The challenging aspect of becoming a pro wrestler is what to make of yourself once your “15 minutes of fame” are up. Some change career paths, while others stay in the wrestling business until their bodies can’t do it anymore. For many, life outside of the WWE becomes very depressing and grim. Though not all wrestlers go through this, some thrive in other organizations and manage to recreate themselves, while other look for options outside of a wrestling ring. Former wrestler Simon Dean claims the wrestling business should do more to help wrestlers with their careers after wrestling. Dean was prepared for life after wrestling, he had an educational background to fall on, something he knew he would have to use once his time was up as a pro wrestler. Dean is currently working as a Branch Manager for National Bank.
Despite the lack of backing, many wrestlers manage to thrive outside of the wrestling business. These 10 former wrestling stars are perfect examples of this; finding success in various areas such show business, fitness, UFC and other areas. Let’s now take a look at who these 10 wrestlers are. Enjoy.
10) Kevin Nash: Actor
Most wrestlers dream of taking their talents from outside of the wrestling business to the capital of the entertainment world: Hollywood. Kevin Nash was one of those wrestlers that was able to do so quietly. Kevin made his big screen debut all the way back in 1991, playing the role of “The Super Shredder” in the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. After stepping aside from wrestling, Nash made quite the career outside of wrestling, being featured in some very popular movies. These movies included The Punisher, Grandma’s Boy, The Longest Yard and most recently a role in the hit film Magic Mike. Kevin played the role of “Tarzan”. He then appeared in the sequel Magic Mike XXL. A pretty impressive resume outside of the wrestling business by the Hall of Famer. He is currently working on another film entitled Blue Line; an action thriller.
9) Stacy Keibler: Rose To Fame Through TV And Social Media
Stacy Keibler’s popularity went worldwide after she left the wrestling business. It all started with a role on Dancing with the Stars, and her popularity rose quite high getting nearly triple the amount of exposure she was used to in the wrestling business. Her popularity later grew even more when it was revealed that she had been dating star actor George Clooney. Keibler became a huge attraction via social media and all the tabloids, worldwide. Despite the relationship ultimately not working out, Keibler still remains active through social media and her website stacykeibler.com, which gives insight on how to keep fit with daily updates.
8) Kurgan: Actor
Here’s a perfect example that if you don’t succeed in the wrestling business, there still are other ways you can make it, and for Kurgan, the film industry was his calling. After a failed sting with the WWE as a member of “The Oddities”, Kurgan got a phone call from Jacques Rougeau that would change his life. Kurgan was asked if he had any interest in appearing in the film 300. The movie got tremendous reviews and was a hit at the box office. This was not only huge for the film, but for Kurgan’s career in the entertainment business as well. His success from 300 lead him to another huge role in the film Sherlock Homes, where he acted alongside Hollywood legend Robert Downey Jr., who he reportedly accidentally knocked out while shooting a fight scene. He later on went on to star in other films such as Immortals, Pacific Rim, Brick Mansions and Hercules.
7) Chuck Palumbo: Motorcycle Builder, Musician, Gym Owner
Follow what you’re passionate about and you will succeed; this is the motto Chuck Palumbo lived by after his career with the WWE was over. Palumbo always had a love for building motorcycles, he created several bikes for WWE superstars such as Batista, Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero. What started out as a passion project, later turned into a legitimate business, and Chuck later launched CP Kustoms, a garage which customizes and builds motorcycles. If that wasn’t enough, Palumbo is also a guitarist and vocalist for the band “3 Spoke Wheel”. Oh, and he also owns his own gym. Palumbo has managed to turn all of his passions into quite a success story. Kudos to Chuck.
6) Edge: Actor
Expect the unexpected- this pretty much sums up what happened to Edge following his retirement with the WWE. Following his retirement speech, Edge got a phone call a couple of days later, asking him if he was interested in doing a guest spot for the TV show Haven, on Syfy. Copeland was confused and thrilled about the opportunity. The producers of the show told Adam that they were impressed by the retirement speech he gave the previous night. After working his one scene as a guest star, Copeland was later contacted and asked if he had any interest in working on the show full time. Edge immediately accepted the opportunity and later started full time as the sheriff on the Syfy show. Sometimes success lies in the most unexpected places, and this was certainly the case for the Rate R Superstar.
