It’s often said that celebrities are just like us, and the jobs held by WWE stars before their big breaks show that there’s at least some truth in that cliché, as an article from The Sun has discovered.
Some big names in WWE used to hold jobs that make sense given their imposing physiques.
Take Mark Calaway, better known by WWE fans as The Undertaker, as an example of that. Calaway used to work as a debt collector, making sure that anyone who owed money fulfilled their payments.
For extra income, The Undertaker also worked as a bouncer in nightclubs and bars. Calaway stands at six feet and 10 inches tall and weighs in at around 136kg, so it’s hard to imagine him being bad at either of those jobs.
Similarly, The Great Khali was a fearsome presence even before he entered the ring, working as an assistant sub-inspector with the Punjab police.
Other wrestlers and ex-wrestlers, on the other hand, held jobs that you might not have expected them to before they entered the spotlight.
John Cena used to work in a gym, which isn’t too unusual, although he also used to drive a limo. It emerged in an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers last year that Cena was much better-suited to wrestling than he was driving, as he showed up three hours late to his first pick-up and took two hours taking his clients to Boston Airport, making them miss their flight.
Roman Reigns had a varied career before turning pro as a wrestler. In 2007, he had brief off-season stints with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars, and then he moved to Canadian Football League side Edmonton Eskimos in 2008.
Before WWE, he also worked a nine-to-five job installing office furniture with his sister’s business, but said he always felt as if he was “supposed to be doing something else”.
Former Divas champions and tag team Nikki and Brie Bella didn’t just pair up as a tag team in WWE, as they both used to waitress at American restaurant chain Hooters.
Becky Lynch - real name Rebecca Quin - represented Ireland both in WWE and as a flight attendant on the country’s flag carrier airline Aer Lingus, where she worked for two-and-a-half years. After that, she stayed in Ireland to study at the Dublin Institute of Technology, before heading Stateside to Columbia College Chicago. Before she broke into WWE, she also worked as a stunt performer.
Fellow Irish native Stephen Farrelly, better know as Sheamus to most, took a rather different career path before making his WWE debut, working as an IT technician after studying at the National College of Ireland.
Perhaps most surprising of all is ex-vegan Daniel Bryan, who was once an employee at McDonald’s. His work at the fast-food chain financed his wrestling career, helping turn him into a WWE heavyweight champion.
If there’s one clear takeaway from looking back on the early careers of WWE wrestlers, it’s that working hard and having a clear end goal can help you achieve your dreams - even if it does take a few years.
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