Over the course of the last couple of decades, one thing that remains a constant is the overhaul of a roster. Year after year, decade after decade, the talent pool is littered with new faces and older faces in different places. This is the beauty and the scary part of working in the pro wrestling business. Basically, you have to be really good to make your run last. Looking at the new crop of WWE Superstars today, we seriously hope the best for them in making their careers with the company a lengthy one.
Today, we step back from the Superstars of today and take a look at some of the older faces you might not have heard from in a long time. Some fans probably thought a handful of these names weren’t even with us anymore, but as it turns out, most are still doing very well and looking quite well. Ironically, most of the people on this list have filed a lawsuit against the WWE for concussion-related symptoms. Are these claims legit? Or are most of these past stars just looking for some extra cash? We’ll let you guys decide.
From George “The Animal” Steele to Abdullah “The Butcher”, here is a list of 20 former WWE stars you had no clue are still alive today. Enjoy!
20 One Man Gang
One Man Gang, Akeem and a member of the Twin Towers, this big sized heel played a big role in the WWE during the late 80s. He would later join WCW (like most wrestlers did) and finished off on the Indie circuit, which showed him to be active till 2009 (if you can believe it), losing a match to Jim Duggan.
At the age 56, the former WWE star encountered some tough times as of late. In August of 2016, One Man Gang fell victim of a severe flooding in his area of Baton Rouge. His house was completely destroyed and to make matters worse, he and 125,000 other did not have house insurance. At such a sad low, Gang put his situation on the gofundme.com website asking for some help. His goal was $20,000 and he actually managed to rack up over $15,000 as of this point.
In addition to that, he has recently filed a class action lawsuit against the WWE pertaining to brain injuries. The lawsuit was put forward this past summer as One Man Gang joins a plethora of wrestlers who have filed this lawsuit against the company.
19 Rick Martel
Before he stepped foot in a WWE ring, “The Model” was a pretty big deal holding on to the AWA World Heavyweight Championship for 595 days. Though, as the case with so many past performers, his success was limited on the big stage of the WWE.
Although he failed to become an upper-card wrestler with the WWE, his contributions were still very noteworthy. His narcissistic gimmick would help redefine him as a wrestler and even help to put over some of the younger stars like Shawn Michaels at the time. He was a three-time Tag Team Champion with the company and would eventually enjoy a brief stint with WCW, winning the TV Title.
After a long stint in the business, Martel finally stepped back in the early 2000s. He still makes some appearances on the Indie scene and at wrestling conventions around the world. At the age of 60, Martel is finally glad to have settled down with his wife who he barely saw while touring the world as a pro wrestler. He’s living the life as a family man nowadays with his wife and daughter, Coralie.
18 George The Animal Steele
Back in his day, George “The Animal” Steele was the epitome of an attraction. Everything from his look to persona screamed out star and that’s exactly what occurred during his pro wrestling run.
He enjoyed a great run with the WWE which eventually opened some other avenues, including acting. George appeared in the Tim Burton film, Ed Wood. He was even referenced at one point in shows such as the hit critically acclaimed comedy, Seinfeld.
His final WWE appearance came in 1998 when he was a member of the outcast group, The Oddities. He would go on to enjoy a brief run with WCW in 2000 and he would later hang up the boots. Nowadays, at the age of 79, Steele is still living an active life out of the Florida area. The former WWE star has appeared on several podcasts and is still very active via his Twitter account.
17 Billy Graham
The impact “Superstar” Billy Graham had on the WWE is so profound, and he is one of the more underrated in pro wrestling history. He inspired the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and various others to become the people they would eventually mold into.
Graham was one of the very first WWE stars in history to bring in the physique attribute along with a charismatic style which was missing from the pro wrestling landscape at that point. Graham would take things to another level and open up a whole new avenue in the world of sports and entertainment. Not a coincidence as to why WWE Superstars are called as such nowadays.
His relationship with the WWE behind the scenes however, was extremely rocky. In 1992, Billy made headlines claiming the WWE “abused children”. He later took the claims back and said he was trying to extort the WWE. Yikes! McMahon would end up inducting him into the Hall of Fame nonetheless, and even giving Graham a position which was short-lived. Nowadays, the 73 year old still keeps in touch with the WWE but some health issues have put a damper on his involvement with the product. We wish this WWE legend the very best.
