Wrestlers come in all shapes and sizes – it’d get rather boring watching the same generic guys with rock-hard abs and rippling muscles come toe to toe with each other week after week. Nowadays you have a mix of wrestlers with different body types; you still have the Adonises, but you also have big guys, small guys, sheer mass monsters and those with a more chiseled physique. Some wrestlers also get away with being fat and out of shape – at least it adds some variety to the roster. Regardless of what shape these guys are in the ring, if one thing’s for sure it’s that they’re as fit as anything – the grueling training, life on the road and all that camera time makes sure of that.
That’s why when it comes time to call it a day, many wrestlers are glad to be able to jump off the wagon, indulge a little and in a way make up for lost time. Some wrestlers stay remarkably fit years after they retire from wrestling – probably force of habit – whereas others eat and eat and eat, let loose and just pile on the pounds. These are 15 wrestlers who did just that and got fat after they retired. It's also important to note that while they did balloon after retiring, some have since rebounded to get back in decent shape.
15 Scott Hall
Scott Hall cut quite the dashing figure in his in-ring days. He had the looks, the style, personality and the skills to go along with it, making him a force to be reckoned with and the envy of the other pros around during his time in the wrestling industry. The guy was built like a house and certainly had an impressive body, but an accumulation of a range of issues – legal problems combined with health issues, kept beating him down and definitely took their toll on Scott Hall – and it showed.
Let’s talk about his health; he’s had to combat drug addictions, he’s had heart problems, seizures, epilepsy, pneumonia, post-traumatic stress disorder, the list is endless – no wonder taking care of his body and weight became less and less of a priority over the years.
From once looking as hard as a rock to then reaching rock bottom; at least he’s since done something about it with the help of Diamond Dallas Page and his DDP Yoga Program. Today, Scott Hall looks a lot closer to 'the bad guy' we were once accustomed to seeing.
14 Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Jake Roberts has always been tight with his best buddy Scott Hall, and like Hall, he had his fair share of health issues, all of which can almost certainly be said to have contributed to his weight gain post-wrestling.
Roberts retired in 2008, and it was only a year before this that he checked himself into rehab due to a drug addiction. As the retirement years rolled by, the health concerns just started becoming ever more serious. Less than five years after retiring, Roberts truly hit rock bottom. He was in financial turmoil and addicted yet again to drugs. Add alcohol into the mix and you had a guy who was in need of some serious help. It was during this time that Roberts’ weight ballooned to over 300 pounds. Help came in the form of Diamond Dallas Page who, like he did for Scott Hall, took Roberts into his home and gave him some much needed help. Thankfully with the help of DDP he’s shed quite a bit of weight. Despite even some health problems, he is looking a lot better from those dark days of addiction.
Most female wrestlers keep their figure intact, do a bit of modelling, do a few movies and TV appearance and stay in the limelight after their in-ring days are over. But Sunny totally transformed after the curtain called on her wrestling career – not for the better. She resembles a forlorn figure, a woman who’s had to deal with a lot during her time in the industry, not to mention the health concerns which would make anybody put on a few pounds.
Sunny was a drop dead gorgeous woman when she began her career in the early 1990s. She also had the skills, sex appeal, charm and unsurprisingly the fan following which propelled her to the top of her game in 1997.
But her post-wrestling career has been less than glamorous. She was arrested six times in the space of a year, spent 114 days in jail, came out and had a hysterectomy for cervical cancer. This was a tumultuous time in Sunny’s life and she came out looking like her body had taken a beating. Perhaps her autobiography, A Star Shattered: The Rise & Fall & Rise of Wrestling Diva Tammy “Sunny” Sytch, which was released in early 2016 would shed more light onto what actually caused this downwards spiral.
12 Greg Valentine
Okay let’s face it, Valentine wasn’t in the best of shape during his final wrestling days. He was chubby, looked bloated and never really achieved what many people would deem to be body perfection. Not that that deterred The Hammer from achieving championship success – four decades’ worth which included more than 40 championships. His achievements have gained him a place in the Hall of Fame which many people think is remarkable considering all the controversy he’s caused.
Like we’ve said, The Hammer has never been known for a bodybuilding physique, but like we’ve also said, wrestlers come in all shapes and sizes. Greg was fat during his in-ring days but definitely got fatter after retirement. That little bit of training he must have done while wrestling must have gone out the window when he decided to call it quits – which he hasn’t officially done by the way – but his lack of in-ring activity has certainly shown on his body.
