winning the Intercontinental Championship, he was overshadowed by his then wife Sable.
Mero left the WWE in 1999, and had to retire from full-time wrestling due to numerous nagging injuries. Mero now works as a very successful motivational speaker, with some of his videos on YouTube getting millions of views. The man who used to famously look like a muscle bound Little Richard has since shaved off his mustache and cut his once long jet black hair.
Droz's tenure with the WWE may have been brief, but he did have his memorable moments. The man who became famous for his ability to puke on demand, made his WWE debut in 1998 as a member of the Legion of Doom. Droz's wrestling career was just starting to take off when it all came crashing down on October 5, 1999. Droz was having a match against D'Lo Brown when a botched powerbomb performed on him would put him in a quadriplegic state.
While Droz has no anger towards D'Lo Brown over the incident, there is no doubt the accident has made his life a great deal more difficult. He is now is wheelchair bound, and has to have around the clock in-home care in order for him to function. Obviously, with him being in a wheelchair, the former freak athlete isn't the same ripped man he was in the '90s. He may not look like the same guy who once showed so much potential, but he's just happy to still be alive.
7 Lanny Poffo
Lanny Poffo is probably best known for being the younger brother of the legendary Randy Savage. However, Lanny still had a decent career of his own. When he wrestled in the WWE during the 1980's he was known as Leaping Lanny Poffo, but he is probably best known for later portraying The Genius character.
During his heyday, Lanny had a similar look to his brother, with the long brown hair and goatee. While he looks like he's still in decent shape today, he looks nothing like The Genius we all remember. With his short hair and clean shaven face, there almost no way you would recognize him if you walked past him on the street.
Vampiro was one the coolest wrestling characters of the 1990s. His look was unique with his creepy face paint, tattoos, and dreadlocks. Before he made a name for himself in North America, he was a big hit in Mexico, especially with the ladies. Vampiro joined WCW in 1998 and stayed with the company until it closed down in 2001. Some of his most memorable moments with the company happened during his feud with Sting, which including a bizarre Human Torch match between the two of them.
After not getting his contract picked up by the WWE, Vampiro would wrestle all around the world. While Vampiro still wrestles today, his matches are few and far between. If you do manage to see one of his matches today, you will have a hard time believing he's the same man who the Mexican women fell in love with. His dreadlocks have long since been cut off, and he looks like he hasn't seen a gym in a long time. Without his facepaint, he looks liked a washed up wannabe rockstar.
5 Barry Windham
Barry Windham 9Pictured Right) was famous for being the son of the legendary Blackjack Mulligan. Throughout his career, Windham seemed to bounce from the WWE to WCW and back again. He began the 1990s as part of WCW in a pretty significant role. He was an on and off again member of The Four Horsemen and was a decorated champion in the company. He went to the WWE in 1996 where he teamed up with Bradshaw to form The New Blackjacks. He ended off the decade by rejoining WCW, but he didn't do a whole lot in his last go around with the company.
Despite being barely forty years old, Windham stopped wrestling full-time in 2001. It might have been in his best interest for him to keep wrestling. If hadn't stopped maybe he wouldn't look so out of shape as he is today. Windham looks much older than his actual of 56. His near death heart attack he suffered in 2012, has made him look even more run down.
4 Mikey Whipwreck
Mikey Whipwreck started out his career in ECW as part of the ring crew. However, once Paul Heyman saw that he knew how to take a bump, he signed him to the roster. Throughout his time in ECW, Whipwreck was booked as a huge underdog. Despite being an underdog, he managed to become Triple Crown Champion, which included defeating The Sandman in a grueling ladder match for the Heavyweight Championship.
Since ECW went out of business in 2001, Whipreck has wrestled primarily on the independent scene. He retired from wrestling in 2015 and has instead focused on training wrestlers. Whipwreck never looked like he was in great shape, even in his prime. Today, it looks like he might be in the worst shape of his life. He has also shaved his head completely, so without his usual poofy hair, he is almost completely unrecognizable.
3 Ahmed Johnson
The former NFL linebacker joined the WWE in 1995 and was almost immediately given a big push. At the 1996 King of the Ring he defeated Goldust to become the first ever African-American Intercontinental Champion. Johnson actually became the number one contender for the WWE Championship, but kidney problems prevented him from ever getting a title match.
By 1998, not only was Johnson was out of the main event picture, but he was gone from the WWE entirely. He would have a brief and forgettable run in WCW before retiring in 2003. Johnson has packed on the pounds since hanging up his wrestling boots. He went from looking like an imposing linebacker to a very out of shape offensive lineman.
2 Bobby Heenan
By the early 1990s Bobby Heenan's time as a manager was done as he could no longer take bumps due to neck problems. However, Heenan still had a significant role in the '90s as a color commentator. After leaving the WWE in 1993, Heenan headed over to WCW to become their lead color commentator. He lent his legendary voice to the company up until he was released in November of 2000.
In the past decade, Heenan has only made rare public appearances. This is because he has dealt with many health problems. In 2002, Heenan was diagnosed with throat cancer, and his health seemed to only get worse from there. Not only has he lost a considerable amount of weight, but he also had to have reconstructive surgery on his jaw two separate times.
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