Audiences all over the world go crazy with anticipation as the lights dim, and a spotlight appears! Who will walk out of the dressing rooms? Will they keep their title or fall from grace? The crowd’s applause is deafening, and the thunderous footsteps of “The Undertaker” echo into the ring!
But there are some questions that plague the minds of many! Are they being paid for the moves, tricks, and injuries they sustain? How much is an average wrestler worth, and where do they go after their time in the ring is done? Well, we’re here to finally give you the answers you’ve wanted!
Many wrestlers in the WWE community haven’t known what to do after they dedicate their lives to the battle in the ring. This one journalist knew he belonged ringside but had to figure out how to make it a very lucrative move. Big Jonathan “The Coach” Coachman is now a full-commentator for WWE, and he has witnessed many other wrestlers transition.
One of the wrestler’s journeys that he followed led him across international borders. This diva had a different dream when she moved to the country, but wrestling was her first break. Who was this Mexican princess that wanted to be in her fans’ ears and hearts forever?
Wrestler Lita has an estimated net worth of $4 million. She arrived from Mexico in 2000 and was used to fans calling her Angelica. Execs thought the name sounded too formal and immediately shortened it before she entered the ring. She loved wrestling, but her passion had always been to have her own band. In 2006 her dreams came true, and she formed The Luchagors.
The band broke up in 2014, and she is currently back with WWE as a producer. In Lita’s spare time, she also runs her own non-profit organization called A.D.O.R.E. While many wrestlers only wanted to be in the ring, this wrestler wanted an empire. Would he achieve all the goals he set out for himself?
Terry Bollea or “Hulk Hogan” entered a wrestling ring for the first time in 1977. He signed with the WWE in 1983 and is currently estimated to be worth 25 million. He is ranked one of the top five richest wrestlers in the world and one of the most popular. Hogan was popular out of the ring doing appearances on ‘Rocky III,’ ‘Mr. Nanny’, ‘Muppets From Space’ and ‘Santa With Muscles.’
One of Hogan’s greatest accomplishments is his family, and his daughter Brooke is fast-tracked to follow in her dad’s footsteps. Hogan also had his own reality television show called “Hogan Knows Best,” which gave Brooke a spin-off called “Brooke Knows Best.” There’s plenty of female inspiration in wrestling, including this next star who lives a more mindful life after wrestling.
She’s made many enemies during her career, but many females in the industry pay homage to her as the reason they started wrestling. Her fans include Kelly Kelly, Bayley, and Maria Kanellis. Stratus now dedicates her time to fitness and modeling. In 2008, she opened an eco-friendly yoga studio called Stratusphere Yoga Studio and won Business Woman of the Year and Best New Business from Top Choice magazine.
Stratus wasn’t the only wrestler who found fame outside the ring. This next wrestler dedicated his career to literature and became a successful New York Times-reviewed author. Unfortunately, even with the big bucks he made, he was still unlucky in love three times!
Born Dave Bautista, but named Batista in the ring, this buff superstar only retired from wrestling in 2019. Starting in 2000, he was a 6-time World Champion and went on to write and publish a New York Times Best Seller autobiography in 2007. Unfortunately, while his career was bulletproof, he was unlucky in love and has endured three failed marriages.
Bautista has also been on the silver screen and secured roles in The Man with the Iron Fists and the James Bond film Spectre. This next wrestling superstar is red hot with a bank account to match! Watch out for this blonde bombshell with a name so nice fans will yell it twice!
Kelly Kelly, born Barbara Jean Blank, started with the WWE in 2006. She was found while on a photoshoot and convinced to try a new career. In 2011, she proved her worth by winning her first Diva championship. She left in 2012 but made a surprise appearance in 2017 on the first-ever women-only pay-per-view. She splits her time between modeling, acting, and appearances on reunion specials.
Kelly Kelly was a fan favorite, but this next wrestler monopolized his fan base and is still one of the most well-known and recognized names from the ring. You don’t want to be nearby when he’s in the zone, and his trademarked expression relates to 3.16. Are you the ultimate WWE fan to recognize this celebrity?
Wrestling fans everywhere go wild when they see 3.16. Stone Cold Steve Austin has done amazing in branding himself in and out of the ring. He is currently estimated to have a net worth of $50 million, making him one of the richest wrestlers in the world.
Austin struggled to find love, but it seems his fourth marriage is lucky. He married Kristin Austin in 2009 and splits his time between The Broken Skull Ranch in Nevada and a house in California. Steve Austin is wrestling royalty, but this Queen is self-proclaimed. Do you recognize these signature moves?
Debra Gail Marshall was wrestling royalty for four years. She started in the WWE in 1998 and quickly went on to receive championship titles. Even though her time as “Queen Debra” was short, her impact was long-lasting. Her personal life was also in a lot of tabloid speculation as she married Stone Cold Steve Austin and divorced him the same year she quit wrestling.