16 The Rock n’ Roll Express
Truly mind-blowing to think that the two made their pro wrestling debut in the early 80s and were still performing into the 2000s. As of 2009, the team was still being booked on the Indie scene, winning the Tag Titles in Booker T’s promotion, The Reality of Wrestling. They even tagged with the likes of Marty Jannetty at one point on the Indie scene.
The two wrestlers pretty much cement the word journeymen. Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson have done it all from Smoky Mountain Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions, WCW, WWE, PWA, AWWL, TNA and the modern day Indie scene around the world. Today, Morton is still doing very well at the age of 60, while his partner Robert Gibson is also in fine shape in his late 50s at the age of 58. The two are still present at random wrestling conventions but have slowed down their in-ring action as of late.
15 Bruce Hart
The forgotten brother of Bret and Owen Hart, Bruce enjoyed the least amount of success in the WWE. His run with the company was limited to an appearance in '93 which was short-lived, lasting only a couple of months. His most impactful appearance happened at the Survivor Series, teaming up with both his brothers.
The rest of his career would see Bruce tour the world spending time on the Indie scene and with his family promotion, Stampede Wrestling. He made a couple of brief cameo appearances with the WWE but nothing significant.
Today, at the age of 66, Hart is still doing very well and loves to talk about the current affairs in the wrestling business. He even had his own Podcast recently. Like his brother Bret, Bruce is very critical of the business claiming the company should put more of a focus on the kayfabe aspect and stop telling the fans who to like and who not to like. He makes a pretty valid point, wouldn’t you say?
14 Dynamite Kid
Like some others on this list, Dynamite Kid was one of the most underappreciated wrestlers of his time. His in-ring talent was trailblazing to say the least as he opened the door for a new era of wrestlers which focused on speed and skill.
Unfortunately, his success could not translate onto the WWE product. Kid was a handful backstage and was constantly in the middle of disputes. He even dislocated the jaw of our previous entrant Bruce Hart, when the two would dispute with one another.
Although his time with the WWE didn’t pan out, he’d stay active wrestling over in Japan and with Stampede Wrestling. Ultimately, injuries cut his fabulous career short and he was later forced into a wheelchair after suffering from a paralysis in his left leg. Problems would worsen for Kid when he began to experience repeated strokes. Like many others, Dynamite would file for a class action lawsuit against the WWE. At the age of 57, the England native is still hanging in there.
13 Ivan Putski
Wasn’t really all that shocking when Ivan Putski announced that he’d been using performance enhancing drugs during his prime days; if you guys remember Putski during his WWE days, you remember he was built and sculpted from head to toe. His arm was literally the size of brick.
He had same great rivalries in the WWE with likes of Billy Graham, Jesse Ventura and The Iron Sheik. His character work was truly a treat to watch back in the 80s and he endured quite the career with the company.
Today, the Polish wrestler is happily retired at the age of 75. He currently resides in Austin, Texas, a place that he’s called home for quite some time now. In his last appearance in 2011, Putski was still looking great and insanely jacked for a guy his age. Ivan admitted to keeping active on his spacious land in the Texas area. Great to see this former WWE legend still doing very well.
12 Nicole Bass
Do you guys remember Nicole Bass? My word what a specimen she was coming from a bodybuilding background. Her stature and physique was truly traumatizing. Despite her overpowering look, Bass had a short-lived WWE run. Nicole’s run ended on a bitter note as she would file a lawsuit against the WWE for being sexually assaulted backstage by Steve Lombardi.
Despite being 52, Bass still talks about her time with the WWE and tries to use it as a way to make a living. She is also still actively training trying to get back into shape from her earlier days. All this information pertaining to her everyday life can be found via her Twitter account.
On a side note, Bass was arrested in 2015 for shoplifting. Ironically, she was stealing groceries from a supermarket. Her total of goods stolen was well over $1,000, if you can believe it. Seems like her protein intake just wasn’t sufficient enough... cheap pop, cheap pop.
