ZB: Indie And Out? Looking At WWE's Timing With Recent Signings

WWE is continually searching for new talent. While the company develops its own via NXT and WWE Performance Center, they're constantly signing and using talent from other promotions. Some of which have spent decades in the squared circle. But the way the company uses these veterans is pivotal, given how much time they have left in the ring.

I looked for talent that were somewhere in their mid to late 30s and ended up finding guys that had a minimum age of 35. All wrestlers included in this group either made a return to WWE or came to the company for the first time from another promotion (TNA, ROH, New Japan, etc.). I found five wrestlers on the Main Roster and six wrestlers in NXT that met my criteria for this group. Of the 11 wrestlers in this group, 3 are currently champion (Nakamura, Styles and Rhyno). Two are former champions in their current run with WWE or NXT (Balor and Samoa Joe). So 5 of 11 talents signed within the previously set criteria have won a championship.

Main Roster

  • Rhyno (SDL): age 40, returned 2015 (SmackDown Live Tag Team Champion)
  • AJ Styles (SDL): age 39, signed 2016 (World Champion)
  • Brian Kendrick (RAW): age 37, returned 2016
  • Karl Anderson (RAW): age 36, signed 2016
  • Finn Balor (RAW): age 35, signed 2014 (former Universal and NXT Champion)


  • Bobby Roode: age 39, returned 2016
  • Austin Aries: age 38, signed 2016
  • Samoa Joe: age 37: signed 2015 (former NXT Champion)
  • Shinsuke Nakamura: age 36, signed 2016 (NXT Champion)
  • Hideo Itami: age 35, signed 2014
  • Tye Dillinger: age 35, returned 2013

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