Eventually, being a professional in a sport comes to an end. Whether its due to bodily injuries or striking up interest in another field, your days are numbered. For WWE stars, leaping off of tightropes can for sure put your body at risk. Also, wrestling professionally can lead to career paths these stars might not have expected when they first started. From firefighters to doggy daycare owners, these former wrestlers' new jobs are highly intriguing.
AJ Lee The New York Times Best-Selling Author
Kicking things off with WWE wrestler AJ Lee, who announced that's she's retiring from in-ring performances in 2015. Lee's post-WWE life is one of the more exciting ones. She has had her fair share of victories in her life, but it also came with adversity.
These past experiences led to Lee writing a superb autobiography titled Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed By Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules. Her book debuted at No. 10 on the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover non-fiction in 2017. She's also co-written a comic book series.
Batista: From Fighting In The Ring To On Screen
The big man, Dave Bautista aka "Batista" used to be feared in the ring and is a six-time World Heavyweight Champion. There weren't many that could compete with his large stature. He would be a scary man to encounter in real life, luckily he ended up in a perfect fantasy world. Batista landed a role in one of the most successful movie franchises, The Avengers.
Now, he's commonly referred to as Drax the Destroyer from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Slowly but surely, Batista is detaching from his wrestling background and becoming a household name.
Haku Will Fix Your Car
Haku will be remembered in and out of the ring as one fierce competitor. He was always a good wrestler, but never had anything to show for it. All of his destruction didn't amount to much, so Haku decided to dash out of the ring and enter another field.
The vehicle business was calling, and Haku answered. Haku is working for a car dealership out in Florida. He manages a detail shop, and a few years back, The Rock (Haku's nephew) gave him a nice Ford. We'd hate to see a customer get him mad.
Rock Out With Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho has one of the most deadly submission moves in all of wrestling. Once he traps you inside the "Walls of Jericho," there was nothing left for you to do but tap out. Jericho is still wrestling, but in an exciting turn of events, he has also become a real rock star.
He started his band (Fozzy) back in 1999, and since then, it has come a long way. Slash has even asked Jericho to tour with them. When asked about this opportunity, he responded as only Jericho could: "He wasn’t doing it because he likes Chris Jericho, he was doing it because he knew Fozzy would be a good addition to his show and his fans would like us."
Hop On Jimmy Wang's Party Bus
Partying is always the go-to source for having fun. Getting some liquor in your system and dancing with friends leads to good times more often than not. And sometimes, you might even engage in these activities on a party bus.
Former WWE star Jimmy Wang hung up the tights and picked up some keys. That's because Wang now operates a party bus with a Redneck theme. The name of the bus is "Redneck Party Bus," but we wonder how many customers he sees.
The Bella Designers
The Bella twins Nikki and Brie stunned crowds as they competed in the ring. Nikki even managed to catch the attention of the biggest wrestler in the WWE, John Cena. While they may not be officially retired from the ring, wrestling is now on the back burner, the twins are on to different things such as fashion, reality TV, and motherhood.
These twins have their own fashion line called BirdieBee. BirdieBee puts emphasis on intimate, casual, and fitness wear. The clever tagline on their website is "BEE Empowered, BEE Fearless, BEE Giving, BEE You."
Let Spike Dudley Handle Your Finances
Spike Dudley's wrestling career didn't pan out how he expected. As he was attempting to find himself in the ring, he ended up finding himself thrown around like an old doll. Waking up the next morning couldn't have been fun for Dudley. One day he decided to put more interest in money.
Dudley made the career change to a financial planner. It may not be as fun as the WWE, but it pays the bills. He carries an extremely positive attitude towards his new job, so you could say he's enjoying it. "I’m helping people live a better life and take care of their families. It’s beyond rewarding," Spike said.
Ivory Loves Dogs!
As a former WWE Women's Champion, you wouldn't expect Ivory to have such a soft spot. Her valued WWE career was one she can look back on and be proud of, but what she does now is something that can't compare. After retiring in 2007, she started Downtown Dog which is a dog daycare and grooming service.
