Anytime a new superstar comes along, wrestling fans often draw comparisons to who this wrestler reminds them of, it’s inevitable especially if you’ve been a fan of wrestling for many years. Whenever a fresh gimmick comes along, inspiration for this gimmick undoubtedly comes from somewhere, in most cases it comes from a wrestling in the past. There are other notable comparable wrestlers that didn’t make this list that are worth mentioning. Billy Gunn and Dolf Ziggler is a pretty obvious one visually and in the ring, as both wrestlers have a similar style. Other comparisons worth mentioning include Bret Hart and Daniel Bryan, Alberto Del Rio and Ted DiBiase, Neville and Rob Van Dam, Big E Langston and Ron Simmons and Seth Rollins with Shawn Michaels. I encourage other comparisons in the comments section. Let’s now begin to take a look at these 13 current superstars and who they compare to from the past. Enjoy.
13) Bray Wyatt and Raven
Many wrestling fans compare Bray Wyatt’s persona as one comparable to The Undertaker’s. Both have dark characters, with Wyatt preaching himself as being the WWE’s “new face of fear”. Despite the similarities though, Bray’s microphone skills are quite different to those of the Undertaker’s. Undertaker typically rarely spoke and had this mysterious mystique to his character, while Wyatt uses his promos and deep words to captivate an audience, something that is very comparable to former WCW star Raven. The resemblance between their promos are very similar. Although Raven wasn’t given the same prestigious attention as Bray is getting, the leader of “Raven’s flock” preached the same things as Bray, and he did this through his stable, much like Bray did with the Wyatt family. Raven’s flock embraced people who were different and wanted to go against what was normal; much like the Wyatt family, that preaches a similar message through Bray’s promos. During a shoot interview, Raven described his flock as missing one key piece; a big 280 pound man that protected the group. This is a role that Bray could have fit into perfectly.
12) Becky Lynch and Lita
Many comparisons have been made comparing Becky Lynch with Hall of Fame Diva Lita. Both share rather similar gimmicks with Lynch carrying around a persona of being that sexy raw tomboy character, much like Lita’s gimmick in the 90s. Her in ring work is also very comparable to Lita’s. It is a fast paced unusual style of wrestling, which is high risk high reward, and something wrestling fans really enjoy out of a Diva just because it so rare to see. During an interview with WWE.com, Lynch admitted that Lita was a huge reason as to why she decided to join a wrestling school, where she was trained by NXT Champion, Finn Balor. That admiration for Lita is certainly apparent in her work.
11) Fandango and Disco Inferno
Many billed Fandango’s gimmick as being the hybrid version of Disco Inferno’s. Despite the comparison, Fandango hasn’t come close to obtaining the same success that Inferno has had. Despite his comedic act, Glenn Gilbertti really bought into his gimmick. He deemed him very popular with the fans and enduring a great career, so much so that in 1995, Gilbertti took home the “best gimmick” award given out by the Wrestling Observer. In addition, Gilbertti was also a 2 time WCW Tag Team Champion and a Cruiserweight Champion. So far, Fandango’s character hasn’t come close to the success of Inferno, and he is running out time to save the gimmick.
10) Luke Harper and Bruiser Brody
Visually these two big men are quite the same, with regards to their towering presence, big beards and unpleasant moods. Both also possess a rare “menace” quality that only Bruiser Brody ever really perfected. The comparisons between the two are quite impressive visually, as well as in the ring. Some have also compared Harper to Mick Foley. Harper has tremendous upside and can really make an impact if used properly. His return with the Wyatt family was certainly for the best.
9) Sasha Banks and Jazz
It’s evident in her work that Sasha Banks took a lot from former WWE Women’s Champion, Jazz. Their gimmicks are similar with a “boss” like mentality in and out of the ring. In an interview, Banks admitted she took a lot from Jazz with her powerhouse style, along with her “don’t take no” for an answer mentality, something very apparent with Sasha’s gimmick today. Banks also acknowledges taking some inspiration from another former WWE Women’s Champion, Jacqueline. Banks hopes to inspire future Divas in a similar way that Jazz and Jacqueline did for her.
8) Chad Gable and Kurt Angle
Watching Chad’s debut with NXT, Kurt Angle instantly came to mind when laying eyes on the young star. It’s not very hard to draw comparisons here. Gable has an amateur wrestling background, and has also competed at the 2012 Summer Olympic games (but unlike Kurt, did not win with a broken neck). Beyond his amateur wrestling background, Gable just has so many Kurt Angle-like qualities, and his ability to draw an audience in so naturally with his charisma, is very Angle-like also. This kid seems like the total package. With these comparisons, Gable certainly has big shoes to fill. We will have to wait and see just how far he can take this gimmick.