Debra’s romantic conquests followed her after wrestling, but nothing compared to the next wrestler on our list. One of the wealthiest wrestlers in the world, he was also famous outside the ring with multiple television appearances and movie roles. You must know who we’re referring to, after all, he’s pretty difficult to miss!
Not a wrestler but a fan favorite, Stacy Keibler was one half of the duo “Nitro Girls.” This dance/cheerleading combination would entertain fans in between matches. Before joining the WWE, Keibler was a successful model and continues to find work on television and movies. She is recognized for being in How I Met Your Mother and Psych. She also hosted Supermarket Superstar.
While Keibler enjoyed the fame and estimated 4 million fortune that came with her physical attributes, our next wrestler did not benefit from his body at all. In fact, he found himself in a painful and mysterious medical mystery that made him retire from wrestling permanently. Are you aware of the struggles of this big-time superstar?
This wrestler goes by “Big Show” but was born Paul Donald Wight II. Due to his astounding 7 feet height, we think he earned an appropriate nickname. The wrestler was loved by fans and made the decision to begin doing more work outside the ring. He quickly rose to fame in his film and television roles in ‘The Waterboy,’ ‘Jingle All the Way,’ ‘Psych,’ and ‘Burn Notice.’
Currently, he is estimated to have a net worth of $20million. After retiring from wrestling, he focuses on raising his three children and loves to spend time with his family. The next WWE family member was known more for her long limbs than moves in the ring. She entertained several fans but not in the way you’re expecting.
Born Lawrence Pfohl, Lex Luger performed his final match in 2006. He was on a flight to San Francisco in 2007 when he began having issues moving his neck. He was briefly paralyzed from nerve impingement. The injury was meant to heal after antibiotics, but he was in full quadriplegic paralysis a month later.
Lex beat the odds and today can walk for short distances and move his arm and legs. He uses a wheelchair daily but has defied medical expectations. This next wrestler amazed crowds who didn’t believe in her and defied society’s expectations. She continues to prove everyone wrong and dance to the beat of her own drum.
This female wrestler was the first woman in history to earn the prestigious honor of Rookie Of The Year in 1988. Debrah Ann Micel, who performed under Alundra Blayze or Medusa, set the wrestling ring on fire when she proved women could do anything men were doing. She has retired from wrestling but is now a successful actress and fan of Monster Trucks!
This next wrestler was half of the dynamic duo called “New World Order.” He reigned strength and earned his nickname with powerful moves. A legend in his own right, does his bank account match his success today?
Kevin Nash made a big entrance when he joined the wrestling community in 1990. He never stuck with one name too long until the late nineties when he became part of a team and stopped wrestling 1:1. In the beginning, Nash was known as “Steel”, but once he joined “New World Order” alongside Hulk Hogan, he was permanently “Diesel” or, “Big Daddy Cool.”
This next wrestler started off molding others before WWE realized her potential. Once she got in the ring, fans were blown away! Where had she been this entire time! Would the spotlight be good for her or make her hide in the shadows?
This wrestler started as a trainer before WWE realized she had her own potential to be in the ring. Born Nora Greenwald, she wrestled under “Molly Holly,” Mona, Lady Ophelia, and Miss Madness. After leaving the ring’s success, she went back to her roots and worked as a coach at The Academy: School of Professional Wrestling in Minneapolis.
Fans love a wrestler with humble beginnings. It gives them hope they might be able to become an idol one day themselves. This next wrestler started out by protecting the public before he was in the ring serving justice.
Can you imagine getting a traffic ticket from one of the greats? Fans were surprised to learn that Dalip Singh Rana or “The Great Khali” was protecting civilians as a police officer before his wrestling career. He was in the ring from 2006 -2014 but made a surprise guest appearance in a 2017 fight. After getting out of the spotlight, Rana runs a training and education space called Continental Wrestling Entertainment.
This next WWE employee was born into a powerful family. Turning away an opportunity to get into the corporate ring would have been the worst mistake of her life. Did she enjoy following in her famous father’s footsteps, or did she crave a completely different life?
Vince McMahon is the mastermind behind the WWE franchise, and it was expected his children would follow in his footsteps. His daughter Stephanie made her father proud and started off as a model until she worked her way up into a corporate role. Stephanie has been on the writing team and now is the Executive VP of the creative department.
This role pays a cool million every year but Stephanie has many perks including her long-time marriage to wrestler Paul “Triple H” Levesque. Stephanie wasn’t the only brilliant mind working at WWE. This next wrestler wrote a New York Times best-seller after becoming a champion.
