Wrestlers have a short shelf life.
Thanks to jumping off titantrons, cells and cages, receiving chairshots to the skull, being set on fire and receiving Santino Marella’s Cobra Strikes, they sustain numerous injuries that prompt early retirements. Having said that, many wrestlers proceed to wrestle even after becoming an elderly person thanks to the need for making ends meet and their undying passion for professional wrestling. The following article lists such wrestlers, who hardly look their age or often pull off moves that persons belonging to their age group should never even think about performing.
On the other hand, there are wrestlers who, having entered the business at a very young age, come across as though they are grizzled veterans who have been wrestling since the Vince McMahon’s father’s regime. We’ll discuss such wrestlers, too.
A lot of people don’t age well. When you're in the wrestling business, it's even harder to age well, given how taxing it is on your body.
Without further ado, let me take you through 15 wrestlers whose age ought to transfix you. If their age doesn’t transfix you, or at least, shock you, you can call me an idiot in the comments’ section. You can also add noteworthy mentions there. Talking about noteworthy mentions, here are a few: Rob Van Dam (46), Sasha Banks (25), Tamina Snuka (39), Baron Corbin (32), Hornswoggle (31), The Boogeyman (52), JoJo (23), Bray Wyatt (30), R-Truth (45) and Lilian Garcia (50).
15 Sheamus (39)
Sheamus didn't hit the WWE main roster until he was well into his 30s, and the WWE pushed him right from the get go. Just a few months after he was called up to the main roster, Sheamus went over John Cena at TLC 2009 to capture the WWE Championship. Sheamus has since gotten several more world title reigns and now Sheamus is 39 teaming with Cesaro, who's also well into his 30s, making it seem like neither of these guys will ever get a sniff at the main event (in Sheamus's case, again). You have to wonder how many more years Sheamus plans on wrestling, as the WWE is in a New Era and it's all about young, fresh talent. Sheamus will hit the big 4-0 in January, 2018.
14 Luke Gallows (33)
Given Luke Gallows’ appearance and experience, one would expect him to be in his early 40s, at the very least. He even performed as the Impostor Kane 11 years ago. However, he turned 33 only recently, making him one of the youngest wrestlers on the WWE roster today. His tag-team partner, Karl Anderson, whom many consider the younger and the up-and-coming member of The Club is, in fact, four years older than him.
Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes have managed to balloon their stocks wrestling for indy promotions; nevertheless, it was the 6ft 8in behemoth who kicked off the trend when he decided to hone his craft wrestling for Impact Wrestling, NJPW and Pro Wrestling Noah, among others after his WWE release. In fact, his five-year WWE career was so forgettable that Vince McMahon did not even realize he was Festus when he hired him again in April 2016.
13 Paige (24)
Paige has done everything a female wrestler can do in the business. She has won numerous titles and awards with WWE, the biggest wrestling promotion on the planet. She had her sex tapes leaked. She has been embroiled in way too many controversies. She had her life made into a documentary, which is now being adapted into a full-length Dwayne Johnson-produced movie. She has done it all at a tender age of 24. To put things into perspective, Alexa Bliss and The Four Horsewomen are older than her at least by one year.
Many reports claim that WWE have already made their decision to let her contract run out, with the potential success of Wrestling With My Family being the only hindrance to pulling the trigger on releasing her. Her returning to WWE will definitely make headlines. With WWE integrating Lita’s infidelity into storylines in the past, they would likely not mind creating a messed-up storyline for the British talent.
12 Daniel Bryan (36)
Much like Paige, Daniel Bryan has achieved everything a male wrestler could do. He won WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship a combined four times – on top of three other championship reigns – in his five-year in-ring WWE career. He produced the most magical wrestling moment in recent memory when he made millions chant 'YES' in unison. He became SmackDown LIVE’s General Manager after training numerous top-class wrestlers such as Simon Gotch and Sara Del Rey. He has, surprisingly, accomplished these at 36.
His long-term rival The Miz, Sheamus and Tyson Kidd are, in fact, much older than him. With many elite talents wrestling well into their 40s, one can only wonder what he would have become had he not risked his body every time he put his wrestling boots on.
11 Christopher Daniels (47)
AJ Styles has had one WWE Championship reign. Samoa Joe will shortly be locking horns with Brock Lesnar for Universal Championship. Xavier Woods broke The Demolition’s record. Bobby Roode is NXT Champion. Eric Young heads one of the most intimidating stables in wrestling today. One man who should have been happy as well as sad seeing them translate their Impact Wrestling success over to WWE is Christopher Daniels.
He has won a multitude of championships in almost every indie promotion, with his first major world title coming in the form of ROH World Championship recently. Given WWE’s interest in proven indie talents, one would expect them to extend The Fallen Angel an NXT contract. However, the ship has sailed as he turned 47 in March, sadly. He would have benefited the WWE had The New Era begun a few years earlier.
10 Asuka (35)
NXT is considered developmental territory although most NXT wrestlers disagree while they are there. Sasha Banks, Paige and Alexa Bliss all moved to the main roster in their early 20s, while Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Bayley entered the big league in their mid-20s. A few NXT main-event talents, however, see their main roster debut delayed thanks to WWE’s keenness to legitimize the Yellow Brand. Finn Balor, for an instance, spent more time in NXT than he should have.
Asuka, who will be turning 36 in three months, is the latest victim. Mickie James, who has returned as a seasoned veteran is only on two years older than her. She is currently on fire, but she may be a regressing talent by the time Raw or SmackDown LIVE finally make the call-up.
9 Rhyno (41)
Rhyno has been wrestling since forever. Making his ECW debut at 24 and signing a WWE contract at 26, he made it big much at a very young age. Having wrestled for 23 years now, one may expect him to be at least as old as Tommy Dreamer or The Dudleys. However, he is just one year older than John Cena.