11 The Iron Sheik
The Iron Sheik has always been a big guy, thickly set, and a larger than life figure, in the ring and out. His physique certainly suited his personality; the outspoken, loud, brash Iranian American with the bald head and that iconic buffo style moustache – everything came together to make one fierce wrestler.
The Sheik has always been into wrestling. Growing up in Iran he idolized Iranian Olympic Gold-Medalist wrestler Gholamreza Takhti and aimed to follow in his footsteps, becoming quite a well-known amateur wrestler in the process. During this period in his early 20s, he had quite a physique – he actually had abs! Over the years as he moved to the States and started to gain more prominence in the wrestling industry, he became thicker and thicker, packing a lot of hard muscle onto his frame.
After his retirement in 2010 – he still makes sporadic appearance around the globe – The Sheik just got bigger and bigger, and today instead of rippling abs, he’s got quite a bit of extra space on his stomach which hangs over his trousers, weighing him down whenever he ventures back into the ring.
10 Bob Orton Jr.
Bob Orton Jr. comes from the famous Orton wrestling family – his son Randy Orton is currently flying the flag for the Orton family in the wrestling industry today. From a young age it was therefore pretty much inevitable that Orton Jr. was going to become a professional wrestler. He followed in his father’s footsteps and wrestled for a ton of different promotions around the globe. He’s never had anything resembling a svelte or chiseled body. During his in-ring days and when he started out in the industry way back in 1972, he was pretty built for a wrestler of those times. But over the years, over four decades in the ring has taken its toll on the second generation Orton. Although he hasn’t officially retired – he still appears in shows here and there – he’s piled on the pounds and looks nothing like that young fresh-faced kid who burst onto the scene those many moons ago.
9 Mick Foley
This is another guy who wasn’t in the best of shape when he wrestled – he never had that bodybuilder type physique. With his mangy hair and scraggly beard, he resembled something closer to that of a caveman, and he had the body to match – certainly not being mean because Foley was and is one of the most lovable characters in the industry, it’s just that way it was.
After Foley called it quits on his long and illustrious career in 2012, he ballooned in weight to well over 300 pounds. But let’s cut him some slack. He’s now in his 50s, and looking at his résumé, wrestling aside, he’s accomplished more than what most people can only dream about accomplishing in their lifetimes.
Earlier this year, Foley decided to do something about his weight and turned to DDP Yoga as well. As of June, he was down to 270, closer to his in-ring weight and if you watch RAW every Monday, you'll notice Foley is looking a lot better today.
Peter Senerchia aka Tazz, enjoyed a long and pretty prosperous career in the wrestling industry whilst wrestling with various different promotions. He had a number of accomplishments, mainly with ECW and WWE, but he’s always been a bit on the heavy side – thickly set as he’d probably put it – not that it hindered him winning a load of titles.
Tazz wasn’t lean and muscular when he first made his foray into the professional world of wrestling, but the horrific injury he sustained a few years into his stint with ECW really didn’t help matters. He was out of action for almost a year in 1995, during which the “thickly set” Tazz got even thicker. But it was when he retired that he really started to pile on the pounds. He got into commentary; sitting in the commentators’ chair probably meant the only form of exercise Tazz was doing was gone – it certainly shows.
7 Ken Patera
You can be forgiven for not remembering Ken Patera. He started out in the wrestling industry way back in 1973, and had stints with a lot of the smaller organization, including AWA, UWF, PWA and Juggalo Championship Wrestling's "Legends & Icons". But he’ll mostly be remembered amongst the wrestling fraternity for his stint with WWE, during which he won the Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship.
Ken Patera’s one of these guys that had more of a powerlifting physique rather than an athletic, bodybuilding figure. That’s not surprising considering he made the transition into wrestling from powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting. Some of his feats with the weights were remarkable and he entered the wrestling industry strong as an ox with a powerful physique after spending years pounding heavy weights.
Everyone knows to lift heavy you’ve got to be heavy and eat big. That combined with training, kept Patera in decent shape, but when the training stopped and his competitive days came to an end, it seemed as if the strongman diet continued. Patera put on a lot of weight post-wrestling – but you can’t keep training and lifting heavy for ever, eventually it’s going to take a toll on your body as it certainly did with Patera’s.
6 Barry Windham
Windham had a long and accomplished career, a career filled with championships, titles and a number of notable accomplishments. He’s been involved with the NWA, WCW, and WWE and was a much-loved figure in his heyday.
