The topic of age in professional wrestling is an interesting topic, comparative to other athletic fields. Athletes typically are out of the NBA, NFL and MLB by the time they hit their mid-30s, with athletes who play into their 40 being the exception. It's completely different in wrestling due to the scripted aspect of it. Wrestling is performance based and experience often helps the talents grow into better performers. Because of that, most wrestlers usually hit their prime in their 30s. Kevin Owens, Finn Balor and Roman Reigns are three active star wrestlers that appear young in the ring, but all are between the ages of 31 and 35.
That makes it all the more impressive when wrestlers under the age of 30 find a way to become successful in the industry. The combination of talent and youth usually set the tone for a bright career of legendary moments ahead of them. Wrestling currently having a few different paths that will allow a wrestler to make a living has created quite a bit of new young stars in recent years. We'll look at the entire landscape of the business to break down the 30 best wrestlers under the age of 30.
30 Paige: 25
Paige's placement on this list would have been far higher just a few years ago. Paige has always been a valued prospect in wrestling after debuting on the WWE main roster to win the Divas Championship at the age of 22. Unfortunately, her early rise saw a steady decline with various issues hindering her improvement. Paige is currently injured and rehabbing a neck injury amidst controversy.
Between suspensions and intercourse tape scandals, Paige is not in WWE’s good graces. The company still keeps her on the roster due to her huge potential and young age. Everyone makes mistakes in their early 20s and Paige’s happen to be in the public. She's talented, but regression and injury have ruined the last two years of her career. Hopefully she'll be motivated to change the narrative once she's is back in the squared circle.
29 Mark Andrews: 25
WWE’s United Kingdom tournament showcased some of the best young talents currently in the UK. Mark Andrews was one of the breakout stars, showing he's an elite high-flyer in the wrestling world. TNA signed Andrews a few years ago following their British Boot Camp series, but went on to do absolutely nothing with him. As usual, they dropped the ball and Andrews reminded us why on the WWE Network specials.
Andrews wrestles on the independent circuit and often steals the show whenever he's on a card. WWE is still finalizing the details on airing a UK show to highlight the talents competing for the United Kingdom Championship. Andrews will clearly be a huge part of WWE’s project. The fact that he's only 25 years old is pretty insane considering how outstanding he already is.
28 Fenix: 26
The Mexican wrestling scene is full of talents right now that have been waiting for the opportunity to show their promise. Lucha Underground gave many of them the chance to shine on North American television and Fenix was one of the breakout stars. At just 26 years old, Fenix’s rise has been very reminiscent of Rey Mysterio's in the 90s.
Fenix continues to improve at a pace faster than his peers for his age. American promotions like PWG, AAW and others have booked Fenix and he always brings the goods. PWG saw him have outstanding performances against the likes of The Young Bucks and Will Ospreay. Fenix being able to deliver against fellow great performers shows he's here to stay and the sky is the limit.
27 Apollo Crews: 29
Apollo Crews has become one of the most underrated wrestlers in WWE right now. The athletic beast of a man can pull off feats someone of his size shouldn’t even think about trying. Crews has wrestled all over the world during his mid-20s to earn a reputation as a talented performer that worked harder than everyone else to make a name.
WWE saw his potential and put him on the main roster faster than other wrestlers who were also in NXT. Unfortunately, Crews has struggled to find an identity. He's basically known as an athletic buff dude with a nice smile. The good news is Crews has time to find his spot in WWE and should have more chances to succeed given he's still under 30 years old. WWE needs to find the right way to spotlight such a talented guy.
26 Ember Moon: 28
The women’s division in NXT is in a rebuilding process after losing the majority of their stars to the main roster. Bayley, Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax and Carmella all getting called up following the brand split destroyed the division. One signing has done a better job than most at making an impact in Full Sail. Ember Moon has proven to be tremendous whenever she has a chance to show it.
The biggest match of Ember’s young career will come at TakeOver: Orlando when she challenges the undefeated Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship. Formerly known as Athena on the independent circuit, Moon has an impressive body of work attached to her career. Ember is clearly going to be a major player in WWE’s future at just 28 years old.