Aged 41, he has already had a career many would deem Hall of Fame-worthy, but he looks keen to add more feathers to his decorated cap, with his recent SmackDown Tag Team Championship reign bearing testimony to his hunger. Should his political career fail, the nachos-eating 295-pound juggernaut will continue to gore people out of nowhere at least for half a decade from now.
8 Victoria (46)
Many reports claimed that WWE would bring Victoria back as a boost to their women’s division on the back of the brand split. With her continuing to wrestle even after being released from WWE and Impact Wrestling in 2009 and 2013, a major chunk of the WWE Universe seemed keen to welcome the two-time Women’s Champion back.
WWE, however, pulled out of a deal as they instead chose to bring Mickie James back. Perhaps, one of the major reasons why their interest in Victoria was never concrete should be her age. She turned 46 four months ago. She is, in fact, one year older than Saraya Knight, Paige’s mother; in other words, it takes two Paiges to get to Victoria’s age. It’s true to say she’s had one of the longest wrestling careers for a female, though.
7 William Regal (49)
William Regal won his first championship with WCW at a tender age of 25. However, his WCW run was not his first taste of fame as he had often appeared on British television in 1983 as a 15-year-old shooter. Since 1993, however, he has wrestled only for either one of the two biggest promotions or the biggest promotion. He has embarked on 15 WWE and four WCW championsip reigns.
He has been Raw’s General Manager, NXT’s color commentator and, most recently, as its General Manager and the inaugural member of Kiss My Ass Club besides training gems such as CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe and Brian Kendrick, among others. For a wrestler to accomplish these, one needs two lives, but the Englishman has managed to do these in 49 years.
6 Jushin Thunder Liger (52)
Jushin Thunder Liger, an active wrestler, despite being an NJPW mainstay, continues to wrestle in United Kingdom and United States of America, among other nations. Given his high-flying ability and ring work, one may expect him to be in his 40s at best. He, however, is 52 years old. To put things into perspective, he is older than Kane, The Undertaker, Big Show and Goldust. Thanks to his outstanding genes and commendable training regime, though, he has been able to remain active 33 years into his wrestling career.
He has been wrestling for NJPW for 30 years now, winning 17 IWGP championships. He has held IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for 2245 days over 11 reigns. He truly is one of the greatest, and it remains to be seen if he manages to last as long as Terry Funk did in the squared circle.
5 Batista (48)
Professional wrestling has hardly been friendly to potential late bloomers. Even those who begin training in mid-20s are often labelled late to the party. Batista, however, defied the business’ norms as he managed to become a main-event talent despite commencing training only at 31. He had been married twice before wrestling his first match for OVW; he also had two kids then.
Batista wrestled for a decade before trying his hand at Hollywood. He has acted in 20 films since his WWE departure, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Riddick and Spectre. Batista may regret not receiving wrestling training earlier as he is already 48 years old. To think the two-time Royal Rumble winner belongs to the same age group as Kane and The Undertaker.
4 Big Show (45)
Akin to late bloomers, prodigies hardly find climbing up the food chain easy. Of all 16 championship holders in WWE right now, only five – including two women wrestlers – are aged below 30. However, Big Show, who was then called The Giant, won his maiden WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Hulk Hogan at a tender age of 23. He has continued to wrestle since, with his career spanning over 22 years – and counting.
Given his vast experience and being on WWE television consistently, one may be of the notion that the six-time world champion is on the wrong side of 50. However, he, who turned 45 in February, is, in fact, younger than Triple H, Chris Jericho, Goldust and Kane. With familiarity breeding contempt, though, many wrestling fans are clamoring for his retirement despite his being in the best shape of his career.
3 Paul Heyman (51)
Given Paul Heyman’s vast experience, one would expect him to be nearing his 60s at the very least. When his appearance is brought into the equation, he easily qualifies as an elderly person. In kayfabe, he ought to be at least as old as Jim Ross or Jerry Lawler. In reality, though, he is younger than The Undertaker and Steve Austin. Additionally, he is just one year older than the man who dismembered his destroyer client in Goldberg.
He has worked for every major American promotion, including AWA, ECW, WCW and WWE. After 30 years in the industry, he still seems to have his finger on audience’s pulse as no other WWE talent seems to rival him as far as promo and psychology is concerned.
2 Vince McMahon (71)
Vince McMahon will be turning 72 years old in two months. Let that sink in.
With the Evil Genius remaining the face of wrestling for decades now, WWE Universe is struggling to come to terms with the fact that he, much like every homo sapien, is going through the aging process. Thanks to his outstanding physique, not many will guess his age right. In fact, his physique is miles superior to that of younger former wrestlers such as Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan, among others. If Dave Meltzer is to be believed, he retains his stranglehold on WWE’s day-to-day functions, including booking decisions. Many wrestling fans delight in calling him a washed-up old man who has lost his touch, but he continues to amaze the wrestling world as he constantly evolves.
1 The Undertaker (52)
WWE may create another Shawn Michaels. However, there are certain characters that they will never be able to recreate. The Undertaker definitely has to sit atop that list of characters. Debuting as a mortician in 1990, he has captivated different generations, making minor tweaks to his character to remain a figure people buy tickets to watch. He is truly one of a kind, but his body has taken a lot of wear and tear on the heels of performing Tombstone Piledriver, Old School, suicide dive, and flying clothesline on a daily basis.
In the recent Royal Rumble match and WrestleMania main event against Roman Reigns, the legend looked a fish out of water as he struggled to do what he used to do like no one else could. He cuts a worn-out figure in his out-of-character pictures; he looks as though he is as old as Vince McMahon while he is only 52.