It's not exactly clear what age professional wrestlers enter their prime in these days. WWE is keeping some of their future stars in NXT until their 30s nowadays so as not to burn them out on the main roster before they have even had a chance to grow into their adult bodies yet.
WWE began pushing back the age they start wrestlers on the main roster due to the worry that this makes such wrestlers less valuable during their more productive years. If a wrestler's prime athletic age is 34-35, then bringing them up to the main roster when they are in their 20s is simply a mistake. There are some who feel as though this was the case with Randy Orton, who fans have seen so often that he doesn't feel special, even though he's only in his 30s.
This pushing back is also due to wrestlers such as Chris Jericho, who are showing they can be innovative and entertaining at an older age. Jericho is 47 now and some are saying this is the best he's ever been. Age-range is all over the map these days. Here are ten retired wrestlers who are older and another ten who are younger than you think.
20 Young - The Rock (45)
Dwayne The Rock Johnson last worked a regular schedule for WWE in 2004. That was 14 years ago now that he has been retired from the ring and he's only 45-years-old!
Some are still wrestling and performing at a high level into their mid-40s these days yet 45-year-old the Rock has basically retired for a decade and a half.
By the time he was 31-years-old, he already took the business to new heights financially, and main evented WrestleMania on multiple occasions. So The Rock decided to take his talents to Hollywood and conquer it as well. Perhaps someday, we'll see The Rock commit fully to making a run for President of the United States. By the time he's 60, there is nothing to say that the Rock won't have become an astronaut and landed on Mars too.
19 Old - Shawn Michaels (52)
The Heartbreak Kid is 52 years old and more likely to suffer a coronary episode of his own than break the hearts of any adoring female fans these days.
Quite a few photos have popped up online of Michaels looking much older than people remember him as. The truth is, he's now in his 50s and that's how he's supposed to look. Nowadays, you can find Michaels helping out at the WWE Performance Center in Florida where it is believed he runs something called "The Finishing Course". This might be a class where they work on finishing maneuvers or where they just place the final touches on anything the student has been working on.
He still spends most of his time as a family man, raising kids alongside his wife. No matter how old he gets, he'll always be remembered as one of the greatest of all-time.
18 Young - Edge (44)
Listeners of the E&C Pod of Awesomeness will note that while Edge is in his 40s, he still acts like he's a teen. It's seven years since Edge retired in 2011. Neck injuries forced an early retirement for Edge and he won't be coming back.
The result of his early retirement is that Edge has been gone for years and is still only 44 years old. He's younger than Chris Jericho, R-Truth, Big Show, Kane, Goldust and a few others on the roster.
Edge has done fine for himself outside the world of wrestling. He keeps busy with various acting roles. He has a recurring role on the show Vikings which probably means he's impersonated the Berzerker on set a few times.
17 Old - Diamond Dallas Page (61)
The fact that Diamond Dallas Page seems to be getting younger tends to throw people off. He's actually quite old. Page is now in his 60s, although he might be in the best shape of his life.
Although he's in his 60s, Page has dedicated his post-wrestling life to DDP Yoga. It's not just a yoga program, however, it's got diet and lifestyle tips as well. Chris Jericho swears by it. The diet involved cuts out lots of delicious items but you'll definitely be healthier.
Page has opened his doors to ex-wrestlers on hard times like Jake Roberts and Scott Hall. Both Hall and Roberts are looking great these days and that's thanks to DDP Yoga.
16 Young - Trish Stratus (41)
Trish Stratus retired from full-time competition in 2006 and is still only 41 years old. Stratus retired young, choosing to leave the business and marry her high school sweetheart who must have been a real trooper during the Attitude Era when his then girlfriend was bringing in huge ratings for her bra and panties matches.
Stratus appeared in the first ever women's Royal Rumble recently but there is nothing to say she couldn't still compete in WWE. Working against this, however, is that Trish seems to have little interest in returning to WWE. She has a successful yoga studio in Toronto, is raising two children, and makes part-time appearances at wrestling conventions and autograph signings. she's gone on several tours alongside Lita.
Perhaps Trish will choose to come back from time to time and help the younger women on the roster. Few would complain if she did.
15 Old - Kevin Nash (58)
If you want to feel old, consider that many of the stars WWE was pushing as "The New Generation" in the early 90s are now old enough to get the senior discounts at Country Kitchen Buffet.
The leader of The New Generation, you might recall was Kevin Nash under his Diesel gimmick. Well, Nash is 58 years old and only one knee surgery away from getting his next for free....
Nash first debuted in WCW as part of the Master Blasters in 1990. He would perform as both Oz and Vinnie Vegas before he was recruited into WWE by Shawn Michaels. Nowadays, Nash makes appearances at wrestling conventions and other autograph sessions. He mentioned that his frequent knee surgeries make commuting around the globe difficult these days. A recent knee surgery caused him to miss the 25th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw as well.
14 Young - Molly Holly (40)
Molly Holly has been gone from WWE for almost 13 years and she's still only 40 years old. Like Trish Stratus, Molly decided to retire from wrestling before she hit 30. She spent her post-career working with various charities and other activities which are more helpful to society than pro wrestling is.
