HomeCultureThe Stars of WWE: Then and Now

The Stars of WWE: Then and Now

The 1980s and 1990s were known by many as the golden era of the WWE. Let’s check in on some of the biggest stars from those decades and see what they’re doing these days.

Kevin Nash – Then

Kevin Nash was a huge star as Diesel in the WWE in the early 1990s before leaving for WCW and starting the wildly popular nWo with Scott Hall.

Kevin Nash – Now

It wasn’t a surprise to many when “Big Sexy” appeared as a stripper in the smash hit Magic Mike and its sequel, Magic Mike XXL. He continues to make other appearances in films and television shows and has been inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Triple H – Then

Triple H overcame a slow start with WCW to catch on in a big way in the WWE, first as the snobby Hunter Hearst Helmsley – Then as the rebellious leader of DX.

Triple H – Now

Triple H is married to Stephanie McMahon and has taken on the role of WWE’s executive vice president of talent, live events and creative. He only wrestles occasionally now, although he had a short WWE title run early in 2016.

Sable – Then

Sable reinvented the concept of women’s wrestling in the 1990s while breaking free of husband Marc Mero to become a huge star in her own right.

Sable – Now

Sable has been married to current WWE star Brock Lesnar since 2006. She has had two children with Brock and became a grandmother in 2012 when her first daughter, Mariah, had a daughter of her own. That’s right; Sable just might be the world’s hottest grandma!

Booker T – Then

Booker is best known for his time in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/E), and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), holding 35 championships between those organizations, making him one of the most decorated wrestlers.

Booker T – Now

In 2002, Booker was appointed the SmackDown General Manager, and then announced his retirement from the in-ring competitions on July 20, 2016.

Shawn Michaels – Then

Michaels helped transition the WWE from the cartoonish appeal of Hulk Hogan and the other 80s stars to the Attitude Era. The multiple time WWE Champion was known as perhaps the greatest in-ring performer in history.

Shawn Michaels – Now

Michaels has resisted the itch to wrestle since his retirement and entered the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011. He is an avid outdoorsman and hosts a successful TV show, Shawn Michaels’ MacMillan River Adventures.

The Rock – Then

The Rock started out as the cocky villain fans loved to hate and blossomed into one of the most popular baby faces in WWE history. His memorable catchphrases were surpassed only by his electrifying in-ring performances.

The Rock – Now

After The Rock made his film debut in The Scorpion King in 2001, he was off and running. He is now the biggest box office star in the world, although he still makes time for occasional appearances in the WWE.

Ric Flair – Then

Ric Flair was a huge star in the 1970s and 80s before finally making his WWE debut in the early 1990s. He quickly won the WWE title in the 1992 Royal Rumble and also enjoyed a memorable feud with Randy “Macho Man” Savage.

Ric Flair – Now

Flair retired and came back multiple times, eventually wrestling his last match in TNA in 2011. He’s now back with the WWE and appears on television occasionally, although with more frequency since his daughter, Charlotte, has become a successful wrestler.

Bret Hart – Then

Hart enjoyed quite a run in the WWE in the 1980s and 90s as part of the Hart Foundation and a successful singles wrestler. He then went to WCW in 1997.

Bret Hart – Now

Hart’s wrestling career wasn’t the same after he endured a terrible concussion during a match with Bill Goldberg. He ended a longtime feud with Vince McMahon in 2005 before being inducted in the Hall of Fame and continues to make sporadic appearances in the organization.

Roddy Piper – Then

Hulk Hogan may have gotten a lot of the credit, but “Rowdy” Roddy Piper deserves some for his role as the WWE’s best villain in the 1980s. It was Piper that helped headline the first-ever Wrestlemania, teaming with Paul Orndorff against Hogan and Mr. T.

Roddy Piper – Now

Unfortunately, Piper died in 2015 at the age of 61. He was known for his acting in They Live and many other movies and TV shows. Piper loved wrestling and continued to make appearances for WWE and on the independent circuit until his death.

Jacqueline – Then

Jacqueline was a successful wrestler and women’s champion during the Attitude era. She was known for her toughness, beauty, and frequent wardrobe malfunctions.

Jacqueline – Now

Since leaving the WWE, she had a stint in TNA several years ago and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016.

Goldberg – Then

Goldberg made a name for himself with an audacious winning streak that supposedly ran to 173 matches before he eventually made his way to the WWE.

