There is no age limit in wrestling. The fact that it's an entertainment business makes it feasible that someone can do it as long as they physically can. Many wrestlers will continue to work into their 50s and some even wrestle in their 60s. WrestleMania season in the WWE is here and we are starting to see the older legends return to the company. The Undertaker, Goldberg and potentially other wrestlers will make fans wonder if they should still be wrestling at their older ages. However, there are many wrestlers outside of the WWE that still push the line.
The independent wrestling scene is home to quite a few veterans that no longer belong in a wrestling ring. Hell, there are even some wrestlers that have regressed or are flat out terrible meaning they should not enter a ring. We'll take a look at some of the sadder stories in all of wrestling today. These are the tragic tales of wrestlers hanging on too long or having no purpose continuing their career. WWE wrestlers will be exempt since they tend to get publicly scrutinized on the regular. The other side of wrestling will be examined with fifteen non-WWE wrestlers that need to retire.
15 Shane Douglas
Shane Douglas will always be remembered for his impressive work as a top heel for ECW. Douglas was a noteworthy champion and is definitely considered a legend when looking at ECW history. However, ECW has been out of business for sixteen years now and Douglas is still wrestling on the independent wrestling scene.
14 Damien Sandow
Most wrestling fans had high hopes for Damien Sandow in the WWE. His talent was on display at different points, giving enough of a sample size to believe he could be something special. WWE kept him off television for a long time before finally letting him go in 2016. We all hoped he would have a successful run, similar to the likes of Drew Galloway and Cody Rhodes, but that hasn't been the case as the fire looks to be extinguished.
13 Jim Duggan
Old school wrestling fans have a great affection towards Hacksaw Jim Duggan. The most successful years of Duggan's career came in the 80s and 90s. Duggan decided to keep his career going despite criticism following him all the way back to the Monday Night Wars, when fans used to question if he should retire. Almost two decades later and Duggan is still wrestling as much as he can.
12 Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett was blacklisted from the WWE following an ugly falling out during the Monday Night Wars. Vince McMahon held on to a hatred twards Jarrett due to the fact that he held up the WWE for money before leaving to WCW. WWE purchasing WCW forced Jarrett to think outside the box and start his own promotions. Jarrett ran TNA before getting exiled for backstage drama.
11 The Nasty Boys
The Nasty Boys are known for having hardcore matches before it became a popular concept on national television. Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags were never the most athletic performers, but they got by based on their loud personalities and violent matches. It also helped that Knobbs was one of the best friends of Hulk Hogan, so he followed him from promotion to promotion.
10 Tommy Dreamer
One wrestler way past his prime that still keeps an active schedule is Tommy Dreamer. The ECW legend became a hardcore wrestling legend in the 90s. Dreamer truly did everything in his power to entertain the fans and left it all in the ring. Following stints in just about every wrestling promotion over the years, Dreamer still works regularly on the independent wrestling scene.
9 Scott Steiner
The unpredictable Scott Steiner has kept his name in wrestling for many years due to his persona in and out of the ring. Steiner is impossible to control and lives his life without a filter. It has led to Steiner making enemies out of huge names like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and many others. Steiner wrestles occasionally when an independent promotion is willing to pay him the big bucks.
8 Al Snow
A shocking happening in TNA last year saw Al Snow make his in-ring return. Snow was unofficially retired for many years, working primarily as a trainer and a backstage match producer. At 53 years old, Snow found a way to get into the best shape of his life. Snow is one of the most jacked members of the TNA roster and is a regular on television these days.
7 Jake Roberts
The long road to recovery for Jake Roberts has seen wrestling remain the one constant in his life. Roberts has a bad reputation among fans and promoters in the independent circuit for treating others poorly. Despite the bad attitude, Roberts still found solace in the wrestling ring as he battled with his addiction issues against drug and alcohol.
6 Greg Valentine
Greg Valentine is 65 years old, but still attempts to keep his wrestling career going. The former wrestling Superstar had a strong career that lasted many years. Unfortunately, Valentine didn’t save enough money to live on for the older years of his life and still has to try to put on the wrestling boots. The Hammer appears at smaller independent wrestling shows.
5 Kurt Angle
The possibility of Kurt Angle returning to the WWE is a dream scenario given all he has contributed to the business. Angle is a true legend that will go down among the all-time great performers. Injuries have unfortunately followed him as he risked his body to put out the best matches. The main reason the WWE has yet to bring him back is due to fear of a serious injury taking place on their watch.
4 Mahabali Shera
Unlike many of the major stars continuing their careers in older age, Mahabali Shera will likely never reach the top of his field. Shera first worked in wrestling through TNA’s India project Ring Ka King. It eventually landed him a contact for TNA that was impressive enough to make him move to the United States. Shera is trying to progress as a wrestler, but is floundering with every opportunity.
Sean Waltman's wrestling career is hugely underrated when looking at his overall body of work. X-Pac delivered athletic matches that broke new ground for the WWE at a time when everyone wrestled slower and less exciting styles. WWE made a star out of him as the 1-2-3 Kid and later the X-Pac rebirth in D-Generation X.
2 The Honky Tonk Man
The Honky Tonk Man had one of the more entertaining comedic gimmicks during his WWE career. The annoying heel act got over enough to make the company put the Intercontinental Championship on him for a record breaking 454 days. WWE got over him and made it clear they had no interest in HTM as a wrestler during the mid-90s.
Very few wrestlers have sacrificed as much for the wrestling business as Sabu. The ECW icon revolutionized wrestling with new high risk moves that no one could have dreamed of. These moves and that style has become a common theme in the industry today, but Sabu is the one who helped bring it to the United States. His dangerous style mixed with the hardcore matches saw his body suffer a high level of damage through the years.
Sabu is in need of a hip surgery and has gone to crowd-sourcing projects to get the funds for it. Between walking with a limp and dealing with pain, Sabu clearly should be out of the ring. Sadly, he still works as often as possible on the independent scene to get paid. The best thing for Sabu would be to retire and stop putting his body through such pain, as he inches closer towards getting surgery.
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