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10 WWE Superstars from the 1997 roster and how they look a quarter of a century later

10 WWE Superstars from the 1997 roster and how they look 25 years later
10 WWE Superstars from the 1997 roster and how they look 25 years later
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Ahmed Hamdy

Several WWE Superstars from the 1997 roster look almost unrecognizable 25 years later.

In 1997, WWE kicked off its historic Attitude Era. That year saw several important events, including the formation of D-Generation X, The Rock joining The Nation of Domination, and Kane debuting to feud with The Undertaker.

A quarter of a century has passed since that historic year. Several superstars from the 1997 roster now look much different. While some of these wrestlers are still active, others have hung up their boots.

Here are 10 WWE Superstars from the 1997 roster and how they look today.


#10. Ken Shamrock

Ken Shamrock last competed nearly a year ago
Ken Shamrock last competed nearly a year ago

After competing for a few years in Japan, Ken Shamrock debuted in Vince McMahon's company in February 1997. He famously refereed the submission match between Bret Hart and Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13, then had a few feuds with superstars like Vader and Bret Hart.

In August 1997, Shamrock challenged The British Bulldog for the European Championship at SummerSlam. However, he lost the match via disqualification after hitting his opponent with a can of dog food.

Three months later, The World's Most Dangerous Man tried to capture the title again when he faced the new champion, Shawn Michaels, on Monday Night RAW. Nevertheless, the bout also ended in disqualification.

Shamrock's last title match in 1997 came in December when he faced Michaels for the then-WWF World Heavyweight Title at In Your House 19: D-Generation X. That bout also ended in disqualification when Triple H interfered to help The Heartbreak Kid. Despite winning the match, Shamrock again failed to capture the title.

Twenty-five years after that eventful year for Shamrock, The World's Most Dangerous Man is still in great shape. The 58-year-old last competed nearly a year ago in IMPACT Wrestling.


#9. WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart

Bret Hart left Vince McMahon's company in 1997
Bret Hart left Vince McMahon's company in 1997

1997 was Bret Hart's last year in Vince McMahon's company before leaving for WCW. In February of that year, The Hitman captured the WWF World Heavyweight Title after defeating Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and Vader in a Fatal-Four-Way Elimination Match at In Your House 13: Final Four.

Although he lost the title to Sycho Sid a day later, Hart recaptured the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam after defeating The Undertaker. However, his title reign ended with the infamous Montreal Screwjob incident at Survivor Series.

The Hitman has had several health problems over the past few years. Although he is not in the best shape of his life now, he still looks fine.


#8. D'Lo Brown

D'Lo Brown debuted in WWE in 1997
D'Lo Brown debuted in WWE in 1997

After competing in a few different promotions, D'Lo Brown joined WWE in 1997, debuting as a member of The Nation of Domination. The 51-year-old then competed in a few matches throughout the year and shared the ring with several top superstars like The Undertaker, Vader, and The Rock.

Brown spent nearly six years in Vince McMahon's company, during which time he won the European Championship four times and the Intercontinental Title once. He then left the company in 2003. Following his departure, Brown has competed in several other promotions. He also made a brief return to WWE in 2008.

Twenty-five years after his WWE debut, Brown looks a little different. The former European Champion is currently under contract with IMPACT Wrestling as a wrestler, producer, and commentator.


#7. WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett

Jeff Jarrett in 1997 (left) and Jeff Jarrett with Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 38 (right)
Jeff Jarrett in 1997 (left) and Jeff Jarrett with Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 38 (right)

In 1992, Jeff Jarrett started competing in WWE. He spent nearly four years in the company before leaving in 1996 to join WCW. However, he returned to Vince McMahon's company a year later.

Jarrett kicked off his second WWE run in October 1997. He competed in only a few WWE matches that year and had a brief feud with The Undertaker. The 54-year-old and The Deadman squared off at In Your House 19: D-Generation X. Jarrett defeated The Undertaker via disqualification after Kane interfered and chokeslammed him.

The Hall of Famer currently looks much different than he did in 1997. He now has his own podcast, My World with Jeff Jarrett. Last January, he returned to the ring after nearly three years of absence to defeat Effy at a GCW event.


#6. WWE Hall of Famer Sunny

Sunny looks much different in 2022
Sunny looks much different in 2022

Although she was not an in-ring competitor, Sunny was one of the most popular characters on the WWE roster in 1997.

On his podcast, Jim Ross disclosed that WWE wanted to capitalize on Sunny's popularity after becoming America Online's Most Downloaded Woman in 1996. Hence, the company tried to find something for her to do on television in 1997:

"Trying to figure it out. Especially her, referring to Sunny, because she was such a downloaded entity. And at that time, being the most downloaded person on AOL was a big deal. I'm sure it'd probably still be a big deal. So yeah, and the way she looked, and her unique presentation. She certainly wasn’t Moolah. She was a star female that didn’t look like any of the other star females that preceded her. And so yeah, you try to find something for her to do," Ross said. [H/T: 411 Mania]

During her time in WWE, The Hall of Famer managed a few teams and worked as a host. Since leaving the company in 1998, Sunny has worked in a few other promotions, including ECW and WCW.

