Professional wrestlers are athletes who probably have one of the hardest jobs, where they have to perform almost every day of the week and travel a lot in order to entertain crowds from all over. The pressure of the work gets to them after a while, forcing them to resort to something to take their minds off of the stress, as many wrestlers often turn to alcohol or drugs in order to survive the brutality of the sport. Others in the same time thrive under the pressure and their love for the sport enables them to perform week in, week out.
The wrestling scene is extremely popular and is only growing in popularity, with the likes of WWE travelling 24/7 to entertain fans all over the globe. The 80s and 90s were extremely crucial for wrestling to find solid ground and the wrestlers of that time were the pillars for which wrestling is set up today. Those legends worked their whole careers to entertain fans and to spread the popularity of professional wrestling, having to work on their “entertaining” skills as well as having to stay fit and strong throughout their career. Many wrestlers rose to prominence from very mediocre backgrounds, and the sudden fame and fortune got to them, while others seemed to ride on that fame to attain more legendary status.
But one thing every wrestler of the 80s or 90s found difficult was to maintain the figure that defined them in their wrestling career, especially after retiring. While some of the workaholics found other fitness programs to keep themselves in proper shape, others let go of themselves and succumbed to addiction.
31 Those Who Look Good
Dave Finlay came from a heritage that was embroiled in wrestling, with his father and grandfathers both being wrestlers. Known for his stiff style of wrestling, Finlay was responsible for training the likes of John Cena and Randy Orton after he moved from WCW, before moving to the main roster himself as the stiff Irishman. Finlay's mean style of wrestling complimented his character well, as he often used his weapon to win matches and protect his leprechaun, Hornswoggle. The Former United States Champion was shuffled all over the place in his final years in the WWE before being fired for an incident in 2011. He returned to the company a year later as a backstage producer, and often appeared as part of officials trying to break up brawls between wrestlers. Finlay might be in a more backstage role now, but his figure is still pretty strong and he still has the ability to take on wrestlers much younger than him, as the fit Irishman definitely loves to fight when an opportunity comes.
28 Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page was one of the more popular wrestlers in WCW, where he gained popularity because of his growth and dedication to the company. DDP's rise in the WCW was very well handled, where he grew from a manager to a prominent mid-carder who won the WCW Television Title and US Title, and then moved to the main event status to win the WCW Heavyweight Championship. One of the shining lights in the dying days of WCW, DDP was signed by the WWE, who unfortunately tarnished his legacy by giving him bizarre gimmicks. DDP went on to wrestle for TNA for a year or so after his WWE stint, before he moved on from wrestling to focus on a career in yoga. He developed his own yoga methods and soon had a lot of popularity, mostly because of his work in helping Scott Hall and Jake “The Snake” Roberts get out of their dark paths. DDP returned to the WWE formally in 2011, and continues to make sporadic appearances where we can see how he’s still amazingly fit because of his successful yoga techniques.
26 Sid Vicious
Sid Eudy was quite the hot property in the wrestling circuit in the 90s, when he often jumped ship from WWE to WCW and vice versa. Sid found his popularity in his first stint in the WWE, where he was pushed as a heel because of his intimidating figure. After a year in the WCW, he returned to WWE in 1995 as “Sycho Sid” where he would become the bodyguard of Shawn Michaels. He was slowly pushed into the main event scene, as he went on to win the WWE Championship in 1996 and was on the top of the company for quite a while during his return. But constant injuries made it difficult for WWE to put their trust in him, as he left the company again to wrestle a bit for ECW, and then again for WCW in their dying days. After WCW folded, Sid made some appearances in the Independent circuit but was worn out as a wrestler. He returned to the WWE in 2012 to take on Heath Slater, and looked to be the same intimidating maniac he was in the 90s, as he still looks to be in top shape, despite suffering a number of injuries in his career.
