We have sadly seen this in every major sport. Athletes not being able to deal with life after their respective careers is something that has afflicted many of some people and their families. It must be very hard to go from being in the spotlight every week, to then feel as though you have dropped off the face of the earth after leaving it. Maybe this feeling of sadness is not the case, maybe the problem is with all the money made and the free time on the hands of the athlete, some bad ways to fill the new found time can lead to a downwards spiral.
Wrestling is one of the hardest businesses to stay relevant in considering it is always evolving, and new and younger talent is being brought in constantly. When the time finally comes for these wrestlers to hang it up, staying in a healthy set of mind is very important and for some, a harder thing to do then most people think. With all of the physical impact wrestlers take during the course of their career, there may be a correlation between the decision making the wrestlers after their run in the physically demanding company.
Whether there is a correlation or not, there is no doubt that the WWE has produced a lot of troubled stars who have hit rock bottom after their run in the promotion. In this article, I have compiled 15 people who have hit record lows after leaving the WWE. This doesn't mean they still need to be on a bad path in life, it is possible for them to have made it back on the straight and narrow afterwards. However, if they were at the bottom of the barrel at one point after the WWE, they may just be on this list.
Here are the top 15 wrestlers whose lives fell apart after leaving WWE.
Even though Sunny is in the WWE Hall of Fame, her life after wrestling has sadly been anything but award worthy. Sunny was fired by the WWE in 1998, due to her being a frequent disruption backstage and her alleged drug problem. After some quiet time for a while, it all started to go downhill for Sunny in 2012, after her breakup with her boyfriend, Damien Darling. In only a four weeks span, Sunny was arrested five times with acts even as serious as burglary.
14 Jake "The Snake" Roberts
13 Matt Hardy
11 Hulk Hogan
Possibly the most polarizing and popular wrestler ever, you won't find someone who doesn't know the name Hulk Hogan. The fall from grace for Hogan may have came when his wife, Linda, divorced him in 2007. Losing millions of dollars from the divorce to the point he was almost bankrupt, Hogan has even stated he almost took his own life after the divorce.
10 Perry Saturn
9 Lex Luger
As one of the most dominant and popular wrestlers in the WCW and the WWE in the 80s and 90s, Lex Luger had a great career. But when WCW ended its run, and Lex wasn't brought onto the WWE to wrestle, he only made it into one match in TNA. Life after the spotlight for Luger turned bad after some questionable actions from Lex. In 2003, he was arrested for a domestic abuse with his girlfriend Miss Elizabeth, and also for driving under the influence of alcohol. Things worsened for the couple when Miss Elizabeth died of a drug overdose in Lex's house.
8 Curt Hennig
7 Ric Flair
6 Tyson Tomko
5 Scott Hall
Scott Hall was one of the most beloved and talented wrestlers to ever enter the ring, but being suspended multiple times in WCW, his short second run with WWE, and him being released multiple times from TNA, Hall's wrestling career fizzled out very quickly, at least in charisma and talent wise. He has been arrested on multiple occasions and has been in and out of WWE rehab more than any other wrestler.
4 Tony Atlas
Tony Atlas made history in his first WWE run, as he and Rocky Johnson became the first African American tag team to hold the Tag Team Championships. Following his departure from WWE in the mid 80s, Atlas soon became addicted to drugs and witnessed the fatal stabbing of Bruiser Brody, which left a scar on him. By 1989, Atlas was homeless. One day, while sleeping in a park in Maine, Atlas was awoken by a woman, who invited him into her home. That woman is his wife.
Atlas soon got called by Vince McMahon to return as Saba Simba. While the gimmick was a complete fail, the gesture by Vince was still a blessing. "Before I went homeless I was 280 pounds. When she found me, I was 190 pounds and when I went back to Vince I was 240 pounds. Saba Simba saved my life."
2 Miss Elizabeth
Nicknamed the "First Lady of Wrestling," Miss Elizabeth was one of the most respected and revered female wrestlers and managers of all-time. After her divorce with Randy Savage after many years, Miss Elizabeth left the WWE which may have led to her hitting rock bottom. Alongside Lex Luger, her boyfriend at the time, Elizabeth got entangled with drugs and alcohol. She sadly died at the age of 42 due to a combination of vodka and painkillers.
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