The Rock, Triple H, The Undertaker and More: How Are the Former Stars of World Wrestling Entertainment Living Today?
Some train soldiers in self-defense, perform with a band, others made a career in Hollywood or enjoy a well-deserved retirement.
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Do you ever feel nostalgic about the boom of wrestling in the '90s? All of the muscled giants and madmen in masks beating each other relentlessly with metal chairs or even hammers?
Blood, brutality, truly shocking violence at times undoubtedly characterize the so-called Attitude Era of the World Wrestling Entertainment. Known as World Wrestling Federation at the time was in this era between the early 90s and the first years of the new millennium, and several wrestlers became famous stars almost overnight.
Their fictional alter egos were loved by all American wrestling enthusiasts that were entertained by their bold and often dangerous pieces. Did you also watch every Wrestlemania, trying out different grips on your siblings or friends?
Were The Undertaker, Big Show or Stone Cold Steve Austin your role models? Join us in this walk down memory lane to the golden era of the largest wrestling organization and find out how these wrestlers are doing at the moment.
Solofa Fatu, a.k.a. Rikishi, almost lost his life in a shooting at the age of 17 after surviving a three-minute clinical death. He is now 56 years old, and he's been a deserving member of the WWE Hall of Fame since 2015. He was part of the biggest wrestling league from 1992 to 2004, becoming a champion multiple times.
He became famous mainly for his unorthodox butt moves and the torture he put his opponents through by literally sitting on their chests or faces as they were lying helplessly on the ground. He even demonstrated this bizarre move on the WWE leader Vince McMahon himself.
Together with his cousin The Rock, they are members of the Samoan wrestler's family, Anoa'i. Rikishi also raised a new generation of wrestlers, his twin sons, who call themselves The Usos.
According to Media Referee, the former wrestler is still making money at occasional WWE public appearances, but he is not an active wrestler anymore. Also, year 2021 was a year of great losses for him. First, he lost his niece, who was murdered. Later, he lost his father to covid.
9. Ken Shamrock
You may remember this fearless fighter from the most prestigious MMA league in the world, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He was already killing it in the first tournaments when the rules looked significantly different than today, and the wrestlers fought in a cage without gloves on (read more about it here). He even became a champion in the UFC and was later inducted into the Hall of Fame.
He was a master of submission even after transferring from UFC to WWF. He made his debut there in 1997, and his later steel cage fights, with The Rock for example, were definitely among the highlights of the golden era of wrestling.
During his fruitful career, Shamrock also wrestled under the wings of the Japanese Pride Fighting Championships and later returned to UFC, ending his MMA career in Bellator. In 2019, he announced the end of his fighting career, and the same year he founded his own organization focused on Burmese boxing (boxless gloves) called Valor.
In 2020, at the age of 56, this veteran returned to wrestling under the wings of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. According to his official website, he's currently training the American soldiers in self-defense in the so-called Marine Martial Arts Program. Shamrock, who earned the title of "the most dangerous man in the world," also founded the Lion's Day wrestling team, where he trains young talent.
8. Chris Jericho
Christopher Keith Irvine, also called Y2J, confidently came into the largest professional wrestling organization with a bang in the late '90s and stirred things up quite a bit. He demonstrated some impressive tricks in the ring and beat some huge names, making him an undisputed champion.
In 2001, he managed to beat The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin on the same night. In recent years, Jericho has been battling under the wings of All Elite Wrestling, WWE's biggest competitor. However, outside the ring, he still performs with his hard rock band Fozzy as a singer. In 2018 he also performed with the band at the prestigious German metal festival Wacken Open Air.
Just last month, The Sun reported that the singer had to be hospitalized during a tour with the band in the U.K. for unknown reasons that were allegedly unrelated to Covid-19. The extent to which this event will affect the future career of this man of many faces is still questionable.
7. Big Show
First-class knockout master. The right hook of this 7-foot giant literally flipped the switches. He looked like a creature from another world, and there was no one to be found with similar size and strength to match him with. He threw everyone on the ground as if they had no weight. All the while, these were some huge, robust, muscular guys. Paul Wight has always performed a real "big show."
He was collecting the WWE belts one after another. You might also remember how he flipped a Jeep with his own hands and smashed the windshield with one hit. Or the time when he and Brock Lesnar wrecked the entire structure of the ring after a horrifying suplex.
Another unforgettable moment was when he knocked out the referee instead of the opponent. Or when he silenced the furious John Cena or Vince McMahon. Even though this 49-year-old wrestler has been fighting in the ring since the '90s and could have easily retired a long time ago, it seems like he's still enjoying the game and has no plans to stop anytime soon.
Just a month ago, he said in Steve Austin's podcast that he certainly wasn't planning to end his career in the near future. Despite his injuries, he says he still loves what he's doing and is happy with where he's at now. Wight's career continues, as in the case of Jericho - under the flags of All Elite Wrestling, where he transferred from WWE a year ago. First, he was only meant to be in the position of a commentator on the AEW Dark: Elevation show, but it didn't take long for him to also appear in the ring.
6. Mick Foley
With his distinctive mask on, he really looked like a lunatic who had just escaped a psychiatric hospital. This hairy native of Indiana was a real animal in the '90s. He jumped at his opponents from the height of a few meters or tried to smash The Rock with a bag of popcorn. The duel with The Undertaker at the top of the steel cage was also unforgettable.
