Unlike most athletes, there isn't really a retirement age for wrestlers. While many choose to switch to more conventional jobs after failed stints, others enter the ring well into their 60s - or beyond. For the most part, the technical ability of the in-ring performers doesn't really change, even if their six-pack does undergo a bit of transformation.
When it comes to the look of a wrestler, it is arguably more important than the actual ability. When Roman Reigns received his original push, it was more to do with his strong physique than his in-ring ability. John Cena also didn't have a huge catalogue of moves to begin with, but he did have 'the look' that Vince McMahon and co regularly go for. That is why for many wrestlers, aging is a sign of losing that star power they once had. The New Age Outlaws recent return - although entertaining - had only the effect of showing how two legends of the business have aged significantly since their last run.
But what about those wrestlers that you think are old, yet are actually some of the younger superstars in the locker room? Or the ones who you expect to be old, simply because they've been around for so long? Prepare to be shocked with the 15 wrestlers who look older than their birth certificate claims.
15 Aiden English (28)
What could have been for Aiden English, who promised so much in NXT as a part of The Vaudevillains. But a mixture of backstage issues and poor booking has meant that English and Simon Gotch have gone from title contenders to right at the bottom of the SmackDown tag team pile, wallowing below teams like The Ascension and The Hype Bros.
In reality, English doesn't actually look too much older than his age, but the fact his character is set in the 1900s instantly makes him appear to be at least a decade older. His entrance and outfit are the key reasons behind this, though Simon Gotch seems to look a little younger but is actually four years older.
14 Konnor (36)
Along with Aiden English, Konnor is a part of the other hugely underperforming tag-team on the SmackDown roster, The Ascension. Brought into the company as the next Legion of Doom-type team, it all went wrong very quickly and now The Ascension seem to have been hidden in the back for years.
Maybe the lack of in-ring success for Konnor and Viktor is why the previous looks older than 36. The costume of random flaps and leather does nothing to help Konnor out, but the tiny Mohawk is probably the one reason that it's hard to believe he's only 36. The fact The Ascension have never been a part of the championship scene doesn't bode well for Konnor, especially when you add in the fact he has already received two wellness violation suspensions.
13 Bray Wyatt (29)
Bray Wyatt should be a main-eventer, yet he's never even won a championship throughout his WWE run. 'The Eater of Worlds' is perhaps the most charismatic man in WWE, but there are a few reasons why it is difficult to believe he is only 29.
Wyatt actually draws quite a few comparisons with people 40 or 50 years his senior, one of which being the fact he sits in a rocking chair for most of his promos. His clothing, whilst fitting the persona, is not exactly what you'd expect a typical 21st century wrestler to wear, whilst the huge beard may be hipster like, it doesn't do wonders for those trying to guess his age. And compared to his brother Bo Dallas, he looks far older, even though the gap is only three years.
12 Big Show (44)
This may be harsh, but Big Show looks older than 44. 'The World's Largest Athlete' has been through a number of looks during his time at the top of WWE, but over the last few years, time seems to have really caught up on him, even if his wrestling hasn't changed much.
The 'please retire' chants are harsh on Show, but many fans may think he is actually older than he is simply because he has been around forever. Much like Kane, who's actually five years his senior,, both characters have grown stale over the years due to the lack of creative use, leaving both in a difficult state and completely ruining the characters. The fact he now has a beard hasn't done him too many wonders in the last few years and with rumours of a WrestleMania match next year with Shaquille O'Neal, those chants may become reality.
11 A.J. Styles (39)
It really is difficult to put an age on The Phenomenal One. With short hair, Styles looks safely in his 30s. But the current 'soccer mom' look he has going on makes him look older than he actually is. The TNA Styles was ever youthful and though his wrestling is still as strong as ever, his look isn't as 'young' as it once was.
Thankfully, he made the switch over to WWE in time for a few years of glory, something he rightfully deserves after his stellar wrestling career. But for the sake of fans, the hair needs to go soon. The current John Cena sweatband look he has going on makes things even worse, even if it is character development. Come on, A.J., bring back the short hair.
10 Zack Ryder (31)
Zack Ryder is only 31, who knew? His career has been a real strange one, constantly misused and ruined by creative, to the point where a turnaround looks impossible. Ryder's WrestleMania victory was treated like a huge deal, purely because many saw him as a bit of a veteran after years of service.
The look Ryder has going on is a sort of old guy trying to be cool thing, which he does really well. Yet the thing is, Ryder isn't old at all. One of the younger superstars on the SmackDown roster, Ryder is actually the perfect guy for that spot, even if it seems like he's been doing it for years.
But in reality, Ryder is still in the prime of his career and should have his best years ahead of him. However, his latest use is as part of Hype Bros, which, although it helps Mojo Rawley, can be nothing but a hindrance to any chance Ryder has in the next few months.
9 Jinder Mahal (30)
The return of Jinder Mahal has not exactly set the world alight, with questions over why he was brought back only to be beaten week in, week out. The fact he has already been released by the company in the past doesn't bode well for him, especially considering he is only 30.
The gimmicks Mahal has been given over time have put real age on the wrestler, staining his future chances of championship success. 3MB were mistreated throughout and his current stereotypical Indian gimmick is doomed from the start. The lack of interest in Mahal now is purely down to how much WWE has wasted his talents and it is crazy to think they have given him such little chance of progression before he turns 31.
