WWE superstars are globally recognizable athletes, but it seems that many of them are not open to living the high life that the money that they earn could fund. Instead, there are a number of WWE stars who have chosen to live a much more simple life than society would usually expect. Living off the grid allows them to be much closer to nature and far away from paparazzi and crazed fans.
While there are a number of WWE stars who have been able to make a choice to live a much more simple life, there are many former stars who have been forced to make this change because they were left with nothing. This could have been because of poor life choices they made that led them down a dark path, or perhaps some event totally out of their control that made them lose everything. In any case, while they may have been living a pretty comfortable life in WWE, their lives outside the business are much more modest and simple, be it by choice or by force.
The following list looks at eight WWE stars who chose to live a much more simple life than their fellow superstars as well as seven stars who had no choice because they were left with nothing. This was either through tragedy or through bad choices, either way, the choice was taken completely out of their hands.
15. Choice: Mickie James
Mickie James is one of the most decorated female wrestlers of all time as a former Women’s Divas and Knockout’s Champion, but outside the ring Mickie is the kind of woman who prefers to enjoy the simple things in life. Mickie grew up on her grandmother’s farm and she got quite a taste for the country lifestyle.
James has always claimed that when she retires from wrestling she wants to live in the middle of nowhere and run her own farm just like her grandmother did when she was a child. As a mother, she probably would have liked for her son to have grown up under the same circumstances, but her wrestling career may not be ready to end just yet, but it’s nice that she has plans in place for when it does.
14. No Choice: One Man Gang
One Man Gang is a WWE star who has fallen victim to the unpredictable forces of mother nature. It seems that last year the 400-pound star saw his property completely ruined by the flooding in Baton Rouge, which left him needing to completely replace the interior of his house, without any help from his insurance.
It seems that the 6ft star hadn’t purchased insurance because he wasn’t living in a designated flood zone, a decision that he obviously lived to regret. He was relegated to temporarily living in a hotel with his wife and their eight cats before he moved into his friend’s trailer while his house was fixed. The financial situation was tough for the former star who faced bills of around $75,000 to make his home habitable once again.
13. Choice: Curtis Axel
Curtis Axel comes from a line of former wrestlers, with his father “Mr. Perfect” being a memorable star in WWE up until 2002. Curt grew up with his family in Minnesota, where he decided to stay and raise his own family after his father passed away.
Axel’s family have always been people who enjoy hunting and fishing and that could be why he decided to stay in such a random location, as he clearly inherited his father’s love of the past time. Axel isn’t used on WWE TV anywhere near as much as he should be, but it seems that he is happy with that and the fact that he is rarely recognized in his hometown. He chose to remain in a place away from civilization, something that many WWE stars have opted to do over the past few years.
12. No Choice: Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy is one of the most popular WWE superstars of the last generation, but he hasn’t been without his problems over the past few years. As well as his various addiction issues, Hardy was hit by a tragedy in his personal life back in 2008 when it was revealed that his house had been burned down following a fire.
Luckily Hardy and his girlfriend Beth weren’t home at the time, but their dog Jack was and tragically didn’t make it out of the blaze. It is thought that the fire was caused by a faulty electrical wire, but it was something that WWE picked up on and used as a storyline between Matt and Jeff Hardy during their feud the following year. Hardy later went on to rebuild his home in the same area, something that he finished back in 2009.
11. Choice: Shelton Benjamin
Shelton Benjamin recently returned to the WWE locker room and has since become a firm fixture in the SmackDown Live Tag Team Division. Shelton also happens to be good friends with Universal Champion Brock Lesnar after the duo shared a dorm room in college and Lesnar even helped Benjamin to get into WWE to begin with.
Shelton is the godfather of Brock’s children, which shows just how close the duo are. This could be why both men have similar outlooks on life. They are two people who don’t very much enjoy civilization and so prefer to be off the beaten path and out of the way of public attention. It’s not an uncommon thing for a person who has become accustomed to the spotlight to do, and it just shows that they enjoy their own company rather than that of the public.
10. No Choice: Lacey Evans
Lacey Evans will be recognizable to the WWE Universe as a member of the NXT Women’s Division and someone who took part in the inaugural Mae Young Classic back in the summer. Lacey is a former US Marine and a has a four-year-old daughter called Summer.
Lacey made the news a few months ago when it was revealed that she had lost her home in Florida to Hurricane Irma. The 27-year-old uploaded Instagram pictures that showed the devastation that Irma had left in her wake, with Lacey mostly upset about the personal objects that she couldn’t actually replace. Luckily Lacey was able to remain positive and work on starting again with her home, and has been seen recently on NXT TV, so everything seems to have turned out well for the potential break-out star of the year.
9. Choice: Mick Foley
Mick Foley is a strange kind of character, so much so that he even has his own Santa Clause room as part of his home. Foley is a legend in wrestling circles and returned to WWE back in 2016 as the General Manager of Monday Night Raw.
