Any professional wrestler knows how hard it is to get a big break and a chance to walk out in front of thousands of fans in an arena for a live WWE event. These wrestlers know that the chances of becoming a champion within the organization are slim, but some actually make it all of the way, achieving a seemingly impossible dream.
Unfortunately, getting there is just the first step. Staying relevant in the ever-changing world of professional wrestling, avoiding long-term injuries that can kill a career, and maintaining a high level of success can be just as challenging as breaking into the business.
Champs with longevity like John Cena, Sting, and Triple H are rare in this industry, and most champions come and go within just a few years. Unfortunately, once they leave the organization, some have made some poor decisions that have sent them into a spiral to hit rock bottom.
From becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol after their reign in professional wrestling to being irresponsible with money, there are several former WWE stars who didn’t fare well after their final bell. Here, we have a list of 20 wrestlers that hit rock bottom after leaving the WWE.
20 Virgil Becomes Lonely After His WWE Stint
19 HBK Bottoms Out, Then Bounces Back
18 Tyson Tomko Throws Away His Career
17 The British Bulldog Had Troubles In and Out of the Ring
16 Miss Elizabeth Loses Her Battle with Addictions
15 Curt Hennig’s Life Was Anything But Perfect
14 Buff Bagwell Chooses a Different Career Path
13 X-Pac Got High Before Stepping Into the Ring
12 Ric Flair Has Family and Financial Troubles
11 Lex Luger’s Life Is Turned Upside Down
10 Jake the Snake Turns to Drugs After His Run in the WWE
9 Scott Hall Hits Rock Bottom, Comes Back Again
8 Matt Hardy Struggles with Drug Addiction
7 Eddie Fatu Loses His Life to Drugs
6 Dino Bravo Turned to a Life of Crime
5 Chyna Struggles with Drugs, Alcohol, and Mental Illness
4 Things Aren’t So Sunny for Tammy Sytch
3 Perry Saturn Moves from the Arena to the Streets
2 Hulk Hogan’s Fall from Being a Hero
1 Chris Benoit Commits an Unthinkable Act
Few people don’t already know the tragic story of Chris Benoit. Once one of the best wrestlers in the game, Benoit’s story ended in the worst possible way. In 2007, Benoit talked to several people and indicated he would be missing a WWE event because his wife and son were suffering from food poisoning. Those who spoke with him, including wrestler Chavo Guerrero, noticed that Benoit sounded tired and a bit off. What they didn’t know at the time was that Benoit and his family were in their home for a three-day period, during which Benoit strangled his wife, Nancy, and 7-year-old son, Daniel, and then hung himself. Many have speculated that drug abuse, combined with brain damage incurred in the ring, led to the breakdown that rocked the world of wrestling.
Sources: abcnews.go.com, nypost.com, tmz.com, bleacherreport.com, cagesideseats.com
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