When we say goodbye to wrestlers, we get a feeling as though it is the last time we'll see them. They have their retirement matches or make the announcement on Raw or Smackdown. Seeing these moments have made us cry, knowing we will never see our favourites wrestling in front of a WWE crowd. Contrary to popular belief, many of our favourites are in fact still working for the company. Some, in fact, are backstage at every show.
The WWE has created a great working environment to ensure that once someone hangs up the boots and are on good terms with the company, they can still have work in some sort of capacity. There is always room for the WWE to grow and with that, comes jobs to fill. From trainers to producers and even writers, the entries on this list would surprise some of you. We thought they had left and went onto, as the WWE writes in their release announcements, "future endeavors." However, as this list will show, once you're a member of the family, you're always a member of the family.
We're already aware of some of WWE legends that still work for the company. We have seen many backstage photos with appearance from guys like Arn Anderson and Billy Kidman and we know Michael Hayes has a senior-level producer position. While these may not come to a shock to some, this is a list of 15 former wrestlers you have no idea are still working for the WWE.
15 Tyson Kidd
By watching Season 7 of Total Divas, you will notice that Tyson Kidd is definitely not returning to the ring. At least, not as a wrestler. After suffering a life-threatening spinal injury in 2015, Kidd, born TJ Wilson, has not wrestled since. On Total Divas, we have seen Wilson lounging around at home with Natalya and their cats, but there was no mention of a return date to the ring. On the show's sixth season, there was a large lack of seeing Wilson, to the point that he wasn't shown at all. In June of 2017, it was revealed that he was hired as a producer by the WWE. He may never be Tyson Kidd the wrestler, ever again, but by being behind the scenes at every show, he can still give tips and small training sessions to those who ask for it. We've seen Natalya be a little cautious about Wilson training Lana, but with this job, he is able to still be close to the one thing he can't have anymore and help build the product.
14 Mark Henry
We've seen his "retirement speech" on an episode of Raw, just for him to begin one of his final attempts to become WWE champion, the one title Mark Henry never held during his tenure with the company. In fact, it wasn't until last year, WrestleMania 33, that Henry finally hung up his boots. He participated in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. It is not known how long after his last match he was offered a job as a producer/road agent. However, he mentioned on an episode of WWE Network's Table for 3, which aired on July 17, 2017, that he was transitioning from a talent to an employee of the company. That transition was scheduled to begin a couple of months following the taping of the conversation with his former Nation of Domination stablemates. Braun Strowman and Baron Corbin have both mentioned that Henry has helped them shape their careers with the WWE, with Strowman citing Henry as the one who offered him a tryout.
13 Scotty 2 Hotty
When any WWE fan in the late 90s saw the face in the picture above, they knew what was coming. With those yellow sunglasses and dance moves, it was hard not to notice Scotty 2 Hotty. A half of the tag team Too Cool, a team that was portrayed to a parody of aspects of hip-hop culture, the master of the "worm," born Scott Garland, held the tag titles twice, once with Grand Master Sexay and once with Rikishi. He was also a one-time light heavyweight champion. After being released from the company in 2007, Garland has made sporadic appearances on WWE television, as well as completing training at the Lake Tech Fire Academy in Florida. However, his career took a small shift in September of 2016. He was hired as a trainer at the WWE Performance Center. It was noted last year that he is training the second of four levels of classes at the Orlando training helm.
12 D-Von Dudley
One half of arguably one of the most decorated tag teams in professional wrestling, D-von Dudley is someone that the tag teams today would be proud to take tips from. As a member of the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame class, Dudley, born Devon Hughes, is far more than just a legend. As a producer for the WWE, Hughes is working with young talent to help them further their careers. His lengthy career, spanning over many promotions in many countries, is a great mentor to have for many of the superstars on the roster today. Hughes already has experience training superstars with the academy that he opened in Florida with the other half of the Dudley Boyz, Bubba Ray. Other trainers at the academy include Tommy Dreamer, Billy Gunn and former TNA Knockout Velvet Sky. Having the wrestling school, along with his 20 years as a wrestler himself, there is no doubt that Hughes being backstage is an asset to all he lends a hand to.