11 Rodney Mack
“Who?” Is probably what you’re asking yourself after reading this name. Rodney Mack sustained a short-lived run with the WWE that was ultimately be a major fail. He began with OVW in 2002 and would later get the call-up being deemed as a potential mid-carder. He briefly began as John Cena’s bodyguard but would later turn to Raw joining forces with the great Theodore Long. A knee injury would eventually dismantle his progress and he’d never recover from it becoming a lower-card performer. He was later released by the WWE alongside his wife Jazz (remember her?). Mack made a brief return in 2006 but was once again released in 2007.
Nowadays, at the age 46, Mack is still actively competing for small Indie promotions. As of the summer of 2016, Mack was wrestling with a small promotion out of Texas. In addition, the former WWE wrestler is still appearing at various wrestling conventions trying to keep his fame alive.
10 Terry Funk
Hard to believe that at the age of 72, Terry Funk is not only still alive but looking pretty darn good after all these years. Funk recently appeared on an episode of Monday Night Raw making a cameo in a backstage appearance alongside Dean Ambrose prepping the “Lunatic Fringe” for his encounter against Brock Lesnar at this past WrestleMania.
Truly shocking to see Funk still looking so good and performing in 2016. The hardcore legend fought a brutal style throughout his career which focused heavily on the use of weaponry and sacrificing his body. Wrestling since the 1960s if you can believe, Terry was still actively performing in 2016 before he finally fought his final match for the House of Hardcore promotion in September. Without a doubt, Funk has earned some well deserved time off and can finally relax in his home located in the great state of Texas. Outside of the ring, Funk is a happy family man with two children.
9 Chavo Classic
The brother Eddie Guerrero and father of former WWE star Chavo Guerrero, Chavo Sr., represented the Guerrero name proudly during his time as a pro wrestler. He even had a weird run with the WWE in 2004 where he adopted the name, “Chavo Classic”. Despite being in his later years, Chavo won the Cruiserweight Championship becoming the oldest title holder in history. He was later released by the company for missing various live events, something that is an absolute requirement in a company like the WWE.
Today, Chavo Classic is happily retired at the age of 67. He recently made headlines during the summer alongside his son as the two filed a lawsuit against the WWE for wrestlers that sustained concussion-like injuries with the company. Pretty odd to see Chavo Sr.’s name on the list considering how short-lived his WWE run was lasting no longer than a year.
8 The Goon
During the mid 90s, the WWE was struggling to keep afloat with the uprising of WCW. While Ted Turner’s program was pushing kayfabe, the WWE remained the same, unwilling to change its outdated ways pushing some of the more childish gimmicks. One of the poster boys for that was “The Goon”. Wrestler Bill Irwin joined the WWE in 1996 and took this persona on as a hockey player who was apparently kicked out of every hockey league he played in. After a couple of lackluster months, the company stopped his run and ended the entire gimmick altogether.
The company still glorifies his gimmick via social media and on the WWE Network. As for Irwin, he’d leave the business all together and set his sights on an entirely different line of work as a motor coach bus driver. Residing out of Duluth, Minnesota, the wrestler is 62 today.
7 Abdullah The Butcher
At the age of 80 and residing out of Atlanta, Georgia, Abdullah had quite the controversial life following his days as a WWE Superstar. Abdullah made headlines for all the wrong reasons over the last couple of years. It all started with his Hall of Fame induction in 2011 which saw Billy Graham absolutely irate at the fact that the former WWE star had joined such a “prestigious class”. According to Graham, Abdullah infected several wrestlers with hepatitis C during his time. This was later proven to be true as Canadian wrestler Devon Nicholson, would take Abdullah to court for infecting him by using the same blade during a match. The Butcher was deemed guilty and forced to hand over $2 million.
He would go on to sell his Hall of Fame ring online claiming Vince “doesn’t own him”. Quite the eventful post wrestling career for the Hall of Famer. Hopefully, he can finally enjoy some peace.
6 2 Cold Scorpio
Making a name for himself with ECW, the WWE really dropped the ball with their newly named “Flash Flunk” wrestler. Despite being so gifted in the ring, Funk failed to sustain any kind of momentum in the WWE, despite all the success he had with Paul Heyman and the ECW promotion just before joining the big company. To make things worse, Scorpio admitted to consuming lots of drugs during his time with the company.