Goldberg – Now

Goldberg went over a decade without wrestling before he made a comeback in 2015 for the Legends of Wrestling. He most recently returned to WWE in October 2016, where he has been feuding with Brock Lesnar.

Yokozuna – Then

Rodney Agatupu Anoa’i is also known as Yokozuna. His name refers to the highest rank in professional sumo wrestling in Japan. He was the 1993 winner of the Royal Rumble. Also, he shockingly defeated WWE Hall of Famers Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania IX and the 1993 King of the Ring.

Yokozuna -Now

Yokozuna was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012. After his career ended, he worked for independent promotions. At around 760 lbs, he performed at the 1999’s Heroes of Wrestling. He strived to weigh between 850 and 900 lbs in order to set a new record for heaviest professional wrestler ever!

Randy Savage – Then

Randy Savage, better known as “Macho Man,” was a professional wrestler and color commentator. He is one of the greatest pro wrestlers in history! Macho Man won 29 titles during his 32 year career! He held six world championships between the WWF and WCW. He won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship twice and the WCW World Heavyweight Championship four times!

Randy Savage – Now

In 2015, Savage was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. At the peak of his career in the 80s and 90s,many regarded his drawing power to that of Hulk Hogan. His wife, “Miss Elizabeth,” managed him for most of his career. After he retired, Savage was the Slim Jim spokesperson and also appeared in some TV shows like Baywatch, Walker, and Mad About You.

Andre the Giant- Then

No one can forget Andre the Giant. He was a literal giant standing at a height of 7 feet 4inches and weighing 520lbs! Besides his huge stature, he is known for his famous fight with Hulk Hogan culminating at WrestleMania III. Many people also recognize him for his role as the giant in The Princess Bride.

Andre the Giant- Now

E 352697 014 Usa Professional Wrestler: Andre The Giant. (Photo By Russell Turiak/Getty Images) In 1993, Andre was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He spent the rest of his career in All Japan Pro Wrestling and Mexico’s Universal Wrestling Association. He retired in 1992 and sadly died a year later from congestive heart failure.

Jake Roberts – Then

Jake “The Snake” Roberts was a huge star in the 1980s as the intellectual, dastardly villain who brought a huge python to the ring with him for all of his matches.

Jake Roberts – Now

Roberts’ career was derailed through years of alcohol and drug abuse, and he was said to be in very bad shape before he sought help from Diamond Dallas Page in 2012. DDP helped Roberts get his life back on track, and Roberts was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014.

Sid – Then

Sid was known as Sycho Sid, Sid Vicious, and Sid Justice during his WWE and WCW run. He won several world championships with his trademark powerbomb.

Sid – Now

Sid made his return to WWE television in 2012 and has also appeared in several films. He has been married to wife Sabrina for 33 years.

Honky Tonk Man – Then

The Honky Tonk Man had a memorable Intercontinental Championship run of over 64 weeks, all the while annoying fans with his dirty victories and trademark guitar.

Honky Tonk Man – Now

Believe it or not, the Honky Tonk Man still competes on the independent circuit to this day.

Mick Foley – Then

Foley was known for not one, not two, but three personas during his WWE heyday. He won titles and fans’ hearts as Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and of course, Mankind.

Mick Foley – Now

Foley has found success outside of the ring as an author and most recently, as a comedian of sorts. Foley travels around the world, speaking to audiences and telling humorous stories from his career.

Scott Hall – Then

As one-half of the founding members of the nWo, Hall had a huge impact on the wrestling business in the 1990s. He was also a huge star in the WWE as Razor Ramon.

Scott Hall – Now

Hall, like his colleague Jake Roberts, suffered through years of substance abuse. Most recently, Hall had a well-publicized relapse in September 2016, but has since said that he’s back on track and sober again.

The Ultimate Warrior Then

The Ultimate Warrior, real name James Brian Hellwig, is a legend of the ring., During his two stints in the WWF/WWE he was a two-time Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion and a one-time a WWF World Heavyweight Champion after famously defeating Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania VI. He was the first wrestler to hold the two titles at the same time.

The Ultimate Warrior Now

Sadly, James died in 2014. Just three days before he had been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and even appeared at Wrestlemania XXX. He was 54.

Batista Then

Dave Batista began wrestling in the WWE in 2002 and was a serial title winner. Among his accolades, he was a four-time Heavyweight champion and a tag team champion three times. He also won the Royal Rumble twice.

