Like many other wrestling promotions all over the world, sometimes WWE's creative team needs to take some inspiration for the development of their next character.
This inspiration comes from a lot of different places, including films. Every member of the WWE Universe has been to the cinema at one point in their life and when a movie becomes one of the biggest of the year, it is something everyone is talking about, so it makes sense that sometimes WWE uses this to their advantage.
Over the past few years, there have been many different wrestling characters who have been portrayed in the same style as the movie stars they represent. The most recent and obvious version of this would be SmackDown's #1 Contender for the Women's Championship Alexa Bliss, who has recently begun dressing similar to Suicide Squad member Harley Quinn.
This began after the international success of Suicide Squad over the summer and has allowed Bliss to become one of the stand-out stars on the SmackDown roster over the past few months. It's amazing how much of a difference a gimmick change can have and the following list will show that Bliss is definitely not the first Superstar to step into the shoes of a famous film character.
16 Tyler Breeze: Derek Zoolander
It's been a rough year for Tyler Breeze. After being stuck in NXT with no way out for a few years, WWE finally called Prince Pretty up to the main roster but Breeze hasn't been as part of a storyline worth remembering.
Tyler has been joined up with Fandango as of late as the two formed BreezDango, but the character of Breeze has remained the same. Taken from the film Zoolander, Tyler adopted the male model gimmick and even began talking in the soft-spoken voice that Ben Stiller became famous for in the 2001 film. If even the second instalment of the film franchise earlier this year didn't prompted WWE to push Tyler Breeze, what can? Word has it that Vince McMahon is not sold on Breeze; so expect little to come his way in terms of a push.
15 Razor Ramon: Tony Montana
One of the greatest films of all time managed to inspire one of the greatest characters of all time. Isn't that the way perfection is done? Scarface was released back in 1982 and saw Al Pacino portray gangster Tony Montana.
'Say hello to my little friend' is the famous line that has outlived the film over the past 30 years, but it makes sense when you consider Razor Ramon's character that was created over a decade later in 1992. Ramon blatantly ripped the film off. The gold chains he wore to the ring, the toothpick he became famous for, and even his 'Bad Guy' nickname all come from Al Pacino's Tony Montana. With Scarface to draw inspiration from, who knows how Scott Hall would have fared.
14 Paul Burchill: Jack Sparrow
Paul Burchill adopted the Jack Sparrow inspired pirate gimmick in 2006 following the release of the second movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise entitled Dead Man's Chest.
Burchill's backstory was that he had traced his heritage all the way back to the famous pirate Blackbeard and began using the pirate gimmick. He seemed to show up in Jack Sparrow cosplay every week and would swing to the ring on a rope while carrying an actual sword. This lasted for a few months before it was decided that maybe a pirate gimmick was a rather stupid one on the first place and so Burchill was forced to walk the plank! Sometimes all we can do is simply look back and laugh at what WWE has done with its Superstars.
12 Jason the Terrible: Jason Voorhees
Jason the Terrible is the first wrestler on this list not to grace a WWE ring. Instead he was a part of Canadian wrestling promotion in the 1980s known as Stampede Wrestling. Obviously Friday the 13th was first released in 1987 before it had an incredible amount of sequels made in the following years.
Apparently back then it was completely normal for a wrestler to be dressed in overalls and a hockey mask and answer to the name Jason. Because the films weren't scary enough, why not make the nightmares real? Jason's hockey mask could technically be called protective gear which shouldn't be worn over the face in a wrestling match, so that's slightly unfair. Either way, this was an incredibly successful gimmick and many of the matches can still be found on Youtube, it's endless hours of fun.
11 Bray Wyatt: Max Cady
While many of the WWE Universe have been busy picking apart the similarities between Bray Wyatt's character and that of The Undertaker, it seems that Wyatt's character was actually inspired by 1991 film Cape Fear.
Wyatt seems to be portraying the role of Max Cady from the creepy cult film and has even become the leader of a cult, dressed himself in some of the craziest pattern inspired shirts, and grown a beard, much like the original character. It seems that even 20 years after the film's original release, Robert De Niro is inspiring some of the best characterizations in popular culture. Wyatt has moved away from the patterned shirts as of late but the Max Cady inspiration remains evident in his speech and mannerisms.
10 Sting: Eric Draven
When Sting went to war with the nWo in 1996, he decided to adopt a very different character, one that wore black and white facepaint with long black hair. After spending much of his career with bright blonde hair, this wasn't exactly a subtle change for The Icon.
It seems that his new image was inspired by the 1994 cult classic, The Crow, and the character Eric Draven. This character was first brought to his attention by fellow WCW Superstars Scott Hall. This is a character that Sting has become most known for. He then went on to hang around with crows and vultures and become recognizable by the nickname The Crow. All of this was inspired by Brendon Lee's character in the now classic film.
9 Rob Van Dam: Jean-Claude Van Damme (Any Character)
Rob Van Dam will always be remembered for his fast feet and insane agility throughout his WWE career, but it seems that even Van Dam's character could have been based upon one from the silver screen.
