As we grow up, we come to learn a great deal about life, including the fact that there are some things that we simply cannot escape from, things like taxes, responsibilities, death, and the aging process. Every single living thing on Earth ages, it is just the natural course of events, and although getting older usually means that a person keeps getting wiser, it also means that a person is more prone to illness and injury. And when you get older, your body tends to become physically weaker and slower. A person’s age can be very important, especially when it comes to their job, because sometimes, a person might be too old to do the job to the best of their ability, and in nowhere is age more of a factor than in the world of sports.
When you are an athlete, it is highly unlikely that you will have a career that lasts more than 15 years, and the reason for that is because in most sports, an athlete’s ability to perform usually begins to rapidly deteriorate when they reach their mid-30s. When you refer to an athlete, many people will believe that you must be talking about someone who plays something like football, baseball, basketball, soccer, or hockey, but despite what those people might think, professional wrestlers happen to be full-fledged athletes as well. Wrestlers train virtually every day in order to stay fit and hone their craft, and the fans appreciate that kind of work ethic, which is why a promotion like WWE can make hundreds of millions of dollars every year. As much as they try though, even wrestlers get old, and sometimes even fans will be surprised to learn the ages of certain superstars, and the purpose of this article is to identify 15 of those WWE superstars who are surprisingly old.
15. Mickie James: 38
For a good 10 years, WWE’s Women’s division would literally make fans cringe at times, thanks in part to how short the matches would be, and because of the fact that most of the wrestlers were at best mediocre in terms of actual wrestling skill. During that time though, there were still some women who could actually perform, like Mickie James, who, during her first stint with the company, became a six-time champion who will most likely find herself in the Hall of Fame when she retires. After a near seven-year absence, James finally returned to WWE last year, and has proven to be a good veteran presence in the women’s locker room. She also still looks good in the ring, which some people will find surprising when they learn that she will be turning 38 on August 31.
14. Titus O’Neil: 40
Vince McMahon has always had a tendency of liking big, muscular guys, even when their wrestling skills are clearly limited, and Titus O’Neil has exemplified these traits throughout his run with the WWE. Believe it or not, O’Neil actually got into professional wrestling rather late in his life, after signing with the company back in 2009, and while in developmental, he met and was teamed up with Darren young, with whom he had the most success with. Now, Titus is a former Tag Team Champion, who has unsuccessfully been pushed as a solo wrestler twice, which is why he is now basically serving as a manager with the “Titus Worldwide” brand. It actually makes sense that he is barely being used in the ring now, because at 40 years old, there is no reason to even attempt giving him another push.
13. Shinsuke Nakamura: 37
Over the past couple of years, the WWE has been on a mission to sign the most talented wrestlers in the world after their contracts with other promotions have expired, and in early-2016, the company made fans extremely happy when news broke that they were signing Shinsuke Nakamura. There are some who do not like Nakamura’s Strong Style, to the point that some actually believe that he is a bad wrestler, but in reality, he is by far one of the best performers wrestling has to offer, with his accolades back in Japan being clear evidence of that. This year will mark Nakamura’s first SummerSlam, and hopefully we will get to see him in more big pay-per-views, because at 37 years of age, he may want to return home to wrap up his career.
12. TJP: 32
When the WWE brought back the Cruiserweights, the company thought that the division would bring some fairly needed excitement to their product, and although they can put on a show in the ring, they still sometimes produce the most boring parts of Raw‘s three-hour broadcast, due to a sheer lack of character development in most cases. When they finally returned to the main roster, they did so with T.J. Perkins as champion, who held the title for 46 days, and who has been trying to get it back ever since. TJP, as he is called now, has been wrestling since 1998, when he was just 13 years old, and when you look at him, he appears as though he is at least in his mid-20s, but in reality, he will be turning 33 on September 3rd.
11. Karl Anderson: 37
Every single week on Raw, we are constantly reminded of the fact that Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are the best tag team in the world, a statement which would hold greater merit had the WWE given them a much longer initial run as Raw Tag Team Champions. After officially debuting in 2002, Anderson quickly became known as a tag team specialist, whose best years came while performing over in Japan, which is where he met Gallows. When you look at the pair, many people will either assume that the duo are roughly the same age, or that Gallows is the older one, just based on his size, shape, and demeanor, but in truth, Anderson is 37 years old, which makes him four years older than his longtime partner.
10. Nia Jax: 33
The women’s revolution was incredibly important, as the Women’s Division was in desperate need of women with actual wrestling talent, and although there are many talented women now, they are all quite small, which is where Nia Jax comes in. Jax is a former model and college basketball player who was signed in 2014 without any prior wrestling experience, but when The Rock is your cousin, you definitely get some doors opened for you. Now, Jax is not known for being a great wrestler, but she does serve as the division’s powerhouse, and based on her relationship with the other women on Raw, WWE may be giving her a title soon, a title that she could hold for a while, which is fine, because even though she is 33 years old, she can last in the WWE for years to come seeing as she mainly has to use her physical strength in the ring.
9. Baron Corbin: 32
Over the years, the WWE has not shied away from signing individuals who at one point tried to have a career in professional football, and to their credit, some of those individuals have gone on to have lengthy wrestling careers. Baron Corbin is one of those individuals, as he was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts and then quickly released, and then signed by the Arizona Cardinals for a year before getting released again. In 2012, he was signed by WWE, and has been on the main roster since 2016, and based on his recent Money in the Bank contract win, it is clear that the company has big plans for him. Based on how young he looks, you would think that he has a good decade of wrestling ahead of him, but that may not actually be the case as he will be turning 33 on September 13.
