WWE superstars have to start their careers somewhere. Many of the current batch of talent decided to pursue other careers before they had their heads turned by WWE, while others have been climbing their way up through the ranks in the wrestling business over the past few decades. Many superstars don't enter the business until their late 20s, which is why many stars have some interesting stories about their lives before they entered the spotlight. Everyone has a past and many of the following list of superstars are hiding a number of secrets when it comes to the lives they used to live.
Some superstars came into the business late and were already in the spotlight thanks to acting, football or dance careers, but they decided to use the skills that they had already acquired to help them to train to become wrestlers. In many cases, this has been quite a successful idea, with many of them currently on the main roster of the biggest wrestling promotion in the world. Others actually had very interesting careers, but just couldn't resist the opportunity
The following list looks at just 15 current WWE superstars and where they were before they came to WWE. This list looks at the strangest jobs and the strangest wrestling promotions that these stars were once known to be part of.
15 R-Truth: Rapper
R-Truth has been in the wrestling business for the best part of his life since it was the wrestling business that helped Truth to remain on the straight and narrow when he was struggling back in his late teenage years. Truth dropped out of school when he was 16 because he wanted to focus on a career in music and even turned down the wrestling business once because he thought that he could make it as a rapper.
Jackie Crockett offered Truth a chance to join his promotion when he was fresh out of prison back in 1997, but the star spent the next two years trying to make it big with his rap skills before he finally accepted Crockett's offer and has been part of the business ever since.
14 Tino Sabbatelli: NFL
Tino Sabbatelli may be turning heads right now as part of the NXT brand, but a couple of years ago Sabbatelli was a well-known football player. The current tag team star played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Cleveland Browns and The Kansas City Chiefs throughout his short career.
Sabbatelli broke his foot in his rookie season and was placed on injured reserve with the Buccaneers before he was released in 2010. He later went to the Cleveland Browns but became a free agent the following year and signed for The Chiefs in 2011. His football career had all but come to an end when he signed for WWE in 2014. Sabbatelli is also said to have been a fantastic baseball player when he was in high school.
13 Lana: Actress
Lana wasn't someone who knew a lot about the wrestling business before she was part of it since she was hired after she auditioned for the 2013 Diva Search. Lana only had a background in dance and acting at this point and had spent a number of years training and even starred in a number of high profile movies.
One of the biggest that Lana was part of was Pitch Perfect where she starred alongside Anna Kendrick and was then brought back for the sequel to the film a few years later. She also appeared on a number of TV series' which includes the main role in I.C.I.R.U.S. back in 2011. Lana was also part of a girl group called No Means Yes but was only able to release two singles before the band disbanded in 2010.
12 Big Cass: Medical Student
Big Cass is currently out injured, but his recovery is going quite well because he has been trained to be able to take care of himself. There was a time when Big Cass wanted to pursue a career as a doctor and went through the pre-med programme at New York University before he decided to switch and study economics.
Cass is another superstar who had a short career in football at college before he decided to join the wrestling business. It seems as though it's a relatively common path for many of the stars who are in the business today. Interestingly Cass could have had a very different career if he had decided to continue with his pre-med training, which would have meant that he would never have made it to the WWE.
11 Chad Gable: Olympic Wrestler
Chad Gable is one of the best pure athletes in WWE right now and he's proved that a number of times with his incredible feats of strength and technique. Gable has been around the wrestling business for a long time, but he actually started out as an amateur wrestler.
Gable was a Minnesota high school champion and went on to represent his country at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was only able to progress through one round of the competition before he was eliminated but mere months after Gable was knocked out of the Olympics, he was approached by WWE and was signed to the company the following year. Gable's amateur career has given him an edge over many other stars in the company in recent years.
10 Eric Rowan: Guitarist
Eric Rowan's presence on WWE TV has allowed him to become part of two of the most intimidating groups in the company over the past few years. Rowan is currently one half of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions alongside Harper, but wrestling isn't the only thing that Rowan has been interested in throughout his career.
Like many superstars, Rowan played football at college level and excelled in the sport, but the talent that he likes to keep hidden is the fact that he's a trained guitarist and it was once a career path that he was once going to pursue before he had his head turned by the wrestling business. Rowan evidently was always someone who longed for a career in the spotlight.
9 Tye Dillinger: Hockey Player
Tye Dillinger was once one of NXT's hottest commodities as The Perfect 10 down in the developmental territory, but he hasn't had the success that many fans envisioned for him on the main roster. Even though Dillinger is a skilled wrestler, this isn't the only skill that the former NXT star has at his disposal.
While he was at school, Tye Dillinger played Hockey for more than 10 years and was very good at it before he decided to leave the sport in order to pursue a career in the professional wrestling industry. Dillinger trained or almost a decade before he was signed to WWE and he gave up one of his biggest passions en route to becoming a professional wrestler.
