As I’m sure most wrestling fans are well aware, throughout the ’80s, ’90s and even into the early 2000s, Hulk Hogan was one of pro-wrestlings largest and most iconic stars. In both the WWE and WCW, when Hulk Hogan was around, there was little doubt that he was their franchise main-event talent, and as a result, Hogan had plenty of runs with both of the companies World Championships. Although Hulk Hogan was known and referred to as the “face of professional wrestling”, since this business relies on having more than one talent at the top of the card to create intrigue, Hulk Hogan was not the only man who held World Championship gold. Both the WWE and WCW had other main-event level talents that had what many of us fans consider to be “transitional” championship reigns, because Hogan couldn’t carry the belt forever without having any form of opposition.
Few fans would have continued to watch the show after a point if Hulk Hogan had never dropped the gold. Many of those said guys who had World Championship reigns in between Hogan’s runs went on to have great careers in pro-wrestling. However, since many of those wrestlers have long since retired from the business, most of them have fallen off the raider and many fans have no clue as to what they’re up to today, which is where this list comes into play. On the contrary, some of those said guys have climbed to even greater heights since their World Championship wins or losses with Hogan, and some are still in the wrestling business to this day. Stay tuned, as today’s list divulges what these 10 wrestlers who switched the World Championship with Hogan are up to now. With that said, let’s begin our list.
20. Sgt. Slaughter
At the WWE Royal Rumble in 1991, after defeating The Ultimate Warrior, Sgt. Slaughter became the WWE Champion for the first time (his only reign). During Sgt. Slaughter’s WWE title reign, Slaughter was the perfect, polarizing anti-American heel that drew massive heat from WWE’s audiences. Now who would have been the perfect guy to have dethroned such a hated villain? Well, I think there was only one man right for the job, and that man was The Immortal, Hulk Hogan.
Hulk Hogan, an American fan-favorite star was the perfect candidate to end Sgt. Slaughter’s run with the championship gold, and that’s exactly what Hogan did at their WrestleMania VII match. Hogan won the WWE Championship for the third time, much to the fans delight. Sgt. Slaughter was an absolutely despised heel that excelled in his role of making Hogan the true hero, and Hogan was loved by the fans that much more after taking down this villain. Sgt. Slaughter definitely contributed to Hulkamania rising to even greater heights and popularity.
19. Where Is Sgt. Slaughter Now?
Since retiring from in-ring wrestling in the mid ’90s, Sgt. Slaughter has appeared sporadically on WWE television since ’97 all the way up until his last appearance to date, which was back in 2014 where he returned at the Tribute To The Troops event and helped Dean Ambrose defeat Bray Wyatt by giving Ambrose his steel-toe boot. As well as making various appearances on WWE television, Sgt. Slaughter has also attended many meet and greet sessions with fans. Sgt. Slaughter is also currently signed to the WWE under their Ambassador program.
Aside from his sporadic wrestling appearances, Sgt. Slaughter, 68, who now resides in Burlington, North Carolina spends quite a bit of his retirement life helping out various charities and hospitals, especially the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, which he helps raise crucial funds for that organization among others. As you can see, Sgt. Slaughter was definitely an on-screen heel only, as he spends so much of his time now a days trying to help out others the best he can.
18. The Iron Sheik
The Iron Sheik, also known as one of pro-wrestlings most despised heels in history, won his first and only WWE Championship after defeating then champion, Bob Backlund. Although Backlund was scheduled to receive a rematch for the world title, Bob injured himself, forcing Backlund to give up his spot to Hulk Hogan. The match between Hulk Hogan and The Iron Sheik at a house show in ’84, in which Hulk Hogan defeated The Iron Sheik for the WWE Championship, was the match that catapulted Hulk Hogan into super stardom and it definitely kick-started the Hulkamania movement.
From that point on, Hulk Hogan was the most beloved babyface in the company, and he was solidified as the WWE’s biggest star for years to come. The Iron Sheik was the perfect heel to put Hulk Hogan over. There wasn’t anyone else in the company at the time that had the kind of heat that The Iron Sheik had, which was enough to have made anyone who tried stepping up against him a a star as well as a fan favorite. Hulk Hogan also had the charisma and the look which further catapulted The Hulkster into stardom. It was the right guy (Iron Sheik) at the right time to put over the next up and coming star in Hulk Hogan.
