For many superstars, wrestling is a way of life. The demanding lifestyle of sports entertainment meaning many of the people you see twice a week on TV are also competing at house shows and doing public appearances on the days there’s no television show. WWE demands that you don’t just dedicate your career to it, you have to dedicate your life.
So when a superstar retires, there’s a giant question mark hanging over their lives. Where now? Some go on to continue working in the business, like Triple H or Jerry “The King” Lawler, who have taken business and commentary roles respectively. Some have gone on the indie circuit, or tried to squeeze as much mileage out of their dwindling popularity as possible. Others have simply faded away, getting regular jobs with the wrestling career becoming a strange fact about their past.
The current WWE landscape is full of incredible athletes, people who are really dedicated to the craft, and it’s impossible to imagine them doing anything else. Remember the runt of the litter, Spike Dudley? Who’d have thought the fun little guy would become a financial planner after his in-ring career ended? Scotty 2 Hotty is a firefighter and real estate broker. Ivory runs an animal daycare. Behind the characters, each wrestler has another passion, something else to their personality that helps define their post-ring career. With a bit of sly deducing, I think I’ve come up with the perfect careers for these 15 wrestlers to take when they finally leave the squared circle for good.
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15 Sheamus - Hacker
The Celtic Warrior Sheamus is mostly known for kicking people in the face, sporting a ridiculous Mohawk and screaming “are you not entertained?” among a cacophony of boos. But did you know, early in life, he was an IT Technician? While it may seem hard to believe now, the current Mr. Money in the Bank was once the pasty guy who’d come up from the basement to fix your email filter.
After his wrestling career is over, Sheamus could combine his hard-hitting style and IT background into becoming the Celtic Hacker, brogue-kicking his way through your firewall.
14 David Otunga - Lawyer
This one's a no brainer. David Otunga is incredibly intelligent. He graduated from high school with a perfect 4.0 GPA, going on to get a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He then worked as a laboratory manager at Columbia University’s Neuroscience Centre. If that wasn’t enough, he then went and passed the bar exam and joined a law firm.
Really, David Otunga could do anything he puts his mind to (except appear on Raw), but continuing his career as a lawyer would be the most obvious choice for his post-wrestling career. With his degree and experience in neuroscience, he could easily crack most suspects at the witness stand.
13 Jack Swagger - The New Wolf of Wall Street
The Real American Jack Swagger was on his way to working for a finance firm before he became a WWE Wrestler. If the life of Jordan Belfort, as described in his book and the adaption Wolf of Wall Street, is anything to go by then the life of a made man in finance is one full of hedonistic partying and fraud.
Jack Swagger was famously arrested after driving under the influence of marijuana in 2013, meaning we’ve already seen shades that he can adapt to the high-flying lifestyle of Wall Street. Watch out, investors – Swagger is coming to Patriot Lock your investment portfolio.
12 Paul Heyman - Life Coach
When Brock Lesnar stands in the middle of the ring, staring at the hard camera while Paul Heyman delivers a promo about how great he is – you know no one in the world feels better about himself than Lesnar in that moment.
Imagine someone going through a tough time in life, not sure where their career is heading, the future becoming a barren landscape of uncertainty. Who better than Paul Heyman who give them the motivation they need to succeed?
11 Charlotte - Public Relations Manager
Charlotte didn’t originally see herself becoming a wrestler. In fact, she was on her way to becoming a personal trainer when she eventually joined NXT to become one of the forerunners of resurgence of women’s wrestling. She also holds a degree in Public Relations.
With the name of Flair behind her and a great charismatic presence, Charlotte has a potential future in becoming the public face for a company, delivering press releases and talking with customers to help resolve issues. Struggling companies would find a new lease on life if their PR Teams just did it with Flair.
10 Cesaro - Translator
Watching the Swiss Superman unleash his large move-set on opponents in the ring, it’s hard to imagine him working anywhere but the squared circle. But the man is an incredible linguist, speaking English, German, Italian, French and Swiss German fluently. An incredible master of various European tongues, Cesaro would be a good fit translating for corporations around the world, making business deals go smoothly with his professional demeanor.
When the King of Swing trades in his wrestling boots, he can swiftly become the King of Linguistics, neutralizing miscommunication between parties and uppercutting any competition for being the best darn translator in the world.
9 Nikki Bella - Real Estate Agent
While many would automatically assume Nikki Bella's post-wrestling career would be something along the lines of modelling or a reality television star, Nicole Garcia Colace is also a qualified real estate agent. She took classes at a San Diego real estate school on her days off and passed the exam last year.