It seems that as part of this deal, Foley was only on a handshake deal and didn’t actually gain any health benefits through the contract he signed with WWE. This meant that Foley had to pay for his own hip surgery earlier this year, and even though he had the money to spend, he was thinking more about whether or not it was worth it. He has always been a man who has been vigilant with money because of his family and having to support them, but he chooses to live within his means to ensure that he always has money for the future.
8. No Choice: Joey Mercury
Joey Mercury will be remembered as one half of the Tag Team Champions back when he was part of MNM as well as one half of J&J Security back in 2015. Joey has been part of WWE for a number of years now, both backstage and in front of the cameras and he has picked up both some good friends and some bad habits along the way.
Mercury’s life hit a number of obstacles a few years ago and he spiralled into debt because of an addiction that could have cost him his home if CM Punk didn’t step in and save him at the last minute. Punk also ensured that he was brought back to WWE as part of The Straight Edge Society so that Mercury had a regular income to help him get back on track.
7. Choice: Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose has never been a typical WWE superstar. He refuses to use Social Media, he isn’t a fan of having a phone and wants to live in the middle of nowhere because he isn’t really a fan of people.
On top of this, Ambrose is a man who enjoys the simple things in life. While his wife Renee Young is happy to go out for meals and spend money on needless things, Ambrose grew up without a lot of money and was always unsure of where his money was going to come from. This has left the former World Champion with the mentality that he should always find a way to save money, which has led him down the route that he lives right now, where he prefers to enjoy a life on a budget.
6. No Choice: Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is one of the most recognizable wrestlers in the world and is the man who many of the public outside of the WWE Universe usually associate with the business. But that doesn’t mean that Hogan hasn’t made his own fair share of bad decisions over the past few years.
Back in 2008, it was revealed that Hogan’s net worth was around $30 million, but just three years later his lavish lifestyle and divorce from his wife Linda had almost bankrupted him. Hogan sunk into depression following the divorce and admitted that he thought about taking his own life. He went on to win a lawsuit against Gawker which has allowed him to maintain his lifestyle after being awarded $115 million in the settlement.
5. Choice: Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels is widely considered to be one of the best wrestlers of all time, but now that his career has come to an end, Michaels has no intentions of cashing in on this. Instead, Michaels has been happy to live the simple life on his ranch with his children and his wife over the past few years.
Michaels is a decent hunter and has appeared on a number of TV shows over the past few years which have shown how avid he his about the past time, which is why he enjoys living out in the middle of nowhere in Texas. Michaels is helping at WWE’s Performance Centre currently, but it seems that he has no intentions of returning to the ring for “one last match” since he would prefer to remain at home watching his children grow up.
4. No Choice: Ric Flair
Ric Flair is the only two-time WWE Hall of Famer in history and a former 16-time World Champion, but he is a man who allowed the lifestyle of a famous wrestler to get out of hand in his early years with the company.
Flair’s party lifestyle as well as four consecutive divorces and bad decisions with his finances put him in a tough spot a number of years ago, which could have seen Flair serve prison time if he wasn’t able to pay off his debts. Flair was even forced to borrow $800,000 from the McMahon family to help settle his finances because of his bad decisions. Many believe that Flair waited so long to retire because he couldn’t actually afford to walk away, which is a sad state for a WWE legend to find himself in.
3. Choice: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is the current Universal Champion in WWE on its Raw brand, but he isn’t a superstar who is well liked backstage. This is because Brock doesn’t like people. He has a limited number of friends in WWE and made the choice to live far away from the public eye because he likes his own space.
Brock is an avid fan of hunting as well as attending rodeos in his home state. Lesnar is a strange superstar but he is also a man who values his privacy. Given that he has been around the wrestling business for a number of years now, it would make sense that Brock has grown tired of being recognized and would prefer to stay away from the public and live a much simpler life away from civilization.
2. No Choice: Perry Saturn
Perry Saturn is perhaps one of the most famous WWE superstars to have been forced to retire from the business after one bold decision led to a chain of events that he could never have foreseen.
Perry saw a woman being attacked by two men while he was out one night and decided to help her. While he was able to save the woman, one of the attackers shot him twice in the process which left him addicted to pain medication and unable to wrestle anymore because of the damage. Perry has had a number of issues following his heroic act which now leaves him in the position where he was forced to ask the WWE Universe to help him financially because he is in a lot of debt and really far behind on his medical bills. Perry made the choice to be a hero and the consequences have been some of the harshest that he could ever imagine.
1. Choice: Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan was brought up by a family that became accustomed to living within their own means. This has allowed Bryan to become a man who likes to grow his own food and find other ways to save money rather than spend it on a lavish lifestyle.
Even though he and his wife Brie have a steady income from WWE, it seems that Bryan is happy to live in a much smaller house than Brie’s sister Nikki and raise their daughter in a way that she will understand the value of money. Bryan has always been a person who has liked to remain close to nature and is a huge fan of gardening, something that he hopes to step into when his wrestling career finally comes to an end.
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