Professional wrestling is a staple of American culture. Every wrestling fan loves to reminisce about the 80s and 90s, as potentially the golden era of the sport. Surprisingly enough many of those wrestlers are still active, and this article outlines 15 wrestlers who readers may be surprised are older than they think.
The truth is, wrestling, WWE in particular, is a very fast paced business. New people come in and bad wrestlers leave the industry. But there are also the guys who have continued to wrestle, under the radar for years. Not even just that, but some of the guys on this list are just older than anyone could suspect.
For example, the legendary Hulk Hogan has had a fantastic career, while continuing his fame. He is someone who would NOT be on this list, because we obviously know how old he is, and he shows his age. Someone who would be on this list, is someone who may have floated around the indie scene for a bunch of years and is just now hitting it big. Or someone who has been around for such a long time, that their age has just caught up with them without fans noticing. A lot of times, time itself, goes by very quickly. People forget things, and nostalgia kicks in. Some of the 90s wrestlers may be forgotten, but aren't always gone. They may still be wrestling, just under the radar of fans.
While looking through this list, you may begin to think to yourself, "oh wow, I forgot about him", and that is the point. That is why we have compiled this list of the top 15 wrestlers who are older than you think.
15 Rob Van Dam - 45
In the late 1900s, Rob Van Dam lit up the wrestling scene. His 21 combined championships are a remarkable accomplishment for a wrestler who often jumps from company to company. Would you be shocked to hear that Van Dam is currently 45 years old? Yes, it's true. His hardcore physical nature earned him many accolades, and it seems like just yesterday he was "Mr. Monday Night", but now about to enter the latter half of his 40s, RVD is making us all feel a bit older.
14 Samoa Joe - 37
This TNA alumnus has finally graced the radar of most WWE fans, headlining his fair share of NXT: Takeover events. Most casual fans think that when a wrestler signs to WWE, they are rookies and don't have much experience, but in all actuality, they have been around the block a few times; this is the case with 37 year old Samoa Joe. Joe has been wrestling for 18 years, and unfortunately at his older age seems will never get a proper run in WWE. Fortunately, he should still be able to thrive in NXT.
13 X-Pac - 43
Would you believe me if I told you Sean Waltman is 43 years old? Maybe not. Waltman began his career with the World Wrestling Federation in 1993, but has been wrestling since he was in ninth grade. Starting out as "The Kid", Waltman has been on television for over two decades, and despite being a little more fluffy around the belly, looks really good for his age. He now wrestles on the independent scene and his WWE appearances are that of a non-wrestling role. Some wrestlers lose their looks seemingly overnight, let's hope for his sake that it doesn't happen to him.
12 Johnny Mundo - 36
Time is running out for those who would want to see Johnny Mundo return to the WWE and have a good run. Johnny Mundo or "John Morrison" is currently working for Lucha Underground. The 36-year-old, primarily wrestles as a main eventer in more independent promotions nowadays. Now closer to 40 than 30, Mundo is actually wrestling better than he ever has. The Lucha Underground star is also in great shape, looking a bit bigger than he did during his days in WWE.
11 Shelton Benjamin - 40
Remember when Shelton Benjamin was that young stud? He's well known for his run in WWE, and nowadays, he works for Pro Wrestling Noah. Now at 40 years old (yes I just said that Shelton Benjamin is 40), he continues to pull off maneuvers that he did his youth. While not throwing any 450 splashes down, Benjamin hasn't aged a day, and looks exactly the same as he did when he debuted in WWE in 2003. Unfortunately, his WWE window may have now passed.
10 Kane - 49
Kane is noted as one of the best wrestlers of the 00s era, often given legend status as a pillar of the Attitude Era. Now 49 years old, Kane is still semi active, and has returned with his mask on, which may aid in the difficulty pinpointing his age.
In 2014, he voiced that he does not plan on retiring any time soon. He still enjoys wrestling, and the excitement fueled from it.
"I’m still having fun, I’ve been fortunate in that I haven’t had any really bad injuries. I stay in good shape... So as long as I can do that, I’m good with WWE as long as I’m having fun and as long as that I’m performing at a level that is acceptable to me."
