The importance of age in wrestling is completely different to any other form of sport. Most athletes see their prime years come in their late 20s and early 30s. NFL stars typically see their careers end once they reach 30 depending on the position. NBA stars are lucky to get over 40. It's the exact opposite in pro wrestling barring injuries. Most wrestlers see their best years come in their late 30s and many even find their greatest success in their 40s. Part-time wrestlers have become huge parts of WrestleMania season every year finding their way into big matches.
The value of a wrestler in terms of the fans desire to see them will play the biggest role in WWE’s decision to use them. Wrestlers build up emotional relationships with the fans through the years. Once a talent hits their later years, it's harder to say goodbye and fans welcome them back with loud support. There is also the opposite direction here with WWE signing a few very young talents. The potential will make up for the lack of experience. WWE currently employs many wrestlers with ages that would surprise the average fan. We'll take a look at eight wrestlers younger than you’d assume and seven wrestlers older.
15 Younger: Sasha Banks (25)
Sasha Banks is already a four-time Raw Women’s Championship and one of the most successful women’s wrestlers in WWE history at the young age of 25. The progression of Banks from being the breakout star in the NXT Women’s Division leading the revolution into a main roster Superstar makes it shocking to realize just how young she is.
14 Older: A.J. Styles (39)
The fact that A.J. Styles has only been in WWE for a little over a year at this point and is at the top of his game makes it all the more surprising he is nearing 40. Styles spent the majority of his career in TNA and New Japan before finally making the jump to WWE in 2016. Sadly, that means we'll only get to see the tail end of his prime in WWE.
13 Younger: Authors of Pain - Rezar (22) and Akam (23)
The current NXT Tag Team Champions are two of the youngest wrestlers currently employed by WWE. Both members of the Authors of Pain happen to be extremely young despite already winning gold. Rezar is only 22 years old and Akam is just one year older at 23. The larger men are deceptively agile and can move around the ring with the best of them.
12 Older: Asuka (35)
WWE typically signs younger female talent and they sadly have shorter shelf lives than the male wrestlers. Beth Phoenix, Eve Torres and AJ Lee all retiring at young ages prove just how tough it can be to age in WWE as a woman. Asuka is however changing the game. WWE signed her a few years ago and she has become the biggest female star in NXT with an undefeated streak longer than Goldberg’s in WCW.
11 Younger: Randy Orton (37)
Randy Orton has been around for over fourteen years now and it feels like he's one of the oldest stars on the roster. The shocking fact is Orton is on the higher end of the average age for a WWE star and could have another decade left in him at just 37 years old. Orton made his debut at a young age with WWE viewing him as a “can’t miss prospect.”
10 Older: Samoa Joe (38)
It feels like just yesterday Samoa Joe was a young star making waves in TNA and Ring of Honor. Joe wrestled a style unlike anyone else in the business exuding both dominance and excitement with his superb matches. The talent of Joe was never a question but WWE didn’t traditionally sign wrestlers with his body type in the past.
9 Younger: Bo Dallas (26)
Sometimes a few years of failure will make a wrestler appear older than they really are. Bo Dallas has been a huge flop on the main roster following his call up from NXT. The early years of his WWE tenure saw him become a standout prospect as a NXT World Champion with his heel character. It just didn’t translate to the larger audiences on the main roster and WWE lost faith.
8 Older: Shinsuke Nakamura (37)
Shinsuke Nakamura has been signed to WWE for a little over a year now and just recently made his debut on the main roster. That makes the average fan assume he’s a young star on the rise. Nakamura however has been wrestling for a long time as a huge star in New Japan. The current age of 37 is surprising to realize due to how new he is to the WWE.
7 Younger: Drew McIntyre (31)
The wrestling career of Drew McIntyre has already seen so many twists and turns at the age of 31. WWE signed McIntyre at a young age due to his obvious potential. McIntyre wasn’t mature enough to succeed yet and flopped with an early push. WWE lost faith in him and did nothing to help his career for the rest of his first stint.
6 Older: Bobby Roode (39)
NXT is usually meant to showcase the future stars of the WWE. Men and women that stand out on NXT find themselves having a successful future on Raw or SmackDown Live. Bobby Roode is an exception given his age of 39 years old. TNA employed Roode for the majority of his career before he made the decision to bet on his own talent during troubling times in the company.
5 Younger: Aiden English (29)
The failure of The Vaudevillains tag team on the main roster hurt the career of Aiden English. Once viewed as a top prospect, English spent a full year becoming irrelevant with tag team partner Simon Gotch. WWE recently released Gotch and is looking to repackage English in a new role. The young age of 29 gives English a great chance at redemption.
4 Older: Nia Jax (32)
Most would assume Nia Jax is in the age range of Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss and Bayley given how new she is to the business. Jax is actually one of the older women on the main roster at the age of 32 years old. WWE signed her with no wrestling experience due to her look, potential and family history in the business.
3 Younger: Jinder Mahal (30)
One of the main reasons for the shocking push of Jinder Mahal is his age. Mahal was an enhancement talent in WWE for many years, got released and was re-signed to once again become a jobber. A move to SmackDown Live in the Superstar Shake-Up saw him win the number one contenders spot and a title shot against Randy Orton.
2 Older: Finn Balor (35)
Finn Balor seems far younger than he is for many reasons. The time spent in NXT and a debut on the main roster just last year made the average fan thinks Balor was a new star on the scene. A youthful look and smooth in-ring style also makes it easily feasible that Balor could be in his late 20s. Finn is however 35 years old and a veteran of the sport after many years in Japan.
1 Younger: Alexa Bliss (25)
Alexa Bliss recently made history as the first woman to hold both the Raw Women’s Championship and SmackDown Live Women’s Championship following the brand split. No one expected Bliss to become the breakout star of the Women’s Division after her call-up in the 2016 draft. The young age and potential of Bliss made it more likely she would slowly mature into a relevant role. Instead, she completely took over the Women’s Revolution.
Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley and Becky Lynch were the clear top four women on the WWE roster until Bliss changed everything. At the age of 25 years old, Alexa is already a huge star and one of the most accomplished women in WWE history. The fact that she's so young makes it scary to think what she else can do in her career going forward.
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