The WWE has some of the best professional athletes in the whole entire world . However not every WWE star got to compete in there passion. Many of today's superstars had to work odd jobs in order to make ends meet while they were chasing their passion of professional wrestling .
Some WWE superstars had to work extremely crummy jobs which ranged from limousine driver to garbage man to bail bondsman. Each wrestler did what they had to do at the time to make sure they made enough money to make it big while also being able to follow their dream of making it to The WWE.
In this article we look at 15 current and former WWE stars and the odd jobs they had to work when they were younger before getting their big break in the entertainment industry. We look at some big stars and how they made money to support their families during difficult times in their careers . Some stars actually used remnants of their old jobs and used them as part of their WWE gimmicks like Hulk Hogan when he would play the electric guitar. Most stars had to work very difficult jobs that involved long hours with little pay which makes some paths even more impressive .
15 Kevin Owens - Gas Station Attendant
Before making it in the WWE, Kevin Owens believe it or not worked at a gas station as an attendant. Owens who's real name is Kevin Steen, took the job in order to support his family when wrestling wasn't paying the bills.
Owens worked at a Canadian gas station in Alberta. Owens hated the job passionately and wanted to quit but his wife urged him not to.
Owens explained his dilemma to Slam Sports: "It was like, 'I don't know, I might have to stop wrestling and get real job.' You know what I mean? My parents have seen me from the 11-year-old who watched that tape to now. When you put it all together, it becomes very emotional, but it's awesome. It's hard to put into words, honestly.”
Owens would wrestle after work and on weekends while working at the gas station during the week. Owens held the job for a few years before finally making enough money as a wrestler to be able to support his wife and children.
Since being called up to the main roster in 2015, Owens has become a massive star, beating John Cena in his first ever main roster match and winning the Raw Universal Championship. He also recently signed a 5-year contract extension and at 34 years old, that should take him to the end of his full-time wrestling career.
14 John Cena - Limo Driver
John Cena used to work as a limousine driver before making it in the WWE. Cena worked as a limo driver for a few years. Cena told the magazine AskMen that he was very bad at the job and couldn't wait until he was able to quit.
"I worked as a limo driver for a while, and it was before GPS was commonplace, like you still had to go off a map." Cena told AskMen. "And I was not good. At all. I grew up in a small town that's got one street. One main street, so I knew how to get around that town. I was doing pickups to and from Logan Airport, and I was just rotten. I wasn't meant to be a limo driver."
Cena was living in Santa Monica at the time and actually failed his exam to become a Santa Monica traffic cop which is why he decided to take the job as a limo driver to make extra money.
Since then Cena has become one of the most decorated superstars in WWE history , tying Ric Flair's record of 16 world championships. Cena's humble beginnings shaped the way for his future as one of the most dominant WWE super stars in history.
13 Becky Lynch - Flight Attendant, Stunt Woman
Becky Lynch current WWE women's superstar had a number of odd jobs before making it in The WWE. One such job was working as a flight attendant for the Irish Airline "Air Lingus".
On an episode of Chris Jericho's podcast " Talk is Jericho "she joked that her mom was a big deal in the flight attendant industry. Due to her mom's connections, it was very easy for Lynch to score the job and keep it.
However, in recalling her time as a flight attendant, Becky recalls being unhappy: I ended up working as a flight attendant for two and a half years, waking up feeling like, ‘this isn’t what I’m meant to do.’ it was a great job for anybody else.”
Lynch worked as a flight attendant among other jobs including actress, stunt woman and personal trainer.
Becky Lynch is one of WWE's top female stars today. Aside from the fact that WWE hasn't really given her a fair shake on the main roster, Lynch is still one of their top workers. The fact that she was willing to give up a pretty stable career as a flight attendant shows her dedication to her craft and her dedication to the company.
12 Hulk Hogan - Musician
Hulk Hogan is perhaps one of the most popular WWE superstars of all time. However Hulk had a passion before wrestling; he wanted to be a musician. Hogan was a renowned guitar player and had aspirations of making it big in the music industry.
