Cliche as it sounds, it's been often said that life begins at 40. Yes, that's a time when nobody, with the probable exception of Michael Cole who still calls Chris Jericho a "young man," can refer to you as such. But that's also a time when you're expected to be at the peak of professional success and knowledgeable enough to know how to proceed with your life, hence the popular expression. As far as wrestling careers go, however, 40 is also the age when most male wrestlers are nearing the home stretch of their careers, and when most female wrestlers are already retired. Some of these women look great in their post-squared circle years, while others, well, look worse for no longer taking part in predetermined competition.
Before anything else, we'd like to stress that when we say a former female wrestler has "seen better days," that is not to say she looks unattractive or downright ugly. She may look a bit older than her actual age, or her current appearance may be a particularly huge departure from how she looked like during her wrestling heyday. In any case, everything is relative when it comes to lists like this, as one person's idea of looking amazing in the 2010s may be someone else's idea of a female wrestler who doesn't nearly look as hot as she used to.
So with that said, let's take a look at our eight picks for retired female wrestlers who look amazing, and our eight picks for those whose looks have seen better days.
16 Lita (Looks Amazing)
During the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression Eras, Lita was one of the top two female wrestlers of the time, initially getting over for her high-flying moves alongside Matt and Jeff Hardy in Team Xtreme, and winning four Women's Championships during her time as an active WWE wrestler. It also helped that she didn't look like any other well-known female wrestler of the era, as she stood out for her tattoos and "alternative" fashion sense in the best way possible.
Although she dresses in a more age-appropriate fashion nowadays, eschewing the thong-exposing jeans from her Team Xtreme days, and the plunging tops she mostly wore during her on-air and real-life partnership with Edge, there's no denying that Lita still looks marvelous as a 42-year-old. And while she now works behind the broadcast table at select WWE shows, she's one legend we'd like to see as a surprise entry in the upcoming women's Royal Rumble match next month.
15 Missy Hyatt (Seen Better Days)
Before Sunny and Sable brought the eye candy back to the wrestling ring in the mid-late '90s, Missy Hyatt was arguably the top sex symbol in the business. And she was quite well-known to wrestling fans of the '80s and '90s, having appeared in the territories, in WCW, and in ECW. She even had a brief tryout with the WWE, where she hosted a talk show segment called "Missy's Manor" – it's definitely a far cry from Piper's Pit, which the segment was supposed to replace, but it was clear WWE and its fans weren't quite ready for an attractive female interviewer at that time.
Like many of her male counterparts, Hyatt freely partook in the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll lifestyle that was common for '80s and '90s wrestlers. That lifestyle seems to have taken a toll on her looks now that she's in her early 50s. Case in point – the photo above, where she poses with ECW legend The Sandman, who himself hasn't aged too well.
14 Molly Holly (Looks Amazing)
She may have had a successful run in the WWE, but you can't help but feel that Nora Greenwald deserved better. Whether she was playing Hardcore and Crash's cousin Molly Holly, The Hurricane's sidekick Mighty Molly, or getting her head shaved at WrestleMania, she was often put in gimmicky situations that might have forced a lesser wrestler to quit. Yet she always made the most out of those situations, and we haven't even mentioned the time WWE capitalized on her Christian faith by having her work an uppity prude gimmick.
Molly Holly was just 30-years-old when she retired from pro wrestling, though she remains involved in the business, as she works as the female lead coach at The Academy: School of Professional Wrestling, alongside fellow Ruthless Aggression mainstays Mr. Kennedy/Anderson and Shawn Daivari. It also appears her wholesome lifestyle has helped her remain fairly youthful-looking, now that she's just entered her 40s.
13 Debra (Seen Better Days)
We can't blame you if you thought Debra Marshall, upon her WWE debut in 1998, was only in her early 30s, tops. She was the woman whose trademark in-ring distractions caused Jerry Lawler to squeal the word "PUPPIES!" like a middle-schooler sneaking an R-rated or adult film from dad's collection, and she was already 38 at the time she defected from WCW (and ex-husband Mongo McMichael) to WWE. She was best known for managing the tag team of Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett, but also did a bit of wrestling and won one Women's Championship in an Evening Gown Match – a clear sign of the times.
Unfortunately, we all know what happened post-WWE – the bitter breakup of her marriage to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and allegations that the Texas Rattlesnake had physically abused her. She's been living a more quiet life since then, but it's also sad to note that she hasn't always appeared to have aged as well as she should have.
12 Sharmell (Looks Amazing)
"All hail King Bookah!"
Indeed, it was a long time coming for Sharmell Sullivan-Huffman, a former Miss Black America who joined WCW in the late '90s as a Nitro Girl, had the unenviable job managing BOTH The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea and Kwee Wee, and married longtime boyfriend Booker T not long before he played his most iconic role in his long wrestling career, that of "King Booker." Props to her for mirroring her husband's fake British accent, and helping ensure that lots of fans were digging his royalty gimmick.