25 Andrade Almas: 27
WWE signed Andrade “Cien” Almas following his time wrestling under a mask as La Sombra. Almas achieved success in CMLL and New Japan at a young age before signing with WWE. The process of getting acclimated to the WWE environment in NXT and wrestling without the mask has seen Almas take a longer time to find a character that works.
Almas turning heel has given him a relevant role in NXT as the brand tries to find new stars. The fact that Almas is just 27 years old is a great sign. He already has the talent, but the road for him to the main roster will be a little longer than his peers. Almas will at least be able to show just how great he is in NXT with the ability to continue growing.
24 Jay White: 24
Jay White has created momentum in both New Japan and Ring of Honor and his youth is needed for both promotions. White being able to hang with veterans and top stars that have been doing this longer than him is a very good sign. Despite being 24 years old, White carries himself in the ring like a veteran. He just looks like he belongs through the course of a match.
The discipline instilled in White came from his time training in the New Japan dojo. A few years of hard work and paying dues made him appreciate his opportunity. White refused to wait years to prove his worth and his talent is on display every time he wrestles. Don’t be surprised if White is a main eventer for both ROH and NJPW in the next few years.
23 Jason Jordan: 28
One half of American Alpha is still under the age of 30. Jason Jordan was in WWE developmental for quite some time before finding his role as a tremendous tag team wrestler with Chad Gable in American Alpha. They're currently the faces of the SmackDown Live tag division as the brand's Tag Team Champions.
Jordan is just 28 years old, making him one of the youngest members of the main roster. Jordan's success has come at a young age, but after a lot of hard work. American Alpha has the potential to legitimately become a special tag team in WWE history. They organically worked well together and both are young enough to have careers that last another 10+ years in WWE.
22 Sienna: 29
TNA has struggled to keep their credible stars following the management change back to Jeff Jarrett, who is taking control once more. However, Sienna is someone that remains under contract for the foreseeable future. The women’s wrestling star became one of the top female performers in the Knockouts division. At just 29 years old, she has worked all over the world for various promotions to create a brand before coming to TNA as Allysin Kay.
Sienna impressed and proved she was ready to thrive on a national television wrestling program. Sienna is just coming into her prime and TNA needs to do whatever they can to keep her in the long term. If not, WWE would certainly have to have interest in someone this talented and young.
21 Cedric Alexander: 27
Cedric Alexander's youth is often forgotten when looking at his place in wrestling. Alexander signed with Ring of Honor in his early 20s. making him appear to be a few years older like the rest of the wrestlers in the promotion. WWE snagged Cedric following an impressive performance in the Cruiserweight Classic tournament.
Alexander is now a valued member of the cruiserweight division on Raw and 205 Live, but an injury has him on the shelf for the next few months. Luckily, there is nothing but time left for Cedric to make an impact in a major way. The cruiserweight division will be in need of stars to step up and youth is in Alexander’s favor as the company continues to push the future.
20 Mia Yim: 27
Mia Yim being a free agency in the wrestling market today will lead to a promotion having a tremendous talent whenever one reaches a deal with her. TNA’s changes in office saw the former Jade leave the company after the new contracts under Jeff Jarrett became less desirable for the wrestlers. Yim is arguably the most talented women’s wrestler outside of WWE.
At just 27 years old, Yim has a great deal of experience under her belt after working for promotions like CZW, Shine and many others before getting to TNA. The WWE will be looking for ladies to fill their upcoming women’s wrestling tournament later this year and Mia certainly fits the bill. Yim’s name should be first on the talent list and it wouldn’t be shocking if they signed her to win the whole thing given her upside.
19 Jack Gallagher: 27
WWE signed a plethora of international stars for the cruiserweight division. The presentation blends them all together, but they are all unique performers in their own right. Jack Gallagher is the perfect example of this. Fans enjoy the quirks and humor of Gallagher’s character, but the young man is exceptionally talented. Gallagher can hold his own against anyone once the bell rings.
