It might seem like one of the more challenging tasks, but there are professional athletes who like to go quietly after their playing days. It’s true for all sports, even professional wrestling.
That’s not to say it’s the easiest task to accomplish, especially when you consider how large many of these men are – whether by size or by personality. Some can’t help but be noticeable in the public eye. Many times, it seems like they enjoy the attention. A perfect example is Shawn Michaels, who left professional wrestling and is a co-host on a hunting television show, stays active on social media and makes appearances here and there. Stone Cold Steve Austin retired from in-ring action in 2003, but has continued making appearances for WWE, has a successful podcast and has done some acting in movies and television. Hulk Hogan is, well, let's just say he's not one to go away quietly.
However, not all former professional wrestlers go towards a post-wrestling career that involves a spotlight of some kind. Many of them would rather find a new line of work that’s a lot quieter than the thousands of live fans cheering and cameras sending your image to millions of television screens across the globe.
While many of the following 15 wrestlers might be found at a small independent show here and there, they don’t have plans to go full-time in the world of wrestling and have essentially moved away from being the center of attention in the wrestling community.
15 Sonny Siaki
Sonny Siaki was one of the original members of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s X-Division that started as one of three Elvis impersonators before he would have a two-month run with the X Division Championship between 2002 and 2003. He would also try his hand in WWE’s development system between Deep South Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling between 2005 and 2007 before he made a statement that his departure from the company was focused on personal family issues.
Since then, he’s retired from wrestling and apparently donated a kidney to his brother who was about to die. Because of only having one kidney, he was told by doctors that he was unable to continue his wrestling career. Since then, he’s apparently found work moving on from wrestling to the world of parcel delivery – working with UPS. The only television appearance he made after his wrestling career was on an episode of the Family Feud with his real-life family.
14 Candice Michelle
One of the final sex symbols of WWE before the PG-era was Candice Michelle. She was not only known as a former WWE Women’s Champion, but also a spokesperson for GoDaddy.com and a former cover girl for Playboy magazine. It’s hard to imagine someone like Michelle would leave not only wrestling, but modeling and acting the way that she did. She had some decent success in the WWE before leaving the company in 2009 with a quiet exit.
Surprisingly, she married a chiropractor from Los Angeles, California, in 2005 and is a mother to three daughters. The couple met seven years prior shortly after Michelle moved to Los Angeles from her native hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Outside of wrestling, she did have success in modeling and acting, but seemed to be more focused on being a mom after her release from WWE and her first daughter being born about a year later.
Rico Constantino was easily one of the most flamboyant wrestling personalities that started subtly with managing the tag team of Billy Gunn and Chuck Polumbo in WWE. He got even more bizarre with the use of more makeup and glitter in his final months before he left in 2004. While he spent about a year working in Japan, he would retire from wrestling and made the decision to go into law enforcement.
He was an older gentleman at the time he decided to leave wrestling at the age of 44, but he would make the decision to return to the police academy in Nevada in 2006 – despite previous experience of working as an officer. He was among the top in his class and was eventually hired by the state’s taxicab authority. He did return to wrestling in 2012 and was a regular for a company in Las Vegas, but hasn’t wrestled outside the state of Nevada.
12 Steve Blackman
The “Lethal Weapon” was one of the lower-card talents from the WWE’s Attitude Era who is fondly remembered for having won the company’s Hardcore Championship multiple times. He obviously based his character on mixed martial arts and is memorable in his own way until he would leave the WWE in 2002 and essentially left the world of professional wrestling.
Since then, Blackman opened up a school called BlackmanMMA in 2003 and eventually opened up mixed martial arts classes in 2006. He’s been involved with hosting local MMA shows in Pennsylvania, but he hasn’t been seen much outside of smaller MMA events. He did make a brief appearance in 2007 for a Battle Royal during the 15th anniversary of Raw.
His post-wrestling career has now led to him owning a bail bonds company that operates in Harrisburg, Penn., called Blackman Bail Bonds. Outside of his new venture, he doesn’t seem to be involved with either wrestling or MMA for the time being.
