Vincent Kennedy McMahon is a freak of nature, there can be little doubt about that. Running a multi-million dollar company from an early age, McMahon has continued to amaze over recent years when it comes to his physique. Really, at his age (71), the CEO should be spending his later years retiring away on a tropical island somewhere, having passed the company down onto Shane or Stephanie. But let's face it, he will probably never do that. Despite Triple H building NXT into the breeding ground for future stars, Vince hasn't shown he is willing to leave just yet. Instead, he has gone from being a pretty jacked man in his 60's to an insanely ripped beast, pouring shame onto every normal human who doesn't boast a physique that shouldn't be humanly possible.
McMahon demands that same sort of gym dedication from his performers - most of them at least. Unless you've got the body of a God or stand above 6'5", it's an upwards struggle to make it in the company.
But what about those athletes who leave the company and aren't following the same body building requirements that McMahon sets for himself? For every fattening former star, there's a handful of others who get themselves in even better shape than when they left. Though there are many wrestlers who could feature on this list, we've managed to narrow it down to eight on each side. Here are eight of the stars who carried on working out - and eight who definitely, definitely did not.
22 Kept Working Out: Vladimir Kozlov
Vladimir Kozlov's departure from WWE in 2011 was something of a welcome relief, for Kozlov and WWE. The former Tag Team Champion started his time in the company promisingly, being put quickly into the WWE Championship picture and feuding with the likes of Triple H and Jeff Hardy. When you consider this all happened despite the fact he wasn't in the best shape, it says more about how much Vinnie Mac had faith in Kozlov.
Then it all went downhill though and by the time he left, he had been reduced to comedy skits alongside Santino Marella. But even though for many a release signals worrying times ahead, that didn't apply for the Moscow Mauler. Since departing, he has become the kind of athlete that keeps McMahon and the creative team awake at night. Rocking a huge beard and lifting insane amounts, Kozlov's transformation is remarkable and if he was to return to the ring, it's likely he would go even further than before.
21 Abandoned The Gym: Gangrel
Leader of 'The Brood' and one of the most renowned performers of the Attitude Era, Gangrel's physique was never really on show because of his huge white shirt. That's probably the reason for his inclusion in this list, because chances are he wasn't in the greatest shape back then.
But today, Gangrel A.K.A David Heath is noticeably bigger than he was during his 90s heyday. Still making regular appearances on the circuit, Heath has grown wider as his hair line slowly retreats. The thing with Heath though, is that he got away with being on the bigger side with WWE because of the style of wrestler he was. Hardly a high flier, Gangrel was decent in the ring and even better out of it.
20 Kept Working Out: Ken Shamrock
'The World's Most Dangerous Man' hasn't slowed down his body building since departing WWE in 1999. Dipping in and out of UFC, Shamrock was at the prime of his career in the late 90s. Although, that was only his wrestling career because Shamrock's career in martial arts is still well and truly alive.
He might be 52, but that doesn't mean Shamrock will be looking for a more relaxed job. 2015 saw him take part in Bellator 138, being defeated by Kimbo Slice. That wasn't quite the way for Shamrock to bow out though, because he still has aspirations to continue. At Bellator 149, he then took on Royce Gracie (losing again). With his licence now revoked, who knows what is next for the innovator of the Lions Den match.
19 Abandoned The Gym: Mick Foley
The current Raw GM is another who, like Gangrel, didn't need athleticism to become a star. The magic of the Mankind/Dude Love/Cactus Jack personas is that they were all being portrayed by someone who was not your typical wrestler. That is why Foley is still one of the most popular performers there ever has been, particularly because he would put his body on the line just to please the paying fans.
And that is why even though Foley has piled on a few more pounds since hanging up his wrestling boots, he's perfectly entitled to. Looking more like a lovable uncle than former WWE Champion, Foley is someone who has never given any sort of attention to his appearance and instead focused solely on the audience and making the most of what he has got.
