Let’s be honest, in 2017 it’s incredibly difficult to come up with a completely original idea. It may be possible, but it’s highly improbable. I once wrote a melody for a rap song, and then two years after, I heard a song from the eighties that had the exact same melody. It’s ridiculous. This same rule applies to pro wrestling. Whether intentional or unintentional, it’s nearly impossible to come up with something original. Roman Reigns is the new John Cena. Bray Wyatt is CLEARLY Waylon Mercy (who is blatantly Max Cady from Cape Fear), My YouTube channel is a rip off of WhatCulture, Puppet, and basically every other damned Wrestling YouTube channel in existence (but we’re not talking about that), Demolition was taken from The Legion Of Doom and the list goes on and on.
Now I can’t just sit here and suggest things like: Randy Orton ripped off Steve Austin and Jake Roberts because they all used a snake gimmick, because they’re all three different characters with different personalities. Similarly I won’t be mentioning people like Alexa Bliss, Razor Ramon, or the aforementioned Waylon Mercy who based their characters off of the movies. Frankly, that would be too easy. Nor will I mention superstars who jumped ship and slightly changed their name.
Instead I’ll be showcasing the men and women who were given gimmicks that were blatant rip off’s of other superstars, and we accepted it… In some cases. Here are five examples of gimmick infringement in pro wrestling.
Now before all of you TNA marks attempt to locate me and chop off my head (you’ll never find me. I’m further away from society than Brock Lesnar is), I don’t watch TNA. I rarely did when it was popular. But you can’t deny the fact that Abyss looked AND acted like Mankind in his early days. With his mask that only covered up a part of his face, to his sleeveless shirt, it screamed Mankind. Even his personality seemed to mirror ‘Mrs. Foley’s baby boy’. I won’t deny that Abyss was really good in the ring (probably still is… I don’t know, I don’t watch TNA), but his look and his personality took me out of it. Though I will give him credit for keeping the gimmick for as long as he has (even though the mask is gone now), I just won’t ever be able to get over the ‘inspiration’ for his gimmick.
When you think of a bald headed, machine of a man, who has a no nonsense attitude when he’s inside the ring, who do you think of? That’s right! Goldb….Ryback! Mr. Feed Me More definitely had some inspiration from the guy who was 173-0. Though Ryback couldn’t keep an undefeated streak alive for nearly as long as Goldberg, he kept the personality and no bull shock-a-lock-y approach alive. Both of these guys displayed power, strength and absolutely zero fear. Not necessarily uncommon, but when you factor in how Ryback was pushed at the start of his main roster debut, and his look, it’s hard to see anything besides a new age Goldberg. Feed Me Jobbers! FEED ME JOBBERS! FEED! ME! JOB… you get the idea.
Recently The Miz has been called out by John Cena for ripping off basically everyone in the WWE. Though I personally think Miz is doing his best heel work ever, and is probably my favorite heel in the WWE right now, It’s hard not to notice his name and catchphrase being a watered down, not nearly as electrifying version of The Rock. When you hear The Rock say: “The most electrifying man in sports entertainment” it’s not just a catchphrase, it’s true. You can’t help but to genuinely get excited when you hear his music, and you see him walk down the ramp. (whenever he decides to grace us with his damned presence, you part timing jerk… Yeah, I’m still a cool IWC guy, right?) But when The Miz says: “I’m The Miz, and I’m AWESOME” it just seems forced. Though, I’ve gotten over the ridiculous excuse for a catchphrase because The Miz actually turned out to be pretty awesome. He is still just a mark like myself who wants to be like The Rock.
Do you remember Asya? It’s ok if you don’t, I’d like to forget her too. But very similar to an extremely bitter cup of coffee, the stench lingers… and lingers… and lingers. You can brush your teeth, but then your breathe just smells like Crest and coffee. It’s awful really. Asya was another muscled up female and was exactly like Chyna in almost every way. Even replacing the “I” in her name with a “Y”. The only difference between her and Chyna is, she was blonde, and nobody cared. Nobody. EFFING. cared. Asya arrived in WCW when it was already a steaming pile of Bastion Booger’s dirty laundry, and WCW said: “Hey Oklahoma went over SO WELL, how about we get a Female Bodybuilder and call her Asya?” She never stood a chance.
When Hulk Hogan jumped ship to WCW, he vowed to bring the “Ultimate” surprise. Unfortunately, after years of research, we finally found the script to that promo, and Hogan misspoke. He meant to say the “Ultimate” letdown, because thats everything that the Renegade was... A letdown. We wanted Warrior, and we didn’t get Warrior. This is definitely a case of a horrible gimmick given to a guy who had nothing to do with it. We obviously can’t blame the late Richard Wilson for Hulk Hogan attempting to recreate his WWE feuds and partnerships in WCW. Renegade was just an awful gimmick. There is only one Ultimate Warrior. There will only ever be one Ultimate Warrior. You can’t just slap some face paint on a guy who has long hair and a similar build, and have him run to the ring and everyone think it’s all hunky dory. It doesn’t work like that Hogan. Learn the rules!
That’s the list, who did I miss? (excluding fake Razor Ramon and fake Diesel… you shut your mouth about them) Be sure you’re subscribed to our podcasts, and if you’d like to see a video a version of this blog, it will be posted here!