When we talk about wrestlers from the 1980s who haven't aged very well, it should be noted that so long as they are still alive, they have aged better than many from their era. Many wrestlers from the 1980s have succumbed to heart attacks or drug overdoses which stem from the rather unhealthy lifestyle wrestlers back in the day used to lead.
Steroids, cocaine, and rampant partying were the name of the game back then, and those who have survived often wear the evidence of this on their face. It can be sad to see some of our wrestling heroes from our childhood turn out to be rather feeble looking senior citizens, but in the examples featured in this article, we should just be glad that many of these wrestlers are still alive at all.
The 1980s were arguably the most important decade for professional wrestling. Long before there was the Monday Night Wars, there was Hulkamania, the Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection, and the first WrestleManias, which would raise the bar for all wrestling promotions moving forward. If it hadn't of been for the success of the 1980s we may never have gotten Raw or Nitro. So while many of the names featured here might have slid downhill in terms of their physical appearance, much appreciation needs to be given to them for the role they have played in the development of the pro wrestling industry.
15 Lex Luger
58-year-old Lex Luger was temporarily paralyzed in 2007 due to a nerve impingement in his neck. Although expected to make a full recovery, he was still not able to move his arms or legs for almost a month. It was months before he could stand again, although in recent years, he does not seem to be having as many issues with mobility.
The results of the spinal stroke meant Luger wasn't able to keep up his rigorous weightlifting regimen, and possibly not his supplement regimen either. What was once a man so muscular that Vince McMahon wanted him to be the face of his bodybuilding federation is now very frail-looking.
Despite his appearance, the one time Total Package seems to be doing well. He put out his biography in 2013, and like many pro wrestlers of his era, became a born again Christian in his 40s.
14 Tully Blanchard
Best known for his days in the Four Horsemen, Tully Blanchard spent more than 30 years as a professional wrestler. For WWE fans, he briefly appeared for the company near the end of his career as one half of the Brain Busters with Arn Anderson. The pair won the WWE Tag Team championships on July 18th, 1989.
Tully Blanchard always looked like a suave and wealthy man. It appears that he passed on his movie star-esque looks onto his daughter, Tessa Blanchard, and didn't keep any for himself. Now he looks as though he's ready for a nap followed by a 430 p.m. dinner at Country Kitchen Buffet.
Granted, Blanchard is 63, has two ex-wives, and four children. That's going to age anyone faster than they would like.
Blanchard is a born again Christian, having discovered religion in the late 80s. Much like Ted DiBiase, Blanchard serves a minister, and often preaches to prison inmates.
13 Marty Jannetty
It's a tough gig being the other guy from the Rockers. That's the role 57-year-old Marty Jannetty played for most of his career.
When the Rockers split in 1991, they were originally scheduled to feud with each other over the Intercontinental Championship leading into WrestleMania VIII. Unfortunately Jannetty got himself arrested for assaulting a police officer, which put everything on hold. From that period on Shawn Michaels' career skyrocketed, while Jannetty's storylines and character floundered.
The two would manage to pick up their feud the following year, culminating in a title match at the 1993 Royal Rumble. Unfortunately Jannetty would be fired again, this time due to suspicion that he was under the influence during a match. Jannetty however, believes Shawn started the rumour and he was not intoxicated during the match, but rather just very tired. His career never fully recovered.
12 Greg Valentine
Greg Valentine looked old and out of shape when he was in athletic prime. Now that he's 65 years old and still wrestling, Greg Valentine has taken old and out of shape to new levels.
Valentine might be the most grizzled veteran of any sport ever. After being trained by Stu Hart, Valentine had his first match in 1970, some 46 years ago, and he's still wrestling! As of this writing his last official match was in New Jersey on February 25th, 2017, a no-contest with Tito Santana, who also still wrestles when not working as a substitute teacher.
Considering he's only 5 years away from being 70, it's doubtful that Valentine does a whole lot in the ring. Though he never really did much to begin with, which is probably why he's still able to do it.