With a name like Van Dam it is almost obvious that RVD's character was based upon that of martial arts legend John Claude Van Damme. Rob's martial arts training and background could rival that of the Belgian superstar and it seems that this is why much of the focus of Rob's move set was based on his legs and his incredible martial arts training. Rob Van Dam's legs were always the most impressive thing about him and he actually owns his own world record which is a weight lift of 166 pounds while sitting in the split position.
8 John Cena: John Triton
Back in 2006 John Cena was cast in his first WWE film entitled The Marine. The film showed Cena as a member of the United States Marine Corps who is discharged from duty after failing to follow a direct order. Cena is then forced to live a normal life until his wife is kidnapped.
Following the release of the film, Cena began portraying a Marine and the leader of the Cenation by changing his attire to military inspired clothing and also debuted the salute at the top of the entrance ramp that he still uses in WWE today. The first instalment of The Marine was so successful that WWE decided to make three sequels starring WWE Superstars Ted DiBiase and The Miz. Cena took a litte bit of his character John Triton with him back to WWE.
7 Triple H: Conan The Barbarian
Triple H himself is a self confessed fanatic when it comes to the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian. Throughout his lengthy WWE career there have been many fans and critics who have pulled up similarities between Triple H and Conan.
The former World Champion carries himself to the ring in the same way that Conan would. He even dresses up as him at any given opportunity and definitely isn't shy when it comes to showing off his cosplay at WrestleMania. Patterns and logos on his ring attire are also reminiscent of the film. Is there something Triple H needs to share? Does he like that film a little too much? And what about that entrance at WrestleMania 22? That was Triple H in full Conan mode.
6 Leatherface: Leatherface
Many horror movie villains have been portrayed in wrestling rings over the past few decades, but former WWE Superstar known as Corporal Kirchner took this to a whole new level when he was released from WWE in the early 2000s.
Kirchner made the move over to Japan and began portraying a character known as 'Leatherface.' He was linked to the famous Texas Chainsaw Massacre horror franchise and struck fear in the hearts of his opponents before he even entered the ring. Leatherface is the main villain in the original horror films and is usually the one seen wielding the chainsaw and preventing any sane person from ever being able to use it for a DIY use ever again. This gimmick is perhaps the most copycat of them all.
5 Sting: The Joker
Sting is the only person on this list that has been afforded a second entry, but he definitely deserves it. After years of playing 'The Crow' with a lack of personality and a very inward monologue, finally Sting decided to shake up his persona in 2011.
He became known as The Insane Icon and given the face paint around his lips, it is quite obvious that Sting was channelling his inner Joker for these appearances. The Joker has come back into fashion once again (if that's the right terminology) following the release of DC's Suicide Squad back in the summer. He is the maniacal arch nemesis of Batman who is always overly smiley and basically just plain creepy, which is a good look on Sting.
4 The Spider: Spiderman
Randy Savage may be mostly remembered for the character of the 'Macho Man.' The character that allowed the former WWE Superstar to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame earlier this year, but before he found fame as 'Macho Man,' Randy was known as The Spider.
The Spider debuted in the fall of 1973 and was very similar to Marvel's Spiderman character. There was an attire that made The Spider character much more believable but I'm guessing that he couldn't shoot webs out of his wrists and climb up the ring turnbuckles without using his hands. Ah well, the thought was there, Randy. Fortunately for Randy Savage, he would transition into the 'Macho Man' and become known as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
3 The Road Warriors: Max and Jess Rockatansky
Known as both The Legion of Doom and The Road Warriors throughout their wrestling careers that managed to eclipse both the 1980s and 90s, Hawk and Animal were two big guys in body armour sporting Mohawks. Their gimmick is strikingly similar to the characters portrayed in the 1979 film Mad Max.
The second instalment of the franchise was even called Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior if that wasn't blatant enough. It is a movie that is not well remembered more than 30 years later, but Hawk and Animal's characters and attire are still remembered to this day. Even Demolition, the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions themselves stole some style tips from this movie, so maybe the movie was much better than we thought?
2 Kane: Michael Myers
This is a comparison that has been made many times over Kane's lengthy career with WWE, but there is a striking resemblance between Kane and Michael Myers' murderous character in the horror movie franchise.
Of course, this wouldn't be the first time Kane has portrayed a murderous lunatic. When his first WWE Studio's film See No Evil was first released on May 19, 2006, Kane brought this into his storyline and much like the character he portrayed in the horror flick, he would attack wrestlers with a rusty hook if they dared to mention the date. A date that was later revealed as the day his family was murdered, and the day the movie was released...Creepy coincidence. Of course, the Kane of the New Era is a much more toned down character.
1 Alexa Bliss: Harley Quinn
The #1 Contender to the SmackDown Women's Champion has seen a transformation in her character as of late and it isn't just her ring attire. Since the release of one of the biggest films of the year, Suicide Squad back in the Summer, Alexa Bliss has fancied herself as a Harley Quinn wannabe.
The psychotic girlfriend of The Joker is best known for her craziness and obvious sex appeal. Alexa has decided to cash in on this and unveiled her new look at Backlash a few months ago. The change has ben welcomed and even praised as Bliss have proven to be one of the best up-and-coming female talents in WWE. Since then she has received a considerable push on SmackDown so it seems to all be working out for Harley Bliss.