Even though many consider professional wrestling to not be a “real” sport, the toll it takes on an athlete is very real. Not only are some of the top performers spending three or four days a week in the ring, but they are also traveling almost everyday and making public appearances on top of everything.
That kind of grueling schedule can really get to someone and it can make you age quickly. Throw in the fact that you have to look your best when in the ring and the amount of stress that a typical professional wrestler faces would be overbearing for a normal person.
This has caused a lot of pro wrestlers to age horribly, looking much older than what their birth certificate says. Whether it’s because of drugs, stress or another source, wrestlers can break down fast. There are, however, some wrestlers that have seemed to defy time and look better now than they did before. These are 20 of those wrestlers.
Some people will remember Ron Killings’s first stint in the WWE as K-Kwik, but when most fans started tuning in, he returned in 2008 as R-Truth. That’s why it is hard for some to believe that Truth just recently celebrated his 44th birthday. Truth definitely has a youthful spirit, which really helps to make him look younger than 44. Plus the fact that he still has the same hair without the bandanna and the weird late 1990's garb makes him look better. The way he is going, he has plenty of years left in the WWE despite being older than some of the legends.
19 Steve Blackman
The Attitude Era in WWE was filled with a bunch of storylines that were actually intriguing within the mid-card scene (unlike recent years). Steve Blackman was one of those wrestlers that always had something going on and he was known as the Lethal Weapon. Blackman left the WWE full-time in 2002, but was still involved in martial arts. Thanks to that, he looks even bigger and more intimidating with more years, and his arms look like lethal weapons, now more than ever. These days, Blackman has been working as a bail bondsman with a good reputation. Blackman even had his own short-lived series, Blackman’s Bounties.
Dave Bautista first came into the WWE in 2002 and spent nearly a combined decade with the company, returning for a brief stint in 2014. Batista is actually 47 years old now and is sporting a much different look with facial hair and a completely shaved head more often than not. Batista headlined a WrestleMania two years ago and looked amazing in the ring, and these days is more known as an actor...that’s how good he looks.
17 Shawn Michaels
There are some people that think Shawn Michaels looks worse these days because of his eye injury and thinning hair, but you have to admit that he looks pretty darn good for being 50 years old. Michaels is still in great shape, but the big reason that he looks better these days is because he is no longer on drugs. Michaels looked pretty strung out and reckless during the 1990s and, thankfully, he's been clean for a long time. We probably won’t see him wrestle again, but he looks better in the ring than most 50 year olds and definitely looks healthier than he used to.
Edge is younger than a lot of the wrestlers on our list, but he has been retired for long enough that it feels like he might be in his late 40s. Instead, Edge is only 42 years old and looks even younger than that. Edge is still sporting a full head of hair even though he chopped most of it off and maintains that same youthful spirit that he had with Christian, who he is now reunited with on the WWE Network. And, let's be honest, his new, clean haircut looks much better than his old shaggy locks.
15 Joey Mercury
When Joey Mercury made his way into the WWE, he had already had problems with drugs and alcohol for half of his life. Mercury overdosed several times and spent time in rehab, missing months of action. Mercury looked awful during the end of his run until Vince McMahon intervened. Now, at 36 years old, Mercury is sporting an entirely different look. Although he has certainly aged, Mercury looked healthy during his run as Seth Rollins’s bodyguard with Jamie Noble.
For those of us that started watching the WWE in the late 1990s, it might be a bit hard to swallow that Lita is now 40 years old and about to celebrate her 41st birthday. When she came back to the WWE in 2014 to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, many of us that hadn’t seen her in years were surprised to see how good she looked. While Lita was hot in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it's hard to admit now that she had a bit of a trashy vibe that looks much classier these days. In late 2015, it was announced that she was coming back to the company full-time as a producer.
13 Booker T
You get to see Booker T a lot on WWE these days as a commentator, but it might surprise you to learn that he is about to turn 51 years old. Booker T started his wrestling career all the way back in 1989 and still has the moves. Booker is in tremendous shape, and the only times you can tell that he is a bit older than just about anyone on the roster is when he wears his glasses. The dreadlocks are a better look than in his WCW days and he somehow looks to be in better shape. How is he still not wrestling?
12 John Cena
Even when John Cena started his WWE career, he was ripped, but looked like a goof for the most part. The white rapper gimmick is certainly dated and Cena looks better than ever these days, even though he is weeks away from being 39 years old. Cena looks bigger and more intimidating these days, dropped the weird hair and clothing and seems more like the final boss that wrestling fans have made him out to be.