11 Jesse Ventura
Jesse Ventura has had an eventful 65 years on this planet, so perhaps we can excuse him if he looks a little weathered in old age.
Ventura served six years in the Navy before joining the Mongols biker gang in San Diego. He ended up leaving the club just before they entered into a violent struggle with the Hells Angels. Ventura went back to Minnesota where he began his pro wrestling career in the AWA.
He would spend most of the '80s with WWF and briefly went to WCW after that. He would successfully run for Governor of Minnesota in 1999, serving one term in office. Since then he has gone onto numerous different projects, including the book he released last fall titled "Jesse Ventura's Marijuana Manifesto". Sounds about right given his current appearance.
10 Brutus Beefcake
Time may not treat bodybuilders who hang out in the sun a lot too kindly, as evidenced here...
59-year-old Ed Leslie has played various roles in professional wrestling since his debut in 1977. He started in the business alongside Hulk Hogan, originally going by the name "Ed Boulder." In fact he and Hogan were actually made to be brothers in storyline, with Hogan going by the name "Terry Boulder". When Hogan changed his name to "Hulk Hogan", Leslie briefly wrestled as "Dizzy Hogan." Strange, wouldn't you think?
Not long after Hogan's popularity exploded, Leslie found himself in WWE wrestling as Brutus Beefcake. He would wrestle alongside Greg Valentine in the Dream Team, they would even win the tag team titles.
As Beefcake, Leslie had a good WWE run in the-'80s and early-'90s. He'd then follow Hogan to WCW in the mid-'90s and was involved in some very forgettable stuff there.
9 Brian Knobbs
When Brian Knobbs was in his athletic prime he was overweight, disgusting looking, and in a tag team called "the Nasty Boys". Now that he is 52 years old, Brian Knobbs is overweight, disgusting looking and still in a tag team called "the Nasty Boys".
Knobbs, much like Brutus Beefcake, has made a career of following around Hulk Hogan. In 2010, speculation was that the Nasty Boys were far too nasty for Spike TV executives, and got themselves fired after an un-elaborated upon incident at a TNA function. The Nasty Boys had joined the company earlier that year after Hogan signed a deal with the company.
The Nasty Boys are one of only a few teams who have held both WWE and WCW tag team gold. Additionally, Knobbs is a former three-time WCW hardcore champion.
66-year-old Kamala has undergone health problems in recent years. In late-2011 he had his left leg amputated due to complications from diabetes and high blood pressure. In 2012 his right leg was also amputated for the same reasons. Each leg was amputated below the knee.
"Ugandan Giant" Kamala, who is, in reality, an American named James Harris, evidently had problems with diabetes and high blood pressure since 1992, but opted against dialyses.
Harris was given the "Ugandan Headhunter" gimmick by Jerry Lawler in Memphis, and he ended up taking the character with him to WWE. He had a very successful WWE heel run with the character, and would later turn babyface in the early-'90s. He would be part of the Dungeon of Doom in WCW after Hogan urged him to sign with the promotion.
7 Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Hoo!! Lovable veteran "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan has not ordered many salads and has not gotten many haircuts over the years.
63-year-old Jim Duggan still wrestles on the independent circuit. He most recently defeated TC Washington at an independent show in Wisconsin. His career is now in its 37th year, as he made his debut in 1979.
Duggan was trained by Fritz Von Erich and the Rock's father, Peter Maivia. At 6'3" and 270 pounds, Duggan caught the attention of WWE and was brought into the company in 1987. He was the first ever Royal Rumble winner in 1988, and continued his successful run with the company until 1993, when he signed with WCW.
Duggan returned to WWE briefly in 2005-06, before heading back out onto the indies. He is still signed to a WWE Legends contract.
6 Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton And Robert Gibson)
The Rock 'n' Roll Express have had an eventful last few months in the world of pro-wrestling. The popular tag team is scheduled to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year, with Jim Cornette giving their induction speech. That should be pretty interesting.
Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson also gained some new and younger fans earlier this year when they were involved in the Broken Matt Hardy storyline. The popular tag team was invited by Matt Hardy to take part in "Tag Team Apocalypto" at the Hardy Family compound.
Rock and roll is a hard lifestyle, and the two pretty boy high flyers are evidence of just that. Ricky Morton is 60 and Robert Gibson is 58, but those were a hard 60 and 58 years respectively.
5 Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart
62-year-old Jim Neidhart appears to be getting shorter and rounder. Eventually he might become a full and symmetrical sphere.
Neidhart has had issues with painkillers and alcohol before, and sometimes this has apparent when he has made public appearances. Neidhart has been in the spotlight more in recent years, due to the success of his daughter Natalya and the reality show Total Divas.
His last match was in 2016, but for the most part he stopped wrestling in 2013 after a series of matches in which he tagged with his nephew Davey Boy Smith Jr. Neidhart briefly formed a tag team with Davey Boy Smith Sr. in WCW. He also wrestled against the British Bulldog regularly while a member of the Hart Foundation with Bret Hart.
4 Iron Sheik
75-year-old Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, a.k.a. The Iron Sheik, may not have aged well, but considering the lifestyle he is said to have led while on the road, it's amazing he is still with us at all.
In 2013, a documentary on the life of Khosrow was released entitled "the Iron Sheik Story". The film has also been featured on Netflix.
Sheik's career is the thing of legends, as are many of the promos he gave over the years both in and out of the ring. His career ended up seeing a resurgence long after his in-ring career was over, as something of a viral sensation. Rants that he would give on the Howard Stern Show or simply over Twitter would have a tendency to be shared all over social media, and Sheik would make frequent public appearances, even once challenging the controversial Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, to an arm wrestling match.
The documentary on Sheik's life chronicles his substance issues, but also shows a side of Sheik few see, including as a husband to the wife he married back in 1976.
3 Nikolai Volkoff
69-year-old Nikolai Volkoff's current appearance reflects the long and storied career he has had in the pro-wrestling business.
Originally debuting in 1967, Volkoff's most successful period was in the mid-to-late 1970s when he was often the top contender to WWWF champions Bruno Sammartino and later Bob Backlund. He would leave the territory for a few years, but when he returned he was put in a successful tag team alongside former WWE Champion, the Iron Sheik.
Managed by "Classy" Freddie Blassie, Sheik and Volkoff played up their roles as foreign menaces, leading into a feud with the US Express, a.k.a. Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham. Sheik and Volkoff beat Rotunda and Windham for the tag team championships at the inaugural WrestleMania.
Volkoff and his wife have two daughters and live on a farm in Maryland.
2 Ric Flair
Ric Flair looks like an 80-year-old trying to look like a 50-year-old. In actuality he is 68 years old.
All that airplane ridin', kiss stealin', and wheelin' and dealin' has taken its toll on Flair. With all the access to Botox, skin creams, and everything else that someone like Ric Flair should have access to, there is no way a 68-year-old man's face should be that worn down. In the photo above he can be viewed slowly mutating into a turtle as his daughter Charlotte tells him his management services are no longer required.
It wouldn't make sense for someone like Flair to age gracefully however, that's just not the Horseman way (see Tully Blanchard from earlier). When you live as hard as the Nature Boy does, you're not going maintain a babyface appearance throughout your senior years.
1 Dynamite Kid
Tom Billington, better known to wrestling fans as the Dynamite Kid, has had a hard life. It has been especially hard the last 20 years.
After suffering a seizure in 1996 after a match in Japan, Billington was forced to retire at just 38 years old. The following year he would lose the use of his left leg due to spinal damage he suffered throughout his career.
In 2013 he suffered a stroke and in 2016 his wife, Dot, started a GoFundMe page to help him return to his home from a care home where he was living. They need to make the home accessible for his mobility issues. The GoFundMe page noted that they receive no royalties from WWE, and no financial assistance from the company of any kind.