We all know that pro wrestlers get paid extremely well and even wrestlers that are low on the totem pole make more money than most of us do. If they are able to reach ‘main event’ status and can hold that position for any amount of time they can make millions of dollars. The wrestling business is about one thing and one thing only, filling the seats at events. If a wrestler can reach a point in their career where they draw crowds to fill the seats, they will be handsomely rewarded monetarily for it.
Just like in any sport, these athletes are not always smart in the way they handle their money. Sometimes they get involved with drugs and alcohol or in many cases both, but not everyone loses their fortune for those reasons. There are some instances where injury has caused their financial demise. In one case you’ll read about a former wrestler who lost it all because he took the time to be a good citizen and help someone.
A lot of the stories you are about to read are truly sad. It’s never a good thing to read about someone you used to cheer for on television, only to find them homeless and begging for money on Facebook now. These people were once on top of the world and had it all. In a lot of these cases though, the wrestler was finally able to break their habit and clean themselves up. Unfortunately, though, that didn’t apply to everyone.
15 An Injury Forced Chris Kanyon Into A Very Dark Place
Chris Kanyon’s story is very sad. In the late 90s , he was a main event status performer with the WCW. He was part of the “Raven’s Flock” stable and was involved in a heated feud with Diamond Dallas Page. This feud helped him gain the notoriety needed to become a household name. When the WCW was purchased by the WWE, Kanyon was retained and made a member of “The Alliance”. He even won the United States Championship and the WWE World Tag Team Championship with his former rival DDP.
He suffered a severe injury while performing during a dark show and when he finally recovered he suffered yet another devastating injury. When he was finally able to return to the ring he was demoted to less important shows and rarely appeared on TV. After a failed lawsuit against the WWE and unable to find relevant work he committed suicide in 2010.
14 Jake “The Snake” Roberts Washed His Fortune Away With A Whiskey Chaser
Jake Roberts was a wrestler that every young wrestler strived to emulate. At the height of his career, he was one of the most feared men in the squared circle. His pet snake “Damien” might have had a lot to do with that though. His feuds with The Ultimate Warrior, Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat will live on forever in professional wrestling lore. But as he got older things started to change.
When his skills in the ring started to diminish the major companies started to ignore him and suddenly he had a hard time finding work. He turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with his deep depression. Things got so bad that he even let Damien starve to death because Jake was too wasted to realize that he needed to be fed.
13 Lex Luger Got Was Involved In A Car Accident
Lex Luger had a physique that many men wish they had and wherever he went he left a lasting impression. He was part of the NWA, WCW and the WWE. He had skills in the ring to justify making him a main event performer and his nickname of “The Total Package” was in reference to more than just his muscles.
Near the end of his career trouble started to find him. He was arrested after a domestic dispute with his live-girlfriend Miss Elizabeth in April 2003. Two days later he was involved in a car accident and charged with DUI. In May, Miss Elizabeth died from a drug overdose in their home and during the investigation Luger was arrested after countless prescription drugs were found. Her death was ruled an accident but eventually, Luger lost everything due to his drug use.
12 Justin Credible How Fast That Fortune Can Be Blown
Peter Polaco played several characters during his wrestling career. He had some good stints with both the WWF/E and ECW. At one point he played the role of Aldo Montoya, The Portuguese Man O’ War where he dressed up as a Ninja Turtle and it was truly one of the dumbest gimmicks in the history of wrestling.
When he joined up with the ECW he became known as Justin Credible and he hit the big time, winning their version of the World Championship. When his time in the spotlight ended he spent time on the indy circuit. In 2012 at an Extreme Reunion card he was found backstage “slumped over, passed out asleep” in a chair. He was removed from the card and the building. Now he provides pro wrestling advice on his very own YouTube channel. He is also the founding member of Pro Wrestling 101.
11 A Divorce Separated Hulk Hogan From Most Of His Money
Hulk Hogan is arguably one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling history and his gimmick was so popular that it lasted for well over a decade. That’s just unheard of in pro wrestling terms. Even when he turned into a bad guy in the WCW he was still as popular as ever. When his wife Linda wanted out of their marriage though, the bottom fell out.
When the 24-year marriage ended Linda made off with 70% of the couple’s liquid assets ($7.4 million), 40% ownership in all Hulk owned companies, $3 million in another settlement, and an equal 50-50 split of everything else. Now she didn’t take him for everything but it was pretty close. He went from having $15 million to only $2 million after a court appearance. Don’t feel bad for him though, because he won millions in a lawsuit against Gawker and is very happy with his bank account again.
10 Not So Sunny Days
Tammy Lynn Sytch is better known as Sunny. She was the WWE’s first official “Diva” and her rise to fame was meteoric. In 1998 AOL named her the most downloaded celebrity on the internet and THAT’s saying something. She was a very successful manager and very much in demand until Sable arrived.
Once Sable came onto the scene fans wanted more of her and less of Sunny. So much so, Sunny was eventually released from the company. That’s when the trouble started. Drugs and alcohol led to many arrests and eventually the loss of her fortune. To make some money she even made an adult movie in 2016 called Sunny Side Up: In Through the Back Door. She recently released a book and is touring the country causing trouble at every stop. The book has led to her having even fewer friends than she had before.
9 Scott Hall Drank His Fortune Away
Razor Ramon, also known by his real name of Scott Hall, was once a mega-superstar with both the WWE and WCW. There weren’t many who could match his charisma and talent in the ring and he was a main event performer in arenas all over the world. Unfortunately for him he is just as well known for his fall from the top as he was at the height of his career.
