10 Highly Inspiring Wrestling Redemption Stories
It's never too late to get a second chance...
Happy Birthday to Jake Roberts, who turns 66 today!
It is honestly amazing that the legend has made it this far, considering that he has knocked on death's door more than just a few times during his life and career.
Despite all of his issues and the scandal attached to him, Jake has come out of it on the other side and is actively contributing to the business in a positive manner as a manager and coach for AEW.
It is heartening to see someone who clearly has so much knowledge to give being able to do so after most had presumed he would inevitably become a wrestling statistic, another performer gone before their time, a victim of their vices.
The Snake managed to get better thanks in large part to the efforts of Diamond Dallas Page, who took him in and ensured that he stayed the course. Roberts was rewarded for cleaning up with a WWE Hall of Fame induction in 2014 and it's been (mostly) positive stuff since then.
On this occasion, it seems only fitting to look at other inspiring redemption stories, whether they be a wrestler coming back from the brink of addiction, a wrestler turning their careers around or, well, something else entirely.
10. Drew McIntyre
After something of a false start being put in a tag team with British veteran David Taylor, Drew McIntyre returned from a stint in developmental to be anointed by Vince McMahon personally as 'The Chosen One'.
Branded a sure-fire future WWE Champion by the chairman, the Scotsman was given a public endorsement that very, very few before (or since) have received.
The early signs were good, as Drew was given a push on television and won the Intercontinental Title within a few months. Most had him pegged as the winner of the Money in the Bank ladder match (and subsequent guaranteed title opportunity) at WrestleMania XXVI, but the honour went to Jack Swagger instead and McIntyre's momentum began to stall.
Before too long, he found himself as a supporting player in the comedic Three Man Band stable, which was designed more as a showcase for 3MB leader Heath Slater.
It was a gradual, but startling, fall from grace and the most shocking thing about his June 2014 release was that it wasn't really shocking at all.
Just how had this man, who had all the tools to be one of the faces of the company, end up on the scrap heap?
Well, Drew didn't sit around crying about his squandered potential for too long, hitting the international and independent wrestling scenes with a vengeance and establishing himself as a force in every promotion that he worked for.
During his time away from WWE, every aspect of his game noticeably improved to the point that WWE came calling back, offering him another opportunity three years after they gave him his pink slip.
McIntyre then worked his way up from NXT to the WWE Title, fulfilling the prophecy that Vince McMahon spoke of over a decade beforehand. A textbook case of hard work paying off and how a release can sometimes be a blessing in disguise.