WWE having such variety on the roster makes it an interesting dynamic to look at the ages of the performers. Many wrestlers are veterans in their 30s currently in the midst of their big break after years of experience on the independent circuit. There are veterans like Kane, Mark Henry and Big Show in their 40s soaking in the last few years of television time in their wrestling careers. The WWE Performance Center and the success of NXT have given us younger stars entering the picture with prospects getting opportunities to develop at an early age for a wrestling career.
We see wrestlers all the time and they appear to be on the same playing field for the most part. That often adds an assumption that everyone is in their early 30s or beyond. A few wrestlers have been fortunate enough to hold a valued WWE roster spot down at an earlier age and are currently living the dream. We’ll look at the youth movement going down and some of the names that you likely aren’t aware of being such a young age. These talents range from Performance Center prospects to NXT standouts to Superstars on Raw and SmackDown. These are fifteen wrestlers that are still insanely young.
15. Bayley: 27
The rise of women’s wrestling has led to Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch becoming the top three female performers on WWE television. One person missing from this equation is the other member of The Four Horsewomen. Bayley watches her three friends change the main roster, but she still has a sweet gig going in NXT. The developmental brand needs star power to continue selling out big arenas and Bayley has yet to get called up due to her NXT value.
Luckily, Bayley is just 27 years old and has plenty of time before making her way to Raw or SmackDown. Her official call-up will be a very elaborate plan to get the best out of her abilities. We saw a taste of the potential of Bayley on the main roster when she made an appearance at Battleground as Banks’ partner against Charlotte and Dana Brooke. The crowd went nuts and the youthful Bayley has the chance to become a special performer over the next decade in WWE.
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3 Aliyah: 21
As the youngest active performer on WWE television, Aliyah has a world of potential and the company strongly believes in her. The young woman started her career on the independent wrestling circuit in Canada and earned a contract quickly due to the promise she showed. WWE loves finding young talents with chances to progress under the Performance Center learning tree. The Breaking Ground reality series on WWE Network provides an insight into who the company wants to push.
Aliyah was one of the main subjects on Breaking Ground despite not being on NXT television at the time. The show kept track of her life for such a young woman competing in a highly competitive environment. We witnessed her struggles in finding her confidence, but she ultimately thrived enough to get television time. There’s no doubt Aliyah is high on WWE’s Performance Center projects and, at the age of 21, she’ll have plenty of time to develop.
2 Angelo Dawkins: 26
The original purpose of investing millions of dollars into the Performance Center was to recruit athletes from other sports and teach them the world of pro wrestling. WWE loves to scout former sports stars. The football careers of The Rock, Ron Simmons, JBL and many others were always discussed during The Attitude Era. We still hear it today any time Baron Corbin or Mojo Rawley is getting spotlighted.
Another prospect in the Performance Center from the world of sports is Angelo Dawkins. The 26 year old is still quite young and comes from the sports of football and track. Dawkins received television time on NXT in 2013 but failed to get over in Full Sail. Things don’t look good for him with a lack of purpose and very little opportunities. NXT is signing high caliber wrestlers like Shinsuke Nakamura and Roderick Strong to shape what the promotion has become. Dawkins is young enough to change his fortunes but you only have so much time before they cut bait.
12. Mandy Rose: 25
Everyone loves to rip the contestants of Tough Enough for finding an unconventional way into the wrestling world. Not all of them are a waste of time and some actually show the tools needed to succeed in the WWE. Mandy Rose appears to be on the way to big things as the stand out talent from the most recent 2015 season of the reality show. She lost the competition to the less talented Sara Lee, but it is obvious Rose is the bigger star.
Many of the Tough Enough prospects are training in the Performance Center, but Mandy is the one most ready for a bigger opportunity on television. Rose has the ideal look WWE wants in their female performers as a former bikini competitor who also has a strong deal of charisma and athleticism to back it up. With many of the NXT women heading up to the main roster, opportunity is opening up for the next wave of female talents in the Performance Center and Mandy Rose is one of them.