11 Ted DiBiase Jr.
Once considered part of a new generation in professional wrestling with forming a tag team with fellow second-generation star Cody Rhodes, there was a time when many assumed that Ted DiBiase, Jr., was destined for great things in the WWE. However, he would choose not to re-sign with WWE in 2013.
He explained the reasons behind the departure during an interview in 2015. Apparently, he felt that he had lost focus in why he came to professional wrestling and began to hate himself. Reading a scripture in the Bible that said "do not love anything in the world or the love of God is not in you", he decided to leave the WWE.
Since his time in wrestling career ended, DiBiase would become a co-founder for a technology start-up company called GiveChat and is also a part-owner for CollegeGarageSale.com. He’s also toured the country as a motivational speaker, which isn’t surprising considering that his father – the “Million Dollar Man” – is an ordained Christian minister.
10 Ultimo Dragon
One of the stars in the WCW’s Cruiserweight division back in the 1990s had excited wrestling fans with his in-ring abilities for years. But his career also spanned in Mexico and Japan, where he actually held 10 separate championship belts at one time – a record that one will likely never be broken by anyone at a recognizable level of wrestling. Granted, he would likely want you to remember that more than his slip on the stage at WrestleMania XX.
His run in the WWE was brief before he went back to Japan had become a trainer for young, aspiring wrestling talents in both Mexico and Japan. However, when he retired from wrestling, the news almost went unnoticed by anyone here in North America. There was a small mention on Live Audio Wrestling the news hit some wrestling news sites, but it didn’t get the type of publicity one would have expected from a cruiserweight who probably inspired many of the current cruiserweights in our generation.
9 Monty Brown
After playing four seasons for the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots in the National Football League, Monty Brown made the decision to go into the world of professional wrestling. Brown had great teachers in Dan Severn and Sabu after his football career ended in the NFL and he would compete for TNA Wrestling between 2002 and 2006 before making the jump to the WWE.
He was rebranded as Marcus Cor Von, but maintained the “Alpha Male” nickname and the “Pounce” finisher that resembled what he did as a linebacker in the NFL and even competed at WrestleMania 23 in a match between the ECW Originals and the New Breed. But his career in the WWE didn’t last long as he was rumored to have taken a leave of absence for personal issues involving his family in 2007. Since then, no one has seen Brown in a wrestling ring for WWE or any other company.
8 Perry Saturn
Having wrestled for ECW, WCW and WWE, Perry Saturn had a very lengthy run in professional wrestling until 2002 before he had to work for TNA and other independent wrestling promotions. However, he would go into retirement in 2004 after having suffered a number of various injuries during his career. The sad part was that he would find himself becoming addicted to methamphetamine.
The addiction started when he was trying to stop two men from raping a woman and he was shot, leading to feeling that he needed to use more drugs to get away from the pains he was dealing with. His drug habit led to him becoming homeless for nearly three years; a period of time where he wasn’t seen by anyone in the public. There was a period of time where many people thought he was dead.
Since then, he’s been found competing at various independent wrestling shows around the country, including the Extreme Rising World Title Tournament in 2012 in Philadelphia, Penn.
7 Ahmed Johnson
Ahmed Johnson made history in the 1990s as the first African American professional wrestler to win a singles championship in the World Wrestling Federation; becoming the WWE Intercontinental Champion in 1996. He was easily one of the more unique characters that never lost his championship until he was forced to vacate the title due to a kidney injury. After just three years with the company, he decided to leave the world of wrestling because of issues he had with the storyline they were planning for him at the time.
He did make a brief run in World Championships Wrestling and the independents, but then retired from wrestling in 2003. His career after wrestling involved going back to school to study criminology at Huston-Tilotson University in Austin, Texas. He also joined the coaching staff at Booker T’s wrestling school in Houston, Texas. Otherwise, he’s been very quiet in the world of professional wrestling.
6 Vickie Guerrero
It’s hard to imagine someone like Vickie Guerrero being pretty quiet after seeing her continuously exclaim “Excuse me” for several years on WWE television. But she also decided to leave the world of wrestling after her contract with the WWE expired in 2014, having been one of the hardest working non-wrestling personalities that made her own impact after the untimely passing of her husband Eddie.
