Wrestless Wrestlers: WWE Stars Then & Now

The WWE is basically a world full of testosterone, spectacular storylines, unbelievable stage names, memorable feuds, big and unique personalities and a whole lot of drama, both in front of the camera and backstage. The wrestling organization that has been one of the richest in the industry, has provided some of the greatest professional wrestlers in the world with the stage to give the show of their lifetime. Let’s see what these legendary wrestlers have been up to back in the days and what we know about them today.

Kevin Nash | Then

The six time world champion, who also went by his different stage names of Diesel, Big Kev or just one of The Outsiders, has had one of the most successful careers in wrestling history. When Nash joined the WWF, he grew long hair to fit his biker character of Big Daddy Cool. His debut performance was when he was actually Shaw Michael’s bodyguard. The two later when the formed the Two Dudes with Attitudes duo, which was the right kick that Nash needed for his long list of wins. In 1996, the duo left WWE and took WCW by storm where they joined the famous Hulk Hogan. At one point the trip pretty much dominated WCW, making their fights one of the most viewed ones in history.

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Kevin Nash | Now

After going back and forth between the two wrestling organizations, the mighty trio were rehired by the WWF (the original WWE name), however Nash’s return wasn’t as smooth as he thought it would be as he had a series of injuries which made him sit on the ‘bench’ for a a few months. Seven years down the road, the WWE fan club got to watch Nash step in the ring in an amazing comeback with his famous Diesel look. Nash later took his talent to the small screen and appeared on a few shows including on an episode of The

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Hulk Hogan | Then

You can’t hear the name ‘Hulk Hogan’ and not know who the dude is, as he is probably the most famous professional wrestler of a all time with a career that lasted over thirty years. Hogan has had his fair share of champions including six WWE World Heavyweight Champions and two Royal Rumble titles, when the peak of it all was when he got a deserving spot at the WWE Hall of Fame. A fun fact is that he was the only one of the bunch that was ever featured in Sports Illustrated. The ‘Immortal’ just kept getting back on his feet despite his defeats. Hogan was definitely one of the reasons that professional wrestling became so mainstream in the media, and everyone in that world wanted to join forces with him.

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Hulk Hogan | Now

For a good period of time, Hogan tried his luck with other wrestling organizations and even appeared on the big screen. When he finally returned to the WWE, hr came back as Mr. America in a mask, until he decided to take it off and reveal his real self to the crowd, just to later quit again. Hogan had spent a lot of his later caught in controversies, including his public feud with the WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon, until the latter pretty much terminated Hogan’s career for good. The Hulkster later focused on boosting his reality television career with the Hogan Knows Best show. In 2007, Hogan and his wife Linda filed for divorce. Hogan later returned to the WWE, this time as a host , but until everyone thought he was back in the game, he was involved in a sext tape scandal which led to the WWE removing his name from any merchandise of the organization and they even decided to remove his name of the WWE Hall of Fame list.

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Triple H | Then

Paul Michael Levesque, also known as Triple H, rose to fame when he participated in the 1992 International Wrestling Federation when his stage name was Terra Ryzing. Two years later he joined WCW where they branded him as a French Canadian aristocrat under the name Jean-Paul Lévesque. It wasn’t until the later nineties that Triple H became a regular on the main events of the WWF. In 2003 he married his fellow wrestler and daughter of Vince McMahon. Over the years he won a total of 25 local and international championships.

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Triple H | Now

Triple H was always drawn to the business side and after he married Stephanie McMahon, he became the Executive Vice President of Talent, live shows and creative for the WWE. He rarely ever wrestles anymore and focuses on thong from behind the scenes. He also had many guest appearances on television and in film when he landed the lead role of The Chaperone, a WWE Studios production from 2011. He is the founder of NXT, the WWE promotion division and he also finds time for philanthropy work with his wife.

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Stacy Keibler | Then

The stunning former wrestler, started her professional career when she was one of the Nitro Girls in WCW until she landed a more important role as Miss Hancock. After the WWE acquired WCW, the gorgeous performer with the never ending legs (which also earned her the title of ‘The Legs of WWE’), she took part in managing the Dudley Boyz , Test and Scott Steiner. Later in her career, Keibler teamed with her long time friend and fellow wrestler, Torrie Wilson, and together they fought other Divas like Lita and Trish Stratus.

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Stacy Keibler | Now

Stacy Keibler has continued in the entertainment world but from a different side of it when she became the Fitness Editor at Stuff magazine which she also modeled for and had her own column, Getting Fit with Stacy Keibler. In 2006, Maxim listed her as number 5 on their Hot 100 issue in 2006. Unlike many of her co wrestlers, she declined Playboy’s offers to pose nude for the infamous magazine. On the second season of Dancing with the Stars, Keibler came third. Her most famous and public relationship was wuth actor, George Clooney back in 2011 until they broke up in 2013. Keibler has been married to Jared Pobre since 2014.

