There are many superstars in WWE that will always be considered legends, whether they have retired from the business or continue to perform outside of the company. Fans still like to remember them in the prime of their lives, performing for the biggest wrestling promotion in the world. Obviously, everyone has to grow old. Time is one thing that mere mortals can't run away from and at some point, it will catch up to us all, which is why it is so disheartening when pictures are shared of wrestlers that the WWE Universe consider legends who are finally beginning to look their age.
Despite being referred to as gods for most of their career, it seems that these images are the one thing that many of the WWE Universe will have as evidence that these men and women are also human, something they never wanted to admit to themselves. Since WrestleMania itself is now more than 30 years old, there are many stars who are retired from the company now that time seems to be catching up to. It's a sad day when you realize the legends you grew up watching are now old, but it's something that the WWE Universe has grown to accept. The following list looks at 15 photos of retired wrestlers who once performed in WWE who are now showing signs that they are coming to that point in their lives where they just want to settle down at home with their family.
15 Terry Funk
Terry Funk was born back in 1944 and has had a career that has spanned more than 50 years. The now 73-year-old former ECW Original has had a number of short-lived retirements but it seems that he has never been able to make any of them stick. Funk doesn't know how to live without wrestling in his life, which could be why many of his fans think that one day he will die in a wrestling ring.
It would be an apt way for the former ECW World Heavyweight Champion to bow out. Funk made his wrestling debut back in 1965 and has seemingly forgotten how to walk away. He has become a well-known figure all over the world with his most recent match coming back in September this year where he managed to defeat Doug Gilbert, Jerry Lawler and Brian Christopher in a six-man tag match where he partnered with The Rock 'n' Roll Express. The above image shows that even legends grow old and sometimes they try to do everything they can to cling to their youth.
14 Hulk Hogan
For the past few decades, Hulk Hogan has been called "immortal" but it seems that only recently the WWE Universe has begun to realize that the man himself is just a mere mortal.
Hogan has been through a lot of stress over the past few years because of the tape that was leaked by Gawker, which Hogan went on to sue and claim over $100 million in compensation. This came after Hogan's wife of almost 30 years decided to file for divorce and took almost everything he owned, leaving him broke and suic*dal. Luckily Hogan had friends who could help him and even though he has been exiled from WWE over the past few years. Rumours suggest that he could be returning next month. The stress of the last few years has taken its toll on the former WWE Champion and it seems that right now he is beginning to look his age.
13 The Sandman
The Sandman is another ECW Original who burst onto the scene back in 1995. Over the past 20 years, Sandman has become known for his daredevil attitude and violent tendencies that even led to a stint in WWE back in 2005 when the company was attempting to rebrand ECW into something that was aimed at a PG audience.
Sandman became a popular star with the WWE Universe as one of the men who carried the mantle for the original ECW, but when the brand was deemed a failure, he was released from his contract in 2007. The 54-year-old has since been appearing on the Independent Circuit all over the world as well as at Conventions to meet some of the fans he once inspired. The above image was taken earlier this year and shows a much thinner and older looking Sandman, something that the WWE Universe didn't think they would ever see.
There aren't many fans who watched wrestling in the 1990s who didn't know about Big Van Vader. Wrestling was all the big guy knew and it seems that even though his original stint with WWE ended back in 1998, many of the WWE Universe has continued to follow his career over the past two decades.
Vader shared some sad news with his fanbase a few years ago, which was that his doctor hadn't given him much longer to live given the extent of his current heart problems. Even this didn't slow Vader down, as he continues to wrestle on a regular basis and only recently passed out in the ring. At 62 years old the former WWE star still wrestles regularly but the above image proves that time is starting to catch up with him. This is a stark contrast to the man who had crowds at his feet back in the 1990s.
11 CM Punk
CM Punk's WWE departure was one of the most controversial and hard-hitting exits in WWE history and it seems that the wrestler struggled for a while after he walked away, which was expected since he was at the top of his game at the time and left the company during WrestleMania season, which is rare.
Since his WWE departure, Punk has expressed an interest in switching the wrestling ring for the Octagon and made his debut in UFC back in 2016 in a match that saw Mickey Gall welcome the former WWE Champion to the company in the most brutal of ways. The above image shows exactly what Gall managed to do to Punk in a matter of minutes and could be the reason why the former WWE star isn't in any rush to book his next opponent in the business. Maybe we can chalk this up to something ventured and nothing gained.
Melina made her debut in WWE back in 2005 as the valet for John Morrison and Joey Mercury in a group known as MNM. She later branched out into a singles career of her own and is a former Women's and Divas Champion in WWE.
When she was released from the company back in 2011, it seems that like many stars who are still in their prime when they leave WWE, Melina opted to continue wrestling on the Independent Circuit, despite having a bad reputation for backstage problems with other talents. Melina has ventured all over the world over the past six years and the above image shows just what she has put herself through to prove that she still has what it takes to be one of the best female wrestlers in the world. Melina looks completely different now and has a lot of war wounds from her recent battles with other women who are hungry to take her place as Champion.
Looking at the above photo, it's hard to believe that Sunny was once seen as one of the biggest s*x symbols in wrestling. Sunny was considered to be the first ever WWE Diva, and even though there was no Women's Championship for her to fight for while she was employed by WWE, she led a number of Tag Teams to Championship gold and is still considered to be one of the best managers in wrestling history.
Sunny is also a WWE Hall of Famer, but she seems to have been on a downward spiral over the past few years, which has seen her arrested and imprisoned a number of times. Sunny has also gained a reputation for the things that she has been willing to do online for money as well as revealing facts about her personal life that no one really wanted to know. She is a far cry from the woman who set the wrestling world alight back in the 1990s.
