Professional wrestling is a dream career for many — the adrenaline, television fame and awesome costumes are just too cool — but for a lot of former wrestlers it was only a kickstart to jobs that involved a lot more sitting in — instead of hitting with — chairs. Here are 20 former wrestlers who moved on from their professional careers in the ring to pursue more peaceful, at times way more lucrative, paths.
Ariane Nicole Andrew, A.K.A. Cameron spent worked with WWE as a pro wrestler starting in 2011. She was just recently freed from her contract and is now a reality television star, singer, model and dancer. She appeared on the show “Total Divas” between 2013 and 2015.
Shawn Michaels, who was a pro wrestler with WWE on and off between 1988 and 2010. Now he is a born-again Christian and regularly works as a commentator on Christian television.
The Great Khali
Since leaving pro wrestling, The Great Khali, or Dalip Singh Rana, stopped his frequent fights in the ring in 2014 to start his own wrestling school in Punjab, India as part of Continental Wrestling Entertainment.
Scott Hall, known in the ring as Razor Ramon, retired from pro wrestling in 2011. Since, he has struggled with several health and legal issues, but still appears on television every so often.
John Layfield, also known as JBL, retired from wrestling in 2009. He has since worked as a financial analyst for FOX and as a WWE commentator. He also produces his own web series.
Ron Simmons retired from WWE in 2004 and has since returned in sporadic appearances on “RAW” and other television shows like “Survivor.”
Harley Race retired from pro wrestling in 1991. Since, he has written an autobiography and appeared as a special guest on many wrestling-centric television broadcasts all over the world.
Edge, or Adam Joseph Copeland, wrestled professionally until 2011. Since, he has acted extensively on television and in film. He has also served as a talk show host.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is now an A-list action and comedy star since partially retiring from wrestling in 2009. He now works part time with WWE as a special guest while also acting in large-scale motion pictures.
Bill Goldberg retired from wrestling in the mid-2000s before returning as a special guest on WWE on some occasions. Now he is a commentator for MMA fights and host of Garage Mahal on the DIY Network.
Bret Hart debuted as a pro wrestler in the late 1970s and retired in 2000. Since, he now appears sporadically on WWE and has written newspaper columns for the Calgary Sun and acted in theater. One of his roles? Genie in Aladdin.
The Iron Sheik
The Iron Sheik, born in Tehran, Iran as Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, retired from pro wrestling in 2010. Since, he has made sporadic television appearances and has crowdfunded for a documentary about his life titled The Sheik.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
A semi-retired pro-wrestler, Stone Cold Steve Austin left the profession in 2004 before returning in 2015. He is a philanthropist, Mixed Martial Arts commentator and host of his own podcast, The Steve Austin Show.
CM Punk, or Phillip Jack Brooks, retired from wrestling in 2014. Now, he is a Mixed Martial Arts fighter and, interestingly enough, a writer for Marvel Comics.
Amy Christine Dumas, also known as Lita in the ring, retired from pro wrestling in 2006. She has since formed a pop-punk band as well as taken a job as a producer for WWE.
Richard Morgan Flair, also known as Ric Flair, officially retired in 2012. He has appeared in Magic Mike XXL and appears on WWE as a non-wrestling personality.
El Mongol, or Raul Molina, is the oldest surviving Mexican wrestler and is now fully retired at 86 years old. After quitting pro wrestling in the 1980s, he opened a Mexican restaurant.
Bruno Sammartino holds the record for longest single championship reign in WWE history. Since quitting the ring in the 1980s, he remained as a sideline commentator and spokesman for WWE.
Sting, born as Steve Borden, Sr., was a pro wrestler several times between 1986 and 2016. Now a father of two and step-dad of another daughter, Sting has acted in several films and appears alongside Shawn Michaels on the Bible Broadcast Network.
Hulk Hogan, or Terry Boella, was fired from the WWE in 2015 over a radio interview in which he used racial slurs. Since he has been embroiled in two high-profile lawsuits with online gossip outlet Gawker over its release of a sex tape and the interview recording. He won tens of millions of dollars over the sex tape case. Professionally, Hulk Hogan has also lent his voice as a guest star on Robot Chicken and American Dad! as well as