Hall had an alcohol problem from his very first day as a professional wrestler. He kept it in check for a long time but things like that can’t stay hidden forever. It didn’t take long for the major promotions to pretend he never existed and he was forced to try and make money on the independent circuit. One of those appearances turned into his infamous match when he was stumbling drunk in 2011 with Top Rope Promotions.
8 Tony Atlas Still Does Anything For Money
Tony Atlas was a household wrestling name back in the 70s and 80s. He did quality stints with the NWA, WCW and most notably the WWF. He and his tag team partner Rocky Johnson wreaked havoc throughout the WWF territory as one of the top tag teams of that era. He was as ripped as any man could be.
A drug problem led to serious problems in his career and cut his time at the top short. Johnson has stated in several interviews that things got so heated between him and his partner that they don’t even speak anymore. There were allegations of money stolen and that Atlas booked them for events without Johnson’s knowledge. Atlas is still active on the independent circuit today because he needs the money. At the age of 63, he still does meet and greets and even climbs into the ring to do battle on occasion.
7 Kamala Lost His Fortune To Medical Expenses
Kamala found out he had diabetes back in 1992 but didn’t want anything to interfere with his professional wrestling career so he just ignored the problem. Sure he went on to main event status with both the WWF/E and the WCW but it wasn’t worth it. James Harris (his real name) was never rewarded with a title for his loyalty to the business. Sure he won titles with other lesser organizations but never anything in the WWF/E or WCW.
He lost his leg in 2011 to the disease and now waits for his monthly disability check and sells homemade chairs for money. His medical bills are so high he will probably never pay them off. He made plenty of money when he was in the ring but not enough to cover constant medical bills. Are you reading this Vince McMahon? Greed isn’t a good quality to have.
6 The Dynamite Kid - Injuries Lead To His Fortune Loss
Thomas Billington is better known to the world as The Dynamite Kid. He made his WWF debut in 1984 but in 1986 he suffered a serious back injury in the ring. Shortly after that he suffered a severe leg injury and was never the same again. His time at the top was short but he did manage to win the WWF World Championship with his cousin Davey Boy Smith.
Despite the injuries, he kept wrestling on a part-time basis in lesser organizations but all he did was hurt himself more. By 1996 he was out of the ring for good and battling drug and alcohol problems. The injuries eventually led to him becoming paralyzed and he currently lives life in a wheelchair. He is another example of the WWF/E forgetting about an injured superstar. The drug and alcohol problems coupled with mounting medical expenses have left him in dire straits.
5 Joey Mercury - An Injury Has Devastating Effects
Adam Birch is better known to the world as Joey Mercury. A lot of people say that the injury he suffered at the 2006 Armageddon event led to his drug addiction. That’s true and it isn’t. Mercury was actually suspended before that event for thirty days due to a failed drug test so he had drug problems for quite a while.
At that PPV event, he was involved in a Fatal 4 Way Ladder Match. During the match a ladder smashed him in the face accidentally, causing him serious injury. He left the match immediately and went to the emergency room with a broken nose and orbital bone. He also received thirty stitches. This did not help his drug problem as things only got much worse for him. Thankfully he was able to drop the habit and now works with the WWE as a roster producer.
4 X-Pac Liked The Hardcore Drugs
Sean Waltman played a lot of roles while in the ring but he is most famously known as X-Pac. He had memorable stints with both the WWF/E and the WCW. Those were affected though by his main demon, hardcore drugs. It affected his job performance several times over his career and Eric Bischoff spoke of his firing from the WCW. The former WCW boss said Waltman “was a competent performer when sober, but sober periods were few and far between. In many ways, Sean was lucky to even have a job." After living that way for many years he was finally able to get a hold of things and straighten his life out and drop the drug use. It took a serious toll though on the fortune he made while being a superstar in the ring.
3 Perry Saturn Lost It All Being A Good Samaritan
Perry Saturn (Real name Perry Satullo) did time with ECW, WCW and the WWF. He was a main event performer for some time until an out of the ring injury cost him everything. In 2004 he came upon a woman who was being raped by two men. Satullo intervened to help the woman and during the fight, he was shot in the neck and shoulder. His recovery led to him becoming addicted to painkillers and things got so bad that he completely dropped out of sight for almost six years.
He has come back into the public eye now but even though his drug problem has been fixed he still suffers from brain injuries from his time in the ring. He even took to Facebook asking fans to donate money to help him survive. His selfless act sent his life into a downward spiral. Why didn’t anyone help him?
2 Virgil Will Do Anything For A Buck
Michael Jones had a pretty good time in the pro wrestling spotlight as Virgil. He was the right-hand man for Ted DiBiase at the height of his career. We don’t really know how much he made during his career but he obviously wasn’t smart with his money. He currently travels to conventions selling autographs and pictures to make a few bucks. He also did time as a math teacher but the job didn’t last very long.
He and longtime friend DiBiase had a falling out several years ago when Virgil started booking the two of them for shows and conventions, without telling DiBiase. This led to DiBiase not showing up at events he never even knew he was booked for. He was forced to apologize and tell people that Michael Jones did not represent him and did not have the authority to book DiBiase for appearances.
1 Ric Flair Partied It All Away
Ric Flair was once the highest paid wrestler in the entire world. All of that stuff in his storylines back in the day were true. He had the plane, the huge homes and the diamond-studded robes. His storyline was how he really lived life. He was the life of the party wherever he went and he loved to drink.
All of that partying though has led to not so good times for the older version of Whooo - The Nature Boy. His once endless stream of money has dried up and he has actually been evicted from his home in North Carolina because he couldn’t pay the rent. Whenever you see an older Ric Flair in an embarrassing storyline in some low-level wrestling organization, know that he didn’t do it for the love of wrestling, he did it because he needs every dime, and still does.