The performance aspect professional of wrestling makes it different from any other form of sport or athletics. Most sports features the athletes generally being in the same age range. Major North American sports usually see most athletes in their 20s and early 30s. WWE is not competition based when it comes to actually trying to defeat each other. The worked finishes means you just have to be in good enough shape to compete at a high level and do your own individual job right. This has led to a wide age gap on the roster with talents ranging from their early 20s into early 50s.
Some of the greatest matches of all time featured aging veterans going against young stars. Hulk Hogan was old enough to be The Rock’s father at WrestleMania X8 yet the two worked together to have a classic match that is still discussed today. It shows how important the performance is rather than the pure athleticism. We'll take a look at the huge age gap between various current WWE roster members. The young wrestlers are barely over the legal drinking age and the older wrestlers are old enough to be parents. These are eight wrestlers barely over the legal age limit along with seven old enough to be their fathers.
15 Young - Peyton Royce: 24
The Women’s Division in NXT is creating a new core of female talent. Asuka is on her way to the main roster giving chances to quite a few ladies ready for a bigger role. One of the most entertaining acts in NXT right now is the “Iconic Duo” of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. Both ladies come from respected wrestling pasts coming up in the Australian scene before making the move to the United States.
Royce stands out more due to her potential as a younger woman. At just 24 years old, Royce is shockingly good at her job with still room to improve quite a bit. The heel character of Royce is already superb as she continues to progress with the experience on NXT television. Asuka relinquishing the NXT Women’s Championship gives a chance to the other woman to hold the title, and Royce may be the most interesting option.
14 Old - Goldust: 48
The oldest full-time wrestler in WWE right now is Goldust. As the son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes, Goldust always wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father and began wrestling in the late 80s. Goldust is one of the extremely rare active wrestlers to actually have a match in the 80s which shows his age. It appeared his career was over a few years ago when WWE released him in 2012.
Goldust returned during the storyline of the Authority burying the Rhodes family. The appearance was meant to be a one-time appearance against Randy Orton, but Goldust did such a good job that he was offered a new contract. He has been on the WWE roster for the past four years. Despite having limited television time, Goldust wrestles on the live event loop every weekend and still loves performing at the age of 48.
13 Young - Liv Morgan: 23
The 23 year old Liv Morgan is one of the youngest established performers in NXT right now. Morgan hasn't done much as of late but has been on television enough to get her persona across. Fans loved her at the Full Sail venue for NXT shows and she even received a few opportunities to appear on main roster WWE live events.
Morgan’s biggest problem right now is getting television time once again to get momentum rolling. The fact that she dated Enzo Amore was reportedly held against her since he is a huge pain that gets heat to everyone associated with him. Liv allegedly breaking up with him does nothing but good things for her career. Considering Morgan is barely of age, she has enough time to get her WWE career where it needs to be.
12 Old - R-Truth: 45
The aging process hasn’t physically hit R-Truth the way it does with the most of us. It shouldn’t be too surprising that R-Truth is 45 years old given he first worked for WWE during the Attitude Era. R-Truth has continued working full-time in the wrestling industry since his first run with WWE ended in 2002. A great tenure in TNA helped get him back on WWE’s radar in 2008 leading to his signing.
Vince McMahon has reportedly developed a close relationship with R-Truth over the past nine years. That is the main reason he's still on the roster despite being one of the oldest. R-Truth still looks the same as he did a decade ago but his age has caught up to his athleticism. Similar to his former tag partner turned rival Goldust, R-Truth rarely appears on television and is mostly a live event act at this stage.
11 Young - Aliyah: 22
Another extremely young prospect in the WWE Performance Center is Aliyah. WWE signed her at the age of 20 following a couple years of experience on the independent circuit. The company clearly saw enough potential in Aliyah to offer her the training that should be able to help her progress. Aliyah has appeared on NXT TV multiple times but clearly lacks a role.
At such a young age, she still has time to figure it out. The Women’s Division is becoming tougher than ever with the new core featuring quite a few capable talents along with more stars signing after the Mae Young Classic. Aliyah being 22 years old is her biggest asset as she needs to use her potential to set up a long career in WWE.
10 Old - Shelton Benjamin: 42
The recent signing of Shelton Benjamin has WWE fans excited about his return. Benjamin still looks great and showed he didn’t lose a step in his first tag team match with new partner Chad Gable. It would come as a surprise to many fans that Benjamin is one of the older stars in WWE right now at 42 years old.
Shelton’s greatest strength has always been his athleticism and it stays with him today. Despite growing older in years, Benjamin can still pull off some of the most incredible moves in the wrestling world. This will likely be the final run of his career given his age. We can only hope he gets an opportunity to showcase his best work before he eventually hangs it up.
9 Young - Noam Dar: 24
Noam Dar is currently the youngest wrestler on the WWE main roster as a part of the Cruiserweight Division. The Israeli born Scottish wrestler made a name traveling all over the world at a young age. WWE gave him a chance to be part of the Cruiserweight Classic and it led to him signing a contract for the Cruiserweight Division on Raw and 205 Live.
Dar is only 24 years old and has nothing but bright days ahead of him. The current WWE run is lackluster at best. Noam’s funny pronunciation of Alicia Fox has been the high point of his time in the Cruiserweight Division. Given his age, he has a lot of time to revamp his character and turn things around. The in-ring skills of Dar are there. He just needs more experience and stronger character work.