24 Booker T
Booker T was probably one of the most compact wrestlers during his time at the WCW, where moved up the roster very well. After dominating the tag team scene with his brother Steve Ray, Booker moved on to win the WCW Television Title and the WCW World Title in the dying years of WCW. After moving to WWE, Booker was a prominent part of “The Invasion” storyline before being paired with Goldust as a tag team. Booker got his opportunity to shine at Wrestlemania XIX, where he lost in a World Heavyweight Championship match to Triple H. T would go on to win the United States Championship after being drafted to Smackdown! and soon became “King Booker” after winning the King of the Ring. He would win the World Heavyweight Championship during this time, before leaving the company in 2007. Booker went on to compete for TNA for a couple of years, before making a return to WWE in 2011. He later went on to become a color commentator for WWE and Smackdown General Manager for a while. Having retired only recently, Booker still has an amazing figure and the ability to entertain the audience with his superb moves, which show how athletic he truly is.
22 Ivan Putski
Not many of the current generation will remember Ivan Putski, who was a prominent wrestler in the 70s and 80s, but the legendary wrestler is known for his muscular figure and amazing power. Ivan Putski wrestled for the WWE (known as the World Wide Wrestling Federation at the time) from 1974-86 and feuded with many other legends like Stan Hansen, Ivan Koloff and Bruiser Body. Putski would also find a teammate in Tito Santana, with whom he won his only WWE title in the WWE Tag Team Titles in 1979, which they held for 6 months. Later on, Putski would feud with the newer stars in Rowdy Roddy Piper and Sgt Slaughter before slowly bowing out of wrestling altogether in the 1990s. Putski would then go on to have a strongman career, where he remarkably buffed up his body despite his growing age. Putski rarely appears in wrestling events nowadays, but recent pictures suggest that he has maintained his stout figure and is rocking a muscular body well into his 70s.
20 Ted DiBiase
“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase was one of the most charismatic figures of his time, as he let his money do the talking for him. DiBiase had his own valet in Virgil who did the dirty work for him, while he also created his own “Million Dollar Title” during his time in the company. DiBiase also won the King of the Ring crown during his time in the WWE and three Tag Titles. He then became more of a businessman in the company, as he seduced superstars to work under him with his money. He also went on to have a short stint at WCW in the mid 90s as the financer of the New World Order but left the company after problems with management. With the turn of the century, DiBiase retired from wrestling and served as part of creative for a while in the WWE before introducing his son Ted DiBiase Jr. to the world. DiBiase continues to make sporadic appearances in the WWE, as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010 and is now a Christian Minister who travels around the world promoting Christianity. DiBiase still looks like that conniving man of the 80s, and despite being in his 60s looks to be in very good shape, both mentally and physically.
“The Icon” Sting has definitely kept his iconic personality intact over the years, as the 57-year-old has been serving the sport amazingly over the decades. Sting found his popularity rise in WCW, where he was a fan favorite and soon went on to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Ric Flair. Sting was the vanquisher of the evil forces in WCW, and took on “The Crow” gimmick to take on the menacing NWO in WCW. This gimmick elevated him to legendary status, as Stinger refused to join WWE after WCW was bought by Vince McMahon. Instead, he went to TNA, which he helped to elevate to mainstream status. Sting was the top guy of the company for a long time, putting over young guys and winning titles all around before he left the company in 2014 because he felt it was heading in the wrong direction. He finally caved in to his obstinacy to sign a WWE contract in 2014, and went on to debut in Survivor Series 2014. An anticipated match followed against Triple H at WrestleMania 31, before he made sporadic appearances and was forced to retire after his match against Seth Rollins at Night of Champions 2015. He was inducted into the 2016 Hall of Fame, where he announced his retirement, but The Icon still looks like a million bucks and could pass for someone much younger.