It was Molly's decision to leaving wrestling but she has stated her reasons are private. She has said, however, that spending more time with family and enjoying life were factors that went into her decision.
She was recently on Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling podcast and like so many who have appeared on the podcast before her, she talked about what happened when she quit the company. Apparently, Vince McMahon was great about everything but John Laurinaitis got all upset that she went above his head to Vince about it. That's not what People Power is all about John!
13 Old - Scott Hall (59)
If you look at pictures of Scott Hall from five years ago, you'd probably guess the guy was in his 60s and near death. Nowadays, thanks to the help of his friend Diamond Dallas Page, he actually looks fairly decent for his age. It just goes to show that you can spend the majority of your life addicted to drugs and alcohol and so long as you spend a few months doing DDP yoga, you might be perfectly fine! Wait, that's probably not a good lesson.
The Scott Hall story, or at least the current version, does show that it's never too late to clean your life up. Hall looked like he was dying for a few years there and in a sense, he probably was. Now he gets to enjoy life to its fullest and follow his son, Cody Hall, as he embarks on his wrestling career in Japan.
12 Young - Kaitlyn (31)
I call this photo “Casually EXTRA AF”. Cool pic by @arthurs.stuff right before my match a few weekend’s ago. ______________________________ I’ve gone through some crazy changes in the last year or two. All of these changes are consistent with one theme: having the balls to change my life and living for what makes me happy. ____________________________ “You simply have to accept that your demons are a part of you.” #lilith #siren #sirenssong #prowrestling #wrestling #maineventtrainingcenter #comeback #extraaf #girlballs #girlboss #doepicshit
Not only is retired former Divas Champion, Kaitlyn, still young enough to get in the ring, she's not even entered her athletic prime yet!
In fact, Kaitlyn has talked in recent months about getting back in the ring again. Her retirement was a bit of surprise in 2014. She was only on the main roster for a couple of years at that point and it hardly seemed time for her to hang them up.
Kaitlyn retired and opened a fitness clothing line and a smoothie shop with her husband. She divorced from her husband early last year, however, and has been hinting that she wants to get back in the ring. She made her first independent appearance last month. As WWE builds their women's roster further, Kaitlyn would be a terrific addition.
11 Old - Bret Hart (60)
Bret Hart always looked younger than he was during his in-ring career. Then he retired and began to look way older than his age. Still, some fans find it hard to believe Bret Hart is already in his 60s. His age is less surprising when you realize he was already in his 40s when he started wrestling in WCW. While this may have made him one of the youngest WCW stars, it does mean he is older than many fans would think.
Hart has aged rapidly since retiring mainly due to a bevy of health problems he's had to deal with. His career ended due to the impact of a concussion, then he had a stroke, and in recent years had to deal with prostate cancer. While he's cancer free and in good health now, you can see it in Bret's face that his last few years have been a little tiring.
10 Young - Christian (44)
Like his friend, Adam "Edge" Copeland, Christian is retired and only 44 years-old. While there is some dispute surrounding Christian's retirement, he is by his own admission done wrestling. He mentioned on the Chris Jericho podcast that amazingly he has had no formal discussion with WWE management regarding his retirement. Christian is believed to be under some type of legends deal with the company. His most recent appearance in WWE was at the Raw 25th Anniversary show special.
It's notable that both Edge and Christian had to retire young due to injuries. Both were famous for TLC matches early in their careers.
Now at 44-years-old, Christian can be heard every week on his podcast with Edge. They generally review WWE shows and bring on guests. It's one of the better wrestling podcasts out there.
9 Old - The Boogeyman (53)
The Boogeyman isn't coming to get you anymore. He's too old. Even if he did come after you today, he's probably slow enough that you would be able to get away from him pretty easily.
Some of you will remember that Martin Wright, the performer behind the Boogeyman, was caught lying about his age to get onto the Tough Enough television show. While he was caught in his lies, WWE gave him a chance anyway. After going through some training, Boogeyman became a WWE main roster rookie in 2005 at the age of 40.
While his WWE career didn't include many championships or a long run, he managed a four-year WWE career before being released in 2009. The Boogeyman is still brought back from time to time, however. Wright mainly works as a fitness instructor in Denver these days.
8 Young - Lita (42)
Amy Dumas, better known to wrestling fans as Lita, is not old enough that she couldn't return to the ring. In fact, she competed in the first ever women's Royal Rumble. Nowadays, 42 isn't that old to be a wrestler but Lita has a history of neck injuries which may prevent her from ever returning on a full-time basis.
Lita officially retired from the ring in 2006, though she had only been wrestling sparingly at that point, anyway. In her later years with the company, Lita's neck was bad enough that she transitioned to more of a valet role. Nowadays, Lita works in various roles with the company. She did commentary for the Mae Young Classic, has been on the pre-show panel several times and is generally someone the company goes to when they need a female legend.
