The WWE as a company seems like a total dichotomy: releasing some people who are extremely talented strictly because they are getting older (we’re looking at you Jim Ross and the recently demoted Jerry Lawler), while relying heavily on other long-standing stars to sell tickets. As a result, there seems to be an ever-widening age gap between the eldest and youngest performers that get put in a prominent position on WWE television regularly. That’s why we set out to put together this list of the eight oldest and seven youngest WWE wrestlers in order to illuminate how large the chasm actually is.
In order to be considered for this list, you needed to meet some basic requirements. The most obvious necessity is that you are signed to a contract as a performer by the WWE. Secondly, you need to be a wrestler, which means Jerry Lawler and Booker T. who both take part in pre-shows on the WWE network were never a possibility for inclusion. You also need to be an active performer who isn’t a part of the NXT roster, as they could make up a later list themselves. As a result, we used the Superstar section of WWE.com as our resource for who they consider to be a member of the WWE roster. One thing, we couldn’t get our hands on anyone’s birth certificates so our best resource for the age of those included was Wikipedia. We also made two exceptions, The Undertaker was excluded as there are a lot of rumors that he may have already retired and The Rock seems unlikely to contribute regularly again.
31 Oldest Wrestlers
Let’s start off with a few honorable mentions in the oldest department. Coming in at thirty-nine years of age are A.J. Styles, Alberto Del Rio, Titus O’Neil, and Brock Lesnar, while the recently returned Rhyno is 40 years of age.
30 D-Von Dudley: August 1, 1972 (age 44)
Part of the most decorated tag team in wrestling history, assuming their claims are accurate, D-Von has been teaming with his on-screen brother for twenty years. Brought into ECW and turned into the latest member of the Dudley family, D-Von would go on to feud and then team with Bubba Ray. Soon becoming the stand out members of the faction, let alone the entire company, they were signed by the WWE and became international superstars.
Feuding with the likes of The Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian, and The Acolytes, they are intrinsically linked with the hottest era in wrestling history. Briefly becoming a singles star as Reverend D-Von, after a reunion with Bubba, the pairing would eventually be released and work for TNA off and on for nearly a decade. Brought back last year, it speaks to how much respect the WWE has for him that they brought the now forty-four-year-old in at such an advanced age.
28 Big Show: February 8, 1972 (age 44)
We have to admit it when we sat down to do this list the thought came to us that The Big Show could very well be the oldest WWE employee. That is probably because he won his first World Heavyweight Champion in 1995, more than two decades ago, in his very first match. Only twenty-three at the time, his massive size and the fact that he brought to mind comparisons to Andre the Giant-inspired his WCW bosses to hand him the ball immediately. Wrestling there for another four years, he would win their biggest prize once more before heading to the WWE in the thick of the Attitude Era.
A cornerstone of the WWE ever since, The Big Show’s character has gone through at least twenty heel and face turns, which may be a sign that he has been poorly used at times. Alternatively, it could be pointed to as evidence that his bosses feel that he is a capable performer who can be placed in any slot and make it work. While we certainly feel that Show’s career has gone through ebbs and flows, we balk at anyone who would think that he hasn’t earned the world’s respect time and time again. Forty-four today, fans have begun to chant please retire at him but we’ll miss him when he steps out of the spotlight.
26 R-Truth: January 19, 1972 (age 44)
A wrestler who has managed to have an extremely long career in the top two North American wrestling companies, WWE and TNA, Ron Killings doesn’t get the respect he deserves from some parties. Mostly known for playing a comedic character during his latest WWE run, which has lasted eight years at this point, R-Truth has actually won titles and main evented pay-per-views. We get it, though, when he is running around with Scooby Doo and attempting to capture Pokémon it can be difficult to take him seriously. Keeping in mind that he is actually a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion who tangled with The Rock and John Cena once upon a time may help to remind the everyday fan of what he is capable of. Throwing in the fact that he is forty-four years old and is still quite agile in the ring should then seal the deal.