The 27 year old is also one of the younger stars on the roster. He has the potential to become an upper level NXT main eventer or potential standout talent outside of the cruiserweight division. Gallagher has many years ahead of him to continue improving at his craft. Wrestling needs more colorful characters like Gallagher and the fact that he's figured out how to mold a persona at a young age in WWE is impressive.
18 Emma: 28
Another WWE star that is surprisingly young is Emma. It's most surprising because she was one of the original women’s wrestling stars in NXT. Emma has been underutilized in WWE for about five years now and it's getting frustarting. However, her age means she should have a few more chances with the brand split needing credible talent for both Raw and SmackDown Live.
Emma remains an asset to the company that could easily evolve into a huge star. The buzz for her return as Emmalina and the fake out that followed it showed fans were interested in her. Hopefully WWE allows Emma's talent to actually show rather than saddling her with a pointless gimmick or limiting her minutes on screen.
17 Tyler Bate: 20
The youngest noteworthy star in wrestling right now has to be Tyler Bate. WWE believed in the young man enough to make him the first WWE United Kingdom Champion at the end of their historic tournament. Bate is currently 20 years old and was 19 at the time of accomplishing the huge feat. Bate is already incredibly talented and you can only imagine how good he'll be in a few years.
Bate is just going to get better as time goes on and WWE is trying to lock him up to a contract before someone else does. The agreement made Bate one of the youngest wrestlers WWE has ever invested such time and effort into. Bate could be argued as one of the best in the world right now and he has another 20+ years ahead of him.
16 Naomi: 29
Naomi is another top women’s wrestler that is still younger than 30 years old. The long path of Naomi’s career saw her start in the old NXT competition show along with AJ Lee, Kaitlyn and Maxine. It's shocking to think about, given how far removed the other three are from WWE and that Naomi is still there.
The 29 year old sadly was forced to relinquish the SmackDown Women’s Championship after winning gold for the first time in WWE. We can expect Naomi back relatively quickly but it's unknown if she'll be back in time for WrestleMania 33. Regardless, Naomi is one of the best women’s wrestlers in WWE right now and her youth just means we should have many years of her impressive talent on display.
15 Marty Scurll: 28
The British wrestling scene has soared in popularity over the past few years to completely change the landscape of the business. WWE, TNA and Ring of Honor are all trying to sign talents from the United Kingdom due to the youth, talent and upside they have. Marty Scurll is one of the top names associated with this after a huge surge with his “Villain” character.
Scurll plays a dastardly bad guy, pulling off every trick in the book to try to win through shady tactics. The entertainment value of his character is matched by his superb talent in the ring. Scurll delivered enough outstanding matches all over the UK scene to land a contract with Ring of Honor. The 28 year old is the current ROH TV Champion and has nothing but good things coming his way.
14 Rich Swann: 26
WWE signing Rich Swann to train at the Performance Center was a no brainer at the age of 24. Swann developed a reputation as one of the best high flyers in the wrestling industry on the independent scene. His youth added to WWE's desire to take a chance on him. Swann is currently 26 years old and was called up to be an important member of the cruiserweight division.
Swann's talent impressed WWE enough to put the Cruiserweight Championship on him for a short time period before Neville’s momentum as a heel led to the title change. Swann is still an asset to WWE and will remain one of their top cruiserweight stars. Don’t expect Swann to leave WWE any time soon considering he's a great talent that will just get better as he continues to work on the main roster.
13 Lio Rush: 22
Lio Rush is one of the most shocking stories on the independent scene. Rush is just 22 years old, but stands out among the top talents currently working outside of WWE. ROH employed Lio for the past year and he belonged with credible names like Adam Cole, Jay Lethal and The Young Bucks. Rush chose to leave Ring of Honor to test the free agent market and try his chances at getting a WWE offer.
His athletic ability and timing in the ring already proves he'll be an outstanding performer for many years. Considering he's only been wrestling for two years now, Lio still lacks some of the minor fundamentals that can easily be taught at the Performance Center. WWE needs to go after Rush and make him one of their next big NXT stars.