18 Kept Working Out: Nathan Jones
The run of Nathan Jones in WWE went from top to bottom really, really quickly. It's not often a newcomer starts with the biggest wrestling company there ever has been and almost immediately gets placed with a man the calibre of The Undertaker.
He's always been an intimidating guy, having spent seven years in a maximum-security jail back in Australia. But just take a look at what the 'Colossus of Boggo Road' has become now and he really is terrifying. Retiring from wrestling in 2008, Jones has become a go-to guy for the monster role in films. Most recognised from a position in Mad Max: Fury Road, he came up against Stone Cold back in The Condemned as well. Not only that, but he is a powerlifting champion. And he's almost 50.
17 Abandoned The Gym: Kane
Kane is still an active part of the roster and even though this is a good thing, you can be forgiven for sort of wishing he wasn't. With the most memorable debut in the history of WWE, Kane burst into the company and immediately began on a destructive path that he has continued since 1997.
But after ditching the mask, putting it back on, ditching it again and now opting to go for it again, Kane has grown wider than he ever has been. This is to the point where the character can't really be taken seriously. And when you then throw in the utterly horrible Corporate Kane gimmick that destroyed the credibility of Kane, WWE have destroyed any possibility of future success for one of the most underappreciated athletes of all time.
16 Kept Working Out: Sycho Sid
Sycho Sid made his return a couple of years ago during the beat up Heath Slater days. Sid Vicious, as he was also known, hadn't been seen on television since the late 90s, having suffered a horrific leg break whilst in WCW. When he returned, still sporting the denim shorts that were his trademark in Ted Turner's company, he still looked in hugely impressive shape and showed he still had the strength that his performances were all about.
In his mid 50s now, Sid hasn't really aged too much either, still looking as terrorising as he did back when he was at the height of the Monday Night Wars. Should Vicious return to the ring as part of a wrestling type police line-up amongst some of today's stars, it would genuinely be difficult to call who is active and inactive.
15 Abandoned The Gym: Perry Saturn
The tale of the forgotten member of The Radicalz is an incredibly sad one and an example of how life can go wrong after wrestling. After he went pretty insane in the ring on a little known wrestler that he deemed to be putting him in danger in a match, Saturn was stuck with the Moppy gimmick, essentially the WWE's way of forcing Saturn out of the company.
For years after his departure, Saturn went completely off the radar, with many even believing he had died. Ending up homeless, Saturn was shot after running to the aid of a woman who was being attacked back in 2004. The recovery meant the former WCW star became addicted to methamphetamine, disappearing for years. Thankfully, he made himself known in 2010 after beating his addiction. Sadly, Saturn is today reportedly dealing with a traumatic brain injury. While he has stopped noticeably working out, the fact he is off drugs and seemingly in a better place than 10 years ago is a huge success.
14 Kept Working Out: Scott Steiner
Freakzilla is still as freaking ripped as in his WCW and WWE days. The man of many nicknames endured something of a difficult time in his WWE return, marred by bizarre storylines and some pretty cringe-inducing promos. But he did have the best body in the entire company, especially shown during his rivalry with Triple H.
There is no chance of him stepping foot in WWE again any time soon - or maybe ever - but you can be sure he wouldn't be just another out of shape veteran returning for a final pop. Perhaps bigger in size than in his last major spell, Steiner still wrestles regularly on the circuit, as well as occasionally popping up to say how much he hates Hulk Hogan. It's hard to tell which one is less likely to be welcomed back by McMahon.
13 Abandoned The Gym: The Iron Sheik
Like some on the list before him, The Iron Sheik was never in the best physical shape when he was at the height of his career. But today, he is even bigger than back in the 80s and 90s.
Happier entertaining the world via Twitter with his bizarre rants, Sheik is a far cry from the young wrestler who actually was in great condition! That was a long time ago though and he has gradually got larger as his character progressed. In many ways, it fit perfectly. The older, angry anti-American gimmick was probably best done by Sheik, though others have tried.
Today, Sheik makes rare appearances after officially retiring in 2010. But if you are going to have a look at Sheik's tweets, get ready for daily rants. Much like Steiner above, Sheik is also not a massive Hulkamania fan!