8. Dolph Ziggler: 37
Earlier on this list, we talked about Shinsuke Nakamura, and for this entry, we will be talking about the first superstar he feuded with after getting called up to the main roster: Dolph Ziggler. It seems hard to believe, but Ziggler has been with the WWE since 2004, and as it turns out, he has become the most successful member of The Spirit Squad, as he is the only former member to become a five-time Intercontinental and two-time world champion. Ziggler is an amazing performer, and no one can say otherwise, seeing as he continues to compete every single week even though he has sustained several concussions over his career. However, there have been rumors for a while now that he will be leaving WWE once his current contract is up, which makes sense seeing as he just turned 37.
7. Cesaro: 36
If you were to ask any wrestling fan which male wrestler they believe is being wasted by the WWE, many will still say Cesaro, who has proven over the years that he is a phenomenal in-ring performer. Cesaro has been wrestling since 2000, and after spending a lot of time on the Independent Circuit and in better known small promotions, he was finally signed to a WWE contract in 2011. Since debuting on the main roster in 2012, Cesaro has gone on to become a Unites States Champion, and a three-time Tag Team Champion, but fans still want to see him win one of the major titles, simply because his work ethic makes him deserving of a reign. He better get that opportunity soon though, because at 36 years old, his career might be winding down quicker than we think.
6. Kofi Kingston: 36
When they first debuted as a team, fans did not really like The New Day, but in one of wrestling’s better success stories, the team managed to win the crowd over, which allowed them to become the longest reigning Tag Team Champions in WWE history. In terms of actual talent and success, Kofi Kingston is by far New Day’s best performer, seeing as he is incredibly athletic, and because he is the only member of the group to have also won the Intercontinental and United States Championships multiple times. Kofi’s official debut came in 2006, which means that he has spent virtually his entire professional career with the WWE, and what some fans might not know, is that this August he turns 36, making him the oldest member of The New Day by five years.
5. Finn Balor: 36
Nakamura and Anderson are not the only high-profile wrestlers who managed to gain worldwide notoriety in Japan, as Finn Balor was actually the first big name to leave New Japan Pro Wrestling for the WWE. Since signing with the company in 2014, Balor has done nothing but impress, and he has made it quite clear that he is currently amongst the best and most exciting in-ring competitors in the world. Since being on the main roster, we have not gotten the chance to see Balor have a legitimate title reign, mainly because he suffered a lengthy injury, and the fans do deserve such a run. Although he moves like a beast, he recently turned 36, which is pretty old considering his fairly athletic and fast-paced move set, so who knows how long he can continue wrestling at such a pace.
4. Sheamus: 39
WWE has always had a good relationship with the UK, and they have had several wrestlers from that region over the decades, including Sheamus, who is by far the most successful individual to come from that part of the world. The Celtic Warrior made a name for himself in the European Independent Circuit, which is why he was signed by the WWE in 2006, and in those 11 years, he has gone on to win almost every title that the company has to offer. The four-time world champion has made it clear that he likes to fight, and silly mohawk aside, he has given fans some entertaining matches. But we may not get to see him much longer, because as physical as he is, Sheamus is 39 years old, and the body just cannot keep up with that kind of physicality.
3. Asuka: 35
WWE’s Women’s Division is indeed the strongest that it has been in years, but even with all of the talent now on the main roster, the company is still making mistakes with their female talent, with one of the more glaring mistakes being that Asuka is still down in NXT. Asuka made a name for herself over in her home country of Japan, and thanks to her accomplishments there, she is considered by many to be one of the world’s best female wrestlers. She has been with WWE since signing in 2015, and is still currently NXT’s Women’s Champion after nearly 500 days, and virtually every wrestling fan believes that she needs to drop the belt in order to finally get on the main roster so that she can compete with the other women. That’s a move which definitely needs to happen fast, because Asuka will be turning 36 on September 26, which means that she probably will not be wrestling for much longer.
2. R-Truth: 45
In the world of wrestling, there are some wrestlers who only have one real job: to basically lose almost every match in order to get other wrestlers over, and in WWE, no one is currently more synonymous with that role than R-Truth. Believe it or not, Truth has been wrestling since 1997, with the WWE being his home for most of those two decades, and although he mainly loses now, he has managed to win several titles over the years, partly because fans do like him, but also because he is actually well-liked by the boss. Of all the people on this list, Truth is the only one who literally appears to never age, because for the most part, he still pretty much looks and moves like he did almost 10 years ago, which is quite the feat seeing as he is now 45 years old.
1. Bobby Roode: 40
At the time that this article was written, Bobby Roode is still the NXT Champion and depending on how NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III goes, he may be coming to the main roster right after SummerSlam. Roode has been wrestling for almost 20 years now, and although he is mostly known for his time in TNA, he was in fact part of the WWE family from 2001-2004, albeit as an enhancement talent. The veteran has indeed paid his dues in the wrestling industry, and when he does make his main roster re-debut, it will be interesting to see how much of a push he actually receives, because as good as he looks, Roode is still 40 years old, which might be too old considering that more of the younger superstars are better performers, and have a lot more left in the tank.
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