Wrestling can be an extremely strenuous profession if one is to take part in it for the long run. Be it for fame or passion for performing in front of and entertaining crowds all over, some wrestlers don’t know exactly when to retire, putting constant pressure on their bodies which can have serious effects down the road. While some wrestlers miraculously keep their health and fitness in check due to heavy training and exercising even in their old age, others let themselves go and succumb to various health problems and end up looking terrible when they enter their 60s.
Wrestling was especially difficult in the 80s and 90s when the restrictions of the PG era weren’t in place and the wrestlers had to literally brawl out of their matches to please the crowd, who demanded violence.
While most of the wrestlers who are now above the age of 60 look pretty bad, some have managed to keep their figure in check and can probably duke it out with those half their age.
Many of the wrestlers tend to keep on performing even after their body gives in, which only does more damage to the body, while others preserve their energy and go through beneficial training sessions to make sure that they are free from any health hazards and that they remain in top shape.
Let’s have a look at 8 former wrestlers who still look good over the age of 60 and 8 who are showing their age.
18 Those Who Look Good
17 Bob Backlund
Bob Backlund was a memorable figure of the Golden Era of WWE, as he was one of the pillars of success of wrestling in the 80s. Backlund was at first very popular with the fans because of his wrestling style, but had a change in character and personality which did him a lot of good, as he’d become one of the top heels of the WWE for some good years. This included him winning the WWE Championship, as his first title reign is the second longest title reign in history behind Bruno Sammartino’s second. After a hiatus from WWE, he returned in 1992 as good as ever as he was this heat-magnet of a heel and even got another world championship reign, only for it to be cut down in 3 days. Backlund constantly gave commendable acts to maintain his character, as he also kept his body and health in check and recently resurfaced in WWE TV as the life-coach of WWE Superstar, Darren Young. He says “He’s going to Make Darren Young Great Again” and has been giving some hilarious segments since returning, as the 67 year old looks fit as ever because of his dedication for wrestling and going by the moves he took from Titus O’Neil recently, he's showing just how great he is physically as he’s been able to maintain himself superbly over the years.
16 Sgt Slaughter
Sgt Slaughter was quite the phenomenon in the 80s, as his iconic looks of wearing dark sunglasses, a large hat and in military uniform made him quite the hero in the WWE as well as giving him his own alternate version of a G.I. Joe Figure. Slaughter failed as a heel in the beginning as his career sky-rocketed up as he turned face and defended America’s honor against the villainous Iron Sheik. They had some great matches throughout the year, before Hulk Hogan’s emergence made Slaughter leave the company. But a few years later, he himself wanted to come back but Vince wanted him to portray a heel character, turning on America and aligning himself with The Iron Sheik. He did so and was a much hated villain because of it and got unbelievable heat, which also led to him winning the WWE Championship from Ultimate Warrior, which he lost later to Hulk Hogan. He later again turned face as this American hero and worked for the WWE for a number of years, even as a commissioner later on. Since then he has returned to the company in various instances, making sporadic appearances over the years and he looked to be in great shape last time he returned in 2014 as well. He currently looks the same as he did in the 80s, as this American legend has taken care of his body as well as serving the masses brilliantly, as his character has been etched in history because of its impact in the 80s and early 90s.
15 Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat was a very popular wrestler in the 80s, as his unique style of wrestling and intriguing character made for some very good matches and feuds with his fellow wrestlers at the time. After having some memorable feuds against the likes of Don Muraco and Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Steamboat was pushed as a strong mid-carder as he went onto successfully challenge for the Intercontinental Championship, winning it from Randy Savage at WrestleMania III. But then problems began with the management, meaning he didn’t get any more pushes and he left the company soon after. He then went onto have stints in WCW and WWE over the next few years, as his potential was never truly reached because of management's hesitation. He appeared in WWE TV for some sporadic appearances in the 2000s, as he got inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009 and since then was focused on training his son, Richie. He worked as a trainer in NXT and talent relations dept. with Triple H until his son was released from NXT due to injuries, as Ricky has continued to keep an unbelievable figure as he looks to be in great shape mostly because of his ignorance from any sort of vices and looks exactly like his legendary self who wrestled amazing matches in the 80s.