Over the past few years, the 49-year-old has had some health problems and several legal issues. Sunny currently looks much different than she did 25 years ago.


#5. Al Snow

Al Snow was mainly an enhancement talent in 1997
Al Snow was mainly an enhancement talent in 1997

Nearly 13 years after kicking off his professional wrestling career, Al Snow signed with Vince McMahon's company in 1995. He then joined forces with Marty Jannetty to form The New Rockers about a year later.

However, Al Snow became more of an enhancement talent when his partner left the company in late 1996. After competing for seven months in WWE, Snow started wrestling in ECW in August 1997 due to an agreement between the two promotions.

Al Snow did not return to Vince McMahon's company until 1998. He then spent nearly a decade in the promotion before leaving for good in 2008.

The 58-year-old looks almost unrecognizable today. Al Snow's hair has turned gray and is much shorter. He has also grown his beard. However, the former Hardcore Champion is probably in better shape than he was 25 years ago.


#4. WWE Hall of Famer The Undertaker

Undertaker recently entered the Hall of Fame
Undertaker recently entered the Hall of Fame

In March 1997, The Undertaker captured the WWF World Heavyweight Title after defeating Sycho Sid in a No Disqualification Match at WrestleMania 13. However, he lost the title to Bret Hart at SummerSlam in a match that Shawn Michaels refereed. Hence, he started a feud with The Heartbreak Kid.

At the same time, The Deadman also feuded with his former manager Paul Bearer. During their storyline, Bearer revealed that The Undertaker's brother, Kane, was alive and promised to bring him to WWE.

As The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels squared off at Hell in a Cell, Kane made his debut, attacking his brother and allowing The Heartbreak Kid to earn the victory. Over the next few months, The Deadman repeatedly rejected Kane's challenges, claiming that he had vowed to his parents that he would never harm his own flesh and blood.

Meanwhile, The Undertaker continued trying to re-capture the WWF World Heavyweight Title. He had a few title matches at live events but failed to get the job done.

A quarter of a century has passed since that eventful year. The Undertaker is now retired from in-ring competition. Earlier this year, the 57-year-old entered the Hall of Fame.

The Undertaker now looks much different than he did in 1997. Aside from being older, he has also changed his haircut.


#3. Steve Blackman

Steve Blackman is still in great shape
Steve Blackman is still in great shape

After making a few appearances in the late 1980s, Steve Blackman officially joined Vince McMahon's company in 1997. He debuted in November and wrestled in only a few matches until the end of the year.

Blackman spent nearly five years in WWE, during which he won the Hardcore Title six times. He then left the company in October 2002.

The Lethal Weapon has not competed inside a wrestling ring since 2007. He has been living under the radar ever since. In 2010, he revealed in an interview with WWE.com that he worked as a mixed martial arts trainer after leaving the company.

Blackman recently made a rare public appearance with The Hardy Boyz. The 58-year-old looks to be in great shape nearly 25 years after his official WWE debut.


#2. WWE Hall of Famer Jake Roberts

Jake Roberts competed in a few matches in 1997
Jake Roberts competed in a few matches in 1997

After competing in WWE for nearly six years, Jake Roberts left the company in 1992. He then worked in a few other promotions before returning to Vince McMahon's company in 1996.

The 66-year-old only competed in four matches in 1997 before the company released him from his contract in February. Following his departure, Roberts has worked in several other promotions, including IMPACT Wrestling and AEW.

The Hall of Famer has had several health problems in the past decade. He now looks almost unrecognizable.


#1. WWE Hall of Famer Billy Gunn

Billy Gunn had an eventful year in 1997
Billy Gunn had an eventful year in 1997

Like several other superstars on this list, Billy Gunn had an eventful year in 1997. After defeating Flash Funk at WrestleMania 13, Gunn adopted a new gimmick, Rockabilly. However, he later dropped the persona when he joined forces with Jesse James to create The New Age Outlaws.

In November 1997, Gunn and James defeated The Road Warriors on Monday Night RAW to capture the Tag Team Titles. Nearly a month later, they successfully defended their titles against the former champions.

Throughout the rest of the year, The New Age Outlaws continued to prove themselves as one of the company's top tag teams.

Gunn continued working in WWE until 2004 when the company released him from his contract. After his departure, he competed for several years in IMPACT Wrestling and on the independent circuit. He then returned to Vince McMahon's company in 2012, where he spent another three years.

In 2015, the former Tag Team Champion returned to the independent circuit. Four years later, he signed with AEW as a coach and performer. He is currently active in Tony Khan's company.

Although he is now 25 years older than when he and James formed The New Age Outlaws, Gunn is still in impressive shape.


Did you know a major backstage fight erupted during WrestleMania 32? More details right here.

Edited by Jacob Terrell
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