The WWE has given us a number of different storylines and characters to indulge in ever since it was founded in 1980. One era of wrestling that particularly stands out among the rest is the Attitude Era. With plots driven by any and all things offensive, Vince McMahon and the rest of the company struck pay dirt in the professional wrestling industry while causing quite a bit of controversy at the same time. The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H are just some of the names that gained prominence from 1997-2002, the time period in which the Attitude Era took place (the Ruthless Aggression era began in ’02 after the WWF was renamed to the WWE for various reasons).
While those three household names continue to appear on our television sets week in and week out, not everyone that was a part of the company back then still has the glitz and glamour needed to compete in the squared circle. It’s gotten to the point where notable names from the past have become almost unrecognizable. The WWE certainly likes to bring backs wrestlers from the old days for one night appearances but most of these people probably won’t be brought back up any time soon. Here are 15 Attitude Era stars that age hasn’t been very nice to over the years.
15. The Blue Meanie
Dying your hair crazy colors is cool during your teenage years and in some cases your early 20s, but doing it in your 40s is completely different. The Blue Meanie got his start in the WWE in 1998 and was able to use his Bluedust gimmick, a parody of Goldust that might have been weirder than the bizarre one himself. His time in the company didn’t last long as he was released in 2000. He did make a return in 2005 during WWE’s ECW One Night Stand but the appearance was once again short lived as he found himself on the independent circuit the same year. The Monster factory is now The Blue Meanie’s new home. Working as a trainer and a wrestler with the company might pay the bills, but you would have to pay me a lot to keep dying my hair blue at that stage in my life.
14. Jeff Hardy
The Hardy Boyz aren’t really boys anymore. Matt is in his 40s and Jeff (39) will be there shortly. While Matt has aged quite a bit (we’ll get to that shortly) he at least doesn’t have the prior experiences with drugs that Jeff has. Jeff’s drug use and refusal to go to rehab subsequently led to his release in 2003. He went back and forth between the WWE and TNA until him and his brother were unable to come to a contract agreement with the latter this past February. While Jeff has been through a number of grueling matches, some of his injuries have come from his time riding motorcycles. This type of lifestyle was bound to catch up with Jeff sooner or later. Who knows what he’ll look like 10 years from now.
“DAMN!” What on earth happened? While Ron Simmons a.k.a. Farooq is getting close to 60, no one expected him to start looking like Mr. Jefferson. The former APA member is now a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and makes an appearance on television every now and then. Who can forget the stretch in 2006 when Simmons began showing up on RAW simply to say his signature catchphrase? It was so random the first time it happened but quickly became a running gag on the program. His last appearance came at WrestleMania 31 where he of course yelled “DAMN!” while celebrating Daniel Bryan’s Intercontinental Championship win. As usual, it was funny.
JBL might still be with the company, but he’s nothing without Simmons by his side.
The Brood had one of the sickest entrances in all of professional wrestling. When Adam Copeland (Edge) and William Jay Reso (Christian) were brought into the WWE they were paired with Gangrel so that the veteran wrestler could guide them during their early days in professional wrestling. By the time Edge and Christian had become successful competitors on their own, Gangrel turned on them and teamed up with The Hardy Boyz to form The New Brood. He would end up being replaced by Terri Runnels and was used as a mid carder until his release in 2001. Limited mic skills held Gangrel back from becoming a bigger name but his next career in the adult film industry didn’t require him to cut a promo (at least not a good one) so I guess it didn’t really matter. Thank god he never starred in a film himself. Just the thought of that freaks me out.
11. D’Lo Brown
Nothing beats D’Lo Brown’s head shaking. The former European and Intercontinental Champion is one of only four people to hold the belts simultaneously. As a member of the Nation of Domination, Brown gained a bit of fame while working with Faarooq, Kama and The Rock. After the stable split Brown would become a face and wrestled for both RAW and SmackDown before making his way to TNA and All Japan Pro Wrestling. Brown even had a forgettable short return to WWE in 2008.
In a promo with Southside Wrestling, Brown now looks more like a stay at home dad than the wrestler we watched back in the day. The promo itself is super cringe worthy as well. Not everyone can keep wrestling into their forties.
10. Shane McMahon
So here’s what I’m curious about. How does Shane McMahon have more gray hair than his dad? Okay maybe Vince dyes his hair but still at 47 years old Shane probably shouldn’t be looking like he’s in his late 50’s. Physically though Shane looks to be in the best shape of his life. Not many people at his age can jump off the Hell in a Cell and not suffer some sort of serious injury in the process. Perhaps taking a page from his dads playbook and using some Just For Men will make it look like Shane O’Mac is still in his mid-twenties. Regardless of his looks it’s good to see Shane back in the professional wrestling industry. Who knows what sort of crazy stunt he’ll pull next.
9. Grandmaster Sexay
Maybe it’s the bleach blonde hair that’s making Brian Christopher look old. Come on Brian leave the horrible blonde dye jobs to Guy Fieri. The man formerly known as “Grandmaster Sexay” made a surprise return to the WWE during a promo on RAW in 2011. The whole thing was super awkward. Michael Cole told Jerry Lawler that he wasn’t going to talk about his family simply because his family (Brian Christopher) would do it themselves.
The Too Cool theme starts playing and there’s no pop whatsoever as Christopher appears on stage. He’s dancing as if it’s still the Attitude Era but we all know it’s not. The segment itself wasn’t too bad but it was really weird seeing Christopher again. That dyed hair just isn’t a good look for someone his age.