17. Where Is The Iron Sheik Now?
As I’m sure many wrestling fans are aware, since retiring from the squared-circle, The Iron Sheik has been living an absolutely wild life, and he has become famous for his shoot interviews on all sorts of subjects, his extraordinarily vulgar language, his Twitter rampages as well as just being a bit of a crazy lunatic in public. However, not everything about The Iron Sheik’s life after pro-wrestling was comical. The Iron Sheik has had his fair share of rough times including drug addictions, as well as losing one of his daughter’s after she was murdered by her boyfriend at the time. Sheik had even attempted to kill her daughter’s murderer in court but his family convinced him otherwise. Just crazy stuff!
However, rough life struggles aside, now a days, The Iron Sheik is just pure comedy gold. Although his family considers Sheik to be very embarrassing in public, to us fans, he is one of the most entertaining people around. One example of The Iron Sheik’s craziness includes lecturing shoppers at the supermarket on their eating habits, and he even went as far as taking customers food out of their baskets. Talk about crazy! Although The Iron Sheik has had his times of trouble since retiring, he is doing fine now, and Iron Sheik continues to entertain us wrestling fans each year with his absolutely hilarious tactics.
16. Lex Luger
Lex Luger, a wrestler known for his tenures in both the WWE and WCW, had two WCW World Heavyweight Championship runs throughout his career. One of those said runs came after he had successfully defeated Hollywood Hulk Hogan on Monday Nitro in August of ’97. Although Lex Luger was a star in his own right on WCW at the time, his main purpose was to be a transitional champion and to put over Hulk Hogan shortly after his title win. This is exactly what he did, as just 5 days after winning the World Championship, Lex Luger dropped the belt back to Hogan.
Hulk Hogan was already a massive wrestling star by ’97 so Luger dropping the World Championship didn’t really establish Hogan as any bigger of a star. However, Lex Luger dropping the belt to Hogan did in fact make Hulk look more credible, and I believe that’s what WCW’s intention was when they decided to give Luger a title reign. By the mid 90’s, Lex Luger was placed firmly as an upper midcard guy, so his last WCW Championship run was solely to add more credibility to Hulk Hogan who was without a doubt, WCW’s top guy.
15. Where Is Lex Luger Now?
Since retiring from pro-wrestling in the early 2000s, Lex Luger has been involved in a few news worthy stories including the fact that Elizabeth Hulette, formerly known as Miss Elizabeth, died in his house due to drug abuse. Around the time of Miss Elizabeth’s passing, it was also discovered the Luger was in possession of a variety of drugs. In 2007, Lex Luger suffered from a nerve impingement, which led Luger to becoming temporarily paralyzed. Since then, Luger has suffered from all sorts of health problems, and he is now wheel-chair bound most of the time. Unfortunately, Lex Luger looks nothing like he did back in his wrestling heyday.
However, on the bright side, since retiring, Lex Luger has been involved in many seminars regarding the wrestling business, he has attended tons of meet and greets with fans, and he is now working for the WWE behind the scenes in their Wellness Policy Department, to prevent this generation’s talent from going down the same negative path that he among others had taken in the ’80s and ’90s. Lex Luger now shares his experiences with WWE’s current crop of talent and he tries his best to make sure that the wrestlers of today make smart and healthy choices. Lex Luger has definitely turned his life around in recent times.
14. Ric Flair
Ric Flair, the legendary 16-time World Champion, was the first man to put over Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. In June of ’94, Hulk Hogan made his official debut in WCW which was a huge move for WCW in terms of generating a larger fan-base and creating buzz, considering Hulk Hogan was pro-wrestlings most recognizable star. As you would expect, those in charge of WCW took little time in crowning Hogan their new WCW Champion. Now who was the guy to put Hogan over? Well, that guy would be The Nature Boy, Ric Flair.
Flair was the perfect guy to do the job (literally job as in lose also), because Ric was one of the very best in the business and if there was one guy who could make someone look like a million bucks, it was without a doubt, Ric Flair. That’s exactly what Flair did for Hogan at their World Championship “dream” match on Hogan’s first WCW pay-per-view, Bash At The Beach ’94. Ric Flair made Hogan look phenomenal and at the end of the bout, we had the new WCW World Heavyweight Champion, Hulk Hogan. Ric Flair was the guy that helped kick-start Hulkamania all over again, this time in WCW.
