10 WWE Superstars from the 2002 roster and how they look 20 years later
Several WWE Superstars from the 2002 roster look very different today.
2002 was a historic year in Vince McMahon's company. In May of that year, the company changed its name from WWF to WWE. A few weeks later, McMahon also announced the start of the Ruthless Aggression era.
WWE had many big superstars on its roster in 2002, including The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, and The Rock. A few young promising talents also made their debut that year, including John Cena, Randy Orton, and Brock Lesnar.
While some of the superstars from the 2002 roster look only a little different today, others are now almost unrecognizable.
Here are 10 WWE Superstars from the 2002 roster and how they look 20 years later.
After spending two years in WCW, Debra joined Vince McMahon's company in 1998. The 62-year-old then spent nearly four years in WWE, during which she won the Women's Championship once.
Although Debra didn't compete inside the squared circle in 2002, she appeared in some backstage segments. The former Women's Champion then left the company in June 2002.
Debra was 42 when she left WWE. Although she is now 20 years older, the former Women's Champion still looks good.
#9. John Bradshaw Layfield
In 1992, John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL) kicked off his professional wrestling career. He competed for about three years before joining WWE in 1995.
JBL was part of the APA tag team alongside Ron Simmons (FKA Farooq) for several years. However, the two wrestlers split in 2002 due to the brand extension. While Simmons joined the SmackDown roster, JBL went to Monday Night RAW.
The 55-year-old later had a successful run as a singles competitor, during which he won several titles, including the WWE Championship.
In 2002, JBL (FKA Bradshaw) had long black hair and a goatee. He looks much different 20 years later. The former WWE Champion is still currently contracted to Vince McMahon's company. Although he retired from in-ring competition in 2009, he now works as a pre-show panelist.
#8. Terri Runnels
After spending a few years in WCW, Terri Runnels debuted in Vince McMahon's company in 1996. Over the next few years, the 55-year-old played several roles and participated in different storylines in WWE.
In 2002, however, Runnels took a step back from in-ring competition, transitioning more into a backstage interviewer. Nevertheless, she still competed in a few matches against superstars like Trish Stratus, Victoria, and Molly Holly. She also held the Hardcore Title for a few seconds in May 2002.
In March 2004, Vince McMahon's company released Runnels from her contract. She has since retired from professional wrestling.
Runnels was 35 years old in 2002. Although she is now 20 years older, the former Hardcore Champion seems to have aged well.
#7. WWE EVP Triple H
In 1995, Triple H signed with WWE after a short run in WCW. He has since become one of the greatest superstars in the company's history.
In 2002, The Game was one of the top competitors on the WWE roster. In January, he won the Royal Rumble match. He then defeated Chris Jericho to capture the Undisputed Championship at WrestleMania X8. However, he lost the title to Hulk Hogan a month later.
In September 2002, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff awarded Triple H the World Heavyweight Championship. The Game feuded with several superstars throughout the year, including his real-life best friend Shawn Michaels and his wife Stephanie McMahon.
In early 2002, Triple H had long hair and a beard. Later that year, he adopted a clean-shaven look. Today, The Game looks much different. He has shaved his head and grown his beard back.
The WWE Executive Vice President recently announced his retirement from in-ring competition.
#6. Dawn Marie
After competing for several years in different promotions, Dawn Marie signed with WWE in 2002.
The 51-year-old debuted in May of that same year as Vince McMahon's legal assistant on SmackDown. She then had a controversial rivalry with Torrie Wilson, which saw her get into an on-screen romantic relationship with Wilson's father, Al.
Dawn Marie spent three years in WWE. Vince McMahon's company then released her from her contract in July 2005.
Two decades after her WWE debut, Dawn Marie looks different today. She is no longer an in-ring competitor. The former wrestler retired nearly a decade ago and is now working as a nurse.
After winning the inaugural season of Tough Enough, Maven signed with WWE in 2001. In October of that same year, he debuted on SmackDown and feuded with Tazz for a few months.
