Rhyno’s defeat to Heath Slater on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw wasn’t just done to write the veteran wrestler off television but also to explain his retirement from the sport after a career spanning more than two decades, according to a new report.
As recapped by Wrestling Inc., Monday night’s Raw episode saw the brand’s “General Manager-Elect” Baron Corbin book a match between Rhyno and Slater, who became the inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions in 2016 soon after WWE’s most recent brand split, but have barely been used on television since moving to the Raw brand earlier this year. The match’s stipulation, per Corbin, was for the loser to be fired from Monday Night Raw due to a lack of space on the brand’s roster. Slater ended up winning the match against his former tag teammate, with Corbin rewarding him for his victory by making him a referee.
Although viewers watching at home simply saw Rhyno getting fired from Raw as stipulated, Wrestling Inc. noted that the 43-year-old grappler announced his retirement to the live audience at the Toyota Center in Houston during the commercial break that followed the match. This marked the apparent end of a career that had included stints in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), Impact Wrestling, and Ring of Honor, on top of multiple runs in the WWE.
A mainstay of the wrestling scene since he made his in-ring debut in 1994, Rhyno first became a household name when he joined ECW in 1999, according to SEScoops. He made his WWE debut in 2001, right after ECW shut down, and was mostly used in the mid-card in an initial run that lasted four years.
After spending the next decade competing in various other promotions, Rhyno signed a new contract with WWE in 2015 and was assigned to NXT before making his full-time main roster return in the summer of 2016. His tag team with Heath Slater then won a tournament to become SmackDown Live’s inaugural Tag Team Champions at the Backlash pay-per-view in September of that year, per WWE’s official website.
Aside from his career as a pro wrestler, Rhyno had also tried his hand in politics in recent years, but lost a bid to win a seat in his home state of Michigan’s House of Representatives in the 2016 elections, as noted by Bleacher Report. Rhyno, whose real name is Terrance Gerin, ran under the Republican banner and was defeated by Democratic candidate Abdullah Hamoud for a seat in Michigan’s 15th District. While he stressed in the run-up to the elections that he was serious about making the shift to politics, it remains unclear whether he has future plans to run for public office following his retirement from wrestling.