Wrestling is one of the toughest sports around, requiring lifts, kicks, jumps, and extreme endurance, which is why most professional wrestlers keep their bodies in tip-top shape. Eating right, regular workouts, and of course practice in the ring helps keep the men of the WWE bulked up and the Divas Division looking lean and lithe.
Some Superstars past and present, like Rikishi, have a different body type that is part of their gimmick, but even if they don’t fit the typical wrestler mold, all of the athletes have to keep themselves healthy if they want to stay in the ring.
Over the course of WWE’s history, some stars seem to have let themselves go, some so much that they are barely even recognizable when spotted on the streets or making a surprise appearance back in the arena. Whether it’s just because they’ve gotten older or because they have always had struggles when it comes to maintaining their weight, some of these Superstars and Divas have gone under the microscoped and been publicly criticized about their bodies.
20. Nikki Bella Faces Critics…Including Her Own Sister
When hearing the word “weight problems,” Nikki Bella is the last person to come to mind as someone that weighs too much. However, as seen in an episode of Total Divas, Nikki was facing intense criticism over her weight from her fans. Even her twin sister Brie tried to talk with Nikki about her eating habits and losing some weight. Sure, Nikki had put on some pounds from when she first debuted in the early 2000s. However, most fans will agree that she has always looked great. After entering into a relationship with John Cena and really getting serious about diet and exercise, Nikki has toned and tightened her body so she looks better than ever in 2015 and much different than she did when she was struggling with her weight.
19. Shawn Michaels Goes from Heartbreaker to Regular Guy
Who can ever forget The Heartbreak Kid? Shawn Michaels was one of the smaller wrestlers in the ring during his prime, and he was just as popular outside of the ring as he was in it. During his years as a wrestler, the good-looking superstar posed for multiple revealing photo shoots to please the female fans, including a shot of him wearing just a title belt and a smile. However, after his retirement, age and years of taking bumps in the ring have taken their toll on him. While he isn’t fat, he does have a more “ordinary” body. Perhaps it is because he is no longer active in the ring and back problems also prevent him from working out the way he used to.
18. Scott Hall’s Weight Fluctuates Due to Bad Habits
Wrestling fans may remember a time when Scott Hall was in the NWO and had a ripped bod. However, it seems as though his demons outside of the ring began to take their toll. Rumors of extreme alcoholism and drug use seem to have plagued Hall for a majority of his career, and most likely led to his demise within the organization. In fact, in 2015, he was escorted from an event because he had too much to drink. It seems as though too much alcohol and not enough commitment to wrestling and hitting the gym completely transformed Hall’s body. He seems to be in much better shape today.
17. Jake the Snake Was Completely Unrecognizable
Fans who have followed wrestling for many years remember Jake the Snake Roberts as one of the greatest wrestlers of his time. While Roberts didn’t have a chiseled body during his prime, he was in great physical shape when he (and his bevy of snakes) stepped into the ring to face an opponent. However, after leaving the WWE, Roberts quit hitting the gym and became extremely overweight and almost unrecognizable to fans. A man who once made headlines for his wrestling skills was now making the news for his weight gain, as well as for antics like getting drunk in public and showing the crowd a private body part. Luckily, Roberts got more control of his weight by starting yoga, something performed by both Diamond Dallas Page and Scott Hall.
16. Vader Gains Weight…Then Loses It
Vader was never a lightweight in the ring, and he was one of the heavier Superstars to grace the WWE. However, after leaving the organization, Vader apparently continued to stay on the same diet that kept him at a heavier weight, which can be dangerous on its own but even more as a person gets older and less active. Fans of Raw saw a return of a larger Vader after his departure, estimating that he gained about 100 more pounds. Fortunately, Vader realized that his lifestyle wasn’t healthy and announced in late 2014 that he was taking off the weight. His Twitter profile is filled with motivational weight loss and health messages, as well as photos of his progress.
15. Things Aren’t Looking So Sunny for Tammy Sytch
Tammy Sytch, known more commonly by her ring name Sunny, was one of the most well-known females in the WWE. In fact, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, and many consider her to be the first WWE Diva. However, after the death of her boyfriend and fellow wrestler Chris Candito, things began to spiral out of control for the Diva, who was a blonde bombshell during her wrestling stint. After Candito’s death, Sytch went into depression and gained a lot of weight, becoming almost unrecognizable. She was fired from the WWE due to missing out on appearances and substance abuse, entered rehab several times, and has been arrested multiple times for charges including burglary and disorderly conduct. Sytch is a sad example of how wrestlers can go from being on top to hitting rock bottom.
