There are many fascinating aspects of wrestling that makes the art form create discussions and an entire world on the internet dedicated to breaking it down. We always talk about pushes, bad booking, title matches and WrestleMania moments. The in-ring product is what we judge the WWE on at the end of the day because it provides us with the entertainment or frustration when watching a show. However, there is so much more that goes into a show. WWE is a huge company that employs so many people for roles we aren’t even aware exists to make sure everything runs according to plan.
Some of the jobs are nearly impossible to easily find employees for. It’s not like you can go on Craigslist and discover the right person to help put together wrestling matches, teach the young performers or figure out the timing for television segments. This leads to many former wrestlers getting positions in the company and continuing their careers in the wrestling industry in another field. Between education backgrounds and the experience gained in the business, wrestlers will get a chance for various reasons. Much like finding the right person to succeed in the ring, there’s no true formula and some people just adapt better to the new world.
WWE currently employs many former wrestlers. Some of these people were former main eventers that experienced the highest level of success. Many were role players that worked hard and can help instill that work ethic into performers. A couple of these former wrestlers never even worked for WWE but had a trait that caused them to get an opportunity from outside of the system. WWE continues to thrive as a global brand with a world of content coming out frequently. We’ll look at the stories of former wrestlers that you weren’t aware currently work for WWE in a backstage capacity to help the overall product.
15. Arn Anderson: Senior Producer
Ric Flair was the star of the Four Horsemen but Arn Anderson may have been the most valuable member of the faction with his work making the group look credible rather than like one star teaming with various midcarders. WWE employed Anderson following the death of WCW, starting him out as an announcer before transitioning him into an agent. Anderson is now listed as a senior producer and is often credited for helping many of the current in-ring performers improve. Most WWE backstage employees have short shelf lives but Anderson has remained with the company since coming over in early 2001. You could argue Double A was the most successful former WCW star making the jump, considering how things shook out for the rest of them.
14. Matt Bloom: Head NXT Trainer
Matt Bloom had a successful wrestling career with noteworthy moments in both WWE and New Japan Pro Wrestling. The drastic difference in cultures and in-ring styles made Bloom a great fit for the WWE training world. Bloom is most remembered for his WWE runs as Albert and A-Train but the work he is currently doing as the head trainer of NXT may become the lasting legacy of his career. Bill DeMott was removed as the head of the Performance Center due to controversial allegations about his training methods and Bloom stepped up with the new opportunity. NXT is churning out new stars and Bloom is helping them get to the main roster.
13. Joey Mercury: Producer
The story of Joey Mercury’s career is quite inspiring. Mercury struggled with addiction during his in-ring career and it led to him getting released multiple times. The strength to get past the issues gave Mercury another chance in WWE as a trainer and that blossomed into him becoming a producer for the television shows and pay-per-views. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and various other current main roster stars credit Mercury for his help in getting them to a position to excel in the spotlight. WWE even put Mercury back on television as a member of Seth Rollins’ entourage for a short time and he proved he could still provide entertainment on-screen, as well as excel backstage.
12. Jamie Noble: Producer
Much like Joey Mercury, Jamie Noble’s transition into the backstage aspect of WWE was so good that WWE put him back on television for a short time period with Seth Rollins as a reward. Noble is one of the greatest cruiserweights in WWE history and now works as a producer for the company. An injury forced Noble to end his full-time in-ring career and WWE luckily offered him a chance to succeed in a new field. No one in the wrestling business has a negative thing to say about Noble and his professionalism likely earned him the opportunity knowing everyone in the locker room respects him.
11. Sara Del Rey: Assistant Head Trainer & Producer
Sara Del Rey has positively impacted the WWE more than most people despite never working as an in-ring competitor. The extremely talented wrestler was one of the best female performers on the independent circuit for years but WWE offered her a career change as a trainer. Del Rey jumped at the opportunity and instantly impacted the NXT scene by helping the ladies of developmental lead the “Divas Revolution.” Many fans credit Del Rey’s training leading the way for changing the landscape of what being a women’s wrestler means in the WWE. Del Rey works with Matt Bloom running the Performance Center and does producing work on the main roster.
10. Michael Hayes: Head Road Agent & Senior Producer
The recent Hall of Fame inductee, Michael Hayes, has one of the higher positions in WWE today as a senior producer and head road agent. Hayes was hired by WWE to play an on-air broadcaster in the 90s but eventually emerged as a top contributor to the company backstage. The controversial legend served as the head writer of SmackDown at one point during the brand split and likely still pitches ideas, but his main title is being a high profile producer for the television product. Hayes is considered to be loved by Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Do not expect him to lose his position unless he plans to retire.
