Life may hit pretty hard, sometimes. Lives can change, we may be emotionally drained, or hurt, and a lot of influences may creep around us, potentially only darkening the cloud we’re living under. As far as careers go, they can end in pure shambles, especially if you’re in the entertainment business, and especially, if you are in the wrestling business. With all the temptations that have surrounded wrestlers throughout the years, it’s no surprise that many of them have turned out the way they have.
Still, we are all human. We’re imperfect, and when things are not looking so well on occasion, well, sometimes, we find whatever we can to easy the mind a little bit. Maybe we try, and ease them too much with whatever gimmick of choice we have decided will help us cope with the hardships of life, but you get the dang point. Still! Some of these former wrestling stars have hope, and as many of them have proven in the past, a change in life is always a possibility. We’ve seen many wrestlers rebound from hard times before and we hope every wrestler listed here can do the same.
Without further ado, here are 8 Former Wrestlers That Appear Hopeless, And 7 Of Them That Can Still Turn It Around!
15. Hopeless: Marty Jannetty
His entry on this list may come to no surprise considering his name is the butt of a joke when comparing one superior member of a team, to his lesser counterpart, “you’re the Jannetty!” The former Rocker alongside WWE Hall of Famer, Shawn Michaels, has found himself in poor physical condition due to years of bumps in the ring, and drug addiction issues outside of it. Not to mention his several inconsistent runs with the WWE throughout the years.
It doesn’t appear that Jannetty is in the best of financial situations. Jannetty, to this day, makes the rare independent wrestling show appearance to perform in, except now, with his deteriorating health, he isn’t even as capable of completing the one thing he was truly great at.
14. Can Turn It Around: Ken Shamrock
Not to say that this man is in the worst of conditions, however, based on some rumored health concerns a few years back, and seemingly being blackballed from the business, it doesn’t appear that Ken Shamrock is in the best of standings, at least with wrestling. Still, Shamrock does appear to be in great shape these days, speaks fondly of his time in the WWF, and has made several statements, alluding to his interest in returning to the WWE. Why not? He’s in good shape, the older fans would love it, and have probably been clamoring for his return for several years now. A decent run, or appearance with the WWE could do very well for the UFC Hall of Famer. Perhaps he could add a WWE Hall of Fame ring along with that first honor.
13. Hopeless: Sabu
Perhaps, another entry that comes to no surprise, the ECW original had several injuries during his prime that would keep most people in bed for weeks, let alone to continue wrestling a match. Sabu, however, has paid a price for his risky offense in the ring. It has been documented on numerous occasions of Sabu’s health slowly becoming worse with every match he participates in. It’s almost shameful with someone who has given so much of his literal body, and has influenced a style of wrestling that many wrestlers today do their best to emulate, is not in a position to be living his life lavishly. Injury issues, drug issues, and apparent attitude issues in the past seem to leave Sabu in no position to be receiving any large payoffs in the foreseeable future.
12. Can Turn It Around: X-Pac
Much like Ken Shamrock, X-Pac may not be in the worst of standings at the moment, but perhaps he isn’t on the best either. Along with his recent charges of drug possession at an airport, along with a dark past that has proceeded him, perhaps the WWE don’t want a whole lot to do with X-Pac again, just yet. He has made several appearances in WWE the last few years, not to mention is closely linked to high WWE executive in Paul “Triple H” Levesque. His recent drug charges have been dropped, and has been explained by X-Pac to be a misunderstanding, it’s likely the former member of the popular as all hell “D-Generation-X” will be appearing in some lucrative spotlight, sooner rather than later.
11. Hopeless: Ahmed Johnson
“The Pearl River Powerhouse” has come a long way since his time in the then-WWF during the mid-1990s. Following his run with the WWE, Johnson had an unsuccessful stint in WCW, ultimately being released due to weight issues. Johnson made a few “indy” show appearances before retiring, appearing grossly overweight in comparison to the physique he carried only a few years prior in the WWE. Most, if any, of his pictures that appear online today show how much Johnson has put on weight since his heyday. It’s difficult to judge someone with struggling health issues, however, his documented sentiment towards several of his former coworkers are not of the most flattering, or kind degree, so he’s unlikely to receive much sympathy from anyone in the wrestling business. His wrestling days are indeed behind him, but unfortunately, his healthier days may be, too.
10. Can Turn It Around: Jake Roberts
Yes, he’s already come along so far with his life transformation the last several years with his physical, and drug addiction issues. As shown in the documentary “The Resurrection of Jake “The Snake” Roberts”, Roberts may have also dealt with some financial issues over the years. These days, Roberts seems to be enjoying his sobriety, making indie appearances on a regular basis. It’s a curious thought, that with his reputation of being one of the most creative, and talented performers in the wrestling business, would WWE use those assets once again, and help mold future WWE talents? They probably should. Perhaps much time on the road does not interest Jake Roberts, however, with his continuing positive success in his life, the potential lucrative position can always be a possibility.
9. Hopeless: Vader
“Oh it’s time!” One of the greatest big-men performers, and probably just performers in the wrestling business, the man has main-evented in about every promotion he’s performed for in his career. Unfortunately, the “man they call, Vader”, has had many recent health concerns the past couple of years with congenital heart failure, going as far as announcing that his doctors have told him, he may only have a couple more years to live. My God. Hopefully, a WWE Hall of Fame induction spotlighting his illustrious career in the wrestling business, can at least give Leon White, and all of his fans, something hopeful to look forward to. We also hope his diagnosis isn’t as grave as the doctors think.