12 Trevor Lee: 23
Another independent wrestling star that has made a name for himself at a very young age is Trevor Lee. Lee's talent saw him become a top name for PWG. Every independent wrestler wants to work for PWG today due to its popularity as the closest thing to an indie wrestling All-Star show. Lee held his own with the promotion and has become a fixture in the very competitive atmosphere.
TNA is Lee's main home today, as he's one of the stars of the X Division. Lee works with fellow younger Andrew Everett and mentor Shane Helms in a faction. As a former TNA X Division Champion and current top independent Superstar, Lee is extremely accomplished for his young age. The scary fact is Lee’s career is just getting started and this is all just an early chapter.
11 Ricochet: 28
Ricochet's unbelievable moves have turned him into the wrestling equivalent of a highlight machine. Ricochet is arguably the top aerial wrestler in the industry today and one of the best overall performers. At just 28 years old, Ricochet is an international Superstar despite never wrestling for WWE. Ricochet achieved success in New Japan, Lucha Underground, Dragon Gate, PWG and numerous other relevant promotions.
WWE passed on signing Ricochet a few years ago after a tryout camp. His overall improvement and the cold hard proof that he could become a star may change their minds when he enters free agency this time around. Ricochet is now entering his prime and should have many more years of being a must-see performer in professional wrestling.
10 Johnny Gargano: 29
Johnny Gargano is one of the most popular stars in NXT, where he partners up with Tommaso Ciampa. Both men work perfectly together but Gargano is clearly the bigger star. Gargano was the top name in Evolve for many years, helping the promotion grow to the point where Triple H wanted to develop a working relationship with them.
Gargano's experience would make him a veteran in some circles, but he's still under 30 at 29 years old. Gargano is a superb all-around performer and his strengths make DIY a tremendous team. Fans often lose themselves in the magic of wrestling when Gargano is in the underdog role, as he gets incredible sympathy from the crowd during his matches. It all leads to an old school approach of storytelling, mixed with the new updated athleticism of pro wrestling.
9 Pete Dunne: 24
Tyler Bate won the WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament, but many believe Pete Dunne was the standout star. Dunne played the heel role to perfection in getting to the finals of the tournament. Dunne's talent was shocking for a 24 year old, as there was clearly something special about him. Rumors are circulating that Dunne will sign a main roster contract for WWE and debut on Raw or SmackDown Live following WrestleMania 33.
Triple H clearly believes in the talent of Dunne, which will be evident if the youngster gets a spot on the main roster, bypassing NXT or the Performance Center. There is a fan theory that WWE will reform Evolution with Triple H, Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe and Dunne being the foursome. Dunne debuting in such a role would be a huge honor and the young man has shown he would hit a home run if given the chance.
8 Adam Cole: 27
Ring of Honor has created many of the greatest WWE stars of this era. The wrestlers first showcased their skills in ROH before moving on to the biggest stage to dominate the industry. That makes it all the more impressive that Adam Cole is the only three-time ROH World Champion in company history at the age of 27. That is more times than Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens or any other ROH legend have held the title.
Cole also dominated PWG, CZW and other promotions through the years to become an independent wrestling legend. It's remarkable for someone of that age to accomplish that many feats in so many promotions. Rumors are stating that Cole will be WWE bound in the upcoming months and it is understandable given how talented and polished the young man is.
7 Zack Sabre Jr: 29
The two hottest independent promotions in North America right now are Evolve Wrestling and PWG. Zack Sabre Jr. is currently the World Champion for both companies. Independent wrestling fans have witnessed Sabre gradually become a huge star over the past few years. WWE brought him in for the Cruiserweight Classic, but Sabre declined to remain in the cruiserweight division. It clearly worked out for the best.
Sabre is one of the most popular wrestlers outside of WWE with his stock continuing to rise as he enters his peak as a 29 year old. ZSJ's technical wrestling skills have allowed him to win Wrestling Observer’s Bryan Danielson Award as the best technical wrestler on the planet. Regardless if Sabre eventually signs with WWE or continues his path, there’s no doubt he’s one of the best talents today and has many years left.