When recalling how his days as a musician got started, Hogan told noisey.com it began in junior high:
"So I started out playing guitar, and as things go as a music kid, you start playing in bands. All of a sudden I got in a really good band playing guitar, but then this different really good guitar player came along—and this guy was really great. I had a choice: leave the band or start playing bass. So I chose to become a pretty darn good bass player.
Even during his peak wrestling days, Hogan would come down playing an electric guitar . Hogan tried to be in the band Metallica, however they never wound up calling him back.
Hogan also appeared in a few music videos for the WWE including " Hulkster in heaven " and "Piledriver". For a while Hogan was in " The Wrestling Boot Band". Hogan put his music career on hold after he made it in the WWE , however he does still know how to play the guitar well.
11 Sin Cara - Funeral Home
Before Sin Cara became one half of the Lucha Dragons he worked at his grandfather's funeral home back home in Mexico.
As a matter of fact Sin Cara actually has a college degree in embalming and funeral director services which he was able to put to use.
Sin Cara said that working in the funeral home was tough because according to him, via borderzine "you can't just tell people -- ok what color casket do you want? They just don't care because their loved one just passed away."
If you have time to check out the interview with Sin Cara, it's actually very interesting, as Sin Cara also goes into detail of the neighborhood he grew up in. Judging from his time on the streets, it's pretty clear why Sin Cara is known as one of the toughest men in WWE and several guys have regretted picking a fight with him.
Sin Cara who's real name is Jorge Arias said working at his grandfather's funeral home shaped much of his life and he knew it wasn't something that he wanted to do long term . Sin Cara grew up in the barrio in Mexico and still does wrestle there occasionally when he isn't wrestling for the WWE.
10 Carmella - Pro Sports Cheerleader
Carmella is one of the top women in the WWE and the current Smackdown women's champion. Before making it big in the WWE , Carmella was actually a cheerleader for a handful of professional teams including the Los Angeles Lakers and the New England Patriots .
Carmella who is currently the reigning SmackDown Women's Champion after being Miss Money In The Bank for 287 days, started her cheerleading career for the New England Patriots. She worked for them for three seasons (2007-2010) before leaving the team. She was then a cheerleader for the Lakers from 2010 to 2011, spending four full seasons as a pro sports cheerleader.
According to Carmella in an interview with the New England Patriots, becoming a WWE Superstar evolved out of her tenure in cheerleading:
“I never thought it was something I could even do. I never thought it was a possibility. I never thought it was something I could train for and do,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh my god, what a challenge.’ I had 10 tryouts and kept making the cut, and I found myself in the WWE Performance Center in Orlando and I’ve been there for two and a half years.”
Carmella grew up in Massachusetts, not Staten Island where she is billed in the WWE and attended the University of Massachusetts where she was also a cheerleader. Carmella was a successful cheerleader and so far has been a very successful WWE superstar.
9 The Big Show - Bail Bondsman
The Big Show is currently the largest athlete in professional sports . The star once known as " The Giant " in WCW actually worked as a bail bondsman before being hired by WCW and then WWE. Big Show whose real name is Paul Wight credits his big size as the reason he got hired as a bail bondsman.
According to The Big Show, he would sometimes need to wait outside of bars or sometimes the person's home and then would have to physically take them back to jail if they broke their bail.
Big Show recalled that because of his absolutely massive size that people would rarely try to resist him taking them back to prison. After a while, The Big Show realized that his massive size could help him in other professions. That's when he took an interest in becoming a professional wrestler. Big Show's size has helped him to become one of the best wrestlers in WWE history.
Obviously, someone like Big Show going up to someone to collect debts is going to get a message across. Big Show however, was also a door-to-door salesman where he says he learned how to deal with plenty of rejection, which must've helped him in the ruthless nature of wrestling.
