The 10 Count: Ten Wrestlers Who Took on Completely New Careers
Most Professional Wrestlers love the business. They spend years working hard, and the best ones enjoy sufficient fame to make a living. Many wrestlers push their bodies to the limit, for as long as they can, and even when their bodies are no longer ready to step into the ring, they give back to the business outside of the ring. Countless retired professional wrestlers move on to train wrestlers, open wrestling schools, or work behind the scenes in a promotion. Various retired professional wrestlers opt to use the skills they have obtained from a wrestling career to enter an alternative industry – sports entertainment becomes either just sports, with many entering the world of MMA, or just entertainment, with numerous stars advancing to Hollywood.
In this Ten Count, we look at those who selected a less conventional transition into the next phase of their working lives. These are ten wrestlers who went on completely different paths following successful careers in the squared circle.
10. Tito Santana
The two-time Intercontinental champion and 1989 King of the Ring was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004. Following his late spells in WWE and WCW, he did what many stars do – return to working in high school gyms every week. However, Santana’s return wasn’t in a wrestling sense. He started coaching basketball alongside his new career as a Spanish teacher at Eisenhower Middle School in New Jersey.
9. Simon Dean
2006 was the year that a locker room dispute regarding Rowdy Roddy Piper forced Simon Dean away from the WWE scene. He swapped bumps for banks, and became a registered Mortgage Broker. Despite revisiting the ring with 1PW in 2009, the former “fitness guru” laid his efforts on real estate for a significant portion of his time.
8. Scotty 2 Hotty
Famous for being a member of Too Cool, Scotty 2 Hotty swapped The Worm for a hose in 2013, when he graduated from Lake Tech Fire Academy in Florida. He has, however, since returned to wrestling, working for the WWE Performance Centre as a trainer.
7. Chris Nowinski
WWE’s first Harvard alumnus, Chris Nowinski has maintained his interests in the business. However, his interests are focussed on the Concussion Legacy Foundation, and its mission to solve concussion issues in Sports and the military after publishing Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis.
6. Beulah McGillicutty
Real name Trisa Laughlin, Beulah McGillicutty spent her glory years in wrestling with ECW at its height. Spending a significant amount of time with Tommy Dreamer, it may come as a surprise that Beulah is now writing children’s books. She wrote ‘Gertrude the Great’, illustrated by Neil Gaiman, who also designed much of Daniel Bryan’s WWE ring gear.
5. Val Venis
A huge personality in the Attitude Era, Val Venis has since campaigned heavily for the legalisation of Marijuana. “The Big Valbowski” now goes by “Kaptain Kannabis”, after opening his Heatlh 4 Life Dispensaries business, providing medical Marijuana. The former WWE Intercontinental, European and Tag Team Champion will not be returning to a WWE ring until the company changes its attitude towards testing on cannabis.
4. Jimmy Garvin
In 1992, Jimmy Garvin took time out of the ring to earn his license to fly commercial airlines. It was not long after, in 1994, that he packed up for good by finishing his career at the Global Wrestling Federation. As scary as it may be, the thought of a professional wrestler flying your plane, at least it’s one of the Fabulous Freebirds.
In September 2007, Gangrel was announced to have signed a deal with The New Porn Order, which would see him withdraw from efforts to continue in the ring, following his release from the WWE earlier that year. The deal would see him direct 12 movies, with his directing debut being on “Miami Rump Shakerz 2”.
2. Jesse Ventura
Throughout the late 1970s, Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura established himself in the growing world of wrestling. The heel commentator also took the step into acting, beginning in 1987, with Predator, and continued his acting career all the way to 2012. However, his primary career these days is on politics, and has been since a school teacher advised him to run for mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. He served for four years, and unexpectedly won the election for the Governor of Minnesota in 1998. A controversial figure in politics, it has to be said that Ventura has held one of the most successful post-wrestling careers.
1. Marc Mero
After a career that can celebrate success in WCW, WWF and TNA, Marc Mero retired from the ring in 2006. After opening the Marc Mero Body Slam Training Institute, he began giving inspirational speeches, on matters such as drug abuse. The wrestling industry has had many stars that have left us too young, and Mero is a huge advocate for better regulation and treatment for people involved in the business, as he lives his new life as a motivational speaker.