At first glance, the worlds of professional wrestling and comic books seem vastly different, but as you look closer, they have more similarities than you would originally think. Over the years, pro wrestling has been known to dabble in comics so there is a natural cross-over appeal to fans of either hobby. For wrestling gimmicks to be successful, they must be over-the-top so the gimmick pops out of the TV screen, much like a comic hero needs that something special to grab the reader issue after issue.
So the question becomes, can fictional characters in the WWE be the same as those in comics?
Both have larger than life characters with unbelievable physical strength like Superman and Brock Lesnar. Each world also has characters with similar looks such as The Punisher and Randy Orton with their brooding facial features that lend to their stone cold stares.
The criteria for picking counterparts was fairly wide open. It will include, but is not limited to: looks, personality, size, attributes, and even their history. Some of the choices will be painfully obvious, while others may be more subtle.
10 John Cena and Superman
Let’s get one of the more obvious comparisons out of the way early: John Cena and Superman. Thanks to his unbelievably fast real life and in-ring healing abilities, John has been coined “Super-Cena” by many fans. Much like Superman has the physical capacity to withstand any punishment, Cena has been known to kick out of multiple finishers in a single match. Superman’s main weakness is Kryptonite while Cena’s biggest threat is the three count, that’s why he always kicks out at two. Including house shows, his record is an incredible 91-7 in 2015.
Cena might not be faster than a speeding bullet, but his rise to the top has been with 23 championship title reigns, along with winning the Money in the Bank contract and the Royal Rumble in 2008 and 2013. He has built himself a resume fit for the WWE Hall of Fame.
Both men also have their own costumes: Superman’s blue and red suit complete with cape and John’s array of rainbow colored outfits that change nearly every other month. Whenever Cena makes any kind of WWE appearance, he’s always in costume, jorts and all.
Honorable mention goes to Captain America, there are a lot of similarities there as well; especially when Cena was in that dreadful feud against Rusev. “You can say what you want about me, but don’t you talk about America like that, Jack!”
9 Paige and Psylocke
When looking at these two the similarities are pretty scary. First, both hail from England; specifically, Psylocke is from Maldon, Essex while Paige is from Norwich, Norfolk. Depending on the version of Psylocke, both have similar overall looks as well. In particular, both have raven-like hair, with hints of color in it. If it’s not completely black, Paige has been known to rock purple and blue highlights.
With mental skills - telekinesis and teleport – along with ninja fighting abilities, Psylocke can attack her enemies from multiple angles. Paige has been known to play mind games on her opponents, specifically during her “frienenemies” angle against former WWE Divas, AJ Lee. Thanks to her family of wrestlers, she’s grown up in the wrestling business and has learned a brawler style, taking out her opponents by any means necessary.
8 Big Show and The Thing
Big Show has been known to turn a lot in his career; is he a face or is he a heel? At this very moment, he’s a heel, but that could literally change in a week. Thanks to his swinging from good to bad, fans don’t really know what to do with him anymore; he’s just a thing now.
So who better than The Thing as his superhero counterpart? Thanks to Big Show’s size and Thing’s rock-like skin, both are nearly indestructible. Thing has berserker strength, while Big Show’s finisher comes merely from a punch to the face. Also, they tend to be on the slower side, unless it’s chasing Daniel Bryan down and trampling AJ Lee.
Born in New York City, The Thing is a scrappy guy, and is never afraid to talk smack to get enemies to focus on him. Show is just the same; a big loudmouth that knows his size will allow him to say whatever is on his mind.
7 Randy Orton and The Punisher
Starting with their looks, both guys have darker features that include a cold, steely look at all times. This is because Randy Orton is compared to a “viper” and Punisher’s entire family is dead, so he’s not exactly happy anymore. Both also have similar body structures with a lean, muscular look.
Orton’s gimmick and entrance music talks about hearing voices in his head that talk to him and that’s not too far off from Frank Castle’s traumatic flashbacks to his time at war.
Probably the biggest connection between these two is how others perceive them as people. Punisher is a bit of an anti-hero, never fully accepted among other superheroes due to his brutal tactics and loner mentality. Randy has always toed the line as a “tweener” in wrestling; not pure evil, but not really an angel either. Orton has floated in and out of multiple stables: Evolution, Legacy, and The Authority, but he always seems to be on the outs after a period of time.
6 Dolph Ziggler and Spider-Man
Spider-Man might be one of the most agile superheroes, with the capacity to get in, out and on top of any type of structure. He’s also known to take a beating and have to make surprising comebacks against some of the biggest villains like Juggernaut and Venom.
