The world of wrestling is quite unpredictable. A wrestler's career could be cut short at any given time be it due to injuries, a company folding, a failed gimmick or even as a cost cutting measure. Thus, it's always advisable for wrestlers to have a backup career or any plan at all that can help them earn a living in the future.
WWE is at the top of the ladder when it comes to popularity thus when a wrestler leaves the company, one of the things they have to deal with is the lack of attention from fans. While some wrestlers move on to other companies or the independent circuit, they often find it difficult to command people's attention like they previously did. Some usually continue to wrestle while others choose to hang up their boots and find a more stable job. Those who have some entrepreneurial skills start their own businesses while some find it difficult to move on completely and occasionally dabble in wrestling. Here are 15 wrestlers who disappeared from the spotlight after leaving WWE.
15 Damien Demento
Phillip Theis made his WWE debut in 1992. He was known as Damien Demento, a mentally disturbed villain who hailed from "The Outer Reaches of Your Mind". His WWE career never took off but he did get the honor of being in the main event of RAW's debut episode, losing to The Undertaker. Theis parted ways with the WWE after a dispute over drug testing. After a short stint on the independent circuit, he retired before making a comeback over a decade later. He has since made a few indie appearances over the years and appeared in the movie Die Hard with a Vengeance.
Theis majored in art while on a football scholarship in college thus deciding to pursue a career as an artist and sculptor. In 2012, he had an exhibition to showcase his paintings and sculptures and was even profiled by the New York Times.
Like Mideon (coming up later in the list), Snitsky also had a budding football career which was cut short by a shoulder injury. In 2004, he came into the WWE scene with a bang courtesy of an outrageous storyline whereby he caused Lita to miscarry her unborn child, whose father happened to be Kane. This led to a feud with Kane, while also giving birth (pun intended) to Snitsky's "It wasn't my fault" catchphrase. He also got to showcase his football skills by punting a baby doll into the crowd.
Later, he shaved all of the hair on his head and face including his eyebrows, then had his teeth colored yellow to portray a monstrous heel who would run into the ring after matches and attack other wrestlers. Towards the end of 2008, he asked to be released then went back to the indies. He has since starred in a music video and developed a passion for acting. He also pitched pressure cookers in a series of online videos and served as a bodyguard for A-Rod.
13 Jimmy Wang Yang
According to Jimmy, he discovered the area where DDP lived and on Halloween night, he and his friends knocked on every house until they eventually found their target. Upon hearing that Jimmy wanted to become a wrestler, DDP offered to take him to the WCW Power Plant once he was old enough. Thus, Jimmy got his WCW contract a week before his high school graduation. His dream was shattered a few years later when WCW was purchased by WWE, who released him. This led to stints in Japan, TNA and the indie scene before a chance meeting with Vince McMahon in 2006 led to his third WWE stint (he was released twice prior).
Wang Yang's gimmick was an Asian redneck cowboy. He had a decent run with his partnership with Shannon Moore but never got to win a title in the WWE. He left WWE in 2010 but still wrestles occasionally. He currently rents out his bus, known as Jimmy's Redneck Party Bus to people who want to have some fun without worrying about drunk driving; he drives it himself.
Ivory's wrestling career started out in Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) and the Powerful Women of Wrestling (POWW) promotions, winning the championship in both. She then worked as a makeup artist for Revlon before joining the WWE in 1999. Ivory started out as the valet for Mark Henry and D'Lo Brown and eventually became part of Right to Censor. The Right to Censor were a conservative group who dressed modestly and feuded with Chyna after she posed for Playboy. Ivory later served as a trainer for Tough Enough and co-hosted The WWE Experience.
She left WWE in 2005 having been a three-time Women's Champion. After Hurricane Katrina, she worked as a volunteer for various animal shelters which led her to open an animal daycare business. She also added grooming to the services offered, which include taking dogs on bus outings.