11. Gzim Selmani: 22
NXT TakeOver: The End was a transitional show in the overall scheme of NXT. Many stars had their final big match in the developmental brand before getting drafted to Raw or SmackDown. That also meant NXT needed new talents to become fixtures on the television show. The Authors of Pain debuted with manager Paul Ellering to beat down American Alpha. Both men were massive but one of them happened to be insanely young for the role.
Gzim Selmani is only 22 years old but entered the high pressure situation of competing in the NXT tag team division. The journey of Selmani saw him have an MMA career for a few years which was impressive enough to land a spot in Bellator. WWE signed Selmani and hoped to tap into his potential. The fact that he was so young played a role as we all know they treat young prospects as pivotal to the purpose of the Performance Center. Selmani should have a television role going forward as a part of the Authors of Pain.
10. Billie Kay: 27
Perhaps the most intriguing youngster on WWE’s roster is Billie Kay. The Australian talent brings her impressive skills to NXT and has as high potential as any of her peers. NXT losing the likes of Alexa Bliss, Carmella and Nia Jax to the draft completely changed the landscape of the women’s division. Bayley is definitely getting called up in the very near future. Kay could easily slide into the role as the next big star.
Kay earned her stripes before getting to the WWE by working for the all women promotion Shimmer, a company known for booking the best female talent from all over the world. Her look, in-ring work and potential to improve to new lengths makes Kay one of the most valued stars in NXT right now. Bet everything on her becoming a huge star by the end of 2016 and likely being on the main roster at some point in 2017.
9. Liv Morgan: 22
Another woman that is among the youngest on WWE’s roster and shows a great deal of talent is Liv Morgan. It is truly amazing to realize Morgan is only 22 years old considering the poise and confidence she shows on NXT television. WWE signed her after Triple H’s close friend and personal trainer Joe DeFranco suggested her. Morgan has a background in cheerleading and uses her athleticism now to improve in the pro wrestling world.
Most of Morgan’s appearances in NXT have been enhancement talent work, by making the bigger stars look good in short matches. Through steady improvement and the Full Sail crowd embracing her, Liv has started to get more match time. She may be on a path for big things and her young age gives her the ability to have a very long career in the company.
8. Andrade "Cien" Almas: 26
The signing of Andrade "Cien" Almas was a huge score for the WWE developmental system and NXT. Almas competed under a mask as La Sombra in Mexico for years, but is still insanely young at just 26 years old. NXT has become home to the best wrestling in the world in recent years and going after intentional talent was a genius move by Triple H to add both variety and depth to the show.
Many believe unmasking Almas was a bad move but WWE loved his look and decided to rid of the luchador gimmick. Instead, Almas competes without mask similar to anyone else in NXT and doesn’t really represent his past career aside from the accolades. The upside is still rather promising. WWE sees something special in Almas and he’s receiving plenty of opportunity with many of the other top workers leaving for the main roster. If Triple H has his way, Cien will become one of the top stars in NXT for a few years considering he’s now entering his prime as an experienced performer despite his young age.
7. Emma: 27
A surprising addition to this list is Emma. As one of the first standout female wrestlers in NXT, Emma started to open up the eyes of the wrestling world. The matches between Emma and Paige gave us hope for the future of women’s wrestling. Emma’s talent is always among the best in the WWE and she can get a good match out of almost anyone. The problem is the timing has always harmed her.
Emma was initially called up to play a niche comedic character consisting of dancing and making pun signs. NXT wasn’t as popular then as it is now and the majority of fans didn’t understand it. This led to her main roster stint failing and her going back to NXT. Her young age saved her from potentially getting fired like an older performer would in the same situation. It all worked out as Emma changed her character into a villainous heel and established credibility as a great in-ring worker. We will likely see Emma in the WWE for many more years once she returns from her current injury.
6. Jason Jordan: 27
American Alpha is already one of the most exciting things about SmackDown following the brand split draft. Chad Gable and Jason Jordan have tremendous chemistry which has allowed them to skyrocket from the NXT system to the main roster. Jordan is very young at the age of 27, but has been in the WWE system for quite some time looking for an opportunity. Nothing would stick and he consistently watched the rise of NXT’s success from the sidelines.