14 Tony Atlas
Tony Atlas was quite the entertaining character in the 80s, as he was this strong competitor who often showed off, as Atlas found much of his success in the WWE. This included winning the WWE Tag Team Championship from The Wild Samoans with Rocky Johnson, making them the first Afro-American team to hold the belts. Atlas was later used as a jobber to the stars, helping in putting over wrestlers like King Kong Bundy and Harley Race at the time and was mostly booed because of his poor performances and showing off his muscles to no avail. He later left the WWE for WCW but found no success over there, and had to return in the WWE in 1991 as Saba Samba which was a racist gimmick which was booed off quickly. Atlas soon found his relevance from wrestling gone, but kept training to maintain his muscular figure and returned in WWE TV in 2008, as the manager of Mark Henry. He would remain in WWE’s ECW brand for some years, and has made appearances since then. In 2014 he was a cast member of WWE Network’s “Legends’ House” show and is currently looking in great shape, as he has maintained the figure which put the eyes on him in the 80s and is looking strong and fit as ever, as his dedication is quite remarkable.
13 Jerry “The King” Lawler
Jerry Lawler has been “The King” in the WWE for quite sometime now, as he transitioned from a wrestler to a color commentator amazingly in the 90s after having a successful career in the 80s. Lawler has won 168 Championships in his career before his days in the WWE, where he started out as a wrestler but soon was turned into a color commentator because of his superior mic skills. Lawler’s commentary days with Jim Ross were outstanding, as the two were amazing together with the heel Lawler fitting with the face Ross perfectly and the chemistry they shared was unprecedented. Over the course of the years, Lawler has lost his touch on the commentary table, especially after the terrifying heart-attack he had on an episode of Raw, and has been degraded to the pre-show panel for most of the shows. Nonetheless, Jerry Lawler’s resolve is amazing as he has maintained a great shape to his figure throughout the years and even wrestles sometimes in Indy shows at the age of 66, which goes onto show why he’s called “The King” after all as his looks resemble that of one.
12 Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page was the heart and soul of World Championship Wrestling as he started off with the promotion in its low-key stages and was there when it hit the prime in the mid 90s. His development in the promotion was amazing, as he started off as a mid-carder and moved onto the bigger prizes as he won the United States Championship first and then only moved to the main-event scene in 1999, and stayed in it till the promotion was bought out by the WWE. The 3 time WCW World Heavyweight Champion was bought by the WWE in 2001 when he accepted the buyout of his contract, and debuted as the stalker of The Undertaker’s wife. He was heavily involved in the Invasion angle, but sort of lost his relevance as he became this “Positive Page” character who was nothing like his WCW character and buried his reputation. He left the company due to injuries and his age, and focused more on his Yoga as he has now his own form of Yoga in “DDP Yoga” which has helped wrestlers like Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Scott Hall to recover from their addictions. DDP looks amazing because of his yoga practice as he often makes sporadic appearances for WWE TV and looks to be in very fit shape and doesn’t seem to have aged since his WCW stint, as the 60 year old looks way younger than that.
11 Vince McMahon
Vincent Kennedy McMahon is one of the most conniving businessmen in the history of sports-entertainment(if not THE Most) and has single handedly made his ancestor’s company into one of the hottest brands in sports and one of the most popular things in the world right now. Vince might have his shares of haters, but his work for the WWE is nothing short of spectacular. It all started mostly in the Attitude Era when he made his own character in “Mr. McMahon” as an authoritative heel as this boss was someone who resembled the bosses of many. So when Stone Cold stated beating him up, everyone tuned into watch the WWE and raised their ratings as the Austin-McMahon feud won them the Monday Night Wars against WCW and allowed Vince to buy out his rivals later on. McMahon has over the years faded in WWE TV- with his daughter Stephanie and son-in law Triple H more involved in that, but makes sporadic appearances when he’s needed and he looked to be pumped physically in his last appearance, as the 71 year old is unbelievably muscular and physically fit. His training regimes is something which a healthy young man would be afraid to try, as he appeared on the cover of “Muscle & Fitness” magazine recently and looked to be in top shape which is unbelievable for a man who has to maintain his company on a daily basis, yet somehow gets the time to do all this training and the dedication Vince has put into maintaining himself is nothing short of outstanding.
