Thousands of wrestling personalities have come and gone through WWE’s doors over the years. Icons like Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan had successful runs and captured multiple titles, while talent like David Schultz and Louie Spicolli, had as Hall of Famer Randy Savage would say, “cups of coffee in the big time.”
The icon Sting was one of the few wrestlers who never set foot inside of a WWE ring until 2014. Two years later, fans were shocked when former IWGP Heavyweight Champion A.J. Styles debuted as No. 3 at the 2016 Royal Rumble.
Some talent like Gorilla Monsoon had a job for life under Vince McMahon after he bought the Capitol Wrestling Corporation, a precursor to WWE. Others had worked for McMahon, and for one reason or another, vowed never to work for him ever again.
A fan would be hard pressed to find anyone who has not worked for Vince McMahon in some point of their wrestling career whether it was in the ring, behind the camera or even in an ambassador’s role. There are some names that managed to stay employed by the WWE even long after what many consider to be their peak years in the business.
However, there are wrestlers who are employed under WWE after many years, even though fans do not see them on television. Some talent are injured while others work a lighter schedule. There are also many beloved wrestlers who work in the company’s production side.
When a wrestler has WWE on their resume, it is not difficult for them to find work in another promotion. Impact Wrestling, even back when it was known as Global Force Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action, has been a home for former WWE talent.
20 WWE - Goldust
Fans will never forget the name of Goldust, but they may not realize he is still with the company after all of these years.
After an initial debut in 1991 as Dustin Rhodes, Goldust donned the face paint and body suit in 1995. He has had various tweaks to the gimmick in his different runs in the WWE, though the Bizarre One is still a staple on the main roster. He has also collected numerous championships through his WWE tenure.
In the last few years, Goldust has enjoyed tagging with R-Truth. He is currently recovering from knee surgery. He has alluded to his current WWE run being his last.
19 Scotty 2 Hotty
Scotty 2 Hotty was never really whom one may consider to be a master technician or being known to be one of the great in-ring performers of his era. But something he was able to do, was get a reaction out of the audience. Perhaps that's why Vince and company felt it was worth bringing Scotty in to be a trainer at the performance center. After all, Scotty did wrestle for well over two decades and never really ruffled any feathers wherever he went. Nowadays in WWE, we see a lot of names from the past get brought in as trainers, if they maintained a good working relationship in WWE. Scotty is now over two years into the job as a coach in NXT.
18 WWE - X-Pac
With Triple H getting more and more say over who gets hired in the WWE, it's no surprise that we've seen a lot of his old buddies land jobs, even if many people feel there are more qualified former stars out there. But in this case, Triple H's old Kliq buddy Sean Waltman merely works for WWE as an ambassador and as we can tell from Waltman, he's never shy about sharing his opinion, even if his thoughts aren't always so favorable to the WWE. He still makes regular appearances for the company and is usually backstage at big events, offering some advice to young talents.
17 Impact - Josh Matthews
Josh Matthews first appeared on WWE television as a cast member of the first season of Tough Enough, going all the way to the finals. Although he never wrestled in the WWE ring, he successfully transitioned to a backstage interviewer in 2002.
Four years later, Matthews became an announcer for ECW, SmackDown and Raw. He was released from the promotion in 2014.
It did not take long for Matthews to find a home. He joined Impact Wrestling’s broadcast team, calling play-by-play and later a heel announcer. He won his first wrestling title after Matt Sydal gifted him the Impact Grand Championship.
16 WWE: Tyson Kidd
It's hard to believe that it's already been three years since Tyson Kidd last wrestled a match. The last visual we saw of him in the ring was quite unsettling and it's been well established that his days as a wrestler are done. However, with Natalya still a fixture of the women's roster, the WWE has tried to do right by Kidd, keeping him around in a backstage role.
As a producer, Kidd has had a big hand in some of RAW's top matches and has said he's enjoying his current role: "I love sitting and collaborating with people and just being creative, we all are throwing ideas in and next thing you know some match is being made in the ring that I had some small part in and it feels fulfilling and there is no physical trauma to me so it's all good."
