Wrestlers With Unexpected Post-Wrestling Careers

Wrestling can be a lucrative career, especially for those who work for the top companies like WWE. Wrestlers who manage to stay active for many years and sell plenty of merchandise can make enough to easily retire on. But not every wrestler is Ric Flair, The Undertaker, or Chris Jericho, performers whose careers have spanned multiple decades. And not everyone is Brock Lesnar or John Cena, wrestlers who have signed huge wrestling deals and sold heaps of merch over the years.

Most retired or semi-retired wrestlers have to find a way to make a living after they hang up their boots. Some find clever ways to use their name recognition to build brands through social media, and many cash in on their fame through public appearances like comic or wrestling conventions. But some abandon the fame; instead, they take up what some would consider "regular" day jobs, or end up working interesting jobs that fans would least expect.


Once a Satanic disciple in The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness, Mideon is now a disciplined in the art of cooking.

Like many, Mideon kicked off his pro wrestling career in the indies before joining WCW in 1992. Mideon bounced around promotions with several themed gimmicks, working under names like "Leatherface" and "Tex Slazenger." He finally joined the WWF in 1996 under the name "Phineas I. Godwinn," and years later emerged as Mideon when he joined the Ministry of Darkness after being "sacrificed" by The Undertaker.

In 2006, Mideon's wrestling career came to a close. But closing up one chapter opened another, and Mideon — real name Dennis Knight — was able to realize another dream of his: becoming a chef. When WWE.com caught up with him in 2013, he worked as a chef in several kitchens in Florida and even started his own catering company, Dennis Knight Catering. Knight also entered a Favorite Chef contest at favchef.com in 2021, and has talked about how his next dream is to become a Food Network star.

Steve Blackman

Steve Blackman once wrestled Ken Shamrock in a jail-like structure called a "lion's den". Now Blackman is getting people out of jail.

Blackman debuted in the WWF in 1997 and quickly made a name for himself as a martial arts badass. Nicknamed "The Lethal Weapon," Blackman was known for his quick strikes, no-nonsense attitude and creative usage of various weapons. This butt-kicking persona led to Blackman winning the Hardcore Championship six times during his short WWF/E career. He also boasted one of the best theme songs in the business during the '90s — once those drums hit, you knew someone would be getting hurt.

During his post-wrestling career, it's no surprise that Blackman opened a martial arts school where he taught wrestling and jiu-jitsu. What is surprising, however, is his latest career move: Blackman is now a bail bondsman. That's right, you can call Blackman Bail Bonds to get bailed out of jail. Just don't skip court after doing so, because you won't want The Lethal Weapon coming after you.

Paul Burchill

If you guessed pirate for Paul Burchill's post-wrestling profession, it would be a good guess. Unfortunately, it would be wrong.

Originally a henchman for William Regal in the WWE, Burchill underwent quite the gimmick change in 2006. He debuted a pirate gimmick on "SmackDown" and surprisingly defeated Regal with a creative and slightly confusing finishing finisher. Burchill stuck around in WWE for a few years and never managed to win any titles, although he did have a brief Intercontinental Championship feud with Kofi Kingston. He eventually moved to the ECW brand for a couple years before being released in 2010.

So where is Burchill — real name Paul Birchall — now? Well, he's not a swashbuckling pirate or attempting a wrestling comeback; he's actually helping people in need. Birchall started working as a firefighter toward the end of his wrestling career.

"[Firefighting] suited my attributes of being physical, being able to use tools and getting to do cool stuff," Birchall told WWE.com. Birchall has also worked as a paramedic and emergency room nurse, and in 2017 he informed Wrestling Epicenter that he was working his master's degree with hopes to become a nurse practitioner.

Madusa/Alundra Blayze

Debrah Miceli — known as Madusa and Alundra Blayze in wrestling circles — is one of the gutsiest women to step into the ring. So it's no surprise that one of her many non-wrestling careers takes some guts to perform as well.

Miceli built up her name as Madusa before joining WWF in 1993, where she made the name switch to Alundra Blayze. She won the WWF Women's Championship three times — the same championship that she famously dropped in a trash can on "WCW Monday Nitro" in 1995. In WCW, Miceli proved she could also hang with the men when she competed in a tournament for the WCW World Championship and feuded with Evan Karagias. She later became the first woman in history to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship in 1999 and, despite the act of throwing the Women's Championship in the trash being a big "f-you" to WWF at the time, she still made it into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015.

Clearly a trailblazer in women's wrestling, Miceli carved out a niche for herself in another male-dominated sport: monster truck driving. She made a healthy living by competing and winning championships in Monster Jam, driving a truck with her trademarked "Madusa" name. If that's not impressive enough, she has also kept busy running a pet spa in Florida.

