Retirement is a massive decision for any wrestler reaching the end of the road. Most names get tempted to return to the industry and desire more moments in the spotlight. However, it is a different story when some wrestlers found an actual new life outside of wrestling and still had that temptation.
These former pro wrestling stars work normal 9 to 5 jobs today.
The Rock, John Cena and Batista show there are paths to thrive in entertainment without wrestling, but that path to stardom in blockbuster films is impossible to plan out. Each story in question showcases the various reasons familiar faces return to the ring after leaving normal lives. The following wrestlers had viable paths outside of the wrestling world with retirement but got sucked back in.
Paul Burchill Was A Forgotten Man In WWE
Wrestling’s Forgotten Pirate Giving Career Another Chance At Spotlight
- Bad WWE Gimmicks Ruined His Career Before Getting Over
- Left Wrestling Industry To Chase New Career Path In Firefighting
- Burchill Returned To Wrestling Scene On Indie Circuit In 2023
WWE hired Paul Burchill and saw strong potential for him to become a big star one day. Unfortunately, the wrestling tenure of Burchill saw him remembered for outlandish gimmicks of a wild pirate or for his implied incest angle with Katie Lea Burchill.
These former WCW wrestlers ventured into unexpected careers beyond the wrestling world.
Burchill eventually saw WWE losing faith and releasing him. Retirement came for Paul when finding a life outside of wrestling, including a new career path in firefighting. However, fans were surprised to see Burchill return to the ring in 2023 on the independent circuit.
Taylor Wilde Was A Star In TNA’s Knockouts Division
Another Retired Wrestler Turned Firefighter Returned To Industry
- Wasn’t Making A Living Wage During First TNA Stint
- Became Full-Time Firefighter In Toronto, Canada
- Return Stint Sees Her As Valuable Part Of Company
Diehard TNA fans will remember Taylor Wilde for the massive upset defeating Awesome Kong for the Knockouts Championship in her first official TNA match. Wilde also made news revealing she worked at a mall kiosk during her TNA tenure since they didn’t pay her a living wage.
Firefighting was also the career path of Taylor when becoming a full-time firewoman in her home of Toronto. Wilde returned to TNA a few years ago and found her way back into the industry as a full-time part of the promotion again.
Tony Schiavone Is One Of The Voices Of AEW
- WWE Wasn’t Interested In Hiring Schiavone After WCW Went Under
- MLW Convinced Tony To Commentate Wrestling Again After Sports Tenure
- AEW Made Sure Schiavone Would Become Huge Part Of Company
WCW legend Tony Schiavone was arguably the best WCW commentator ever. Fans were more disappointed to learn that Schiavone was not going to continue his career after WCW went out of business with limited WWE interest.
MLW was actually the promotion that started employing Tony again after many years calling sports games on the radio. AEW was the bigger fish to bring in Schiavone for bigger roles on and off screen to make wrestling his full-time career again.
Goldberg Is Looking For One Last Match
Had One Of The Most Unlikely Comeback Stories Ever
- Left WWE Unhappy In 2004 Never Expecting To Return
- Video Game Deal Saw Fan Interest In Goldberg’s Comeback
- Agreed To WWE Return Run Since
The wealth and success Goldberg accomplished in his prime led to him leaving the industry for many years. Goldberg had a lackluster WWE stint in the 2000s after his legendary WCW run that harmed his name value in the short-term.
WWE working with Goldberg to appear in their annual video in the 2010s led to Goldberg wrestling his first match in over a decade. Goldberg wanted his son to watch him perform for the first time, and it led to him working in WWE for a few years in a much bigger role than his first WWE stint.
Scotty 2 Hotty Still Has The Itch
Recently Had Emotional Dark Match At AEW Tapings
- Chased New Career Path As Another Firefighter
- Returned To Wrestling As WWE PC Coach
- Scotty Wrestled On Indies & For AEW Since Leaving WWE
WWE fans loved Scotty 2 Hotty as part of the Too Cool trio faction in the Attitude Era. Any wrestler to receive a monster pop every week for doing The Worm dance clearly found a way to connect with the audience. Scotty is yet another wrestler to follow the firefighting path, but his specific job was an emergency medical technician.
There are plenty of wrestlers who are nothing like the characters that they portray on television.
However, a return to the industry came for WWE when Scotty joined their coaching staff. WWE releasing Scotty led to him wrestling on independent shows again. AEW booked Scotty for a dark match before TV for Scotty’s kids to see him perform live once.
Davey Richards Has Had A Roller Coaster Career
Returned To Wrestling & Left Again In Controversy
- Davey Retired To Become Full-Time Paramedic
- Returned To Ring In MLW & Independent Circuit
- Left Again After Accusations Put Promotions In Jeopardy
The wrestling career of Davey Richards featured his greatest successes coming in Ring of Honor, TNA and New Japan. Richards was compared to Dynamite Kid throughout his career as one of the best in-ring performers in the industry.
Time away from pro wrestling allowed Davey to go to school and become a paramedic. Richards returned to the ring once having a stable life and worked weekend dates for various smaller promotions. MLW was the biggest company to use Davey consistently, but he left the industry again after allegations of domestic abuse, despite denying it.
Don Callis Has Become The Most Hated Man In AEW
Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega Inspired His Wrestling Return
- Never Got Chance To Show Full Potential In WWE
- First Taste Of Wrestling Again At Jericho’s WWE Anniversary
- NJPW & AEW Stints Were Influenced By Kenny Omega
Don Callis is barely remembered for his WWE run since he barely did much in the Truth Commission or Oddities factions. ECW and TNA had Callis on the roster afterwards, but he left the industry afterwards.
International trade was the industry that Callis used his previous education to get work in. Chris Jericho inviting Callis and Lance Storm to his 25th anniversary match in WWE showed a familiar face. Callis started to show his presence on social media again leading to Kenny Omega helping him get hired by NJPW before AEW.
Alex Shelley Is A TNA Legend
Having One Of The Best Comeback Stories From Retirement
- Shelley Thought He Was Done With TNA After Finding New Career
- Split Time Between Physical Therapy Job & Wrestling Return
- Became One Of The Faces Of TNA Rebuilding Movement
TNA fans witnessed Alex Shelley looking like a future star in his first run with the promotion. Shelley found more success and happiness with New Japan, but he was also going to school to earn a degree and land a job outside of the industry. School and experience landed Shelley a full-time job in the physical therapy world.
Shelley returned to the ring a few years back and made TNA his home with Scott D’Amore rebuilding the brand. The TNA World Championship win of Shelley gave him the ultimate accomplishment from a promotion that once limited him. Shelley tried to juggle both jobs before committing to wrestling with so many dates coming in.