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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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