Where Are They Now? WWF Superstars

Mickey Rourke may win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as the past-his-prime Randy "The Ram" Robinson in The Wrestler, but what became of all the real-life wrestlers who entertained you as a kid? A depressingly high number of former stars have passed away, and many more continue on in wrestling in some capacity. Others, though, have drifted away from the business and started new lives free of choreographed violence. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. Nikolai Volkoff

Talk about life not imitating art. Volkoff, the WWF's premier Russian boogeyman throughout the 80s, spent his wrestling career decrying democracy. Then he became a Republican. The Yugoslavian-born Volkoff became a code inspector for Baltimore County following his retirement, and he even ran unsuccessfully in a Republican primary for Maryland's State House of Delegates in 2006. Perhaps voters didn't latch onto his anger at the cost of living; in a 2006 interview with Fox News he complained about once being able to spend "$2 for 20 cans of sardines, and now $5 will get you only six cans."

2. Abdullah the Butcher

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The Madman from Sudan, who was actually a Canadian-born fellow named Larry Shreve, has had some success as a restaurateur since his retirement. If you're ever in Atlanta, you can stop by Abdullah the Butcher's House of Ribs and Chinese Food. If you're lucky, he won't even stab you in the forehead with his trademark fork!

3. Hillbilly Jim

If you've got a Sirius satellite radio, you can still hear Hillbilly Jim every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm ET when the company's Outlaw Country station airs "Hillbilly Jim's Moonshine Matinee," a program where Jim spins country and Southern rock and chats about his life in the ring.

4. King Kong Bundy

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Andre the Giant's former rival isn't totally retired from wrestling, and he's got another way into the limelight: standup comedy. Yes, really. His MySpace page says he's still available for bookings as either a wrestler or a comic. See for yourself.

5. Mr. Fuji

Mr. Fuji, the villainous manager of wrestlers like Yokozuna, was never afraid to toss salt in an opponent's eyes. He's a bit more subdued these days. Apparently he works as an usher and ticket taker for a movie theater near Knoxville, and also reviews movies for the WWE's magazine.

6. Lanny Poffo

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Leaping Lanny Poffo, "Macho Man" Randy Savage's poet brother, wasn't just playing to his gimmick when he recited verse in the ring. He really likes poetry that much. He's released two books of poetry, including 2004's Limericks from the Heart (and Lungs!), a collection of 335 anti-smoking limericks.

7. Papa Shango/The Godfather

Charles Wright's WWF gimmick changed a few times, from witch doctor Papa Shango to ho-escorted "˜70s pimp The Godfather. That second gimmick may have helped him in his post-wrestling gig: strip club manager. After retiring from wrestling in 2002, Wright took over managing Cheetah's, a Las Vegas gentleman's club best known for providing shooting locations for the film Showgirls.

8. Tully Blanchard

Blanchard, a founding member of the NWA and WCW's Four Horsemen stable, became a born-again Christian in 1989. Although he's worked for the WWE as a road agent, he's now spending most of his time on his evangelical prison ministry.

9. Koko B. Ware

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The WWF's resident Birdman now lives in Memphis with his family. His beloved macaw, Frankie, died in a house fire in 2001, but Koko bounced back with a new bird, Frankie Jr., that accompanies him to the ring when he makes appearances.

10. Rick Steiner

The Dog-Faced Gremlin can sell you a house! After his semi-retirement from the ring, Steiner became a realtor. His website promises that he's "Wrestling Real Estate for YOU" and everything. If I'm looking for a house in Cherokee, Cobb, or Pickens County, Georgia, I know who I'm calling. I'm also refusing to close until he lets me assist him in landing a Steinerizer.

11. The Ultimate Warrior

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Remember how the Ultimate Warrior seemed just a little unhinged in the ring? It might have been more than just a stellar acting job. Although he was born Jim Hellwig, the wrestler realized in 1993 that he was in danger of losing his ring name if he left the WWF. His solution? Legally changing his name to "Warrior." That's it. He's just "Warrior" on his driver's license.

Although he largely retired from wrestling in 1999, Warrior has remained in the public eye as a virulently right-wing commentator who until last year frequently updated his blog, "Warrior's Machete," with all manner of ultra-conservative opinions.

12. The Iron Sheik

The venerable Iranian heel has found a new niche for himself, courtesy of Howard Stern. After the Sheik became a topic of conversation on Stern's show, he started making regular appearances on the radio program in 2007. He's made comedy show appearances as part of Stern's entourage, and has supposedly developed an hour-long radio show for Sirius Satellite Radio's Howard 101.