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Stone Cold Steve Austin | Then

Stone Cold Steve Austin will always be remembered as the one who restored and revived the WWE. The late nineties were a great period for Stone Cold, who was depicted as the disrespectful antihero who continuously went against the establishments and its officers. The Attitude Era, when Austin pretty much bloomed during, was a good time for the WWF business, and a lot of it was for the 19 time champion himself. He even managed to surpass Hogan in terms of his popularity.

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Stone Cold Steve Austin | Now

In 2002, Stone Cold’s relationship with the WWE was going in a bad direction, especially due to the decision to match him up with Hulk Hogan and not being able to decide who the winner was. He didn’t keep his thoughts to himself and publicly criticized the organization’s direction. However, after a tough time, he was inducted in 2009 into the WWE Hall of Fame. Austin also had his television moments when he had appearances on The Expendables, and later in Damage, The Stranger, Maximum Conviction and many more. His podcast that he started in 2013 get around 800,000 downloads a week and it was even turned to a live broadcast show.

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Bret Hart | Then

Just like many of his former wrestling partners, over his 23 year career, he went back and forth between WWE and WWC. His debut performance was in 1978 when he received his stage name, Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart. he actually started in the WWE in the eighties but turned to the WCW in 1997. In 1994 he won the Royal Rumble match. Hart took his passion for wrtiting and turned it professional when he became a weekly columnist for the Calgary Sun for over 10 years.

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Bret Hart | Now

It was a fatal injury that turned Hart’s wrestling career around after a natch he had with Bill Goldberg. It was also his public feud with Vince McMahon that delayed his induction in the Hall of Fame. In 2007 he released his autobiography, Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling which was written together with his longtime friend, Marcy Engelstein. Hart has a mind blowing total of 32 championships that he won throughout his professional career. One of his accomplishments include the fact that he was the first wrestler to ever win the Triple Crown Championships of both the WWF and WCW. Bret married for the third time in 2010 and he has sadly been diagnosed with cancer.

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Kurt Angle | Then

Kurt Angle’s wrestling career days go back to when he was a student at Clarion University of Pennsylvania and had a double championship at the Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. Before he turned to the WWE and signed a contract with the organization, Kurt owned a gold medal in free wrestling at the Summer Olympics in 1996. Another title that he owns is being one of four people to ever complete the amateur wrestling Grand Slam. Besides his 21 championships which include 13 international ones, he was also crowned King of the Ring in 2000.

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Kurt Angle | Now

Kurt’s career took the wrong Angle when he was injured several times, with the worst being his neck surgery .Kurt has had his fair share of injuries; he fractured two of his cervical vertebrae, which led to him taking time off. No too long after he needed neck surgery. After debating wether to retire or not due to his bad injuries, Angle is now a freelance wrestler and does sporadic appearances for different networks and organizations. Angle married for the second time in 2012 to Giovanna Angle and has a total of 5 children.

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Roddy Piper | Then

Better known as Rowdy with his stage name, Piper is actually a Canadian export to the WWE scene. He initially started in the WWF in 1984 and stayed there until 2000, a very impressive period of time compared to his fellow wrestlers. The multiple championship owner, 34 in fact, has had his foot step in the entertainment world from a whole different perspective when he appeared in a couple of Cyndi Lauper’s music videos. The film and television star was also Bret Hart’s cousin, a credited wrestler himself.

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Roddy Piper | Now

Sadly enough, Piper died when he was only 61, and the cause of his death remain unknown. When the WrestleMania icon died in 2015 it took the WWE fan club by shock. His boss of many years, WWE Chairman, Vince mcMahon said that Roddy was ‘one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world’. The wrestler and pop culture icon was married to Kitty Jo Dittrich until his final days and the two have four children.

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Edge | Then

One of the most beloved entertainers in the WWE scene, Edge was a true champion in so many ways. It seems everybody loved the multiple championships winner since he first won the International Champion at the end of the nineties. Some of his titles include a United States Champion and a 12 time Tag Team Champion, 14th Triple Crown Champion of WWE, and the 7th Grand Slam Champion. In 2001 he was crowned King of the Ring.