9. Ranjin Singh: Head Writer
Ranjin Singh was the manager and translator for The Great Khali during a short time period of the giant’s career. His real name is Dave Kapoor and he has been one of the lead writers for WWE television. The unassuming performer joined the writing team shortly after his on-air career tenure ended and has held down the position since then. Kapoor was the lead SmackDown writer but likely does work for both television shows and PPVs at this point given how merged everything is. You never know who will become an important member of the WWE team and the story of Ranjin Singh is the perfect example of that.
8. Robbie Brookside: NXT Trainer
Very few British wrestlers have had as strong a career as Robbie Brookside and he finally made it to WWE as a trainer. Brookside was highly talented as a performer and influenced many wrestlers, so it’s only fitting that he works with the current young core in NXT. The WWE Network reality show Breaking Ground featured an in depth look at the life of an NXT star and Brookside was heavily featured as a coach.
7. Finlay: Producer
Finlay has excelled as a backstage producer and a road agent following the end of his in-ring career. WWE benefits from Finlay’s work and he has always been considered a loyal hard-working employee. Finlay was actually fired in 2011 for having The Miz interrupt the national anthem at a live event as a way to get heat. The popular belief is WWE fired him because someone had to take the fall for the incident, but always planned to rehire him. That theory would be proven correct when Finlay was back about a year later and he has continued to hold down the position as a producer to this day.
6. Jimmy Jacobs: Creative Writer
ROH enjoyed the work of Jimmy Jacobs as he was one of the more popular performers in the company for years until he was signed by WWE in 2015. Unlike many of his peers that are dominating the ring today, Jacobs signed with the company to become a writer. Jacobs is a member of the writing team and has completely transitioned out of the actual wrestling aspect to enter the new field. The strength of Jacobs’ career has always been his creativity, as he always adding depth to his character and making himself one of the more multi-faceted ROH stars. WWE’s creative team has been criticized for years and a fresh mind like Jacobs can help.
5. Dean Malenko: Road Agent & Producer
The in-ring work of Dean Malenko was never appreciated by the WWE or WCW but his skills impacted many of the current stars that were fascinated by the art he created in the ring. Malenko currently works for WWE in a backstage capacity as a road agent and a producer. The master of a thousand holds helps the wrestlers put together matches. There have been very few wrestlers in the history books as technically sound as Malenko and WWE hiring him for this role was a brilliant decision.
4. Mike Rotunda: Road Agent
Mike Rotunda’s time in the WWE as I.R.S. delivered one of the rare cheesy gimmicks that worked effectively at getting heat. The overall wrestling career of Rotunda was a success and he showed a great deal of intelligence as a worker. Rotunda left the wrestling business to run a security company following retirement but would end up finding his way back to the industry when the company would re-hire him as a road agent. The once despised heel still holds the position and makes rare appearances on television when needed for a nostalgia comedic spot. One cool thing for Rotunda is he gets to work with his sons Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas as they all make a living in the WWE.
3. Norman Smiley: NXT Trainer
Most American fans know Norman Smiley as a comedic wrestler from WCW during the dying days competing for the Hardcore Championship. Smiley did a tremendous job in the role but it showed very little of his actual talent. Traveling all over the world for years made Smiley a great worker and he is passing along the tricks of the game to today’s wrestlers as a trainer in NXT. The English import works daily at the Performance Center helping the prospects hoping to become the next big stars. Most of the successful NXT alumni like Sasha Banks, Baron Corbin and Finn Balor credit Smiley’s work in getting them to the next level.
2. Billy Kidman: Producer
The move from WCW to WWE for Billy Kidman saw him accomplish very little aside from the rare cruiserweight or tag team storyline. WWE released Kidman as a talent but would eventually bring him back a couple of years later to work as a trainer. Kidman transitioned into becoming a producer and works very hard to make WWE’s television shows go on without a hitch. JBL tweets out a photo of Kidman at work in gorilla position every week before RAW. The cruiserweight legend has traded the wife beater and shorts for a dress shirt and slacks. Kidman is the man responsible for making sure the segments all start and end in a timely fashion.
1. Road Dogg: Producer
The ascension of Road Dogg’s backstage career in WWE has been staggering. Despite apparently burning bridges by trashing Triple H in shoot interviews following his release, Road Dogg was welcomed back into the company as a trainer and used the opportunity to move up the pecking order. The former DX member is one of the more important producers helping run the show backstage. Triple H and Vince McMahon missed SmackDown tapings last summer to run the Tough Enough show on Tuesdays and Road Dogg was the man running the show with the two biggest bosses gone. Road Dogg is often on Twitter arguing with fans trashing the product and it’s because he puts a lot of work into it.
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