Top 10 current WWE superstars and their age when they debuted in the company

Akash C
John Cena made his debut in 2002

Professional wrestling is a funny business these days. It’s not like sports where there is a set career trajectory that you follow. You know, high school basketball, college basketball, the NBA. Logical progression. If you aren't good enough to make it to the NBA at the draft or a few years after that, it's unlikely you ever will. But, that isn't the case with the WWE.

There are a number of talented professional wrestlers who have never stepped into a WWE ring. Look at the likes of Kenny Omega and Kazuchka Okada for the best examples of two such names. They are amongst the best in the world and are quite happy in New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Others spend years on the indie scene making a name for themselves before the company comes calling. They then make the jump over to NXT and finally the main roster. Or directly to the main roster if you’re as talented as AJ Styles.

Others still, join up with WWE developmental at a young age and do the logical progression I mentioned earlier. Developmental, main roster. So, what about today’s crop of wrestlers? At what age did they debut in the WWE and what path did they take? That’s what we’re here to find out.

Here is our list of top 10 current WWE superstars and their age when they debuted in the company:

Please Note: We have considered the age when these WWE superstars made their main roster debuts.

#10 AJ Styles – 25 years old and 38 years old

Styles made his second debut with WWE in 2016

Let’s start off with a strange one. AJ Styles made his debut at the age of 25 in the WWE on an episode of WWE Metal and a dark match on an episode of WWE Smackdown. He then turned down a developmental contract and left the company.

Thirteen years later, in 2016, the Phenomenal One made his true debut in the world’s biggest wrestling promotion when he debuted as a shock entrant in the 2016 Royal Rumble match.

#9 Shinsuke Nakamura – 37 years old

Nakamura wrestled in NJPW before making the switch to WWE

From AJ Styles to one of his rivals from New Japan Pro Wrestling. Shinsuke Nakamura – who had spent his entire career in Japan up to that point – decided in 2016 to leave his home country and come to the WWE to make a global name for himself.

The King of Strong Style spent a year in NXT before debuting on Smackdown Live on the episode after Wrestlemania 33 at the ripe old age of 37.

#8 Samoa Joe – 37 years old

Samoa Joe made his NXT debut in 2015

From one 37-year-old to another, the 8th entry on our list is Samoa Joe. He made his way to NXT following nearly two decades of dominance on the indie circuit and TNA. He would establish himself as a true force to be reckoned with before he got called up to the main roster.

Another case of an old timer making a real impact, Joe has looked superb during his time on Monday Night Raw and age hasn’t slowed down The Destroyer one little bit.

#7 Finn Balor – 34 years old

Balor also came through NXT and made his main roster debut in 2016

You wouldn’t know it by looking at him but Finn Balor is actually quite the veteran when it comes to professional wrestling. The Irishman spent his developing years wrestling in Europe before making a true name for himself as Prince Devitt – the founder of Bullet Club – in Japan.

He then spent an age in NXT before finally debuting on the main roster in 2016 at 34 years of age, almost immediately capturing the WWE Universal Championship.

#6 Kevin Owens – 31 years old

Owens made the switch to the main roster in 2015

Kevin Owens isn’t very old but it seems like he’s been around for ages. That’s partly due to his incredible CV from his time on the indie circuit as Kevin Steen and that’s partly because of his stellar work in NXT and WWE.

In fact, KO is a rare breed in that he made his main roster debut, against John Cena no less, when he was still in NXT as the NXT Champion. He was just 31 at the time.

#5 Roman Reigns – 27 years old

The Big Dog of WWE

Now we move on to a homegrown talent of the WWE. Roman Reigns spent just two years in WWE Developmental – both FCW and NXT – before making the jump over the main roster to debut as a part of The Shield.

He was just 27 years of age at the time, showing his immense progression from rookie to established star.

#4 Seth Rollins – 26 years old

Seth Rollins was also part of The Shield

From one Shield brother to another. Seth Rollins actually made a name for himself in Ring of Honor as Tyler Black before he was offered a contract with WWE Developmental. And, much like Roman Reigns, he spent a couple of years there before jumping over to the main roster.

He was just 26 years old at the time and even picked up the honour of being the first ever NXT Champion on his way to the main roster.

#3 Brock Lesnar – 25 years old

Lesnar debuted in 2002

Looking at his recent run as dominant part time performer, most people seem to forget Brock Lesnar’s roots in the WWE. He was signed as a youngster to a developmental contract and after an impressive showing, he was promoted to the main roster.

He debuted as The Next Big Thing at the tender age of 25 and was immediately pushed to the moon.

#2 John Cena - 25 years old

Cena has a bit-part role in WWE currently

Much like Brock Lesnar, John Cena also followed a similar trajectory. He was signed as a youngster, spent a little time in developmental and was soon promoted to the main roster at the same age as The Beast Incarnate, 25.

He, however, wasn’t given the same kind of push and had to work his way up the card from a lower mid carder to US Champion to WWE Champion and then the face of the company.

#1 Randy Orton – 22 years old

Orton is the youngest wrestler in this list

It’s hardly any surprise that Randy Orton debuted at a young age in the WWE considering his lineage. But, no one could have expected that Orton would become one of the youngest superstars to ever debut on the main roster.

He was called up at just 22 years of age and his forged a legendary career for himself in the years since.

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