7) Kalisto and Rey Mysterio
After Rey Mysterio’s release, the WWE was in desperate need of a fresh masked Lucha-like wrestler. Along with his partner Sin Cara, Kalisto was able to fill in this void rather quickly, dazzling fans with his in ring work. As a child Kalisto looked up to Mysterio. Rey gave many Lucha wrestlers that were small in stature, hope that they can still make it in the WWE. In an interview, Mysterio spoke about how he hopes his success can motivate Lucha wrestlers to aspire for great things. At 5’6, Kalisto looked at Rey as a big inspiration to one day make it in the WWE. With a proper opportunity, Kalisto may have a chance to make it big in the wrestling business, especially through merchandise sales. His gimmick has the potential to be huge with the younger generation watching.
6) Dean Ambrose and Brian Pillman
You never know what to expect next with Dean Ambrose, a quality that is quite similar to the one that the late Brian Pillman had. The comparisons to Pillman are quite accurate when you think about it; both are loose cannons, dangerous in the ring, edgy and just strait up unconventional and unpredictable. This is what makes both these characters so great to watch. Many would agree that Ambrose has the opportunity to take this character even further than Pillman ever did. It would certainly be a great homage to the late Brian Pillman if Ambrose can one day capture the WWE Championship.
5) Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho
What makes Seth Rollins so great as a heel Champion is his ability to possibly drop the title at any point; a quality that Chris Jericho also possessed. Both wrestlers have a great amount of similarities; drawing great amounts of heat through their microphone skills, and both constantly reminding people how great they are through their promos. Rollins loves to emphasize how he walked out of WrestleMania as Champion, slaying the beast Brock Lesnar and defeating Roman Reigns. In the same light, Jericho would often bring up the fact that he defeated both the The Rock and Steve Austin, on the same night to capture the undisputed World and WWE Championships. Every week viewers can see a lot of Chris Jericho-like qualities in Seth Rollins.
4) Tyler Breeze and Shawn Michaels
Much of Tyler Breeze’s popularity stems from his comparisons to the icon Shawn Michaels. In fact, many wrestling fans call Breeze a modern version of Shawn. From his gimmick to his in ring work, comparisons between the two are not hard to come by. Breeze admitted that he did take a lot from Michaels when developing his character, adding that he also took a lot from Gorgeous George, Buddy Rogers and Bret Hart. But no, he didn’t take any tips from Zoolander, although it seems like he did. Breeze has tremendous potential to make a name for himself in the upcoming years.
3) Kevin Owens and Brock Lesner
During his unstoppable run as champion with NXT, many comparisons were drawn between Kevin Owens and Brock Lesnar. Both possess a raw, in your face type personality, along with a brawling and bruising style in the ring. These are both elements of recklessness which separates them from other wrestlers. Power-bombing wrestlers on an apron left the NXT universe in fear of this wrestler, much like Lesnar who tore apart his adversaries with a series of German Suplexes. A match between these two would certainly tear the house down one day, and is also something that Owens admittedly said that he dreams of having in the future.
2) CM Punk and Stone Cold
Just like Austin, CM Punk attempted to revolutionize the WWE once again, and restore it back to its state- a state that was dominated by the Texas Rattlesnake, The Attitude Era. When Austin stunned Jake Roberts and coined 3:16, a new era of pro wrestling began. In similar fashion, Punk went out on RAW, and explained very bluntly the state of the wrestling business and proclaimed himself as being the best in the world. Despite having left the business, Punk still managed to create a buzz, and also created a movement which almost brought wrestling back to The Attitude Era. Seeing them together promoting WWE 13 was absolutely chilling, especially watching the way they can captivate an audience. A match between these two one day would truly bring the house down.
1) John Cena and Hulk Hogan
It’s not hard to draw comparisons here, as both wrestlers were at one time the face of the company. Hulk Hogan– the face of the past, and John Cena– the face of today. Both gimmicks were meant to cater to a younger audience, giving children a hero-like figure to look up to. Hogan’s popularity rose to another level when he turned heel with WCW, leaving millions of wrestling fans in utter and complete shock. Just like Hogan, Cena turning heel would cause a similar reaction. When and if the WWE decides to turn Cena, his popularity (just like Hogan’s) would undoubtedly reach new heights. It remains to be seen if the WWE will ever pull the trigger on this move.