The age range of wrestlers is pretty surprising, much like any other field in the entertainment industry. WWE is an elite company that runs the wrestling business and has a specific idea for the ideal age of performers. There used to be a rule set in place that the company would not hire any wrestlers over the age of 35 when looking for potential prospects to bring in for Performance Center tryouts. Triple H apparently looked at the free agent market and realized the money that followed some established performers when coming to NXT. That changed everything.
WWE has started to hire the best of the best, regardless of their age. They are still looking for a youth movement and are finding young stars from various backgrounds all with the potential to be stars. The Performance Center allows them to learn at a faster pace. Older wrestlers still have a place in the company with quite a few veterans still holding down roster spots due to their contributions. Quite frankly, there are a lot of surprises associated with the ages of the top performers in the WWE today. We’ll take a glimpse into the roster with the reveals of the current ages of fifteen WWE superstars.
15 Finn Balor: 35
Finn Balor's call-up from NXT during the brand split draft made him an instant top star for the company. Balor was declared the new face of Monday Night Raw when he defeated Seth Rollins at SummerSlam to become the first ever WWE Universal Championship. Sadly, Balor suffered a labrum tear and was forced to relinquish the title one night after winning it. The talented star is expected to miss several months.
Balor’s age makes it all the more heartbreaking. Many believe he’s quite young due to the fact he came up from NXT and because of his youthful looks. However, Balor has been wrestling for many years and is currently 35 years old. WWE kept him in NXT longer than they should have been due to the fact he led the developmental brand to new heights. Balor is currently in the final few years of his prime and WWE will have to continue to place him at the top of the card. Time can’t be wasted.
14 Sasha Banks: 24
WWE signed Sasha Banks at the young age of 20 and it was one of the better decisions the company recently made. Banks rose up the ranks of NXT with her impressive character work as The Boss. Her in-ring work and character skills helped make her arguably the most exciting performer on the show. Banks made the move up to the main roster as part of the women’s revolution movement.
Sasha Banks' ascension saw her organically become the most beloved female performer in the company. Several women's wrestling matches had to endure the “We Want Sasha” chants from fans missing their favorite star. Banks is only 24 years old now and is already the face of the Raw women’s division. Before even turning 25, Banks has already delivered classics, led a movement, won the most important Women’s Championships and is making history as we speak.
13 Cesaro: 35
Wrestling fans have been calling for Cesaro to be pushed for quite some time. His in-ring work is second to none and he's won over a large percentage of the WWE Universe. Unfortunately for him, the company doesn’t believe he can be a legitimate top star. Cesaro has been a consistent mid-carder with little chances at being a main event star.
The clock is ticking for Cesaro at the age of 35. A long career wrestling working all over the world landed him the dream job of working for the WWE, but Cesaro only has a few years left with the ability to perform at a high level. It will be a shame if he never gets to at least main event a couple of PPVs. The brand split could give him a new chance, but it has to happen as soon as possible.
12 Charlotte: 30
It often feels like all of the women coming up from NXT and taking over the main roster are around the same age. Charlotte and Sasha Banks appear on the same playing field due to their careers being linked together with a heated rivalry lasting from NXT all the way until today. Not many would expect it, but Charlotte is currently 30 years old and has a full six years on Banks.
Charlotte is the oldest of The Four Horsewomen, but doesn’t show it. Her athleticism sees her move around the ring with the best of them, while Charlotte entering the wrestling business a little later than most of her peers makes her appear younger than her actual age.
The prime of her career is happening as we speak and she is making the most of it as the top female heel in the entire company.
11 Bo Dallas: 26
Bo Dallas was signed at the age of 18 to a WWE developmental contract. The company clearly saw something special in him and believed he could be a star. Dallas wrestled as a top performer in FCW and NXT for many years, making a name in for himself in developmental. His heel work landed him the NXT Championship and lengthy Title reign.
WWE called him up to the main roster in 2014 and it has not gone in his favor. Dallas instantly flopped with his character losing momentum on a weekly basis. The “Bo-lieve” comedy gimmick did not get over on television like it did in NXT. Dallas has struggled over the past few years, but is now getting a chance to succeed with a new push. At the age of 26 right now, Dallas' youth is a huge benefit of him remaining in the company and getting another chance.
10 Bray Wyatt: 29
The real life brother of Bo Dallas is also far younger than most would guess. Bray Wyatt speaks with the wisdom of an old man and has a huge beard that makes you forget he’s one of the youngest main event performers in WWE today. WWE signed him at a young age similar to his brother. Their second generation bloodline as the sons of retired wrestler I.R.S. likely helped them get the opportunities.
Wyatt struggled to find himself in the WWE system for many years. The inception of The Wyatt Family saw Bray become something special that fans grew attached to. Wyatt has not gotten a huge push similar to the likes of Roman Reigns or Seth Rollins, but his time is coming. There’s no doubt Wyatt will have a spot at the top of WWE one day and his young age of 29 just adds extra years onto his career.
9 Alexa Bliss: 25
Alexa Bliss’ story in the WWE is exactly what the WWE hoped for with their investment in the Performance Center and NXT. WWE signed Bliss due to her athleticism in gymnastics and fitness competitions. Bliss entered the Performance Center as one of the youngest prospects at just 22 years old. Her hard work and dedication saw her improve rapidly.