While he was in the ring, he was a heavyweight superstar, but he also proved his potential outside the wrestling world. Mick Foley was introduced to fans in 1991 as “Cactus Jack.” He changed personas in 1996 to “Mankind.” Through his successful career, he was inducted into the WWE hall of fame in 2013. He went on to write his own autobiography, which became a New York Times bestseller, and also wrote a collection of children’s books.
He appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap and Family Feud but mainly stays out of the public eye in his retirement. This next wrestler met the love of her life in the ring but broke many hearts along the way. Fans loved her sweet image and were heartbroken when she said “I do” to retirement.
In 1988 Trisa Laughlin, who went by Beulah McGillicutty in the ring, won fans over with her sweet personality before destroying opponents in the ring. As she had many suitors and brief romances, fellow wrestler Tommy Dreamer eventually convinced the brunette beauty to get married.
Laughlin’s current net worth is unknown, but after retiring from wrestling, she is mainly focused on raising her twin daughters and writing children novels. From timeless beauty to old-timer wisdom, this next wrestler is one of the oldest ones on our list. How has he continued to stay current after leaving the ring?
One of the oldest members on our list, Tito Santana, is now 68 years old. His net worth is 80 million, and he continues to pursue WWE career opportunities when available. He entered the ring for the first time in 1979 and has been inducted into the hall of fame twice! This New Jersey native teaches middle school Spanish and helps to train or manage new wrestlers.
This next wrestler delivered a smile with sweet justice every time she entered the ring. With a contagious bubbly personality, it seemed like she was meant to become one of the greatest female wrestlers ever. Would her angelic looks keep her out of devilish harm?
Tammy Lynn Sytch wrestled under the name “Sunny” and quickly became popular for her sass and legendary moves. A lot of people don’t realize that before she entered the ring, she was studying to become a doctor! Who could have predicted the drastic different road she would take!
Tammy Lynn was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011 but could not catch a break from her illegal decisions. Currently, she is behind bars serving time, but we hope to see her on the right side of the law when she gets free! This next wrestler would be letting down his entire family if he didn’t get in the ring. Could you handle the pressure?
“The Hitman” is still one of the most iconic wrestling presences to enter a ring. The man behind the legend, Bret Hart, came from a family devoted to wrestling and was training for his future by 10 years old. After his WWE debut in 1984, he was unstoppable and highly in demand!
Hart began to take on entertainment roles in television and was recognized on Natural Born Killers, MADtv, and The Adventures of Sinbad. He has managed to secure a net worth of $14 million, so we know he made his family proud. Another famous family name comes with an iconic trademark and a daughter who always wanted to be daddy’s little girl!
Richard Fliehr is the man behind iconic “Ric Flair” and father to iconic wrestler Charlotte Flair, he has 16 impressive championships under his belt! As Flair has gotten older many think he should have quit while he was ahead. Instead, his career has begun to span four decades.
He attempted to slide into reality television when he retired from the ring for good, but unfortunately, none of his pilots lasted for a full season. He can now sit on the sidelines cheering on his daughter’s accomplishments, but many wonder if that’s enough? This next wrestler definitely understands how one prop can change your entire life, even if it’s one you normally put your trash in.
Michael David Droese entered the ring as his character “The Dumpster.” His claim to fame was to use the aluminum garbage can to beat his opponents. His time in the ring was sporadic, with main appearances in the mid 90’s and irregular performances on the independent circuit afterward.
While the “Garbage Man” depended on a prop for success, this next wrestler wasn’t ready to leave the spotlight. When he retired from wrestling, he started an entirely new career. Would fans be supportive, or was it the biggest mistake of his life?
Shawn Michaels wrestled under the alias “Heartbreak Kid” due to his dashing good looks. He was forced into early retirement in 1998 due to a back injury but didn’t want to lose the spotlight. Since Michaels was already known for his locks, moving onto the silver screen came naturally.
Michaels amassed a net worth of $17million playing roles in blockbuster hits like ‘Baywatch,’ ‘Pacific Blue,’ ‘The Marine 6: Close Quarters, and ‘Pure Country: Pure Heart.’ Michaels also wrote about his jump to fame in his autobiography, ‘Wrestling for My Life: The Legend, the Reality, and the Faith of a WWE Superstar.’ This next superstar was the opposite of Michaels. When he left the spotlight, he never wanted to be found again.
Spike Dudley or Matthew Hyson started in the WWE in 1992 but retired in 2007. He was successful and won the Cruiserweight Championship but realigned his priorities later in life. With the arrival of his children, he decided to pursue a stable desk job and currently works for the financial institute Merrill Edge.
Spike is a rare example of a wrestler who disappeared from the spotlight. One wrestler wanted the WWE to pay him back for his injuries but instead lost years of his life. Would he regret his decision to sue the WWE or continue waiting for a settlement?
