If you were born in the 1980s and a fan of wrestling then you probably grew up idolizing larger than life heroes, like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Lex Luger and Ultimate Warrior. The 1980s was a time when professional wrestlers all sported the action hero, bodybuilder stature. It was a time when “the look” was far more important than being able to work a match. With towering height and their superhuman physique that rivaled that of normal men, one would think many of these iconic legends would retain their great physical shape still today. However, for some of these legends, that has not been the case.
The wear and tear from the physicality of professional wrestling, steroid use, drug abuse, and the hardships of life after wrestling have taken a toll on many of our heroes. Some of these wrestlers have lost all of their superhuman size from time away from the gym, while others have aged poorly due to health issues. Considering how jacked many of these superstars once were, their current appearance is shocking.
However, other wrestlers, while not at their peak physical shape, still look to be in good health. Many former superstars are still a big part of WWE today and work for the company in some capacity. Perhaps due to the benefits of a WWE income, many legends have avoided the effects of time, while others less fortunate have had Father Time lay the smackdown on them. This list details eight wrestling legends of the 80s that still remain in great shape and eight others who have jobbed out to Father Time.
16. Looks Great: Hulk Hogan
To this day, there is still no wrestler more popular than Hulk Hogan. At 64, The Hulkster retains his much of his 20” pythons and remains in good physical health. Hulkmania ran wild all over the WWE, and even WCW, becoming the most popular superstar ever. However, life outside of wrestling plagued “The Immortal” one’s personal life. Admitted steroid use, losing millions of dollars from an ugly divorce, a leaked sex tape, suing Gawker, and public racist comments surfacing that have, at least for now, blacklisted Hogan from the WWE, have all tried to beat Hulk into submission.
Yet, through all the scandals, Hulk Hogan is still no stranger to the gym and stays in great shape for his age. Hogan may not be body slamming any giants anytime soon, he still seems to be drinking milk, saying his prayers and taking his vitamins.
15. Lost to Time: Ric Flair
Ric Flair is one of, if not the most, popular wrestler of all time. His insane, charismatic promos and trademark “Woo” are etched into professional wrestling forever. A master technician and the dirtiest player in the game, Ric Flair wrestled for roughly 40 years and has feuded with legends, hall of famers and up and coming superstars spanning decades.
Unfortunately, Ric Flair’s “stylin’ and profilin’” has caught up to him. He battled alcoholism throughout his career and suffered through financial and marital problems. Even worse, Flair lost his son, Reid, to an accidental overdose. He also recently spent time hospitalized with organ failure and will have to have a pacemaker inserted through surgery. All the personal troubles and “wheelin’ and dealin’” seem to have taken its toll on the “Nature Boy” who, at 68, looks almost unrecognizable compared to his pretty boy good looks of his youth.
14. Looks Great: Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page probably had one of the most unlikely wrestling careers of all time. Starting out as a manager, Page managed multiple tag teams and superstars. Then, at 35, DDP decided to become an actual wrestler when announcing and managing wasn’t working out. Trained by Dusty Rhodes, “The People’s Champ” became one of the most popular wrestlers ever, equipped with the deadliest finisher of all time, the Diamond Cutter.
Though he didn’t have the bodybuilder physiques of Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior, the “King of Ba-da Bing” was always in tremendous shape. Despite the abuse his body took at his age and through his long career, Diamond Dallas Page remains in top physical form. His secret? Yoga. Page has developed his own yoga fitness program calling it DDPYoga. His program has kept him in terrific shape at 61, improving his quality of life. Throughout the years other superstars have vouched for the program, including Jake “The Snake,” Scott Hall, and Chris Jericho.
13. Lost to Time: Demolition (Ax and Smash)
Demolition is one of the most iconic tag teams in history, and their first title reign is the second longest in WWE history. With their incredible power, over the top attire and KISS-like face paint, Ax and Smash were a force to be reckoned with. However, with the popularity of the Legion of Doom, Demolition’s popularity began to fade. Ax and Smash reunite outside of the WWE, but legal battles have soured their relationship with WWE.
Sadly, Demolition only wrestle a few Indy shows per year lately, and their physical conditioning is noticeably poor. Seeing Ax, at 69, and Smash, at 57, still donning their trunks and face paint wrestling in front of only a few hundred fans, looking remarkably overweight is a depressing sight to behold.
