KARACHI: Pro wrestlers are expected to look a certain way. The standard muscular look was necessary to be considered a top player, especially back in the 90s. This led them to use steroids and other drugs to maintain a heroic physique, besides going to the gym. Apart from that, the wear and tear they took almost 300 days a year resulted in their bodies aging quickly and horribly.
Here’s a list of five popular wrestlers who show the scars of life on their bodies.
Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts
Almost everyone remembers the 80s legendary superstar terrorising everyone in the ring with his snake ‘Damian’. But what most people are unaware of is Roberts’s history alcohol and drug abuse. And it wasn’t a result of wrestler’s lifestyle, but rather a tough childhood, including his sister’s kidnapping and murder. Due to his addiction, he later lost relationships with his wife and eight children.
“I didn’t see a way out. I had given up on life completely; I was just waiting to die. I was praying it would happen soon. I would get angry hearing someone else had died,” he told ABC News. From alcohol and drug abuse to brain abnormalities due to wrestling, his body has endured everything.
Thankfully, in 2012, fellow wrestler Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) visited Roberts and helped turn his life around through his ‘DDP Yoga’ program. His recovery was chronicled in the documentary The Resurrection of Jake the Snake. He lost weight, which at one point rose to over 300 pounds. In fact, in January 2014, Roberts even made an appearance on an Old School Raw episode.
Luger was known for having one of the best physiques in pro wrestling. However that didn’t guarantee his wrestling skills. Despite that, he was the most popular superstar from 1993 to 1995, when he departed from the WWF (now WWE).
During his career, he got away and balanced his reliance on drugs and alcohol with wrestling but after his retirement, things got worse for the 1994 Royal Rumble co-winner.
“I thought the drinking and the pills were more of a social thing that I did with the rest of the guys. Back then, it was a work hard, play hard mentality. So none of us felt we really had a problem,” he said in an interview with Forbes. “But guys were dropping like flies and dying. I was towards the end of my career and it was my real worst times because the alcohol was right after my retirement. I had too much free time on my hands.”
In 2007, at the age of 48, he suffered temporary paralysis due to a nerve impingement in his neck. With time, he got better and currently works with the WWE on their wellness policy.
Wrestler Scott Hall (popularly known as Razor Ramon) will perhaps be remembered as one of the founding members of the most iconic factions ‘NWO’ in the 90s. The WWE Hall of Famer killed a man in 1983 as a self-defense and struggled with numerous bouts of alcohol and drug abuse later on, resulting in a complete transformation in his later years from his tall and dark frame of the 90s. Thankfully, DDP has also helped Hall recover from his addiction and the damage his body’s been through over the years.
The beer-drinking hardcore legend from the ECW promotion, The Sandman made a name for himself with his extreme fighting tactics. His reckless style and unashamed persona made him popular but it also resulted in his body aging faster than usual.
The Phenom might be a surprising name on this list for many. For the last three decades, his body has taken so much punishment that now he is only able to wrestle once a year (at Wrestlemania). Not much is known about Taker’s personal life because of his mysterious on-screen persona but it’s rumoured he was involved in “heavy partying” but recovered before joining WWE in 1990. Since then, the living legend has become the most respected name in the business, but decades of wrestling have aged the Deadman faster.
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