The wrestling business creates very fickle facets when looking at what is most valuable about a wrestler. Talent will be judged and scrutinized for silly things that would make us shake our heads if it happened to us at our regular jobs. The age and, more importantly, the assumed age of a wrestler can be one of the decisions when hiring him or her to become a commodity for a promotion. WWE has been rumored to now allow anyone under the age of 30 at certain tryouts because they want to mold someone into their own creation in development and then have many years on television.
There’s no real rhyme or reason to figuring out how long a wrestler can perform in the ring. Daniel Bryan was forced to retire at the age of 34, but The Undertaker still wrestles part time at 51-years-old. The age is more important to a wrestler’s prime as the mid-20s to early 30s are usually the years a wrestler will be at their peak and deliver their best work and make the most money. WWE will look at it as striking gold if they can find a talent that can become a big star in their mid-20s, like Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton when they were first pushed.
Luckily, not everyone ages quickly and plenty of wrestlers appear much younger than they actually are. WWE and other promotions will likely let it go if a wrestler looks young and works younger than their age dictates. In turn, things can actually go down the other end of the spectrum with young talents are perceived as older due to their experience and time in the business. A young veteran is perhaps one of the better titles to have since it means you’re respected for the experience and still have a high upside. We’ll break down some of the stars in wrestling that are of an age that you would quite frankly never expect.
15 Sasha Banks - 24
Many fans would argue that Sasha Banks has already competed in the two best women’s wrestling matches in WWE history (against Bayley) and had the best match at WrestleMania 32, but she’s not even 25 yet. The young Banks possesses a star quality and carries herself like a veteran despite being one of the youngest members of the WWE roster. No one would assume Banks was under 25-years-old with how much she has already achieved, which is scary considering how much time she has left in her career. Banks is likely going to become the biggest female star in the division before the year is over and she’ll make us all feel bad about not accomplishing as much in our fields when we were her age.
14 Drew Galloway - 30
Drew Galloway has taken one of the longest roads in wrestling to get to where he is today. The Scottish import signed with WWE, was pushed as Vince McMahon’s chosen one, won the Intercontinental Championship, saw his push end, became a comedic jobber, got released and now has become the TNA World Champion. Galloway has to be in his mid-30s or close to his 40s with such a journey, right? No. The athletic star is currently 30-years-old and is actually younger than WWE World Champion Roman Reigns. No one would guess that when looking at their careers, but Galloway has many years left in his prime and we’re very lucky for it.
13 Batista - 47
The unofficially retired Batista is one of those guys that you wouldn’t feel is nearing 50-years-old, but he’s currently 47. Batista debuted in WWE later than most in his mid-30s but made a name for himself instantly. WWE rarely looks at talents that old, but Batista was the rare exception to the rule and found a way to become a main event star. Batista has once again defied the aging process by becoming a movie star following the success of the smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy film. The success and style of Batista will instantly fool you but “The Animal” is actually 47-years-old.
12 Titus O’Neil – 37
Titus O’Neil is one of those wrestlers that has been around for a long time but has never received a big push. so you always look at him as someone to keep an eye on for the future. The future has caught up to us all as O’Neil is currently 37-years-old. We likely won’t see O’Neil get a big singles push due to his age and the heat on him after getting suspended for trying to engage in playful roughhousing with Vince McMahon during Daniel Bryan’s retirement night. O’Neil physically looks like he’s in his early 30s, but the athletic beast is closer to 40.
11 Rosa Mendes – 36
Rosa Mendes's recent pregnancy may make her age more plausible considering she is now a mother but there’s no way anyone could guess she’s 36-years-old. Mendes has been in the WWE system for a long time and the years apparently do add up, even if her genetics prevent it from looking like it. WWE is apparently going to use Mendes in a hosting capacity going forward and she may continue to be a member of the Total Divas roster. It does make sense Mendes is on the latter side of 30 since she has been involved in various roles and the manager of many wrestlers through the years.
10 William Regal – 47
William Regal holds an important role in WWE today as the NXT Commissioner, a WWE Performance Center coach and one of the scouts to find the future talent of the promotion. The work Regal does for WWE is immeasurable but his youthful presence can easily fool us of his age. Regal is 47-years-old but doesn’t look or act it, as he seems like he could be a full-time performer if he wanted to.
