Former WWE wrestler Maven Huffman—one of two winners of the inaugural season of Tough Enough on MTV in 2001—is currently working as a bouncer at a sports bar in New York City. Mixed martial arts journalist and wrestling fan Ariel Helwani confirmed this tidbit on his Twitter account.
“Just walked by a bar that former Tough Enough winner Maven was bouncing. Told him the Rumble spot was awesome. He didn’t seem pleased,” wrote Helwani on Friday night.
He added further, “I swear. He seemed embarrassed someone recognized him.”
A second person relayed a very similar story online last month in a post on TheColi.com message board, noting that he crossed paths with the former WWF Hardcore Champion at a bar in New York City (Midtown 1015 at Sutton Place). This individual recognized the bouncer as a professional wrestler and found out it was indeed Huffman upon asking.
“[Huffman] was a huge dikk he was kind a pushing me away the whole time, but i had told him man I remember when you eliminated undertaker in RR, he didnt care lol,” wrote the message board user. “Dude seemed bitter for me even bringing up his wrestling past.”
After being released from his contract with WWE on July 5, 2005, Huffman found himself on multiple television shows; a cast member on the VH-1 reality show The Surreal Life, and host of programs on the Home Shopping Network and BET J. However, the former schoolteacher’s life took a rough turn in 2012 as he was arrested in Florida for “doctor shopping.” TMZ.com reported in April of that year that he allegedly went to multiple pharmacies to fill prescriptions for painkillers—he gained more than 1,000. Huffman subsequently agreed to participate in WWE’s “Former Talent Rehab Program” to defeat his drug addiction, which he successfully completed.
“I owe the WWE my life for helping me through this situation,” said Huffman in June 2012. “I have the clarity and focus that comes with sobriety and will never let my family, friends, and fans down again.”
While Huffman was in rehab, the trophy he was awarded for winning Tough Enough ended up in a storage unit in Virginia (his home state), until he stopped paying the bill. The contents of the unit went up for auction last November and was sold for $100. The person who bought the unit discovered the trophy and immediately reached out to Huffman to return it, but didn’t hear back. It then surfaced on eBay and was sold for $600 to a wrestling fan in California.
The official YouTube account of WWE published Maven’s entrance video two weeks ago, which you can view here.