While Booker remains a staple of WWE TV as part of the Monday Night Raw announce team, Sharmell has been focusing on motherhood, having given birth to twins in 2010, about a year after she and Booker both left TNA. As you can see, that hasn't had an effect on her appearance, as she remains a looker at age 47.
11 Dawn Marie (Seen Better Days)
One of two women in this list who were best known for their time in the original ECW, Dawn Marie is memorable to WWE-only fans for one reason, and one reason only – her feud with Torrie Wilson, where she got Torrie's father, Al Wilson, so oversexed on their honeymoon that he dropped dead from a heart attack. (In storyline, of course.) After appearing on the WWE-produced ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view in 2005, she went on maternity leave, and was promptly fired by WWE. Talk about cold.
Like her fellow female ECW mainstay, Beulah McGillicutty, Dawn Marie has put on some pounds, now that she's in her late 40s and several years removed from her last wrestling match. But while Beulah has been able to remain young-looking in her late 40s, the same does not apply to Dawn Marie, at least based on most of her recent photos.
10 Ivory (Looks Amazing)
This list includes a few female wrestlers who are in their 50s, and if you think that automatically disqualifies them from looking amazing, you may want to think again. Already a veteran wrestler at the time she joined WWE in the late '90s, Ivory was arguably the Attitude Era's answer to Mickie James in today's WWE scene. But with the company having a much shallower pool of female talent, she won three Women's Championships during her time, and was prominently featured in many an angle, including a brief stint as a long skirt-wearing prude when she managed the Right to Censor faction.
Ivory was already 44-years-old by the time she left WWE in 2005, and after a year in the indies, she retired from in-ring competition and began focusing on a much more adorable, nurturing line of work – an animal daycare center in Washington state. She may be the second-oldest woman in this list at 57 (just several months younger than fellow 1960 baby Debra), but could easily pass for being in her late 40s.
9 Madusa (Seen Better Days)
She was arguably the most successful female wrestler of the '90s, yet many fans mainly remember her for one thing – that Eric Bischoff-ordered stunt where she debuted on WCW and threw her WWE Women's Championship belt in a trash can. Whether you know her as Alundra Blayze (in WWE), Madusa (in WCW), or by her real name, Debrah Miceli, she's truly deserving of her place in the WWE Hall of Fame, belt-trashing aside, and she continues to support WWE's women's revolution to the best of her capabilities.
Now your mileage may vary a bit on this one, but for a woman of 53, Madusa looks a bit older than her actual age. Then again, one can also argue that she already looked a bit older than the average early-mid-30s woman back in her wrestling heyday, and that she didn't exactly have an especially rough time after she retired as a pro wrestler, as she achieved success in the monster truck circuit post-WCW buyout.
8 Gail Kim (Looks Amazing)
One of two women born in 1977 in this list (thus barely making the cut), Gail Kim recently retired as a pro wrestler after a long and successful career in both Impact Wrestling and the WWE. Notice we mentioned Impact first – Kim became the first woman inducted in the TNA Hall of Fame, and has definitely had much more success in that company than she ever did in WWE. Unfortunately, WWE creative never knew how to book a talented wrestler like Kim during the late, not-so-lamented Diva Search era of women's wrestling.
With all that said, we wish Gail the best as she moves on to life after pro wrestling. And while she's looking great for her age and seemingly content to focus on married life with celebrity chef Robert Irvine, we wouldn't mind if WWE wants to bring her back as a surprise entry in the upcoming female Royal Rumble match. (This time, she better not eliminate herself, just like she did in protest to end her second WWE run.)
7 Terri Runnels (Seen Better Days)
She may have gotten her start with gimmicky characters such as genius accountant Alexandra York of the York Foundation (in WCW) and Goldust's valet Marlena, but once WWE felt free to acknowledge her marriage with said "Bizarre One," they began to bill her under her real name, Terri Runnels, and make her an integral part of the Attitude Era's fanservice segments. From the Pretty Mean Sisters to the Terri Invitational Tournament (go have fun with those acronyms), she had a pretty good run with the WWE, all things considered.
What hasn't been pretty good, however, has been the aging process. Although Terri is "only" 51-years-old as of this writing, many of her recent photos show her looking at least a half-decade older. That may or may not have been the result of a number of troubled relationships post-Goldust, including her well-publicized romance with (of all people) unhinged ECW alumnus New Jack.
6 Beulah McGillicutty (Looks Amazing)
To answer your question, kid in the "Krispin Wah" meme, Beulah McGillicutty is NOT the mother of NXT Season 2 rookie Michael, aka Curtis Axel. Seriously, though, this was the name ECW gave Trisa Hayes when they had her play Tommy Dreamer and Raven's old high school acquaintance, as she was supposed to be fat and unattractive as a teen. Obviously, she "grew up" to be quite the looker as an adult, as she became one of the biggest female stars in ECW, thanks in no small part to her sex appeal, as well as her willingness to take part in hardcore wrestling matches.