"We already had an animal shelter, but I thought we really didn't have any animal services," she said. "So instead of being an animal social worker, I hooked up with a girl with ideas similar to mine and we made Downtown Dog, which started as a do-it-yourself bathing facility for animals."
CM Punk Writes Fiction
After wrestling, CM Punk took up fighting in another octagon. Punk's punishment in the octagon his first time around ended in 2 minutes and 14 seconds, but he walked away with half a million. Not too bad for two minutes of work.
Something that Punk gets really excited about is comic books. In the past few years, he's had the chance to work with Marvel which includes working on a series about Drax the Destroyer. Do you think he and Batista still talk?
Do Yoga With Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page is a semi-retired wrestler and former WCW champion. He always motivated the crowd to get charged up with his antics, and he had some of the smoothest finishers in the sport. It looks like he incorporated those same motivational skills to his new profession.
Page now has the DDP Yoga Program since partially retiring from wrestling. He teaches his own brand that involves bodyweight exercises. Many who have used it in the past years praise it due to their weight loss and added flexibility.
Rick Steiner The Broker
As an individual, Rick Steiner didn't do so well in the WWE. However, The Steiner Brothers were on top of the tag team realm and even won the WWE Tag Team Championship. They didn't fit in too well and soon left the WWE for WCW where Rick saw much success. But the WCW folded, and he had to find something else to do.
While Seiner still does sporadic appearances, he also joined the likes of those who sell real estate. He currently works at Rick Steiner and Associates at Atlanta Communities Real State Brokerage. It was a brilliant decision for him to switch to this field as he is doing quite well.
Paul Burchill The Fireman
For someone who entered the WWE world with so much promise, Paul Burchill's potential never came full circle. He was always being rebranded to try and appeal to fans, but nothing happened. At one point, they even paired him with his sister Katie Lea Burchill, but that didn't work either.
All of these failures led to him leaving wrestling and completely changing careers. Burchill reportedly became a fireman after his retirement in 2010. He's been saving lives ever since, making himself a real-life hero.
The Many Talents Of Eve Torres
Eve Torres is a Divas Champion in WWE. She reigned as one of the most popular wrestlers from 2007 to 2012 before asking for a release from the WWE. She wanted to focus on her Gracie Women Empowered self-defense program. Torres is trained in Jiu-Jitsu and is an accomplished kickboxer.
That isn't the only focus she has. The diva also an event manager. She and her sister-in-law started their event rental company called InJOY the Party a few years back.
Rosa Mendes Is Revealing Her Fit Life Secret
A decade into her wrestling career, Rosa Mendes abruptly retired. After her daughter turned one, it was clear to Mendes she had no purpose with WWE. However, having become a public figure thanks to the company, she used her celebrity to launch her website, Totally Fit Mama.
On the website, Mendes reveals how she stays so fit and healthy as a mother. Since launching the website, Mendes has also gone back to using her real name; Milena Roucka.
You Can Count On Sheriff's Deputy Bull Buchanan
If you're already a huge wrestler there's at least one profession we can think of that would suit you. Going into the field of law enforcement might be easy because no one wants to mess with someone the size of Bull Buchanan.
Buchanan's WWE career wasn't that spectacular; however, he did win the Tag Team Championship one year with the Right to Censor group. He was released in 2003 and shifted his focus to the role of Deputy for the Carrol County Sheriff's Department in Georgia.
Stasiak Will Fix Your Back
Shawn Stasiak went from breaking backs in the ring to correcting them on the table. He wasn't much of a star in the WWE, but Stasiak did gain some fans as "Meat" doing favors for the Pretty Mean Sisters. Soon, the WWE stamped a dumb gimmick on him that we would never overcome. They eventually released him in 2002.
Upon release, Stasiak became a professional chiropractor. “It’s such a blessing to be able to make so many positive life changes for people, to get them out of debilitating pain and to guide them to a better quality of life not just physically, but mentally and spiritually,” Stasiak said.
Did You Imagine Gene Snitsky Would Become An Actor?