Windham was born into a wrestling family – he’s the son of former wrestler Blackjack Mulligan – and so knew what he was getting into. Judging by his initial accomplishments and the way he looked after himself body wise, he didn’t take anything for granted and worked hard on his way to his many titles.
When he started out he had a model-like physique, and over the years he became a bit chunkier without blowing up entirely. After suffering a suspected heart attack in 2011, understandably he’s taking things a little bit easier nowadays, and his body has suffered as a result of inactivity. Granted he’s 56, but he’s totally unrecognizable from his in-ring days.
5 Ahmed Johnson
Ahmed Johnson has always been, well, let’s say thickly-set. Perfectly suited to football, he played for the Dallas Cowboys in the early 1990s before making the switch to wrestling. When he emerged onto the scene he had a chest above the rest, shoulders like boulders and a pair of guns that would make any pro bodybuilder proud. He was certainly a mass monster – without being chiseled – which was probably a result of playing years of sports during his early days; football, basketball, track and field, amateur wrestling – he played it all.
Fast forward eight years after his debut in the wrestling industry and that’s when Johnson began piling on the pounds. His weight ballooned remarkably into retirement, and today he’s almost unrecognizable from the guy who tasted championship success all those years ago. Perhaps the fact that he was injury prone had a little something to do with it, but we’ll never know.
4 Ted DiBiase Sr.
DiBiase had a career that spanned over two decades, during which he worked with many different wrestling promotions around the globe. "The Million Dollar Man" was never in terrific shape, but he was certainly wrestling fit and had the skills that paid the bills. It was his on-screen presence that people loved, that got people watching whenever he was in the ring. He just had that star quality about him and made things happen, even when he tried his hand at managing and commentating after his in-rings days were over.
But after he’s stepped away from the ring, he’s certainly kept himself busy. He did a bit of managing, a bit of commentating, but is also a writer, and rather surprisingly, a Christian minister. Fitness has taken a backseat with all that’s been going on in DiBiase’s life, and he’s put on a significant amount of weight. Perhaps his outside commitments and hectic lifestyle are to blame, or perhaps it’s simply a result of getting older.
The term Yokozuna means the highest rank in sumo wrestling in Japan, and Rodney Agatupu Anoaʻi – to go by his real name – was sumo in every which way right through his career.
When Yokozuna started out in the wrestling industry, he was already ginormous weighing in at about 500 pounds. Of course it wasn’t 500 pounds of muscle, so it was amazing that he was able to lug all that weight around for as long as he did.
Yokozuna may have been sumo fit, but being wrestling fit is a totally different thing, but somehow he made it work. He continued to pile on the pounds throughout his time wrestling with the major promotions, but it was ultimately his weight that got him kicked out of the WWE. He attempted to lose weight – and he did lose about 100 pounds – but it wasn’t enough to satisfy the wrestling officials at the time who deemed he was in no fit state to be a professional wrestler.
After he left WWE he wrestled here and there on the independent circuit for a while and remarkably continued to pile of the weight. When he died in 2000, he weighed a staggering 580 pounds.
Sandman put his body through the ringer during his time with ECW. It was called Extreme Championship Wrestling for a reason, and what went down during that period was certainly just that. Sandman was at the centre of a lot of these crazy storylines – storylines and characters were around at that time to wow, and Sandman obliged, ignoring his health all in the name of wrestling entertainment. Today many wrestlers are athletes and prepare for wrestling events religiously, but back then preparation involved a few beers and some cigarettes – for Sandman anyway. This combined with the extreme, hardcore style of wrestling caught up with Sandman and it began to show when he left WWE.
He wrestled on the independent circuit for a while, and still makes a few sporadic appearances here and there, but the weight’s making him slow down, and no doubt very soon he’ll be grinding to a halt.
1 Don Muraco
Hall of Famer Don Muraco wrestled with a number of different promotions for 25 years, winning a plethora of titles in the process.
When he was in the ring Magnificent Muraco was certainly built. He had a powerful physique, a tank of an upper body and powerful legs – what many people would say is the perfect wrestling physique. He was really built and in the early day, he was also chiseled – he did have a set of abs showing at one stage. Over the years a layer of fat began to gradually cover those abs, but he maintained his upper body size and strength. The Don certainly had an intimidating presence in the ring, but as his career was nearing an end he began to pile on a load of weight, and continued to pack on more into his retirement. Now aged 66, Muraco is sunning himself at Sunset Beach, Hawaii and is enjoying his retirement – he certainly deserves a load of rest and relaxation!