Rick Steiner

You wouldn't think a man with the nickname "The Dog-Faced Gremlin" would be helping folks buy and sell houses, but here we are.

Rick Steiner, real name Robert Rechsteiner, was an amateur-style wrestler with a bulky build and a nonstop work ethic. He put in work everywhere — WCW, WWF, ECW, NJPW, TNA and various indie promotions — mostly with his brother, Scott. The two formed the dynamic Steiner Brothers duo, a team that won tag team championships across several of the aforementioned promotions. The duo ended up earning an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2022.

While no longer full time, Steiner has made television appearances as recently as 2022. He celebrated on-screen with his son, NXT Champion Bron Breakker, and has even been involved with recent storylines involving the NXT champ. But when Steiner is not being kidnapped by NXT superstar Joe Gacy, he's working as a real estate broker in Atlanta and is a board member on the Cherokee County Board of Education.

Val Venis

Hello, ladies. Val Venis is, surprisingly, not an adult film star in real life. He does, however, still work a profession that puts out a product for those 21 and older.

In wrestling kayfabe, Venis — real name Sean Morley — was an adult film star. It's one of the most memorable gimmicks of the WWF's Attitude Era. Venis had some notable (and suggestive) feuds in the '90s, including one where he seduced Ken Shamrock's kayfabe sister, Ryan. He underwent a significant character change in the 2000s when he joined the Right to Censor stable, with his main purpose to, well, censor.

There's no censor on him now, though. While still occasionally active as a wrestler, Morley's full-time wrestling days are in the rear view. Nowadays he is pretty active on social media and works as a budtender at a dispensary in Arizona. A huge advocate for marijuana, Morley says that cannabis actually saved his life.

"Doctors had me on anti-inflammatory's and pain pills for years," Morley said in an interview with Inquisitr. "You can't take those things for the rest of your life without suffering serious consequences. And when I found out about marijuana and started utilizing that instead, in 2008, I came off all pharmaceuticals and never looked back."


After setting the wrestling world ablaze (literally) for years, Kane is now setting taxes ablaze in Knox County, Tennessee.

Glenn Jacobs underwent several character changes when he started out in the WWF, including a dentist character as "Isaac Yankem, DDS." He finally settled in as Kane, making his debut in 1997 by powerbombing his kayfabe brother, The Undertaker. Kane's character, nicknamed "The Big Red Machine," was a horror movie character come to life. Jacobs was literally a horror movie character, too, when he starred in the 2006 slasher film "See No Evil."

Jacobs did it all in WWE — he won world championships, tag team championships, the Money in the Bank ladder match, and he holds the record for most Royal Rumble eliminations with 46 and most appearances with 20. Jacobs' wrestling career reached its peak when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as Kane in 2021.

While Jacobs does make random appearances on WWE television, his full-time wrestling days are behind him. Instead, he's now the mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. Jacobs was elected in 2018 as a republican and is running for reelection in 2022, although his new career may be coming at the expense of his old friends. Jacobs was criticized on social media by many, including by former wrestlers Mick Foley, Sean Waltman (X-Pac) and Lance Storm, for his recent controversial opinions on gun violence and the Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Jimmy Wang Yang

It wasn't a silly gimmick after all — it turns out Jimmy Wang Yang is a country boy through and through.

Jimmy Wang Yang (real name James Yun) is sort of a deep cut from the mid-2000s. Wrestling in WWE from 2006 to 2010, Yun never won any championships but did have good matches with fellow cruiserweights like Chavo Guerrero and Gregory Helms. Yun's "redneck Asian" character was over the top and at times offensive, but there was a little truth to his character after all: Yun grew up in Georgia, which is where he naturally developed his southern accent.

While he may be done wrestling, Yun hasn't abandoned the "redneck" theme for his current profession. He started up Jimmy's Redneck Party Bus, where customers can enjoy the sights of Cincinnati while drinking with their buddies and partying "like a redneck."

"My favorite thing to do with the party bus is tailgate, sports games," Yun said in an episode of "Where Are They Now?" on the WWE Network. "Bengals [fans], they love the redneck party bus."

Needless to say, even after wrestling, Yun is still living his best life.

Shawn Stasiak

Shawn Stasiak unfortunately never lived up to his family lineage in the wrestling world, but he has done quite well for himself in his post-wrestling careers.

Son of WWE Hall of Famer Stan Stasiak, Shawn (real name Shawn Stipich) made his WWF debut as "Meat" in 1999. He was relegated to jobber rather quickly and his second run in the WWF/E did not produce much different results, even after dropping the "Meat" moniker. Stipich's biggest contribution was his gimmick as a clumsy wrestler trying to impress Stone Cold Steve Austin by failing to attack other wrestlers. Instead of successfully attacking, Stipich would often run into things like walls or Kurt Angle's milk truck.