5) Trish Stratus: Yoga Studio
Still looking incredibly fine at the age of 39, Trish Stratus found her new passion outside of the wrestling ring through yoga. Her passion for yoga later led Trish to the opening of her first ever yoga studio “Stratusphere”, located in Toronto, Canada. The studio received numerous amounts of praise after its launch, and Statusphere took home the award for Canada’s largest eco-friendly yoga studio in 2009. It also took home awards for best new business in Canada and the following year, Trish was named “Women of the Year”. The studio’s greatest accomplishment was winning the award for Top Choice Yoga Studio of the year, in 2013. Trish’s studio continues to receive a ton of praise and will soon be expanding to different locations in Canada. Yet another story of a passion project gone right!
4) DDP: Owner of DDP Yoga
Here’s something you’d probably thought you’d never see, DDP finding success outside of the wrestling business through yoga! Page’s yoga system has not only worked, but has also sparked interest worldwide. DDP has not only changed lives, he has saved lives through his practice. One of the lives DDP changed was Arthur Boorman’s, a disabled war veteran who was told he would never walk again. Through DDP yoga, Boorman was not only able to walk on his own, but also lost 140 pounds in 10 months. The story of DDP and Boorman went worldwide hitting almost every social media outlet. DDP also helped save the lives of former wrestlers, most notably Scott Hall and Jake Roberts. Page was able to get them out of a disabled state and somehow transform them back to the legends us wrestling fans knew them as. DDP yoga continues its tremendous work today. What a great story.
3) Batista: Actor
After returning to the WWE and receiving a poor reaction from the WWE universe, it was finally time for Batista to move on to something else. That something else was a film that featured a cast of star studded actors; Guardians of the Galaxy. Batista was a star in the film, playing the role of Drax. The film went on to soar at the box office. The film was later nominated for 2 Oscars and took home 42 award wins in total. Batista’s contributions to the film were well received. After finishing the film, Batista had calls to appear in several films. He has since worked on numerous projects, such as Bus 657, Spectre, Warrior’s Gate and Kickboxer: Vengeance. Despite his age of 46, Batista is still in tremendous shape and has a lot to give as an actor. There is certainly a bright future ahead for the former World Champion.
2) Brock Lesnar: UFC Fighter
It’s not often you get to see a former pro wrestler became a UFC Heavyweight Champion of the world. Brock Lesnar shocked the world after defeating the legend Randy Couture in a bout for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Lesnar went on to be one of the biggest draws in UFC history. Lesnar took part in five of the UFC’s highest selling Pay-Per-Views, in which he main-evented 3 of them. In 2010, Lesnar became the UFC’s highest paid fighter, and he also made ESPN’s list of top 30 paid athletes in sports. After concurring the UFC, Lesnar returned to the WWE, instantly becoming a mammoth draw for the company. His return was so successful that Lesnar decided to retire from the UFC and join the WWE full time. To this day, Lesnar remains the hottest commodity in all of pro wrestling.
1) The Rock: Actor
The WWE’s golden boy, The Rock takes the number one spot blowing away all former wrestlers. The Rock has not only become one of Hollywood’s top names, but he has also rose to extreme levels of popularity through social media. With 25.2 million followers on Instagram, The Rock is currently ranked number 17 in the entire world. Through his inspirational messages The Rock has taken his fame to heights unimaginable. He has become a role model and inspiration for millions of people. In addition, his contributions in Hollywood should not go under looked; according to Forbes, The Rock was the highest grossing actor in 2013, bringing $1.3 billion. He is not only a monster on the big screen, but he is also now a monster on TV staring in HBO’s new series Ballers. The show flourished in its first season and is ready to begin shooting for season 2. Hard to a find a name bigger than The Rock today.