While Bret “The Hitman” Hart started off in a successful tag team with fellow Canadian wrestler Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, he went on to become one of the most successful WWE superstars of the early 90s. However, his time with the company came to a brutal end after an infamous incident called “The Montreal Screwjob,” in which he was cheated out of the WWE Heavyweight Championship by Vince McMahon. Outside of wrestling, Hart has had several health problems, having suffered a stroke in 2002 and overcoming prostate cancer in 2016.
Famous for her long legs and her uncompromising attitude in equal measures, Stacy Keibler was undoubtedly one of the most popular WWE Divas in her heyday. She ended up making numerous appearances on TV shows, most notably on the 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother, as well as What About Brian. Keibler has also hosted the show Supermarket Superstar. In 2014, the former WWE star married Jared Pobre and the couple has since had two kids together.
In many ways, the Big Show carried on the legacy left by the late Andre the Giant by becoming the large, towering wrestler that WWE had been seriously lacking over the years. Despite having a lousy record at Wrestlemania, Paul Wight has won the WWE Championship twice, amongst a number of other belts to his name. Big Show’s most recent career endeavor has seen him star in his very own sitcom, the Netflix series The Big Show Show.
The Great Khali
Many believed that the Great Khali would become one of the most powerful wrestlers when he made his WWE debut in the early ’00s. The 7’1″ behemoth, whose real name is Dalip Singh Rana and was a policeman back in his home country of India, was an imposing figure during his early wrestling years. Since then though, Khali has slowly stepped away from his in-ring activity, becoming a supporting figure for wrestlers such as Jinder Mahal. He has been married to Harminder Kaur since 2002 and the couple had one kid together.
He might be smaller than a lot of his colleagues, but Rey Mysterio has pushed well above his weight over the course of his long career. Oscar Gutierrez has rarely removed his masked since making his WWE debut in the early ’00s. In 2015, Mysterio’s WWE contract expired and he decided to wrestle elsewhere. However, the cruiserweight superstar has since returned to Vince McMahon’s company, and his son Dominic Gutierrez looks to also follow in his Rey’s footsteps.
Ultimately, Kelly Kelly hasn’t had as long of a wrestling career as other WWE female stars. However, the impact she made on the company is unquestionable. After her time in the ring came to an end in 2012, Barbara Jean Blank has pursued other career ventures, making a number of appearances on TV, as well as an appearance in the movie Days of Our Lives. Kelly Kelly has also been a part of the cast of WAGS on E!.
He might not be as famous as the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker, but Tugboat certainly had an unforgettable gimmick during his WWE years. Fred Ottman dressed like a sailor and was a part of the successful tag team The Natural Disasters. The 63-year-old former wrestler has been retired since 2001 and has since become a safety manager. Outside of his professional life, Fred likes to coach two little league teams that his sons play at.
The Ultimate Warrior
There was a time when James Brian Hellwig, better known in wrestling circles as The Ultimate Warrior, was considered to be the very best that WWE had to offer. Although his time with the company was brief, Warrior certainly made a huge impact, headling the biggest events. Sadly in 2014, Hellwig past away just a day after making his final WWE appearance. Since 2015, the Warrior Award, named after Hellwig’s character, has been presented annually at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
The man who immortalized the three-letter word “woo,” Ric Flair has had a rollercoaster ride of a career. Having already established himself as a successful wrestler long before the first Wrestlemania, The Nature Boy became a WWE hit, winning the 1992 Royal Rumble. Since then, Flair also had a successful career with WCW. While he is no longer wrestling, his daughter Charlotte has proudly carried on the Flair name into the ring and is one of the most dominant female wrestlers in the current WWE roster.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage
Certainly one of the most iconic superstars in WWE history, “Macho Man” Randy Savage never had a dull moment during his illustrious career. A proud heel who was still adored by the fans, one of the biggest parts of Savage’s in-ring persona was his turbulent relationship with valet Elizabeth. Outside of wrestling, Savage appeared in movies and TV shows such as Baywatch and Ready to Rumble. Sadly, Macho Man died in 2011 after being involved in a fatal car crash.
When Razor Ramon burst onto the WWE scene in the early ’90s, fans were enamored by his charm and sheer confidence. He became a huge fan favorite, but it didn’t take long before he made the big move to rival WCW. Over the years though, Hall has made numerous WWE returns, reigniting his NWO team with the likes of Kevin Nash and X-Pac. In more recent times, Hall has suffered from numerous health issues such as pneumonia and low blood pressure.
