There may be no bigger name in professional wrestling history than Hulk Hogan, whose career has spanned nearly five decades. He has wrestled all over the world, from his humble beginnings in the territories, to time spent in Japan, to becoming the main event megastar in the WWF and WCW. At 64-years-old, the Hulkster may be the best proof yet that eating your vitamins and saying your prayers is all you need to stay in shape, well enough to perform in the ring and keep a foot still in the business.
However, while Hogan might be one of the most well known wrestlers in the sport's history, it’s his character that continues to get over with the fans, and not necessarily his matches anymore. The WWE Hall of Famer and six-time World Champion, isn’t in the same shape he used to be in and isn’t drawing main event matches anymore.
But Hogan isn’t the only old timer that still looks for the spotlight in the ring, as many wrestlers over the age of 50 are still putting on a pair of boots and climbing between the ropes to continue their glory days in professional wrestling. Some still got it, while others should probably consider stepping away from the ring for good. But much like Hogan, they too find it difficult to part ways with the adrenaline of wrestling in front of a live audience, though for many, a much smaller one than their best days.
15 Better: Diamond Dallas Page
At 61-years-old, the master of the diamond cutter, Diamond Dallas Page, might be the best in shape wrestler in his 60s, thanks to his DDPYoga training. Page has changed people’s lives, including his own with his yoga training, including a few people on this list. Page was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last year.
While just three years younger than Hogan, Page would be perfect capable of getting back into the ring for a few matches, as he continues to keep his body in top shape through his yoga training. But right now, his focus is on changing lives and he has many success stories to back up his incredible yoga program. Many current wrestlers use his program to stay fit in the wrong, so it would be no surprise if DDP were to show up again as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble.
14 Worse: Vader
At 62-years-old, Big Van Vader was still lacing up his boots and wresting up until last year. His mask and size set him apart and made him look like a monster, but today, Vadar just doesn’t strike the same fear into the hearts of fans, as he has put on a considerable amount of weight for a 60-year-old, and has even said back in 2016 that he has two years to live due to congestive heart failure.
Much like Hogan, Vadar hasn’t been able to walk away from wrestling, still putting on the same mask and chasing the reaction from the crowd, as he has said he will die in the ring if he has to. DDP has reached out and is trying to help him get back into shape with his yoga program and hopefully become another success story.
13 Better: Brett Hart
Despite suffering a stroke and still battling with prostate cancer, the Hitman Bret Hart still looks like he could lock in the sharpshooter at any moment and make someone submit. The best there is, the best there was and the best there every will be hasn’t been in the ring for some time now due to injuries, most notably a concussion that ended his run in WCW, but it may have been for the best, as Hart has maintained a healthy lifestyle and managed to even bury the hatchet with Vince McMahon over the Montreal Screwjob incident.
Hart was a great technical wrestler, but unlike Hogan, didn’t have the same charisma. But that could be way Hart doesn’t need the crowd reaction today, at 60-years-old, and instead can relax in his quiet life, focused on his own health.
12 Worse: Tito Santana
The former WWE intercontinental champion was still wrestling at 60-years-old, but wasn’t the same man the fans remembered as a member of the tag-team Strike Force, or who won the second highest prize in the WWF at the time.
At 64-years-old now, Santana hasn’t wrestled in over three years, which is probably for the best since his body hasn’t held up over the test of time. Santana was never a megastar like Hogan was, and never accomplished anywhere near the same in the ring as the Hulkster. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame back in 2004, but was still wrestling 10 years later as part of a super show for East Coast Professional Wrestling. He may not have had the same success, but some guys never know when to call it quits, and for Santana, it should have come well before his age started with a six.
