Image goes a long way in World Wrestling Entertainment. When a brand with as far a reach as the WWE is broadcasting its content to millions of screens in more than 100 countries every day, you can bet superstars are going to do all it takes to stand out. But, it’s a formula that has worked since the WWE’s humbled beginnings.
Audiences always have been captivated by the show stoppers, the great ones, the immortals. These are the images that become associated with household names and popular catch phrases that define generations. But, when these images are thrown into the mix with the rest of popular culture, they sometimes find reflections.
Just as you may have your celebrity look-alike, chances are your favorite WWE superstar may have one too. Often, these mirror images make for a good laugh. A quick search on YouTube for “WWE look-alikes” can make for a few quality minutes of entertainment.
But, if you look just a little bit closer into these quirky resemblances, you will find something that cuts deeper than facial and bodily features. You’ll begin to ask questions you would have never thought you had about the WWE. You’ll begin to re-examine the WWE Universe. And you’re about to go on that journey. We’ll get you started with 10 hilarious look-alikes that are guaranteed to make you rethink WWE.
10 Jacks of all Trades (Chris Jericho and Gordon Ramsey)
Ever since trimming his long hair, the Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolah has been compared to Hell’s Kitchen star Gordon Ramsay. Like Y2J, Ramsay is no stranger to praise. Throughout the years, the chef-turned-celebrity has received numerous accolades for his work on screen and in the kitchen including three Catey Awards – honors worthy of heavyweight status in the hotel and restaurant industry.
But, in further examining the professional links between Ramsay and Jericho, we discover a quality that few in the WWE posses: the ability to persevere beyond the mat. Like Jericho, Ramsey does more than just what most people know him for. While not on T.V., he’s running award-winning restaurants or authoring cookbooks.
When Jericho is not bringing the audience to its feet at wrestling events, he’s doing it at concerts with his metal band Fozzy. When not in front of the WWE camera, he’s showcasing his on-screen skills on other shows such as ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Sometimes, Jericho is away from the attention as he pens New York Times Best Selling titles like Undisputed. His latest autobiography released in 2014 is titled The Best in the World: At What? I have No Idea.
9 Breaking Down and Building Up (Steve Wilkos vs. Ryback)
T.V. star Steve Wilkos may not be a bad fit for the WWE. The abrasive attitude that he brings to an audience of more than 1 million viewers a day is the kind of stuff WWE welcomes. Someone actually put together a Titantron promo for Wilkos using Stone Cold’s theme and put it on YouTube. Wilkos, a former U.S. Marine, even stepped into the ring with Maryland Championship Wrestling in 2002.
So, it’s no surprise that his counterpart would be the monster, Ryback. Known for brute force, Ryback has been causing mayhem in the ring and backstage since his WWE debut in 2012. Some even called him a bully. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Like Wilkos, Ryback (real name Ryan Reeves) raises awareness of many social issues. He recently joined WWE Diva Summer Rae in Dania Beach, Florida to support a rally for Be a STAR, the anti-bullying program established in 2011 by WWE and The Creative Coalition. It’s one of the many community-focused organizations supported by the WWE. So, when WWE superstars aren’t breaking each other down in the ring, they’re out stretching a helping hand.
8 The Soundtrack for Destruction (Sheamus vs. James Hetfield)
When diehard Metallica fans were shaking their fists at front man James Hetfield for loosing the long hair and rocking a cleaner, trimmed look in the mid ‘90s, they probably weren’t expecting that image to become the doppelganger for a WWE superstar. Fast forward to 2009: Enter Sheamus. The Celtic Warrior invades WWE and climbs the ranks almost as fast as Metallica records peak the charts.
