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Author: Subject: Late '80s NWA roster
Fifth Horseman
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posted on 6-11-2018 at 11:36 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Late '80s NWA roster

Watching "Rise and Fall of WCW" today, and those late-80s matches in particular. One of them being the Horsemen (Flair, Blanchard, and Anderson) vs. Sting, Luger, and Windham. The announcers emphasized the youth of the latter team, calling them the foundation of the NWA back then, so out of curiosity I checked their ages.

Luger was born in June 1958, Sting March 1959, and Windham was the youngest, born in July 1960.

Then I looked at some of the other guys they had back then, and trust me, they cornered the market in guys born in just those three years:

Mike Rotunda - March 1958
Ron Simmons - May 1958
Bobby Eaton - August 1958
Arn Anderson - September 1958
The Barbarian - September 1958
Scott Hall - October 1958
Rick Rude - December 1958
Nikita Koloff - March 1959
Magnum TA - June 1959
Steve Williams - May 1960
Road Warrior Animal - September 1960
Sid Vicious - December 1960

They weren't all there at the same time, of course, nor did they all originate there. But if you're talking guys in their physical (if not wrestling/sports entertainment) primes, wow.

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CCharger
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posted on 7-2-2018 at 06:36 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I'd be curious to compare this to the WWF at the time. I have no desire to do it myself though.
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Flash
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posted on 7-9-2018 at 10:37 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Meh, I can't sleep... so here goes:

Let's use the first Wrestlemania as a counterpoint to the NWA as both Sting and the Four Horsemen started in 1985 (am I the only one, but this seems later than I expected by a stretch) and WrestleMania I was in 1985 so those seem like good comparables for rosters.

Tito Santana- 1953
Buddy Rose- 1952
King Kong Bundy- 1957
SD Jones- 1945
Ricky Steamboat- 1953
Matt Osborne- 1957
Brutus Beefcake- 1957
David Sammartino- 1960
Junk Yard Dog- 1952
Greg Valentine- 1951
Iron Sheikh- 1942
Nikolai Volkoff- 1947
Barry Wyndham- 1960
Mike Rotunda- 1958
Andre The Giant- 1946
Big John Studd- 1948
Wendi Richter- 1961
Leilani Kai- 1960
Hulk Hogan- 1953
Paul Orndorff- 1949
Roddy Piper- 1954
Jimmy Snuka- 1943
Mr. T- 1952
Bob Orton- 1950

So not exactly creaking compared to what the NWA was boasting at the time, but still a touch older in most cases... Although out of "fairness" to the WWF at the time they were putting on a super show and thus were likely loading up on well known names at the time, which could account for the older ages.

Let's see if they made a shift for Wrestlemania 2 in terms of who got added into the mix in addition to some of the above....

Don Muraco- 1949
Randy Savage- 1952
George The Animal Steel- 1937
Jake The Snake Roberts- 1955
George Wells- 1947
Fabulous Moolah- 1923
Velvet McIntyre- 1962
Corporal Kirchner- 1957
Bret Hart- 1957
Davey Boy Smith- 1962
Dynamite Kid- 1958
Hercules Hernandez- 1956
Adrian Adonis- 1953
Unlce Elmer- 1937
Dory Funk Jr.- 1941
Terry Funk- 1944

There were a bunch of other guys in the battle royale that Bret Hart won of varying ages, but I think by 1986 you can still see the formula of using older established stars at Wrestlemania still in strong use... maybe even more so... But at the same time I think you can see the WWF introducing their own more homegrown crop of stars at this time that were relatively comparable age wise to what the NWA was offering in terms of new and emerging talent.

ETA: Okay, just went back and re-read the first post and it referenced "late 80's"... I'm too tired by this point to continue on, but a quick glance at some of the later WM's show a lot of the same talent listed above (so around 1953-1957 on average) with many of the NWA stars listing in the first post migrating over to the WWF and a steady infusion of newer talent like...

Danny Davis- 1956
Rick Martel-1956
Koko B. Ware- 1957
Jacques Rougeau- 1960
Raymond Rougeau- 1955
Curt Hennig- 1958
Owen Hart- 1965
Red Rooster- 1955

So we don't exactly have 1995-1996 "New Generation" WWF making fun of WCW's over the hill gang when it comes to comparing mid to late 80's WWF to the NWA, but there is a slight age increase for the core roster (yeah, there were still some older guys hanging around too)... Although I'd attribute that mostly to the WWE being the bigger dog by that point and thus attracting the bigger, more experienced names and the NWA (which still pulled from a few territories) having to develop newer talent... I mean really, outside of Sting and Magnum TA, pretty much all of the NWA names listed had already wrestled in the WWF, or were headed that way within a few years.


