The aging process hits wrestlers differently as time goes on. Some of the older stars in the industry look just as great as they did during their prime. Between keeping up their workout regimen and hitting the genetic lottery, they have a similar appearance to their younger days. Others aren’t blessed with the same results. The aging process hits them in ways that show the difference instantly at first glance.
We witnessed many great performers in the wrestling industry during the 2000s. The changes to the business did not deter wrestlers from taking the next step forward. WCW and ECW went out of business early in the decade, but WWE continued to find talent. The 2000s signified the end of many careers from the Attitude Era and the beginning of the careers that would go on to transcend the industry with the current era of wrestling.
This list will take a look at twenty wrestlers from the 2000s with a glimpse at their appearance today. Both wrestlers that look exactly the same and those that are difficult to recognize will be on display here. We all know what Triple H, The Undertaker and Kurt Angle look like now, but what about the others? Let’s find out with how the following twenty stars from the 2000s are looking these days.
20 Road Dogg
The beginning of the 2000s for Road Dogg started with the continuing of D-Generation X. Unfortunately, his personal issues with addiction hurt his standing in WWE leading to the two sides cutting ties. Road Dogg moved to TNA for the rest of the decade as a forgettable veteran on-screen and backstage employee behind the scenes.
19 Billy Gunn
The tag team partner of Road Dogg during the early 2000s in New Age Outlaws still looks the same. Billy Gunn worked in various roles for WWE through the 2000s and was one of the most respected wrestlers in the company. WWE eventually cut ties with him sending him to TNA for the rest of the decade. Similar to Road Dogg, Gunn returned home in the role of a trainer at the Performance Center.
18 Muhammad Hassan
One of the most controversial wrestling stories of the 2000s featured the career of Muhammad Hassan. WWE pushed him using the elements of real life tension in the United States. Hassan portrayed an Arab-American dealing with prejudice and bigotry in the United States following 9/11. The talent of Hassan made him a red hot heel for a few months.
The ascension of Lita made her one of the first new WWE stars of the 2000s. Lita achieved instant popularity with fans as a unique performer in the Women’s Division. WWE made her one of the fixtures of the division for many years. The talent, charisma and personality all made Lita one of the all-time great women’s wrestlers for the company. WWE inducted her into the 2014 Hall of Fame to celebrate all she gave to the industry.
16 Al Snow
Al Snow was a fixture in WWE’s midcard divisions during the early 2000s. WWE utilized his hardcore style to become a big part of the division based on using weapons. Snow spent time in tag team action with Steve Blackman for a short time period before landing the role of head trainer on Tough Enough. The role on screen for the reality show transitioned Snow into a trainer for WWE.
15 Orlando Jordan
WWE once believed Orlando Jordan could be a huge part of their future. The company viewed him as a potential star and tried to progress him as JBL’s protégé. Jordan even defeated John Cena for the United States Championship at one point on SmackDown during the 2000s. Fans never truly viewed Jordan as anything special and he failed to get over with his lackluster work.
14 Scotty 2 Hotty
Another former star from the 2000s still involved in the business today is Scotty 2 Hotty. Everyone remembers the entertainment value of him performing The Worm in the middle of the ring as a part of Too Cool with Rikishi and Grand Master Sexay. Scotty was the best in-ring performer in his group and provided the humor to become a well-rounded character.
13 Val Venis
WWE primarily pushed Val Venis during the Attitude Era but he stuck around for the early years of the new millennium. Venis received a few pushes from his time in the Right to Censor to an authority role as Chief Morley. WWE even allowed him to bring back the Val Venis character for the majority of the decade as an enhancement talent to help put over the young stars.
The career of Rikishi is celebrated with the peak coming in 2000. Rikishi’s popularity soared following the debut of his dancing character in Too Cool with Scotty 2 Hotty and Grand Master Sexay. All three members had their own strengths, but Rikishi was obviously the leader of the group. Rikishi’s comedic routines of the dance number and the stink face move made him a fan favorite.