11 Better: Kevin Nash
As one of the founding members of the nWo alongside Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash has been one of the mainstays in professional wrestling for the past three decades. Along with Scott Hall, the trio helped Sting at WrestleMania 31, a night after all three of them were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
At 58-years-old, Nash is only doing one-off appearances in the ring, but is still in the shape where he could hit a few jackknife powerbombs. For a man nearing his 60’s, Nash has weathered the test of time in a business that claims so many, but hasn’t continued to stay in the spotlight like Hogan has. Nash has spent time in NXT and TNA as an on-air authority figure, but he has leaving the wrestling to the young bucks, and not trying to still make a name for himself like the Hulkster has continued to do.
10 Worse: Ax (Demolition)
At 70-years-old, Ax, a member of the team Demolition, was still getting into the ring and putting on his face paint until last year when he had his final match Since his departure from the WWE before the new millennium, Ax was on the independent circuit, going across the United Stated and over to Japan to continue his wrestling career. But no one would have thought the man who was once known for sticking out his tongue and his red and silver face paint would still be doing it night after night into his 60s, let alone once more in his 70s.
Demolition were three-time WWE Tag Team Champions, last holding them in 1990. Unlike Hogan, Ax hasn’t been able to keep a strong look, as he has put on weight and doesn’t even apply the same face paint anymore. Another older wrestler who should have given up a long time ago, but more than likely needed the money as he was never the star Hogan was.
9 Better: Goldberg
There was no bigger match in WCW than Hulk Hogan defend his WCW World Heavyweight Championship against the undefeated Goldberg, dropping the title to the new up and comer, who would turn out to the company’s biggest draw through the Monday Night Wars with the WWE.
But after a short run with WWE, Goldberg stepped away from wrestling and became a family man, never looking back on an industry that made him a star. However, it’s that family of his that had him lace up the boots a few more times to take on Brock Lesnar at the 2016 Survivor Series, and again at WrestleMania 33. Only Goldberg made sure to come back as the Goldberg everyone knew, hitting the gym every day to get himself back into the shape he was when he first left the WWE.
8 Worse: Rock N' Roll Express
Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton, better known as the Rock n Roll Express, were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last year for their success across the territories as a tag team. Gibson, 59, and Morton, 61, last got into the ring in 2016 as part of a tag team tournament in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, but have remained quiet on the independence and for good reason. The full heads of hair are now white, or receding, and like many who continue into their later years, they have added a few extra pounds that has drastically slowed their pace.
The may share Hall of Fame status with the Hulkster, but without the name recognition and the star power to continue to draw from, their time in the ring has come to an end, as the train has left the station for the last time on their long and storied tag team career.
7 Better: Scott Hall
The original Bad Guy himself, Razor Ramon, Scott Hall, has had a rocky road in wrestling, as his addiction to drugs and alcohol nearly killed him multiple times throughout his career. He was let go from the WWE for his drug addiction, and his path from famous wrestler to drug addict was well documented in the ESPN E:60 special.
But Hogan’s former nWo partner turned his life around, finding redemption through DDP’s Yoga program, He has transformed his body, and is in the best shape he has been in in years, even posting a picture of his new abs at 58 years old. He is a true success story, and as he said in his Hall of Fame speech, ‘Bad times don’t last, but bad guys do.” Hall’s last appearance in a ring was 2016, but with his new found life after drug abuse, the WWE is willing to welcome him back with open arms whenever the nWo needs to be brought in to take over.
6 Worse: Dory Funk Jr
At 76 years old, Dory Funk Jr is still in the wrestling business, with his promotion !BANG!, located in Flordia. But while he may have settled into a promote role now, just two years earlier he was still getting into the ring as a wrestler, as he competed for All Japan Pro Wrestling at 74-years-old.
The innovator of the cloverleaf submission and 2009 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee was never a flashy wrestler, sporting a pair of navy blue trunks, unlike Hogan who still knows how to get over with the flash red and yellow boas. He still runs a wrestling school, which is better than seeing him in the ring, as the once NWA Heavyweight Champion would be better served to teach the new generation of wrestlers, as opposed to still trying to hang with the boys. With his own promotion, though, he, like Hogan, won’t be leaving the industry any time soon.