After parting ways, Flunk would enjoy the rest of his career on the Indie scene working with the likes of Pro Wrestling Noah and various Indie promotions around the world. At the age of 51, Scorpio is still at it today making sporadic Indie appearances for various companies. He’s also frequently attending wrestling conventions around the world and is said to be a great guy at meet and greets. Nowadays, the former WWE star is residing out of Florida.
5 The Barbarian
A forgotten member of the WWE family, The Barbarian enjoyed a run with the company during the late 80s and into the early 90s. His run with the WWE was mainly utilized as a Tag Team wrestler providing some depth to the roster. He returned in ’94 for a brief amount of time as a member of the new Headshrinkers but would once again leave shortly after for WCW.
Barbarian would finish off the rest of his career on the Indie scene. As of 2012, the wrestler was still being booked for small promotions. Nowadays, the 58 year old is making a living outside of the company running a small construction company out of North Carolina. Work is pretty important for the former wrestler who has to provide for seven children in his family. Like many others on this list, Vailahi was involved in the class action lawsuit against the WWE.
At the age of 54, chances are Brakkus no longer looks like the picture above. The former German bodybuilder was recruited by the WWE in ’96 and obviously McMahon was a fan of his look. Though, it became clear that the bodybuilder look was no longer a thing, especially during his time, as the likes of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart began to emerge as more marketable talents.
His initial debut in the mid 90s was halted as the WWE elected to make the former Superstar ripe a little more with the likes of ECW. He would return to the WWE in 1998 but unfortunately, his contributions were extremely minimal. Brakkus struggled to keep up to pace with the new crop of WWE talent and was later released by the company. He would later join the Indie scene and spend the end of his wrestling career working for smaller promotions around the world. Albrecht was forced to retire in 1999 due to various injuries he sustained during his career.
A journeyman in the pro wrestling business, Kamala had a lengthy run before he was forced into retirement. The veteran fought for the likes of the WWE, WCW, TNA, ROH and various other Indie promotions.
His health eventually put a damper on all of his goals. In November of 2011, Harris had to get his left leg amputated to treat his diabetes condition, which he had since 1992. His other leg was later amputated and Kamala was forced to look to the public for some help in funding his severe condition. As of 2014, the former WWE star stated that he was keeping afloat by selling wooden chairs he made himself and by receiving welfare checks.
Not surprising, in 2016 Kamala joined a long list of wrestlers filing a class action lawsuit against the WWE for brain-related injuries. Nowadays, James Harris is residing out of Mississippi at the age of 66.
The injury sustained to Droz was one of the sadder moments in WWE history. His career as an active WWE wrestler came to an end in October of 1999 during a SmackDown taping. A failed Powerbomb by D’Lo Brown caused the horrible injury which fractured two disks in the neck of Droz. The injury eventually led to paralysis leaving the wrestling world stunned that such an event had occurred.
In 2014, FOX Sports caught up with Droz to see how the former WWE star was coping. Not only was he still coping but he seemed to be thriving keeping good spirits during the interview. Still, to this day, Droz holds no bad blood towards Brown and does not blame his opponent for the incident that occurred. Droz was very thankful for the WWE and all they did for him during that tough time in his career. At the age of 47, Droz resides in the New Jersey area nowadays.
1 Bobby Heenan
Hurts your heart to see Bobby Heenan nowadays. The iconic wrestling manager is struggling with his health at the age of 72 due to various cancers, which included one in his tongue. The manager had several surgeries on his jaw and mouth area to reconstruct the infected parts in his mouth. Although he doesn’t look the greatest visibly, Heenan remains in good spirits and has even attended some wrestling conventions which included an autograph signing in 2016. Several former wrestling stars greeted Bobby and got emotional seeing the former WWE manager.
In May of 2016, Heenan sustained another unfortunate incident after he fell out of his bed. This led to a broken shoulder and hip as a result of the fall. We wish nothing but the best for Heenan and will always remember his tremendous accomplishments in both WWE and WCW. There truly was only one Bobby “The Brain” Heenan!