Top 14 Famous WWE Superstars In Case You Didn’t Know Grew Up Poor

By Stevie Adams / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

14. AJ Styles Had to Deal
with A Difficult Family or most wrestlers, their first
glimpses at the sport comes from watching it on TV, with these iconic battles of
heroes and villains inspiring these future Champions. But for the young AJ Styles, his
family were so poor, that they couldn’t afford cable, something which would have no
doubt helped the Phenomenal One escape into a better world. Part of the AJ’s financial problems was that AJ’s father was
reportedly abusive, though Styles would inevitably
master the sport he rarely got to see as a kid, with the hardships he faced
giving him a will to succeed. Making his big break in the early
2000s, Styles would briefly join the WWF, before moving to TNA, becoming arguably the brand’s
biggest star. Whether it be in New Japan, or in WWE where he is today, AJ had proved himself as an
excellent wrestler, holding gold all over the world. Not only that, but the Phenomenal
One has clearly proven himself to be a better father than his old man, with AJ’s devotion to his family being very well known to all his fans. 13. Ken Shamrock had troubles
before UFC It’s hard to imagine that any
WWE Superstar, with their muscles and larger than
life personalities could ever be
vulnerable, and it’s especially difficult to imagine that that vulnerable kid would grow up to be one of UFC’s biggest stars. But as a child, Ken had a very
bad start to life, with his father abandoning their
family when Ken was just five, and while Ken and his mother
tried their best, one stepfather had a particular
disdain for the future Intercontinental
Champion, kicking him out of the house
aged just 13. He bounced around between
several group homes before being placed in Bob
Shamrock’s Boys’ Home at age 14,
in Susanville, California where he
turned his life around. Bob Shamrock legally adopted Ken
as his son, and Ken changed his last name
from Kilpatrick to Shamrock in
Bob’s honor. He then joined the Coast Guard
shortly before knocking out
Kevin “The Hitman” Harlee After years of sports, the future
Most Dangerous Man realised realised that he only felt truly
comfortable in combat sports, with Shamrock quickly turning
his attention to the UFC. After dominating the Octagon, Shamrock would join the WWF
in 1997, with many in the WWE Universe
hoping to see to see the former UFC legend 12. Adam Rose was homeless in South Africa When Adam Rose was released from WWE
in 2016, it was under bad circumstances,
with most in the WWE Universe accepting
that we’ll probably never see him in a WWE
ring ever again. With that being said, Rose has spent his
entire life overcoming hardship with the Party Animal running away
from his family when he was only 14. Not only that, Rose dropped out
of school not long before leaving home,
despite his relatively well-off family allowing him to be well-educated. From there, homelessness and
fights ensued, though Rose has admitted that it
was his own reckless decisions that put him there, saying in an
interview: “I chose the lifestyle I wanted to live
when I was there. I had loving parents, I just didn’t choose to be part
of the family. I chose to go out on my own
and do my own thing.” Rose has also admitted that while his time on the streets were
some very difficult years, without them, he wouldn’t have
become the person he is today, for better and for worse. 11. Rich Swann’s problems
go way back After wowing fans in the 2016 Cruiserweight Classic, Rich Swann was destined to
be one of WWE’s most popular cruiserweights, until a battery and false
imprisonment case quickly led to him being released in
February 2018. While the case against Swann
was later dropped, this black mark on his resume isn’t
the first issue in Swann’s life, with the former cruiserweight
champion being orphaned before becoming
a teenager. Cleary in a downward spiral, Swann turned to drugs, which
would’ve cost him his life, as Swann only quit after a friend died of a heart attack. Not long after losing another
part of his life, Swann would turn his life around and and with the help of family members,
was able to finish high-school and begin his wrestling career. However, with Swann’s career now
forever changed due to his arrest and release from WWE, it is now unclear whether all his
hard work will pay off. 10. Dawn Marie lived in her car When you think of Dawn Marie,
the first imagine that probably
comes to your mind is the gorgeous brunette who
entertained countless fans in ECW and later in WWE. But before she made it into
wrestling, Marie had a tough time getting
there, growing up in poverty, though has spoken fondly of
her family crowding around the TV to
watch WWE. It’s easy to see how the Marie family
would get connected to stars like
