Who are we to tell someone to stop doing what they love but sometimes you just have to lay it out for them. Wrestling has been around for over a century and old seasoned vets working into the twilight of their lives isn’t something new. Although they’re slower, less muscular, and lost a step or two, fans still enjoy seeing their old heroes or villains duke it out in the ring.
With health being a major concern today compared to decades ago, fans, wrestlers, and promoters are more aware of the dangers in pro wrestling. Those feeling and concerns become amplified whenever fans witness or hear about an older wrestler who's well past his prime, enter a match. We’re not suggesting everyone on this list feels like their prime is gone, but the writing is on the wall.
Ted Turner would create the WCW in 1988 and make into a juggernaut promotion. The company hired countless individuals over the years, many that are retired today. However, there are more WCW stars that are still wrestling today that you may not have known about. Whether they were billed as a champion or a mid-card filler, the list has wrestlers from all styles and walks of life. We hope you enjoy.
15 Buff Bagwell
There once was a gigolo named Buff. His expertise was to make women huff. But his act got stale so he decided to bail. And now he fisticuffs. The journey of Bagwell is an interesting one. Good looks with some athletic ability can get you a long way in the wrestling industry but not all the way to the finish line. Before semi-retiring and becoming a gigolo, Bagwell was one of the most well-known wrestlers in WCW.
He would make his professional debut in 1990 and sign a deal with the WCW in 1991. Bagwell would be a part of some interesting storylines as well as some outrageous matches. His personality wasn’t well liked by everyone backstage, however, Bagwell did pay his dues and his life almost ended after damaging his vertebrae and developing spinal shock from a botched maneuver. Today, Bagwell has wrestled for promotions such as VPW, PWK, and GPW.
14 Sean Waltman
You can call him Syxx, X-Pac or 1-2-3 Kid, the fact remains he’s one of the most polarizing wrestlers of the 1990s. While WCW got it right with their Cruiserweights, WWE was faltering but they had one big draw in Waltman. After he left the WWE for WCW in 1996, it was clear as day that the WWE had a huge problem in acquiring Cruiserweight talent. Known as Syxx in WCW, he would work with the company for two years and be a major member of the notorious nWo.
During his tenure with the company, he would win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship and WCW World Tag Team Championship. Waltman is one of the younger members on our list at the age of 47 and he has been very active this year. He’s worked for several promotions including PCW, FEW, and SCW.
13 2 Cold Scorpio
Arguably the flashiest man on this list, 2 Cold Scorpio has made a huge impact on the industry. As a pioneer of the lighter guys in the industry, 2 Cold Scorpio perfected the 450 Splash. His debut in the industry would come in 1985 and he would make a move to Japan after Vader advised him to do so. In Japan, he would become an absolute beast and would sign with WCW in 1992.
Along with Buff Bagwell, the two would become babyfaced darlings and win the WCW World Tag Team Championship. He would work for every major company in the United States in the 1990s before wrestling on the indie circuit this century. This photo is of one of his last matches against Hannibal for the GNW Canadian Title.
12 Dustin Rhodes
Most of you may know he’s still wrestling today, however, did you know how much he contributed to WCW? The grandson of a plumber and the son of a legend, Dustin Rhodes, would make his debut for the WCW in 1988. He was quickly pushed to the top and the promotion was molding him into a future figure head and leader for the company. WCW owner Ted Turner was making the right moves by pushing the second generation Superstar and fans clamored for Dustin.
During his different tenders with WCW, he would win the WCW United States Heavyweight Championships (twice), WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Championship, WCW World Tag Team Championship, and NWA World Tag Team Championship. Today, he's formerly known as Goldust and will be inducted into the Hall of Famer sooner than later.
11 Ultimo Dragon
Real name Yoshihiro Asai, this ageless warrior may be best known internationally as holding the record for most concurrent championships in the industry. From 1996 to 1997, Dragon was an active reigning champion defending ten titles. One of the most prestigious of those titles was the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. The Japanese native would make his professional debut in 1987. He would become a staple of WCW’s Cruiserweight Division from 1996 to 1998.
With Sonny Onoo as his manager, he became one of the best heels on the roster. His first Pay-Per-View event was against legendary high-flyer Rey Mysterio for the WCW Cruiserweight Title. At Starrcade 1996, Dragon would defeat Dean Malenko for the title.
At the age of 50, Dragon works a full-time schedule for All Japan Pro Wrestling and beat Tajiri for the World Junior Heavyweight Title.
10 La Parka
La Parka knew from a very early age what he wanted to do in life. He would make his professional wrestling debut at the age of 16 in 1982. The high-flying masked luchador would become “La Parka” when he signed with a new Mexican promotion called AAA in 1992. He would make a name for himself and wrestle some really great talent, such as The Pegasus Kid, Tito Santana, and Rey Mysterio.
When the WCW decided to beef up their Cruiserweight Division, La Parka was one of the first to come over in 1996. With WCW’s commitment to showcasing international talent, it was the perfect fit for Parka. Although he didn’t win a title, he would work for the company until 2000. Today, La Parka has been seen working for a variety of indie promotions in Mexico.
9 Jushin Thunder Liger
Maybe the greatest junior wrestler Japan has ever seen, Jushin Liger is still doing what he loves at the age of 52. When you’re trained by both Tatsumi Fujinami and Stu Hart, you know there is greatness in you. Liger would make his professional debut in 1984 and has become a pioneer for the lighter guys in the industry. As the creator of the Shooting Star Press, Liger would constantly push the envelope in his matches.
By 1990, he would don the comic book hero gimmick. There are just too many awards to list on here but we'll tell you he became a WCW Light Heavyweight Champion. He’s worked for almost every promotion and we don’t see him slowing down in the business anytime soon. Today, you can catch him working for NJPW.
