The wrestling business isn't usually one that has a lengthy shelf life, even though some wrestlers are able to make it to WWE whilst they are still quite young, this still doesn't mean that they are destined to have lengthy careers.
WWE is no longer the only promotion that can offer wrestlers a living since there are many promotions outside of the company including NJPW, TNA, and Ring of Honor that are able to take on some of WWE's former stars and allow them to continue pursuing their dreams.
It's because of the rise of these promotions that many fans have lost track of former WWE superstars and assumed that they had decided to retire, there are also others that have dropped off the grid and many fans may have missed the fact that they also announced their retirements from the business.
Many wrestlers choose to continue to work on the Independent Circuit for a number of years before announcing their retirement, by this point, many fans assume that they have already opted to walk away when this isn't the case.
Wrestling news often comes in thick and fast which means that some retirements slip under the radar if there isn't a lot of coverage. At the same time, it can be quite hard for stars who have only ever known the wrestling business to decide to walk away, so they continue to wrestle well into their 60s and 70s, even though many fans believe their best days are behind them.
The following list looks at just 10 former WWE superstars that many fans didn't know were still wrestling as well as 10 stars who have recently announced their retirement from the business.
20 Still Wrestling: Marty Jannetty
Marty Jannetty is best remembered for the tag team he was part of with Shawn Michaels throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s before he was famously put through a barbershop window and The Rockers disbanded.
While Micheals went on to be one of the greatest wrestlers in the world, Jannetty left the spotlight but has continued to wrestle all over the world ever since.
After Jannetty's reputation took a hit back in 2016, the former WWE superstar looked as though he was going to walk away from the business, but interestingly at 58 years old, he's still an active wrestler on the independent circuit.
19 Retired: Eva Marie
Eva Marie won the 2013 Diva Search and was then awarded a place in Total Divas along with JoJo Offerman. Marie was given the wrong kind of attention throughout her time on the show and even though she tried to work her way up through the ranks in WWE, she never gained the approval of the WWE Universe.
Marie was suspended from WWE in the summer of 2016 after she failed the Wellness Policy for the first time and despite sitting out her 30 day suspension she never returned to the company and instead decided to pursue a career in the acting business instead.
18 Still Wrestling: Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam was last seen in WWE back in 2014 and even though the company has approached Van Dam about a WWE return over the past four years, he stated that he would only come back to the company if he was going to be part of a memorable storyline.
RVD revealed back in 2017 that one of the main reasons why he could never return to WWE is because his concussion history means that he would not be able to be cleared. Not all Independent Promotions have the same medical process as WWE, which means that despite injuries Rob Van Dam is still able to continue wrestling all over the world.
17 Retired: Enzo Amore
Enzo Amore came to WWE as a former footballer who had a rare mic ability that WWE had never seen before, which saw him go on to become a popular star with the WWE Universe.
Amore is a former Cruiserweight Champion but was abruptly released from the company back in January.
Since his release, Amore has decided to concentrate on his rap career and also made it clear that he will not be returning to the wrestling ring anytime soon. It's probably his best move, considering bell-to-bell action was never his strong suit, and that's valued more in WWE.
16 Still Wrestling: Gangrel
The highlight of Gangrel's WWE career was when he was made part of a team with Edge and Christian that was known as The Brood. At the time, Vampires were popular in society and culture which is why the group became quite popular for a while before Gangrel was released after Vince McMahon raised concerns about his weight.
Gangrel was released from the WWE back in 2001 but over the past 15 years, he has been able to perform regularly on the Independent Circuit and live off the name that WWE created for him where he has become a popular addition to a number of promotions all over the world.
15 Retired: Adam Rose
Adam Rose was known for his entourage of "The Exotic Express" throughout his time on WWE's main roster, but the former star arguably a better wrestler when he was part of NXT and known as Leo Kruger. Rose's shelf life as the leader of The Exotic Express wasn't destined to be a long one and before long his partying entourage left him and he was then stuck in-between characters.
Rose was suspended from WWE indefinitely back in 2016 . Rose has reiterated a number of times that 2017 is the last year that he will be wrestling and he has struggled to find work in the ring over the past year.
14 Still Wrestling: Sabu
Sabu has become known as one of the biggest daredevils in the wrestling world throughout his lengthy career that has encompassed more than three decades. At the height of his career, Sabu was wrestling for both WWE and ECW back in 2006/2007 before he was later released from the company when the ECW brand folded.
At 53 years old, Sabu is one of the oldest wrestlers still performing on the independent circuit all over the world.
Even though he was recently forced to undergo hip surgery, the former ECW star has still continued to wrestle and will continue to wrestle in the coming years because he doesn't know a life without wrestling.
13 Retired: Alex Riley
Alex Riley is best remembered as The Miz's protege, but unlike Daniel Bryan, he was unable to become as popular with the WWE Universe. After his storyline with The Miz came to an end, he went on to work as a singles star and a color commentator, before he made his return to the ring as part of NXT.
Riley looked as though he could climb back up to the main roster following his return, but WWE released Riley back in 2016 along with a number of other stars as part of their budget cuts he has since made the move over to the acting world and left his time in the ring behind.
12 Still Wrestling: Hornswoggle
Hornswoggle has had an impressive in-ring career over the years since he was once named as Chairman Vince McMahon's illegitimate son and went on to become the final Cruiserweight Champion before the title was retired back in 2008. Hornswoggle was released from WWE back in 2016 along with a number of other WWE stars and has impressively been able to continue his career on the Independent Circuit.
Hornswoggle moved over to TNA for a few years before he made his one-off return to WWE as part of The Greatest Royal Rumble back in April, now known as Swoggle, the former champion continues to perform all over the world.