See Also...

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Reviewing The Wrestling Album (with clips from each song)
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WWF Superstars Action Figure Quiz
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WWF Superstars Action Figure Quiz: The Unnecessary Sequel
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Pro Wrestling Finishing Moves Quiz

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Win a Trip to Any National Park By Instagramming Your Travels
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If you're planning out your summer vacation, make sure to add a few national parks to your itinerary. Every time you share your travels on Instagram, you can increase your chances of winning a VIP trip for two to the national park of your choice.

The National Park Foundation is hosting its "Pic Your Park" sweepstakes now through September 28. To participate, post your selfies from visits to National Park System (NPS) properties on Instagram using the hashtag #PicYourParkContest and a geotag of the location. Making the trek to multiple parks increases your points, with less-visited parks in the system having the highest value. During certain months, the point values of some sites are doubled. You can find a list of participating properties and a schedule of boost periods here.

Following the contest run, the National Park Foundation will decide a winner based on most points earned. The grand prize is a three-day, two-night trip for the winner and a guest to any NPS property within the contiguous U.S. Round-trip airfare and hotel lodging are included. The reward also comes with a 30-day lease of a car from Subaru, the contest's sponsor.

The contest is already underway, with a leader board on the website keeping track of the competition. If you're looking to catch up, this national parks road trip route isn't a bad place to start.

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15 Dad Facts for Father's Day
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Gather 'round the grill and toast Dad for Father's Day—the national holiday so awesome that Americans have celebrated it for more than a century. Here are 15 Dad facts you can wow him with today.

1. Halsey Taylor invented the drinking fountain in 1912 as a tribute to his father, who succumbed to typhoid fever after drinking from a contaminated public water supply in 1896.

2. George Washington, the celebrated father of our country, had no children of his own. A 2004 study suggested that a type of tuberculosis that Washington contracted in childhood may have rendered him sterile. He did adopt the two children from Martha Custis's first marriage.

3. In Thailand, the king's birthday also serves as National Father's Day. The celebration includes fireworks, speeches, and acts of charity and honor—the most distinct being the donation of blood and the liberation of captive animals.

4. In 1950, after a Washington Post music critic gave Harry Truman's daughter Margaret's concert a negative review, the president came out swinging: "Some day I hope to meet you," he wrote. "When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!"

5. A.A. Milne created Winnie the Pooh for his son, Christopher Robin. Pooh was based on Robin's teddy bear, Edward, a gift Christopher had received for his first birthday, and on their father/son visits to the London Zoo, where the bear named Winnie was Christopher's favorite. Pooh comes from the name of Christopher's pet swan.

6. Kurt Vonnegut was (for a short time) Geraldo Rivera's father-in-law. Rivera's marriage to Edith Vonnegut ended in 1974 because of his womanizing. Her ever-protective father was quoted as saying, "If I see Gerry again, I'll spit in his face." He also included an unflattering character named Jerry Rivers (a chauffeur) in a few of his books.

7. Andre Agassi's father represented Iran in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics as a boxer.

8. Charlemagne, the 8th-century king of the Franks, united much of Western Europe through military campaigns and has been called the "king and father of Europe" [PDF]. Charlemagne was also a devoted dad to about 18 children, and today, most Europeans may be able to claim Charlemagne as their ancestor.

9. The voice of Papa Smurf, Don Messick, also provided the voice of Scooby-Doo, Ranger Smith on Yogi Bear, and Astro and RUDI on The Jetsons.

10. In 2001, Yuri Usachev, cosmonaut and commander of the International Space Station, received a talking picture frame from his 12-year-old daughter while in orbit. The gift was made possible by RadioShack, which filmed the presentation of the gift for a TV commercial.

11. The only father-daughter collaboration to hit the top spot on the Billboard pop music chart was the 1967 hit single "Something Stupid" by Frank & Nancy Sinatra.

12. In the underwater world of the seahorse, it's the male that gets to carry the eggs and birth the babies.

13. If show creator/producer Sherwood Schwartz had gotten his way, Gene Hackman would have portrayed the role of father Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch.

14. The Stevie Wonder song "Isn't She Lovely" is about his newborn daughter, Aisha. If you listen closely, you can hear Aisha crying during the song.

15. Dick Hoyt has pushed and pulled his son Rick, who has cerebral palsy, through hundreds of marathons and triathlons. Rick cannot speak, but using a custom-designed computer he has been able to communicate. They ran their first five-mile race together when Rick was in high school. When they were done, Rick sent his father this message: "Dad, when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"

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