The option to continue wrestling at a later age makes wrestling unlike any other sporting event. Wrestlers having the luxury of the scripted element makes it closer to a movie or television show where you can still thrive if you know how to perform when the lights are on. Many older performers from the Attitude Era are still going today. Their star power and name value during the most popular time in wrestling history still provides enough appeal to get booked today.
However, not every wrestler wants to continue working past their prime by holding on to the spotlight. Some surprisingly retire quietly with little fanfare due to their desire to end things at the right time. Both sides of the story for wrestlers from that special time in WWE history will be viewed here. These are five Attitude Era wrestlers still working today along with five that are surprisingly retired.
10 Still wrestling: D-Lo Brown
The run of D-Lo Brown in the Attitude Era made him one of the most consistent mid-carders to find success. Brown first found relevance as a talented addition to the Nation of Domination faction that impressed the audience.
WWE would eventually trust Brown enough to have runs with the Intercontinental Championship and European Championship at the same time. Brown still wrestles all these years later on the independent scene. Impact Wrestling hired him to become a producer, but D-Lo is still taking outside bookings.
9 Retired: Ron Simmons
Fellow Nation of Domination member Ron Simmons was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame to celebrate his career accomplishments. Simmons had a great run in WWE with the NOD faction and APA tag team, but his historic moment as the first African American WCW Champion made him a legend in the industry.
The career of Simmons is officially over as he has stopped taking bookings for many years now. Simmons found enough happiness from his career and did not need to continue wrestling like some of his peers. The only chance to see Simmons is at autograph conventions or the occasional WWE appearance.
8 Still wrestling: Taka Michinoku
Taka Michinoku was the top Light Heavyweight Champion for WWE when they started their own version of WCW’s cruiserweight division during the Attitude Era. It allowed him to be one of the most successful Japanese stars in North America since few made the jump to land full-time WWE spots.
Michinoku is still wrestling today in New Japan as part of the Suzuki-Gun faction. Rising star Zack Sabre Jr. is often accompanied to ring side by Taka as his manager/hype man. Michinoku still wrestles on his own with regular appearances in NJPW along with other promotions internationally that bring him in.
7 Retired: Shawn Stasiak
WWE and WCW both expected Shawn Stasiak to become a major star in wrestling. The look of Stasiak was ideal for the 90s along with a pedigree as the son of former WWE Champion Stan “The Man” Stasiak to influence the belief of his star power.
Shawn did not thrive much in WWE with his runs as Meat and Planet Stasiak each resulting in poor comedy. Following the end of his time in WWE, Stasiak decided to find another career in between indie wrestling on the side. The new job of chiropractor made Stasiak officially retire from the ring now twelve years removed from his last match.
6 Still wrestling: Hardcore Holly
The consistency of Hardcore Holly would see him on the WWE roster before, during and after the Attitude Era. Holly was viewed as one of the toughest people in the locker room which led to him continuing to work for the company despite the lack of television time for years.
Following his eventual release, Holly continued wrestling on the independent circuit and still makes a living wrestling today. The schedule of Holly has him wrestling all over the world with dates in Deutschland, the United Kingdom and the United States in recent months.
5 Retired: Mideon
The mid-card run of Mideon featured him playing a variety of characters in WWE. It all started with the pig farmer gimmick as Phineas I. Godwinn teaming with Henry O. Godwinn in a tag team. Most fans will remember him as Mideon in the Ministry of Darkness or Naked Mideon when adopting a nudist character.
Life after WWE would see Mideon phase out of the wrestling industry to find a new passion in life. Mideon is now a chef working a highly respected restaurant far removed from wrestling. Retirement can treat a wrestler right if they can find another career to love.
4 Still wrestling: Ken Shamrock
UFC legend Ken Shamrock was the first fighter to make the move to professional wrestling in the 90s ahead of the Attitude Era. Shamrock had memorable feuds against the likes of Owen Hart, The Rock and Dan Severn during his WWE run.
There was a long break away from the ring for Shamrock, but he returned to wrestling back in 2018 after nine years without a match. Shamrock now takes bookings with some of his recent matches coming in promotions like Battle Championship Wrestling, wXw and McAloon Productions.
3 Retired: Marc Mero
WWE banked on Marc Mero becoming a huge star for them after signing him away from WCW about a year before the Attitude Era started. The disappointment of Mero floundering in his role played a part in WWE realizing they needed to change their approach which led to the Attitude Era.
Mero did not last too long in WWE after his feud with Sable ended. TNA did bring him in for one final run as Johnny B. Badd, but he could not impress the crowd. Mero eventually retired and has been working as a writer, trainer and public speaker since then.
2 Still wrestling: X-Pac
The recent introduction into the Hall of Fame as part of D-Generation X cemented the legacy of X-Pac in WWE history. Under various names like X-Pac, 123 Kidd and Syxx, Sean Waltman delivered great matches during his time in both WWE and WCW.
The time as X-Pac is how fans remember him most for the outstanding run in D-Generation X. Waltman is still wrestling on the independent circuit taking limited dates. One of his most recent matches featured him teaming with Jushin “Thunder” Liger and The Hurricane at a WrestleCon show two nights before his Hall of Fame induction.
1 Retired: Steve Blackman
Steve Blackman holds a soft spot in the heart of many Attitude Era fans for his unique style. The martial arts background of Blackman allowed him to utilize his legitimate toughness to become an important part of his character as a fighter.
Blackman also showcased a couple of fun weapons like the kendo stick and nun chucks in some of his matches. The wrestling career of Blackman ended shortly after he left WWE. Recent years have seen Blackman use his “the lethal weapon” moniker in a different field as a bounty hunter. WWE even polled fans about the potential of a reality show about Blackman on the WWE Network, but nothing came of it.