11 Chuck Palumbo
Chuck Palumbo is a very forgettable wrestler that actually spent the entire decade continuing his wrestling career in the 2000s. WCW pushed him as one of the top young stars to start the millennium. WWE signed him following the acquisition of WCW and gave him numerous chances to succeed. Palumbo wrestled in the Billy & Chuck tag team, joined the FBI faction and played a biker character. Nothing helped him get past his bland persona.
10 Shelton Benjamin
Shelton Benjamin was one of the stars WWE wanted to push during their 2003 youth movement along with John Cena, Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar. The athleticism of Benjamin was second to none in the company making him one of the underrated fan favorites of the time. Benjamin didn’t have the charisma to rise to the main event picture, but he often found a way to steal the show when given the chance.
9 Molly Holly
The underrated work of Molly Holly saw her always get underappreciated in the grand scheme of things in WWE. Holly often served as a top heel in the Women’s Division for WWE. Everyone to work with Molly has nothing but wonderful things to say about her as a performer and as a human being. In today’s wrestling business, she likely would have been a bigger star with talent far more appreciated in the women now.
8 Gene Snitsky
The strength and size of Gene Snitsky landed him an opportunity in WWE to play a top heel in the mid-2000s. WWE pushed him against Kane and other noteworthy stars quickly into his main roster career. Snitsky struggled to find relevance in the company and became a forgotten part of the era. His career turned into a comedic role before eventually getting booed.
The tail end of Raven’s career took place in the 2000s. Raven had a run in WWE to start the decade as one of the stars of the Hardcore Division. Unfortunately, he never found a way to elevate his career above that lower tier level in WWE. An ugly ending with WWE led to him suing the company over the term “independent contract” being false in their contracts.
Nick Dinsmore was one of the best in-ring performers in WWE developmental before the company required he forget all about that. The creation of the character Eugene made him erase all his skills in favor for the comedic persona. Eugene was a super fan that found himself manipulated by the heels and adored by the faces he grew up watching as a kid.
5 The Dudleyz
A positive story about wrestlers from 2000s getting into the best shape of their lives in recent years would be the Dudleyz. Both Bubba Ray and D-Von have stepped it up at the gym following the end of the 2000s after being two of the chubbier members of the WWE roster in the early 2000s. D-Von got into incredible shape during his TNA career to become absolutely jacked.
Melina spent the 2000s dominating the Women’s Division in WWE. The retirements of Trish Stratus and Lita made the company have to take the chance of pushing new female wrestlers. Melina is one of the few to stand out and consistently achieve huge success in the division. WWE releasing her came as a huge surprise due to her position as a top heel women’s wrestler for many years.
Edge could very well be the most successful WWE star of the 2000s. The beginning of the decade featured him in one of the all-time great tag teams with Christian. Edge worked his way to the top of the WWE to become a massive star. The eleven World Title reigns showed just how often WWE depended on Edge as a top tier performer.
2 Trish Stratus
Another legendary wrestler to make changes after retirement was Trish Stratus. The success of Stratus made her one of the biggest stars of the 2000s. Trish was definitely the most pivotal woman to the Female Division as arguably the greatest women’s wrestler in WWE history. She made the decision to end her career early in 2006 to start a family and enter the next chapter of her life.
1 Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels spent the 2000s adding another large chapter to his wrestling career. Everyone assumed he was retired for good in 1998 before returning in 2002. Michaels was once again the best in-ring performer in the industry delivering classics on a consistent basis. The road to redemption saw him end his career with nothing but positivity as opposed to the awful moments in the 90s.
Following his retirement in 2010, Michaels has allowed his beard to turn grey and seems content with the old man lifestyle. Still, he works out on the regular and is physically in tremendous shape. The appearance at WrestleMania 32 without a shirt showed Michaels was actually more jacked than he was during his in-ring years. Today, he's working at the Performance Center and continuing to improve his look as the most impressive dad bod in the business.
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