It all changed when Jordan and Gable were made into a tag team. They possessed the quality to steal the show in limited minutes until they became one of the top acts in NXT. Gable is absolutely money, but Jordan truly stands out as the more impressive member of American Alpha at times. You can see the motivation and hunger every time Jordan executes his offense. The fact that he knows what it was like to fail makes Jordan never want to falter in the long WWE career ahead of him.
5. Alexa Bliss: 24
The coolest thing about NXT is it allows us the chance to see performers improve and grow right in front of our eyes. Alexa Bliss debuted as the innocent white-meat babyface that would play it by the books and she appeared perfect for the role visually. Something still didn’t connect. It could have been her inexperience and young age, but her role as a face proved to be wrong. One booking decision completely changed her career, as she turned heel by aligning with Blake and Murphy.
The tag team thrived with Alexa leading the way and absolutely owning her new character. Bliss appeared more confident as a heel. Her background in bodybuilding, softball, track and gymnastics showed the athleticism was always there. Her confidence growing at just 24 years old led to SmackDown drafting her. Expect great things from Alexa Bliss as one of the better female personalities on the main roster for many more years to come.
4. Bo Dallas: 26
We sometimes lose sight of just how young some wrestlers in WWE actually are. It feels like Bo Dallas has been around forever. His silly antics on WWE television and long stint in NXT would make it appear he’s in his early 30s, but Bo is actually just 26. As the comical heel, Dallas gets lost in the shuffle these days and has a tough road ahead of him to find a valuable role on the roster. His youth is on his side, but the booking is the variable that could hurt him.
Dallas had a great run as NXT Champion before getting called up to the main roster. Fans genuinely reacted to his “Bolieve” heel character in NXT like he was the greatest villain since Roddy Piper. His feuds against Sami Zayn and Neville made Dallas an interesting prospect but he has been a disaster since making the jump. Bo’s young age and potential for new opportunities at least provides some optimism for the future, but be wary.
3. Sasha Banks: 24
The new era of WWE is giving us many new stars and Sasha Banks is at the top of the list. Banks has been dominating the women’s wrestling world over the past few years with an outstanding body of work with NXT. Everyone looks back at her matches with Bayley as one of the best matches, regardless of gender, in recent memory. Banks’ character as “The Boss” proved she had the all-around game needed to excel in the WWE landscape.
After thinking about everything she has accomplished, it is almost unfathomable to believe Banks is only 24 years old. She was signed at a young age and made strong improvements at such a fast pace to become a big star on the main roster. Banks winning the Women’s Championship from Charlotte in a classic match on the first Raw of the brand split gave us a glimpse at just how highly valued she is. WWE is building the women’s division with Banks as one of the cornerstones and her young age means we’ll get to see her perform at a high level for a long time.
2. Bray Wyatt: 29
Bray Wyatt isn’t as young as most of the others on this list, but he’s on a higher level. Most assume Wyatt is in the age range of the likes of Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and that group of talent. The established main roster upper card star is still young at 29 years old. Wyatt being under 30 means reminds us why the company continues to invest him as a big part of the future.
His strange booking has hurt him, but his long-term future is likely why WWE hasn't gone all the way with him yet. Wyatt’s rise into the title picture will be a slow burn. The safe money is on him winning one of the World Championships at some point and it will be a big moment. Once you realize the age of Bray Wyatt, it becomes obvious that he is always going to be positioned in a noteworthy role as one of the first success stories from the NXT era.
1 Paige: 23
Paige's career is fascinating due to her age. She became the first NXT Women’s Champion and helped create change by forcing fans to take the women’s division seriously. WWE would have her debut on the main roster to defeat AJ Lee and win the Divas Championship on her first night. Paige then had a long stint as one of the top stars in the division and became a fixture on Total Divas. Things got difficult for her when Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch were called up to the main roster.
Paige has been downgraded into a second tier performer in the hierarchy of the division and is currently off television. The point of her career biography is to realize just how many different stages her career has seen at only 23 years old. Paige is still one of the youngest members of the WWE roster, but has had a career of ups and downs longer than most at the age of 40. There have been rumblings of unhappiness about Paige’s attitude, but WWE will gave her plenty more chances due to her age and star power.
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