The Attitude Era defined the late 90s. Every wrestling fan looks back fondly at that point in time as the absolute best time to be alive, and for good reason. You had Superstars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Mankind, and The Undertaker, and each of them had that uncanny ability to keep your eyes glued to your television sets week in and week out. They defined the era... but that was close to two decades ago.
That begs the question: How have some of the most notable characters aged since that golden era of wrestling? Growing older is an inevitable part of life, but some wrestlers have had a much better time adjusting to one of nature's biggest dilemmas. This list is going to highlight 15 wrestlers who -- while, yes, have gotten almost 20 years older -- somehow still look better than ever.
Other wrestlers may have succumbed to the fate of the progression of time (and definitely a slower metabolism), but not these 40 to 50 year-olds. These wrestlers have aged like an expensive bottle of wine and we're here to celebrate their fountain of youth. Sure, they might have a few grey hairs here and there, but we're looking at the whole picture.
So without further ado, let's get to those late 90s wrestlers who make the rest of us want to hit the gym a little harder!
15 Edge & Christian
Edge and Christian got their big break with the company at a moment when The Attitude Era was in full-swing. They were both very young and very green when they debuted as characters that were quickly aligned with Gangrel to form The Brood, but they were both able to make the most out of their Gothic gimmicks and became two of the most memorable stars of the era.
14 Booker T
Booker T has looked practically the same throughout his entire career, give or take a different haircut or two. No kidding! Go to Google right now and search "Booker T" (also "wrestler," otherwise you'll get an unrelated Booker T. Washington results) and see if you can tell how recently the photo was taken. The guy simply does not age and it's hard to try to look at a picture and figure exactly how old he is in that given photo.
13 Rob Van Dam
For any fan that grew up watching WCW and WWE during the Monday Night Wars, ECW had a legitimate reason to think that they could potentially put up a fight by trying to compete with the bigger two companies, and one of the major reasons why they felt that way was because of three simple words: "Mr. Monday Night."
12 Bob Holly
Flexin for food at the Japanese Steak House on my Bday!! :) pic.twitter.com/MYMACs6M2D— Bob Holly (@TheBobHolly) February 1, 2015
Remember when Bob Holly debuted in the WWE as Thurman "Sparky" Plugg in 1994 as a racecar driver turned professional wrestler? He was a little scrawny back then, but he became a legit force with the WWE during The Attitude Era, when he was known simply as Hardcore Holly, due to his successful run in their hardcore division.
11 Billy Gunn
Superstars like Stone Cold Steve Austin have often mentioned that Billy Gunn was always one of those guys that you never really understood how big of a presence he actually was until you got close to him, because his looks were very deceiving. Standing at 6'4" and having one hell of a physique, he didn't exactly tower over everyone else, but he sure did look like he could take on the world. The "Bad Ass" moniker that he went under during The Attitude Era was very appropriate, to say the least.
Dustin Runnels never had a terrific physique, but he still looks practically the same as he did when he debuted the Goldust character in the late '90s. Goldust always was an interesting gimmick and one that has been credited with kick-starting the shift from the family friendly product that the WWE had been offering all throughout the Hulkamania craze of the late '80s to the more risqué product that defined the new era of professional wrestling.
9 Ken Shamrock
Ken Shamrock was one of UFC's first ever champions and had a hugely successful career with the organization, which is undoubtedly why Vince McMahon figured that Shamrock would be a perfect fit for his company. Vince was right, as Shamrock enjoyed a very accomplished tenure during The Attitude Era by winning several championships throughout his time in WWE and, even though that was a long time ago, Shamrock still looks like his old self.
8 Molly Holly
One of the better female wrestlers to ever grace the squared circle, Molly Holly (Nora Greenwald) is best remembered for doing something that not too many women would be brave enough to do. When she learned that WWE had no plans on having the Women's Championship match even make the show (WM XX), Molly decided to take matters into her own hands and forced them to let her have her "WrestleMania moment."