8 Kofi Kingston - Office Job At Staples
Kofi Kingston immigrated to The United States years ago from Ghana in Africa. However after he finished up college, Kingston got an office job working for the corporate offices of the office supply store Staples.
Kingston's story is a bit different than a lot of other WWE superstars because unlike them , Kingston actually had a very good secure and high paying job.
Despite the financial and career stability, Kingston ultimately got sick and tired of the cubicle life and having to work a 9 to 5 every day. You could say that his decision to leave such a gig was because he felt it was time for a "new day". Okay, forgive the bad pun.
Anyway, this risky decision helped push him to try and make it as a professional wrestler. Kingston has since gone on to become the longest reigning tag team champions with Big E and Xavier Woods in The New Day stable. Kingston served his office job at Staples for a little over a year before giving it up to try and become a professional wrestler. Safe to say that the move worked out well for Kofi, as he's now quietly one of the longest tenured stars on the WWE roster.
7 Trish Stratus - Gym Receptionist
Perhaps one of the most iconic WWE female performers of all time is none other than Trish Stratus. Stratus, born in Canada won multiple WWE women's titles. Before she got her big break working in the WWE Stratus actually worked as a receptionist at a gym.
Stratus worked as a gym receptionist in 1997 and it was while she was working at the gym that one of the publishers for Muscle Mag International Magazine approached her and asked if she wanted to do a test shoot for the magazine .
She did extremely well at the magazine shoot and was signed to a two year contract. This is where her career began to take off as she was finally getting recognition for her beauty and skill. Stratus ultimately left her post at the gym to pursue modeling and ultimately professional wrestling. Stratus has stayed dedicated to fitness throughout her professional career and even in retirement from professional wrestling. She owns her own yoga studio and has always been a huge advocate for proper fitness. With the way Stratus has stayed so ageless even into her 40s, it's hard to argue against her methods. It's clear she's always felt most comfortable in the gym or in the ring.
6 AJ Styles - Ambulance Driver
The pheominal AJ Styles has been a massive force in both The WWE and TNA . Styles the former WWE champion also had success wrestling in Japan. Before making it as a professional wrestler, Styles actually worked as an ambulance driver .
Styles worked driving an ambulance around and actually mowed lawns in order to supplement his salary until he made it as a pro wrestler. Styles said that he didn't mind the driving job and that there often was a lot of down time.
In fact, as far back as 2010, Styles also said he was still landscaping in his time off from wrestling.
"I work for a friend who I go to church with. We have a good time with it, and he lets me off whenever I need to be let off to wrestle. I am blessed to have this guy as my boss. They let me do the same thing when I was an ambulance driver. I've been blessed with the bosses that I've been able to work for because they've let me off to wrestle."
Odds are Styles doesn't have much time for landscaping while working a WWE schedule.
Styles was so broke for a while that he couldn't even afford basic TV. He couldn't afford to watch WWE, however he was able to watch Georgia Independent wrestling. Styles ultimately debut in The X wrestling federation.
5 Sheamus - Bodyguard For Bono
Perhaps one of the more interesting jobs that any former WWE superstar had was that of bodyguard for Bono held by Sheamus. Sheamus spent a few months as a bodyguard for U2 lead singer Bono.
According to Sheamus the job wasn't very hard. One of the things he would have to do was watch Bono"s drink when he went to the bathroom or left it unattended. Sheamus had to stand by Bono and make sure nothing bad happened to him. Sheamus also worked as a bouncer at a bar in Dublin, Ireland. While he was a bouncer at that bar, he met Bono and eventually landed the job.
“He came in all the time. It was his favorite spot when he got off tour because he wouldn’t get hassled. He was a really cool guy, and took time to say hello to everybody.”
Sheamus also had to make sure that nobody tried to steal any of Bono's drinks. According to The Celtic Warrior the gig was "a handy way to make a bit of a wage". Sheamus is currently in a tag team with Cesaro and they are known as The Bar and they were the former tag team champions before losing them to Braun Strowman and his partner Nicholas at WrestleMania.