11 Orlando Jordan
Orlando Jordan was a member of JBL's Cabinet, who helped Bradshaw during his nine-month reign as WWE Champion. Jordan defeated John Cena to win the United States Championship, the only title he ever won in WWE. He also feuded with Chris Benoit, leading to a succession of losses on his part, with the matches lasting less than a minute. His WWE departure led to some years in the indie scene before he joined TNA, where he debuted a bisexual gimmick that he had previously pitched to WWE's creative team before he left the company.
He still wrestles occasionally but most of his time is now spent running his two wrestling schools. He seems to be happy where he is and a WWE return doesn't seem to be on his mind.
10 Shawn Stasiak
A high school wrestling champion in the heavyweight division, Shawn Stasiak looked set to follow in the footsteps of former WWWF Champion Stan "The Man" Stasiak, his father. However, his arrival in the WWE saw him become a plaything of the Pretty Mean Sisters (PMS), consisting of Jacqueline, Terri Runnels and Ryan Shamrock. Guess there wasn't much they could do with a character known as "Meat".
The Meat character didn't last long and neither did Stasiak for he was fired after he recorded a conversation between Davey Boy Smith and Steve Blackman without permission. He had a bit of a good run in WCW before WWE purchased it. He returned to the WWE and the silly gimmicks were back, as he became a klutz who kept running into walls and later, a man from Planet Stasiak who kept hearing voices in his head.
He left the WWE in 2002 and trained to become a chiropractor, his current profession, together with motivational speaking. Last year, he expressed his interest to return to the ring and become a WWE Champion like his father.
In 2001, Maven was thrust into the limelight as a participant in the first series of the reality show Tough Enough. He went on to win the competition and eventually made his WWE debut later that year. He is best remembered for eliminating The Undertaker from the 2002 Royal Rumble and winning the Hardcore Championship three times. He was released in 2005 and retired a few years later. Outside of wrestling, he has had a few film roles and was cast in the sixth season of Vh1 reality show The Surreal Life. He has also hosted shows on BET J and the Home Shopping Network. Maven was also spotted working as a bouncer at a bar in New York City. In 2015, he announced his return to professional wrestling. His return match took place days later.
Fred Ottman's Tugboat gimmick was well loved, with kids being especially fond of the sailor persona. Tugboat initially teamed up with Hulk Hogan, who was feuding with Earthquake. He later teamed up with Earthquake to become The Natural Disasters, with Tugboat changing his name to Typhoon. The pair went on to win the Tag Team Titles, but were eventually separated when Ottman joined WCW. Ottman became known as The Shockmaster and his on-screen WCW debut was quite shocking to say the least. Wanting to make a dramatic entry by crashing through a wall, Ottman ended up on the floor instead, and he hasn't been allowed to forget the incident ever since. Following a second WWE stint and some independent wrestling, Ottman retired. He eventually found a job as a safety manager for a company that offers building cleaning services.
7 Spike Dudley
Dudley competed in the indie scene for some years before ECW came calling. There, he gained recognition as part of the Dudley Family and was known for his trippy persona, hence the name Little Spike Dudley (LSD). He is a two-time Tag Team Champion in ECW but is mostly remembered for an incident in which he was thrown from the ring and into the crowd, causing the fans to body surf him around the arena. After ECW folded in 2001, he joined the WWE, where he occasionally helped and feuded with his brothers Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley. The WWE released him in 2005 and after some stints in TNA and other promotions, he gave up wrestling in part because he wanted to start a family. Dudley opted to become a financial planner, helping people plan out their future with college,
The WWE released him in 2005 and after some stints in TNA and other promotions, he gave up wrestling in part because he wanted to start a family. Dudley opted to become a financial planner, helping people plan out their future with college, taxes and retirement.
In the early nineties, Vito had a brief stint as a jobber in the WWE before going back to the indies. Over ten years after his departure, he rejoined the WWE where he teamed up with Nunzio to form The Full Blooded Italians. He then began to don a dress for his matches in a cross-dressing gimmick that eventually had to be shelved, as it reportedly didn't go down well with some people in the WWE. He was released in 2007 and went back to the indies, wrestling in various countries while also appearing in a few films. Last year, he filed a lawsuit against the WWE, claiming to have suffered serious neurological damage, particularly deafness due to sustaining concussions while wrestling for WWE.