In many ways, Chyna was a history-making wrestler the likes of which we might never see again. Joan Marie Laurer rose to prominence in the late ’90s, and soon became famous for becoming the first woman ever to compete in both the King of the Ring and the Royal Rumble. Despite standing toe-to-toe with many male wrestlers, Chyna hung up her boots early to pursue her writing. In 2016 though, Laurer’s life was cut short under tragic circumstances, which involved illicit substances.
It’s amazing to think that Sid Eudy was headling Wrestlemania VIII back in the early ’90s. Over the years, the man known by aliases such as Sid Justice, Sycho Sid, and Sid Vicious has battled with the likes of Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, and the Mega Powers, to name a few. Having had successful spells in both WWE and WCW, Sid has been in and out of the wrestling world in recent times, having appeared on the 1000th episode of Raw. His last match came in 2017.
While he is less recognized for his wrestling prowess and more for his interviewing skills, Jonathan Coachman is undeniably a memorable figure in the WWE circles over the last couple of decades. “Coach” hilariously appeared in the 2006 Royal Rumble after defeating Jerry “The King” Lawler for the final Raw spot. He was out of the picture for a while after he started working for ESPN but eventually made a WWE comeback in 2018. Coachman is currently a football play-by-play announcer on NBC Sports Group.
Some wrestlers have adopted numerous in-ring personas over the years and Dennis Knight is a classic example. Having wrestled under names such as Tex Slazenger and Phineas I. Godwin, Knight is probably best known for having portrayed the character Mideon, who was a member of The Undertaker’s Ministry of Darkness. At the turn of the century though, Knight was happy to take a step back and train students at Steve Keirn’s Pro Wrestling school. Since retiring from professional wrestling though, Knight has become a chef.
Skinner goes way back in the world of wrestling, having been a member of The Fabulous Team during his time with WWE. A very intense individual who knew how to rally a crowd, Steve Keirn eventually announced his retirement from wrestling. However, this was only from a competing point of view, as he ultimately decided to open up his very own wrestling school. The school helped to develop many future WWE stars. In 2007, Kerin took part in a Battle Royal as part of the 15th Anniversary Raw special.
Scotty 2 Hotty
Anyone who was a fan of the WWE Attitude Era could never forget Scotty 2 Hotty. One half of Too Cool and a close in-ring friend of Rikiski, Scott Garland was famous for dancing with Grandmaster Sexay and also using the dance move “The Worm” to build up to his finishing move. After retiring from wrestling, Garland trained to become a firefighter, but has since returned to his WWE roots and does a lot of work at the Performance Center.
The man who started it all. Despite inheriting WWE from his father, Vince McMahon was able to hide the fact that he was the CEO for a while, merely appearing to be a commentator. However, by the time the Attitude Era came along, Vince became a fully-formed in-ring personality, even training to compete. He infamously won the 1999 Royal Rumble and has since had number of wacky storylines. These days, McMahon is one of the richest figures in sports entertainment but has no intention of stepping down from his position anytime soon.
Part of one of the biggest families in wrestling history, Rodney Agatup Anoa’i is best known for his in-ring persona as sumo wrestler Yokozuna. Becoming the first wrestler of Samoan background to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Yokozuna headlined both Wrestlemanias IX and X in which he lost both matches respectively. Sadly, in 2000, Anoa’i’s life was cut short. It is speculated that he died from a heart attack during a European tour. He was only 34 years of age.
It’s amazing to think that at one point, Goldberg was the hottest property in WCW and yet still managed to make a huge impact in WWE as well. Between 1997 and 1998, the spear practitioner was undefeated for a year and has since made a name for himself in Vince McMahon’s company. He most recently lost to Braun Strowman at Wrestlemania 36, the first time in its history that the event took place behind closed doors. Goldberg currently lives with his wife and son in California.
Having been a successful wrestler and wrestling manager in equal measures, Jacqueline has certainly had her hand in a lot of different pots over the years. Having been one of the most iconic figures during the WWE Divas era, Jacqueline DeLois Moore is known for being one of the only women to have won the Cruiserweight title. She has since been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. The former wrestler has also worked as a trainer on the MTV reality TV series Tough Enough.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
There might not be a wrestler who has a greater impact on WWE than Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Texas Rattlesnake first appeared in Vince McMahon’s ring during the mid-’90s and soon became the most popular character on the roster due to his carefree attitude. However, injuries kept putting Austin on the sidelines, and eventually, it forced him to retire from competing completely. Outside of wrestling, Austin had starred in movies such as The Expendables and he even has his own podcast, The Steve Austin Show.