Batista Now

Batista was released from his WWE contract in 2015, although there were rumors of him appearing at Wrestlemania in 2016. Besides wrestling, Batista has had an MMA career and has appeared in numerous films, including James Bond’s Spectre. He is part of the cast for Blade Runner 2 which comes out in 2017.

Big Show Then

The Big Show was originally a part of WCW before moving over to WWE in 1999 as a part of Vince McMahon’s crony gang ‘The Corporation’. Real name Paul Donald Wright, he is a seven-time world champion.

Big Show Now

Big Show is still a part of the WWE and wrestles on the Raw brand. Apart from his wrestling career, he has appeared in a number of films, including the likes of Adam Sandler’s The Waterboy.

Randy Orton Then

Randall Keith Orton joined WWE in 2001 after getting kicked out of the United States Marines Corp. His father, Barry Orton, was also a professional wrestler and actually encouraged his son to stay away from the business.

Randy Orton Now

Randy Orton is now a 12-time world champion and is part of the Smack Down brand. He is another wrestler to make the jump into the acting scene and has a major guest part in the new show Shooter.

Edge Then

Real name Adam Joseph Copeland, this Canadian wrestler joined the WWE in 1997 and has since won seven tag team championships with his ‘brother’ Christian, winning 31 different championships over the course of his career.

Edge Now

Edge has ditched the blonde locks and ceased to appear in the ring, but is still part of the WWE. He and Christian host a comedy series on the WWE network. He has also made a number of acting appearances.

Vince McMahon Then

Vince McMahon is the Godfather of WWE. It was his visionary leadership that lead professional wrestling to its worldwide popularity and the cult status that it holds today. Up until 1997, McMahon was mostly known as the lead commentator for the then WWF, before the Mr.McMahon character evolved into major storylines.

Vince McMahon Now

As Mr.McMahon, he has had multiple ‘feuds’ with numerous wrestlers and other personalities alike. US president elect Donald Trump was involved in a storyline with the ‘villain’ persona of Mr. McMahon. He currently serves as the CEO and major shareholder of the WWE.

Lita – Then

Along with Trish Stratus, Lita was the biggest female star of the Attitude Era. She appeared alongside the popular Hardy Boyz and even employed the same high-risk wrestling style as Matt and Jeff.

Lita – Now

Lita’s punk rock persona wasn’t a facade, as she proved when she formed the band The Luchagors. She also hosts a radio show and has been inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Hulk Hogan – Then

Hulk Hogan was the biggest wrestling star of the 1980s and perhaps the history of the business. Hogan’s star power helped build the WWE from a regional promotion to a worldwide juggernaut.

Hulk Hogan – Now

Hogan has had his ups and downs since his peak in the 1980s and 90s. Although his popularity is still evident when he makes public appearances, he’s endured a messy divorce, the embarrassing leak of a sex tape and a resulting lawsuit, in which he was victorious.

Stone Cold Steve Austin – Then

Austin was the defining superstar of the wildly popular Attitude Era. He defined wrestling for a generation while becoming one of the biggest mainstream stars in WWE history, even as injuries cut his career a bit short.

Stone Cold Steve Austin – Now

While Austin hasn’t wrestled since his final Wrestlemania match with The Rock, he appears from time to time on WWE programming. He also has a successful podcast and hosts the shows Redneck Island and Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge

The Undertaker – Then

The Undertaker has wrestled professionally for over 30 years, though he didn’t make his WWE debut until 1990. As The Undertaker, Mark Calaway scared kids while winning match after match with his manager, Paul Bearer, by his side.

The Undertaker – Now

The Undertaker still competes as an active wrestler, though his appearances are generally limited to Wrestlemania matches. His retirement has been rumored many times over the past few years, but he hasn’t stepped aside for good yet.

Trish Stratus – Then

Trish Stratus was arguably the most popular women’s wrestler of her era and the first true WWE Diva. Although she was one of the most beautiful women in the WWE, she was also a former fitness model who dedicated herself to learning the craft of wrestling.

Trish Stratus – Now

After retiring as the women’s champion in 2006, Stratus went on to make several more appearances with the WWE and was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2013. She has also appeared in several direct-to-video movies and runs the yoga studio Stratusphere in Toronto.

Kane Then

Real name Glenn Thomas Jacob (Glenn!? Come on!), Kane was rolled out in 1997 as the younger brother of The Undertaker. Kane won 18 championships during his career in the WWE, becoming the world champion on three occasions.

Kane Now


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