7 The Rock
Perhaps the single most famous wrestler to ever convert from the squared circle to mainstream success in Hollywood, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson continues to shine as the most electrifying man not only in sports entertainment, but blockbuster entertainment of all kinds. As for him aging, well, he's done his absolute best to continue to get extraordinarily jacked almost beyond recognition compared to his earlier days when he was simply known as Rocky Maivia.
6 Triple H
Here's an example of a guy who never wanted to say goodbye to the industry, so he decided to marry the boss' daughter and become a behind-the-scenes executive for the WWE. We're only kidding, but it's kind of the truth…
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Paul Levesque) was one of the major players during The Attitude Era alongside his best friend and D-Generation X member Shawn Michaels, and together they defined the word "attitude." They certainly helped deliver WWE into the era that everyone remembers so well and since those days are well behind him, he managed to develop into more of a corporate role within the company, but not without putting himself inside the ring as one of the better heels of the last decade or so.
5 Chris Jericho
Japanese @wwenxt sensation @shinsukenakamura is on #TalkIsJericho NOW...and he speaks good English! He talks being roommates w @bryanldanielson, why he left @njpw1972 for @wwe, his love for #Mexico, how @michaeljackson influenced his wrestling style, changing his attitude on life after the tsunamis of 2011, learning to speak English, why his heroes are #BruceLee, #jackiechan #FreddyMercury, how surfing relaxes his mind and body, his first meeting w #VinceMcMahon, stealing the show w @samizayn.wwe in #Dallas, his goals for @wwe, his favorite #MichaelJackson & @queenwillrockyou songs and more NOW on @podcastone & @itunes!
Wrestlers often feel like they're rock stars, but very few of them can actually claim to be both. Chris Jericho spent a lot of time building his own brand by wrestling in various federations across the world: Mexico, Germany, Japan, Canada, and, of course, the United States, but he's also spent a considerable amount of time touring the world with his band Fozzy. Going from being one kind of rock star to another isn't the easiest of tasks and can take its toll on even the best people in each respective business, but Jericho has seemingly been able to bridge the gap with little to no problems at all.
4 Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle was a huge part of what made The Attitude Era so successful and Vince McMahon is lucky that he landed a talent of his nature. Angle was already a legit gold medal Olympian, so when he made the transition from real wrestling to sports entertainment, there was little question about his in-ring ability, but there was a lot of uncertainty about how well he'd adjust to "the business." Needless to say, Angle was able to make a name for himself quite easily and is remembered as one of the key components of The Attitude Era.
3 Stone Cold Steve Austin
No other man personified the entire Attitude Era as much as one wrestler: Stone Cold Steve Austin. His character was everything that the fans were clamoring for and his look was minimal and perfect: black boots, black trunks, black knee pads, black wrist tape, a shaved head, and a goatee. His style was essential for the time and he became the industry's biggest star by a landslide. Although he was forced to ride off into the sunset earlier than he would have liked, he has kept himself in the spotlight.
2 Al Snow
We know it's pretty unbelievable, but Al Snow looks like he's ready to audition to become the new Hulk in whatever Marvel reboot that Hollywood decides to put out next. No joke! Hulk Hogan used to brag about his 24 inch pythons that he had for arms, but if you were to say that someone else is challenging him for that title, Al Snow would have been awfully far down on that list. However, that's not the case anymore.
It's often said that men age better than women do and that point is always up for debate, but if anyone can be proof that the opposite is true it's former WWE "Diva" Ivory. In an episode of WWE's Table for 3, Alundra Blayze (Debrah Miceli), Molly Holly (Nora Greenwald), and Ivory (Lisa Moretti) all sat down and reminisced about their respective careers with WWE, and each of them looked like a million bucks.
We already addressed Molly Holly (and would have also mentioned Alundra had she been a prominent part of late '90s wrestling), but Ivory takes the cake for former wrestlers who look absolutely stunning after taking so many bumps in a wrestling ring. She's maintained every bit of her great looks and muscular figure, despite the fact that she claims to not work out. Whether or not that's true is also debatable, but nonetheless it goes without saying that her outward appearance speaks for itself.
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