Another wrestler who has reached unprecedented levels of fame over the years is undoubtedly The Rock. Dwayne Johnson was one of the key figures during the Attitude Era and quickly became The People’s Champion due to his larger-than-life persona and an unlimited amount of one-liners. Most casual fans though know well enough that Johnson eventually got too big for his own good and was unable to balance his wrestling career with his newfound fame as a Hollywood superstar. The sky is the limit for The Rock.
Having already established himself as a notorious hardcore wrestler in a variety of companies, Mick Foley’s fame reached new levels when he joined WWE. With a number of different in-ring personas such as Dude Love, Cactus Jack, and Mankind, Foley always brought a strange, unique flavor to the ring and was never afraid to get himself hurt. Since then, Foley has appeared in numerous TV shows and even reprised his role as Mankind in an episode of Boy Meets World.
The Rock’s acting exploits certainly paved the way for other wrestlers to follow in his footsteps. Dave Bautista, who became one of the biggest WWE stars during the early ‘OOs, ended up hitting the big time in Hollywood with his role as Drax the Destroyer in the Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise, amongst other movie roles. However, that hasn’t stopped Batista from stepping back into the ring on numerous occasions. Despite being involved in some legal entanglements, Batista is still going strong.
With one of the longest-lasting careers in WWE history, Shawn Michaels managed to perform at the highest level for over three decades, virtually non-stop. The Heartbreak Kid dominated the ring during the mid-’90s, but was forced to take a step back for a couple of years due to recurring injuries. Michaels’s in-ring career famously came to an end in a career-ending match at Wrestlemania 26 against The Undertaker. He has been married to wife Rebecca since 1999 and together they have two kids.
Despite being the son of a famous wrestler in Bob Orton, Randy Orton ultimately managed to make a name for himself, eventually becoming one of the most consistent heels over the last two decades. His finishing movie RKO has become a crowd-pleasing highlight of many events and he is still competing until this very day. Orton divorced ex-wife Samantha Speno in 2013 but tied the knot with Kimberly Kessler two years later. The WWE star has also appeared in shows such as Deal or No Deal.
Over the last few decades, Edge has been a huge fan favorite whose reputation just got bigger and bigger as each year past. The Rated-R Superstar seems to have won everything from the Intercontinental Championship and Tag Team Championship to the WWE Championship. Despite all of his injury setbacks and being out of the wrestling world for nearly a decade, Edge made a stunning comeback in 2020. He made an emotional return at that year’s Royal Rumble before defeating Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing match at Wrestlemania 36.
Having first burst onto the scene as the valet of the Hardy Boyz, Lita gradually evolved into one of the leading WWE Divas before becoming a successful wrestler in her own right. Despite hanging up her wrestling boots in 2006, with many fans missing her backflips and “twists of fate,” Amy Dumas has proven that she has many strings to her bow. Not only has she worked as an analyst, but she has also been the lead singer of a punk band, The Luchagors.
There is no denying that Alundra Blayze is a history maker when it comes to wrestling. Back in 1988, the woman whose real name is Debrah Ann Miceli became the very first woman to be named Pro Wrestling Illustrated‘s Rookie of the year. While her wrestling career eventually came to an end, Blayze has enjoyed some minor success as an actress, having starred in movies such as Death Match and Shootfighter II. In more recent times, she broadcasted her wedding to her second husband on social media.
The man who mastered the “Spinaroonie” has certainly been a fan favorite over the years. Bookie T first made a name for himself as a WCW star with his brother Stevie Ray as tag team Harlem Heat, before making the smooth transition to WWE. Booker T is the most decorated wrestler in WCW history and was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. These days, Huffman works as a commentator and also as a pre-show panelist. Can you dig it, sucka?
Chris Benoit was certainly a talented wrestler. The Canadian star, who performed for both WCW and WWE, reached the absolute pinnacle of sports entertainment when he won the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XX, defeating Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a triple threat main event. The wrestling world was shocked by the tragic news in 2007 that surrounded Benoit and his family’s death. It was, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the darkest moments in wrestling history and ultimately made the industry safer, promoting less direct chair shots to the head.
One of Canada’s finest wrestling exports is certainly Trish Stratus. Starting off as a valet for the likes of Test and Prince Albert, Stratus went on to become one of the most successful female wrestlers in WWE history. She also made history when she became the youngest WWE star to be inducted into its Hall of Fame. Outside of wrestling, Stratus has appeared on TV numerous times and has also developed a reputation as a fitness model. Since 2008, she has run her own yoga studio.
