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Names of WWE Stars who are poor have been compiled and released — See Names Of Those Wrestling Star Who Are Facing Financial Challenges:
In 2018, professional wrestling is a sports entertainment force of nature, and the WWE in particular is a cultural machine. It has dominated professional wrestling since the 1980s when Vince McMahon brought together a scattered mishmash of regional wrestling companies under one umbrella that went nationwide.
Later it would go worldwide and the sport would achieve amazing popularity — try finding anyone who doesn’t at least know the names of wrestling stars like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, or The Rock. In 2017 alone, the WWE reported revenue of over $800 million. Superstar wrestlers like Brock Lesnar can make over $12 million per year. It’s a big money industry, but not for everyone.
While wrestling is big now, the road here was long and only those at the very top reap the huge rewards. Many wrestling stars from yesterday never got to have a piece of that multimillion-dollar action while others have lost whatever they did have and ended up in some pretty dire straits overall.
Some signed with smaller companies like WCW, ECW, and TNA that didn’t have the reach and influence of McMahon’s organization. Whatever the reason, it’s surprising to see just how many superstars of wrestling have been pinned by financial ruin over the years.
Below are Wrestling Stars that are poor and in financial ruin:
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#1. WWE Hall Of Famer Sunny went from Diva to DUI or porn
WWE Divas are a big part of the brand these days, but women in wrestling had an uphill battle to get to the recognition they currently have, which still isn’t anywhere near on par with the men. But they have made strides, and one of the first names to break out in the Attitude era of WWE back in the 1990s was Sunny.
After leaving the WWE, Sunny, whose real name is Tammy Lynn Sytch, has had some run-ins with the law. Back in 2012, according to TMZ, she was actually arrested five times in just four weeks. Charges included violating a protective order and burglary.
In 2016, she signed a deal with Vivid Entertainment to release an adult video, capitalizing on her WWE fame. Sytch had been in and out of rehab several times during this same period, programs that the WWE had been paying for. However, after she criticized the treatment she was given, the WWE issued a statement saying it would no longer fund rehab for the former Diva and left her to her own devices.
After three DUIs in 2015, Sytch was arrested in March 2018 on charges of contempt of court and being a fugitive from justice, according to TMZ. The constant battles with substance abuse and the legal system are likely taking a massive toll.
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#2. Kamala lost way more than just money
Billed for a time as the “Ugandan Giant,” Kamala, whose real name is James Harris, was one of the literal giants of mid-’80s WWE. At 6’9″ tall and weighing well over 300 pounds, he was an imposing figure.
His racially insensitive character famously ate a live chicken during an interview, though the gimmick was only staged to make it look like he’d bitten the head off the bird. Sure made for some compelling TV, though.
Despite a lengthy career in the industry that lasted over 30 years, Harris had a number of health issues that have had a tremendous impact on his life. By mid-2012, Harris had undergone three separate amputations as a result of complications from diabetes, leaving him at first without feet and then without legs.
In 2014, Harris did an interview with Bleacher Report as he was working on his life story. He self-published his story through a Kickstarter campaign and, at the time, he was making ends meet thanks to his monthly disability check. Generous fans helped raise over $40,000 on a GoFundMe after the Bleacher Report article brought attention to his plight, but the health problems haven’t let up for the superstar. He underwent surgery in 2017 that nearly killed him, according to TMZ. Here’s hoping for the best.
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#3: The Dynamite Kid’s injuries caught up with him
One half of the legendary tag team known as the British Bulldogs, Tom “Dynamite Kid” Billington has had a brutal post-wrestling career.
He’s admitted to years of drug abuse, claiming that everyone in wrestling at the time seemed to be using steroids, and also openly admitted in a CNN interview to holding a shotgun to his wife’s head but insisted he wasn’t a violent person since the gun wasn’t loaded at the time.
With a reputation for being just as cruel inside the ring as out, the Dynamite Kid was eventually let go by the WWF and for a time did the independent wrestling circuit before the physical toll caught up with him.
In 1986 he actually broke his back in the ring but recovered and continued to wrestle for five more years, against doctors’ orders due to his failing health. In 1997 he collapsed at home and doctors told him they couldn’t operate. He was paralyzed. This would become much worse in 2016 when Billington suffered a stroke.
Billington, now wheelchair bound, wanted to return home to England, and his wife set up a GoFundMe campaign to try to raise money to cover medical care and send him home. The campaign ended after raising about £5,000.
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#6: Justin Credible has a long history of relapses
Like so many of his peers, Justin credible, whose real name is P.J. Polanco, got caught up in substance abuse. Unable to resist either alcohol or opioids, Polanco was very much an addict on a downward spiral of self-destruction.
He was drinking up to a fifth of vodka a day and doing IV heroin because it was cheaper than the more expensive opioids he could no longer afford.
In 2017, Polanco posted a now-deleted video in which he ranted about his career and time as a champion and seemed very visibly unwell. Within days, according to Sportskeeda, he posted a follow-up about how the WWE had gotten in touch and offered him help in the form of a rehab program – he accepted.
Unfortunately, by late 2017 he had relapsed again, and showed up to a live event in Connecticut visibly drunk. The situation was bad and, according to Pro Wrestling Sheet, you could actually hear other wrestlers asking if it was part of the show before the promoter came out to force Polanco to leave.
These days Polanco is back on the wagon, hopefully for good this time. As he told Wrestling Inc, it’s not been all fame and fortune getting here, especially when he said he was working 300 days a year back in his heyday and not even making six figures. Factoring in all the time on the road, he said he was actually losing money.
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#4: Daffney’s been dogged by medical bills
Shannon Claire Spruill rose to fame in World Championship Wrestling under the stage name Daffney. The character she portrayed was a kind of tough and hardcore goth girl. She had a decent stint as both a valet and a wrestler toward the end of the WCW’s run before it was consumed by the WWE.
Later, Daffney would return to the ring with total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2008, and she stayed with the company for about three years.
In 2011, Daffney’s contract ended and she filed a worker’s compensation claim against the company for injuries sustained on the job that, according to Cage Side Seats, included no fewer than three separate concussions. (There’s been some debate about whether she filed the claim before or after she was let go.)
According to PW Insider, Daffney’s injuries in one instance brought with them a hospital bill of $26,000 that TNA refused to pay. She said in her lawsuit that the company covered a mere $600. And that was allegedly after the company assured her they’d take care of the expenses on her behalf.
The bills continued to dog her, unpaid and gaining interest. It took two years for them to work out an agreement so that she could finally pay off the debt she’d been saddled with.
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