8 Michael Cole (47)
Ok, so Michael Cole isn't an in-ring performer, but he has won a WrestleMania match! That, much like his long career at the announcers desk, probably shouldn't have happened.
Cole is one of the least cool things about being a WWE fan, because he is just like somebody's irritating, uncool dad. From being caught reading a script after Shane McMahon's cell jump to his constant miscalling of moves, Cole seems too old for the 'new era' of WWE. Especially when placed next to the more popular and exciting Corey Graves, Cole is really shown up and seems far older than 47. This is especially true when it's pointed out that J.R carried on calling matches until just a few years ago. Though his voice may still sound 47, his actual announcing is way past the sell-by date.
7 Shinsuke Nakamura (36)
Nakamura has a huge future in the WWE, having already been an enormous hit in NXT. The former martial-artist has become an instant success both in the ring and out, with the veteran securing the NXT title in just a few months.
Although, even though he's wrestled since 2002, The 'King of Strong Style' is just 36, far younger than many of the current top stars in the industry. His confidence in the character (if it actually is one) is unseen in many superstars, with Nakamura's persona and abilities every bit future WWE Champion material.
The fact he still has a minimum of five years at the height of his career is a mouth-watering option not only for the WWE Universe, but also for Vince McMahon's finances.
6 Epico and Primo (34 & 33)
Why The Shining Stars were given another revamp this year was a mystery to many die-hard WWE fans. After an unsuccessful stint as Los Matadores, Epico and Primo returned this year as, well, who knows. Months of vignettes eventually saw the pair return against local opponents and they have actually been given something of a push recently, beating Enzo and Cass, much to the dismay of fans who love The Realest Guys In The Room.
But they have had many opportunities on the main roster and surely this is their last chance at getting themselves over? The pair both seem to have been in and around WWE forever, making them seem much older than they actually are, and never have they been particularly cared about by supporters.
5 Goldust (47)
A legend of the business and future Hall of Famer, Dustin Runnels has had limited success over the past 20 years with a very difficult character. It seems that now is the time for Goldy to step back though, with many exciting talents coming through.
The Goldust face paint may have changed over the years, but the character doesn't seem to fit well nowadays, especially since the PG era arrived. Prior to that, Goldust could really test the water of what is acceptable on TV, but he is severely limited now and forced into becoming solely a comedy figure with no chance of grabbing gold. WWE mistreated his brother Cody by giving him the Stardust gimmick and need to start winding down Goldust, whose look is now way too old for the current show.
Underneath the paint, Rhodes is starting to age, as is expected for someone who has been in the ring for as long as him. However, his current partnership with R-Truth seems to have further aged the character, an attempt to restore former glory for the both.
4 Paige (24)
What's happening with Paige? The English superstar promised so much when she debuted, winning the Divas Championship in her debut match. But since then, life has been tough, hardly helped by her relationship with the recently departed Alberto Del Rio and injuries along the way.
Paige's inclusion on the list doesn't mean she looks old, because she fits in perfectly with the rest of the female superstars in the locker room. But to think that she is only 24 is remarkable when considering all she has done in her career already. Her huge selection of moves in the ring as well as a strong presence on the mic make it easy to assume she is one of the more senior women in the back, rather than the youngest of all.
3 Luke Gallows (32)
Luke Gallows has done it all in the wrestling industry and that experience might be catching up on him a little. Though he hasn't really aged since his time as Festus, Gallows looks similar in age to fellow Club member, A.J. Styles, yet is seven years younger.
Along with Karl Anderson (who is four years older), Gallows starred over in Japan but hasn't hit the same heights since returning to the US, being stuck with weak storylines with the New Day. Like many on this list though, there is still plenty of time to turn things around and they really should. Especially if he stops aging, as he seems to have done since his original run. That says a huge amount about that horrible Festus run.
2 Bo Dallas (26)
Bo Dallas is in a tough position in WWE right now and if he was 10 years older, there could be a big doubt about his future. But the fact that he's only 26 means there is still plenty of time to transform his luck.
Bray Wyatt's baby brother looks youthful and it isn't too hard to believe he's only 26. But the fact that he seems to have been around WWE for years is the real surprise, having already progressed through NXT and had decent runs on the main roster. His original few months saw him build up real support, until his winning streak was inexplicably ended by R-Truth, not the best way to build up a wrestler.
The youngest athlete on the main roster, Dallas has already achieved what many of those other superstars never will in claiming a major championship (the NXT Championship). But despite his age, the current push he has makes it hard to believe that more will follow.
1 Kevin Owens (32)
KO is the go to guy in WWE right now because he has it all. And that is exactly why the fact he is only 32 is such a shock. Even though he hasn't been on the main roster for too long, Owens has done plenty outside of the company and is far more experienced than many others in the back.
Not your average looking superstar, that is why Owens tops this list, because he is a throwback to a different kind of athlete. Bigger in size than the majority of his opponents, Owens dominates in the ring and performs way beyond his years. He finally is getting the recognition he deserves having picked up the Universal title and has plenty more years ahead of him at the top of the pile.
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