8 Old - Chris Jericho: 46
Chris Jericho is a part-time wrestler right now going back and forth between WWE and touring with his band, Fozzy. The legendary wrestling career of Jericho continues to add more memorable moments. No one will forget the heartbreak of Kevin Owens turning on Jericho at the Festival of Friendship. Jericho and Owens created something special together and made a great story from it to end their chapter.
The fourth book written by Jericho was recently released and he's doing a book tour. Jericho makes it clear he’s not retired. In fact, he believes he was having some of the best matches of his career before leaving in the spring. Jericho is currently 46 years old but still has more moments to give the wrestling world before calling it a career.
7 Young - Sonya Deville: 23
The future of Sonya Deville is bright at the young age of 23. WWE gave her a chance in the 2015 season of Tough Enough due to her background in mixed martial arts. Despite getting eliminated in the reality show voting, Deville was one of numerous contestants to get a chance in the WWE Performance Center. Sonya has impressed enough to become a regular on NXT TV.
We see Deville’s MMA background on display as she implements it in her wrestling. The hope of Triple H is to see her become one of the most credible women on the roster. Considering Asuka is officially finished with her NXT tenure, Deville could fill the void by becoming the most intimidating in-ring female performer's that can brutalize her opponents.
6 Old - Kurt Angle: 48
The return of Kurt Angle to WWE this year is one of the top stories in wrestling. Angle returned to his wrestling home after over a decade apart. Fans treated him like the legend that he is when getting inducted into the 2017 Hall of Fame. Vince McMahon struck a deal to have Angle become a full-time on-air character as the General Manger of Raw over the past few months.
Everyone expects him to return to the ring by WrestleMania 34. Angle himself teases a return every time he is interviewed. Before returning to WWE, Angle was still wrestling on the independent circuit and didn’t show his age. Many fans would be shocked to realize that the Olympic Hero is nearing 50 at 48 years old right now. We likely only have a handful of Angle matches left and we can only hope they happen against big names in WWE.
5 Young - Authors of Pain: 24 and 23
The success of the Authors of Pain tag team in NXT is quite impressive despite the fact their among the youngest wrestlers employed by WWE. Akam is 24 years old and Rezar is 23 as both men worked together to deliver dominance in the NXT Tag Team Division. Legendary veteran manager Paul Ellering was brought in after being years away from the ring to manage them.
A perfect combination of the three along with strong booking made Authors of Pain among the greatest NXT tag teams. Following their NXT Tag Team Championship loss to Sanity, there are rumors of Akam and Rezar moving up to the main roster. Authors of Pain are the most popular theory pertaining to who is attacking Breezeango. If they get called up, they will become the youngest wrestlers on the main roster.
4 Old - Big Show: 45
Big Show is already somewhat referred to as the dad of the WWE locker room. New talents like Kevin Owens, Finn Balor and other names have spoken fondly of Big Show being a great locker room presence. The recent series of matches with Braun Strowman showed the love he has for the young talent as he went well out of his way to take crazy bumps to help out Strowman.
Wrestling fans are finally starting to appreciate Big Show after almost two decades in WWE. Big Show has made it clear he is planning to retire within the next two years. At the age of 45, it makes sense as he’s one of the older men in the industry. Bigger athletes usually feel the effect of father time hitting them. Big Show is certainly going out in the best of ways with his recent run.
3 Young - Tian Bing: 23
WWE has signed many international prospects in recent years to help further establish their dominance as a global brand. Tian Bing is a very young wrestler to get an opportunity thanks to his Chinese roots. WWE having a wrestler from China gives them a better chance at growing there. Bing has moved to the United States and is currently training at the Performance Center.
Despite not yet being good enough to have a full-time spot on NXT television, Bing received a huge honor by getting to appear at WrestleMania 33 in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Triple H is reportedly a huge believer in Tian due to his potential at such a young age. WWE could very well have their first major China-born Superstar.
2 Old - Matt Hardy: 42
One of the more deceptively older wrestlers in WWE today is Matt Hardy. The recent run of Hardy in TNA and ROH helped revamp his career in ways no one could have imagined. Matt injected the “Broken” spirit that took huge leaps in taking a chance. Fans responded positively enough to make him one of the biggest stars on the free agent market.
WWE signing both Matt and Jeff is a testament to the creativity of Matt. However, he's definitely old enough to be the father of a few younger WWE stars at 42. This is more than likely the last major run Matt will have in WWE. Fans are clamoring for WWE to unleash the “Broken” character so he can go out in a blaze of glory.
1 Young - The Velveteen Dream: 22
The most interesting young prospect on WWE television right now is NXT standout The Velveteen Dream. Formerly known as Patrick Clark, he showed the most potential on the 2015 Tough Enough reality show. Hulk Hogan viewing him as being too cocky lead to his elimination in a moment of irony. Clark continued wrestling on the independent circuit for a few months leading to WWE signing him.
As the first male wrestler from the season to get on television, Clark now plays the eccentric Velveteen Dream character. The character stands out as one of the most unique on a show usually based on serious based wrestling. Velveteen Dream has a chance to become something special if he continues improving. At just 22 years old, his potential is unlimited and we may be in for a long career for Velveteen Dream in WWE.