Life after WWE can be tough for the wrestlers looking to continue their careers elsewhere. Some talents do make huge marks like Jon Moxley in AEW or Hideo Itami in New Japan. However, most wrestlers will have to work the indie circuit with the hopes of gaining momentum. Not everyone will get signed by a major company or have standout performances to get buzz on social media.
We will look at some of the names that are having quiet runs outside of WWE. The glitz and glamour no longer follow them. Matches in front of smaller crowds can be depressing, but it can be inspiring to make an intimidating group of fans react positively or negatively depending on your character. Find out just which wrestlers are still working under the radar. These are seventeen former WWE superstars still quietly in the business.
17 Adam Rose
The career of Adam Rose took a huge hit when he was released from WWE. Rose never got over on the main roster as expected and other issues outside of the ring hurt his standing. There was a short retirement for Rose, but he’s still wrestling today on smaller indie shows like ARW and HOW.
16 Justin Gabriel
WWE had something special when Justin Gabriel was one of the breakout stars of Nexus. The problem is the company did nothing with him once the group ended. Gabriel is still active now as a member of the Ring of Honor roster. Unfortunately, ROH has lost all momentum with low viewership and attendance figures.
The credibility of Jazz helped the WWE women’s division find success in the early 2000s. Jazz provided the perfect opponent to feud with Trish Stratus in a transition period. The career of Jazz is still going on the independent circuit. Her biggest appearance came at AEW All Out in the Casino Battle Royal.
14 Ultimo Dragon
Ultimo Dragon had a tremendous run in WCW as part of the cruiserweight division. The move to WWE would see him suffer one of the worst runs of his career as they lost faith in him. Dragon is still active in wrestling all these years later in Japan. Dragon Gate and AJPW are his main home promotions these days.
13 Trevor Murdoch
WWE fans will remember Trevor Murdoch from his time teaming with Lance Cade in the Raw tag division. Murdoch struggled when the team split up and was released rather quickly. NWA has picked up Murdoch for their Powerrr television show. Murdoch also works the occasional independent promotion to continue making a living in wrestling.
12 Simon Gotch
The Vaudevillains tag team instantly failed on WWE’s main roster with Simon Gotch losing his status as a rising star. Gotch was released partially due to his backstage heat. MLW is the main home of Gotch today with occasional appearances for smaller indie companies like FSW and LLL to stay active.
11 Chris Masters
Chris Masters has continued wrestling without an extended break since getting released from WWE. There was a short run in Impact Wrestling/GFW, but Masters has yet to break out for a bigger promotion after leaving WWE. The wrestling style of Masters is a bit outdated from the current landscape and some changes may be needed for a contract offer.
The legendary career of Victoria featured many stand out matches in the early 2000s for WWE. Victoria and Trish Stratus had some groundbreaking matches for women’s wrestling. Interviews have indicated she wants to retire soon, but Victoria is still active for smaller companies like IPW and HOW in the final stretch of her career.
9 Kevin Thorn
WWE fans will remember the unique characters of Kevin Thorn and Mordecai. Neither gimmick got over, but he did show some solid potential. Thorn has yet to hang up the boots with a handful of appearances in 2019. The transition into real estate is clear from his social media pages show that his time in wrestling could be winding down.
Virgil is one wrestler that just never leaves the industry. The peak of Virgil’s career in WWE came about three decades ago. The veteran still appears at indie shows and is known for hustling his autograph and photo op deals. Virgil recently appeared on AEW television in a comedic segment as a hype man for Chris Jericho.
7 Savio Vega
The background of Savio Vega wrestling in Puerto Rico landed him a spot in WWE during the New Generation Era. Vega had some fun matches, but WWE never viewed him as a big player. The career of Savio is still going strong about two decades after leaving WWE. Vega primarily wrestles for IWA in Puerto Rico along with a few United States appearances in MLW.
6 Bob Holly
Bob Holly was once the longest tenured wrestler on the WWE roster and an unofficial locker room leader. WWE eventually decided it was time to cut bait with him. Holly has continued wrestling full-time on the independent scene. Most of his dates are international as Holly still travels the world.
5 Scott Steiner
The last WWE run of Scott Steiner was one of the biggest disappointments in company history. Steiner held a grudge with Triple H for how their matches went down. The life of Steiner has seen a transition into running a restaurant, but he still wrestles quite often. Steiner even went viral for Impact Wrestling with a few appearances in early 2019.
Gangrel was the odd man out when The Brood ended with Edge and Christian going on their own. The vampire gimmick was fun, but Gangrel lacked the all-around skills to thrive in WWE. Wrestling is still the lifestyle of Gangrel with smaller indie appearances for promotions like NYWC and GWA. He also runs a wrestling school named Gangrel’s Wrestling Asylum.
WWE brought Tajiri back to the company after a long absence for a run in the cruiserweight division. Injuries cut his time short and a mutual agreement led to his release. Tajiri did not have any interest in retiring as he still works full-time in Japan. The main promotions of the legend these days are AJPW and BJW.
MVP had an outstanding run in WWE on the Smackdown brand as an all-time great United States Champion. The decision to leave WWE saw him chase a dream in New Japan and spend some time in Impact Wrestling. MVP is still active today on the independent scene with appearances in smaller companies like NLL and GWP.
The potential of Carlito could have seen him become a main eventer in WWE, but things never worked out. Carlito had a hot start until losing his momentum and eventually getting released. The career of Carlito has continued extremely quietly since leaving WWE. None of the noteworthy promotions have booked him as Carlito works for companies like ICW and APC.
Sources: Cagematch, PW Torch