Luckily, Stipich was able to find success in other business ventures outside of the ring. He currently works as a motivational speaker where he dresses up as a character named Fobia and talks to school children about facing fears and bullying.

Stipich is also a successful chiropractor, with his own practice in Texas. Hopefully his practice has allowed him to relieve himself from any pain sustained from running into all those things in WWE.

Michael Tarver

Mr. 1.9 seconds isn't throwing down any more beatings in the ring, but he is throwing down some beats on social media.

Tyrone Evans went by Michael Tarver during his short-lived WWE career. After appearing on NXT, Evans showed up on "Monday Night Raw" as one of the original eight members of The Nexus and helped beat down a helpless John Cena. He didn't last long, though — he was written off television and released just a year later after suffering a groin injury. He hit the indie circuit soon after and has made sporadic appearances in the ring over the years.

While his full-time wrestling duties have come to a halt for now, Evans has decided to shift to another type of performance: rapping. Evans is currently a Christian rapper who goes by the name "Monster Tarver." "2010, I had kind of a spiritual awakening," Evans said on Da Fixx Radio Show. "I found myself wanting to seek out Christian hip-hop or Christian music that sounded as good or better than the secular music I was listening to." Evans has his own YouTube channel where he releases freestyles and battle raps, and he signed with record labels God Over Money and Menace Movement Records in 2022.

Muhammad Hassan

Marc Copani's short wrestling career as Muhammad Hassan came to a controversial halt, but that led Copani to a new career for which he is grateful.

Although Copani isn't actually Arabic (he's American with Italian descent), he nonetheless played a convincing character as Hassan, a disgruntled Arab American upset about his post-9/11 treatment in the United States. His 2004 debut kickstarted a successful eight-month career where Copani's Hassan character was over as one of the company's top mega-heels. Unfortunately that was cut short when the WWE decided to run an angle which featured several radicalized men in ski masks attacking The Undertaker on Hassan's behalf. This angle coincided with London bombings on July 7, 2005.

Instead of the WWE taking the heat for the angle, Copani was inexplicably the one who was punished for the segment's backlash. Copani was removed from television and, instead of being repackaged as another character, was released altogether by the WWE despite being due for a big title push.

Copani has expressed his disapproval about the direction that WWE took the Hassan character, telling Chris Van Vilet in an interview that the character was "insensitive" toward Arab Americans and Muslim Americans. The WWE's decision to release Copani drove him to eventually quit wrestling altogether, although he told Syracuse.com that his release was a "blessing in disguise" because of his new profession: a junior high school principal. Copani was named principal of Fulton Junior High School in Fulton, New York in 2019.

Gene Snitsky

It wasn't his fault.

That was the mantra of former WWE superstar Gene Snitsky, whose whole character was initially based on whether it was his fault that he caused Lita to (kayfabe) miscarry her unborn baby by falling on top of her. That mantra was even part of his theme music.

Snitsky never ended up winning any championships in the WWE, but he did leave a yellow-teeth-stained mark on the company with some wild storylines and moments, including when he punted a fake baby into the crowd. That crazy storyline with Lita helped Snitsky pave the way for an eventual psychopath persona and allowed him to partake in various feuds over the next four years with wrestlers like CM Punk and Bobby Lashley.

Snitsky announced his retirement from wrestling in 2018 but has kept busy outside of the squared circle. He currently runs a store in Pennsylvania called Priority One Surplus which sells outdoor equipment and military supplies. He also starred in the 2019 horror movie "100 Acres of Hell" and has worked as a pitchman for the Power Pressure Cooker XL by dressing up in a turkey suit and cooking under the moniker The Turkey Dude. It seems silly, but the big guy has whipped up some tasty-looking dishes.

Christopher Nowinski

When it comes to wrestling, Christopher Nowinski's impact was bigger outside of the ring than the inside, and that's a good thing in this case.

Nowinski kicked off his wrestling career by competing on "Tough Enough," WWF's wrestling reality show that saw contestants compete for a contract with the company. He later made his WWE debut in 2002 under his real name and used his education background as a way to develop a character for himself. His character was centered around the fact that he is a Harvard graduate in real life, and that he was quite the snob about it.

Nowinski didn't last long in wrestling due to frequent concussions. The affects he suffered from these concussions — depression, headaches, memory loss — are what led him to his next career. Nowinski authored the book "Head Games: Football's Concussion Crisis" which detailed how head injuries have severely impacted athletes over the years and the coverups that have taken place to hide the impact of head injuries. In 2007, Nowinski co-founded the Concussion Legacy Foundation, and he has also served as a co-director of the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. The role Nowinski has played in concussion research and learning more about CTE has been absolutely crucial, making him one of the most important figures in the sports science world today.