The wrestling business is often unoriginal. With many wrestlers, it’s easy to pick out their influences. How many pro wrestlers inspired by Ric Flair throw chops during their matches? How many wrestlers right now are throwing superkicks as part of their repertoire after growing up watching Shawn Michaels? How many wrestlers coming up in the business are struggling to create their own signature catchphrase, having grown up watching catchphrase masters like The Rock and Steve Austin?
While wrestlers are obviously influenced by other wrestlers, it is important to acknowledge that inspiration comes from many places. Music, books, television, movies, even video games all have a hand in inspiring today’s wrestlers. Those inspirations that create the wrestling character also play a large role in connecting the wrestler with the audience. For instance, I’m sure many of the nerds that comprise the WWE Universe shrieked in amazement when they heard Xavier Woods play the opening riff to Final Fantasy VII’s “Victory Fanfare” on his trombone and became big New Day fans at that moment.
Perhaps the largest and most obvious influence on the creative end of the world of wrestling is movies. Dusty Rhodes often viewed booking wrestling as “making movies,” even naming the wrestling pay-per-view Starrcade as a reference to a certain giant blockbuster science-fiction motion picture. Thus, as a means of illustrating the influence that Hollywood has on wrestling, the following is a list of 15 awesome wrestling gimmicks you may have forgotten were inspired by movies.
15 Goldust: Star Wars
14 Shelton Benjamin: Big Mama’s House
13 Hulk Hogan: Rocky III
12 Zeus: No Holds Barred
11 Chris Jericho: This is Spinal Tap
10 Time Splitters: Back to the Future
9 Kenny Omega: The Terminator
8 Triple H: Conan the Barbarian
7 The Blue Meanie: Yellow Submarine
6 Bray Wyatt: Cape Fear
5 Bret Hart: The Natural
4 Razor Ramon: Scarface
3 Sting: The Crow
2 The Dudley Boyz: Slap Shot
1 The Road Warriors aka The Legion of Doom: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
The Road Warriors are perhaps the greatest Tag Team in wrestling history, and also perhaps have the greatest, most awesome movie inspired gimmick. Hawk and Animal were two bada**, jacked-up, muscle-heads from Chicago with a moveset that consisted of 100% power moves, who also thought that the movie Mad Max was pretty cool. Their entire gimmick with the shoulder pats, the spikes, the Mohawks, and even their name “The Road Warriors,” was all taken from the series Mad Max. Without a shadow of a doubt, the Road Warriors to this day are pretty darn cool and remain as one of the most influential Tag Teams in wrestling history.
Sources: WWE, Cage Side Seats
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