This fact was featured on an episode of Total Divas, as Nikki was looking to find a home for Cameron and her boyfriend. If you're in SoCal looking for a home, would you not want to be around Nikki for a little while?
8 Chris Jericho - Journalist
Being a part-timer, Chris Jericho is almost beginning to transition into a career in journalism with his podcast series. He talks about hard-hitting stuff, working in a lot of his personal life and career into stories about the industry. While it’s not as well revered as Stone Cold’s and while it hasn’t had a killer-guest like Punk on the Colt Cobana Podcast, Jericho’s degree in journalism means he has the potential to make one of the biggest, hardest hitting and relevant podcasts for wrestling.
From there, it’s only a matter of time before he starts writing segments for various publications, becoming a sought-after voice for all things grappling.
7 Xavier Woods - Videogame Scholar
Xavier Woods is crazy smart. He holds a master’s degree in psychology and a bachelor’s in philosophy, and currently working to get a PhD in educational psychology. But it’s not his brain that gets the most attention outside of wrestling, it’s his videogame youtube channel UpUpDownDown.
So when his wrestling career dies down, combining his talent and passion into a new career path may be the road to take for Xavier. Being able to look at videogames from a psychological and philosophical standpoint would be a great help to justifying the artistic merits of the fledgling medium.
6 The Rock - Detective
If you’ve ever seen the 2010 film The Other Guys, you’d know the best part is the opening sequence where Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson take down bad guys as cops. It does make you think about how cool The Rock is, and wonderful it would be to have him save you from a hostage situation.
But did you know Dwayne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in criminology and physiology? That, combined with his obviously incredible athletic prowess, would turn him into an unstoppable crime-fighting machine, being able to deduce who the bad guys are and have the muscle to pacify them. With Johnson's career in Hollywood continuing to thrive, he'll never have to hold a regular job, but it is cool to imagine him as a detective.
5 The Undertaker - An Undertaker
The Undertaker has been going 25 years. That’s an incredible achievement for a sports entertainer, but his dedication to the character is what’s truly respected. For half his life, Mark Calaway has hidden his real name and personality and become The Undertaker, a man of dread and horror. Sure, there was a confusing few years where he became a biker, but he’s mostly been The Undertaker.
After 25 years, how do you…stop? How can a man just stop being that character after so long? For Mark, it might be that he can’t, and the only post-wrestling option he has is to fully become the character, becoming an undertaker in the process.
4 Ryback - Host of Man vs. Food
In his own words, Ryback is the master of eating. The man is constantly demanding more food, wears a bib to the ring, and spent some of his time on the WWE Network show Table for 3 complaining about a restaurant he once went to that didn’t serve him enough.
So, with his insatiable appetite and the competitive nature he gets from being an athlete, the best version of his future sees him taking over the reins from Adam Richman and becoming the new host of Man vs. Food.
3 Dolph Ziggler - Spin Doctor
The show-off consistently gets one of the strongest crowd reactions when his music hits, and it’s no wonder that the guy is so great at marketing himself with a political science major under his belt. With a known face and a good deal of charisma around him, Ziggler can make the transition to being the public relations manager of a political party very easily.
He’s always been a great liar and you never know whether he’s quite telling the truth at any moment, which makes him the perfect candidate to be one of the public faces of one of the leading U.S. Parties.
2 Wade Barrett - Shark Tank Cleaner
Did you think that Wade Barrett, leader of the Nexus and 2015 King of the Ring winner, was just a brawling meathead with a past in bear-knuckle boxing? Well I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you, because Barrett actually holds a degree in marine biology.
Cleaning a shark tank is a necessary job, but an incredibly dangerous one. But not even a great white shark could defeat Barrett, as he would know their weak spots and punish them before they can even sniff his blood. The Barrett Barrage is coming for the Great Whites, the Hammerheads and stubborn stains of an aquarium near you.
1 Kane - President of the United States
Whether he’s Demon or Corporate, Kane is an intimidating figure, and many superstars quake in fear when he gives them an evil stare. Imagine the United States national enemies staring in the face of the demon, knowing they’ve awakened hell.
It helps that Kane is incredibly intelligent, with politics being his specialty. He has won a few quiz shows, and runs several political podcasts and blogs. When you have a man who commands that much respect, mixed with the knowledge on how to run a country, you’ve got a Mount Rushmore addition in the making.
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