Dolph Zigger is one of WWE’s best sellers; whenever he takes a bump from another wrestler, it looks like he might actually be hurt, but that’s just his dramatic style. He too takes very harsh beatings in the ring; with a somewhat weak but quick offensive move set, Dolph usually has to surprise his opponents to get the win.
Much like Spider-Man is one of the most popular and widely known comic book heroes ever, fans adore Dolph. Part of that popularity comes from Spidy’s comedic side, spouting off one-liners while he’s actually fighting for his life. Ziggler is known as the “Show-off” and performs stand-up comedy when he’s not in the ring. Anyone that follows him on Twitter will known he loves to do quirky one-liner jokes as well.
5 Brock Lesnar and The Hulk
Obvious pick alert!
It’s tough not to compare these two as both are in an elite category in their respective universes. The Hulk is an incredible combination of size, speed, and power; a game changer when he gets involved in the battle. Brock is also a rare mix of the abilities mentioned above and it’s even rarer to see him actually lose a match without some outside shenanigans.
Finally, when Hulk is “hulked up,” neither him nor Brock are fluent in the English language. Hulk mainly grunts, and yells out a word here and there. Brock is luckier to have the help of Paul Heyman to get him over whenever they decide to show up at Raw.
4 Daniel Bryan and Daredevil
Neither Daniel nor Daredevil are physically imposing men, so they must rely on their elite fighting abilities and heart to take out whoever faces them. Initially, Daredevil was trying to clean up his home – Hell’s Kitchen – as he always fights for good and the people around him. Daniel has become one of the most popular stars in the past few years, fighting as a true underdog against the evil Authority. Heart and skill is what eventually landed Daniel the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 30.
You can even find similarities in the enemies they faced. While Daredevil is fighting off Elektra, Bullseye, and The Kingpin, Daniel Bryan has had to deal with AJ Lee, CM Punk, and Triple H during his climb to the top.
Last but not least, both Daniel and Daredevil have fought with disadvantages: Daredevil being blind from a young age, and Daniel having to deal with neck and concussion issues that have currently stalled his wrestling career.
3 Neville and The Flash
First off, these two go by a first name basis; nothing fancy, just Neville and Flash.
Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past 75 years, you’ll already know the Flash is fast. Neville is his equivalent in the WWE Universe; with his blinding speed, cameramen sometimes have trouble keeping up with him. Known as “The Man Gravity Forgot” he has an incredible aerial arsenal, much like Flash’s ability to break many laws of physics with his superhero abilities.
In terms of personality, both are known to be down to earth characters that truly care about protecting those around them. Neville had to be included in this article as he is actually in a comic book-like feud right now. At SummerSlam, he is teaming up with Stephen Amell from Arrow to face Stardust – who is a comic villain in his own right – and King Barrett. Will the heroes succeed? Spoiler: If a celebrity is involved, that answer is almost always yes.
2 The Undertaker and Ghost Rider
The link between these two is death and then returning to the living. Undertaker – also known as “The Deadman” – has "died" and returned multiple times in his career. He’s been buried alive and burned in a casket, but always finds his way back to get vengeance.
Ghost Rider’s storyline also follows the thread of vengeance and returning from the dead. Originally he gave up his soul to save his father, but in return his flesh would be engulfed in flames at night and when he needed to fight off evil. It’s a gift and a curse that the former stuntman has to live with.
Speaking of stunts, his just happen to involve motorcycles, which the Undertaker also rode to the ring during his “American Bad A**” gimmick.
Both guys have those creepy white eyes at times; don’t try that at home, kids.
1 Dean Ambrose and Wolverine
Can you just picture these two sitting at a bar, beer in one hand and a cigar in the other? As lifelong outsiders, Dean and Wolverine could probably tell crazy stories all day long. As lifelong loners, they reluctantly come together with others, when necessary. In Wolverine’s case, he joins up with the X-Men and Dean’s buddy is the always reliable - and future hair product endorser - Roman Reigns.
With his nearly indestructible Adamantium skeleton, Wolverine can basically withstand a nuclear attack. Safe to say, he’s a tough guy. Dean is equally tough as he’s survived being electrocuted by a TV during a match against Bray Wyatt. Dean has also been quoted saying:
“There are three things in this world that will survive a nuclear explosion: Twinkies, cockroaches, and Dean Ambrose.”
Safe to say if you’re ever in a bar fight, just get behind these two.