Bruno Sammartino, with the Italian Stallion representing
the struggles of countless families
just like Dawn’s. Marie herself would have her fair
share of struggle at 17, when she found herself homeless,
living out of her car. To make ends meet, she took a job at
a “bikini bar” which allowed her
to work through school, with Marie becoming an actress not
long after graduating. With her acting credentials, Marie
finally got to live her dream, working with Lance Storm in ECW, and later reuniting with Storm at
ECW One Night Stand 2005, in what would be Storm’s last match, though Marie was very
unceremoniously released
by the company not long after, while pregnant. 9. Dean Ambrose was in low-income housing Going from fighting in backyards deathmatches to appearing at WrestleMania, the career of Dean Ambrose is a
true rag to riches tale. But before he laced up his boots, the Lunatic Fringe was left feeling
dejected by the establishment, growing up in the worst part of
Cincinnati Ohio’s East End, in an area filled with people to
poor to make rent, or as Ambrose puts it: “My neighbourhood was pretty much a
big stretch of government housing and
all these torn up apartment buildings
all owned by different people. It was easy to get the feeling like all the garbage from the city ran down and washed up there.” It’s easy to see how such an
environment would cause
anyone to make poor choices, with Dean being forced to deal
drugs just to get by. The only upside, if there is one, is that such a harsh environment
toughened the young Ambrose up, helping to mould the Lunatic Fringe
that has entertained millions of
fans for years, and has plenty of championships to
hang in the very nice home he
has earned. 8.Rowdy Roddy Piper ran away
from home On-screen ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper
was known for his hothead
demeanour, never one to back down from a fight. So it shouldn’t surprise fans to discover that even as a kid, Piper was just
as unpredictable, getting kicked out of his house
at just 13 for bringing a blade to high school. Uneducated, unruly and without
a home, Piper was luckily found by a
couple of wrestlers, who would soon break him
into the business. The rest is history, as Piper would
quickly become one of the most
hated man in the territories, before being snatched up by
Vince McMahon’s WWF, where his Rowdy demeanour led to
some of the greatest moments in
the company’s history. Despite his immense fame and fortune
as a WWF Superstar, Piper would reportedly known for
being a very frugal man, spending his money mostly on his
family, likely because he knew what it
was like to go without. 7. Booker T was orphaned before
his teens When you watch Booker T in 2018, with his huge smile and bubbly
personality, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking Booker had a nice normal childhood. Surprisingly though, his story might
be one of the worst on this list, with his nightmare beginning when
the Book-man’s father passed, when Booker was less than a year
old, leaving Booker’s mother trying to
raise eight children single-handedly. When she passed, Booker was
just 13, and quickly dropped out of high
school, and fell into the wrong crowd. It was that crowd, that robbed at
least a dozen fast food
restaurants in the early 80s, with Booker foolishly throwing away
a paid job at Denny’s to become
a criminal.Serving 19 months, the future King of the Ring vowed
to make himself better, an attitude he has carried every day, becoming a huge star in wrestling, a 5-time WCW Champion and a 2013 WWE Hall of Famer. 6.AJ Lee Had to support herself
through school After retiring from the ring in 2015, AJ Lee proved to be just as great
a writer as she was a wrestler, with her memoir ‘Crazy Is My Superpower’ being
released in April 2017. In the book, AJ spoke openly about
the difficulties she faced in her
early life, and when speaking to ESPN about
the autobiography, was quoted
as saying: “You can come from the poorest,
weakest backgrounds, and you can
make something of your life. You really
just have to have the guts to try.” Embodying a never-say-die attitude, the former Divas Champion revealed
in her book that she could afford school by taking
jobs including being a cashier and janitor, which couldn’t have inspired
confidence in the wannabee wrestler. Lee, who grew up a lifelong
wrestling fan, often found herself too poor to
attend shows, and was shocked when she could. Fans can only imagine how shocked
she was when she overcame all of it, and won the Divas Championship
in 2013. 5. CM Punk’s family scared him straight Regardless of whether a face as a heel, CM Punk always embodied the
straight-edge lifestyle, and the belief that he could be
his best self, without the need of drugs or alcohol. Growing up in a rough home, Punk revealed in an interview that
