Oh, the Monday Night Wars. Still today, the WWE Network glorifies the era while some former WWE and WCW stars are still milking their involvement by appearing on podcasts, indie shows and of course, wrestling conventions. It was a time that flipped the business upside-down as more than ten million fans would tune in to WCW and WWE weekly every Monday night. Today, with the rise of technology, the WWE is lucky if they get a third of that.
Although the content was superb to watch, the backstage atmosphere was absolute chaos. WCW was filled with politics along with Bischoff not being able to run the inmates, while the WWE was also a circus based on stories from various alums. With all that in mind, the aging process hasn’t been so kind to former stars and it’s resulted in most of them looking unrecognizable today. Thankfully, the WWE has wisely put in a Wellness Policy which should only help the aging process in the future.
For now, we feature these Monday Night Wars Stars looking pretty distant from their glory days. Like always, be sure to share the article with a buddy and let us know your favorite picture from the list. Here are 15 wrestling stars from the Mondays night wars you wouldn’t even recognize today. Enjoy!
Regarded as one of the greatest Tag Teams of all-time, the Legion of Doom certainly made their mark in the WWE. They were a popular act in the early 90s but were forced to revamp their characters in compliance to the Attitude Era which pushed edgier content. With that in mind, the group changed their identity to LOD 2000, adding Sunny into the mix as their manager.
The stint was quite controversial however, as the writing would take a disturbing twist playing off of Hawk’s real-life drug and alcohol addiction. The two would depart shortly after with only Animal returning to the company later on.
Today, the Tag Team specialist is 56 years young and looking quite unrecognizable without his paint. Aside from attending the casual wrestling convention, Animal was recently added to the list of names suing the WWE for traumatic brain injuries suffered during his stint with the company.
14. La Parka
You might recognize this former WCW star because of his signature mask, but we can’t deny the fact that he looks a little larger than his 90s days with WCW. Ah, who can forget those days of picking La Parka in WCW Vs nWo Revenge and doing that awesome taunt dance with him by tapping the joystick? Also, his use of the chair was certainly epic as he would even pull some solid dance moves with the chair before striking an opponent. Man, was he fun to watch.
He’s 51 today, and was actively wrestling as of 2015 if you can believe it. Following his WCW hiatus in 2000, La Parka kept at his trade working back home with the likes of Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, Xtreme Latin American Wrestling, AAA and his last stop with CMLL. His gimmick stayed relatively similar throughout the years, although he was taken much more seriously back at home in Mexico with his North American credentials.
13. Al Snow
Most of the wrestlers on this list look unrecognizable caused they’ve aged a hell of a lot in the last couple of years. Al Snow however, is a rare entry that actually looks better today than he did back in his glory days, bringing that silly head to the ring. Who can forget those disturbing, “what does everybody want… head?” chants that made their way through arenas worldwide. Man, was it ever a different time back in the day.
Nowadays, Snow has put a new emphasis on conditioning and weight training, looking unrecognizable with those disturbing traps that almost tower over his head. At the age of 53, not only is he looking great, but he remains active doing work with TNA and throughout the indie scene. He can even be spotted at the casual convention. In terms of his personal life, Snow has remarried and is happy alongside his new partner who’s in the fitness field ironically, working as a personal trainer. Of course she is.
12. Brian Christopher
Known as the dude who used two first names or, what most of us remember him as, Grandmaster Sexay, Lawler’s son was able to find relevancy in the WWE during a wacky 90s era that thrived on these types of gimmicks. Brian spent four years with the company at the heat of the Attitude Era, staying on board from 1997 till 2001 (arguably the timeline of the Attitude Era).
He managed to have some decent success throughout his WWE run, even winning the Tag Titles alongside fellow Too Cool member Scotty 2 Hotty. The group, alongside Rikishi, thrived at one point in time and was one of the more over lower card acts of the 90s. After leaving the WWE for a second time in 2004, Brian toured the indie scene for several years wrestling all around the world keeping the dream alive. He’s 45 today and was recently engaged in February of 2015 to Jessica Asberry.
11. Disco Inferno
Looking a little larger than he did in his heyday, Inferno is seen in the picture above still in the squared circle looking a little larger and rocking some of the worst pants you’ll ever see. Clearly, he’s going for a disco theme, but it just makes him look like Doink the Clown’s long lost cousin, Disco the Clown.