10 Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Sammartino is one of the pioneers of the WWE, as he was one of the reasons on why wrestling gained prominence in the 60s and 70s and was the undisputed wrestler of the time. Sammartino was the reason for the rising in popularity of the WWE, as he was their first champion as he beat Buddy Rogers in 48 seconds to win it in 1963. He had a title reign for 2,803 which is the longest reign in the promotion history as people were distraught when he lost the title in 1971. He later won it back in 1973 and had another long reign as the champion, as Sammartino was the franchise of the WWE at the time and reason on why people came to watch their shows. He was involved in the WWE for a long time as he stayed on with the promotion till 1988, before he left the company because of his disgust at where the promotion was headed. He was quite involved in other events for the next years as his popularity was still pretty alive, and Sammartino accepted an invitation for being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. He inducted Larry Zbyzsko into the Hall of Fame in 2015, and looks like a million bucks as the 80 year old still has an unbelievably toned body and incredible muscles to himself and still looks like he could fight it out in the ring, as the pioneer of the WWE has maintained his figure incredibly well over the years as his dedication to the sport has kept him healthy and extremely fit over the years.
9 Those Who Are Showing Their Age
8 Tito Santana
Tito Santana was one of the most influential Hispanic superstars of his time, as he must’ve inspired the likes of Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio with his amazing display in the ring. Santana was the first Hispanic superstar to win the Intercontinental Championship in the WWE, as he had some memorable matches with the superstars of that time and established himself as a strong mid-carder in the promotion as well. He later formed “The Strike Force” with Ricky Martel as they won the WWE Tag Team Championships from the Hart Foundation and stayed in the tag team scene for quite sometime, until he had to take a hiatus from WWE. He kept on wrestling for various emerging promotions at the time, before returning to the WWE as a Spanish commentator in 1997. But he soon left again, and kept on wrestling in the Indy circuit as he also kept some side-business in teaching wrestling, but as he aged, his body started to wear off. Santana kept on wrestling even against his body’s wishes, and now looks to be a whacked old man who’s getting wrinkles in his body and, with his skin starting to fade and he looks to be in a sad shape right now, mostly because of the pressure he put in his body over the years.
7 Paul Orndorff
Another one of the really under-rated mid-carders of the 80s, Paul Orndorff spent most of his early life wrestling in the Independent scene before moving to the WWE in the 80s, where he was booked as this strong mid-carder and stood up to the bad guys. He partnered Hulk Hogan in many of his feuds, as he was getting more and more frustrated with the Hulkster trying to upstage him. He turned on him eventually and reunited with Bobby Heenan as his manage, and started a memorable feud which included an outdoor match which apparently reaped 76,000 fans. Though the lost the feud, his reputation escalated because of it, but he wasn’t given any push or a title by the WWE, forcing him to leave. Orndorff would later go onto join WCW, where got his much popular “Mr Wonderful” gimmick and was pretty over in the promotion. He has been on the decrease ever since, as his body started to wear out and he didn’t age well. The Hall of Famer got diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and that took a lot out of him, although thankfully he is now cancer-free, it has left him looking like an exhausted old man.
6 Terry Funk
Terry Funk is a bonified Hardcore Legend if there ever was to be one, as one of the most extreme wrestlers there is has a dedication for wrestling which can’t be matched by many. Funk has wrestled all over the world wrestling, as he started wrestling at the age of 21 in 1965 and has surprisingly kept on wrestling since then. Funk had stints at WWE, WCW and ECW with his most successful one coming at the latter where he was the face of the company. Funk almost single-handedly gave ECW main-stream success as many people tuned in to watch him at his most extreme, and the aging Funk was showing no signs of it. He has since tried to retire an infinite amount of times, only to come back to the ring again and again and because of the punishment he takes everytime he’s in the squared circle, his body is starting to give in to the pressure. Funk’s appearance is degrading with each passing year, as he looks like a washed-up old man right now who really needs to stop wrestling before his body gives out on him. Funk’s skin is starting to wear off as he looks in a terrible shape appearance wise, but his love for his profession of wrestling will never let him stay out of it, as he’ll want to die in the wrestling ring going by his passion for it.
5 Ric Flair
“The Nature Boy” Ric Flair is definitely one of the greatest of all time, but his personal vices had made for the demise of his natural looks as he is only a mirror of his old self. Ric Flair has been in the wrestling business for a long time now, and was a world famous competitor when he came to the WWE in 1991. He was quickly given their WWE Belt and was a top guy for a number of years, before he shifted to WCW. There he was a competitor and a booker during the Monday Night Wars, but some questionable decisions made for WCW’s fall from grace. He was later rehired by WWE and became a part of “Evolution” with Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista as they dominated the WWE scene for quite sometime. He was then “retired” by Shawn Michaels, only to go back to TNA and later rejoin WWE years later as a manager/ambassador. Flair might be the charismatic genius he is on-screen, but his of-screen problems are never-ending as he has a history of alcoholic problems, and is quite the “player” in real life as he often ended up in legal issues because of it. Flair got quite the looks in his hey-days, but now looks nothing like his old self as his iconic hair is no more there, and his wrinkly, worn out face is made out of alcohol issues as the Nature Boy’s looks are degrading by each passing day, with his legacy the only thing keeping him relevant at the moment.