As Metro writes, his irrational and spontaneous moves in the ring have also taken their toll. In 1994, he was the one who suffered one of the scariest injuries in the history of professional wrestling, during the World Championship Wrestling match with Big Van Vader.
At first, he ripped his ear during a routine movement by the rope. Right after, his opponent grabbed him and tore off his right ear completely, which the referee then handed to the announcer in the ring. The biggest shock was that the match continued. During his career, Foley also lost his teeth in the ring. As he later revealed, he regrets nothing.
Aside from the injuries, he collected many stories in the ring or the cage. He transformed them into a book form, and today he's quite well known as a successful writer. In addition to memoirs, he also wrote a few books for children. One of his works even became a New York Times bestseller. So today, Foley is enjoying a well-deserved break far away from the combat zone.
Glenn Thomas Jacobs, a.k.a. Kane, is 54 years old today. You may remember the various decadent pieces of this 7-foot giant with a demonic expression. When he frowned, he caused unprecedented fear, the same as when he smiled. It's definitely worth mentioning how he knocked out a priest, threw a disabled man on a wheelchair off the stage, or set fire to the coffin with The Undertaker.
Kane was also characterized by pyrotechnical explosions or the specific, horrifying dark red mask. Even the boys from Slipknot could rock that one. During his time at WWE, he won several titles.
Like many other professional wrestlers, Kane also tried his luck in the film industry. For example, he was in the horror film See No Evil, where he played the psycho Jacob Goodnight, and the same role in the 2014 sequel. Two years later, he also appeared in the action-thriller Countdown.
According to Insider, Jacobs works in the insurance industry, together with his wife, and he also embarked on a political career. He's currently a republican mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, and the position seems to have grown on him. In March 2021, he announced that he would run for a second term re-election.
4. Triple H
Paul Michael Levesque, a.k.a. Hunter Hearst Helmsley, joined the WWF in 1996 and won several world championships. Most memorable moments include the spectacular arrival at Wrestlemania 30, the attack on Randy Orton in his own house, and his uncompromising victory over Brock Lesnar.
Triple H married Vince McMahon's wife Stephanie in 2003. At the same time, the wrestler moved from the ring to a much more comfortable position. According to Insider, he's currently WWE's Executive Vice President, Global Talent Strategy & Development.
He also founded NXT, a separate entity from RAW and Smackdown!, which acts as a development platform for future WWE talent. According to Givemesport, in September 2021 WWE announced that Triple H had a heart attack. The wrestler had to undergo surgery. He made it through the worst, but it's still not clear if he'll ever be able to fight in the future.
3. The Rock
Dwayne Johnson doesn't need much introduction. It didn't take long for him to become an absolute star. He joined the most prestigious wrestling organization in 1996. The ten-time champion engraved himself in the fans' memory with unforgettable matches with legends such as Hulk Hogan or Brock Lesnar.
Do you remember how he threw Steve Austin into the water off a bridge?
These days, The Rock no longer fights in the ring with other wrestlers, but with imaginary villains on the movie screen. He is undoubtedly a modern action hero, but we could also see him in various comedies and adventure movies. He even became the best-earning actor in Hollywood.
For example, he starred in Pain & Gain, Jumanji, Skyscraper, the popular Fast & Furious series, and recently in Netflix's hit film Red Notice. His other movie plans and projects date all the way to 2024, so there's no chance for him to get bored anytime in the near future. There are also more blockbusters coming to theatres soon.
2. The Undertaker
In your memory, Mark William Calaway might be wearing a long coat and a hat. The 6.5-foot monster cold-bloodedly demolished everything that got in his way in the ring - whether it was wrestlers, referees, or security. He had no mercy on anyone.
His rising from the grave or crucifying Steve Austin is simply unforgettable. Same with the so-called black wedding with daughter Vince McMahon. The Undertaker has had an undoubtedly rich career, which he ended with the following sentence in 2020: "My time has come to let the undertaker rest in peace."
As Essentiallysports writes, the legendary wrestler is currently devoting all his time to his family and enjoying a well-deserved break after the decades of suffering in the ring. He continues to be a guest on various shows. In 2021, he even participated in an interactive Netflix project called Escape The Undertaker. However, the responses haven't been very positive.
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin
The 57-year-old member of WWE Hall of Fame has earned a number of titles. He made his WWF debut in 1996. Since then, he has captivated fans with several thrilling matches and powerful attacks on Vince McMahon himself (he must've been the toughest in the hospital). He even poured concrete into his luxury car.
He eventually had to end wrestling with the arrival of the new millennium due to an unpleasant neck injury. In the '90s, however, this muscled man, who can't be easily confused with anyone else, starred in series and movies and became one of the most popular action heroes in B-productions. You could spot him in films like The Condemned, Damage, and even Sylvester Stallone gave him props when he was cast in The Expendables in 2010.
This year we will see his acting performance again. He scored the lead role in Jim Fitzpatrick's latest film, The Walk-On's. In addition, he embarked on a career as a TV host in a major WWE talk show called The Broken Skull Sessions. He also has a successful podcast.
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