24 Bubba Ray Dudley: July 14, 1971 (age 45)
As part of D-Von’s entry on this list we discussed the overarching career of The Dudley Boyz, an extremely important one in wrestling history, so for this entry, we’re going to do something different. Despite the fact that this list is focused on the WWE, we think it is important to talk about Bubba’s time as a singles star, which largely took place as part of their competitor.
First working alone in ECW, when the WWE broke up The Dudleys it seemed obvious that they saw more potential in Bubba. Put into a short-lived feud with Triple H, who’d already been made into one of their biggest stars, the pairing eventually fizzled out and Bubba didn’t live up to his potential. Years later, while working for TNA, Bubba completely remade himself into Bully Ray, a thinner and meaner singles star. Finally, given a real shot he could bite his teeth into, Bully was in the conversation among the most hated heels in the industry. Forty-five years old today, we really hope that the need for hot new stars will inspire Vince McMahon and company to recast him as a hated singles star once again.
22 Chris Jericho: November 9, 1970 (age 45)
There is no question about it, Chris Jericho achieved his greatest success in the WWE but if you haven’t seen his WCW work you are really missing out. Highlighted by a hilarious promo where he listed the many moves he could do, his one-sided Goldberg feud and a period where he seemed to be scared of the audience, he could be great.
Brought into the WWE as Y2J, one of the best setup debuts ever, and one that they need to try to recreate a lot more (i.e. instead of just bringing someone out like they are already known because they did well in NXT, give your new stars introductory vignettes), Jericho had arrived but it took a few years for him to hit his stride. A former six-time World Champion, and the first Undisputed Champ, Chris has been involved in some of the most entertaining storylines at any given time. Whether it was his teams with The Miz, Big Show, or Kevin Owens, his incredible feud with HBK or his 2011 redebut, Jericho makes great TV. Forty-five years old, Chris has once again become a fixture of WWE’s greatest segments each week, which is further proof that he should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
20 Mark Henry: June 12, 1971 (age 45)
One of the strongest men in the world, Mark Henry still holds multiple records in the weightlifting world. Signed by the WWE in 1996, he has played a part in many memorable storylines over the years. Whether it was as a member of the vaunted Nation of Domination, rechristening himself as sexual Chocolate, and pulling off strongman feats on WWE, they are only a few things we remember Mark for. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that Mark found his best character and did his best work.
Opening the Hall of Pain, taking on a fantastically simple theme song, and turning himself into one of the most vicious wrestlers at the time, Mark was suddenly someone worthy of a World Title run. In our minds, there is one moment in his twenty-year run that is the absolute peak of his career. Prior to an episode of Monday Night Raw, he claimed to have a major announcement to make and intimated that he would retire that night. Instead, we were treated to one of the best promos ever. Shaking John Cena’s hand before giving one of the most heart-wrenching speeches we’d seen at the time while shedding tears, it was all a precursor to one of the best turns ever. Instead of announcing he was done, Mark would slam then champion Cena to the mat and reveal he wasn’t done yet. Currently seen in a mentor role at forty-five years old, we can only pray Mark is put in a position to blow us away like that again.
18 Goldust: April 11, 1969 (age 47)
Goldust may be seen as a comedy character on Raw each week today but that should never make people forget how ground-breaking he was at one time. Though his initial time as Goldy may not have aged well in a world that frowns upon the type of character that played upon homophobia, the fact that Goldust pushed the envelope earned him a place in history. We just hope that some of the people who were inspired to boo him for his antics at the time would go on to question the prejudices inside of them that the WWE was playing on
Returning several times over the years, the Goldust character got away from the initial vision in several entertaining and one less than stellar way. Although we never cared for the stammering for comedic effect character it was during that era that he began to team with Booker T., which led to many uproarious segments. For us, though, it was the raw emotion that he and his brother were able to bring out of us during their feud with The Authority which we will always cherish. Forty-seven years old, he remains a part of the roster even now, when we are supposed to be embroiled in the “New Era”.