12. Looks Great: Vince McMahon
Widely considered the best promotor of all-time, Vince McMahon was instrumental in creating the most popular era of Professional Wrestling, the Attitude Era, and creating the most diabolic character ever, Mr. McMahon. Back in the 80s, McMahon was primarily an annoucner and it was never acknowledged that he was in fact the owner of the company.
“The Genetic Jackhammer” refuses to be laughed at for his appearance. Even today, McMahon absolutely crushes the weights at the gym and still looks superhuman at 71. The man is rumored to be a complete workaholic and micromanages everything that happens in the company. Despite all of this, he still finds the time to kill it in the gym, perhaps preparing for one more match.
11. Lost to Time: Lex Luger
One can’t think of a larger than life wrestler without thinking of Lex Luger. There’s a reason why he was known as “The Narcissist” in WWE and “The Total Package” in WCW, Lex Luger without question, had “the look.” Whether playing the narcissistic heel or the “Made in the U.S.A.” action hero, Lex Luger’s remarkable physical condition captivated the fans with his superhuman strength, being one of few superstars to body slam Yokozuna and The Giant. His work in the 80s mostly consisted of work in Championship Wrestling from Florida and with WCW.
Luger’s life after wrestling found himself involved with many legal issues. Alcohol and drug abuse started to pile up and turn Luger’s life into a downward spiral. In 2007, Luger suffered a nerve impingement that left him with paralysis from the neck down. Though Lex Luger’s health has made improvements, his once massive muscular frame is now totally nonexistent. At only 59, Luger looks more like a frail old man than the “Total Package.”
10. Looks Great: Jerry “The King” Lawler
Before making his way to the WWE, Jerry Lawyer started wrestling for multiples different southern promotions, winning several titles along the way as a fan favorite. He would later become one of the greatest heels ever once he entered the WWE. His quick one-liners, sharp tongue and squeaky voice made his heel role a perfect fit and helped transition “The King” from wrestler to announcer.
Though being the heel commentator, his hilarious one-liners on commentary have endeared him to the fans. Despite his heel commentary, fans often found themselves cheering for him when he stepped foot in the ring for a rare match. “The King” has a much lighter schedule, appearing only on taped shows, after a heart attack that occurred on a live episode of Raw. To everyone’s relief, “The King” is still with us and seemingly no worse for wear. After wrestling for decades and battling a heart attack, “The King” is making time his peasant and looks to be on the winning side of age 67.
9. (Lost to Time) Bobby The Brain Heenan
Though not a wrestler, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan managed a plethora of all-time greats in professional wrestling. From Andre, to Mr. Wonderful, to Mr. Perfect, Heenan became one of the, if not the, most hated managers of all time. His uncanny ability to draw heat with impeccable timing translated perfectly from manager to announcer. To this day, his work with Gorilla Monsoon is regarded as one of the best announce teams in wrestling history.
“The Weasel” never had the physique of the wrestlers and a neck injury kept him from taking bumps, but for the most part, Heenan always appeared in good health. Then, in 2002, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. With a combination of surgeries, treatments and falls that broke his shoulder, pelvis and hip (twice), The Brain’s health has deteriorated tremendously over the years. The Brain is now unrecognizable and, sadly, left unable to speak.
8. Looks Great: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Ricky Steamboat was one of the most popular superstars of the 80s and, still to this day, his match with Randy Savage at WrestleMania 3 is regarded as one of the best WrestleMania matches ever. The fire breather wowed fans with his in-ring talent and remarkable physical strength and agility. Years later “The Dragon” has aged but aged well. Steamboat, at 64, retains a lot of his in ring talent, showing the world, “He’s still got it,” during a 10-Man tag match on the April 6 episode of Raw during his feud his Chris Jericho back in 2009. Ricky Steamboat worked as an agent, a trainer and currently as an ambassador for the WWE. While he’s not spewing fire, he can still hit a mean cross body.
7. Lost to Time: Bret Hart
Bret Hart is a name often brought up when discussing greatest wrestlers of all time. He has won nearly every belt in both WCW and WWE and is in the top ten of combined days as WWE champion. “The Excellence of Execution” used his technical prowess in the ring to defeat his opponents. Though not the physical specimens that Lex Luger and Hulk Hogan were, “The Best There Is, The Best There Was and The Best There Ever Will Be” was always in great athletic shape throughout his career.
Unfortunately, concussions late in his career cut Hart’s career short. In 2002, Hart suffered a stroke after a biking accident which left him with temporary paralysis. Though he has mostly recovered from his stroke, in 2016 Bret Hart was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The leader of the Hart Foundation, as of now, is cancer free but the toll of treatments and stroke has left him looking more like time’s marked man than a “Hitman” himself.
