So many wrestlers, yet so little opportunity following the end of their careers. Some professional wrestlers thrive on following a new career path, while others struggle to find a new direction. This list will feature a bit of both. Some wrestlers took passions and turned them into a business, while others took routes they are deeply regretting to this day. Being a pro wrestler certainly has its pros but at the same time it has some dark cons; one of them being the uncertainty about what to do when you’re out of the spotlight and back into the real world. Despite some bizarre outcomes though, many wrestlers have managed to succeed. Some turned to an education, while others turned to passion; two key elements that aid someone immensely in this world. Let us now begin this list of the bizarre routes that these 15 former wrestling stars took, and what they are up to today.
15) Jimmy Wang Yang: Owner of “Jimmy’s Redneck Party Bus”
Probably one of the oddest entrants on the list, you can now find the former WWE Star driving a party bus across Cincinnati. After a 4 year run with the WWE, Yang was released in 2010. After spending some time working in various independent wrestling promotions, Yang stumbled upon his newest venture – a party bus. Jimmy refers to himself as someone with great entrepreneurial skills, and despite this bizarre idea his company has been doing quite well and has been generating a great amount of buzz around the areas he visits. The bus is used for various activities such as tailgating, sporting events, concerts, bachelor parties or themed parties. You can book this party bus online starting at $99 for two hours.
14) Simon Dean: Branch Manager at Woodforest National Bank
Making a name for himself with ECW in 1996, Mike Bucci wrestled for 11 years before going into semi-retirement after his stint with the WWE. Something Bucci had in his back pocket (which most wrestlers unfortunately do not have) is a backup plan after his wrestling career came to an end. Oddly enough for Mike, that backup plan took place in a bank (certainly something very odd for a pro wrestler to do). Bucci originally got his mortgage licence in New York and New Jersey, and he later moved to Louisville to pursue a job as a branch manager for a local bank. Bucci was one of the few wrestlers that got educated and had another plan following his career as a wrestler. Despite being semi-retired, Bucci still made some appearances this year for “Pro Wrestling Syndicate”, reuniting with his former BWO stable members Stevie Richards and the Blue Meanie.
13) Maven: Commentator for Extreme Cage Fighting
Yet another disappointed Tough Enough winner that didn’t make it in the wrestling business. Despite his great athletic ability and strong charisma, Maven was another Tough Enough winner “thrown under a rug”. Out of all the past winners, John Morrison remains the only relevant name to have ever won the competition. After bouncing around the independent scene for a while, Maven got arrested after receiving oxycodone and hydrocodone. After completing his rehab program, Maven spent some time as a bouncer in New York City. Just recently, Maven’s career took another bizarre twist when he joined “Extreme Cage Fighting” as a commentator. This was not very surprising considering his great charisma. Hopefully he has finally found a craft he can stick to.
12) Crowbar: Physical Therapist
If you saw this guy wrestle in WCW, a physical therapist was probably one the last occupations you would expect him to be doing today. After WCW was bought out, Chris Ford aka “Crowbar” decided it was time for a backup plan. While still working the independent circuit, Crowbar began to focus on a career in physical therapy. Later on Ford left the wrestling business and opened up his very own physical therapy practice. Since its opening, Ford’s expectations were blown away, as the practice has been doing better than anticipated. Ford’s facility “Raising the Bar Rehabilitation and Fitness” can be found in East Rutherford New Jersey.
11) The Headbangers: Managing Chain of Restaurants & Sales Director for DEX Imaging
Following their release from the WWE, The Headbangers looked outside of the wrestling business for something more stable. Thrasher (aka Glenn Ruth) decided to get into the restaurant business. Ruth worked as a manager for different restaurant chains such as Papa John’s and Bob Evan’s Restaurants. Ruth got his biggest gig working for Domino’s Pizza, managing 5 chains which included 150 employees. Ruth is also still appearing on the independent circuit sporadically. Mosh (aka Charles Warrington) on the other hand, stayed in the business a little longer working the independent scene, which he is still active in today. After spending a bit of time away from wrestling, Warrington became a sales director for DEX Imaging in Tampa, Florida. After finding something more stable Warrington decided to pursue another passion of his– kickball. Oddly enough Warrington would coach the best ranked kickball team in all of the US, “The Meatballs”. A rather odd turn of events for the former WWE tag team.
10) Jimmy Snuka: Wrestler
One of the most iconic and revolutionary wrestlers of all time certainly made a name for himself in the wrestling business. Unbelievably, 33 years after his infamous splash off the cage (which took the breath away from millions of wrestling fans), the legend is still wrestling today at the age of 72. Jimmy Snuka still says that he will never retire. Jimmy recently worked a tag team match, teaming up with the Patriot (the duo won). Truly remarkable and bizarre that he is still wrestling today, out of nothing else but love for what he does.