16 Kane April 26, 1967 (age 49)
The oldest person that is considered a part of the main WWE roster, we’re sure when Isaac Yankem, DDS debuted, nobody saw his long career coming. Redebuting as the silent and deadly brother of The Undertaker, there were few wrestlers who have ever been able to give off such a sincerely frightening aura. Dethroning Steve Austin for the WWE Championship in 1998, his reign may have only lasted a single day but it still said a lot about the respect he had won.
A mainstay of WWE television ever since, Kane went through some pretty big transitions, learning to speak and taking off his mask for instance, over the years but mostly remained near the top of the card. Whether he was teaming with or fighting against The Undertaker, attaching a car battery to Shane McMahon’s nether regions or teaming with Daniel Bryan, Kane has a way of being memorable. We guess standing at nearly seven feet tall, wearing a black and red outfit and causing fire to erupt from the ring posts, will do that for you even at forty-nine.
14 Youngest Wrestlers
Don’t worry, it isn’t just the oldest category that is getting some honorable mentions. While nobody over the age of twenty-seven is young enough to qualify for our list, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to let you know about the quartet of twenty-eight-year-olds that we see on WWE TV. Carmella, Aiden English, Apollo Crews, and Tyler Breeze are all young enough to deserve a call out as they just barely missed out on an actual entry.
13 Jason Jordan: September 28, 1988 (age 27)
One of the most popular wrestlers who received a call-up in the wake of the roster extension, Jason Jordan, as one-half of American Alpha, could be poised to have a legendary career. A former amateur wrestler who competed at Indiana University, the fact that Jordan was a part of the Big Ten Conference and qualified for the NCAA Division 1 level three times speaks to his athleticism. That said, athletic ability is an asset for a wrestler but in the WWE the ability to entertain is paramount.
Someone who was signed by the WWE way back in 2011, Jason impressed his bosses and coaches enough that he was able to exist in developmental for five years but by 2015 he needed to catch on. Enter into the picture Chad Gable. Wearing their passion and heart on their sleeves, American Alpha’s obvious desire and wrestling ability won over the NXT crowd enough that it was a matter of time before they were moved up. Twenty-seven years currently, Jason Jordan hasn’t been on the main roster long but the fact that fans are already starting to embrace him gives us hope for his future.
11 Dana Brooke: November 29, 1988 (age 27)
Dana Brooke, the sixth youngest member of the WWE main roster, has managed to accomplish an awful lot in her relatively short life. Working as a bodybuilder, fitness competitor, and model prior to joining NXT, she even once competed at the Arnold Classic bodybuilding competition, where she came in thirteenth place. Signed in 2013, she was sent to NXT where she made her television debut after only three months in the company and industry as a whole. If that doesn’t point to her bosses seeing great potential in her we don’t know what does. Working by herself for several months, it was when she and fellow wrestler Emma started to team up that they were able to create something special. Transplanting the duo to the main roster, her partner in crime going down with an injury inspired the WWE to team Dana with Charlotte as her protégé, a story that continues to this day. Only twenty-seven years old at the time of this writing, it is clear that Dana still has years to improve and is already far better than many people with her level of experience could dream of.
9 Emma: March 1, 1989 (age 27)
One of the few Australian wrestlers to make it to the WWE, Emma’s career seems to be a case of feast or famine. Having previously worked for companies like Shimmer, when Emma debuted in FCW, she had shown that she was worthy of the opportunity. Creating her first character that was hot enough to be a part of the WWE main roster, Emma became a fun loving dancing machine that fans loved much the same way they do Bayley today. Brought to Raw with little fanfare or explanation, her character floundered, largely due to the fact that it was poorly set up and she was stuck with Santino who was in the twilight of his career.