7 Old - Stone Cold Steve Austin (53)
Want to feel old? Just know that it's not long until Stone Cold Steve Austin doesn't have to pay regular price to get into a movie. In fact, most actors from The Expendables can probably see their own movie at a discounted price.
It's been nearly 15 years since Steve Austin was forced to retire from the ring. He was in his late 30s at the time, however, and had been wrestling since 1989. As with many wrestlers from his era, his career was eventually done in by neck injuries. The most severe injury Austin suffered throughout his career was at SummerSlam '97. A botched piledriver landed Austin directly on top of his head. He lay motionless in the ring for some time before he eventually rolled up Owen Hart to win the match.
While there had been some teases of Austin returning for one more match at WrestleMania, at 53-years-old there is little chance of that happening now.
6 Young - Scotty 2 Hotty (44)
Scotty 2 Hotty seems to have been gone from the WWE forever but is only 44 years old. Not that Scott Ronald Garland (real name) didn't have a full WWE career. He was with the company for a decade from 1997 to 2007. He was released when he was only 33 years old and hasn't competed in-ring for the company in years.
Now, still only in his mid-40s, Scotty is a firefighter. He began his firefighting training six years after leaving WWE and has also trained as an emergency medical technician (EMT). It was reported in the fall that Scotty also teaches at the WWE Performance Center. It's not clear if he teaches his students how to do the worm or not.
5 Old - Sycho Sid (57)
Anyone who has seen recent pictures of Sycho Sid are aware that Eudy has not taken his physical fitness lightly in retirement. In fact, Sid has been competing in bodybuilding contests even though he is three years away from the big 60.
Sid suffered a horrific leg injury near the end of WCW and his career was generally thought to be over at that point. At the time, Sid was 40 and few thought he would come back from his injury. He did come back, however, only a precious few saw it. He returned to the independent scene and wrestled for promotions such as World Wrestling All-Stars, Jerry Lawler's Memphis Wrestling, and others. Sid finally called it quits on his career last summer. He wrestled his final match in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa and has since focused on other endeavors.
4 Young - AJ Lee (31)
Oh just casually hanging out in front of a fricken wall of my books. Thank you so much to NAMI NJ, Barnes and Noble East Brunswick, and every awesome fan who came out to our event this weekend. And thank you to my first wrestling training partners ever who surprised me and made my day! I signed 25 extra books that are currently in store @bneastbrunswick so make sure you hit them up if you need a signed hardcover!
Despite dreaming of becoming a professional wrestler all her life, AJ Lee gave up her WWE dream in 2015. She chose to retire from the profession altogether but she may have felt she had little control over the matter.
In 2014, the year before AJ retired from WWE, her husband CM Punk left the company. Punk and WWE were involved in a very public spat which still isn't fully resolved. Punk and WWE's head doctor engaged in a legal battle over his shoot comments.
AJ released an autobiography recently which details her life and struggles with mental illness. The book is expected to be made into a television show. AJ has said her new career is in writing and feels it is very unlikely she will ever return to WWE but unlike her husband, she won't rule it out completely.
3 Old - Tazz (50)
The human-suplex machine Taz is 50. While he used to talk mean and tough, nowadays he spends more time preparing for colonoscopies and prostate exams than he does opponents.
Taz moved into a commentary role in WWE when it became clear the company wasn't going to push him to the level he had been in ECW. After defeating Kurt Angle in his WWE debut, Taz did very little in WWE as a wrestler. He served as a commentator until 2009 when he would jump ship to TNA. He'd serve as a commentator there for another six years.
Taz has his own radio show on CBS Sports radio now. He talks wrestling, sports and often brings on guests such as Mike Tenay or Jim Ross to appear on the show.
2 Young - CM Punk (39)
Everybody in MMA says CM Punk is just too old to begin a fighting career. In contrast, all of CM Punk's wrestling fans say that he is too young to be gone from wrestling. He's only 39 and seemingly has more to offer this generation of wrestlers than anyone else.
Punk will never return to WWE. Not unless he's hurting for money someday and they drop a lot of it on his doorstep. It's not out of the realm of possibility that Punk does return to wrestling someday, however. Punk is good friends with the Young Bucks and others who are tearing it up on the independent scene these days.
The Young Bucks stated they have done everything they can to try and get Punk to wrestle outside WWE but so far, he's not budging.
1 Old - Jerry Lawler (68)
Granted, Jerry Lawler had a heart attack on live television in recent years but he actually doesn't look that old. Perhaps it's that he dyes his hair or acts like he's a teenager but Jerry Lawler does not look or act like a 68-year-old man.
Lawler is only four years younger than Vince McMahon but still has a youthful glow to him. Perhaps Lawler never truly grew up and that's why he still comes off like an overly excited college kid rather than a senior citizen. His current girlfriend is very young and that might have something to do with it as well. Lawler always has certain tastes....
Unfortunately, Lawler's in-ring career is over and not by his own choice. After his heart attack, WWE put Lawler on the "no touch list". Lawler has said he'd love to get removed from that list to have one more match. On a recent podcast, he even teased the Greatest Royal Rumble on April 27th as a possible date for that match. It's unlikely to happen, however.