WWE news: John Cena, The Rock & Daniel Bryan were all homeless before making it as wrestlers


WWE Superstars are able to mesmerise fans all over the world, putting their bodies on the line to pull off moves that us mere mortals would not even attempt. Some have become household names and idols along the way.

Yet, it is not always the smoothest path to the top. There are plenty that have struggled at some point in their careers, and some have even struggled so much they were left homeless.

Thanks to an article from TheMix, here are 10 wrestlers that have been in this predicament before going on to turn their lives around.

1. TJ Perkins

Perkins achieved success early on in the New Japan Pro-Wrestling franchise, which led him to the US to try to make it with WWE. That failed to work out, though, leaving him homeless.

He did not give up on his dream and was eventually signed by WWE in 2016, remaining on the roster for three years before being released last year. He is now signed to Impact Wrestling.

2. Rich Swann

Swann had a desperately sad start to life with his father murdered when he was just 12 and his mother dying only four years later.

He dealt with these losses by turning to cocaine, and this addiction left him homeless. However, he was able to get a major break in 2015 when he was offered a WWE contract, and he went on to perform for the company until 2018, when he was released after being charged with domestic battery.

3. Daniel Bryan


Perseverance pays off. Daniel Bryan is living proof. Having tried to earn his breakthrough by travelling the globe, Bryan eventually ran out of money, causing him to sleep in his car or at a wrestling school.

Fast forward a few years and he is now one of the most well-known names in WWE and a guaranteed Hall of Famer. He achieved the ultimate goal of becoming world champion back in 2011, and has since held this title on four more occasions.

4. AJ Lee

Lee grew up in poverty, meaning that she was homeless in her younger years. She also suffers from bipolar disorder, making her rise to the top a truly inspiring story.

Despite her struggles, Lee refused to be held back, and proved herself in WWE by winning the Divas Championship three times. She retired from the sport in 2015, and wrote a book soon afterwards detailing her life so far.

5. Chyna

Chyna made her name in the 1990s, earning her reputation as a fearsome competitor. Yet she had some tough times before this, which left her sleeping on an air mattress on the floor with another homeless man.


Her life was tragically cut short in 2016 when she was found dead at home following an accidental drug overdose. The WWE honoured her last year by posthumously inducting her into the Hall of Fame as part of the much-loved stable D-Generation X.

6. Perry Saturn

This list also has some incredibly dramatic stories. Perry Saturn's falls into this category. After wrestling for WWE in the early 2000s, Saturn saved a woman from being raped in 2004, but was shot in the neck and shoulder whilst doing so.

Things spiralled downhill quickly from here, with Saturn becoming addicted to meth, leaving him homeless for two years. His relationship with WWE also turned ugly as he sued the company after struggling with a traumatic brain injury. His case was thrown out, but he has reportedly recovered from his meth addiction since.

7. Roddy Piper

A true icon of the sport. Famed for wearing a kilt in honour of his Scottish heritage, Piper became hugely popular during his wrestling career. 

However, he revealed that he did not have the easiest upbringing, claiming that his father was abusive and that he had to sleep on the streets during his teenage years.


8. Mick Foley

From one legend to another. Foley wowed fans with his various roles in WWE, competing as Cactus Jack, Mankind and Dude Love.

He appeared to be a wrestler that cherished every moment, and when you hear his backstory, you will understand why. Foley started his professional career with very little money, meaning that he had to sleep in his car whilst wearing the same clothes for days on end.

9. The Rock

Arguably the greatest entertainer the WWE has ever produced, but it hasn't always been so nice. As a 15-year-old, his family were unable to pay the rent, leaving Dwayne Johnson homeless.

The rest, however, is history. The Rock starred in WWE in the late 1990s and early 2000s, taking the company to new heights. He has since made his return on several occasions, whilst he is also now one of the biggest movie stars on the planet.

10. John Cena


Was a 16-time world champion really homeless? Yes he was. Cena struggled financially early on in his wrestling career, but he has since turned things around dramatically.

One of the most successful wrestlers of all time, and the perfect example that a combination of hard work and talent can take you a very long way.

So there you have it. Despite their successes in recent year, it hasn't always been easy for some big names in the history of World Wrestling Entertainment.

Of course, not all on this list had major success, but from where they came from, they've certainly done very well, and that's a feel-good story we can all support.

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