For those who are successful, Sports Entertainment can be an exhilarating business that offers the bright lights, fame and of course fortune. Wrestling can be extremely tough on ones body, but the rewards that big time Superstars enjoy are well worth the efforts and wear and tear. However, just like any other form of entertainment, the wrestlers of the big promotions like WWE only have a certain amount of time in the spotlight. Once their '5 minutes of fame' is up, they're replaced with newer stars, leaving them sitting on the sidelines and out of the spotlight. Some wrestlers look totally 'washed-up' when their careers wind down, where as others still look pretty good and have earned enough money to live comfortably in retirement for the rest of their lives.
That is, provided they didn't burn loads of money during their careers living a lavish lifestyle. Today we'll be looking at 8 sad photos of former WWE stars outside the ring, and 7 in it. As I've mentioned before, wrestling can be an exhilarating business, but it can also lead its performers to spiral into dark places where drug and alcohol abuse is prevalent. The 8 sad photos of former WWE stars outside the ring showcases how the business can 'chew and spit out' its performers, and the 7 sad photos of former WWE stars in the ring showcases that many older 'washed-up' wrestlers still rely on wrestling Indie shows to keep themselves afloat financially - either way, these are sad sights to say to least.
15 Outside The Ring: Chyna
Before we even get into this entry, it's only right to pay our respects to Chyna, as she's undoubtedly one of the greatest female figures in Sports Entertainment history despite her controversial past. However, judging by the chilling (and sad) photograph of Chyna above just a little while before her passing, it's clear she was suffering immensely both mentally and physically.
Chyna had a long history of substance abuse, and her problems started to intensify when her time in the WWE spotlight faded away (following the Triple H/Stephanie McMahon dating scandal coming to light). Obviously Chyna felt lost without Sports Entertainment, and she spiralled to extremely low points - performing in infamous "films" for instance. Regardless, it's a travesty how cold the WWE treated Chyna and her legacy before her passing, and she definitely deserves way more respect and credit than she gets.
14 In The Ring: Marty Jannetty
Marty Jannetty was always performing in the shadow of the way more popular Shawn Michaels during their Rockers days. Once they split up, Jannetty was left fighting to stay relevant in the business where as Michaels was climbing the ladder of success in WWE. Jannetty floundered in WWE's mid-card, and since he left the company he's been wrestling on the Indies ever since.
The sad photo above showcases Jannetty wrestling an Indie match in front of a very small crowd. As you can clearly see, he's well past his peak at 58 years old, and he's only wrestling to make ends meet at this point. Clearly Marty wasn't very good at managing his finances, and had he been able to overcome his personal demons, Jannetty could have found himself in a much more profitable role in WWE, as he was given multiple opportunities to return permanently but failed.
13 Outside The Ring: Lex Luger And Scott Hall
Both Lex Luger and Scott Hall have suffered from very troubling times when their careers in the bright lights of Sports Entertainment ended in the early 2000's. Both former WWE (and WCW) stars battled with substance abuse, and though Scott Hall got extremely close to passing away due to his demons a number of years back, I'd argue that Luger's suffered a bit more due to his unfortunate health condition on top of battling his personal demons.
This sad picture highlights what 'The Bad Guy' and 'The Total Package' look like today after being 'chewed up and spit out' by the wrestling industry. On the bright side, both Lex and Scott are free from intense substance abuse now, and they've been given the opportunity to get their lives back on track (which is what both of them have been doing the past few years).
12 In The Ring: Tito Santana
Tito Santana is mainly remembered by wrestling fans for his run in WWE during the 80s and early 90s where he captured the Intercontinental Championship twice, the Tag Team Championships twice, and Tito was also the '89 King Of The Ring winner. Though Santana is 64 years old and is completely out of shape, he still continues to wrestle for a supplemental income.
The sad photo above showcases the well-past-his-peak Santana wrestling a match in a gymnasium - Tito looks so feeble that he'd blow over with the slightest bit of wind. Aside from wrestling, Tito now works as a Spanish teacher and basketball coach for the Eisenhower Middle School in New Jersey. It's clear that Tito's fallen pretty hard from grace following his departure from the WWE, and it pains us to see Santana continuing to wrestle when his health is being put in jeopardy every match.
