In professional wrestling, as with any creative medium, ideas occasionally get stolen. Every wrestling company has dozens of writers, and they often have the talent pitch them ideas, too, so you’d think there’s no dearth of originality. However, in the competitive landscape of the wrestling universe, sometimes people just take an idea that worked for someone else and run with it.
Wrestling promoters are known for some shady business practices, so straight up gimmick thievery might not be that surprising. Especially in the days of the Monday Night Wars, WWE and WCW were constantly stealing from each other with little subtlety, and both companies were outright copying ECW. From a legal standpoint, though, it’s still kind of shocking they managed to get away with all of this.
Some examples are just based on the earlier idea, with the person who came up with it first mostly just being jealous, but in other cases it was sheer copyright infringement. Read on to learn about 12 mainstream wrestling storylines and gimmicks that were (allegedly) stolen.
12 La Parka's Existential Crisis
11 Edge Steals Lita, Just Like Raven Planned
10 Dozens of Tag Teams Copy The Road Warriors
9 Road Dogg's Brother Brings the Dogg Pound to WCW
8 The Battles of the Nature Boys
7 Matt Borne Is Fired, But Doink Isn't
6 JTG Says It's Time to Hit the Music; R-Truth Decides to Light the Lights
5 Maxine Creates Aksana, Gets Fired
4 CM Punk Creates The Shield; Quits When Triple H Takes Credit
3 World War 3 Is A Bigger, Dumber Royal Rumble
2 WrestleMania is Starrcade
1 nWo Invades WCW After Watching UWF Invade New Japan
The nWo was the biggest and most important stable in professional wrestling history. They are the reason for the Monday Night Wars. They are the reason WCW is still talked about today, instead of being considered a small federation destroyed by Vince like countless others. Hollywood Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash entered WCW as “outside invaders,” looking to take over the company from within. The idea had been done in Japan several times already, most notably when wrestlers from the UWF “invaded” New Japan. Eric Bischoff was allegedly in attendance at a New Japan show in 1996 when the “idea” for the nWo “came to him.” Like with any great idea performed by talented people, the nWo eventually became extremely popular and unique in their own right, but there’s no denying the basic idea came from Japan.
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