9) Alundra Blayze: Monster Truck Driver & Owner of Koolkats & Hotdogs
It would be kind of an understatement to say that Alundra Blayze kept busy following her wrestling career. The former wrestler is responsible for one of the most iconic moments in wrestling history, when she tossed the WWE Women’s Championship in the trash during a WCW Nitro telecast, a scene that ignited the Monday Night Wars. After WCW was bought out, Blayze was jobless after working with the WCW “Power Plant”. She later unexpectedly got a call asking if she had any interest in driving Monster trucks. Yes, monster trucks out of all things. She agreed to the offer and after partaking in the training, Blayze won the “World Finals” in 2004 in the freestyle category. She gained immense success in her new line of work, so much so that they made a character of Blayze in a video game. With her earnings Blayze also managed to open up a grooming and spa center for pets in the Florida area where she resides. The success of her grooming and pet spa enabled her to open up a doggy bakery. Talk about keeping busy.
8) Chuck Palumbo: Motorcycle Builder, Musician & Gym Owner
So it’s pretty obvious that this guy is one passionate dude, pursuing many different things since leaving the wrestling business. His most interesting venture stems from building motorcycles. Chuck Palumbo has created bikes for several WWE superstars including Batista, Rey Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero. CP Kustoms began as a hobby and later turned into a legitimate business. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, Palumbo is also a proud owner of his own gym, stemming from another passion of his. In addition, Chuck is also a guitarist and vocalist for his band “3 Spoke Wheel”.
7) Mideon: Owner of Catering Company
Flashbacking back to my days as a young boy, Mideon would probably rank as one of the last people I’d want to see catering a party. Despite his dark gimmick though, Mideon has found tremendous success as a cook. Known to the catering world as Dennis Knight, Knight has managed to build his way up from an aspiring head chef, to head of his own catering company, “Dennis Knight Catering”. His company specializes on high end cuisines and typically caters private parties. Knight hopes to one day be able to share his passion for food on the “Food Network”.
6) Spike Dudley: Financial Planner for MassMutual
So imagine yourself seeking some direction financially for the future, and you walk into the bank and look into the eyes of former WWE wrestler Spike Dudley. Obviously you’d think you’re on some hidden camera show. For Matt Hyson, the realization that his career as a WWE superstar was over really hit him hard. After working the indy scene, Spike’s wife (that he had just met at the time) convinced him to get out of wrestling and look elsewhere. Taking her advice, Hyson got educated and later became a financial planner for MassMutual.
5) Sunny: Private Adult Skype Sessions
Asides from autograph sessions and some appearances, Sunny (born Tamara Lynn Sytch) managed to stay busy by working Private Skype sessions which were quite pricey. In addition to this, Sunny is currently working out a deal with Vivid Entertainment to work in the adult film business. If this was 20 years ago, wrestling fans would certainly be very excited.
4) Honky Tonk Man: Active Wrestler
At the age of 62, Honky Tonk is still actively wrestling for various promotions. Thanks to social media, Honk Tonk has managed to stay somewhat relevant. He is still actively wrestling in the independent scene, along with working autograph signings and making appearances for various promotions. Though it should be noted that Honk Tonk isn’t the only old wrestler that has not let go, the long list includes the Rock n’ Roll Express, Bob Armstrong, Bob Orton, Greg Valentine, Bushwacker Luke, Jim Duggan, Meng, Marty Jannetty, The Great Muta, Sabu and many others.
3) Chyna: Adult Entertainment
So it’s pretty evident by now that Chyna seemed to have hit rock bottom after leaving the WWE. After making her final pit stop with “New Japan Pro Wrestling”, Chyna shifted gears to the adult industry in 2004, releasing her first film, One Night in China. She would later go on to work five other films which included She-Hulk, an adult parody of the Hulk. Chyna hit some terrible times and is now finally trying to get back on track. She still hopes to one day be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. That still remains to be a heavy debate amongst wrestling fans.
2) Gangrel: Adult Film Director
This odd turn of events for Gangrel somehow makes kind of sense to me. You can now find David Heath (aka Gangrel) directing adult films. In 2007, Heath signed a deal with “New P*rn Oder” to make twelve adult films for the adult film company. Heath’s debut film was entitled Miami Rump Shakerz 2. In addition to making adult films, Heath is also still working the independent wrestling scene from time to time.
1) Buff Bagwell: Gigolo
It doesn’t get any better than this; for you ladies out there, Buff Bagwell is available, but be aware because he is quite pricey. Bagwell’s services range from $800 for 2 hours all the way up to $25,000 for an entire week. Bagwell earned some big exposure on the Showtime reality series, Gigolos. Requests for Bagwell reportedly blew up following the show. Just remember that he is “Buff the stuff and the girls simply can’t get enough”.