Unlike many other professional wrestlers, the big man Gene Snitsky didn't have dreams of being in the WWE. He wanted to compete under a different set of lights. Snitsky had hopes of the NFL. He had a tremendous high school and college career so it could have happened. Instead, he landed in the WWE.
He dominated in the WWE and became apart of many storylines. When 2008 came around, he asked to be released and began a different career in acting. “It’s similar to wrestling,” he said. “I love the larger-than-life characters, the theatrics, and production. Just becoming a character and getting to perform.”
The Charitable Molly Holly
Molly Holly was an unstoppable force in the WWE ring facing other women. She was ahead of her time when it came to skill and technique. Holly also didn't want people to judge her based on looks and pure talent. Which is why she became the Women's Champion.
In 2005, she chose to leave the WWE and take on more rewarding roles. For starters, she became a teen counselor. Then she earned her license as a massage therapist. And to top things off, she started doing charity work for organizations that help children.
The Rock Says
We couldn't go this whole list without mentioning the one and only. Dwayne Johnson is sort of a trailblazer when it comes to venturing outside the ring. The mega-star not only dominated in the ring with his People's Elbow and Rock Bottom finishers, but he also crushes it in the box office.
Many think there is nothing The Rock can't do. He might even be running for president in 2020. Whatever the case, he showed wrestlers that it was okay and cool to be something else other than a steel cage match warrior.
Trish Stratus Owns A Yoga Center
Trish Stratus first entered the WWE ring on March 19, 2000. She became the most successful female in the sport, taking home seven championships and being named WWE Babe of the Year three times and WWE Hardcore Champion once.
She continues to make the occasional appearance around WWE, but for the most part, she's retired. The WWE Hall of Famer is now a mom of two- one boy and one girl. The Canadian also opened her own yoga center in Toronto, named Stratusphere.
Kevin Nash Took Up Acting
One of the most popular wrestlers of the WWE, Kevin Nash is the 1995 WWE World Heavyweight Champion and was inducted into WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. Since retiring, Nash has appeared in 16 movies and is on the cast of Living the Dream, playing Troy Marshall.
Another memorable role was Tarzan in Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL. Outside of acting, Nash is a philanthropist, actively supports the LGBTQ community, and has vowed to donate his brain to the CTE Center at Boston University and the Concussion Legacy when he dies.
Shawn Michaels Began Hunting
Shawn Michaels didn't take a break after retiring from WWE. Not only has the Hall of Famer kept busy with his wife, Rebecca, and their two kids, he also hosts his own hunting show on the Outdoor Channel. He co-hosts the show, Shawn Michaels' MacMillan River Adventures with Keith Mark.
In 2015, Michaels also published his autobiography Wrestling for My Life: The Legend, the Reality, and the Faith of a WWE Superstar. The revealing book is worth checking out for die-hard Shawn Michaels' fans!
Bret Hart Will Help You With A Business Loan
Bret Hart didn't have an easy life after leaving WWE. He suffered a stroke, which he never fully recovered from. Then, in 2016, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. After a year-long battle, he was declared cancer-free. And somehow, during all his trials and tribulations, he started a business loan company.
If you need that business loan, look no further than Sharpshooter Funding, Hart's new obsession. Well, that and his four children and two grandchildren.
Mick Foley Fell In Love With Writing
Mick Foley has gone by many names throughout his wrestling career, but no one ever called him a writer. That ended in 1999 when Foley published his first book. Since then, he has continued to write steadily, even finding himself on The New York Times bestselling authors list.
Foley doesn't just write for adults. He has four children's books to his name, and all are worth reading. He hasn't hidden behind his words, either He's appeared on The Daly Show, where he talked about his work with charities. He also dabbles in radio and acting, and is still signed to the WWE.
Edge Fell In Love With Acting
Adam Copeland, aka Edge shockingly retired from WWE in 2011. Still relatively young, he was one of the sports most popular figures but was suffering from severe spinal problems. After retiring, Edge began learning his new craft, acting, and found small roles to get his feet wet.