4 Kurt Angle - Sportscaster
Kurt Angle is not only one of the best technical wrestlers in the history of the WWE but he is also an Olympic gold medalist . Before Angle made it to the WWE he actually worked as a sportscaster.
Angle who is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania worked for the Pittsburgh based television station WPGH-TV.
Angle was not a fan of being a sportscaster and did not like the long hours. The job was very much a means to an end before he could make it as a professional wrestler.
When Kurt Angle first got hired by WWE he was quoted as saying he was going to be "impossible to beat" given that he was a legitimate gold medal winner, while many stars on the main roster has no amateur wrestling background whatsoever. Angle also felt he was going to be a top babyface, considering what he had accomplished for his country. Vince McMahon soon made him see the light and turned his accomplishments and good guy image into something the fans would despise. Angle wound up being one of the best heels of the Attitude Era. It's a good thing Angle picked up the business so quickly after entering it.
3 Stone Cold Steve Austin - Loading Dock
Before Stone Cold Steve Austin brought his bad ass antics to The WWE he actually held a very modest job at a loading dock.
Right after he graduated college , Stone Cold needed a job like most college graduates so he took one at a loading dock in Texas. Austin actually spent most of his childhood in Edna, Texas and after graduating from the University of North Texas decided to take the job at the loading dock, however it did not last very long. Although it hasn't been confirmed, there is a good chance it was a beer loading dock .
Austin briefly talks about his time working at the dock on his podcast. Initially he only took the job until he became a teacher and had no real interest in pursuing a career in professional wrestling at first. Obviously, Austin's path would change drastically, as Austin eventually decided to pursue a pro wrestling career, joining Chris Adams' wrestling school in Dallas in 1989. Austin would have his first match later that year in WCCW against Frogman LeBlanc. Austin would get paid a lump sum of $40 for his first match. Amazing, how that's now what one of his T-shirts would cost on WWEShop.com.
2 Roman Reigns - Office Furniture Installer
Roman Reigns is one of the top dogs in the WWE right now. The former WWE Champion is from a family of wrestling royalty that includes The Rock and Rikishi.
Reigns had a major setback in his quest to become a WWE Superstar. After getting cut by the NFL, Reigns took a job working for his sister as an office furniture installer.
Roman Reigns and fellow WWE superstars Jimmy and Jey Uso who are also cousins, all worked together for her company installing furniture in different offices.
While fans today are very much against Reigns dominating the main event picture the way he has and the way his on-screen character is booked, there's certainly no questioning the guy's work ethic and the fact that he didn't have a smooth-sailing adult life before getting his big break in WWE.
Reigns worked for his sister for a while before he was able to get some recognition as a wrestler, same with both of The Usos . Reigns has since gone on to become one of the biggest superstars in the WWE having just recently main evented WrestleMania against Brock Lesnar and last year facing The Undertaker and defeating him at WrestleMania.
1 Naomi - Orlando Magic Girl
Naomi is currently one of the top women's wrestlers in The WWE and a former SmackDown Women's Champion .Before she venture into professional wrestling she was actually a dance for the NBA team, the Orlando Magic .
Dancing has always been apart of Naomi's life is when she was younger so her job with the Orlando Magic was a perfect fit. Some of her in ring moves are extremely athletic which she got from dancing.
It was actually Naomi's background in dancing that helped Vince reach the decision to hire her a few years back. Naomi has since used her athletic skills as a dancer in order to run circles around the SmackDown and Raw women's division. And who can forget the way she debuted in WWE, being one of the Funkadactyls, alongside Cameron in Brodus Clay's corner?
Naomi is currently married to Jimmy Uso, as seen on Total Divas and something that has been addressed in WWE, when the two were paired for the Mixed Match Challenge. One thing is for certain as long as Naomi stays healthy, she'll be impressing WWE crowds for years to come.
This all just goes to show you that the next top star in WWE can very well be walking by you every day and you may not even know it.