The working life of an athlete is usually way shorter than the working life of any other professional in the world. You don’t stay at the top of your physical form for very long. Nevertheless, there are sports in which athletes can find more longevity in their careers. While a basketball player should be calling it quits by the time he is in his mid-30s, a wrestler can keep going for a very long time.
It is not unheard of wrestlers still making appearances after they cross the half-century mark. Not only that, many wrestlers take the work ethic they had throughout their careers into their life post wrestling, meaning they treat their bodies incredibly well and they age flawlessly. Here are 10 perfect examples.
10 Vince McMahon
Vince McMahon might be the owner of the WWE, but that does not mean he didn’t occasionally show up and wrestle a bunch of matches. This guy loves wrestling, and he certainly treated his body like he was a wrestler. Seriously, there are athletes who worked under him who should have learned a lesson or two from good old Vince.
With that, it is not surprising that the 73-year-old is sporting a body that most people his age and even younger would be incredibly envious of. This is interesting because someone who is worth more than $3 billion does not have to take trash from anyone, but Vince remains an example that everyone should aspire to be as healthy as they can.
9 Bob Backlund
At 69 years old, Bob Backlund is pretty close to his old boss in terms of age, and he is also pretty close to his old boss in terms of how well he has aged. We talked about longevity in the wrestling career, and few people can represent that as well as Bob. This guy wrestled for the most part between 1973 and 2011. That is an unbelievably long career even for a wrestler.
And his long career is not the only interesting thing about this former wrestler. At some point, he even ran for a seat in Congress for the Republican Party and wrote an autobiography.
8 Ricky Steamboat
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat was nothing short of a wrestling legend. The man wrestled for as many wrestling promotions as you could probably name. All Japan Pro Wrestling, Maple Leaf Wrestling, WWE, and many more, this guy was everywhere and there was a good reason for it. Ricky was an amazing wrestler and the fans loved him. He was influential enough in the WWE to earn a WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship. He was also rewarded for his contribution to the promotion and became a member of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.
He also influenced his family as his son Richard Junior became a professional wrestler following his father’s footsteps.
American wrestlers make the bulk of WWE and the wrestling industry as a whole these days. Nevertheless, international talent is incredibly important to keep wrestling relevant and to entertain the fans. Some of the best wrestlers that ever stepped onto a ring were born outside of the United States and Canada, and it would not be overstating it to say that some of the most entertaining wrestlers of all time came from overseas.
Someone who embodies this is Finlay. In the business for more than three decades, this Northern Irish fan-favorite still pops in here and there, so most WWE fans know how he still is in great shape despite being 61 years old.
6 Sgt. Slaughter
Another wrestler who had an incredibly healthy and long wrestling career and kept himself healthy after he was done is Sgt. Slaughter. This guy started wrestling all the way back in 1972 when he found success with the NWA. From there, the 6’5” 304-pound beast of a man went on to become one of the most recognizable wrestlers of his generation. He had three tenures with the WWE and made enough success to become a WWF World Heavyweight Champion and was honored by the WWE and inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2004.
Still rocking his legendary mustache, he made a special appearance on Monday Night RAW this year.
5 Jerry Lawler
A WWE Hall of Famer and a five-time Slammy Award winner, the name Jerry Lawler carries a lot of weight in the wrestling world. This 69-year-old former wrestler was one of the few to make the transition from participating in events on the ring to going behind the microphone. Yeah, he became a color commentator and was one of the best at it.
Still, another thing that Jerry was always famous for were his issues away from the ring. From the time an alleged rape victim fabricated an accusation against him, to domestic violence problems, his life away from the ring was tumultuous from time to time. Fortunately, that never got in the way of him staying in shape.
4 Tony Atlas
Wrestlers by themselves are already people who care very much about their body because that is their instrument of work. Wrestlers are always looking to be in prime shape so they can feel good and look good in order to do what they do best. Still, there are a few who have passions outside of wrestling that help them follow the same mindset.
Anthony White, a.k.a. Tony Atlas is someone who had another passion outside of professional wrestling and that was bodybuilding. This is a guy who dedicated his entire life to his body, and he has not slowed down despite his age. At 65 years old the man is still looking like a beast.
Debra Marshall was born on March 2, 1960, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. That means she is still 59 years old, but since we are already in the period of 12 months in which she will turn 60, we thought it would be fair to add Debra to our list given how much she means to the world of wrestling. Not only that, we definitely needed a representative of the women’s division to make this list complete.
Want it or not, women suffer a lot more scrutiny when people talk about how they age. It is a struggle that shouldn’t exist, but it is a prejudice society in general still has. That being said, even the person with most prejudice on those lines could not say a word to Debra, who has, by the very definition of it, aged like fine wine.
2 Diamond Dallas Page
Born in New Jersey, Diamond Dallas Page was raised for the world. This 63-year-old man from Point Pleasant, New Jersey has captivated audiences all around the globe. Of course, he is mostly known for his wrestling accomplishments like being a WWF European Champion and a WWF Tag Team Champion, but there is so much more to this WWE Hall of Famer that limiting him to his wrestling career would be a shame.
DDP also has made quite a lot of success on the big screen as he appeared in more than 10 movies. He also has a good business mind as he trademarked his classic diamond cutter symbol and made some money out of Jay-Z because of it.
1 Hulk Hogan
Like we said before, a wrestler’s body is their instrument of work. They all take care of their bodies, but some of them go above and beyond, much because even after they retire their fame and relevancy stay very closely tied to that body. We need to look no further than Hulk Hogan to see someone who treated his body as if it was his most valued possession, which it was.
Hogan would likely not be as famous as he is if he was not as massive as he is. Arguably the most recognizable wrestler anywhere, the 6’7” 302-pound giant made an empire because of how huge he is and how good he was on the wrestling ring. And, spoiler alert, he still looks massive.