5 Better: Shawn Michaels
Arguable one of the best of all time, Shawn Michaels still looks like he could main event WrestleMania and never miss a step. While the 52-year-old Heartbreak Kid hasn’t put on a pair of boots since he lost his retirement match to the Undertaker at WrestleMania 26, there is still plenty who want to see him get in the ring one more time against opponents such as AJ Style.
Michaels was forced to retire early in his career after a back injury took him away from wrestling for four years. His comeback, and his ability to put on great matches well into his 40s, made Michaels one of the sports best athletes, capable of bring the best out of anyone he squared off with. His short feud with Hulk Hogan didn’t pan out so well, as the Hulkster refused to let Michaels go over, instead leaving the pair with a disappointing SummerSlam 2005. If he did it once, Michaels could certainly do it again, as he has the talent that, even at 52, could still steal the whole show.
4 Worse: Paul Orndorff
The highlight of Paul Orndorff’s career was his feud with Hulk Hogan back in in mid 80s., but unlike Hogan, Mr. Wonderful never achieved the same success as his once rival. Time didn’t help him either, and he did turn in his boots back in 2000 to teach the new wave of students at the WCW Powerplant. At the same time, Hogan was leading the way with the nWo.
But wrestling has a way of bringing back even the oldest of characters, and at 67-years-old, Orndorff got back in the ring as part of a six-man tag team match for Canadian Wrestling Elite, where he was part of the winning team. Still, once a man with arms and a chest that could rival the Hulkster, Orndorff hasn’t spent nearly as much time in the gym as Hogan to maintain what he once was in the early 80s, and all he can do now is look back and think would could have been if he continues his rivalry with wrestling’s biggest name.
3 Better: The Undertaker
While Hulk Hogan may be the biggest name in professional wrestling history, perhaps no one has meant more to the WWE than the Undertaker. At last year’s WrestleMania, after only his second loss on the grandest stage of them all to Roman Reigns, Taker put down his hat and gloves and seemingly retired from in-ring competition for good at 52-years-old.
His injuries were mounting, but the Deadman was still capable of putting on the best matches of the night on the biggest stage of them all, WrestleMania. His matches against HBK and HHH are considered some of the best in WrestleMania history, and his very physical encounter with Brock Lesnar is proof that the deadman can still hang with the young generation. But even he knows his limits, and unlike Hogan, has given back to the business more than anyone and helped to create new stars. So if he has ridden off into the sunset, it’s a much deserved ride for the phenom.
2 Worse: Ric Flair
Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan had plenty of rivalries over their storied careers, and both seem unwilling to leave the business that made them household names. You would be hard pressed to find two names in professional wrestling that have stood the test of time like Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan.
However, Flair, at 68-years-old, needed surgery last year to remove a piece of his bowel, and was placed into a medically induced coma. The days of Ric Flair dropping elbows and locking in the figure four may finally be over, but much like Hogan, it’s his gimmick and his ability on the mic that keeps him in the spotlight and out in the ring. For Flair, though, he has his daughter Charlotte to watch and mentor, so he doesn’t need to get back into the ring any time soon to keep the Flair name alive. And with all his current health problems, for everyone’s sake, we hope he doesn’t try to.
1 Better: Chris Jericho
Some are calling Chris Jericho’s match with Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 the best of his career. Considering Y2J is 47-years-old, that’s quite the accomplishment. But what do you expect from a guy who is still touring with his rock band Fozzy, and was a full-time wrestler with the WWE for the last two years, running a program with his once best friend Kevin Owens.
Jericho is the epitome of the saying, age is just a number. And it doesn’t look like Jericho is finished just yet, as he looks to start another program in New Japan Pro Wrestling, which brings with it a more intense style of wrestling then what he would be doing in WWE. But for Jericho, the challenge is in doing something amazing and shocking the world. Don’t worry Jericho, because at 47-years-old and after putting up a five-star match with Omega, no one is going to doubt you can keep wrestling well into your 50s at this point.
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