8 Mr. Hughes
Not everyone can pull off looking extremely intimidating while wearing a button down and tie, but Mr. Hughes is one of the rare exceptions. The Missouri native would make his professional wrestling debut in 1988. WCW would sign Mr. Hughes in 1990 when he was going by the name Big Cat. During Starrcade 1991, he would become the recognizable heel enforcer with the frown we all love.
As the bodyguard of Lex Luger, he would help him win the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Not only did he team up with Luger but also legends Harley Race, Vader, Vinnie Vegas (Kevin Nash) and Mick Foley. At 52 years old, Mr. Hughes has had several matches this year. You could have noticed him in a Battle Royal at WrestleCon Supershow 2017 in March.
Eric Bischoff had big ideas for Raymond Lloyd. After the video game Mortal Kombat captured the soul of a generation, Eric wanted to get a rub off the apocalyptic ninja warrior genre. Lloyd, a martial arts practitioner, would become Glacier, which was a knock off of Mortal Kombat’s Sub-Zero. Allegedly, Diamond Dallas Page would get Lloyd a meeting with Eric Bischoff because he knew the two both enjoyed the world of mixed martial arts.
Bischoff would sign him right away and decided with Turner to throw a huge amount of money for his entrance, custom, and vignettes. It was known as one of the biggest flops in the wrestling industry but that hasn’t stopped Glacier from working in 2017. At 53 years old, Glacier has been involved with promotions including GPW, AIW and even ROH.
6 Rock 'n' Roll Express
This year’s WWE Hall of Fame class included these two southern rockers. Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton would form The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express in 1983 after Jerry Lawler decided to put the two together. They emphasized what the Tag Team Division was about by their combination attacks and continuity in the ring. The duo would be heavily involved in the Jim Crockett Promotions.
Both are on the borderline of being called senior citizens but that hasn’t stopped them from working matches in 2017. The two would be seen working this year for Tommy Dreamer’s HOH, MCW, and Legends of Wrestling. With their WWE Hall of Fame status, things have been very good for one of, if not, the longest serving tag team in the history of the industry.
5 Kevin Sullivan
One of the smallest wrestlers that became a threat to Hulk Hogan, Sullivan used his great charismatic skills to get the fans to boo him. His hardcore style and wrestling background gave him an authentic identity that fans easily could recognize. Making his professional debut in 1970, Sullivan is one of the oldest members on this list at the age of 67.
Not only was Sullivan involved in top storylines in the WCW he would also work his way up the management ladder. A multi-champion for WCW and Jim Crockett Promotions, Sullivan will always be remembered as a pillar for WCW. Sullivan would work a match with Stockade at H20 Wrestling: 1 Anniversary earlier this year. His love for wrestling will never go away so don’t expect him to quit anytime soon.
4 Tommy Rich
Although there is a rope streaking across his face, trust us, that’s Tommy Rich. At 61 years old, the former NWA champion is still working the ropes in 2017. This photo was taken during a match with Pretty Boy Floyd at OSW Legend Fest 3 earlier this year. Rich would make his professional debut in 1974. That’s before disposable cameras, compact discs, and MTV.
Rich would become one of the most popular wrestlers working the southern territories and would sign with the WCW in 1989. He would work with the company for three years and won the WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Championship twice. In 2017, Rich has worked several matches for different promotions, including SWE. Rich may have slowed down in the ring but as long as he keeps on ticking, we doubt he'll be retiring.
3 Scott Norton
Maybe the most popular "gaijin" (foreigner in Japan) other than Kenny Omega in NJPW, Norton has done something the Bullet Club leader has never accomplished. Norton would win the legendary IWGP Heavyweight Championship not once but twice in his career. Before making a name for himself in Japan, Norton would debut in the industry in 1989. After working for AWA and territories on the Pacific Coast, he would sign with NJPW in 1990.
He would stay with the promotion until he returned to the United States in 1993. WCW would sign him and Norton would work for the company for three years. He never won a title for the company but did become a member of the nWo. In 2017, Norton is still working matches in the States and in Japan. This photo was from NJPW’s New Year Dash!
2 Jeff Jarrett
Listen up slap nuts! Wrestling is in Jarrett’s blood so he’s going to be wrestling forever, however, if you’re trying to run a promotion and become a bigger company than the WWE, maybe wrestling in a ring should be put on the back burner. Jarrett was always talented, a guy you loved to hate, and his mat skills were better than most, but at 50 years old, it seems fans see the same old Jarrett over and over again. He would make his professional debut in 1986 and would have no problem being booked because he was a third generation Superstar.
After working for the WWE, Jarrett would sign with the WCW on two occasions. He would be one of the top billed stars when WWE bought out the company and would open his own promotion with his father, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. In 2017, Jarrett worked a match for AAA’s TripleMania XXV and TNT/GFW The Art Of War II.
1 Sid Vicious
Does anyone else want to be a fly on the wall when Arn Anderson and Sid Vicious had a bloody fight involving scissors at some hotel? We know 2 Cold Scorpio doesn’t because he was there and scared out of his mind. Sid is one towering individual, at 6 foot 9 inches tall, he easily overshadowed other wrestlers while in the ring. Not the best speaker but was one of the most authentic looking psychos in the business.
You didn’t need him to say much, all he had to do was completely go bonkers and the fans loved it. He would work in the WCW several times over his career. When it was all said and done, Sid finished with a WCW United States Heavyweight Championship reign and two WCW World Heavyweight Championships. After five years away from the ring, Sid would work one match for GNW’s 10th Anniversary Supershow.