Imitated Never Duplicated

Corbin Macklin


First, I want to say that right now is one of the most boring, uninspiring times I have ever experienced as a wrestling fan. My God. I have been straining for ideas to write about for weeks and coming up with noooooothing. I'm telling you this because I'm just real like that.

Yesterday, I was on the twitter and someone was saying that Vince could have found anyone with a tan from Venice Beach and made them Hulk Hogan. This was a hardcore wrestling fan who is upset that Hogan is being phased back in with WWE and fans are excusing the racist comments he made on that tape years ago. I am of the opinion that he is definitely a racist. And I don't make any excuse for it. HOWEVER. I don't know or care about Terry Bollea. Hulk Hogan was my favorite wrestler as a kid. I used to watch his matches on tape, play with the action figures and all of that. I was a WCW mark during the peak of the n.W.o. because of him. It has been said that Hulk Hogan copied Superstar Billy Graham. Superstar Billy Graham was never the star Hulk Hogan was. Vince has not made another Hulk Hogan. Because he can't.

The best example of my point is The Undertaker. There has literally been a fake Undertaker. No one was fooled but the most ignorant of marks. (Which I was at the time LOL) In retrospect, Undertaker was created just to give Hogan a big man to work a program with. In 1991. Who would have known that Undertaker would still be working TODAY? Let me rephrase. Undertaker was supposed to have a run, but no one knew that he'd become one of the most iconic and enduring characters in the history of the sport of professional wrestling. Think about how many wrestlers have a run, leave the company, go somewhere else, come back, and they were never at the same level that they started at. I thought of Bobby Lashley first when I wrote that. The Undertaker has overcome injuries and aging and changed his look and aspects of the character over the years, but he endures. You could have never just replaced him with another guy and it would be the same.

Someone commented to me that Kane was somehow another Undertaker. First of all, no. Second, Kane is a great example of how you can put someone into the same gimmick as someone else and the people will not go for it. Vince had the bright idea that he owned the Diesel character so he inserted Glenn Jacobs into it. It... did not work. The same way it would not work if you put someone else in a Kane mask and had them work the gimmick. The people would find out and not support it. People do not WANT an imitation of an old character, they want something new.

Because I have a great tradition to uphold of bringing up Roman Reigns in everything I write for this site... it has always pissed me off that people call Roman Reigns "John Cena 2.0" because literally nothing about the guy is reminiscent of Cena. Nothing. You could reach and say the way fans reject him being the top guy or top babyface is the same but even that isn't. Go back and watch the segment where Cena was drafted to Raw from SmackDown, or the time he returned at the Rumble and won it. Roman has never gotten those kind of pops in his life. Cena didn't really start getting the fan backlash until fans figured out it was cool to hate him around the time RVD cashed in his briefcase at One Night Stand 2. (Which should have been appropriately titled Second Night Stand, amirite? No? Ok.) Roman doesn't have the annoying catchphrases and colorful t-shirts, he doesn't wear jorts and he doesn't get props for burying his opponents in every promo. There is no connection there.

Roman Reigns is not John Cena. John Cena isn't The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin. None of them are Hulk Hogan. Being picked as the top star doesn't make any of those things like the others. None of those things are like the others. No one can really be like anyone else, but we live in a world where people figure out that it's easier to try to hide behind a fa├žade instead of being who they really are. We tend to sense the insincerity and repudiate it. But people still try. Never try to be something you are not. It's not worth. I find that even when people have reason to not like you, somewhere in there, is something to love. Which is why everyone really loves Roman Reigns!