14. Sean O’Haire Lost His Physique After WWE
Only hardcore fans may remember Sean O’Haire, a wrestler who was only in the WWE organization for about 3 years. He left the company because he wanted to fight, and he didn’t like acting along with the storylines that WWE writers created for him. During his career with the WWE, it has been said that he was sent to rehab numerous times. He continued to wrestle in independent circuits after leaving the WWE, but he never quite achieved the level of success that other wrestlers see. Sadly, O’Haire took his own life back in 2014. It has been speculated that years of taking a pounding in the ring led to brain damage that caused him to commit suicide.
13. Goldust’s Costume Isn’t Very Forgiving
Goldust has always been one of the more eccentric wrestlers with a lot of skills in the ring. As the son of Dusty Rhodes, it’s no surprise that Goldust and his brother Stardust have been fixtures in the WWE for years. Fans who have kept up with wrestling throughout the years have seen fluctuations of Goldust’s weight, and in his skintight costumes, every extra pound shows. This isn’t too surprising, since his dad also struggled with his weight throughout the years. While Goldust isn’t as large as some of the current and former WWE wrestlers, it is obvious that as he gets older, he has to work harder to maintain a wrestler’s body.
12. Kevin Owens Gains Credibility in the WWE…and Pounds
In 2015, Kevin Owens made waves in the wrestling world when he captured the NXT championship title from former friend Sami Zayne and debuting in the WWE, winding up defeating John Cena. However, Owens isn’t new to the wrestling world at all. While wrestling on the Independent Circuit, Owens was known as Kevin Steen, and he looked considerably different than he does today. Owens was more muscular and much leaner than he is now. Owens doesn’t seem to mind the changes, however, as he has even made jokes about his weight and appearance in his promos and continues to work his way up the ranks against top WWE Superstars.
11. Yokozuna’s Weight Becomes Dangerous
Yokozuna is one of those WWE wrestlers who was never in great shape to begin with. In fact, because his character was a sumo wrestler, the added pounds only added more credibility during his WWE career. His diet was rumored to include over 100 eggs and a full bucket of rice each day in order for him to keep up his sumo wrestler appearance. However, many fans began to notice that throughout the years, Yokozuna continued to gain weight, some even estimating that he was about 150 pounds more than what he had weighed when starting with the organization. His weight soon became a problem for the WWE and it also threatened his health. Sadly, in 2000, the wrestling great passed away from a heart attack.
10. Adrian Adonis Goes From Adorable to Overweight
Through his wrestling career, which included a stint with WWE (then known as WWF) and the AWA, Keith Franke was known as Adorable Adrian Adonis and Gorgeous Keith Franke. In the early 80s, signs of a weight problem began to emerge, coming to a head in the mid-1980s when Franke put on a considerable amount of weight, which was very noticeable and made him look very different from what his nicknames suggested. He was released by the WWE and tried to make a return after problems arose in the AWA with his pay. However, he was not added back to the roster. Unfortunately, fans were never able to see him make a comeback, as he was killed in 1988 at the age of 33 in a car accident.
9. Triple H Increases His Triple Digits on the Scale
Triple H has, for years, been one of the most well-known and in-shape wrestlers in the business. In his younger years, he showed off a ripped stomach and muscles that could make any opponent fear for his life in the ring. However, in the mid-2000s, Triple H came into the ring with a softer appearance – and we’re not talking about his personality and attitude. He’s never lost his “bad guy” charm, but during this time period, he appeared to have put on quite a few pounds. Some fans chalked it up to him not being as active in the ring, others blamed the Wellness Policy put in place by the WWE, while still more believed that the extra padding was just due to aging. In any case, over the years, Triple H has lost the extra weight and continues to be one of the best built wrestlers in the industry.
8. Stephanie McMahon Gains a Husband, Kids, and a Few Extra Pounds
Throughout the first 10 years of the 2000s, wrestling fans noticed that wrestler and CEO Vince McMahon’s daughter Stephanie McMahon had put on some pounds. Many attributed this to less time spent in the ring, while others assumed that pregnancy and motherhood led to the weight gain. While McMahon has never been what most would consider fat, she has made several appearances where she didn’t look as toned as she has in the past. While this normally wouldn’t be too big of a problem, many people have cried foul over the lack of attention to her weight gain, as it has cost many other female wrestlers their jobs when they put on a little bit of weight and didn’t lose it quickly. Today however, Stephanie looks great and appears to be in the best shape of her life.