he often felt like a burden on his parent’s income, saying: “It never made any sense that my
parents couldn’t afford Christmas
presents, but they could buy three
cartons of cigarettes apiece a month.” Based on that one short story, it’s
clear to see how that sort of behaviour would have an affect on the young
Phil Brook’s mind and self-worth. Knowing the full story, it’s no wonder
why Punk speaks so highly of the Straight-
edge lifestyle, after seeing how destructive
cigarettes affected his family,
and how without them, he went on to become a 5-time
World Champion and the true, best in the world. 4. Batista had it rough For the young Dave Batista,
growing up poor was sadly, not the worst thing
in his life. Instead, Batista lived in an area
so rough, that three unrelated homicides had
taken place on his front lawn
before he was ten. As if just knowing these things
had happened wasn’t bad enough, the young Animal often saw these
awful deeds happen, something that must have stuck
in his mind. Needing to get out of that environment, Batista left home aged 17, and earned money in any job
he could find, including bouncing, lifeguarding
and bodybuilding. It was during his time as a
bodybuilder, that the future World Champion got
his first taste of pro-wrestling. Debuting on TV in 2002, Batista showed how important it
is to overcome your demons, with the Animal becoming a multiple
time-World Champion, tag team champion and Royal Rumble winner. As if that wasn’t enough, he has
becoming a leading man in Hollywood, most prominently known as Marvel’s
Drax the Destroyer, with the character ironically being
a witness to his past, and trying to overcome it. 3. Vince McMahon lived in a
trailer park Of all the Superstars who have
made their fortunes in wrestling, no-one has made more money
than Vince McMahon. Reaching billionaire status during
the Attitude Era, the chairman has only gotten
richer with each passing year, as his company grows more
every day. But things weren’t always like this
for Vince, who didn’t even meet his father
Vince Sr until he was 12, and spoke about growing up poor
in an interview with Muscle and Fitness, saying: “I grew up dirt poor. When you’re in
that class, a lower economic
class, everyone is quote ‘above you’. And there were a number of individuals
who thought they were above me
because of their economic status.” Living in a trailer park with his mother and a series of abusive stepfathers, , things wouldn’t turned around for
Vince until he met his father though after meeting him, it wasn’t
long before both men were on the fast track to making
pro-wrestling history. 2. The Rock Couldn’t Afford
Thanksgiving Dinner While Vince may have made the
most from wrestling, it is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
who is the wealthiest wrestler, thanks to his incredible success
as both a wrestler and actor. Debuting in the WWF in 1996, Rock would quickly establish himself
as one of the company’s most
talented stars, before becoming World Champion
just two years later, and has since cemented himself
as one of the greatest of all time. But things weren’t always so
defined for the Great One, as growing up, his father Rocky
Johnson would often be away from home, leaving Rock’s mother the one to
raise the family. In an Instagram post, The Rock
revealed some of the hard times he
faces, saying: “There was a time back in ’87, when
we couldn’t even afford
Thanksgiving dinner, and was
praying someone would invite us
over to their house to eat.” Fortunately, the Rock has deservedly
earned millions over the years, and has made sure his mother has
been repaid for all her hard work, buying her her dream car in 2016. 1.Bruno Sammartino escaped Bruno Sammartino is a man with
no comparison. The longest reigning WWF Champion
ever, Sammartino’s Italian heritage made
him the true underdog story, coming to America with nothing, and becoming wrestling’s
biggest star. And while everyone on this list
have faced adversity, none of them grew up running
away from Nazis, except the Italian Stallion. Born in Italy just five years before the country joined Germany
in World War 2, the family hid in the mountains, as Bruno’s mother, the family’s
sole provider, often found herself stealing food food from the German-occupied
town, despite the obvious risk of
getting caught. These small portions and scraps led to the young Bruno ending up
in a terrible condition physically a far contrast from the mountain of
a man he would become. To quote the man himself: “I was a 90-pound weakling, but
bot because I was anaemic. It was
because of the war. We hid from
the Nazis in the mountains. Sometimes there was nothing to eat
but snow. Whole families wiped out.
We were among the lucky ones.” A true warrior in every way, Bruno was able to come to America, become WWF Champion, and an inspiration to all.