5 The Berzerker
Before joining the WWE, John Nord wrestled in the AWA, where he often teamed up with Bruiser Brody. In the AWA, he was known as Nord the Barbarian before turning into Yukon John, a lumberjack who came to the ring with an axe. After AWA closed, he joined Pacific Northwest Wrestling, forming a tag team known as The Breakfast Club. He and his partner would take to pouring Cheerios and milk on their opponents after winning matches. When he joined WWE, he became a Viking known as The Berzerker.
He used to carry a sword around and at one point tried to stab The Undertaker with it. After his WWE departure, he wrestled in Japan and the WCW before retiring, going to work at his brother's auto dealership.
Dennis Knight wanted to become a footballer then join wrestling afterward. However, he severely injured his shoulder while playing football in college and was forced to give up his main dream. This didn't deter him from pursuing a wrestling career, and in 1992, he joined WCW where he was known as Tex Slazenger, a Texas outlaw. He joined the WWE in 1996 and was teamed up with his former WCW partner to form The Godwinns, a pair of pig farmers.
He later became known as Mideon when he joined The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness, which was eventually disbanded. Following that, he turned into Naked Mideon, a streaker who ran around arenas in a thong, fanny pack and a pair of boots. After WWE released him, he made some appearances at independent shows before retiring. He went on to train as a chef and even runs his own private catering company.
3 Muhammad Hassan
Despite being Italian, Marc Copani was tasked with portraying an Arab American who went by the name Muhammad Hassan. Hassan was a staunch critic of the increased prejudice against Muslims, which came about as a result of the September 11th attacks. Hassan competed in various high profile matches but his villainous character was soon to gain more notoriety. The WWE pre-recorded an episode of SmackDown which saw Hassan summon five men donning ski masks and armed with clubs and a piano wire. They used the weapons to assault The Undertaker. However, the London bombings took place three days later, leading to media outrage when the episode was aired unedited. WWE was thus forced to put an end to Muhammad Hassan as the broadcasters didn't want the character on their networks.
After one more match against The Undertaker, the character was killed off and Marc Copani left the wrestling world, never looking back. He went on to become a social studies teacher, got promoted to Vice Principal and is also a building administrator.
2 Scotty 2 Hotty
Scott Garland is fondly remembered for his partnership with Brian Christopher with whom he won the World Tag Team Title. Christopher went by the name Too Sexy while Garland was Too Hot and together they formed Too Much, a flamboyant duo who wore bright neon tights. They later adopted hip hop personas and changed their name to Too Cool. Garland was later renamed Scotty 2 Hotty while Christopher became Grandmaster Sexay. Garland became known for doing The Worm and after the duo teamed up with Rikishi, the three of them would often dance in the
Garland became known for doing The Worm and after the duo teamed up with Rikishi, the three of them would often dance in the center of the ring. After Garland left the WWE, he moved on to the indie scene before training to become a firefighter and EMT. He opted for yet another career change and is now a real estate agent. Having made a few WWE appearances following his departure, he recently returned as a trainer at the WWE Performance Center.
1 David Schultz
Schultz joined the WWE in 1984 but unfortunately, he didn't last long in the company. Things went wrong in December that year when he infamously assaulted a journalist backstage. While conducting an interview, reporter John Stossel told Schultz that he thought pro wrestling was fake. Schultz proceeded to hit him on the head twice, all the while asking him whether he still thought it was fake. The attack was later aired on national television and Schultz apologized for the incident.
The WWE got sued by Stossel, and Schultz was fired despite claiming to have been acting on orders from WWE officials. However, the real reason for his dismissal is up for debate as some claim he was fired for challenging Mr. T to a fight backstage. His wrestling career didn't last long after the incident and Schultz retired, opening a bail bonds business in his golden years. He also became a professional bounty hunter and has worked with the FBI, the DEA and various police departments.