11 Outside The Ring: Perry Saturn
The sad photo above showcases what the former WCW and WWE star Perry Saturn looks like today. No longer is Perry the physically intimidating wrestler he used to be. He's now lost most (if not all) of his muscle mass due to his deteriorating health the past couple years. Although some of you may be aware that Perry's dealt with addiction in the past, his situation has become far bleaker the last few years, and he's unable to work or drive anymore. This lead Saturn to open up a GoFundMe page last year in order to pay for his (and his wife's) basic living needs. It's really sad to see a talented wrestler suffer like Perry has recently, but it's encouraging to know that Saturn still has a loyal fanbase who're willing to lend a helping hand when in need.
10 In The Ring: Jerry Lawler
Here we have a picture of the 68 year old Jerry Lawler wrestling a match at a small Indie venue last year in front of just a few dozen people. Now the crowd is a sad enough sight, but the fact that Jerry's risking his deteriorated health truly makes the photo stand out as being an unfortunate 'sad sight'.
Jerry Lawler really has no business performing in the ring at this stage of his career (even if he loves to do so), as he's had health related issues in the past - he literally came inches away from passing away on air in 2012. We're not entirely sure if Lawler's wrestling again on the Indies because he's financially strapped, or if it's simply because he loves performing. I think we can all agree that Jerry's better off on commentary.
9 Outside The Ring: The Dynamite Kid
For those of you unaware, The Dynamite Kid Thomas Billington has fell on some extremely hard times the past few years due to his very poor health that's continuously worsened since '97. The sad photo above gives you an idea of how The Dynamite Kid's doing right now, and let's just say that he's definitely seen better days. Kid's been in and out of hospitals the last couple years following a stroke, and he's unable to walk let alone work.
I truly believe the WWE should be going out of their way to support Dynamite Kid and his medical needs, as Dynamite Kid's wife had to resort to a opening a GoFundMe page for multiple medical bills. The Dynamite Kid was an absolutely fantastic wrestler back in his prime, and it's quite saddening to see how far Kid's fallen from grace since his career ended.
8 In The Ring: The Rock N Roll Express
The Rock 'n' Roll Express was a highly decorated 80s and 90s tag team consisting of Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton. They had tenures in many of the big wrestling promotions including the WWE and WCW, and they were rightfully inducted into the WWE's Hall Of Fame Class Of 2017.
However, as good as they were, every wrestlers time eventually comes to an end, and in The Rock 'n' Roll Express' case, they've been wrestling for far too long. At 59 and 61 years old respectfully (and totally 'washed up'), this duo's reliance on wrestling small Indie shows demonstrates their financial mismanagement. This photo showcases Gibson and Morton wrestling a small Indie event in a gymnasium - the literal definition of a 'sad sight' when it comes to former wrestling 'Superstars'.
7 Outside The Ring: The Sandman
The Sandman's one of the greatest hardcore wrestling legends of all time, without question. Spending time in all three of the major wrestling promotions, ECW, WCW and WWE, Sandman was a star wherever he went as his hardcore style of wrestling was mesmerizing to fans. However, when The Sandman was released from the WWE in 2007, this spelt the tail-end of Sandman's relevance in Sports Entertainment.
Following his release, Sandman's been performing regularly on the Indies (mostly small shows), and as you'd probably expect, The Sandman's hardcore wrestling style has unfortunately caught up to him. Showcased above is a recent (and sad) photograph of the washed-up Sandman posing alongside fellow ECW legend Rob Van Dam. Sandman continues to wrestle the Indies to make ends meet thus further wearing out his body.
6 In The Ring: Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Despite never becoming a big time main event Superstar in WWE partly due to his own poor choices (getting busted for drug usage while employed by WWE), Hacksaw Jim Duggan's still one of the most recognizable wrestlers of the 80s and 90s. Jim's been a part of the WWE for so many years now, and he's had short runs with the company as late as 2012.
Obviously Hacksaw's poor personal choices have come back to haunt the Hall Of Famer, as he's still wrestling on the Indies to this day to pay his bills (as well as countless meet and greets across the country). The very recent picture of Hacksaw Jim Duggan above shows just how far he's fallen from grace, as Duggan's looking extremely worn out. It's quite sad to see a legend resort to wrestling such small venues to make ends meet.