11 Retired: Damien Sandow
"The Intellectual Savior of The Masses" was one of the best characters that Damien Sandow was given in WWE, but his most memorable will always be seen as Damien Mizdow when he was The Miz's stunt double.
Despite being given a lousy gimmick, Sandow was able to adapt and it became one of WWE's best characters throughout that time.
He was released back in 2016 along with a number of other stars and then went on to be known as Aron Rex in TNA before he announced that he had left Impact Wrestling back in 2017 and was now taking a break from the business to pursue a career in acting.
10 Still Wrestling: Billy Gunn
Billy Gunn was primarily known as a Tag Team wrestler throughout his time in WWE and went on to hold 14 Championships throughout his time in the company. Gunn was released from WWE back in 2004 and worked in TNA for a number of years before he returned to WWE as an NXT trainer in 2012.
Gunn and Road Dogg then reformed back in 2014 and became Tag Team Champions, but was then released once again in 2015. In the years that have followed, Gunn has continued to perform on the Independent Circuit and made appearances for the likes of NJPW and PCW.
9 Retired: Melina
Melina is a former WWE Divas and Women's Champion, but after taking over the Women's Division following Trish Stratus and Lita's retirements back in 2006, Melina was then released in 2011 following speculation that she was hard to deal with backstage.
Melina has since been able to work for a number of promotions all over the world including Lucha Underground where she linked back up with her former boyfriend John Morrison. Melina has struggled with injuries throughout her career and this came to a head last month when Melina revealed as part of a fan Q&A on Facebook that she had decided to retire from the wrestling business. However, there have been whispers of Melina possibly being welcomed back to WWE for Evolution.
8 Still Wrestling: X-Pac
X-Pac is someone who has had a lengthy career in WWE over the past few decades and is perhaps best known for his association with D-Generation X. The former European Champion has had a number of personal issues throughout his career, which has impacted on his professional life as well, but he has still been able to wrestle despite all of his problems.
X-Pac has worked for a number of promotions all over the world and has continued to do so despite his injuries in recent years.
The former star recently appeared on WWE TV as part of Raw 25 back in January where he reunited with DX and Scott Hall.
7 Retired: Aksana
Aksana was one of the stand out female wrestlers in NXT's first ever all-female tournament back in 2010. She later went on to make quite an impact on the main roster, but when the Total Divas took over, she was pushed to the bottom of the pile and was then released from the company back in 2014 along with a long list of other talents.
Aksana has since decided to walk away from the wrestling business and now works as a personal trainer in Tampa, Florida. The former star was a fitness model before she joined WWE and has since been able to use these skills to step into a new career.
6 Still Wrestling: The Honky Tonk Man
The Honky Tonk Man was one of the most well-known wrestlers in the history of WWE and still holds the record for the longest Intercontinental Championship reign in WWE history. Despite leaving WWE back in 1991 he has made sporadic returns to the company over the two decades and been able to land a number of bookings on the Independent Circuit.
In recent years, The Honky Tonk Man has made appearances at Impact Pro Wrestling in New Zealand and was even a surprise participant as part of the first episode of Lucha Underground Season 3 back in 2016 as he continues his lengthy career in the ring.
5 Retired: Gene Snitsky
Gene Snitsky was never mistaken for a master technician in the ring, but rather was better known for working with various gimmicks bordering between scary and silly. There was of course, the whole "it wasn't my fault" storyline involving Kane and Lita and Snitsky was eventually released by WWE over a decade ago.
He's since landed some acting jobs over the years and starred in infomercials, but he's also wrestled on the indie circuit throughout that time.
However, this summer, Snitsky announced his retirement on Instagram, indicating he didn't like how his in-ring career had been going.
4 Still Wrestling: Rene Dupree
Rene Dupree's biggest accomplishment was the fact that he was the youngest Champion in WWE history when he lifted the Tag Team Championships with Sylvain Grenier back in 2003. Nicholas has since erased this record when he won the Tag Team Championships with Braun Strowman back in April at just 10 years old.
Despite requesting his release from the company back in 2007, Dupree has continued to work in the business over the past decade and still makes regular appearances on the independent circuit under his familiar Dupree name.
The former Champion's most recent appearance came back in February when he debuted in Singapore Pro Wrestling.
3 Retired: Gail Kim
Gail Kim is widely considered to be one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time, she walked away from WWE back in 2011 after stating that she disliked the direction of the company at that time and has since been a huge part of the resurgence of female wrestling all over the world.
Kim changed the face of the Knockout's Division in TNA, which has since led to the Women's Revolution in WWE.
Kim has refused to be part of WWE's evolution after she announced her retirement from the ring earlier this year and stated that she would only return if she was asked by Impact Wrestling.
2 Still Wrestling: Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Hacksaw Jim Duggan is a WWE Hall of Famer and one of the biggest legends that WWE have ever created. Duggan, like many other legends over the years including Jerry "The King" Lawler and even The Sandman, has been unable to step away from their careers in the ring because they have never known anything but wrestling.
Duggan famously won the first ever Royal Rumble match back in 1988 and has since always been attached to the wrestling business which has allowed him to make a number of surprise appearances for the company over the years, but he has also continued to wrestle on the Independent Circuit in recent years as well.
1 Retired: Bubba Ray Dudley
The Dudley Boyz retired as a tag team a couple of years ago and even went into the Hall of Fame this year, but Bubba in fact, had a little retirement tour of his own in Ring of Honor, ending his in-ring career late last year. The Dudleys went into the WWE's hall of fame this year and D'Von has been working behind the scenes in WWE as a trainer, while Bubba has toyed with the idea of becoming a trainer as well. With the amount of former in-ring talents behind the scenes already in WWE, it's definitely possible that it's Bubba's next role in the business.