Prior to becoming a star in professional wrestling, Ahmed Johnson, whose real name is Anthony Norris, played middle linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys for two seasons (1990 and 1991). He wasn't a big star, nor did he receive a lot of playing time, so he's not remembered by too many NFL fans.
In order to sell his big match at Wrestlemania 3 against Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant was promoted as having an undefeated streak that stretched over fifteen years. Gorilla Monsoon heavily sold that fact as well. However, he had actually been beaten a few times in other countries during that time period.
When Barbarian and Warlord left the NWA while in the midst of a high profile feud against the Road Warriors, a lot of people were puzzled. It was later discovered that the Powers of Pain had backstage heat with the company because they did not want to work a series of scaffold matches.
Jimmy Hart has managed some of the most well known performers in WWE history, but his very first client in the company was Greg Valentine, who was the Intercontinental Champion at the time. Management would split up the duo shortly after Valentine lost the belt.
After playing football collegiately for the University of Miami and professionally for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, Lex Luger made his way to the NFL when he signed with the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, though, he never played a single regular season game for the team.
Minoru Tanaka had a brief stint in TNA, where the Japanese wrestler was a part of Team Japan, a story line that the company ran in 2006. He worked a tag team match on Impact Wrestling and also worked a six man tag team match at TNA Lockdown.
While WWE has opted against honoring her career, Alundra Blayze has cemented her place in professional wrestling history. Also known as Madusa Miceli during her career, she became the first woman to be ever win the PWI Rookie of the Year award.
During the 1970s, the King of Tonga chose five teenagers to go study sumo in Japan. One of the lucky ones was Sione Vailahi, who would someday become known as the Barbarian in the NWA and WWE. The training would provide him a little boost as a professional wrestler.
Prior to becoming the voice of WWE, Michael Cole worked as a journalist for CBS Radio. Presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, who famously lost the election race to George Bush, was his first major assignment. He had to explore the losing side of things in the piece.
Had things gone a different way, then wrestling fans might have never heard of Tajiri. The former WWE and ECW star had initially began training for a career in kickboxing, but changed to professional wrestling after watching several matches from Mexico.
In 2005, WWE offered Terry Funk a contract to work the One Night Stand pay per view, which was an ECW reunion show, but the legendary performer opted to reject that deal, in order to work Hardcore Homecoming, an independent wrestling show held by Shane Douglas.
In professional wrestling, the term "gorilla position" is thrown around backstage in WWE, TNA, ROH and even some independent wrestling promotions. It is used to describe the backstage agent that gives instructions to the performers right before they go through the curtains.
While most wrestling fans know him as Captain Lou Albano, very few know about the origin of the nickname. As a youth, he excelled in sports, where he rose to the ranks of captain of his high school football team. It was there when people started calling him Captain.
In 1986, the Warlord started working out at a new gym when he was approached by the owner, better known to wrestling fans as Road Warrior Animal, about a possible career change. Animal sent him to Dusty Rhodes, and a contract with the NWA shortly followed.
In order to give him instant credibility with the audience, World Class Championship Wrestling decided to bill the Great Muta, who came to America from Japan for seasoning, as the son of the Great Kabuki, who was also managed by Gary Hart as well.
When Curtis Axel made his debut in professional wrestling, he worked a tag team match with fellow third generation star Ted DiBiase, who would also go on to find fame in WWE, in a match for World League Wrestling, which they won via disqualification.
When the nWo story line reached Japan, a version of the group was created. One of the members was Satoshi Kojima, who frequently teamed with Hiroshi Tenzan during his stint with the stable.
Aside from being one of the most known tag teams of all time, the British Bulldogs were cousins. Dynamite Kid's father was the brother of Davey Boy Smith's mother.
Jimmy Hart managed King Kong Bundy at the very first Wrestlemania, but the longtime WWE manager traded him to Bobby Heenan in exchange for Adrian Adonis and the Missing Link soon afterwards.
When he was just a child, Zach Gowen was diagnosed with cancer, and the future WWE star would be forced to amputate his leg when he was just eight years of age.
While his character is said to be from the Sudan, the guy that portrayed Abdullah the Butcher was actually from Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
While working in OVW, Brad Maddox had a necrophiliac gimmick named Brent "Beef" Wellington.
During the mid 1980s, Nikolai Volkoff made his return to WWE after stints in the AWA and Mid South. Upon his return, someone came up with the idea to have him sing the Russian national anthem to generate heel heat, as the United States was at odds with the country.
Justin Roberts became a fan of professional wrestling as a kid because he met Kerry Von Erich and the Ultimate Warrior at a hotel in Wisconsin. He had recently started watching after catching an episode of Saturday Night's Main Event and became an even bigger fan after meeting the performers.
While many fans know that Cody Rhodes and Goldust are brothes, some do not know that they are actually half brothers. Their father is WWE legend Dusty Rhodes, but they each have different mothers. The wrestling siblings are approximately sixteen years apart in age.
For years, one of the most recognizable traits on a wrestler were the scars that were seen on the forehead of Abdullah the Butcher. The origin of that damage was from years and years of blading, in order to maintain his violent character. The trademark appearance is so popular that some Japanese cartoon makers have adopted it as well
On the April 21, 2005 episode of Smackdown, Zack Ryder made his debut in a match against Matt Morgan.
After the eight grade, Andre the Giant decided to drop out of school, as the future WWE legend did not believe that an education was needed in order to be a farmer.
Prior to becoming a WWE star, Charlie Haas worked as a stockbrocker.
During his first stint with WWE during the early 1980s, Curt Hennig was paired up with Eddie Gilbert, another second generation wrestler, in a tag team.
Prior to becoming one of the most respected wrestlers that the industry has ever seen, Dean Malenko started out as a referee. He was able to find work in the Tampa area, thanks to his family ties, and he even worked briefly as a referee for WWE.
At just the age of 17, Andre the Giant moved from Grenoble to Paris to start training for professional wrestling. He hit the mats at night, while working as a mover during the day to pay his bills.
Prior to forming the massively popular British Bulldogs tag team, Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith were booked in a long feud in both Canada and Japan.