WWE Superstars are ever changing. It is a company that is always looking for ways to evolve and sometimes this means releasing some talent so that they have the space to bring in some more. Many superstars find it hard to adjust to life without WWE and decide to continue wrestling in one form or another, which includes moving onto independent wrestling even though it isn’t always a reliable income. Others decide to settle down, start a family and then pick up normal every day jobs that ensure that their families remain financially stable or even decide to begin their own businesses as a new way to contain their overactive imaginations.
This means that many superstars who were a big part of WWE a few decades ago are now able to go out in public without being recognized because they have changed so much. There is no longer a strict training or eating schedule to adhere to, which means many former stars fail to stay as fit and healthy as they were during their careers, while others surrender to the fact that they are growing older and their appearance is changing.
The following is a list of 15 superstars that are unrecognizable following their departure from WWE, these are the ones that you could have walked past without knowing, or even spoke to without thinking. The ones that have perhaps grown old before their time or just realized that looking different from the character they portrayed many years ago is no longer a bad thing.
15 Sika Anoa’i
The father of three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns was once a force to be reckoned with himself. Along with his brother Afa, Sika was one of the famous Wild Samoans who held close to 20 different Tag Team Championships around the world.
Sika and Afa are from the famous Anoa’i wrestling family, along with current WWE talents The Usos and Tamina Snuka. There was a video of Sika from this year’s WrestleMania when he celebrated his son's WWE World Championship win. The crazy part is that not many people recognize Sika anymore, since he has grown older gracefully.
14 Paul Burchill
Paul Burchill was a British wrestler known for his pirate gimmick, thanks to the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise. But after a few years on WWE SmackDown and then the re-branded ECW, it seems WWE ran out of ideas for his original gimmick and he was released from his contract in 2010. Burchill then returned to the UK and worked scarcely on the independent circuit as well as splitting his time between being a full time fire fighter. He also now has two sons that he works hard to look after.
13 Beth Phoenix
The former WWE Women’s and Divas Champion was one of the most dominant forces in the Women’s Division for a number of years until she asked for her release in 2012. Phoenix went on to date WWE Hall of Famer Edge after she left the company and the duo now have a child together who was born in 2013 name Lyric. Beth looks somewhat smaller than she did during her WWE career and it seems the fact that she no longer has to train has left her looking thinner.
12 Charlie Haas
The former Tag Team Champion has continued to make a name for himself in Ring of Honor since his release from WWE in 2010. Along with his former WWE partner Shelton Benjamin, Haas made waves in the wrestling world as The World’s Greatest Tag Team before he retired from wrestling in 2013. While Haas did state that he was retiring from wrestling when he left Ring of Honor, he has continued to wrestle in his home state of Texas and now manages to look completely different from the former Champion that WWE fans became accustomed to six years ago.
11 The Kat
Stacy Carter was known as both Miss Kitty and The Kat during her time in WWE and was a part of some of the most risqué television pieces WWE has ever produced. She wasn’t shy about showing off her body, the problem was that a lot of the time it wasn’t actually scripted for her to do it. Carter was released from WWE 15 years ago, so it isn’t that surprising that she is unrecognizable in comparison to the character she played back then. Since her WWE release, Stacy has worked in real estate and even re-married in 2010, when she met former WWE superstar Nick Cvjetkovich.
10 Spike Dudley
Spike Dudley was the smallest member of The Dudley Boyz, but was always the one that fans were mostly behind. Spike didn’t have a lengthy WWE career and was released from the company after less than four years.
He then headed over to TNA for less than a year before he decided to join the Independent Circuit. Spike was rumored to have been returning to WWE with Devon and Bubba Ray Dudley in 2015, but it never happened. He is completely unrecognizable from the small long haired man that was a part of WWE during the early 2000s, as he has lost all of the hair that made him famous.
9 Trevor Murdoch
The former three time Tag Team Champion was one of the palest WWE Superstars in the history of the company, but along with Lance Cade, he took the tag team division by storm until his release in 2008. Murdoch then bounced around the independent scene and even made a brief detour into TNA, but while he is still a wrestler on a part time basis, his job now is to install fiber optic cables for a heavy equipment company, which may explain why he is also unrecognizable. He seems to have settled down with his family and is enjoying a life out of the spotlight.
8 Billy Kidman
The former Cruiserweight Champion has been a part of both WWE and WCW in his time and is now still currently signed to WWE as a backstage producer. Kidman was one of the superstars who redefined what it was to be a cruiserweight in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but following his release from the company in 2005, and a brief stint on the Independent circuit, WWE decided to rehire Kidman as a road agent, a job that he is still doing to this day. But he doesn’t look anything like the cruiserweight that you’ll remember from over a decade ago.
The former WWE Divas and Women’s Champion has been out of WWE for a number of years, but is still a part of the Independent Circuit in both America and Europe. Melina is remembered for her in-ring flexibility and probably the greatest entrance in the history of wrestling. While she is no longer a part of WWE, Melina still uses her famous ring entrance when she wrestles for other promotions, but it is the only thing about her former character that is recognizable, Melina looks a lot thinner than she used to be and has changed her hair completely.
6 Orlando Jordan
Orlando Jordan is a former United States Champion who had a decently impressive three year run in WWE, However, Jordan never fully reached his potential in WWE and like many wrestlers before him, he made the switch to TNA. After only a year, he left TNA and Jordan has opened a pro-wrestling training school in 2011. He's been out of the public eye for more than a decade, so it comes as no surprise that he looks far different now than when he was with the company.
5 Paul London
The former Tag Team Champion, along with Brian Kendrick, has been killing it on the independent circuit since his WWE release in 2008. It has been six years since his WWE release and he has failed to return to WWE for any one-off appearances in that time. This means that most fans are unaware of what London looks like now, but it makes sense that he has changed in appearance after not seeing him on WWE TV for so long.
Cherry was never really given enough time on WWE TV to be able to fully convey her character. She was used for a short time with Deuce 'n Domino as the team from “the Other Side of The Tracks” as they portrayed 70s style dress and wrestling. Cherry wrestled for a short time on the SmackDown brand before she was released from her WWE contract in 2008. It’s no surprise that she looks a lot different than she does after almost eight years away from the company. It is unknown what Cherry has been up to, but it seems like time has been treating her well.
3 Trish Stratus
The former seven-time Women’s Champion retired from WWE back in 2006, but since then, Trish has been hard at work strengthening her own legacy. As well as getting married and giving birth to her son, Trish has been busy with yoga and is now a stark contrast to the Blonde Bombshell the WWE Universe loved and accepted. She has since taken out her breast implants and dyed her hair brown which has distanced her from her former alter ego.
2 Jimmy Snuka
The father of current WWE Women’s wrestler Tamina Snuka, Jimmy was one of the greatest WWE Superstars of the 1980s and is fondly remembered by many fans of that time. In 2015, he was made the main suspect in a murder inquiry, which centered around an incident where his ex-girlfriend was thought to have been murdered decades ago. Snuka looks like the stress is hitting him hard and seems a shadow of the man who became famous for the “Superfly Splash” all those years ago.
1 Kristal Marshall
The former on-screen girlfriend of Smackdown General Manager Theodore Long, Kristal was one of the faces of the women’s division on SmackDown back in 2006. Since then, she had a brief stint in TNA where she portrayed the wife of her real life boyfriend Bobby Lashley. Kristal is looking like she is in better shape now than when she was a wrestler. It seems her release did her nothing but good.