16 "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
No one would’ve predicted how big a star Stone Cold Steve Austin would become in his days at the WCW, where he was the blonde "Stunning" Steve Austin, a character the complete opposite of what he would become in the WWE. Austin debuted in the WWE as “The Ringmaster,” as he was the protégé of Ted DiBiase, who awarded him the Million Dollar Championship. This soon changed in the 1996 King of the Ring, as Austin would win the tournament and with his “Austin 3:16” rant begin his "Stone Cold" persona. Stone Cold soon became the best thing in wrestling, and his feud with the villainous Mr. McMahon helped to elevate the WWE above WCW. His rebellious nature was loved by everyone, as he soon became the top guy in the company. Unfortunately, a neck injury derailed Austin’s career for a bit, before he came back to feud with The Rock and have a shocking heel turn later on. Austin was also a prime guy of The Invasion era, but later on went down the ladder for a bit and walked out of the company. He eventually came back, but only for a while as he retired from wrestling after Wrestlemania XIX. Austin was still attached to WWE, becoming the Sheriff of Raw and going on to make sporadic appearances. Austin continues to promote the WWE, having his own live podcast on the WWE Network and still looks like that menacing Rattlesnake he was during the Attitude Era. Even at 51, he still looks like he’d whoop anyone’s ass.
14 Those Who Are Showing Their Age
13 Tully Blanchard
Tully Blanchard is best remembered for his time with “The Four Horsemen,” as he found prominence at WCW after spending 9 years at his father’s Southwest Championship Wrestling. Blanchard arrived at WCW in high regard, winning the NWA Television Championship soon after arriving. He then had a memorable feud with Magnum T.A, which resulted in some brutal matches for the US Championship, before he went on to form “The Four Horseman” with Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Old Anderson. The Horsemen dominated the scene for quite some time, holding on to several titles. Blanchard then went on to wrestle for WWE, where he reunited with Arn Anderson to form “The Brain Busters” and also went on to win the Tag Team Championships. After leaving the WWE, Blanchard went on to make sporadic appearances for many wrestling events, also working as a producer for WWE in the 2000s. But he couldn’t take care of his health, as his body appeared broken down as he grew older and he went on to lose the looks he had in his heyday.
11 Jimmy Snuka
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka was one of the most entertaining wrestlers in the 80s, as his unbelievable stunts in the ring dazzled fans. Snuka originally debuted in the WWE as a villainous character, but he found popularity when he jumped off the top of a steel cage in his match against WWE Champion Bob Backlund. His athletic ability made for a face turn, as he went on to have an iconic rivalry with Don Muraco, which resulted in another Steel Cage match as Snuka performed The Snuka Splash from on top of the cage. Snuka would leave the WWE for a couple of years before returning in 1989, at which point he became involved in more feuds with top superstars. He soon retired at the turn of the century, but kept on making sporadic appearances in the WWE and Independent circuit. But Snuka’s figure and intimidating personality seemed to wither away with his increasing age, as he grew into a skinny, old, beat up man who was disturbing to look at because of his degradation over the years. Jimmy was also arrested in 2015 for his alleged murder of his ex-girlfriend in the 80s, and recent images of him in the news reveal an even more weathered man.
9 Dan Spivey
Another barely remembered superstar of the 80s, Dan Spivey appeared in the WWE as part of “The US Express” with Mike Rotunda as their patriotic gimmick was a hit at the time. After departing from the team, Spivey was the “Golden Boy,” wherein he would dress up similar to Hulk Hogan--but he didn't achieve nearly as much popularity as the Hulkster. He then went on to work for WCW, where he was part of some stables and went on to win the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship as well. Spivey also won the WCW Tag Titles with Stan Hansen, before leaving the WCW in 1992. He rejoined the WWE in 1995, this time going by the name of “Waylon Mercy” with a gimmick similar to the character of Robert De Niro from Cape Fear. Spivey’s heel gimmick was pretty good as he was pushed by defeating enhancement talents, before competing against top faces like Bret Hart and Diesel. But Spivey suffered a career-ending injury by being powerbombed twice by Diesel, and was in the dark for many years. His alcoholic problems led to him being arrested in 2007, as he returned to the ring in 2015 wrestling in Dory Funk Jr’s !BANG! promotion. But Spivey’s pictures show him in a very bad state physically, as the skinny, almost broken man looks to be in terrible shape as a result of years of alcoholism.