15 WWE - Sin Cara
It might hard for fans to believe, but it has been almost eight years since WWE debuted the Sin Cara character. The gimmick was portrayed by the wrestler Mistico and later Hunico - which developed into a Sin Cara versus Sin Cara feud that fans would like to forget.
Hunico permanently took over the Sin Cara role after Mistico was released. He breathed new life into the character after he tagged with Kalisto to form the Lucha Dragons in NXT, winning the brand’s tag team titles.
He split from Kallisto and joined Smackdown Live afterwards and is currently rehabilitating from a knee injury.
14 WWE: The Boogeyman
Not many people would think that The Boogeyman would offer much value to WWE in any sort of role, but Martin Wright has managed to remain on the WWE payroll as an ambassador, and of course, we've seen him make the odd appearance on the indies from time to time. The Boogeyman has made the occasional appearance on WWE television as well, even though he's well past his wrestling heyday. He's also often seen backstage at WWE events, where he seems to get along really well with talent backstage. Talk about taking a ridiculous gimmick and squeezing everything you can out of it.
13 Impact - Santino Marella
When Impact made their move north of the border to Canada, it came as quite a bit of a surprise. After all, dating back to their days as TNA, Orlando had long been the home of the company and to make such a move was very ambitious. But it seems to have worked out so far, as Impact has earned massive praise in recent months for improving their product overall.
While Santino doesn't work behind the scenes at Impact, he has found a gig as the co-host of Behind the Lights on the official Impact Wrestling Twitch channel.
12 WWE - Tino Sabbatelli
The second of the NXT entries on this list, Tino Sabbatelli has been in WWE’s developmental brand since 2014. He and Riddick Moss began tag teaming together in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
The team went on a slump and after several losses, Sabbatelli turned on Moss, signaling a new direction with his character. Unfortunately he suffered a torn pectoral muscle at the end of April.
Sabbatelli is still under the WWE banner. He has since had surgery on his pectoral muscle and is expected to return to NXT soon. Hopefully he can return and continue on his path to being a singles star.
11 WWE - Mike Chioda
Referees are often the unsung heroes of wrestling and of the biggest unsung heroes in WWE is senior referee Mike Chioda. He started with the company in 1989 and returned to the company in 1992 after a brief hiatus.
Chioda has been involved in a plethora of notable WWE matches and events, including the Smackdown where Brock Lesnar and Big Show broke the ring.
Shield fans may recognize him as the referee in the 2016 Money in the Bank where all three members of the stable were WWE Champion in one night. Chioda has been both a senior referee on Raw and SmackDown.
10 WWE - Charles Robinson
Charles Robinson is one of wrestling’s more known referees due to his slight resemblance to Nature Boy Ric Flair. He got his start in WCW in 1997 after a successful tryout.
Two years after Nick Patrick was the nWo referee, Robinson turned heel and aligned himself with Flair. He even wrestled a match as “Little Naitch,” against Randy Savage’s valet, Gorgeous George. He was hired by the WWE after the company purchased WCW.
Fans can still Robinson referee matches on Smackdown Live. He also assists on the ring crew and was also one of the referees assigned to the 2016 Cruiserweight Classic.
9 Impact - The Jackal
Don Callis is one of the more underrated villains and authority figures in wrestling. He had a short stint in the WWE as the Jackal, leading the Truth Commission and later the Oddities. He was most known as Cyrus of The Network, a top heel faction in ECW.
While Callis excelled as a heel, he was also a promoter and was known for giving many Canadian wrestlers their first break. He later became a member of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s commentary team.
Callis joined Impact Wrestling in 2017 as both a commentator and the promotion’s executive vice president alongside Scott D’Amore.
8 WWE - Funaki
Funaki is one of WWE’s enduring characters, going back to when he was a member of Kai En Tai. He was mostly an enhancement talent and later a backstage interviewer, though he did hold the previous incarnation of the WWE Cruiserweight title.
He left the company in 2010 and wrestled on the independent scene for four years, though he would make cameos for the company as a referee at Japanese house shows.
Funaki can truly call himself the WWE’s No. 1 announcer as he one of the Japanese announcers for events. He has also appeared as an interpreter for Japanese wrestlers.