8 Marty Jannetty
Marty Jannetty will never be able to be seen as anyone other than the partner of Shawn Michaels when the duo made up The Rockers back in the 1980s. Michaels later turned on Marty and kicked him through a barbershop window in one of the most iconic moments in wrestling history because WWE wanted rid of Jannetty.
The former tag team star has since made a career for himself on the Independent Circuit and did make a short return to WWE to help his former friend back in 2006 but WWE decided against keeping him around. Jannetty has been in the news over the past few months for all the wrong reasons, since Jannetty asked online if it was OK for him to hook up with a woman who he thought was his daughter but DNA actually confirmed that she wasn't. He isn't making any more fans out of people nowadays and as the above image shows, his time on the Indy Circuit will have to come to an end at some point, because at 57 years old, Marty is beginning to look exhausted.
Back in the 1990s, Sable was considered to be one of the sexiest women in WWE history as a former Playboy cover girl and Women's Champion. Sable seemingly had it all. Her motto was that she was the "woman that the men came to see and the women wanted to be." This worked for her for a number of years but it seems that Sable is another star who has been caught by time.
Sable has been married to Universal Champion Brock Lesnar for the past decade and has settled down as a family person now since the arrival of her two sons Turk and Duke. The above image was taken during Lesnar's last UFC fight back in 2016 which shows that Sable has been out of the spotlight for a lengthy period because she has begun to age. She looks like a completely different person, which just goes to show that even the most beautiful ones amongst us will age at some point.
6 Daniel Bryan
There wasn't a dry eye in the place back in February 2016 when Daniel Bryan was forced to announce his retirement from professional wrestling because of a recurring neck injury. Bryan gave an emotional speech that left the WWE Universe full of shock and sadness, but he was able to compose himself and not cry in the ring. This photo was then later shared on social media and it just hit the nail further into the coffin.
Bryan loved wrestling; it was something he had done for 16 years and he had no idea what else to do if he wasn't able to continue to wrestle. The passion is etched on his face as he is comforted by his wife Brie Bella since he is finally overcome with emotion. Luckily, Bryan was able to return to WWE in a non-physical way, which has seemingly allowed him to continue to do what he loves.
5 Scott Hall
Scott Hall didn't exactly have a great start in life after he accidentally killed a man during a fight outside a nightclub when Hall shot him with his own gun. Hall found a way past this and managed to find a career in WWE, where he is remembered as Razor Ramon, one of the baddest wrestlers that ever lived.
Every male wrestling fan in the 1990s wanted to be Razor Ramon because he oozed confidence. It seems that the last three decades haven't been too kind to Scott, as addiction took hold since he left the wrestling business and now every year of his age is present. Scott has managed to change his life around over the past few years and was even inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, but it seems that the results of his years of abuse are etched all over his face.
4 Bret Hart
Bret Hart is considered to be "the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be." Despite this, Bret has had his own fair share of issues in the wrestling business over the past few decades. Back in 1997 at Survivor Series, Bret was part of one of the most controversial moments in wrestling history when he was screwed out of the WWF Championship by Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon.
Bret then left for WCW and didn't speak to WWE executives for almost a decade until he returned to the company back in 2005. Bret had another brief stint with the company before he left again back in 2010. The WWE Universe recently supported Hart through his struggle with prostate cancer, something that he is now said to be cleared of, but it seems that at 60 years old the above image shows a greying Hart who is a shadow of the man who once terrorized his opponents inside the squared circle.
3 Lex Luger
Fans of Lex Luger will remember him as a chiselled Vince McMahon kind of wrestler back in the 1990s who every man once wanted to look like. Luger was released from WWE back in 2001 and it seems that his life has hit a number of obstacles ever since.
Luger dated Miss Elizabeth after her marriage with Randy Savage came to an end and was accused of domestic violence back in 2003, less than a month before her death. While her death was ruled accidental, Luger was charged with a number of felony drug violations after it was revealed that he had been struggling with addiction for a while. He later served time in prison back in 2005 before he attempted to turn his life around. The above image is a stark contrast to the once ripped all-American superstar, which shows the effects that addiction has had on one of wrestling's biggest stars of the 1990s.
2 Shawn Michaels
Many of the WWE Universe still considered Shawn Michaels to be one of the best professional wrestlers of all time. While Shawn doesn't have 16-World Championship reigns or lengthy undefeated streaks, Michaels had a heart and he wore it on his sleeve for most of his career, which is why he was one of the most loved wrestlers back in the day.
Michaels retired from WWE when he was defeated by The Undertaker back at WrestleMania 26 and has since refused to return to the WWE because he wants his retirement to be one that is remembered. Michaels is now 52 years old and it seems that the former "sexy boy" is now showing his age. For years he was able to give the illusion that age wasn't catching up to him but now he is out of the spotlight he has decided to embrace age, which has come as a shock to many of his fans.
1 Ric Flair
Ric Flair is one of the biggest legends that WWE has ever created. As a former 16-time World Champion and the only two-time Hall of Famer in WWE history, it seems that Ric has left quite the legacy behind following his retirement back at WrestleMania 24.
Of course, Ric was never going to walk away from the company so easily and has recently been seen by the side of his daughter as she continued to climb the ranks on WWE's main roster. Flair's health became an issue a few months ago when it was reported that he was put into an induced coma to help his body recover from surgery. Flair was released from the hospital a few days later and sent out a YouTube video that the above image is a screenshot from. It shows that the stress and age have hit Flair hard as the former World Champion is now looking old and tired.