In January 2002, Maven had a long feud with The Undertaker, during which he eliminated The Deadman from the Royal Rumble Match and defeated him to capture the Hardcore Championship. In November, the 2001 Tough Enough winner moved from the Blue Brand to Monday Night RAW.
Maven spent three more years in Vince McMahon's company before getting released from his contract in July 2005. He then competed for two years on the independent circuit and IMPACT Wrestling (FKA Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) before stepping away from the ring in 2007.
The former Hardcore Champion made a brief return to the ring in 2015. However, he stepped away from action again in 2016. Last November, Maven returned to the squared circle again at an ISPW event. He also competed in a match last month at a GCW event.
Although Maven does not look as fit as he was 20 years ago, the 45-year-old still looks good. He now works in finance on Wall Street. Meanwhile, he appears at independent wrestling shows on the weekends.
Before joining Vince McMahon's company in 1998, Jacqueline competed in a few other promotions, including Smoky Mountain Wrestling and WCW. The 58-year-old then had a six-year run in WWE, during which she won the Women's Championship twice and the Cruiserweight Title once.
Jacqueline played two different roles in WWE in 2002. While she continued performing inside the ring, the Texas native also refereed several matches. The former Women's Champion also had a few title shots throughout 2002. However, she failed to get the job done.
In June 2004, the company released Jacqueline from her contract. Over the next decade, she competed in several other promotions, including IMPACT Wrestling, before stepping away from in-ring competition in 2013. She made a one-off return to the WWE ring in 2018 when she participated in the first-ever Women's Royal Rumble Match.
Although nearly two decades have passed since she competed regularly in WWE, Jacqueline is still in great shape.
#3. Shawn Michaels
After retiring nearly four years earlier due to injury, Shawn Michaels made his long-awaited in-ring return in August 2002. The Heartbreak Kid feuded with his real-life best friend and former D-Generation X partner Triple H for several weeks before the two squared off in an Unsanctioned Street Fight at SummerSlam.
Michaels defeated The Game at SummerSlam in August. In November, he won an Elimination Chamber Match at Survivor Series to capture the World Heavyweight Championship. Later that same year, he defended his title against Rob Van Dam on Monday Night RAW before losing it to Triple H in a Three Stages Of Hell Match at Armageddon.
The Heartbreak Kid's second run lasted until 2010 when he retired again from in-ring competition. He is currently a writer and producer on NXT.
Michaels' appearance has changed a lot since 2002. The Heartbreak Kid no longer has his signature long hair. He has also grown his beard out.
After a brief run in ECW, Jazz joined Vince McMahon's company in 2001. In February of the following year, she captured her first Women's Championship when she defeated Trish Stratus on Monday Night RAW.
Jazz continued to perform in the company for two more years, during which time she won another Women's Title. The company then released her from her contract in November 2004. She made a brief return in 2006. However, WWE let her go again in January 2007.
Following her departure, the former Women's Champion competed in several other promotions, including AEW and IMPACT Wrestling. Nearly a year ago, she retired from in-ring action.
Over the past 20 years, Jazz has changed her appearance. The most significant change she made was shaving her head. She now looks much different than when she won her first Women's Title in 2002.
#1. The Rock
Two decades ago, The Rock was one of the top superstars on the roster. Hence, he was targeted by the NWO when they debuted in Vince McMahon's company in February 2002. Nearly a month later, The Great One went head-to-head against NWO's Hollywood Hulk Hogan in an Icon vs. Icon Match at WrestleMania X8.
After defeating Hogan, The Rock took some time off from in-ring action. He returned later that year to win the Undisputed Championship at Vengeance. Nevertheless, he dropped the title to Brock Lesnar a month later at SummerSlam. The Great One then went on another hiatus to kickstart his acting career.
The Rock returned to action in January 2003. However, he left for good in 2004 to pursue a career in Hollywood. He has since made several sporadic appearances and competed in a few matches.
The Rock's appearance has changed since he faced Hogan at WrestleMania. He is now probably in the best shape of his life. The 50-year-old also shaved his head.
The Great One is now a mega Hollywood star and one of the highest-paid actors in the world.
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