The WWE Championship has been the top prize in WWE since the company was founded. There have been a few other world titles, like the World Championship and Universal Championship, but the WWE Championship is the one with the richest history. Most of the top names in company history have won the title at some point, earning the unofficial role of the face of the WWE.
We will look at the current lives of former WWE Champions to find out what they’re up to. Some are still working in the industry today, despite their best days being behind them. Others have retired, even though they could still get booked at smaller promotions to make the most of their name value. Find out just what your favorite legends are doing today!
10 Still wrestling: Sycho Sid
The WWE Championship wins for Sycho Sid came over incredible wrestlers like Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Sid benefited from having an intimidating presence along with his impressive stature. WCW and WWE each made Sid one of their top main event acts during the Monday Night Wars.
WWE rarely ever brings back Sid or features him in their historical presentations, despite his main event run. Sid does try to take advantage of his name value by accepting bookings, though.
9 Surprisingly retired: Sgt. Slaughter
Many of the older veterans still wrestle on the independent circuit, despite the extremely limited action. Sgt. Slaughter is one of the former WWE Champions to recently retire from making such appearances. Slaughter's last match came in 2014 on a smaller NEW Wrestling show.
Slaughter has a legends deal and the role of an ambassador for WWE. The former WWE Champion returns to WWE television occasionally each year. Slaughter is among the more forgettable champions, but he did get to main event WrestleMania VII against Hulk Hogan during his reign.
8 Still wrestling: The Undertaker
The Undertaker’s run of dominance has gone on much longer than expected, when looking at his status today. Fans would not have expected him to still appear for WWE in 2019 after his debut in 1990. Undertaker was a successful WWE Champion with his most memorable win coming in the main event of WrestleMania 13.
WWE still brings him back for a few matches each year. Undertaker had a rough performance against Goldberg, but he delivered an impressive one teaming with Roman Reigns against Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre. The career of Undertaker will go on as long as he wants it to, thanks to his star power for WWE.
7 Surprisingly retired: Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle’s recent retirement from the ring came as a little bit of a surprise, as the fans still loved him. WWE brought back Angle for one more run as a General Manager, with an eventual return to the squared circle.
Angle ended his career in a feud with Baron Corbin, which left many fans unhappy with his final match at WrestleMania 35. Angle's retirement appears to be definitive, with a new role backstage as a producer for the Raw brand. Angle is finished with wrestling, but still wants to contribute to the industry.
6 Still wrestling: Jeff Hardy
Fans are curious about the future of Jeff Hardy after another injury has taken him away from the ring. Jeff has worked in both singles and tag team action since coming back to WWE with his brother Matt in 2017.
The incredible WWE Championship win for Hardy back in 2008 made him a top star for a few more years. WWE has not utilized Jeff in a main event role since coming back, but he is still part of the active roster. Once he's cleared to compete, expect to see Jeff have another run on either Raw or SmackDown.
5 Surprisingly retired: JBL
The career of JBL mostly featured him in the mid-card as Bradshaw. A character change to JBL would see him develop his arrogant and wealthy heel persona. JBL surprisingly won the WWE Championship from Eddie Guerrero and had a lengthy reign lasting almost a year.
The retirement of JBL came earlier than expected when he transitioned into a broadcasting role. JBL appears to have no interest in breaking his retirement, since he doesn’t take bookings and isn’t trying to work his way back into a WWE match.
4 Still wrestling: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho’s incredible run in the early 2000s would see him win his first WWE Championship. The career of Jericho would see him reinvent himself many times throughout the years. Jericho recently won a new piece of gold when becoming the first-ever AEW World Champion.
Jericho's passion for wrestling has seen him do whatever was needed to remain not only relevant, but an important fixture in the industry. Jericho doesn't seem to have any plans to retire any time soon and is still delivering strong entertainment.
3 Surprisingly retired: Kevin Nash
Kevin Nash quietly stopped taking bookings to deliver in-ring matches in 2018. The former WWE Champion had his first stint of major success there under the Diesel name and gimmick. Nash only raised his profile in WCW, becoming one of the biggest names during the Monday Night Wars.
Recent years have seen Nash wrestling in TNA and on the independent circuit in limited action. However, the career of the big man seems to be over, due to the injuries that have followed him throughout the years. Nash has accomplished everything realistically possible in wrestling.
2 Still wrestling: Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam is one of the former major WWE stars who still wrestles outside of the company today. Impact Wrestling recently added him back to the roster, with the hope that his name value would bring in more viewers. Van Dam has clearly lost more than a few steps in the ring, but he still wants to perform.
WWE even brought him back for the recent Raw Reunion show, in a surprise appearance. It does seem unlikely that WWE would have him return in anything more than a one-night-only appearance, though.
1 Surprisingly retired: The Rock
The Rock never formally retired by announcing it in a WWE promo or by losing a retirement match, but he did recently reveal his time in the ring was over. A few returns from Rock would see him face off with John Cena, CM Punk and even Erick Rowan, of all people.
Rock revealed he was retiring from the ring to continue focusing on his acting career. The massive success of his time in Hollywood has made Rock one of the biggest stars in the world, so he can’t risk an injury taking away from a high-profile movie role.