[Edited on 7-9-2018 by Flash]

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CCharger
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posted on 7-9-2018 at 04:38 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fifth Horseman
Watching "Rise and Fall of WCW" today, and those late-80s matches in particular. One of them being the Horsemen (Flair, Blanchard, and Anderson) vs. Sting, Luger, and Windham.

I believe the specific match you are referring took place on April 3, 1988 meaning Sting had JUST turned 29, Luger was almost 30, and Windham was not yet 28.

So, the "youth movement" at that point in the NWA was 27 to 30 years old. Flash did a great job of looking into the ages of the WWF at the same point in time.

I decided to compare it to the current WWE roster to add context.

Apollo Crews 1987
Baron Corbin 1984
Big Show 1972
Bo Dallas 1990
Bobby Lashley 1976
Bobby Roode 1977
Braun Strowman 1983
Bray Wyatt 1987
Brock Lesnar 1977
Curtis Axel 1979
Dean Ambrose 1985
Dolph Ziggler 1980
Drew McIntyre 1985
Elias 1988
Fandango 1981
Finn Balor 1981
Goldust 1969
Heath Slater 1983
Jason Jordan 1988
Jinder Mahal 1986
Kevin Owens 1984
Matt Hardy 1974
Mojo Rawley 1986
Rhyno 1976
Roman Reigns 1985
Sami Zayn 1984
Seth Rollins 1986
Titus O'Neil 1977
Tyler Breeze 1988
Zack Ryder 1985
Bryan Kendrick 1979
Cedric Alexander 1989
Drew Gulak 1987
Hideo Itami 1981
AJ Styles 1977
Big E 1986
Cesaro 1980
Chris Jericho 1970
Daniel Bryan 1981
James Ellsworth 1984
Jeff Hardy 1977
Jimmy Uso 1985
Jey Uso 1985
Kane 1967
Karl Anderson 1980
Kofi Kingston 1981
Luke Gallows 1983
The Miz 1980
R Truth 1972
Randy Orton 1980
Rusev 1984
Samoa Joe 1979
Sheamus 1978
Shelton Benjamin 1975
Shinsuke Nakamura 1980
Xavier Woods 1986

So, the wrestlers between the ages of 27 and 30 today (the ages of Sting, Luger, and Windham then) would have to have been born between 1988 and 1991.

Those guys are:

Bo Dallas 1990
Elias 1988
Jason Jordan 1988
Tyler Breeze 1988
Cedric Alexander 1989
No Way Jose 1988
Daivari 1989
Buddy Murphy 1988
Gran Metalik 1989


Guys even younger than 27 on the main roster:

Akam 1993
Rezar 1994
Lio Rush 1994
Noam Dar 1993

Observations:

1. None of those guys in the 27 – 30 age bracket is even sniffing the level that Sting, Luger, Windham, Anderson, or Road Warrior Animal were at while the same age. Elias is perhaps the only one of that age group who will ever see a PPV main event any time soon.

2. That means most of the WWE’s top guys are comparatively older. AJ, Brock, Lashley and Cena are all 41. Samoa Joe is 39. Randy Orton and Nakamura are 38. Bryan and the Miz are 37. Finn Balor is 36. Then you have the next “younger” group: Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman (34), Reigns and Rusev (33), Rollins and Ambrose(32)

3. The cruiserweight division is BY FAR the youngest group. What relationship that has to anything I’m not sure. Perhaps the younger guys are still bouncy and agile enough to pull off those amazing athletic feats? Do cruisers age faster and have shorter careers?

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Flash
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posted on 7-12-2018 at 01:17 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Geez; Wresltemania 35 might boast one of the oldest rosters at this pace... I think it was 33 I saw somewhere that previously held the record at an average age of 37.5 or something like that.

Going all "moneyball" on some wrestling stats I got curious about the ages of the various flag carriers for the WWE. It would probably take too long to work out when their rise to superstardom came, and even if I could it would probably be debatable, so for the purposes of this I went with their first world WWF/WWE title. (I'm way to tired to work things out to the date, so it's approximate age)

Bruno Sammartino- 27
Bob Backlund- 27
Hulk Hogan- 30
Randy Savage- 33
Undertaker- 27
Bret Hart- 35
HBK- 30
Stone Cold Steve Austin- 34
The Rock- 27
HHH- 30
Kurt Angle- 32
Brock Lesnar- 25
John Cena- 28
Roman Reigns- 30

Given that most guys generally get pretty hot before getting their title shot and typically hit certain milestones (IC title, stepping stone type feud, win some event, then title) you kinda get the sense that Vince probably pegs these guys very early... Obviously being north of 30 isn't an impediment to being "the guy", but there does seem to be a bit of a window.

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