Nonetheless, the 49 year old was a committed member of the WCW roster, staying onboard from 1995 all the way to the end of the company. The WWE did not decide to pick up his contract so he fled to TNA for a couple of runs while even staying on the indie scene with various appearances. He was featured on TNA television most recently in December of 2016, appearing in a bit for the Total Nonstop Deletion episode.
10. The Sandman
Not too surprising that the aging process hit the Sandman rather quickly in comparison to the average human. He’s 53 today, but appears to be in his 70s. Pretty mind blowing to think that he’s the same age as Al Snow who we featured in one of the previous entries.
Wrestling most of his pro career with ECW, Sandman truly had no remorse for his body. Before he even got the ring, Sandman was bloodied up from smashing himself in the head with a kendo stick while being severely drunk most of the time, as he pounded several beers on his way to the ring. The crowd ate it up, but looking back, maybe he could have skipped a couple of beers and lost the kendo stick shots to the head which were self-inflicted most of the time.
Nowadays, Sandman is still selling his fame appearing at the causal wrestling convention and even doing cameos for indie shows. As of the summer of 2016, Sandman was still competing in the squared circle losing to another ECW alum, Sabu, inside of a steel cage.
9. Barry Windham
Those of you who didn’t watch wrestling in the 80s or 90s simply know this guy to be the uncle of current WWE stars Bo Dallas and Bray Wyatt, however, if you followed his journey, you’re well aware that he was a lot more than that back in his prime. He was an NWA World Champion along with thriving as a tag wrestler with the WWE claiming the Tag Team Championships on two occasions. He was honored by the company in 2012 etching his name amongst the greats with a WWE Hall of Fame induction.
He spent most of the 90s jumping ship back and forth with WCW and WWE. His WWE return in the mid 90s wasn’t as successful as he played subpar roles as The Stalker and as a part of the new Blackjacks. With the WWE moving towards youth and edgier content, Barry would once again depart joining WCW for a second time in the 90s, signing in 1998. After a brief stay, he joined the indie circuit for the remainder of his career. The Homerville, Georgia resident is 56 today.
Yup, that is in fact former WCW and WWE star Meng/Haku rocking the Bullet Club t-shirt, but we’ll get to that after this brief intro. Who can forget this guy, who was more so known for his off-screen character than his on-screen one? He was more than decent in the ring, but he’s widely known for his tough demeanor outside of the ring, as various wrestlers deemed him as the toughest person outside of the ring in the history of the business. Several wrestlers have stories of this guy tearing up bars and destroying everything in sight. Yes, wrestling was quite different back in the day both in and out of the ring.
After leaving the WWE for good in 2002, Tonga hit the indie circuit for the remainder of his career. Today, he’s the proud father of two wrestlers that are in the business competing overseas, Tama Tonga and Camacho. The proud papa even got a chance to compete alongside one of his sons following his Wrestle Kingdom 10 cameo, taking part in a ten man tag match with the Bullet Club by his side.
7. Alex Wright
Was I the only one who secretly liked this guy back in the 90s? Widely known as a better version of Disco Inferno, the German found some decent success with WCW claiming championships which included the TV Title, Cruiserweight Title and even a Tag Team Championship run alongside Disco Inferno. He was another wrestler dedicated to the company as he stayed on board from 1994 all the way till the end when the company decided to close its doors for good. Following WCW’s closing, Wright decided to take a break from the North American wrestling scene claiming the backstage politics took a toll on his passion for the business.
Along with a fitness gig, Wright started his own wrestling company back in 2009 launching New European Championship Wrestling. At the age of 41, the WCW star looks really different without his magnificent head of hair, looking bald and angrier today.
6. Scott Norton
Scott Norton was a unique case of a North American wrestler finding greater success overseas than at home. Today, this concept is the norm, as wrestlers depart from North America to improve and make a living overseas. However, back in the day, the goal was to either crack the WWE or WCW, without thinking much about what was abroad.
Leaving WCW in 1999, Norton made the bold decision to leave WCW and man did it ever pay off. Working abroad, Scott recreated himself finding massive success with New Japan Pro Wrestling. He stayed onboard from 1999 till 2006 winning nearly everything with the company. He was a two-time IWPG Heavyweight Champion, two-time Tag Team Champion and the Greatest Gajin MVP in 2002.
