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Rick Starr

The Splash: Mimicking the Gimmicks

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Hey Splashers it’s been awhile but I've been busy with my Facebook page & radio show: Hardcore Wrestling Radio. This past week I had the honor of interviewing an ECW Original: Jason Knight! Jason has worked with the likes of Mikey Whipwreck, The Sandman, Mick Foley, The Undertaker, and more! If you want to listen to that exclusive interview head on over to , and check it out! You won’t believe what he has to say!

I’ve been reading a lot of stuff about how the Aces & 8’s are copying the nWo and how AJ Styles is copying Sting. I thought it was time to give my 2 ½ cents on the matter.

Aces & 8’s
Ever since its inception over on TNA, the Aces & 8’s have been slated for mimicking the nWo. While there are a few good points to argue this, I have other points to argue the contrary. I think the Aces & 8’s are really mimicking the Sons of Anarchy, a TV show about an organized motorcycle gang that runs a small town in California. They have Prospects, Vice Presidents (or VP’s as they call it in the show), and yes…a President. To add another point, there was even a rouge gang in the club called “Nomads”, the same name that’s on the Aces & 8’s vest. I could continue to go on, but I think I’ve drawn a clear picture that the Aces & 8’s are NOT mimicking the nWo. There are similarities but as you will soon see there are similarities in many other gimmicks.

AJ Styles
Another major gimmick in TNA that has gotten a lot of heat is AJ Styles new heel gimmick. Many are suggesting Styles is mimicking Sting when he first became the “Crow Sting” back in WCW. The only real similarities that I see is that Styles is wearing black, he stands out in the crowd (Where Sting stood up in the rafters), and he has outcast himself from everyone.

When Sting first transformed into the “Crow Sting”, He changed the color & style of his hair, his face paint, his ring gear, his entrance theme, and he even walked around with a bat as part of his gimmick. AJ Styles has changed none of that. Styles has done none of the above, unless you want to be petty and call him growing a beard a change. Lastly Sting’s character was more like a silent vigilante with a purpose, where Styles character has just stopped giving a shit.

Do I see the resemblance? Of course I do. Anyone who has watched both eras would be a fool not to see it. But I also see similarities in John Cena‘s storyline he had this past year. John Cena lost his big match against the Rock at WrestleMania 28, and since then his personal life and wrestling career suffered, until he defeated The Rock at WrestleMania 29. AJ Styles problems started early last year, with all the rumors about him sleeping with Dixie Carter. It did not stop there as he went on a major losing streak, and culminated at the Bound for Glory series, where he lost, and would not be able to go for the title again, until Bound for Glory 2013. This is Styles year of hell, and at this year’s Bound for Glory it will be his “redemption”. If that doesn't suit you I could say he is just mimicking The Shield. He is wearing all black and hanging up in the crowd?

This next list is to show you that almost any wrestler or clan throughout the years (whether it was inspiration or just coincidence) can be accused of mimicking other gimmicks.

Jay Lethal
If there is anyone who SHOULD be on this list it’s Jay “Black Machismo” Lethal. Lethal from head to toe mimicked the late Macho Man Randy Savage. From his music, to his clothes, hell he even used the same catch phrases! But Lethal did not do this out of disrespect for Savage, he did it out of RESPECT for the future Hall of Famer. In 2007 Randy Savage even called up to let Lethal know how much he loved the gimmick! If the man himself can give his blessings about using his gimmicks, then there shouldn’t be any more issues.

While Fandango is currently getting a major push at the moment he does appear to mimics, an old WCW gimmick: Disco Inferno. Let’s face it both guys , were dancers..and not good ones either: Only Disco Inferno was lost in a time warp. Both are terrible wrestlers: Take all the kicks and stomps away and all he has is his finisher. Hell if he wasn’t Vince’s pet project he would still be in NXT. Maybe we should call Fandango the Disco Inferno of the 21st Century?

As much as I loved this group, it screamed Four Horseman. Ric flair was in this group but he really didn’t play the lead role like he did in the Horsemen. That was Triple H’s Role. Flair took more of James J Dillon’s role, even though he did wrestle. The group had the essence of the Horsemen: Private jets, limousines, exclusive restraints, and so on. At one time they even captured most of the titles in the WWE, which the horseman did as well. Evolution may not have lasted as long as the Horsemen, but no one can say they ran like them.

On a side note about TNA’s Fortune clan, I really don’t think they really mimicked the Horsemen aside from their hand sign. I think that was just Flair’s meager attempt to keep the horsemen alive.

Abyss/Joseph Parks
As much as I like Abyss, I cannot stand his alter ego Joseph Parks (his supposed brother). When I first saw Abyss, I thought of Mankind,(aka Mick Foley) and now this second character is showing that he is more mimicking Mick Foley rather than just Mankind. But Foley was in TNA and has worked with Parks, so I wonder if Foley gave him the “Thumbs up” to mimic his gimmick.

When Ryback debuted in the WWE, almost everybody agreed he was mimicking Goldberg. He could come down to the ring, beat up two guys in about 30 seconds, and leave. That was Goldberg’s thing. Ryback even got a Goldberg chant going for several months. I will admit though Ryback is starting to evolve and his matches and mic skills are getting better. The big question is can Ryback evolve into his own wrestler, or will he just be content mimicking Goldberg?

I could continue on analyzing gimmicks. But when you put any gimmick under the microscope, you can see that they had some similarities to another gimmick. Nowadays no gimmick is 100% original, they were all inspired by someone else. You don’t have to believe me, you can just ask them. Until next time See you when I see you! -Rick Starr

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Updated 04-27-2013 at 12:58 PM by Rick Starr



    Hey Radio Guy- Thanks for blessing us with your presence. I got two words for ya Jack Swagger
  2. Ozzy Mandias's Avatar
    What about past mimicking gimmicks? Am I the only one who saw Val Venis as a pure rip off of Ravishing Rick Rude?
  3. Rick Starr's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by THE PAINFUL TRUTH
    Hey Radio Guy- Thanks for blessing us with your presence. I got two words for ya Jack Swagger
    Thanks for your comment P.T. yeah Swagger is mimicking Kurt Angle, although Swagger is more of the "Right-wing Activists American". Also Angle never needed a mouth piece like Zeb Coulter to get him over.
  4. Rick Starr's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ozzy Mandias
    What about past mimicking gimmicks? Am I the only one who saw Val Venis as a pure rip off of Ravishing Rick Rude?
    No doubt Val Venis was not the first character in wrestling to be a ladies man. The way Rude and Venis posed in the ring were shockingly similar. But if you you at their gimmicks as a whole Rick Rude and Val Venis were two completely different Characters. This was one of those situations that they did have similarities, but they were two very different people. Thanks for your comments

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