9 Layla – 38
Layla was one of the most beautiful women in WWE for quite some time, but decided to officially retire from the wrestling business in 2015. Most would have guessed Layla was in her mid-20s based off her looks but she is currently 38-years-old. Layla just never physically aged and apparently found the fountain of youth to use to her advantage. Layla's retirement didn’t come as a surprise since she was rarely featured on television during the last few years of her WWE career, but once you realize the Diva was nearing 40, it made more sense that she decided to focus on the next chapter of her life.
8 Cesaro – 35
Cesaro is a talented star that fans want to see become a main eventer but WWE doesn’t view him as someone that can excel in that position. Cesaro failing to reach his potential makes him seem much younger than he actually is. The Swiss Superman is already 35-years-old but we would have all assumed he was in his mid-20s. WWE signed him a bit late in his career after years traveling in the world to make a name for himself. Cesaro moves around like someone much younger, so it’s hard to believe he’s already 35. Push him before it is too late, Vince.
7 Booker T – 51
If you take a look at Booker T, he looks to be in great shape and most would think he could still work a few matches per year. When you find out Booker is 51-years-old and it makes you understand why he is currently working in non-wrestling roles for the WWE today. Booker does broadcasting work for WWE before important live shows on the kick-off and runs his own wrestling school with small live shows in Texas. The veteran has given his all to the business for decades, but he is one of the lucky wrestlers to age gracefully in a way that makes it impossible to guess his age.
6 Sheamus – 38
It feels like Sheamus didn’t debut too long ago, before becoming a WWE Champion by throwing John Cena through a table. The Celtic Warrior has been a fixture in the WWE since 2009, which would make us think he’s in his late 20s or early 30s but the Irish star is actually 38-years-old. Sheamus has quietly become a veteran through years of experience before getting to WWE and, of course, as a noteworthy star for the big promotion. The window likely closed on Sheamus as a top star when his makeshift title reign flopped towards the end of 2015, since he’s nearing 40 and the fan base just doesn’t view him as someone credible enough for the main event scene.
5 Paige – 23
Paige has been on the WWE roster for over two years now and was the first top NXT female star. With such a rich history, it is absolutely mind boggling to realize she is just 23. Paige has turned into a bit of afterthought with the other new female stars and some are foolishly speculating that her best days are already over, but her age should remind you that she will get plenty more opportunities. The youngest active wrestler on the WWE roster has a world of experience due to wrestling on the British independent circuit as a teenager and has another 10-20 years ahead of her in the business.
4 R-Truth – 44
R-Truth has looked exactly the same since his return to WWE in 2008. The company signed him as K-Kwik in 2000, but he flopped and was forced to rebuild his name in TNA. R-Truth would excel until WWE decided to give him another chance and he’s been in WWE for the past eight years. Truth doesn’t age, as he’s currently 44 but looks and moves around like he’s still in his mid-30s. The locker room respects Truth and apparently views him as a leader of sorts. You can see why WWE always inserts in small feuds or as the extra person in multi-person matches and it’s due to having respect for all he has given to the company.
3 Cody Rhodes – 30
WWE signed Cody Rhodes to a developmental contract in 2006 and called him up to the main roster in 2007, so we’re very used to him at this point. Rhodes has been on television consistently for almost a decade and it makes us take him for granted, but he’s still only 30-years-old. The assumption is Rhodes’ best days are behind him and he’s on the latter end of his career due to the amount of character revamps he has already undergone. Currently as Stardust, the latest experiment is failing and he is likely going back to his usual look soon, but Rhodes will have more chances to shine as he has another decade left in the tank - at least.
2 Lilian Garcia – 49
Lilian Garcia may not be an actual in-ring competitor, but her actual age is still shocking. The gorgeous ring announcer is 49-years-old and will be turning 50 later in the summer. Garcia appears to be in her early 30s and could probably pass for her late 20s if she wanted to. As one of the most gorgeous women in the WWE, it’s almost impossible to believe Garcia is almost 50, but it’s the truth. Garcia could make a lot of money writing a book or releasing a documentary teaching us all how to defy the concept of physically aging for such a long time.
1 Finn Balor – 34
NXT is meant to develop the stars of the future and create new talent to debut on the main roster. Finn Balor is arguably the hottest star in NXT as the World Champion and fans view him as the future of WWE, but he is already 34-years-old. Balor is older than a good percentage of the main roster, but looks much younger. The factor of being relatively new to North American fans and awaiting a WWE television call-up has made us all view Balor as someone in his 20s rather than nearing 35. Balor’s future is still bright and he has a few more years left. but realizing he’s 34 is absolutely stunning.
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