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Edge | Now

When the decorated wrestler announced he was retiring in 2011, his fans were literally heartbroken by the news. It was later announced that the former wrestler was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis and if he were to continue wrestling he could die. After he retired, Edge was no longer, well, leaving on the edge and turned to a more subtle career with acting. In 2012, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

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Sable | Then

When Sable joined the ring in 1996, she really did redefine what women wrestling was all about. She soon became a sex symbol, and she will always be remembered as the one who went out with nothing on but handprints covering her breasts. Not surprisingly enough, Sable turned to Playboy in 1999 where she posed in the September issue that same year. Sable, who’s real name is Rena Marlette, gained much fame being one of WWE’s greatest Divas.

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Sable | Now

Sable is now a grandmother! The sexy bombshell married her third husband, WWE star Brock Lesnar, in 2006 and they have two children. In 2004, Sable retired from WWE because she wanted to spend more time with her family and that time off sure didn’t hurt her bank account which now stands at a whopping $15 million. The wrestling couple even appeared together at New Japan Pro Wrestling the same year they got married.

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Randy Savage | Then

It almost seems too much of a cliché, but Randy Savage’s stage name was ‘Macho Man’. Savage wasn’t only one of the most famed wrestlers in history, but he was also a color commentator. Throughout his career which spanned over three decades, he won nearly 30 titles. Between the WWF and WCW, he won six world championships. He even won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship two times and the equivalent WCW match – four times!

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Randy Savage | Now

Just like many of his peers, the Macho man inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. It’s no surprise that Savage married within the industry and his wife was Miss Elizabeth, who actually managed him for several years. When he retired, Savage turned to the small screen and had a couple of appearances in shows like Baywatch, Walker and Mad About You. Sadly, in 2011, the legendary wrestler died of a heart attack when he was only 58. His signature phrase ‘Oooh Yeah!’ will always follow him around.

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Ric Flair | Then

Ric Flair’s career spans over 40 years and he was one of the most famed wrestlers in history. His WWE debut was in the nineties and it didn’t take long before he won the Royal Rumble in 1992. One if his most memorable feuds was with Macho Man, Randy Savage. Flair is a 16 time world champion which include winning the WCW World Heavyweight Champion six times and twice the WWF Champion. In 1971, the wrestler married his first wife, Leslie Goodman until they divorced after 12 years together.

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Ric Flair | Now

Flair has made his steps in and out of the ring several times when he retired and then came back, as he probably couldn’t let go of the world that he loved so much. After Flair divorced his fourth wife in 2013, he has been dating Wendy Barlow, and they recently got engaged. Fifth time a charm? He did have his financial bumps throughout the years and in 2007 he even filed for bankruptcy. He is now worth $5 million, which is not much in wresting terms.

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The Ultimate Warrior | Then

Born James Brian Hellwig, The Ultimate Warrior was part of the WWF from 1987 till 1991 and then made his comeback in 1992. He acclaimed his name during his stint in the WCW in 1998. When he was in the WWF he won the organization’s World Heavyweight Championship when he had a feud with the legendary wrestler, Hulk Hogan whom he pinned in the main WrestleMania VI event.

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The Ultimate Warrior | Now

The Ultimate Warrior decided to retire from his professional wrestling career in 1998 to pursue a career in public speaking, but he did make one last run when he wrestled in 2008 at a match in Spain. Despite his strong name, the Warrior ultimately died at the age of 54 and soon after he was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame. The reasons for his early death remain unclear.

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Lita | Then

Lita, or Amy Dumas, was one of the biggest female stars during the Attitude Era. She was a part of WWE for six years between 2000 and 2006, after she had a brief career at the Extreme Championship Wrestling. She was a four time Women’s Championship winner throughout her career. She was mostly famous for her feuds with fellow wrestler Trish Stratus which gained incredible popularity.

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Lita | Now

The pretty wrestler retired from the ring in 2006 when she turned to music. She formed The Luchagors, a punk rock band. It only makes sense that Lita turned to that genre of music after her wrestling days. The tattooed wrestler is known for her love for animals and she even founded a charity called Amy Dumas Operation Rescue and Education. She is still very close to Trish Stratus and the two are like family.

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Shawn Michaels | Then

With all these staged performances, there’s no wonder so many of the wrestlers turned or even came from the acting world. Michaels has been a wrestler for the WWE since 1998 until he finally retired in 1998. He also had a lot of influence on the transition from the cartoonish image that the WWE held in its Hulk Hogan days during the Attitude Era. He founded in 1985 The Midnight Rockers with his fellow professional wrestler, Marty Jannetty.

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Shawn Michaels | Now

Michaels was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011 and he turned to his roots in television and hosts the successful show, Shawn Michaels’ MacMillan River Adventures. In the 2011 poll of the WWE, he was named the greatest pro wrestler of all time. His married his first wife, Theresa Wood, in 1988 and the two divorced in 1994. He remarried in five years later to a former Nitro Girl from WCW who was known as Whisper.

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