Brian James first appeared in the WWE ring as The Roadie and didn’t have to change his persona that much over the years. Best known for having one of the greatest ring entrances in WWE history, Road Dogg was one of the vital components of D-Generation X, forming one half of the successful tag team The New Age Outlaws with Billy Gunn. Despite no longer performing in the ring, Road Dogg is still working for WWE behind the scenes, mainly as a producer.
Brian Adams, better known by his in-ring alias as Crush, was a successful performer for both WWE and for WCW over the years. Adams was a WWE star around the same time as superstars such as “Macho Man” Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior and carried on performing for Vince’s company up until the late ’90s. After calling time on his wrestling career, Crush pursued a career in boxing but ultimately gave up due to persistent injuries. He passed away in 2007 at just 43 years of age.
Big Boss Man
It seems like Big Boss Man had two very distinctive spells as a WWE wrestler. He first entered the ring and competed with the great wrestling superstars of the late ’80s, wearing stereotypical police attire and sporting a baton. After a hiatus that spanned about a decade, Boss Man returned to WWE during the Attitude Era, upgrading to SWAT attire and acting meaner than ever. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame 12 years after passing away.
There haven’t been many WWE stars who were originally Olympic athletes, but Mark Henry is certainly one of them. Billed as “The Strongest Man in the World,” Henry became a WWE star in the mid-’90s and eventually became a key member of the Nation of Domination, along with wrestlers such as The Rock, Farooq, and D’Lo Brown. He eventually broke away from the supergroup to form his own identity. Since then, Henry has won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.
It seems strange to see The Undertaker walking down to the ring without Paul Bearer by his side. The mysterious individual always liked carrying an urn to ringside and supporting ‘Taker with his creepy style. Eventually, Bearer betrayed The Undertaker, bringing his in-ring brother Kane in 1997 and creating an unforgettable “sibling” rivalry. At one stage, he lost a staggering 200 pounds after receiving gastric bypass surgery. In 2013, Bearer passed away after suffering a heart attack. He was 58 years old.
One half of the iconic Hardy Boyz, Jeff Hardy has been tearing up the WWE rings for the last 20+ years. Many believe that he and his brother Matt are solely responsible for immortalizing the TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) matches. Their many matches with The Dudley Boys and Edge and Christian have been some of the most memorable matches of the last few decades. In more recent times, Jeff Hardy has been a member of the band PeroxWhy?Gen.
While Jeff Hardy has been the “Swanton bomb” practitioner, Matt Hardy has also made a huge impact in the ring with his “twist of fate” finishing move. A couple of years after establishing themselves as one of the most feared tag teams in WWE, Matt was determined to establish himself as a singles competitor, with his in-ring persona becoming more and more eccentric. In more recent times, Matt Hardy has traded in his WWE boots buy signing up with the federation’s latest competitor, AEW.
Sean Waltman has been on an incredible journey throughout his wrestling career. Wrestling historians will fondly remember his early years in WWE as the 1-2-3 kid, a nimble, agile competitor whose light weight didn’t stop him from entertaining whenever he entered the ring. Of course, Waltman’s career went to the next level when he became a part of DX as the infamous X-Pac. In more recent times, Waltman has experienced some personal heartache but seems to have bounced back, making regular guest appearances on WWE shows.
WWE fans were intrigued to see what Olympic medalist Kurt Angle could achieve when he joined the roster in the late ’90s. Despite beginning his career with a well-known unbeaten streak, it didn’t take long for Angle to become a serious heel, who fans were more than happy to chant “you suck” at whenever he entered the ring. In a matter of years, Angle headlined Wrestlemania XIX. Angle’s match against Baron Corbin at Wrestlemania 35 was billed as his farewell match. In 2020, WWE released Angle as part of budget cuts.
Not many wrestlers can admit to having the kind of longevity that Chris Jericho has had. The man billed from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, has performed at every major wrestling company, so it made sense that he’d eventually become a WWE superstar. Y2J soon became a fan favorite and won basically everything during his two decades at Vince McMahon’s company. In 2018 though, Jericho signed to All Elite Wrestling, becoming the new wrestling company’s biggest star in the process. Jericho is the narrator of season 2 of Dark Side of the Ring.
Billed as “the world’s most dangerous man,” former UFC fighter Ken Shamrock first entered the WWE ring as a special guest referee at Wrestlemania 13. He was in charge of the infamous submission match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart. In just a matter of months though, Shamrock became a fully-fledged WWE superstar, becoming the 1998 King of the Ring, as well as a famous Intercontinental Champion. In 2019, Shamrock announced he would be starting his own bare-knuckle boxing company called Valor.
