If you're currently up-to-date with your WWE, you're aware that the man who had arguably epitomized the Ruthless Aggression Era better than anyone else is now back with the company, fresh off a Hall of Fame induction and now working as Monday Night RAW's General Manager. It's damn true — Kurt Angle is back, and at 48 years old, he doesn't look that much different from how he did during his last WWE run. He's still rocking the bald look, he's still in respectable physical shape (and then some, as he's been clean and sober for years), and fans still serenade him with chants of "you suck" as his ring music plays. Even if he's supposed to be a babyface.
Likewise, we're very familiar with how John Cena looks like these days, as he remains one of WWE's biggest draws... when he's not shooting films in Hollywood, as he's doing more frequently these days. Edge and Christian's appearances on the WWE Network ensure that they still have a presence on WWE programming, even if they're retired. And the Hardys? Whether "Broken" or not, they are your RAW Tag Team Champions as of this writing. But what about those Ruthless Aggression stars who haven't been affiliated with WWE for a while?
If you wonder how the wrestlers you watched in the Ruthless Aggression Era look like these days, we've got 20 of them for you below, with the criteria being as follows — ideally less-visible in present day, not currently signed to WWE or Impact Wrestling as a wrestler or prominent onscreen figure, and not in either company's Hall of Fame.
20 Luther Reigns
Hold on, we know what you're thinking. Luther Reigns is NOT related to the extremely polarizing individual currently serving as WWE's heir apparent to John Cena. Instead, this was the ring name given to Matt Wiese, who was one of two nondescript bruisers working alongside Kurt Angle from 2003 to 2005, the other one being Mark "I Nearly Made It to Evolution" Jindrak, who's also in this list. Come to think of it, Luther Reigns does have a better ring to it than "Horshu," which was Wiese's ring name as a WCW lower carder.
Reigns was only 33 when he retired from in-ring action and left WWE in 2005, but made a brief comeback on the indie scene that lasted until 2006. Since then, he's dabbled in acting and worked as a real estate agent and bodyguard. The above photo from 2015 shows him having aged a bit poorly (he's now 45), and that may have something to do with his health struggles from the late-2000s, which included a stroke brought on by previous steroid use.
19 Mark Jindrak
A latter-day lower-midcard guy in WCW, Mark Jindrak was first seen by WWE fans as part of the infamous Invasion angle in 2001, but it was only in 2003 when he debuted in earnest, joining the aforementioned Luther Reigns in Kurt Angle's Team Angle faction. All in all, he had a decent midcard push, though you can't help but wonder what could have happened had WWE followed through on its plans to make him a part of Evolution. Still, it was a good call — Jindrak had a good, muscular look and was a great athlete, but was woefully short on charisma during his WWE run.
After flaming out for two major promotions in his home country, Jindrak headed to Mexico, where he made a much bigger name for himself, using the ring name Marco Corleone. Now 39 years old, he appears to have aged quite well, but like Reigns and a few other wrestlers in this list, he was part of a massive group of former WWE talents involved in a traumatic brain injury lawsuit against the company.
18 Trevor Murdoch
Just when you thought WWE was done with the tired old trope of cowboy gimmicks, in came Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch in 2005, As a team, Cade and Murdoch won three World Tag Team Championships, but they also had to deal with their share of questionable dimensions added to their cowboy gimmick — aside from the "film reviewer" shtick they once had, Murdoch was edging toward a country singer gimmick in 2008, as the team was preparing to break up.
Sadly, Lance Cade was only 29 years old when he died from drug-related heart failure in 2010. Meanwhile, Murdoch became a mainstay of the indie circuit upon leaving WWE in 2008, and had a brief, uneventful run in TNA in 2009. As of 2014, he was paying the bills with a second job as a fiber optic cable installer, and as you can see from the above photo, he still has a strong physical resemblance to Dick Murdoch, hence WWE's decision to give William Mueller that ring name back in 2005.
When we think about the Full Blooded Italians these days, Vito is usually the first member that crosses our minds, though it's arguably for the wrong reasons. See, back in 2006, WWE decided to punish Vito for his bad backstage behavior by giving him a cross-dressing gimmick. Vito in a dress — it's just what it is, and the less said about that angle, the better. Now can we move on to what Mr. LoGrasso is up to these days?
While Vito remains active in independent promotions, even now that he's due to turn 53 in a few months from now, it hasn't been all good for this grizzled veteran of the wrestling business. Though he still looks fairly young for a man his age, he's been paying the price for the concussions he suffered in his heyday, having claimed neurological damage and partial deafness in a lawsuit he filed against WWE in 2015.