38 thoughts on “Top 14 Famous WWE Superstars In Case You Didn’t Know Grew Up Poor

  1. I have nothing against the person first off but I always found Rich Swann boring even to the point that his matches became hard to watch because of it.

  2. Aj. Styles. Dylan. Pierce. Crowley. My. You. Wwf. Wwe. Dylan pc 1987 @ gmail. Com. My. You. Buddy. Hi. My. You. Ken rock. Wwf. Intercontal weight. Championship. My You. Wwf. Wrestilng. Adam rose. Wwe. Why. Good. Okay. Good. My You. Good. Wrestilng. My You. Good. My. You. Hi. My. You. Wwe. Best. My You. Swar. Wwe cruiser weight. Championship. Is. My. You. Wrestilng. My. You. Impact. Dawn. Marie. Ecw. Wwe. My. Job. My. You. What. My You. Wwe. Wrestilng. Dean Ambrose. Wwe. What. See. My. You. How. What. My. You. Wrestilng. Championship. My. RANDY. WWE WWF. HOW. WHAT. SEE. MY. YOU. HI. MY. YOU. EDDIE GURRERO. GOOD. MH. YOU. OKAY. BOOKERT. WWE. WCW. WRESTILNG. CHAMPIONSHIP. HOW. MY. YOU. BUDDY. H. AJ LEE. WRESTILNG. WWE. DIVES. WWE CHAMPONSHIP. CM PUNK. WWE. HEY. SEE. WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT. CHAMPIONSHIP. BATISTA. HOME. WWE. WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT. CHAMPIONSHIP. TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP. WILL. MY. YOU. BUDDY. MC. MAHON. MC. WWE WWF. DYLAN PIERCE. CROWLEY. GOOD. WHY. GOOD. MY. UOU. HI. MY YOI. THE. ROCK. WWE. WWF. CHAMPIONSHIP. MY. YOU. FAMILY. MY. 1980. WRESTILNG. MY. YOU. BRAVO. WWF CHAMPIONSHIP. MY. YOU.

  3. I wonder if Dean would allow his life story to be told on a documentary film, he is a very private person but if you've heard his story is truly touching.

  4. fact, you HAD to be poor or from a wrestling royalty to even want to be a wrestler. a normal working class or middle class wouldn't have their kids fiddling with their life since teenager, and any parents who did simply wasn't a responsible one. I would have expected 90% of wrestlers grew up poor or from wrestling family

  5. Kevin Nash should have been on the list. He grew up dirt poor is a horrible Detroit neighborhood. Surviving Detroit by itself should have earn him a spot on this list. Detroit is the modern American version of Gehenna. Ric Flair also had a rough childhood. That dude isn't even 100% sure what his birth name was. All he's sure of is his first name was Fred.

  6. I swear to god the rock and his 7 dollar story better not be in this video. That story gets shoved down our throats almost as bad as Romans push

  7. Two that come to mind for me although it's less poverty and more mental health issues or life dealing them a rough hand are Mayu Iwatani who in High School became a Hikkomori and ended up spending three years isolated inside her home until after quitting High Schol she saw a Dragon Gate show. Fell in love with Pro Wrestling contacted Fuka the general manager of the World Wonder Ring Stardom promotion moved to Tokyo but was winless for the the first eleven months of her career.

    Then there was the dislocated elbow she suffered after a bad fall in a freak accident in 2017 in a match with Toni Storm that stripped her of the title. The other also from the Stardom promotion being Act Yasukawa who while retired was so over even as a heel that she was almost never booed and people clamored to have the rum she spat into the crowd fall on them. While also having a successful run as manager of the Heel Stable Oedo Tai.

    Yasukawa had to overcome mental and physical health problems part of the reason she wore an eyepatch into the ring was that she had Graves' disease. While her weak health ended up causing her to have to take medication that made her infertile just so she could wrestle.

    Not to mention a suicide attempt in High School after a sexual assault and constant bullying. And that's all before the infamous "Stardom Incident" in which opponent legitimately tried to crush her face by aiming for the eye she was partially blind in. Of course, now both have overcome these trials Mayu was ranked #9 in PWI Insider's most recent Top 100 Women Wrestlers List and is probably the second most popular if not most popular after Momo Watanabe gaining the title of "The Icon Of Stardom".

    While Yasukawa retired from wrestling and now essentially lives as a public figure and still beloved by older Stardom fans.

  8. There are difference between Poor and Broke you can be Poor but still have a home a food and some money but if you're Broke means you're without any just homeless without a job and live on whatever's left off the dumpster

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