4 The Iron Sheik
The Iron Sheik is one of the greatest heels of all time, and is also responsible for creating icons like Hulk Hogan and Sgt Slaughter, as his altercations with them is what escalated them into legendary status. The Iron Sheik was this Anti-American, Iranian gimmick who’s rants degrading the United States of America made everyone hate him in those days as they cheered anyone who fought against him. The Sheik won the WWE Championship once in his career, only to lose it to Hulk Hogan to begin the rise of “Hulkamania”. He’d later go onto feuds with many of the pro-American wrestlers to create some great feuds, but with the turn of the century found his relevance as a wrestler diminished. But his shoot interviews and vulgar rants against other wrestlers kept him alive in the internet, as The Sheik became more grumpy and abusive by the day, but his health was getting pretty bad. He suffered some bad injuries in his wrestling career and had to go through various surgeries later on because of it, and this showed later on as he now looks to be in a pretty bad shape physically as one can’t make out that he was a wrestler if he’s to see him. The Iron Sheik has become fat and is extremely unfit, as his grumpiness is what keeps him relevant at times nowadays, but his physical shape is pretty poor as he hasn’t aged well at all and definitely looks his age right now.
3 Harley Race
Harley Race is considered by many as probably the toughest wrestler to ever grace the wresting circuit as he’s been a huge influence for many of the wrestlers who arrived after him, with his brilliant wrestling skills and innovative moves standing him out from others. Race spent most of his wrestling career in the National Wrestling Alliance where he wrestled for 14 years, ushering the promotion to great heights before he moved to the WWE in 1986 and spent 3 years in the promotion. He also had a stint in WCW, but had to retire because of nagging injuries and going by his shape right now, one can assume that the pressure of wrestling really got to him. The Worn-our Harley Race is now in a terrible shape physically at the age of 73, as his body seemed to have given out because of the demands his wrestling put in it, and the legendary Race is now only a shade of his old-self who dominated over wrestlers in his prime, as this legendary wrestler now looks like a broken man physically.
2 Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka is probably one of the big influences to more and more high-flying, athletic wrestlers coming up in the wrestling circuit right now, as his amazing flying abilities inspired many a wrestler after him. Jimmy Snuka’s reputation was escalated after his match against Don Muraco when he performed the Snuka Splash from on top of a steel cage in a match against Muraco. Snuka would go onto have classic feuds with the likes of Rowdy Roddy Piper and The Honky Tonk Man later on, before persisting injuries made him call up semi-retirement. Snuka would still wrestle matches in the Indy circuit at times and made sporadic appearances for the WWE as well, as he teamed up with Ricky Steamboat and Rowdy Roddy Piper to face Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania XXV. But Snuka’s body had started to degrade as the years passed by as he was soon almost unrecognizable from the bad-ass, high-flying beast which he was at his prime, as constant health issues and problems in his personal life has degraded him into looking horrible.
1 Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Jake “The Snake” Roberts fall from grace personally and professionally over the years is probably the most depressing case of a wrestler throwing away his life into misery, as Roberts was an amazing heel when he was in the squared circle. Roberts had that cold, calculative and almost snake-like behavior to his character as he went around with his pet snake “Damien”, and his amazing work made for some memorable feuds with the likes of Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Andre the Giant, Randy “Macho Man” Savage and The Ultimate Warrior which cemented him as a top heel in the company. Though Roberts wouldn’t have any gold around his waist, he was on top of the WWE but left the company amidst problems with management. After working for WCW and in the Indy circuit for a few years, Roberts would be brought back to the WWE but this time wouldn’t be as relevant as he once was. After his WWE release, his career derailed as Roberts gave into his addiction of alcohol and drugs and absolutely destroyed his life. Roberts wouldn’t be in contact with any major promotion or even his family, as he did odd events to make some money which he spent drinking. In 2012, he was overweight, exhausted and in a terrible shape physically when fellow wrestler DDP took him in and saved his life. But Roberts’ addiction has made its mark on him, as he looks like a broken man physically and looks way older than his actual age of 61, as Roberts threw away his own life because of his addiction and is now trying to find remedy for it, but he can’t find any remedy for his badly figured body which can’t take the pressure he’s dealt in it anymore.
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