But, the WWE’s connection to heavy metal runs deeper than front man/superstar lookalikes. In fact, several CD’s released by WWE are jam packed with rock tracks including WWF Forceable Entry which reached #3 on the Billboard Top 200 in 2002. WWE even made some room for groups like Motorhead, Limp Bizkit, and Drowning Pool on the Grandest Stage of Them All. It’s no surprise that loud, aggressive music would find a home in the WWE – a brand built on blood, sweat, and tears. It can serve as the background music for any superstar’s rise to glory.
In a 2015 Alternative Nation interview with Daniel Bryan, the former World Champion had this to say when asked about meeting Metallica’s James Hetfield: “So I don’t know any Metallica albums, but I know when I was in the high school weight room, they would play non-stop all the time.”
7 Sports, Entertainment, What’s the Difference? (Kofi Kingston vs. Jordan Hill)
WWE high-flyer Kofi Kingston mesmerizes audiences with his aerial tactics. Fans just don’t know what he’s going to do next. They have come to expect some memorable stunts during any Royal Rumble that Kingston finds himself in. Who can forget his evading elimination by landing on his hands after being tossed out of the ring and then making his way back into the action?
His doppelganger, NBA star Jordan Hill, also spends a lot of time off his feet. Since 2009, he’s scored points for the Houston Rockets, the New York Knicks, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Kingston hasn’t professionally played any sport other than wrestling, but the resemblance with an NBA player reminds us that many WWE superstars lent their talents to other sports before stepping into the ring. Some well-known wrestlers hail from the NFL. These include Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Ron Simmons, Roman Reigns and many more.
6 Chasing the Gold (Mark Henry vs. Rick Ross)
Few have the honor to be called the doppelganger to the “World’s Strongest Man.” One of them is rapper Rick Ross. Acknowledging the resemblance, Henry told TMZ in 2015 that he is planning to get Ross to remix his entrance theme. Ross is known for selling several hit albums including his debut record Port of Miami, which was quickly certified gold upon its release.
However, this scenario is not necessarily a familiar one for Henry, who entered the WWE in 1996. Beforehand, Henry had plenty of heavy medals to show for his body-building efforts (gold, silver and bronze at the Pan American Games for starters.) But, it took him 15 years to become the World Heavyweight Champion.
This leads us to question just how important that coveted piece of gold is for the superstars who have been putting their bodies on the line for it throughout the decades. The major prize of the WWE was created in 1963. That’s 52 years ago. Yet, only 44 different individuals out of a roster of perhaps hundreds have held the prize. Many of these superstars faced tremendous odds to hold the crown and many did so after having given the audience some of the best moments of their careers.
As of this writing, Brock Lesnar holds the gold. But how many eyes are on it? And what will these superstars sacrifice to earn it in the years to come?
5 Don’t Give Up Your Day Job (Triple H vs Sean Bean)
Who holds the honor of being deemed the doppelganger to the King of Kings? The Cerebral Assassin? None other than Sean Bean. This English actor is known for his roles in popular T.V. shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “Legends” as well as hit movies including “007 Golden Eye” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Now, Triple H (Real name Paul Levesque) is no stranger to the big screen. He rocked iron fangs and body slammed Ryan Reynolds back in 2004 for “Blade Trinity.” He’s also starred in the children’s movie “The Chaperone” and the action flick “Inside Out”—the latter of which did not fare too well with critics.
This situation probably isn’t a big deal for Triple H. He holds a large stake in a multibillion dollar business as the Executive Vice President of Talent after all. But, several WWE superstars have tried to tackle Hollywood with less than favorable results. Ted DiBiase tried to pick up where John Cena left off with the ill-received “Marine 2.” Goldberg did not become a horror icon with “Santa’s Slay.” Big Show did not crush the competition with “Knucklehead.” Even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has his share of movies that got slammed by critics. Among them were “Tooth Fairy” and “Doom” based on the hit video game franchise.
4 (Do Give Up Your Day Job) David Otunga vs. Carlton Banks (Alfonso Ribeiro)
WWE Superstar David Otunga strikes such a resemblance to Fresh Prince of Bel Air character Carlton Banks, that the former Nexus member even broke into a Carlton Dance in the ring during a Smackdown episode. It was not unusual.