13. Where Is Ric Flair Now?
As we all know, despite retiring from in-ring wrestling in 2008 following his legendary WrestleMania bout with HBK, Ric Flair is definitely not far away when it comes to the WWE, and he is still very much in the public eye. Especially recently, Ric Flair continues to bless all us fans with his presence fairly regularly, as he accompanies his daughter, Charlotte Flair wherever she desires. Besides accompanying Charlotte and appearing in various WWE Network exclusive programming as well as on WWE’s various kick-off shows, Ric Flair has also been featured on numerous television shows, talk shows and tons of events related to meeting his still very large fan-base.
Despite Flair getting up there in age, Ric is still “a Limousine ridin’, Jet-flyin’, Kiss-stealin’, Wheelin’-dealin’, Son-of-a-gun”. Age doesn’t matter all too much for Ric Flair as he still enjoys living life in lavish style. However on occasion, Flair’s drinking seems to get excessive as there have been multiple times when many fans thought that The Nature Boy was “drunk” while on live WWE television. So as you can see, Ric Flair hasn’t changed all too much since his active wrestling years but at the end of the day, who can fault him for that, he’s Ric Flair dammit!
Sting is a legendary pro-wrestling icon remembered for being one of WCW’s most popular and successful stars in the company’s history. Sting had all the traits to be utilized as a top star, and as a result, Sting was used as a main event caliber talent throughout his WCW tenure. However, despite being one of WCW’s franchise stars, compared to The Immortal Hulk Hogan, Sting played second fiddle and as you would expect, he moved out of that top spot considering Hulk Hogan was positioned as “the guy” right from his debut in ’94.
For years following, Sting was positioned in an upper midcard spot and it wasn’t until ’97, when WCW decided to let Sting have another run at the top with their World Championship, and ironically, he defeated none other than Hollywood Hulk Hogan for that WCW World Championship. Sting proved to those in charge of WCW that he was worthy of being utilized as a main event star, especially after changing his character to that of a white face-painted, dark haired and bat holding lunatic that got over tremendously with WCW’s audiences. From that WCW Championship win forward, Sting was featured as a guy who was on the same level as Hogan.
11. Where Is Sting Now?
As I’m sure most of you are aware, Sting made his debut in the WWE a couple of years ago and he had a short run feuding with the likes of Triple H as well as Seth Rollins over the WWE World Championship. Unfortunately, Seth Rollins had accidentally injured Sting during their title match at Night of Champions 2015, which ended Sting’s run with the WWE very abruptly. However on the bright side, the following year, Sting was deservingly inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame. Sting has also been featured in some of WWE’s other programs on the WWE Network including an episode of Legends With JBL, as well as Sting’s short WWE documentary titled “Sting: Into The Light.”
As well as being featured in the WWE, Sting attends tons of meet and greet sessions with fans and he has also appeared at various events such as WrestleCon and SuperSlam since his WWE Hall Of Fame Induction in 2016. Back in the day, once his WCW years were over, Sting had suffered from substance and alcohol abuse, but he has since recovered from those dark times and he’s doing well now. Sting’s still signed to the WWE under their Legends Program, so who knows, we may see the Stinger again in the WWE someday soon!
10. Kevin Nash
Diesel, aka Kevin Nash, has had successful runs with both the WWE, as well as in WCW as one of “The Outsiders” with Scott Hall. In both companies, Nash has had runs with both the WWE and WCW World Championships. Right from his introduction in WCW, it was clear that both Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, especially Kevin Nash, were going to be utilized as top tier stars. This proved to be the case as Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan formed the wildly popular main event nWo faction. In late ’98, Kevin Nash defeated then champion, Goldberg to win his first WCW World Championship.
This was that match with that hideous ending, which saw Goldberg tasered by Scott Hall so that Nash could powerbomb the disoriented Goldberg and take the belt, thus ending Goldberg’s undefeated streak. If things couldn’t get any worse, just a bit over a week later on an episode of Monday Nitro in early January ’99, Kevin Nash lost the WCW Championship to Hulk Hogan with the infamous “Finger Poke Of Doom”. Unlike many other wrestlers on this list that either dropped the belt to Hogan or won the belt from him for the betterment of the company, this title exchange was one of the worst in history and it did absolutely nothing for the company, or either men. Just an absolutely disastrous storyline.