8 Renee Young: Child Model
Renee Young has become one of the leading female faces on WWE's broadcast team in recent years, but even though it was well-known that Young had a history in the broadcasting world, she has managed to keep her artistic career under wraps.
Renee worked as a child model when she was much younger for a number of different companies before she decided to train in improvisational comedy and at the age of 19, she relocated to Los Angeles so that she could pursue a career as a comedic actress. It was this career path that led her to the world of broadcasting and allowed her to then find her self on WWE's radar. Young worked alongside Mauro Ranallo on The Score Television Network before the duo met up once again in WWE.
7 Naomi: Back Up Dancer
Noami and Lana have always collided when it comes to the fact that both women have backgrounds in dance, but their roots are very different. Naomi started out as a cheerleader before she began dancing for the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team franchise and later started a career as a backup dancer where she worked for a number of stars, including Flo-Rida.
Naomi's background in dance helped her to be pushed to WWE's main roster as part of The Funckdactlys after she failed to win the third season of NXT and has allowed the current Total Divas star to continue to work on her passion outside of the squared circle. Naomi is also a talented musician and sings her own entrance theme on WWE TV.
6 Michael Cole: Journalist
Michael Cole has been part of the WWE for the past two decades but his earlier career as a journalist was the reason why he was able to be signed by the company back in 1997. Cole started his career as a journalist for CBS Radio and went on to cover the high profile 1988 U.S. Presidential Campaign.
Cole went on to cover a number of other political stories throughout his career before spending nine months covering the Yugoslavian Civil War in 1994. He then reported on the aftermath of the Oklahoma City attack in 1996 before returning to politics the following year. He was then recommended to WWE and has used his journalistic skills over the past few decades to bring an air of realism to WWE programming.
5 Rezar: Mixed Martial Artist
Authors of Pain recently made their way to the main roster after what has been a dominant few years in NXT for the two men who have been led by WWE Hall of Famer Paul Ellering. Rezar is another WWE superstar who had no prior wrestling experience before joining WWE, but he did have quite an impressive MMA record.
Rezar competed in eight high profile MMA matches in his short career and won six of his matches, two by TKO. The 23-year-old started judo when he was just four years old and then switched into kickboxing at the age of 12 before he was able to become a Professional Kickboxing heavyweight champion after an 8 man tournament in one night in Germany where Rezar was truly able to show off his skills.
4 Akam: Amateur Wrestler
Much like his tag team partner Rezar, Akam didn't have a lot of experience in the wrestling business before he was signed to WWE, but he had a wealth of knowledge when it came to amateur wrestling since this was the background he brought to the business.
Akam was a stand out collegiate wrestler for a number of years and was even the Canadian national champion in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He won a gold medal at the 2009 Canada Summer Games and even attempted to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics, but just missed out on qualification. He was then looking at qualifying for the 2016 Olympics, before he was approached by WWE in 2014 and he decided to pursue a career in professional wrestling instead.
3 Big E: Powerlifter
Big E has had a lengthy wrestling career over the past few years, ever since he came through the NXT set up and is a former NXT Champion. He had no prior wrestling experience when he was signed to WWE, but he did have quite an interesting Powerlifting record and was even named "Ironman of the year" when he was in high school.
Big E broke a number of records throughout his career including all four Florida state raw powerlifting records in the 275-pound class back in 2010. The following year he broke all raw American national records for the deadlift and total lift but sadly all of his records have been broken since he left the sport. Big E was signed to WWE back in 2009 and has since left his powerlifting career behind him.
2 Lacey Evans: Military Police
Lacey Evans has become the classiest female wrestler in the world on NXT over the past few months, but the woman behind the character isn't opposed to getting her hands dirty.
Evans is a former U.S. Marine and a member of the Marine Corps Special Reaction Team, she enlisted when she was just 19 years old and served five years for her country and was introduced to the wrestling business while she was serving through one of her staff sergeants who promoted independent shows on the side. Lacey was then booked to wrestle on the show despite not having any prior training or wrestling ability, since she had only watched one show beforehand, this is where she found her passion for the business.
1 Luke Harper: Backyard Wrestler
There aren't many active wrestlers on the circuit right now who can say that they first got into the business as a backyard wrestler, but this is where Luke Harper's lengthy career in the business truly began.
Harper was 22 years old when he started wrestling alongside his brother in backyards with a group of their friends under the ring name Huberboy. It was only after a few years of this that Harper decided to seek out professional wrestling training and made his official wrestling debut as Brodie Lee in 2002. Harper went on to wrestle all over America over the next decade in some of the biggest promotions including Evolve, Ring of Honor, Dragon Gate USA, and even Chikara before WWE finally signed him in 2012.