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Best worker aged 45+ NOT called Ric Flair or Terry Funk?


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Who had the greatest "well past their prime" career outside of Funk and Flair?


I think Bockwinkel would be in the conversation. Who else? People talk about Thesz and Edouard Carpentier, but were they any good at that age? To give some dates for when key people were 45:


Thesz in 1961

Carpentier in 1971

Verne Gagne in 1971

Fritz von Erich in 1974

Bockwinkel in 1979

Sammartino in 1980

Baba in 1983

Inoki in 1988

Hansen in 1994

Tenryu in 1995

Savage in 1997

Hogan in 1998


The number of people who actually wrestled past 45 in major promotions is actually quite small. A lot of guys were younger than you might think when they retired. To give one example, Harley Race was 45 in 1988! Arn Anderson was only 45 in 2003! Wrestlers tend to look older than they are.

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Yeah, I'm not even sure Flair should be excluded on the premise that he's just automatically better than anyone else we can think of. Ric Flair 1994-present has some solid stuff, some good stuff and some great interviews, but in the ring, he's not among the best old guys, is he?

I can't think of any great match Flair had past 1992.


Tenryu in his 50's smokes most of these guys.

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Bockwinkel was probably a better worked at 45 than he was at 30. He was having consistently good matches well into his 50s.

Bock is my immediate first choice as well. Consider that his 60-minute draw with Curt Hennig in Vegas happened when he was 52.


Aside from that, the sheer number of quality matches and opponents he had defending the AWA title for the most part from 79 through 87 is pretty astounding.


Verne had his epic series against Robinson in 1974, plus a ton of good matches against Nick Bockwinkel between 73 and 81. He didn't wrestle as often as Nick, and I don't know how much consideration volume of matches should be given here.

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