In 2016, he received a break with the production of his reality TV show The Edge and Christian Show. Edge surprised everyone when he returned to the ring on January 26, 2020, for Royal Rumble, coming out nine years in retirement.
Steve Austin Became An Action Star
Steve Austin will never reach the same height as Dwayne Johnson in his acting career, but he's still giving it a go. In 2010, he co-starred alongside Sylvester Stallone in The Expendables and most recently wrapped filming Persons of Interest, which does not have a release date yet.
Austin still makes cameos for WWE but has really dedicated his life to his new career, where he gets to blow stuff up and beat the snot out of the bad guys. Souind pretty fun to us!
Kaitlyn Started Her Own Clothing Company
Kaitlyn became a WWE sensation after winning NXT and earning a contract with the main roster. Unfortunately, after a feud with another wrestler ended, Kaitlyn ran out of storylines. Kaitlyn took a break from the ring in 2014 and started her own company; a clothing company named Celestial Bodies.
As CEO, Kaitlyn uses her real name, Celeste Bonin. A divorce from her husband set her company back recently, but it has begun showing signs of renewed life. She also came out of retirement in February 2018 and continues to wrestle for the WWE.
Santino Marella Will Get You In The Best Shape Of Your Life
Santino Marella's claim to WWE fame is getting picked out of the audience in Italy and winning the Intercontinental Championship. In 2014, he retired, ready to venture out on a new mission. One year before pursuing his dream full time, Marella opened a multi-use workout facility to help train athletes.
The gym is called the Battle Arts Academy and is located in Mississauga, Canada. IN 2016, Marella got back into the TV industry, signing with Sportsnet 360 and an in-house analyst.
Alex Riley Jr. Is An Actor
Alex Riley was never popular during his WWE career. Supposedly his co-stars didn't even like him. Knowing this, it's surprising how long he stayed on contract with WWE. After leaving, Riley began acting and has found some success.
Can you guess what his biggest role has been so far? If you've watched G.L.O.W. on Netflix, you've seen Riley. He played Steel Horse. In May 2019, he announced on Instagram that he was returning to wrestling.
Cameron Chased Her Acting Dreams, Too
It appears one of the most common post WWE careers attempted is acting. Some, like Dwayne Johnson, make the transition look easy. The reality is the opposite. Take Cameron, for instance. Since leaving WWE, she has gone back to her actual name, Ariane Andrew, and has not found life as an actress easy.
Andrew does host Two on Where on extra TV, but aside from that, jobs have not come flowing her way. Maybe Underdog, a sports drama that finished filming in 2018, will be the big break she's looking for. In 2020 she joined All Elite Wrestling.
Sara Lee Is A Full Time Mother
When Sara Lee's contract expired in 2016, she announced she was pregnant and would not be returning to wrestling. Before that, she had won Tough Enough and looked like the sports next female star.
After giving birth to her daughter, Sara has said she is taking her time deciding what her next move is. The most important thing to her right now is learning to be a mother. Judging from her social media accounts, she is getting the hang of it just fine and looks happier than she ever has.
Virgil Became A Math Teacher
At some point in his wrestling career. Virgil realized that his heart just wasn't in it anymore. He loved numbers and wanted to share his love of numbers with the world. To do this, he left WWE and became a math teacher. That's not where this off story ends, though.
Perhaps Virgil didn't realize teaching isn't a lucrative industry. To make up for his lack of money, he started a GoFundMe to become a millionaire. There was no project he was working and no medical bills he needed to be paid. He just wanted people to give him money. It didn't happen.
Shad Gaspard Was In Get Hard
The late Shad Gaspard had quite an impressive post WWE career. Not only did he continued to fight on the independent circuit, but he has also become a model, bodybuilder, bodyguard, screenwriter, and comic book writer.
His graphic novel Assassin and Son was honored in 2011 and 2012 by several organizations as the best independent graphic novel of the year. He also co-starred alongside Will Ferrel and Kevin Hart in the hit comedy Get Hard as Big Julian. Sadly, on May 17, 2020, Gaspard drowned while swimming in Venice Beach, California.