7. Kane’s Body Just Can’t Make Up Its Mind
Throughout his lengthy career, Kane has been a man of many masks – literally. From donning the red demon mask to scare all of the opponents before him to suiting up in a shirt and tie as part of The Authority, Kane has had a few transformations over the years. Another thing that has transformed, in addition to his apparel in the ring, has been his weight. Throughout his WWE tenure, Kane’s weight has gone up and down, from a bit flabby to more toned, and back again. These days, Kane is older and keeping up with the physiques of the younger set is surely a much more difficult job, but he looks great and has managed to maintain a healthy weight for the last several years.
6. Vickie Guerrero Gets Called Out for Her Weight
Vickie Guerrero wore many hats during her stint with the WWE. Her roles have included managing top talent, being involved romantically with other wrestlers, and taking opponents to the ring as an occasional Divas wrestler. Despite her talents, though, her fluctuating weight has sometimes overshadowed her skills on the mic, in the ring, and as an actress. The fans weren’t the only ones who noticed her weight, which was atypical of a Divas wrestler. The organization also noticed, and they used it against her, even having other stars including John Cena and Jerry Lawler making fat jokes at her expense.
5. The Big Show is a Bigger Show
Someone that goes by the name Big Show isn’t necessarily going to be a tiny guy, and standing at 7-feet tall, this wrestler is an absolute giant. With such height, maintaining a low weight isn’t easy, but through the years, Big Show has added several pounds to his huge stature. During the Attitude Era, a noticeably slimmer Big Show was featured in various matches and was recognized for his large size. However, he was sent back to developmental in the early 2000s to work on his skills and get rid of excess pounds. As he ages, the Big Show isn’t in as great shape as he once was, as fans of the WWE can see each week when he still steps into the ring.
4. Candice Michelle’s Weight Causes Her to Lose Her Job
Because the Divas rely heavily on strong in-ring skills and good looks, it seems as though the organization is much tougher on the ladies when their appearance changes in any way, including weight gain. Candice Michelle’s weight gain was ultimately what ended up costing her the job with WWE. Like the other Divas, Candice Michelle had a very toned body when she started with the organization. However, as time passed, it was obvious to fans and the WWE that she was putting on weight, showing quite a bit of belly bulge in her skimpy costumes. Rumors say that she was getting tired of the gig and was ready to leave anyways, but after multiple appearances where she looked less than her best, she was permanently removed from the roster.
3. Sting Keeps His Shirt On in the Ring
Sting is one of the most iconic wrestlers in the business, and since his debut in the 1980s, he has been one of the most feared opponents in the ring. However, age has taken its toll on this legend, who has appeared at several events in 2015 looking a bit older and slightly heavier than before. Instead of stripping off his t-shirt while wrestling, Stinger chooses to leave it on to hide a growing belly. At 56 years old, it’s not a surprise that he doesn’t have the same toned body he did several decades ago. Despite his more portly appearance, Sting still manages to have the same impact he did on the crowd back in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s.
2. Mickie James Gains Weight, Loses Job
Mickie James will always be remembered as a beautiful female wrestler with a body to die for. However, over the years, she began to put on weight. Even with the added pounds, she still had quite the enviable figure. However, the organization was obviously not pleased with her weight gain. In the ring and onscreen, she was teased mercilessly by being called “Piggy James.” Outside of the ring, she was told that she needed to lose the weight or leave the company. After failing to lose weight, she was cut from the roster and released from the organization in 2010.
1. Matt Hardy Puts on a Few…and It May Have Damaged His Career
Matt Hardy was in excellent shape when he first started his wrestling career. However, toward the end of his career with the WWE, fans begin to notice that his tight abs transformed into a larger belly, and he just didn’t have the body that he once had. Hardy blamed the weight gain on health problems and intestinal issues. However, fans had no sympathy and began referring to him as “Matt Lardy” and “Fatt Hardy.” At the end of his WWE contract, Hardy went on to wrestle in other leagues, including TNA. However, many fans have wondered if he would have been kept around longer if he had kept off the weight.