12 Kept Working Out: Shad Gaspard
You might be surprised to see a former member of Cryme Tyme appear on this list, surrounded by some legends of the wrestling business. His tag-team with JTG was popular with the WWE Universe, even if they didn't pick up much glory. Having left WWE for the second time in 2012, Shad is another one of those ex-wrestlers who has switched over to the film industry.
Playing a character in Get Hard alongside Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart, Shad showed a far more built physique than the one he owned whilst in the ring. Portraying a tough guy in the film wasn't too difficult for Gaspard, having put in the hours on the weights since his release. And if this isn't enough proof that he's now a completely transformed man, his Twitter handle is @Shadbeast.*
11 Abandoned The Gym: Tazz
Tazz could have done so much more in WWE, but he was really underutilised after his signing post-Millennium. An ECW legend, the Brooklyn born battler took to commentary after a series of injuries threatened to postpone his career early.
Taking to the announce desk quickly, Tazz became quite at home away from the ring and instead watching the action. Unfortunately, he might have become a bit too used to it, as he noticeably started to get bigger year on year. Still muscular with it, nowadays Tazz is certainly neglecting the gym after leaving TNA. But he is still doing his bit when it comes to reporting on wrestling, with The Taz Show being one of the most popular wrestling podcasts online. Years after his departure, a Tazz return to WWE would be hugely appreciated considering the current commentary options.
10 Kept Working Out: Kurt Angle
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One of the true greats, Kurt Angle is someone we all want back in WWE. His run in the company saw him become a star almost immediately, making the transition from Olympic hero to professional wrestling hero in the blink of an eye. WWE Champion, World Heavyweight Champion, Angle did it all and is still tipped for a return.
But even though WWE are yet to trigger the return of the master of the three I's, he has not let himself go. Recently departing TNA, where he was perhaps their greatest ever performer, Angle is now touring the globe showing that he still has all the attributes that made him a legend in McMahon's company. Please Vince, please bring Angle back and give him one more go.
9 Abandoned The Gym: Ahmed Johnson
One of the baddest men in WWE in the 90s, Ahmed Johnson was one of the strongest athletes that Vince and co could call on. But since he retired back in 2003, that body has, like many others, changed significantly. To put it frankly, Johnson is not quite as intimidating as he used to be.
The retirement was kind of forced due to his ballooning weight and today he is bigger than ever before. This is to the extent that in the latest images of Johnson, you'll likely have to check several times to make sure it actually is him. Injuries did play a part in the growth of Johnson, possibly meaning he had less opportunity to work out. But to be honest, that's probably being kind considering his weight gain.
8 Kept Working Out: The Rock
The Rock is perhaps the most popular performer in WWE history. But whatever happened to him since his departure from being a permanent member of the roster in 2003? The rarely heard of Rock now w... Ok, so The Rock has gone do quite well for himself - if you count becoming the most famous actor in the entire world as successful.
The Rock's WWE success was built solely on his incredible ability to engage the audience, whether portraying himself as a hell or as a villain. He wasn't the biggest guy in the company in terms of size, making up for that with the ability to cut a promo that no one will ever be able to replicate.
But today, he has become the total package (not Lex Luger). Doubling in muscular size, becoming an inspiration to millions, having one of the biggest bank balances anyone in the movie industry has ever had... To quote his best-selling hit "Pie," it's good to be The Rock.
1 Abandoned The Gym: Jake Roberts
For anyone who has seen The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, the story of Roberts' turnaround is hugely inspiring. From the brink of alcoholism and a possible early grave, Jake the Snake has turned his life completely around into becoming an inspiration to millions.
His induction into the Hall of Fame back in 2014 signalled the complete return of an iconic figure in WWE history and it was great to see just how much he has transformed. That is because six years ago, Roberts was in terrible shape. Injured from head to toe, Roberts had become unrecognisable and had a very bleak future ahead of him. But much like he did with Scott Hall, Diamond Dallas Page stepped in to save Jake and he is now gradually getting back into peak physical fitness.
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