8. Can Turn It Around: Billy Gunn
Following his release from WWE as NXT trainer in 2015, Billy Gunn has made indie appearances, however, likely not to the same lucrative degree that his position as NXT trainer in WWE had. But still! He’s always been in great shape, although that is what got him trouble in the first place, however, aside from that, he was always a great in-ring performer, and seems tailor-made for a position to train future WWE talent in. He also made several appearances in WWE in recent years even becoming a tag-team champion, of the world, for a sixth time! He surely must have been tested then. And he’s surely still in great standing with WWE executive, and fellow “DX” cohort in Triple H. That gives him some hope for a WWE return.
7. Hopeless: The Dynamite Kid
Known for being one of the greatest in ring performers in the wrestling business ever, whilst known for being one of the most notorious backstage bullies in the wrestling business, ever, the former half of the “British Bulldogs” has been confined to a wheel chair for several years now, due to his severe back injuries sustained during his wrestling career.
It’s an eerie sight for someone who was known for such bad intentions towards other backstage, is now permanently confined to a wheelchair, and with a reputation as awful as his physical conditions are. Not a “hopeful” place for anyone to ever be in. His demeanor hasn’t exactly garnered him sympathy from fellow wrestlers, despite the poor physical health he’s in.
6. Can Turn It Around: Nick “Eugene” Dinsmore
Yes! The former “special” WWE superstar, these days is running his own wrestling training school in his residing state of North Dakota. The former WWE superstar has gone on record for stating how difficult it was in earning paydays in the wrestling business following his 2007 release from WWE, however, he made several one-off appearances after his release, and eventually did return in 2013 as an NXT trainer until his second release in 2014.
BUT, he could return again. Perhaps he could train more potential WWE talent, or even train future WWE talent in his own wrestling school. It’s fair to say, his standing in the wrestling business, and life as a whole, seems pretty hopeful and he should be able to land on his feet.
5. Hopeless: Virgil
The former bodyguard to WWE Hall of Famer, the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, these days doesn’t find himself rolling around in the money he did onscreen with his former boss. Virgil has garnered a reputation online for not being the most popular of wrestlers. Aside from his notability with wrestling fans, Virgil has been known to be a bit of a jerk to say the least, forcing his way into several fan pictures, and autographs, with the intention of billing them money for his mostly unwanted contact. He recently appeared on the YouTube channel “Grim’s Toy Show”, privately appearing in the channel host, and huge wrestling fan’s home, looking to sign, and sell his old action figures. Not exactly an ideal reputation, nor position to have, for the former WWE wrestler.
4. Can Turn It Around: Rock ‘N Roll Express
Yes, we’re putting a tag-team, but how could I not in the case of Ricky and Robert? Recently inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and more recently, working at the WWE Performance Center as NXT trainers for a few sessions, things seem to be quite hopeful for the all-time great wrestling tag-team. Their ability, and experience alone could place them into an honorable position of training potential WWE talents. Did I mention that WWE Hall of Fame induction? Things do appear to be looking up for the Rock ‘N Roll Express, and rightfully so. The two have earned positions from being just older gentlemen HAVING to work indie shows. Perhaps that’s just the business, though. It’s time for them to just hang it up for good and enjoy retirement.
3. Hopeless: Demolition
Much like The Rock n’ Roll Express, Demolition is a package deal here. One of the most popular WWE tag-teams of all time, Demolition Ax and Smash, unfortunately, are not in a favorable position with the WWE. Ax and Smash are just two of several former WWE Superstars, filing class-action lawsuits against the company for concussion related injuries. Ironically enough, following their suit, their record of the longest-reigning WWE Tag Team Champions, a record that stood over 25 years, ended! Coincidence? Likely not. Not to take anything away from The New Day, but the WWE ending their title reign immediately after breaking Demolition’s record smells fishy.
The duo has also found themselves still performing on indie shows, despite their age, and years of nagging injuries, the two-should be Hall of Famers, are not in the most hopeful of positions one could imagine.
2. Can Turn It Around: Perry Saturn
The former “Radical”, and U.S Army solider was in severely poor financial, and physical straits the last several years. After being released by the WWE, and seemingly disappearing from the business for many years, Perry Saturn resurfaced with a recent appearance on Chris Jericho’s “Talk is Jericho” podcast to discuss his issues with drug addiction that left him penny-less, to the rock-bottom, see what I did there, point of being homeless! Saturn spoke about literally living in the streets, and being a full-on addict. Since his appearance on “Talk is Jericho”, Saturn has had funding pages created for him, for anyone that would like to donate to his medical expenses, and housing concerns, but more importantly, he has done his best to remain sober, and even had a few shirts listing “Saturn Sobriety” on them, to support his fight against addictions.
1. Hopeless: Kamala
Perhaps the saddest entry on this list, the “Ugandan Giant” has been reduced to a wheelchair due to the amputation of both of his legs these past few years. Kamala has been in the middle of financial hardship for some time. Working as a truck driver prior to his amputations, despite his long-standing career in the wrestling business, Kamala has been on record describing many of the racial, and payment mistreatments he allegedly dealt with during his time in the WWE. Kamala has sued the WWE in the past over these, and other allegations, however, to no financial gain, and only worsening health. We hope something turns around for him soon, but it’s hard to see that happening.
While some of these former wrestlers seem to be without hope, we sure wish them all the best and hope all of them are able to turn things around.
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