6 Bayley: 27
The women’s division becoming an important part of WWE has allowed many of the company’s youngest female stars to make an impact. Bayley’s journey in NXT inspired many young fans of the product and it showed her potential as a huge babyface star. WWE has already made Bayley the Raw Women’s Champion and she'll be holding the title heading into WrestleMania 33 to face Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair.
Bayley is only 27 years old despite her journey on WWE television making you think she’s a little older since time flies by in the squared circle. Luckily for the fans, Bayley will be around for many more years to come. We have only seen a fraction of her potential on the main roster and Bayley can easily become the face of the women’s division, to inspire future wrestlers similar to Trish Stratus and Lita.
5 Sasha Banks: 25
Bayley's best friend is also an extraordinarily young wrestler on the WWE roster. It's easy to forget Sasha Banks is only 25 years old considering she's one of the faces of the women’s wrestling movement. Banks' success in NXT saw her become an instant popular heel due to the overall talent she possessed.
Banks wrestles her heart out every night, putting it all on the line. Her exciting wrestling style comes with many risks that have pundits wondering if it's the best for her. Banks being so young means she has a long career ahead of her and the dangerous moves could shorten it. Hopefully her best days are ahead of her because she has the potential to be the best women’s wrestler in WWE history.
4 Bray Wyatt: 29
Bray Wyatt is currently the WWE World Champion after a path that saw many twists and turns along the way. After a failed run as the bland Husky Harris, the WWE changed his entire look and persona with the introduction of the Bray Wyatt character. Bray led The Wyatt Family in NXT and it was successful enough to give him the rebirth on the main roster.
Most forget Wyatt is only 29 years old due to how much he has been through in WWE. The company signed him in his early 20s due to his potential and a wrestling background as the son of former WWE star Mike Rotunda. Wyatt winning the biggest title on SmackDown Live before his 30th birthday is a very impressive accomplishment. We'll have another decade of Wyatt being a major WWE star with older wrestlers starting to fade out.
3 Will Ospreay: 23
The popularity of Will Ospreay has seen him become a massive star at the young age of 23. Ospreay pulls off the most awe-inspiring high flying moves you’ll ever witness. His innovative moves and ridiculous athleticism have made Ospreay stand out enough to become a relevant star all over the wrestling world. Ospreay started his career in the United Kingdom and helped usher in the era of worldwide fans taking note of those promotions.
New Japan started booking Ospreay and he became a top star in their juniors division, including having a memorable match with Ricochet. Ospreay is now signed with Ring of Honor as his home in the United States and the crowd treats him like a hero every time he enters the ring. At just 23, Ospreay is already an established star with skills that may be once in a generation.
2 Alexa Bliss: 25
Very few women in the history of WWE have learned the business faster than Alexa Bliss. No one thought of her in the same conversation as Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Bayley just a year ago. Now, she may be the best of them all at the young age of 25. Bliss was called up to the main roster following the brand split as a member of SmackDown Live.
Her heel work is absolutely stellar and it matches her great in-ring work. Bliss impressed enough to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship twice in a short time. The role of being a champion comes natural to her and she manages to step her game up as the pressure grows. Alexa’s constant improvement as she matures is incredible, as she has so lots of time ahead of her.
1 Kazuchika Okada: 29
The most impressive wrestler under 30 years old in the wrestling industry right now is Kazuchika Okada. New Japan sent Okada to TNA in his early 20s to learn the business as part of an excursion experiment. TNA treated him like the biggest goof in the industry and it just motivated him. Okada returned to Japan and absolutely dominated NJPW.
Over the course of the past six years, Okada has emerged into the face of New Japan. The most impressive accomplishment for Okada is the popularity of NJPW, as it's growing into the clear number two promotion in the world behind WWE. Okada delivers incredible classic matches, has amazing charisma and is the face of a thriving wrestling company at the age of 29.