9 Jeff Hardy - 38
Jeff Hardy has been around forever, debuting as a jobber in the WWE against members of The Kliq. Crazy enough, during those matches Hardy was only a teenager, and taking bumps early on that would cement him as a risk taker. Now at 38, Hardy hasn't slowed down at all, continuing to wrestle with no fear on the independent scene. With so much more to give to the business, it's easy to forget that Hardy is a 20 year veteran.
8 Rey Mysterio - 41
This living legend currently is signed to Lucha Underground, and performing at a high level, which is surprising considering the former winner of the 2006 Royal Rumble is now 41 years old! So I think it's safe to say that because he wears a mask, and he is so short, it's easy to think that Mysterio hasn't aged at all. But if you go back and watch his matches in ECW, you can clearly see he has lost a few steps. If you ever saw Mysterio unmasked, you would still think he's a teenager.
7 Booker T - 51
Currently, Booker T is on the pre-show squad of Raw, and in 2013, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. At 51 years old, Booker T is still wrestling (outside of WWE) and can still do the spinaroonie. Booker T has not aged at all, except it seems that his hairline may be receding a bit, but other than that, this former World Champion looks like he stepped out of a time machine. At this rate, Booker will have a hard time getting senior discounts at 65 without i.d.
6 Batista - 47
Batista is 47 years old, which is quite weird to his wrestling fan base. Keep in mind that Batista didn't actually debut in WWE until he was 33 years old in 2002. That is an extremely old age to get into the business of professional wrestling. Despite the fact that he is 47, the six time World Champion returned to WWE in 2013 for a short stint, looking as fit as ever. His film career has really taken off in the last couple of years, which is another fascinating story for someone in his late 40s.
5 Shawn Michaels - 50
Shawn Michaels was essential in the WWE events for a while, as he was the greatest performer in the business throughout his career. He retired in 2010, and is now 50 years old... Oh man, are many 90s fans feeling old. When he returned to WrestleMania 32 to deliver some superkicks to The League of Nations, fans everywhere were shocked that HBK still looked like himself.
Usually after hanging up the boots for a couple of years, most wrestlers fall apart, but not Michaels. True to his nature he looked better than ever, even after living for half a century. Fans pray to this day that he'll have one more match.
4 AJ Styles - 38
Remember earlier when we talked about Samoa Joe being a little too old for WWE? Well AJ Styles is actually older than him. At 38 (and closing in on 39), The Phenomenal One is lighting up the WWE main roster for fans who may have never known who he was prior to this year's Royal Rumble. Styles looks great in the ring, and is in awesome shape, the only reason you would know he was in his late 30s is due to a few wrinkles. Those wrinkles were no doubt the result of dealing with TNA for over a decade. His recent injury troubles may also have to do with his age, having sustained a ton of wear and tear in the squared circle.
3 Chris Jericho - 45
Sometimes noted as the greatest wrestler of the 00s era, Chris Jericho is now 45 years old. The wrestler/rock star/podcaster/web series star is truly a jack of all trades, and has no plans to stop anytime soon. Jericho still hangs with the young guys on roster, and really hasn't lost a step in his older age. He is undoubtedly much more mature than he used to be, yet he still has that youthful energy that allows him to wrestle and sing lead in Fozzy. We'd all kill to do that now, much less at 45.
2 Sheamus - 38
Would you be shocked to hear Sheamus is now 38 years old? This year marks Sheamus' 10th year with the WWE, as his first three were in developmental. During his tenure, he has been up and down the card, to varying degrees of success. It seems that now at his older age he may be making a play for Hollywood, as he is set to play Rocksteady in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. If he's successful in his role, perhaps we may be looking at a Sheamus retirement sooner than we think.
1 Finn Balor - 34
Finn Balor is number one on this list for a reason. Not because he is super old, but because he appears to be in line for a huge push on the main roster. Now, at 34 years old, it's rare for someone that age to start being pushed as a main eventer in WWE. It's coming soon for Balor and by the time he's a world champion in WWE, he could very well be in his late 30s.
His career began in 2000, at the age of 18. Balor lit up the scene overseas in Japan before his jump to the States, and has now become an absolute superstar in NXT. Once Balor is up on the main roster, expect a quick push up the card. At his age, WWE can't give him the Dolph Ziggler treatment for the next few years. They'll have to make the most of the years he has left.