The late, great Owen Hart gave his brother Bret a run for his money when he defeated him in the first match of Wrestlemania X. A few months later, the young star won King of the Ring, defeating Doink the Clown, Tatanka, The 1-2-3 Kid and Razor Ramon along the way. Despite winning so much in his WWE career, Hart’s career and life would ultimately end under tragic circumstances. In 1999, Hart died after a botched entrance to the ring.
There are some wrestlers out there who are just naturally suited to working as part of a tag team and Rick Steiner is certainly one of them. During his time with WCW, Steiner ended up winning the World Tag Team Championship a staggering eight times (seven times with his brother Scott and once with Kenny Kaos). He also did well on the tag team circuit at WWE. However, Rick ultimately called time on his wrestling career to work in real estate.
In many ways, Billy Kidman was the poster boy of WCW during the ’90s. Part of a number of teams such as The Filthy Animals, The New Blood and Raven’s Flock, Kidman developed a huge fan base and won numerous titles. Eventually, Kidman made the move to WWE but failed to make much of an impact. Despite this, he is still under contract at Vince’s company and does a lot of work as a producer. His autobiography Billy Kidman: The Shooting Star came out in 2014.
Doink the Clown
It is clear that Doink the Clown might be the most annoying gimmick to have ever made its way into the WWE ring. While a number of wrestlers have performed under the alter-ego, Matt Osborne was the first to put on the clown suit back in 1992. Doink made sporadic appearances over the next couple of decades. However, Osborne ended up passing away in 2013, which was determined as a combination of heart problems and substance usage. But Doink the Clown lives on.
What else can be said about The Undertaker? The Phenom has been a mainstay in the WWE ring for over three decades and has done it all. From his WWE Championship win at Wrestlemania 13 to his unforgettable match with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25, ‘Taker’s name has become synonymous with the event. Mark Calaway famously went 21 matches unbeaten at Wrestlemania, which ended at the 30th edition of the event to Brock Lesnar. Despite this, The Undertaker continues to perform until this very day.
There is no denying that Lex Luger’s finest hour came in the early ’90s when he was one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE. Despite his time at Vince’s company having been short, Luger found even more success at WCW. Sadly, Luger was at the center of a moment of tragedy in the early ’00s. At the time, he was living with fellow wrestling star Miss Elizabeth, who passed away after complications from a mix of substances and drink. Luger now works with WWE through their Wellness Policy.
One of the greatest female wrestlers of the Attitude era is undoubtedly Molly Holly. Her mean streak in the ring and her ability to compete against both men and women made her a force to be reckoned with, eventually earning her a place in the WWE Hall of Fame. These days, Holly has worked as a head coach at The Academy: School of Professional Wrestling. Holly most recently competed at the 2020 women’s Royal Rumble, entering at number three.
He might not be the most successful WWE star of all time. Heck, he might not even be the most memorable. But Trevor Murdoch certainly had his fans, especially those who enjoyed his vocals whenever he entered the ring. A well-respected bodybuilder, Murdoch is still active until this very day, owning his own heavy equipment company. He also competes at National Wrestling Alliance. Murdoch has been married to Amanda Mueller and together, they previously own T. Murdock’s Bar and Grill.
Paul Levesque, who became a WWE superstar back in the mid-’90s under the ring name Hunter Hearst Helmsley, eventually moved up the ranks to become one of the most iconic wrestlers of his generation – Triple H. The superstar has become the Executive Vice-President of Talent, Live Events, and Creative.
Another WWE star who helped pave the way for other female wrestlers to have more dominant roles in the ring was Rena Marlette Lesnar, better known by her in-ring name Sable. As one of the leading female figures of the WWE Attitude Era, Sable had a number of memorable storylines before hanging up her boots for good. Since then, Rena has tied the knot with current WWE superstar Brock Lesnar and has appeared on TV shows and movies such as Corky Romano and Pacific Blue.
Tammy Lynn Sytch, better known by wrestling fans as Sunny, has certainly had a rocky career over the last few decades. Having first rose to fame during the ’90s, the WWE diva was gradually forced to step back from the limelight due to her bouts with illicit substances. She has struggled to get her career back on track. Then, in 2017, Sytch was arrested and her WWE contract was terminated immediately. Her most recent spell prison lasted for a year, before being released on February 25, 2020.