It's no coincidence that the WWE's lavish annual blowout WrestleMania is nicknamed 'the showcase of the immortals.' The event's larger-than-life superstars really do appear invincible, but the sad and troubling truth remains: Middle-aged professional wrestlers have a staggeringly high mortality rate, the exertion and chemical necessity of the sport continuing to cull the industry at an alarming rate.
However, those who do escape this tragic fate are evidence that old muscle dies hard. These sturdy veterans have not only survived, but flourished in old age, proving you can claim a pension and a ripped physique. Keep pumping 'till the heart no longer can, fellas.
Hulk Hogan - 62 Years Old
Though Hogan is rarely sighted in a ring nowadays, Hulkamania still proudly rages on. The 6 ft 7 beast has somehow managed to keep his career alive by transitioning into reality TV, which I guess isn't actually all that different from wrestling. Anyway, Mr. America has also managed to maintain his hulky bod. So much so that, at 62 years old, he seems to be considerably more ripped than he was at the height of his career:
I'm unsure what to make of this beefy Benjamin Button-like phenomena, but hats off to the guy.
Vince McMahon - 70 Years Old
Australian author Clive James once compared Arnold Schwarzenegger's bulging body to "a brown condom full of walnuts." With the greatest possible respect, I find the description freakishly apt here, too.
As one of the greatest heels in WWE history, Vince McMahon undoubtedly deserves that respect, doubly so for being the bulkiest grandfather in WWE history.
Mickey Rourke - 63 Years Old
Okay, so Rourke may never have officially wrestled in the WWE, but he did appear at WrestleMania XXV and trained with WWE Hall of Famer Afa of the Wild, so we'll let this one slide.
I'll also grant that this image, taken from Rourke's weigh-in preceding his return to the boxing ring, is kind of haunting. Nevertheless, it's a seriously impressive physique for a 62-year-old ex-wrestler, and was enough to carry him through to victory against 29-year-old (!!!) professional boxer Elliot Seymour.
Ric Flair - 66 Years Old
The Dirtiest Player in the Game, Slick Ric, The Nature Boy. Whatever you wanna call him, this dude is stacked. Despite being old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, the wrestling legend is still sporting a pair of nuclear warheads for arms. What a badass.
Scott Steiner - 53 Years Old
Scott Steiner, famed for his unnaturally large biceps, may have gotten a little pot-bellied in old age, but you can hardly blame him when you look at the senior specimen he's become.
Bob Armstrong - 76 Years Old
Born one month after the outbreak of World War II, Bullet Bob could be found wrestling in the ring as recently as 2010, which is incomprehensibly impressive to me. The veteran has proved strong in nature as well as name, rightfully inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame following retirement.