WWE cult hero Steve Blackman unrecognizable as former star makes rare public appearance alongside the Hardy Boys

WWE fans got a shock as cult hero Steve Blackman made a rare public appearance alongside the Hardy Boys.

The former star, 58, has not appeared in the world of wrestling since retiring in 2002.

Originally a bodybuilder, Blackman entered professional wrestling in 1986 and made his name in New Japan Pro.

He looked set for a full-time WWF contract after making his debut in 1988, but contracted malaria and dysentery on a trip to South Africa.

The illness set Blackman back for years and he had to undergo gruelling amounts of physical therapy to get back in the ring.

Blackman made his second WWE debut in 1997 on an episode of Raw is War and would spend the next five years rising the ranks, becoming a cult hero amongst fans.

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He held the Hardcore Champion title from 2000 to 2002, but wrestled for the final time in late 2001 before sitting out the remainder of his contract.

Since leaving the federation, Blackman has kept a low profile and is now a martial-arts instructor and works as a bails bondsman.

He opened a self-defense class in Pennsylvania called BlackmanMMA which teached jujitsu and wrestling technique.

Blackman has made only a few wrestling appearances since leaving WWF, most notably on the Raw 15th Anniversary Special on December 10, 2007, where he took part in a Battle Royal.

But now the former wrestling star has made a rare publicappearance alongside the Hardy Boys – looking greyer, but with the same signature facial hair.

Hardy wrote: "Myself & Jeff were so happy to run into Steve Blackman today.

A legit cool and badass dude who rarely does public appearances nowadays.

"As the charismatic John Layfield would say, it was OUTSTANDING!"

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Elsewhere in the wrestling world, WWE legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been backed to become US President by fellow Hall of Famer Rikishi.

The 50-year-old has recently been rumoured to be returning to the squared-circle for an epic title match against Roman Reigns.

While a former WWE superstar dropped another stunning bikini shot as she said goodbye to the “most beautiful place” that she had ever been.

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