16 The Gymini
Wrestling twins Mike and Todd Shane had gained infamy in the earliest days of TNA as Richard and Rod Johnson, two masked, bodysuit-wearing dudes who literally resembled a pair of wrestling condoms. They then moved on to WWE, where they became Simon Dean's proteges and henchmen — The Gymini. Initially known only as Gymini #1 and #2, they were eventually given the names Jake and Jesse, which we guess is much better than the phallic names they used while working for TNA as The Johnsons.
Among all the wrestlers in this list, the Shane twins have probably kept the lowest profile, as their Wikipedia entry merely lists them as retired wrestlers now working as bouncers at a Tampa nightclub. But the photo above shows one of the twins with the former Adam Rose and blink-and-you-miss-it WWE alumni Bam Neely. At 49, whichever Shane twin that was looks like a burlier version of uber-macho (and very bald) DEA guy Hank Schrader of Breaking Bad fame.
15 Tyson Tomko
Former Limp Bizkit bodyguard Travis "Tyson" Tomko made his WWE debut in 2003, which is where he gained his most fame, serving as the bodyguard, or should we say, "Problem Solver" for Christian and Trish Stratus. He would form a tag team with Christian that lasted until 2005, when the two were drafted to different brands. While Tomko was given a monster heel push on RAW, he soon ended up on a lower-card midcard tag team with Gene Snitsky, and was out of the company by the spring of 2006.
That was the last the WWE Universe ever saw of Tomko, who then enjoyed success in NJPW and TNA. But he also battled with personal demons, and was arrested in 2011 for allegedly stealing 210 Oxycodone tablets from a CVS Pharmacy. Thankfully, he appears to be clean and sober at 40, and he's spent the past few years wrestling in the indie circuit, still rocking the shaved head, but apparently having lost most of his trademark beard.
14 Paul London
On the plus side, Paul London teamed up with (The) Brian Kendrick in the Ruthless Aggression Era, enjoying a decent run that included a 331-day World Tag Team Championship reign. But on the negative side, he's also notorious for being the guy who smiled just as Vince McMahon was about to enter his limo and get killed in storyline. For that, he was pretty much jobbed out for a year and a half, until he was released by WWE in the fall of 2008.
We'd totally want to see Paul London back in the WWE again. Having just turned 37, he's still very much active, having signed with Lucha Underground late last year. But let's face it — he would still look good in a tag team with Kendrick, not only because he's well below 200 pounds, but because he's also oftentimes got that "homeless person" look down pat. Seriously, though, ol' Vince has to forgive London once and for all for that ill-placed smile.
13 Ashley Massaro
As the winner of the 2005 Diva Search, Ashley Massaro enjoyed a three-year run for WWE, and while she never stood out as the best wrestler, nor won any championships during her time with the company, she's arguably one of the best-remembered women of the Ruthless Aggression Era, having stood out for her tomboyish, yet sexy "rocker chick"gimmick. Unfortunately, her WWE run came to an end in 2008, as she asked to be released so she could tend to her sick daughter.
These days, you wouldn't believe that Massaro is about to turn 38 years old, with her daughter turning 17 this year — she arguably looks at least a decade younger. She's still a regular at fan conventions, always gracious enough to pose with fans wanting to have their picture taken with her. She was also recently involved in a lawsuit against WWE, alleging that the company knowingly withheld injury risks to its talents, and worse, asked her not to report a supposed sexual assault case that took place at a WWE tour of Kuwait.
12 Candice Michelle
Although she wasn't one of the top ten women in WWE's first Diva Search in 2004, Candice Michelle was one of the first success stories from the much-maligned female wrestler search, having somehow become a competent wrestler in the five years she spent with the company. She won one Women's Championship in 2007, defeating Melina at Vengeance: Night of Champions and becoming the first Diva Search contestant to win the belt. Injuries, however, slowed down her momentum, and she was released by WWE in the summer of 2009 after months of inactivity.
Michelle would essentially retire as a pro wrestler following her 2009 release, and she's mostly focused on her marriage and raising her three daughters with husband Ken Ehrlich. She also remains close to her fellow female talents from the Ruthless Aggression days. Even at 38, she still looks as awesome as she did in her WWE heyday.
11 Simon Dean
If you followed the original ECW, you probably know Mike Bucci as Nova, who had most notably teamed up with the Blue Meanie and Stevie Richards in The Blue World Order, or bWo. But if you first saw him on WWE programming in 2004, then you may recognize him better as Simon Dean, the evil, customer-dissing fitness guru whose ring name was a rib on Dean Malenko (a.k.a. Dean Simon in real life). While mostly stuck in RAW's lower card, Dean's "informercials" for the "Simon System" were nonetheless entertaining, at least for this writer. He then spent a year on SmackDown, returning to his old bWo gimmick as "Hollywood" Nova from 2005 to 2006.