“The Viking,” born John Nord, came into the ring and caused a commotion! His entrance as “The Viking” or “The Barbarian” earned him a reputation for years before he was signed by WWE. Unfortunately, two years after joining, he lost his contract and joined several other wrestlers suing WWE for injuries and insurance.
He was seen as an actor in court reality television shows but then fell into his own legal battles in 2019. He was sentenced to five years probation and also lost his driver’s license. Our next wrestler’s net worth never reached the millions, but his publicity stunts certainly did! No one ever knew what they could expect when he walked into a room.
It’s hard to find fault with this vintage addition to the WWE. His track record shows a 9-time champion record, but his personal antics and life have gotten in the way. The “Beefcake” made up one-half of the famous dream tag-team with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. When he began to lose fans, he started wrestling outside of the WWE on independent circuits.
He is most well-known for a weird incident involving the mayor of Toronto in 2013. Leslie appeared at the town hall, explaining he wanted to give the current mayor an intervention with a foot-long sub sandwich and scissors. Needless to say, he wasn’t allowed in the building. This next wrestler is sitting on the sidelines waiting for his body to heal so he can get back in the ring!
Randy Orton is in a predicament with the WWE. At 41 years old, he still looks like a young American marine, but his body doesn’t agree. Currently, Orton is healing from a 2018 shoulder surgery. While being examined by his doctor after the surgery, it was discovered he would need to have neck surgery to remove loose bone chips.
While Orton patiently waits to get back in the ring, he and his wife welcomed a daughter last year. As one wrestler stays positive, another is followed by negative press and controversy. Who was the athlete behind the publicity, and was it too late to save his image?
Controversy followed this South-African wrestler throughout his short career with the WWE. Adam Rose debuted in 2010, but rumors plagued his stage time, and in 2016 he was arrested for domestic assault. The WWE suspended him while the trial was proceeding, but he eventually re-entered the ring in 2019 only to announce retirement the same month.
This next wrestler was known more for his props than performance. An almost forgotten addition to the WWE world, can you handle his many friends that join him in the ring? Buckle up and keep your eyes open for this next slithering champion.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts was in the WWE in the mid-’80s and was known for his ring antics. The star would actually bring live snakes into the ring with him, shocking and terrifying fellow wrestlers. He has never officially retired from the WWE but suffered many publicized battles with drugs and alcohol. He was picked to be in the 1999 documentary called ‘Beyond The Matt’ and was inducted to the WWE hall of fame in 2014.
This wrestler just relied on herself but used her stage name to pay tribute to powerful women before her. Do you know the history behind this talented wrestler? How would you choose your wrestling name?
Jacqueline Moore debuted with WWE in 1988, but her name holds an even more special meaning. To pay homage to trailblazer African-American female wrestlers, Moore debuted in 1958 as Susie Mae McCoy and retired in 1972. Sadly, she passed away from breast cancer in 1989.
Moore’s net worth is unknown but estimated between $1-5 million. She has made a solid name for herself outside of the ring, training other wrestlers. This next wrestler is another blast from the vintage 80’s past. His unique look and accessories made fans uncomfortable and weary during his short-lived WWE career.
Born David William Heath, his time in the WWE wasn’t smooth or as successful as his fellow athletes. He debuted in ‘94 and retired one year later. Execs decided he should try to do one more fight in ‘98 when his signature vampire style was on the rise in pop culture. Gangrel paired his long blonde locks and fangs with drinking blood from a chalice and spitting into audiences before jumping in the ring.
While Gangrel liked to imitate an immortal character, one WWE Star legally changed his name before passing away suddenly. Which wrestler will never be known as any else but the superstar he represented in the ring? He will forever be in our thoughts and fans’ hearts.
James Brian Hellwig joined WWE in 1987. His character name was the Ultimate Warrior, and he instantly developed a huge fan base. In 1993 he legally changed his name to “Warrior,” which was viewed as the ultimate act of dedication.
In 2014 he suffered from a fatal heart attack while in a parking lot. At the time his wife was by his side. He was inducted post-mortem into the Hall of Fame the same year. Another legend that we lost too soon is our next wrestler. Unfortunately, his early demise was under much sadder circumstances.
Brian “Crush” Adams unexpectedly passed away in 2007. During his career, which started in the ’80s, he was quick to rise to success but was also in and out of the press for arrests or different charges with recreational drugs. Adams was an international wrestler who began his career in Japan before moving to the United States two years later.
Our hearts go out to the families of our fallen wrestling heroes, but we have a bright future ahead with the current diverse and talented wrestlers. Whose life surprised you the most from their days in the ring? Would you sacrifice your spotlight or do anything you could to stay relevant? We know fans of the sport are looking forward to many more years of the WWE.