11 Jerry Lawler
Even during his prime years as a wrestler, Jerry "The King" Lawler looked like a fat redneck with a bad spot of facial hair. While botox might be able to take credit for making Lawler look young, he seems like he would be a more viable threat in the ring now than in his Memphis days. It also helps that Lawler is looking noticeably fitter after having a heart attack scare during Monday Night Raw.
10 William Regal
You have to go all the way back to 1983 to find the year where William Regal made his professional wrestling debut. That means the 47 year old has been wrestling since he was just 15 years old. Regal has proved that British people just seem to age better and we have to admit that he looked pretty goofy while wrestling in the 1990s. These days, Regal is the General Manager of NXT and is one of the few people that has looked better with long hair in middle age than short hair in their younger days.
9 Billy Gunn
A 52 year old man that has wrestled for decades and even recently been caught for a positive drug test should look like a trainwreck, right? Well, that hasn’t been the case for “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn of D-Generation X. Gunn stayed in good shape in his post wrestling career, even if it was with the aid of performance enhancing drugs. It's hard to look bigger and more intimidating at his age, but he has done it. While his steroid use has tainted him a little bit, a lot of us would certainly like to look like that in our 50s.
Back in his days with The Acolytes, Ron Simmons’s partner John Layfield was just a tall, kind of chubby and redneck looking guy with long hair and a goatee. Looking back, Layfield looked incredibly corny, but it was ‘cool’ at the time. After retiring the Bradshaw character for the most part, Layfield came back as JBL and is still around as a commentator. It seems that Bradshaw is in the best shape of his life and looks incredibly professional without facial hair and trimmed hair. It’s a much better look than the APA Bradshaw, for sure.
7 Trish Stratus
Just like her best friend Lita, it’s hard to believe that the stunning Trish Stratus is 40 years old. Stratus had been the biggest sex symbol in the WWE during her run and was even able to go in the ring. Stratus has been able to keep her incredible looks in her post-WWE career, and some of that can be attributed to her yoga career (not the only wrestler on our list that can say that). We have to admit that she looks much classier now that Vince McMahon doesn't have his hand on her character, and she looks better than ever because of it.
During his run in TNA in 2007 and 2008, Goldust (Dustin Runnels) looked awful, but at 47 years old he is looking better than ever. Goldust was overweight and on drugs and alcohol during his TNA days, and cleaned up nicely. Even though he is still wearing the same face paint that he has been wearing for years, Goldust clearly looks much better now that he’s clean and sober, in addition to being in better shape than before. His younger brother, Cody, should hopefully hold up well since it doesn’t seem like he has any problems outside of the ring.
5 Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho would probably be a little higher on our list if it weren’t for those new tattoos he has gotten in recent years that scream “midlife crisis.” Still, at 45 years old, Jericho looks as good as he ever has, and has even gotten back into the ring recently. Jericho is one of the wrestlers on our list that have turned to yoga and clean eating to stay young. It also helps that he chopped off most of his hair and the facial hair that seem incredibly dated now.
Shortly after his pal Edge retired, Christian decided to hang it up in 2014, but he was way ahead of Edge in terms of cutting off his hair. Christian and Edge certainly look much better with the short hair and if it weren’t for injuries, we would probably be seeing them both in the ring still. Christian is now 42 years old and co-hosting the previously mentioned show on WWE Network with his pal.
3 Triple H
Chalk up another wrestler that looks decidedly better without long hair. It took some getting used to, but Triple H is one of those wrestlers. Triple H retired from full-time wrestling a few years ago, but is now back as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion with a main event match set for this year’s WrestleMania. At 46 years old, Trips still looks as intimidating as ever and someone that is definitely a believable champion. It probably doesn’t hurt that he has tapped into the McMahon fountain of youth (which might be a bit artificial depending on who you ask).
2 Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page is going to be SIXTY YEARS OLD in April. Ever since his wrestling days have ended, DDP has been a fitness instructor and motivational speaker. The guy simply has not aged much at all in the past couple of decades, and he is helping fellow former wrestlers like Jake Roberts and Scott Hall get their lives together by living the same lifestyle that he is. DDP has even inspired some of his fans to do the same, for good reason. DDP has always been in good shape, but the 59 year old is in the best shape of his life now.
1 The Rock
Remember when Dwayne Johnson debuted as Rocky Maivia with the God-awful hair, puffy chest and babyface? Those days are long gone and The Rock is now one of the biggest stars in Hollywood thanks to a massive overhaul in his look and general charisma that he’s always had. The 43 year old Brahma Bull is an absolute workout freak (as you can probably guess by looking at him) that will probably be jacked for decades to come. Don’t rule out a main event return to WrestleMania for The Rock. After all, Hulk Hogan headlined against The Rock at age 48.