In a case of life imitating art, Beulah and Tommy Dreamer got married in 2002, and they've since become parents to twin girls. Recent photos show that she's put on some weight since retiring from wrestling and focusing on married life, but her beauty has stood the test of time, as she has quite a youthful appearance for someone who turned 48 this year.
5 Sable (Seen Better Days)
This one's a tough call, but I think I'm going to take my chances and pray someone doesn't send me a one-way ticket to Suplex City. On the plus side, Sable doesn't look like a woman who turned 50-years-old earlier this year; one would probably guess she looks like someone in her early 40s, tops. But now that she's married to Brock Lesnar and living a quiet existence with her notoriously private hubby, she doesn't look half as glamorous as she did when she was one of WWE's biggest sex symbols of the Attitude Era.
Indeed, there weren't a lot of predominantly young male wrestling fans who cared that Sable was oftentimes clueless in the ring, while sounding painfully robotic in her promo delivery. She was definitely easy on the eyes in the late '90s, and even in her brief 2003-04 return. And while she's aged quite well, many of her recent photos show her bordering on soccer mom territory, hence her inclusion in the "seen better days" section.
4 Torrie Wilson (Looks Amazing)
Like many a model-turned-wrestler, Torrie Wilson was not a wrestling fan before joining the business. But after being discovered by WCW while she watched a show with her then-boyfriend, she caught the wrestling bug, and would appear for both WCW and WWE as a valet and an in-ring performer. Though her matches weren't exactly five-star material by any stretch of the imagination, she was, at the very least, not as unwatchable as some of the women WWE hired during the unfortunate Diva Search era.
Aside from being one of the prettiest faces on WCW/WWE TV during her heyday, Torrie is also well-known for her high-profile relationships, which included a marriage to Billy Kidman, and a brief period where she dated MLB superstar Alex Rodriguez. Now 42 (though you might not believe it when you see some of her social media pics), she's long been retired from wrestling, but her current work in the world of fitness has helped keep her looking as great as she did back in the day.
3 The Kat (Seen Better Days)
It could be argued that nepotism was at work when Jerry Lawler's wife at the time, Stacy Carter, was hired by the WWE as Miss Kitty, later on to be known as The Kat. She wasn't much of a wrestler, and she was mainly there for fanservice purposes, taking part in many an Evening Gown Match or bikini contest, and even going as far as showing the "puppies" in front of a live audience and taking on an exhibitionist gimmick of sorts. She was released from the WWE in 2001, right in the middle of her feud with Right to Censor over the "right to nudity," and Lawler would soon quit in protest.
It didn't take long before The King was back in the company, but The Kat was gone from the WWE for good after she left. She's since married another wrestler, Sinn Bodhi (aka Kizarny in WWE), and based on the above photo, it would seem that she's been looking a bit older than her age (currently 47) for most of the current decade.
2 Trish Stratus (Looks Amazing)
When I talk about beauty, it's not about makeup and hair, it's how your soul shines and what the light in your heart brings forward. It's how your spirit touches others and how much love you have for yourself ... but in this particular case, when you have makeup done by @byvalerianova, beauty is about makeup and hair 😜💄 - This moment captured by the lovely and talented @dave_laus & styled by @milayudinadesign
This is an entry that probably needs no justification or further explanation, but we're still required to include one, so here goes. Originally seen on WWE as a non-wrestler, Trish Stratus didn't take too long to catch the attention of male fans, as she debuted as the manager of Test and Albert, aka T&A. But she soon found herself taking part in actual in-ring competition, and while the matches weren't pretty at first, she proved to be a fast learner. By the time she retired in 2006, following her record-setting seventh WWE Women's Championship, she was unquestionably one of the most decorated AND talented women to ever set foot in a WWE ring.
Having turned 42 earlier this month, Trish can still easily pass for a woman at least a decade younger. She can credit that to her continued dedication to staying in shape, as she's done by operating a yoga studio in her hometown of Toronto.
1 Sunny (Seen Better Days)
Likewise, you should not feign surprise at seeing this staple of lists of wrestlers who have fallen from grace. Tammy Sytch, better known to wrestling fans as Sunny, was smoking hot as a young woman, initially debuting as a gimmicky fitness freak as one of the Bodydonnas, but going on to manage several other WWE tag teams, including The Godwinns, The Smoking Gunns, and the Road Warriors in their "L.O.D. 2000" phase. Oh, those were the days when hordes of teenage boys (this writer included) helped make Sunny the "most downloaded woman on the internet."
These days, hardly anybody's downloading current pictures of Sunny, unless they're writing articles such as this. Due to years of letting herself go, to say little of well-documented substance abuse issues, Sunny has become overweight, considerably less attractive, and prone to erratic public and social media behavior. It's truly sad to note, as she remains worthy to this day of her status as WWE's "original Diva."