Now nearing his 45th birthday, Mike Bucci still competes occasionally in the ring, and had most prominently teamed up with bWo colleagues Da Blue Guy and Big Stevie Cool (Blue Meanie and Stevie Richards) in Chikara's King of Trios tournament in 2015.
Once upon a time, there was a pair of greasers named Deuce 'n Domino, who, along with the latter's sister Cherry, had traveled 50 years into the future and won a WWE Tag Team Championship. Yes indeed, this was one of the better gimmicks of Ruthless Aggression's last few years, and as a guy who appreciates his early rock 'n' roll, I happen to quite like their ring theme, "I'm All About Cool." (Wonder if the even older-school Vaudevillains would have been just as successful had they debuted in 2007, and not in 2016?)
Among all the wrestlers in this list, Domino's appearance is among the most radically-changed. Although he always wore his hair a tad too long for your average '50s greaser, the 38-year-old Domino (who now wrestles in ROH and other indies under his real name, Cliff Compton) has grown it out since dropping the gimmick, with his beard making him look more like a typical metal musician in present day. Or a 1970s Southern rocker, if you still want to keep it old-school.
9 Deuce/Sim Snuka
He was the son of WWE Hall of Famer "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, but WWE would never let you in on that back in 2007, when he wrestled as kayfabe 1950s greaser Deuce. But after Deuce 'n Domino ran their course, he acknowledged his bloodlines, using the ring name Sim Snuka and trying to join fellow next-generation stars Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase Jr. in the Legacy. After he failed his Legacy "audition," he failed yet again at WrestleMania XXV...to catch The Undertaker as he went for a suicide dive on Shawn Michaels. At that time, nobody bothered to point out that this seemingly incompetent "cameraman" was none other than Deuce, a.k.a. Sim Snuka.
Snuka, whose real name is James Reiher Jr., appears to have quietly retired from the business sometime in the late-2000s or early-2010s. And boy, does he keep a low profile. Now 46, he's working a "regular" job at R&D in Arizona, and he has a daughter who plays volleyball for the University of Arizona Wildcats.
8 Molly Holly
For most of her time in WWE, Molly Holly was an anomaly. The kayfabe Holly cousin and onetime sidekick of The Hurricane was far better-known for her wrestling skills than her looks, though as we've often pointed out, it's not like she was not a looker during her time with the company. Aside from her run as "Mighty Molly" and her fictional familial relations with Hardcore and Crash, the real-life Nora Greenwald had a nice heel run by turning her wholesome persona up to 11 and using it to shame her more scantily-clad female colleagues in storyline. And we can't forget the time she had her head shaved after losing a Hair vs. Title match against Victoria at WrestleMania XX.
Holly was only 27 years old when she left WWE and retired in 2005, though she remains involved in the wrestling business, serving as female head coach at The Academy: School of Professional Wrestling, which was co-founded by Ken Anderson (a.k.a. Mr. Kennedy) and Daivari. She was also present at the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony, rocking a short hairdo and looking great for a woman due to turn 40 this September.
7 Muhammad Hassan
Stop us if you've heard this before — Muhammad Hassan worked a very controversial gimmick in WWE's Ruthless Aggression Era, and instead of becoming WWE's youngest world champion ever, he was thrown under the bus and written out of the company for his ill-timed "terrorist attack" segment on SmackDown. Yes, we've featured Hassan so many times because of how memorable his character was (albeit oftentimes for the wrong reasons), but what about Marc Copani as he is today?
Disgusted at how he was treated, Copani retired from wrestling in 2005, not long after his release, and had shunned dirt sheet interviews for over a decade. After retiring, he became a teacher, and instead of becoming an unusually young WWE Champion, he is now an unusually young vice principal at a New York high school. The graying hair, however, makes him look a shade older than his 35 years.
From Muhammad Hassan, we now move on to his manager, Khosrow Daivari, or Daivari as he was more commonly known in WWE. At the time he was managing Hassan, he was all of 20 years old, though as a 19-year-old, he did wrestle some matches on WWE's B- and C-shows as an enhancement talent. Daivari was utilized as both a wrestler and as a manager in his three years in WWE, then moved on to the indie circuit and TNA, where he continued to capitalize on his Iranian heritage, using the name Sheik Abdul Bashir.
Now 32 years old, Daivari is one of the youngest wrestlers in this list, and it's no surprise that he's still active, having appeared on the first season of Lucha Underground from 2015 to 2016. As mentioned on Molly Holly's entry, he and Ken Anderson run a wrestling school in Minneapolis, and in case you're wondering, he is indeed the older brother of current WWE cruiserweight Ariya Daivari.