7 WWE - Gene Okerlund
There are few wrestling personalities who can interview like “Mean” Gene Okerlund. The man had notable runs in the AWA, WWE and WCW.
Okerlund was one of the many stars who left AWA for WWE in the 1980s and he was a staple of the company’s programing before he jumped ship to WCW in 1993. In addition to his interview duties, Okerlund had a few wrestling matches, including a tag team match where he and Buff Bagwell took on Chris Kanyon and Mark Madden.
Okerlund returned to the company in 2001 and was later inducted into the Hall of Fame. His WWE schedule is lighter than it was in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
6 WWE - Jonathan Coachman
Jonathan Coachman’s tenure with WWE began in 1999 when he was a backstage interviewer and was the butt of The Rock’s jokes along with Kevin Kelly. The Coach had different roles over the years, including an announcer and an authority figure on Monday Night Raw.
Coachman left WWE in 2008 to work for ESPN. As ESPN’s relationship with WWE began to blossom, Coachman returned to the company as an announcer in 2018, much to the chagrin of fans.
After Renee Young replaced him in the booth in September, Coachman transitioned to his current role, appearing on the pay per view pre-shows.
5 Impact - Jimmy Jacobs
Jimmy Jacobs enjoyed a storied career on the indies and in Ring of Honor as a wrestler, including multiple ROH tag team title reigns. Besides his in-ring abilities, Jacobs is known for his creativity and wrestling mind, which helped him land a job on WWE’s creative staff in 2015.
Chris Jericho complimented Jacobs’ on his writing and credited him with The List of Jericho. Jacobs was released after his picture with Bullet Club, which was “invading Raw” surfaced on social mdia.
Jacobs found a new home in Impact Wrestling where he became the manager of Kongo Kong. His profile is still listed on the Impact Wrestling roster.
4 WWE - Raymond Rougeau
Raymond Rougeau teamed with his brother Jacques Rogeau - who later became The Mountie - as The Rougeau Brothers during the late ‘80s when the WWE’s tag team division was stacked with talent. The brothers clashed with numerous teams but never held the tag team titles before Raymond retired in 1990.
Rougeau had different roles in the WWE and would come out of retirement to wrestle here and there. In 1992, he would be a staple on the French commentary team. He left the company in 2002 when it stopped producing French programming.
Rougeau returned to WWE in 2017, resuming his role as a French commentator and still works for the company.
3 WWE - Billy Kidman
Billy Kidman was a staple of WCW in the early 2000s. The former WCW Cruiserweight champion signed on with WWE after the company purchased WCW and he enjoyed some success as well, including winning the WWE Cruiserweight and Tag Team titles.
Kidman had a brief absence in 2005, but he returned in 2007 at an Florida Championship Wrestling show and wrestled in his last match in 2008.
He currently works as a producer on the main roster. Back when John Bradshaw Layfield worked for the company, he would tweet pictures of “Biwwy” at the Gorilla Position before going out to do commentary.
2 WWE - Arn Anderson
Arn Anderson was a staple of the Four Horsemen spent a year in WWE, winning the World Tag Team titles with Tully Blanchard. The WWE World Tag Team title was just one of many accolades he would earn in his illustrious career.
The Enforcer was a great worker and cut some top promos in his day, so it was natural for him to transition to a producer role in 2002. He is the current senior producer of Raw and can be seen in backstage segments from time to time.
Many wrestlers regard Anderson as having one of the best minds in the wrestling business.
1 Impact - Katarina
WWE fans may know Katarina as Katie Lea Burchill during her time in WWE. She was the manager and kayfabe sister of Paul Burchill before transitioning into the Divas division. After she was released in 2010, she joined Total Nonstop Action as Winter and formed a partnership with Angelina Love, who she won the TNA Knockouts Tag Team titles with.
She would go on to win the TNA Knockouts Championship and left the company in 2011. As Katarina, she returned to Impact Wrestling in May as Grado’s girlfriend before she dumped him for his best friend Joe Hendry.
Katarina’s profile is still on the Impact Wrestling roster page. She still wrestles on Impact and recently picked up a win over Lisa Lace.