7 Lex Luger
Lex Luger was probably one of the most complete looking superstars in his time, as the muscular wrestler found quite a bit of success in the WCW, where he was a US Champion as well as WCW World Heavyweight Champion. This propelled WWE to sign him when he was available, as he was promoted as the successor of Hulk Hogan after The Hulkster left the company. Luger was given the American Patriot gimmick, as he rose in ranks in the WWE and soon attained main event status. His “power” was showcased when he body-slammed then-WWE Champion Yokozuna, but Luger only went on to win his match against Yokozuna by countout at SummerSlam. Luger slowly went into the mid-card, and later formed “The Allied Powers” with Dave Boy Smith. Lex rejoined WCW in 1995, as he attempted to take out the NWO with Sting, but had an underwhelming stint this time round. Luger slowly approached retirement as the 90s ended, but his drug and alcohol addiction turned him into a mess. Luger lost a lot of weight and looked absolutely eaten up by his drugs, as the muscular man was now a shell of a person. But he is now a born-again Christian who works with the WWE on their Wellness Violation Program, and looks to be better than before.
5 Scott Hall
“The Bad Guy” Razor Ramon was the high point of Scott Hall’s career, which went down after that character rose in popularity. Razor Ramon would be one of the most charismatic heels in the history of WWE, with his cockiness and “superior than thou” attitude making him a convincing heel as well as a cool guy. Hall rode on his character’s success, as he was mostly in the main-event scene and later went on to win the Intercontinental Title as well. He was on top of the world in WWE, but wanted more money, and when Vince McMahon didn’t want to match WCW's offer, he jumped ship to WWE’s rival. He went on to form the iconic NWO with Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan. Hall returned to the WWE in 2002 for a short stint, before performing for TNA for some years. But the turn of the century saw him degrade physically, as his addiction to alcohol and drugs reached a pinnacle and destroyed his body. Hall was inducted into the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame, and now lives a sober life, trying to improve his physical state.
3 Bret Hart
Bret “The Hitman” Hart is probably the best there ever was, the best there is and the best there ever will be in terms of technical wrestling. After rising through Stampede wrestling, Bret debuted in the WWE as part of The Hart Foundation, which included his brother-in-law Jim Neidhart. The Hitman won over the crowd in his time in the foundation, before trying his hand as a singles wrestler, soon winning the Intercontinental Championship in 1991. He then rose to become the WWE Champion in 1992 and continued to be one of the top guys in the WWE for almost 3 to 4 years. He was always in the main event scene, but his attitude was a problem at times. Hart left the WWE in 1997 after the infamous “Montreal Screwjob” and went on to join WCW, winning their US title and Heavyweight title during his stint. He was also a member of the NWO for a while. Hart had to retire in 1999 because of the injuries he sustained during his matches with Goldberg. Bret was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006, before returning to the company in 2009 for a brief stint. But Bret’s injuries and past workload have done a number on him, as the Hitman now looks like a tired old man.
1 Jake “The Snake” Roberts
One of the most conniving heels of all time, Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ fall from grace is a heart-breaking and depressing story of how a professional wrestler can be broken by the sport. Roberts began his WWE career carrying a pet snake, “Damien,” around with, with his character having a snake-like persona as well. Roberts went on to have memorable feuds with the likes of Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Randy “Macho Man” Savage and later with The Ultimate Warrior. His scathing promos and psychological use of words were a thing of brilliance, but Jake’s personal life was a mess. And with the turn of the century, Jake had pressed the self-destruction button as he would do shows for money that he would spend on drugs, and he distanced himself from his family and lived a miserable life. His horrible life made for many health issues, but thankfully he was eventually saved by Dallas Diamond Page, who taught him yoga and how to live a healthier life. As seen in the documentary, “The Resurrection of Jake the Snake,” the former wrestling star had ballooned to over 300 pounds and could hardly walk without having trouble breathing. He became better with DDP’s help, and got inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014.
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