11 The Boogeyman
Who could ever forget the Boogeyman? The way he would cover his opponents in worms. Even worse, how he ate that disgusting "growth" on Jillian Hall's face. The Boogeyman, born Martin Wright, began his career in the WWE following controversy. He lied about his age when taking part in the fourth season of Tough Enough. The cut-off age was 35, and he said he was 30, when in reality was 40 at the time. After being booted from the competition, Wright was called by WWE officials to then-developmental territory OVW. After a short stint there, he debuted on Smackdown in July of 2005, following a string of vignettes that aired in the weeks leading up to it. He stayed in the WWE for just under four years before getting his release, but in 2012, he made his first appearance through his new legends ambassador contract. The contract is still good today, where he is scheduled to make sporadic appearances on WWE television when the time calls for it.
10 Irwin R. Schyster
No one likes paying their taxes, and Irwin R. Schyster, better known as I.R.S., was always there to remind you to pay them. As the right hand man of "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, Schyster, born Mike Rotunda, always walked around with a briefcase and kept every one who crossed DiBiase in line. Since his retirement from the wrestling world in 2004, Rotunda was running a security company with his wife until being re-hired by the WWE as a road agent in 2006. He has made several appearances on WWE television. His two sons, Windham and Taylor are thriving in their careers as WWE superstars Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas. Normally, having your dad following you on the road would be a bother, but with the experience Rotunda has and the family he married into, his sons are probably more than happy to have that shoulder to lean on. No doubt, he makes sure their taxes are paid on time, too.
9 Dean Malenko
Who could forget his jump from WCW with Perry Saturn and the late Chris Beniot and Eddie Guerrero? Dean Malenko was known for being for the "Man of 1,000 holds," with submissions being his specialty. His attempt at courting Lita was hilarious to most, ending with him being set up by Team X-treme and left beaten in a hotel room. Malenko, born Deam Simon, spent time in ECW, WCW, New Japan and WWE. It was his time with WCW that gave him the jump-start to go to the WWE. After disappearing off WWE television as the Invasion story-line began, he had a handful of matches, before completely retiring from the ring. It's hard to know exactly when he was hired as a road agent, but he was seen on stage on the Eddie Guerrero memorial episode of Raw on November 14, 2005. He has been working as a road agent, seen a few times breaking up brawls on Raw and Smackdown.
8 Ranjin Singh
Probably the most shocking on this list, Ranjin Singh is in fact still employed by the WWE. Most notable for his tenure as the Great Khali's translator and hype man, Singh, born David Kapoor, is working as an assignment editor in the creative department of the WWE. After working as the manager of the Great Khali for four years, he began his career as a writer in 2011. He gradually made his way up to head writer for Smackdown. In 2015, he moverd up to head writer of both Smackdown and Raw. He is now the assignment editor, editing all writings that come his way for story-lines on WWE television. Many people may not suspect that he would be the one writing the story-lines we've seen over the last three years. We've never formally seen him take credit, but we can imagine he is very happy with his work, as our the millions of fans who tune in each week.
7 Jerry Briscoe
While he may have a career worthy of his WWE Hall of Fame ring, Jerry Briscoe is probably better known by fans today as one of Vince McMahon's right-hand men along with Pat Patterson. Having a legendary career with his brother Jack throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, he was inducting into the WWE Hall of Fame, along with his brother, the night before WrestleMania XXIV. After retiring from the ring in 1985, the WWE hired him as a talent scout, a position he held until he suffered three strokes in June 2009. After taking time off to recover, Briscoe returned to the WWE as a recruiter for NXT in March of 2010. He still holds that position to his day. While he may have suffered yet another stroke, though it was minor, in October 2011, he didn't give up his position at the WWE Performance Center.
6 Fit Finlay
Many WWE Divas has noted that Fit Finlay helped train them, one in particular being Trish Stratus. Finlay began his wrestling career in 1974, but it wasn't until 2001 that he came to the WWE. He started out as a trainer until 2005 when, at the age of 47, he made his debut with his gimmick being a proud Irishman who loves to fight. He stayed on the main roster until being released in 2011 following authorizing the interruption of the United States national anthem at a house show, angering the audience, which included members of National Guard. After a short tenure on the independent circuit and a year after the incident at the house show, Finlay was re-hired by the WWE as a producer on July 11, 2012. The two sides had been trying to negotiate a deal with that year's WrestleMania, but deal wasn't finalized until July. Finlay still holds that position today.