9. Where Is Kevin Nash Now?
Since Kevin Nash’s retirement from pro-wrestling in the mid 2000’s, Nash has been featured on WWE programmings sporadically since 2011, considering he’s under contract with the WWE under their Legends Program. As a result, he has appeared on some of WWE’s shows (RAW, SmackDown, various pay-per-views), as well as on some of WWE’s shows on their network including Table For 3 among others. In 2015, Kevin Nash was also inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame. Outside of his wrestling appearances, in Kevin Nash’s personal life, things haven’t always been so great.
Kevin Nash has had some issues with the law on occasion, including a time in 2014 where Nash and his son Tristen were arrested for battery charges (they were fighting each other to the point of becoming bloody). However, shortly after, those charges were dropped as Kevin’s lawyer claimed that Nash was only defending his wife against his son, who was being aggressive towards her. Low points aside, Kevin Nash is still living the good life as he’s officially retired and he has a bucket load of money to live off of, so things aren’t too bad for “Big Daddy Cool”.
8. Big Show (The Giant)
The 7-foot tall Big Show has had an illustrious and long pro-wrestling career, both in WCW and in the WWE and he has had runs with both of the companies World Championships. When Big Show (at the time The Giant) made his WCW debut in ’95, right from the start, he was booked as an unstoppable force, and a new star in the making. As I’m sure many of you fans know, The Giant defeated Hulk Hogan (yes, by disqualification) but he still won the match and the WCW World Championship. Talk about a polarizing debut!
However, just a few weeks after his title win, the World Championship was stripped off of The Giant due to the matches controversial conclusion. On the bright side, a year later, The Giant reclaimed the WCW World Championship after defeating Ric Flair at the SuperBrawl pay-per-view. He later dropped the WCW World Championship back onto Hulk Hogan, who then renamed the belt the nWo/WCW World Heavyweight Championship. This title win for Hogan marked his second reign as WCW World Champion, and it established the nWo as the companies most credible and most polarizing stable.
7. Where Is Big Show (The Giant) Now?
Well, as I’m certain you all are aware, Big Show is still a major player in the WWE to this day (an example of this was his recent main event match with Braun Strowman which ended in the ring collapsing for a truly “holy sh*t” moment). Although Big Show’s not far from retirement, he’s still in phenomenal shape and he’s still capable of putting on great matches, which he has proven on multiple occasions recently with his matches against the likes of Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman.
Big Show is still alive and kicking in the world of pro-wrestling, and besides being featured on RAW, Big Show has also been featured on a countless number of WWE’s other programmings. Big Show is interviewed regularly, makes special appearances on various shows and promotional events related to the WWE, and he has even been featured in some of WWE Studios movies. I think it’s safe to say that Big Show has had a far longer career than anyone could have imagined, and he is definitely a future Hall Of Famer when he decides to eventually hang up his boots. Until then, Big Show will continue to entertain us fans with his presence.
Goldberg, the iconic WCW legend known for his impressive undefeated streak, has had a very successful pro-wrestling career, as he’s captured both the WCW and the WWE World Heavyweight Championships. The Goldberg character was fresh and new at the time, and he got over with WCW’s audiences very quickly, hence why he climbed the ladder of success so quickly. Within short order, Goldberg was challenging the biggest pro-wrestling star in the world, Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Championship.
As we all know, Goldberg did just that, and on an episode of Monday Nitro in July ’98, with the crowd firmly behind him, Goldberg captured the WCW Championship for the first time in his career. This championship exchange was a fairly significant one as Hulk Hogan “passed the torch” so to speak to Goldberg and it really made Goldberg a new star. However, as we all know, Goldberg would go on to lose the WCW World Championship to Kevin Nash five months later in a match that had one of the worst possible finishes. Despite that, prior to losing the gold, WCW prospered hugely by naming Goldberg their new top guy and they had a new drawing champion, that would go on to bring loads of money to the company.
5. Where Is Goldberg Now?
Just as recent as a couple of weeks ago, Bill Goldberg was just completing his latest run with the WWE. Before I get into his WWE run recently, prior to his wrestling return, Goldberg was still very much a star and a guy who was in the medias eye. After leaving pro-wrestling in 2004, Goldberg has appeared on various television shows, movies, talk shows, sporting events, and even Donald Trumps Celebrity Apprentice. Out of the media, Goldberg married his wife, Wanda Ferraton in 2005 and they have a son, (who we’ve seen on WWE television), Gage. Goldberg also is co-owner of the Extreme Power Gym in Oceanside, California.