Shortly after her final Monday Night Raw, she would announce on her Twitter account that she was starting a new career in pharmaceuticals that allowed her to help process a patient’s treatment for the approval by their insurance company. It’s obviously a chance of pace for someone who once ran Raw and SmackDown. She also had a successful wedding about a year later – at least it went better than the wedding to Edge in 2008 and relationships with superstars like Dolph Ziggler and Eric Escobar.
5 Matt Morgan
The former WWE superstar found most of his success in TNA Wrestling and through the independent circuit made the decision to leave the world of professional wrestling in 2014. The seven-foot giant made a decision that he was going into a new career that made gave him the best option that he couldn’t find in WWE or TNA.
Instead of wrestling in front of thousands of wrestling fans, he chos to work with a medical company as a regional manager. Morgan must have felt that he had a better financial future working in this position. He didn’t call it a retirement at the time, but he’s been rarely seen by wrestling fans since his decision to find a new line of work. He did make one appearance in June 2015 in a match against Bram at Slammiversary, but it was a one-time return match so that his son could see him compete in the ring – and now he lists himself as retired on his Twitter account.
4 Sycho Sid
There’s a good chance you have likely seen the viral video of Sid Vicious injuring his leg during a live episode of WCW Monday Nitro. Nothing else needs to be said regarding the injury except for the fact that he'd be out of in-ring competition for a long time. He made appearances for multiple independent promotions over the years until about 2007 when he had a feud with Jerry Lawler.
As a former two-time WWE Champion during the mid 1990s, Sid did make a brief return to the WWE in 2012 as part of the buildup towards the 1,000th episode of Raw, which included a victory over Heath Slater. Since then, he hasn’t been seen in wrestling and has been relatively silent to his fans with the exception of social media posts. He occasionally answers fan questions, but it’s unlikely we won’t see his return to WWE or any other television company.
3 Lex Luger
Once considered the “Total Package,” Lex Luger was one of the most famous wrestlers from the 1990s between his time spent in WWE and WCW. But when WCW was bought out, he would be found making occasional appearances with TNA and other independent promotions. However, his health started to deteriorate over the years to the point where he fall under 200 pounds in size and suffered a spinal injury in 2007.
Essentially, he suffered from swelling around the spine that made it hard for him to walk and move. Now as a born-again Christian, he’s become more focused in living a positive life as he continues to improve his ability to walk after having spent time as a quadriplegic. He made a few television appearances outside of wrestling and even released a book in 2013 – “The True Story of a World Champion Professional Wrestler: His Reign, Ruin, and Redemption” – but he’s been very quiet ever since.
2 Randy Savage
Having won six world heavyweight championships between his time in the WWE and WCW, the “Macho Man” Randy Savage was one of the more iconic personalities that transcended the world of wrestling into popular culture. His voice has been heard in music and cartoons over the years, well after his retirement from wrestling in 2005. Other than that, Savage wasn’t heard from often expect for news that he married a long-time girlfriend in 2010.
For years, he wasn’t the loud personality that wrestling fans had remembered him as while he enjoyed retirement. Unfortunately, Savage passed away in May 2011 after suffering a heart attack while driving in Florida. An autopsy found that he had an enlarged heart that may have led to having the coronary issues that led to his death. The good news was that his brother Lanny Poffo said he didn’t leave the world on bad terms with people he had issues with, including Hulk Hogan.
1 Magnum T.A.
The former two-time United States Champion from the 1980s had one of the biggest names at the time that rivaled Hulk Hogan at the time. He was one of the biggest draws National Wrestling Alliance and was remembered for having an “I Quit” match with Tully Blanchard. It seemed as if he was destined for great things back in those days as possibly one of the future world heavyweight champions that would carry NWA to competing with the WWE.
Unfortunately, his career was cut short after his car hydroplaned on a rainy night and he hit a pole. His career was over and he would fade into professional wrestling obscurity. He did make appearances for multiple independent wrestling promotions, but the turnouts for the shows were nowhere near the thousands that sold out the shows he did with the NWA back in one of wrestling’s peaks in popularity in the 1980s.