5 Jim Ross
The one voice that is always sadly missed at the commentary table on WWE television is that of Jim Ross. Beginning his career as a commentator while in college, he began his tenure in the wrestling world as a referee for the NWA Tri-State area 1974. He gradually made his way up to commentator before moving to WCW in 1987. After a small stint in WWE's top competing company, he made the jump in 1993. Though the beginning of his tenure under Vince McMahon wasn't without it's fair share of controversy, including having two attack's of Bell's Palsy. In 2002, Ross, alongside Jerry Lawler, was the voice of WWE's top Monday night show. He has voiced many iconic matches that we all look back on over the last two decades. In 2009, Ross suffered his third Bell's Palsy attack, having him leave his duties as commentator for the Bragging Rights pay-per-view. Since then, he is the lead commentator for NJPW on AXS TV, but is contracted on a legends contract with the WWE, making various appearances, the latest one being at the 25th anniversary episode of Raw, commentating alongside Lawler once again for the night's main event.
4 Tony Chimel
Best known, probably for his great rendition of saying "Rated-R Superstar" whenever Edge came to the ring on Smackdown, Tony Chimel began his storied career as a ring announcer with the WWE in 1989. He began filling in for Howard Finkel at non-televised house shows and televised B-shows. When Smackdown became a show in 1999, Chimel was named the main ring announcer. Over the course to the next 16 years, he had been on Raw and ECW, as well as Smackdown, all at separate times, of course. Whatever show he was on, Smakdown was always his home. Chimel found himself in feuds with Mr. Kennedy, fired by former Smackdown General Manager Kurt Angle, only to be re-hired right away by Vince, and had worms shoved in his mouth by the Boogeyman. He walked away from being in the ring every week in 2015. Since then, he has been the chief of the ring crew, and occasionally announces in the ring at non-televised events.
3 Howard Finkel
The one man on this list who has the longest tenure with the WWE. First signed with Vince McMahon Sr., for the company that was then known as the WWWF, in 1977, Howard Finkel currently holds the record for number of appearances at WrestleMania. The only one Finkel has missed since the show's inception 34 years ago, was last year, where he was replaced by Greg Hamilton to announce the previous night's Hall of Fame inductees. We have seen that Finkel had a soft side on the show Legends' House, which gave us insight to his insecurities. He made a life for himself working for the WWE, and is now the chief statistician and interviews for WWE.com programs. He was the voice who led the best and biggest to the brightest stages of the WWE. It would definitely be hard to let the guy who was credited for coining not only Ricky Steamboat's "Dragon" nickname, but also the term "WrestleMania" walk away from the company he helped thrive for the last three decades.
2 Pat Patterson
The first Intercontinental champion, Pat Patterson, born Pierre Clermont, had a historic career the spanned from the late 1950s until 1984. After retiring from the ring, he began to work various backstage roles. He is credited with coming up with the idea for the iconic Royal Rumble match. He worked as a road agent, a talent-relations representative and a referee until he began his on-air role as one of Vince McMahon's "stooges" in 1997. This led to Clermont becoming the oldest Hardcore champion. Following the end of the McMahon-Helmsley faction story line, he began working backstage again. In 2004, Clermont retired as a producer for the WWE, but was asked back for a limited capacity in May 2005. He may be retired fro, the role as producer, he is still a creative consultant. He can be still be seen, when mentioned, at every Hall of Fame ceremony, sitting in the audience. He was also one of the main cast members of WWE Network's Legends' House, which aired in the spring of 2014.
1 Shawn Michaels
The showstopper. Mr. WrestleMania. There are many names that Shawn Michaels, born Michael Hickenbottom, goes by in the eyes of the WWE universe. The one that you don't hear too many people say is "trainer." We have heard that he trained Daniel Bryan, but what we didn't know that since he retired from in-ring competition, he has switched up his role with the WWE. In December of 2010, Hickenbottom began his contract as not only an ambassador, but also a trainer at the WWE Performance Center. Along with Terry Taylor, he teaches the final level of training classes to prospective WWE superstars. Having someone like Shawn Michaels train you is a dream come true for any aspiring professional wrestler. The experience he brings to the training classes is something that only the select few that make it to the final level at the top-quality Orlando, Florida facility. No one knows how to make matches bigger than they can be than Mr. WrestleMania. Those who get that advice are far luckier than they can even dream of.