2016 saw Alexa reach new highs in every aspect of wrestling. It was clear she was ready for the main roster and was drafted to SmackDown during the brand split. The SmackDown women’s division has been outstanding with Bliss being a major reason for it. At the current age of 25 years old, Bliss is one of the youngest women on the main roster and is already the best heel on the Blue Brand.
8 A.J. Styles: 39
The signing of A.J. Styles by the WWE in early 2016 completely changed the landscape and culture of the business. Styles was the first wrestler in a long time to bypass NXT and make his debut on the main roster. His reputation, experience and age all factored in the correct decision being made. Styles has arguably been the best wrestler in the world for many years now, but the WWE never showed interest until now.
A.J. adapted to the WWE world within a couple of months. His heel turn and a program with John Cena took him to the upper echelon of the company. The WWE trusted him enough to make him the face of SmackDown as the WWE World Champion. Styles’ age of 39 proves it’s just a number and the incredible work being put out by him right now is up there with any other performer in the industry.
7 Paige: 24
Paige was the first big female star in the developmental brand and would be crowned the first ever NXT Women’s Champion. A main roster call up saw her win the Divas Championship on her first night in the company. Paige performed in many big matches, became a fixture on Total Divas and blossomed into a huge star for the company. Her downfall then came with injuries, suspensions and boyfriend drama, all making her an outcast in the WWE at the moment.
All of this playing out is surprising, but the fact that she’s only 24 years old makes it even more shocking. Most people her age are hoping to make small strides in entering their desired careers, while Paige is already at a crossroads in her wrestling career. The health of Paige is in doubt for a potential return, but she will definitely have opportunities if she can get past the injuries.
6 John Cena: 39
John Cena's legendary run has seen him dominate the past decade in the WWE. Cena took the ball and ran with it when Vince McMahon started pushing him as the face of the company. No one works harder to keep their spot than Cena and he has gracefully put the franchise on his back from 2006 until now. The insane thing about Cena is he doesn’t look his age at all.
Cena looks better than ever in the wrestling ring and physically looks much younger than his age suggests. At 39 years old, Cena has transitioned into working a lighter schedule with the wear and tear of the industry, along with past injuries, catching up to him. Cena is still the top star in the WWE, but his age suggests the company has to start committing to new top guys to succeed him.
5 Shane McMahon: 46
The ages of the McMahon family are an interesting thing to think about. Vince McMahon being 71 years old is not surprising, but his kids have been around so long that it skews things. Shane McMahon became an on-screen character in 1998 with The Corporation. An impressive career saw Shane earn the respect of the fans through unbelievable stunts and leaving it all in the ring.
Shane leaving the WWE in 2009 shocked the wrestling world, as fans were disappointed to see the most beloved McMahon leave the company. The massive response of love for his return in 2016 at least made it all worth it. At the age of 46 today, Shane still plans to wrestle a few attraction matches and appears to be ready for a showdown against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33.
4 Stephanie McMahon: 40
Shane McMahon being 46 is a bit surprising, but Stephanie McMahon recently turning 40 is downright shocking. While she still looks young, we all remember Stephanie being a fixture on WWE television during the Attitude Era. Stephanie became an on-screen character in 1999 and evolved into an elite heel by 2000.
At the age of just 24, with no experience and boisterous crowds shouting at her, she perfected the art of the promo. Fans loved to hate Stephanie and she has only improved upon her outstanding heel work over the years. More importantly, Stephanie locked down a position as the predecessor to her father. The future of WWE is in the hands of Stephanie and her husband, Triple H. Stephanie achieving as much as she has in and out of the ring by her 40th birthday is unbelievable.
3 Dolph Ziggler: 36
Dolph Ziggler's career has seen a continuous roller coaster ride of ups and downs over the years. Everyone knows he has impressive in-ring skills but the damage done to him with halted pushes appeared to be too much. Ziggler was relegated into being an afterthought in recent years. However, a recent storyline with The Miz on SmackDown gave Dolph a new chance at success.
Ziggler is the current Intercontinental Champion and one of the more relevant performers on the show. Could it finally be his time to move into the main event picture for good? It seems unlikely due to his age. Ziggler is already 36 years old despite appearing much younger when you look at him in the ring. There’s still a chance of him getting another run with a World Title, but the clock is certainly ticking.
2 Bayley: 27
One person with youth in their favor and a huge upside is Bayley. Her NXT tenure made her the most popular performer in the developmental brand and WWE finally called her up to the main roster shortly after the brand split. Bayley is currently 27 years old and should have many years ahead of her to take the women’s division to new heights.
Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Charlotte are all superb performers. None have the potential of Bayley due to her character connecting with fans of all demographics, especially the younger audience. Bayley’s character is similar to John Cena's and we all know how long his shelf life has been. The prime of Bayley’s career will last another ten years and WWE will have screwed up royally if they never use her to full potential.
1 Shinsuke Nakamura: 36
The hottest new star in NXT right now is Shinsuke Nakamura. Anyone who witnesses Nakamura for the first time is enthralled by everything he brings to the table. The theatrics of his entrance, his charismatic persona and elite in-ring work makes Nakamura among the most complete performers in the industry, despite his inability to speak perfect English. At the age of 36, Nakamura is already in the latter years of his career and WWE can’t fool around.
NXT needs a draw, but Nakamura can add so much more on the main roster. Talents as special as Nakamura are extremely rare to find. Everyone will make more money and benefit from him coming to the main roster as quickly as possible. Nakamura’s many years of wrestling in Japan gave him all the experience needed. The time is now to push Nakamura on the biggest stage possible, before he gets too old.