However, Otunga has more in common with the preppy, bow-tie wearing character than you might think. Carlton, played by Alfonso Ribeiro, was a college student. Otunga actually graduated from Harvard Law School. His lawyer role in the WWE wasn’t just a gimmick. Otunga practiced law at the firm Sidley Austin LLP before ever stepping foot inside the squared circle. But, Otunga is not the only WWE superstar with a surprising resume.
3 R-Rated Realities (Edge vs Wes Scantlin)
When storming onto the WWE in 1997, the charismatic Edge made it clear that he wanted to go for the bad-boy rock star image. The Rated-R Superstar can easily be mistaken for Puddle of Mudd singer Wes Scantlin. This rock star was ranked among Hit Parader’s Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists. But, he’s also gathered plenty of press for his truly R-Rated personal life.
Scantling’s headline-stealing antics include domestic violence charges, violent onstage meltdowns, and even forcing a cross-country flight to make an emergency landing because he was too intoxicated. Scantlin was recently arrested in January 2015 at Denver International Airport after riding a baggage carousal, which led him to a restricted area. But, can Edge be linked to such acts? Are WWE superstars exactly like the characters they play on T.V.?
No, but the Hall of Famer has faced his share of controversy as many superstars have. In 2004, he divorced his wife due in part to an affair with WWE Diva Lita. In 2007, WWE put him under temporary suspension after a Signature Pharmacy Investigation revealed he had been using steroids.
2 Freaks Welcome (Kane vs Derek Mears)
What can be said about Kane that hasn’t been said about your worst nightmare? The seven-foot-tall, 300-pound demon emerged onto the WWE during 1997’s Bad Blood, when he cost brother Undertaker his match against Shawn Michaels inside Hell in a Cell. Since then, he’s terrorized his opponents and orchestrated some of WWE’s most brutal match types including First Blood and Inferno.
He’s even tormented Hollywood as the villain in the slasher flicks See No Evil and its sequel. So, it’s fitting that his lookalike would be Derek Mears. The actor and stuntman is known for his own on-screen body count as Jason Voorhees and other monsters. But, what do these two bogeymen tell us about WWE?
The business has had a long-running obsession with the macabre. Dozens of superstars have entered the ring to shock and haunt the audience long after the show is over. There have been vampires, giants, cults, and even a voodoo priest that can “curse” superstars to bleed and vomit spontaneously—the latter being the gruesome Papa Shango. The squared circle is not only a throne for the Mr. Perfects. It’s also a killing field for the sinister villains that lurk the WWE – and the ghouls that we have yet to discover.
1 Good and Evil (Mick Foley vs Charles Manson)
What do Mick Foley and an infamous leader of a mass-murdering cult have in common? Foley and Charles Manson both have been called twisted. Foley’s alter ego Cactus Jack once carried the addition of “Manson.” In the ring, he’s confronted his opponents with barbed wire, steel chairs, and two-by-fours. He’s been tossed off the Hell in the Cell, pedigreed through thumbtacks, and speared through a flaming table. Despite all the violence, however, the two have nothing in common. Like with so many superstars, there is more to Foley than meets the eye.
While Manson preaches hate, Foley’s acts of kindness can fill books. He’s on the National Leadership Council for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. This organization received half the advance from his memoir “Countdown to Lockdown.” The other half went toward Child Fund International. Foley visited wounded troops in the D.C. area 20 times within a 20 month span. After a Long Beach family lost their furniture to Hurricane Sandy, Foley gave them all of his. And this is just a glimpse of his good heart.
The comedian and children’s-book author is possibly one of the biggest fans of Christmas on the planet. In 2014, he even starred in I am Santa Claus, a documentary about mall Santas. So, Mick’s not a really a crazy guy. He just wants you to have a nice day.