He wrestled on the indie to end his career but made a special appearance back in New Japan for the recent Wrestle Kingdom 11 show. He took part in the Rumble match as a special cameo and would appear on the program the following night, as well as in a tag match losing to the Bullet Club.
5. Ahmed Johnson
If you haven’t seen Ahmed since the 90s, we likely ruined your childhood with this picture. The one time sculpted IC Champion looks more suited as a sumo star nowadays, looking absolutely unrecognizable in the picture you see above as he poses for a picture with a fan at a convention.
Johnson enjoyed his glory days with the company just before the Attitude Era set in. He was the first ever African American IC Champion in company history doing the honors in 1996. The WWE gave him every chance to succeed, but ultimately, his commitment and in-ring abilities just weren’t up to speed with the others of the time like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin. He would part ways in 1999 for WCW, where he experienced more disappointment leaving the company due to weight issues.
4. Marc Mero
Poor Marc Mero was one of the first blatant examples of a manager outshining a performer. Snagging Marc away from WCW in the 90s, the company had high hopes for him. Eventually however, his manager Sable grew bigger than him and that led to Mero tanking and being forced to turn heel against his former manager.
He would depart alongside Sable in 1999, and would wrestle with WCW, TNA and a couple of pit stops on the indie circuit. Announcing his retirement in 2006, Mero made waves accusing the WWE of enhancement use following the passing of Chris Benoit. In 2009, Mero would put his knowledge to good use becoming a motivational speaker at various schools around the world. His video speaking to youth went viral as the students wept while Mero discussed his tough times turning to drugs and neglecting those that mattered, like his mother. The Buffalo, New York native is 56 today.
3. D’Lo Brown
When you think of the Attitude Era, you feel a sense of nostalgia when thinking about the supporting cast of performers that included that likes of D’Lo Brown, who was a tremendous performer for the WWE at the heat of the wars. He made an instant impact in ’97 as a member of the Nation of Domination, and would capture various European Championship runs winning the title four times. He even claimed the IC championship.
Following his release, D’Lo toured the wrestling scene appearing in All Japan Pro Wrestling and TNA. As of 2015, he was still involved in the business serving as the trainer for a weekly wrestling class which was held in the Vegas area.
He’s 46 today, and this picture shows the WWE alum looking unrecognizable serving as a bouncer at a club in Vegas. Just imagine partying it up and seeing D’Lo with an ear-piece by the door. Most of us would ask to be Frog Splashed immediately.
An underrated part of WCW, Raven built a great resume for himself with ECW, feuding with Tommy Dreamer in the mid 90s. He left for greener pastures in 1997 joining WCW and taking the lead of his own faction, The Flock. He was insanely underrated and many wished he had a greater impact, although he did manage to claim a US Championship along with his mug on the WCW Vs nWo Revenge game box. Aside from that, many fans wish he did more in the upper-card scene which was dominated by the same wrestlers throughout the 90s.
He suffered the same faith with the WWE, becoming nothing more than a glorified hardcore wrestler winning the title an absurd 27 times. Following the stint, he stayed with TNA and the indie circuit throughout.
Nowadays, at the age of 52, it’s pretty apparent that the aging process hasn’t done the hardcore legend very man favors, as he looks unrecognizable compared to his Revenge box cover days. You can find the wrestler attending indie events today along with making appearances at wrestling conventions.
1. Val Venis
This guy truly sums up the Attitude Era; it was fun, wacky and everything in between. Only in the late 90s would such a gimmick work out. Just imagine the WWE using an adult star gimmick nowadays, Stephanie would rip out all of her hair and the company would kiss numerous sponsors goodbye.
Not only did he have the edgy gimmick, but he managed some big time success winning both IC and European championships. After leaving the WWE, he spent most his time on the indie circuit. He would then take an unlikely career turn.
Being a huge advocate for marijuana use, Val shifted his focus on becoming the owner of a medical marijuana business, Purple Haze Lounge. The company has since been renamed to Health for Life, located in Mesa, Arizona. Not only is he unrecognizable today physically, but who could have predicted he would have gone from adult star wrestler to marijuana salesman. You can’t make this stuff up.