Sean Waltman, better known as “X-Pac”, has had his fair share of run ins with the law ever since his wrestling days came to an end. The man who became known for his patented Bronco Buster parted ways with the WWE in 2002 and competed for four years in TNA shortly after. From there, his life went in somewhat of a tailspin. In 2011 Waltman turned himself into authorities in St. Petersburg, Florida on two charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
While he wasn’t tossed in jail, Waltman did have his mugshot taken and it’s pretty shocking. Here it is for those who are interested. Probably should keep that bandanna on for a bit longer. That hairline is just going to keep receding as time goes on.
7. Mick Foley
Mick Foley might hold the record for the most successful gimmicks during his time competing in various wrestling organizations. There really is no wrong answer when choosing your favorite character portrayed by Foley as every single one of them is fantastic. When Stephanie McMahon announced that Foley would become the new general manager of RAW, he made his way down the entrance ramp sporting a beard that made him look like a hobo. He always had a beard during his wrestling days but in 2016 it was so long that the rest of his face could barely be seen. The long hair didn’t really help either.
Foley has cleaned up his look in the past few months and he should probably keep it that way. No need to look like a homeless person when you’re being viewed by millions of people.
6. Matt Hardy
Wow. I don’t know what look Matt Hardy is going for but it’s not working. The whole “Broken Matt” gimmick is weird and not in a good way like Goldust weird (although many do seem to like it). Alongside his brother Jeff the Hardy Boyz rose to stardom while competing in the WWE’s tag team division. They took part in the first ever tag team ladder match against Edge and Christian at No Mercy in 1999 and had many more memorable matches against them and The Dudley Boyz during the Attitude Era. Jeff’s hair seems to change colors every week so his age is hidden a little better than Matt’s. That blonde streak really isn’t helping Matt at all. Perhaps getting a haircut wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
5. The Undertaker
The Undertaker has had one of, if not the most successful gimmick in professional wrestling history. After making his wrestling debut in WCW, Taker made his way to the WWE and has been with the company ever since. Hard to believe that it’s been 27 years since he first appeared on Superstars. In 2000 we saw ‘Taker debut the American Badass gimmick and it was just as awesome as his original character. With so many matches under his belt its understandable that The Deadman doesn’t quite look as good as he used to.
At this point retirement shouldn’t be to far out of the picture unless he pulls a Ric Flair and wrestles into his mid-60s. No one wants to see that though. This coming ‘Mania could be his last.
4. Ken Shamrock
Whether you consider Ken Shamrock to be a wrestler or a mixed martial artist, there’s no doubt that his battles over the years have left him looking pretty rugged these days. “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” became a fan favorite as soon as he entered the world of professional wrestling. His tough as nails demeanor really stood out in feuds with Billy Gunn, Goldust and The Undertaker. A role as a heel took place after Shamrock won the Intercontinental title in an eight-man tournament that was held to see who would take home the vacant title. He always seemed to be the kind of wrestler that fit the heel character better anyway.
It’s hard to believe that Shamrock is still competing in MMA today. His physique may look good but I can’t give him any credit since he’s tested positive for steroids in the past. Unfortunately, performance enhancing drugs won’t help with your facial features.
While Raven is more so known for his days in ECW, the Philadelphia native did spend some time in the WWE as well. It was only right for him to compete in the Hardcore division and when given the opportunity he would bring a shopping cart full of dangerous items to the ring that could be used at his disposal. After being drafted to RAW in 2002, Raven decided to try his hand at broadcasting and became the new color commentator for Sunday Night Heat and Excess. The move didn’t last long and the former ECW World Heavyweight Champion was back wrestling in the ring just months later.
Once he was let go by the company in 2003, Raven spent eight years wrestling for TNA before leaving for the independent circuit. There’s something to say about those who wrestled in ECW. All those insane bumps are now starting to show on wrestlers like Raven.
2. Perry Saturn
Who can forget Perry Saturn and Moppy? The gimmick that had similarities to Wilson in Cast Away surprisingly worked. Saturn’s bizarre relationship with the inanimate object went over well with the fans and he stuck with the character until Raven and Terri Runnels through Moppy into a wood chipper. After being released by the WWE in 2002, the former Radicalz member worked on the independent circuit for a few years before retiring from wrestling. For many years he was unheard from and friends and families began to worry that Saturn had gone missing.
He finally reemerged in 2010, sporting a new face tattoo that is just downright awful. Saturn apparently got shot twice during his disappearance while saving a woman from being raped. You can’t say anything bad about the human being after hearing a story like that, but unfortunately, he developed a bad drug habit as well. Let’s just be happy he’s doing okay now since he’s barely even recognizable anymore.
1. Ahmed Johnson
Ahmed Johnson barely makes it on our list because he was released from the WWE in February 1998; however he gets our number one spot because he doesn’t look anything like he he did 20 years ago. Unreal. He was always a big guy but not this big. Johnson made his television debut on an episode of RAW in 1995. He won the Intercontinental Championship one year later, becoming the first African American to do so. While the accomplishment is impressive, Johnson never received the push needed to become a true headliner. Injuries hampered his career and he was eventually released from the promotion in 1998.
In recent years Johnson has been vocal about Vince McMahon mistreating him during his time with the organization. We’ll never know what exactly led to his release but what we do know is that his best days are probably behind him at this point.
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