5 Outside The Ring: Paul Orndorff
Paul Orndorff's remembered by wrestling fans for his runs in WWE and WCW throughout the 80s and 90s going under the ring name 'Mr. Wonderful' Paul Orndorff. He was definitely a big star for WWE in the 80s when professional wrestling's popularity was rising, and his feud with Hulk Hogan over the WWE Championship in the early 80's was probably the highlight of Paul's career in WWE.
Following Orndorff's 'retirement' from wrestling in the early 2000s, Paul's completely faded away from the spotlight. However, as seen above, the sad photo showcases the 68 year old Paul Orndorff wrestling an extremely small Indie show last year, and judging by the crowd, it's not what you'd call an inspiring sight. It's sad to see WWE Hall Of Famer's resort to wrestling such small shows for money, as the WWE could undoubtedly utilize a guy like Orndorff at their Performance Center.
4 In The Ring: Dory Funk Jr.
Dory Funk Jr. is a member of the famed Funk wrestling family (his brother's Terry Funk), and despite being in his late 70's, Dory's still wrestling on the Indies and in Japan regularly to this day just like his brother Terry. It's clear neither brothers want to give wrestling up even though they're completely 'washed-up' and out of shape, and it's a sad sight to say the least. This picture shows Dory Funk Jr. 'wrestling' a match in Japan recently, and let's just say that Dory's matches are far from being spectacular.
I sincerely doubt the Funk brother's have problems with money at this point after spending decades upon decades wrestling, which brings us down to the only reason as to why they're still wrestling - they cannot give up their job they love so much. As much as we can appreciate Dory and Terry's commitment to the business, it's quite sad to see them still in the ring at their age, as they're putting their health in harms way every match.
3 Outside The Ring: The Undertaker
Until we receive confirmation that The Undertaker's wrestling another match at WrestleMania 34 this year, we can label 'Taker as being a 'former WWE star' who's time in the squared circle has truly come and gone. Now in his early 50's, completely out of shape and 'washed-up', when The Undertaker's not all made up for his few WWE television appearances, he looks like a completely different guy outside the ring. The sad photo above showcases 'Taker at an airport recently looking like a sorry state of affairs.
For only being 52 years old (just one year older than Goldberg), The Undertaker hasn't aged too gracefully at all, and his unwillingness to retire is undoubtedly a major factor in why that's the case (or perhaps Vince McMahon's unwillingness to let 'Taker retire). The Undertaker is a shell of his former self, and it's truly sad to see him return each year for WM when his performances continue to worsen thus tainting his unparalleled legacy in Sports Entertainment.
2 In The Ring: Nikolai Volkoff And Bobby Fulton
Nikolai Volkoff is without question a wrestling legend, and the photo above is sad on whole new levels. The picture showcases Nikolai and fellow wrestling old timer Bobby Fulton wrestling a match in a gymnasium in front of just a handful of people - and to top it off, they're not even wrestling in a ring, I mean how disgraceful is that? This sad event took place in 2013 and it was supposed to be a Randy Savage tribute show (put together by Classic Championship Wrestling), but I'd say it's more of a sad sight versus a 'tribute'.
For those of you who are unaware of who Nikolai Volkoff and Bobby Fulton are, Nikolai's a former WWE Superstar (and Hall Of Famer) who took part in the very first WM pay-per-view where he captured the Tag Team Championships with The Iron Sheik. Bobby Fulton's a wrestler who spent countless year performing in many of the big time wrestling promotions throughout the late 70's, 80's and into the mid 90's.
1 Outside The Ring: Ric Flair
By far the saddest picture on this list, we have a recent photograph of 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair with the retired basketball player Charles Barkley who had visited Flair at the hospital. Though it's clear Ric Flair hasn't aged too gracefully, his health (and his looks) have really deteriorated significantly the last two years, and he's looking very unhealthy which is absolutely heartbreaking.
If you hadn't known Flair's age, you'd probably expect an age somewhere in the late 70's or early 80's range had he been healthy and aged well. However, Ric isn't even 70 years old which shows that his health is terrible. Those years of constant alcohol abuse have come back to haunt the legend, and considering Flair's still drinking heavily to this day despite his health scare last year, it's obvious Ric Flair's not overly concerned about his well being. Regardless, it's sad to see Ric Flair this way.