5 Cryme Tyme
There are two ways you can look at Cryme Tyme's controversial WWE gimmick. On one end, it may be a short-sighted stereotype of African-American culture. But on the other side of the coin, it may be a brilliant parody of these stereotypes. Still, most people found JTG and Shad Gaspard's street thug act to be one of the most entertaining gimmicks of the Ruthless Aggression Era. And while they never won tag team gold for WWE, odds are you still remember their introductory vignettes, their petty "crimes" (crymes?) against wrestlers, and their famous catchphrase — "money, money, yeah, yeah!"
Gaspard left WWE in the fall of 2010, not long after he turned heel on JTG and put an end to Cryme Tyme, while JTG's employment became a running joke until WWE finally released him in 2014, close to a year after he had last wrestled on TV. Both JTG and Shad are active in the indies, still using the Cryme Tyme gimmick, and seeing that they're not that old at 32 and 36 respectively, who knows if another WWE run may be in store for their future?
4 Rene Dupree
Up to this day, Rene Dupree remains the answer to a frequently-asked trivia question — who is the youngest wrestler to ever win a championship in WWE history? Dupree was just 19 years old when La Resistance won the World Tag Team Championships in 2003. But aside from that title and a WWE Tag Team belt as part of a team with Kenzo Suzuki, Dupree didn't win anything else between then and his summer 2007 release. It bears mentioning that he was a frequent target of WWE's backstage bullies during his tenure, most notably JBL and Bob Holly, the latter of whom legitimately attacked him during a match for getting a ticket while driving a rental car registered under Holly's name.
As you can see, Dupree's WWE run didn't go as well as his early success would have suggested. But he's carved out a nice career as a literal journeyman of the business, competing in Europe, Japan, the U.S., and his home country of Canada. At (a slightly old-looking) 33, he's theoretically young enough to be considered for a WWE return, but given how critical he's been of the company in interviews, we doubt that's going to be a possibility.
3 Gene Snitsky
Although Gene Snitsky never made it out of the midcard during his time in WWE, even fans who started watching after the Ruthless Aggression Era are familiar with his catchphrase — "it wasn't my fault!" Standing 6'8" and weighing 300 pounds, he had the size to play a monster heel, but he was instead used mainly in comedic roles — remember the foot fetish gimmick, and his partnership with Heidenreich? Ah, good times.
WWE tried giving Snitsky a bona fide monster heel push from 2007 to 2008, but it may have been too little, too late. He then bounced around a bit in the indies and had a very brief run in TNA in 2014, but he's also made some notable appearances outside of the ring, having worked as a pitchman for Power Pressure Cooker XL that same year. He's also done some acting, having most recently appeared in the 2016 horror film 100 Acres of Hell... as an ex-pro wrestler. We haven't watched it, but we'd guess it wasn't his fault that his friends kept getting slaughtered in the film.
Two years ago today, I went into @petsmart to pick up Charlie Bear from the groomers and came home with this little angel. Bandit was found in the desert traveling with a bullmastiff. His traveling P.I.C. was adopted immediately but little Bandit was left alone. They said he seemed sad because his mastiff buddy was no longer there but it all changed when I walked in and stopped to see him. When I saw his little smile, I had to take him home. I called him Bandit because he stole my heart. ❤️ Love my lil Bandit!!! #MyFurBabiesAreEverything
As you may be aware Johnny Nitro (a.k.a. John Morrison) now competes as Johnny Mundo in Lucha Underground, and you still may remember Joey Mercury for being one of Seth Rollins' bumbling bodyguards in J&J Security, Melina Perez shall be representing MNM in this list. And she happens to be the most accomplished female wrestler in our list, having won two Women's Championships and three Divas Championships during her six-year reign of terror in WWE's women's locker room.
We're not sure if Melina's put her penchant for backstage drama behind her, but in 2015, she made her pro wrestling comeback at the age of 36, after a three-year retirement. Unlike the other late-30-something women in here, she doesn't seem to have aged too well, though we must say the shorter blonde hair is a nice touch, giving her a much different look than how we remember seeing her in WWE back in the day.
The son of WWE Hall of Famer Carlos Colon, Carlito entered the WWE in 2004 with a rocket strapped to his back -- he defeated John Cena for the United States Championship on his debut match on SmackDown! But while that may suggest a career as a future world champion, that wasn't to be for the talented Puerto Rican, who pretty much ran in place in the midcard until he was released from the company in 2010 due to a painkiller addiction. At that time, he was mentoring Michael Tarver in the first season of the NXT rookie search.
As far as we can see, Carlito at 38 doesn't look too different from the 25-year-old Carlito who spat on the faces of people who don't want to be cool — he's still got the distinctive hairdo, though he oftentimes wears more facial hair than he did back in WWE. Being that he left WWE on such bad terms in 2010, we don't know if he'll ever be seen by the WWE Universe again, but who knows if he'll be available one day as one of those part-timers driving ticket sales for Big Four pay-per-views?