6. Looks Great: Ted DiBiase
Ted DiBiase was one of the most hated heels in the WWE. His heel tactics in the ring, paying off referees and superstars and his diabolical laugh vilified him to the fans. The flashy, charismatic and smooth talking “Million Dollar Man” didn’t possess the hulking mass of many of the more popular superstars like Paul Orndorff or Ultimate Warrior, but Ted DiBiase was still in tremendous, athletic shape. While no longer flaunting his Million Dollar Championship belt, he’s still on good terms with the WWE and makes special appearances from time to time. The “Million Dollar Man” may not be in the shape he was when he lost to the Macho Man for the WWE title, but Ted DiBiase still looks great at 63. Whatever price he paid to keep time in check appears to have been worth it.
5. Lost to Time: Jake Roberts
Jake “The Snake” Roberts was one of the most popular superstars of the eighties. With his pet snake, Damien, draped over his neck, Roberts’ sadistic charisma, in-ring talent, dark mic skills and use of one of the deadliest finishers of all time, the DDT, made Jake “The Snake” one of the all-time greats.
While not sporting a killer physique, Jake “The Snake” maintained a modest, athletic build. Unfortunately, Roberts suffered from alcohol abuse during his career. Over the years, his weight inflated and his health deteriorated drastically. With his finances in shambles, Roberts moved in with Diamond Dallas Page. Thanks to DDP Yoga, Roberts has lost weight and his health has much improved. Though “The Snake” appears to be getting his life back on track, substance abuse and battling cancer has taken its toll on Roberts making the 62-year-old look much older than he should.
4. Looks Great: Sting
Sting, like most wrestlers at the time, started as a bodybuilder before becoming a professional wrestler. His spiked, bleached blonde hair, face paint, amazingly strong build and limitless charisma propelled him to becoming the face of WCW and one of the most popular wrestlers of all time. Sting shocked the world and showed up in WWE, taking on Triple H and The Authority, even challenging then WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins.
While still able to go toe to toe with anyone, a serious mid-match neck injury has sidelined Sting and his in-ring career is now over. Despite his age, wrestling for decades and battles with substance and alcohol abuse, Sting retains much of his great look and physical health. At 58, Sting still looks totally capable of donning the paint for one more match.
3. Lost to Time: Jesse Ventura
Few have lived the kind of life Jesse Ventura has, serving as a navy seal, pro wrestler, actor, and even Governor. After his time in the navy, Ventura started lifting weights and soon entered the world of pro wrestling becoming known as Jesse “The Body” Ventura. He lived up to his moniker and impressed with his physical appearance, proving to be a powerful opponent.
Now at age 66, time hasn’t been kind to Ventura. Blood clots in his lungs hampered his in-ring career which has affected him later in life as well. While Ventura remains busy with non-wrestling projects, his long, stringy, gray hair makes him look more like a crazy hermit than a former pro wrestler turned governor. The days of being called “The Body” seem to be long gone.
2. Looks Great: Sgt. Slaughter
One can’t think of great Hogan rivalries without thinking of Sgt. Slaughter. Slaughter is one of the few superstars that can easily transition from patriotic face, to traitor heel and back to face again. His gruff voice and protruding chin made his G.I. Joe character a no-brainer and instant classic. Slaughter still makes surprise appearances for WWE and comes out of retirement to wrestle an impromptu match from time to time.
While Slaughter was a bit on the stocky side, even in his prime, he looks much the same with high chin and trademark stash. At his age of 68, he still resembles his iconic character and, despite the rough life of pro wrestling, his boot camp training appears to have kept him in good shape. He’s still capable of walking down the aisle and putting a “maggot” in his place.
1. Lost to Time: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Paul Orndorff became a WWE star during the promotion’s rise in popularity, and feuded with wrestling’s biggest star, Hulk Hogan. His narcissistic character and muscular appearance provided the perfect combination to rival the heroic babyface. The feud between Orndorff and Hogan was one of the longest and most memorable feuds of the 80s.
Unfortunately, Mr. Wonderful suffered a serious arm injury from weightlifting and left it untreated. The injury persisted and even caused muscle shrinkage, later in his career. At age 67, Mr. Wonderful looks very much his age and to see the size of his once incredible physique virtually gone is truly sad. From years of taking bumps, suffering injuries and battling cancer, Paul Orndorff is definitely looking less “wonderful” and more like grandpa.
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