Now, onto his recent WWE run. Goldberg returned to the WWE, much to the surprise of the fans, and he immediately set his sights on Brock Lesnar, a guy who he had feuded with before his WWE run in 2004 ended. Goldberg squashed Lesnar in their Survivor Series bout, and he went on to defeat Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship at Fastlane this year. Goldberg then defended his Universal Championship against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33 in which he was defeated but still, it was a great run for Goldberg to say the least. He raked in a ton of green from his latest run and believe me, if that kind of money’s on the table again, I willingly bet that Goldberg will be back for more, so stay tuned!
4. The Undertaker
The legendary Undertaker, an extraordinarily unique character in his time, has had one of the most decorated and celebrated careers in WWE history. Right from his debut, The Undertaker was a very polarizing wrestler and it was clear that he was destined to go on to have a successful career. Within a year removed from his debut, The Undertaker challenged Hulk Hogan for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series and with the help from Ric Flair, The Undertaker successfully defeated Hulk Hogan to win his first of six WWE Championships.
Although ‘Taker was stripped of the belt just six days later due to the controversial finish, Hulk Hogan putting The Undertaker over made ‘Taker look like a legitimate star, and it set the tone for the rest of The Undertaker’s illustrious career. At the time, beating Hulk Hogan clean or not, was a statement that you were a force to be reckoned with and now that we look back, The Undertaker soared to incredibly great heights throughout his career after that win. Hulk Hogan can proudly say that he was a big part in transforming The Undertaker into a star.
3. Where Is The Undertaker Now?
The pro-wrestling world is still dealing with the 2017 retirement of one of the greatest of all time, The Undertaker. From defeating Hulk Hogan onwards, The Undertaker has had a career like no other, and he has truly become in my opinion, the WWE’s greatest icon of all time. Recently, we saw the end of ‘Taker’s illustrious career after his defeat at the hands of the fan-favorite (sarcasm) star, Roman Reigns. Despite the saddening news, The Undertaker is 52 years old and he is deserving of retiring more than any one else, with all of the years he’s dedicated his life to the WWE.
We’re currently in the transition stage of The Undertaker leaving the world of pro-wrestling to let the newer and younger stars take over. He put over the future, Roman Reigns, in his last match and he will now ride off into the sunset (or into the WWE Hall Of Fame next year). Regardless, The Undertaker was very much a big part of WWE from that Hogan victory all the way up until this year’s WrestleMania so the “where is he now?” question will be less obvious five to ten years from now. For the time being, The Undertaker is enjoying his retirement life with his wife, Michelle McCool in his residence of Austin, Texas.
2. Triple H
Triple H, The King of Kings, a wrestling legend who has had an absolutely incredible career with 14 World Championships under his belt, put over Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the WWE Undisputed Championship at Backlash 2002. This marked Hulk Hogan’s sixth and final WWE Championship reign. Both Triple H and Hulk Hogan were already established stars during their feud, so Triple H dropping the belt didn’t hurt his credibility all too much, nor did it make Hulk Hogan much more of a bigger star. (I don’t think any championship reign after a certain point makes much, or any difference to a star like Hulk Hogan because they can’t possibly get any bigger).
However, Hollywood Hulk Hogan becoming WWE Champion was a great business move for the WWE in general, because it led to the rekindling of The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan’s feud. This time however, Hulk Hogan was the one who dropped the World Championship to The Undertaker, at the 2002 Judgment Day pay-per-view. The feud came full circle, with Hogan doing the honor this time.
1. Where Is Triple H Now?
Since his WWE Championship switch with Hulk Hogan in 2002, Triple H has only become a bigger and more successful star. From that title loss onwards, Triple H managed to win nine more WWE Championships which is incredible. We also can’t forget that Triple H married the bosses daughter in October of 2003. Fairly recently, from 2011 onwards, Triple H retired from his full time in-ring wrestling career, and he started taking on responsibilities backstage. Now, besides wrestling in high profile matches once in a while as well as being a part of The Authority, Triple H also works as the Executive Vice President Of Talent, Live Events And Creative as well as the senior producer of NXT.
Triple H’s roles will only get bigger as Vince McMahon continues to take steps back, and continues to give the company’s future owners (Triple H & Stephanie McMahon for the most part) more responsibilities. Triple H is definitely not the same guy from 15 years ago that’s for sure. Besides WWE, Triple H has also appeared in television shows, movies, talk shows and all sorts of media related appearances since 2002. Triple H is certainly living a more responsible life now a days with all that he does day in and day out.
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