Retirements in wrestling are most fascinating than in other forms of sports and entertainment. If they desire, the scripted element of wrestling allows wrestlers to perform at a later age. Many of the best wrestlers wrestle well into their 50s, as they continue to make money and entertain fans. The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, and Ric Flair are prime examples. However, some wrestlers will go the opposite route of quietly retiring.
Recent instances of talented wrestlers deciding to hang up their boots have featured stories centering around injuries, finding better jobs, or ust wanting to end their careers at the right time. We will look at some of the retirements that flew under the radar without huge fanfare or storylines leading up to them. Find out just which of your former favorite wrestlers have hung up the boots. These are ten wrestlers you didn’t realize officially retired recently.
10 The Rock
The biggest name to recently retire from the squared circle is clearly The Rock. During a press tour for the Hobbs and Shaw film, Rock revealed that he decided to hang up the boots at some point over the past three years.
Assuming The Rock never comes out of retirement, this means the legendary wrestler's final opponent was Rowan at WrestleMania 32. One likely reason for this was the pressure from Hollywood studios to stop wrestling after he suffered an injury in his WrestleMania 29 main event against John Cena.
9 Chuck Palumbo
Chuck Palumbo had a noteworthy career with stints in both WWE and WCW. The WCW run gave him a strong start as a member of the Natural Born Thrillers. WCW wanted to rebuild around Palumbo as one of their young stars with feuds against Kevin Nash, Lex Luger, and Diamond Dallas Page.
Palumbo struggled in WWE and is mostly remembered for the Billy and Chuck tag team with Billy Gunn. Palumbo's WWE retirement came in 2012 as he moved forward with his passion for fixing motorcycles. Palumbo even landed a small reality series about customizing bikes.
8 Trevor Murdoch
The tag team of Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade showed great potential in WWE, even winning the tag titles on four occasions. WWE, unfortunately, did not value the team too much and split them up with the hopes of Cade becoming a big singles star.
Murdoch was left in the dark with limited television time and eventually would get released. Following a few years on the independent circuit, Murdoch stopped wrestling in 2018. Murdoch has a new career installing fiber optic cables away from the industry.
7 Ted DiBiase Jr.
Many people within WWE viewed Ted DiBiase Jr. as the future of the company, primarily thanks to his pedigree as the son of the legendary Ted DiBiase. His early run as part of the Randy Orton's Legacy faction showed just how much WWE wanted to invest in DiBiase.
DiBiase struggled to break out on his own when the faction ended despite WWE pushing him with an updated gimmick of the Million Dollar Man. WWE eventually released him, leading to DiBiase switching career paths. His final match came in 2017 as he has no desire to wrestle again.
6 Paul Burchill
The career of Paul Burchill featured some of the strangest gimmicks in wrestling history. WWE tried pushing him as a pirate character based on Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. That was not even the most embarrassing one! At one point, WWE tried an incest angle with Katie Lea Burchill that luckily ended before it could get going.
Burchill just was not destined to have a strong run in WWE and did not have much success in wrestling. The past six years have seen Burchill wrestle four matches as he has phased into retirement. Burchill’s poor gimmicks doomed him before he could ever get a real credible chance to shine.
5 Alex Riley
Alex Riley was once viewed as a top tier prospect in the WWE developmental system. The main roster role as The Miz’s protégé allowed him to interact with main event stars like CM Punk, Randy Orton, and John Cena on a weekly basis.
Riley’s singles push as a face would doom his career to be remembered as a huge disappointment. Backstage issues with John Cena likely also played a role in his downfall. Riley left the wrestling world after getting fired by WWE. Riley's new goal is to become a successful actor, but a one-time cameo in GLOW is his only noteworthy gig so far.
4 Doug Williams
TNA wasted the best years of many wrestlers. Top United Kingdom wrestler Doug Williams is merely one example. The recent popularity of the UK wrestling scene allowed names like Will Ospreay, Pete Dunne, and Marty Scurll to break out, but Williams missed out on this movement.
An incredible skill set would see Williams become one of the top in-ring performers in TNA despite the lack of a push. Williams officially retired from the wrestling industry in 2018, ending that chapter of his life. Fans lucky enough to see his best work will miss him in the ring.
3 Matt Morgan
The hype surrounding Matt Morgan in WWE developmental would see the promising wrestler be compared by Jim Cornette to The Undertaker. Morgan would never break out in either his WWE or TNA runs as something was always missing despite his size and athleticism.
Following a disappointing end to his last TNA run, Morgan retired from wrestling to enter a new field selling medical devices. Another change would come as Morgan got into local politics, winning an election to become the mayor of Longwood, Florida.
2 Gail Kim
The legendary career of Gail Kim makes her one of the all-time great female wrestlers. Kim never received a good push in WWE, but her two TNA stints produced outstanding work. Matches against the likes of Awesome Kong, Taryn Terrell, and Angelina Love made her a star.
Kim retired from wrestling in 2018, transitioning into a backstage role as a producer. 2019 would see her break her retirement for one match against Tessa Blanchard. It made sense given Blanchard is the hottest female prospect in years, but Gail went back into retirement the next day to continue life outside of the ring.
1 Santino Marella
The comedic work of Santino Marella helped him become a valuable performer for WWE. Santino was perfect for comedic feuds or the unique backstage segment that provided some laughs for the audience. Despite his style relying on comedy, Marella suffered injuries that ended his in-ring career.
As seen with his appearance during July 2019's Raw Reunion, Santino is still part of the WWE family. He also has an occasional role hosting a studio show for Impact Wrestling. Marella temporarily put his retirement on hold to appear in a few early 2019 comedy matches, but he’s once again retired for the sake of his health.