9. Ravishing Rick Rude
At the time of Rude's death in 1999 at the age of 40, the self-assured ladies man was reportedly training for a comeback to the sport. In the preceding two years, Rude worked for each of the big three promotions in non-wrestling roles, such as bodyguard and colour commentator.
His last match as a full-time active wrestler came in the spring of 1994 when he was wrestling Sting at New Japan's Wrestling Dontaku. There, Rude seriously injured his back when he landed awkwardly on a platform's edge after Sting dove onto him, and he retired shortly after.
Technically, however, Rude was a part of one other match after that, albeit without much in the way of physical exertion. Come 1997, Rude was a babyface commentator in ECW, his trademark being his tawdry and lascivious remarks, especially towards Francine. At that year's Heat Wave event, Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman needed a partner for a six-man cage match against WWE reps Rob Van Dam, Sabu, and Jerry Lawler, and Rude stepped in. It was all a ruse, however, as Rude immediately clotheslined Dreamer, and aided the heels in a group beatdown of the ECW faithful.