Sent back down to NXT, Emma easily could have felt defeated and toiled there for a few months or years before receiving her release. Instead, she became one of the most convincing villains in the entire company and carried herself in such a believable way that she was brought back to the main roster. Again, not given the type of intro she should have, her character went underused until Dana Brooke was brought up to serve at her side. Finally poised to have a real run on the main roster, she suffered a back injury and had to take time away. Only Twenty-seven, we sincerely hope to see her back as soon as she is healthy enough and please WWE, finally give the woman her due from the start.
7 Bo Dallas: May 25, 1990 (age 26)
We’re not really sure what it is about Vince McMahon that precludes him from using Bo Dallas in as entertaining a manner as he was being used at the end of his NXT run. A self-styled motivational speaker who eeked out victories over his peers, his self-referential promos were endlessly amusing and Bo was quite possibly the most engaging character on NXT.
Brought up once before, as a more straightforward version of himself, his first run went absolutely nowhere and so far his current tenure isn’t doing much better. Still acting similarly to the way that made him so great in NXT, the difference now is that he never wins and through commentary and his role in the Social Outcasts, Bo has largely been relegated to Main Event. Worst yet, since the roster extension Bo hasn’t appeared on RAW, the brand he was drafted to, at all yet at the time of this writing. Twenty-six years old, if they don’t capitalize on his unique charisma and character in the years to come, the WWE will be worse off for it.
5 Alexa Bliss: August 9, 1991 (age 25)
Another person that was recently called up to the main roster, Alexa’s call up wasn’t as talked about as Finn Bálor or American Alpha but that doesn’t mean she won’t make a huge impact. Standing at merely five foot one, Alexa is one of the shorter modern WWE stars but her small body seems to pack a big punch as a former bodybuilder.
Most memorable in NXT as the manager of Blake and Murphy, the former tag team champs, Alexa was a massive part of the reason why the tandem worked. Able to look evil by doing nothing more than scowling at the camera, despite her charges remaking themselves to perfection in our eyes, Alexa provided the act with the majority of its character. On her own yet again, this time under the spotlight of Smackdown Live, Alexa is a part of the show’s women’s roster and with major stars like Paige, Charlotte, and Sasha Banks are on Raw she should be a major cog. Twenty-five years old, beautiful, charismatic and committed, the fact that she has so many years left in her career makes us so excited to see what comes next.
3 Sasha Banks: January 26, 1992 (age 24)
Possibly the most popular female wrestler on the main roster, Bayley isn’t there yet, after all, Sasha Banks is the current WWE Women’s Champion. Joining NXT in 2012, it wasn’t until she found her Boss character and became an egotistical heel that she proved she deserved to be featured as part of major storylines. A part of the so-called four horsewoman in NXT, aside the aforementioned Bayley, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte, the group never appeared as an actual faction but fans recognized them as the queens of women’s wrestling.
Brought up to the main roster while she held the NXT Women’s Championship, she played a pivotal role in the Divas Revolution storyline at the time while serving double duty. Wrestling Bayley in two of the best matches that year, no matter the gender, fans began to chant her name on the main roster even when she wasn’t there. Shockingly only twenty-four years old, she possesses skills far greater than many that are preparing to retire.
1 Paige: August 17, 1992 (age 23)
The youngest active wrestler that is a part of the main roster, Paige was actually signed by the WWE when she was only eighteen, a move that would be against company policy today if reports are true. Keeping in mind, she already had several years of experience under her belt at the time, considering she started wrestling at thirteen, she was actually more experienced than some peers. A major part of what made the rise in NXT’s women division possible, Paige was the first person to be crowned NXT Women’s Champion before being called up to the main roster.
Winning the WWE Divas Championship in her first main roster appearance, it was clear that Vince McMahon saw her as someone to revolve the division around. Winning that belt again in the following period, she seemed to be the central member of the roster for a while but has found herself in the backseat of late. Recently suspended for her first wellness policy violation, if she isn’t given another run atop of the WWE women’s roster, as the career of the twenty-three-year-old has really only begun, it will be a huge mistake.