There are many similarities between the AFL and WWE, most notably the theatre and characters.
The element of showmanship we love in our stars and the toughness it takes to perform week after week is undoubted in both codes. Even if one is scripted…
We have compared the two and looked at what AFL stars are best matched to WWE superstars.
Marcus Bontempelli – Roman Reigns
The respective future faces of their companies. They have the look and are both incredible athletes. Reigns meteoric rise to the top of the WWE landscape is not unlike that of the Bulldogs captain who quickly became one of the game’s elite stars.
Tim Kelly – Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan was never meant to be World Champion and never seen by the powers above as someone capable of reaching the top. Tim Kelly was much the same – undrafted for years, the Western Australian was never meant to have the impact he has had. He became arguably the game’s best player in 2019 and is a fan favourite around the league for his story.
Patrick Dangerfield – John Cena
Two of the most polarising figures in their respective codes. John Cena, the face of the WWE for two decades, was arguably the most divisive figure in WWE history – loved or hated and no in between. By those who loved him he was seen as a hero and superman and by those who hated him he was overrated and overhyped.
What a fitting description of Patrick Dangerfield, the AFLPA president, loved by his fans and held on a pedestal by his adoring crowd. However, those who don’t think Danger is all he’s hyped up to be are very vocal in their distain for the Geelong star. Every time he touches the ball the crowd is in raptures of either cheers or boos, much like a Cena entrance. Which group is right or wrong? Doesn’t matter, the reaction is beautiful none the less.
Chris Judd – The Rock
A man that is arguably the greatest we’ve ever seen, still adored and cherished by his fans despite what some see as an early retirement. His occasional appearances keep the fans clamouring for more, but his life post retirement remains glamarous.
The description above could stand for both The Rock and Juddy. Rock is now the world’s highest grossing actor while Juddy is the husband of Bec Judd and co-founder of Juddchella. He’s also forged a successful media career and business portfolio post football.
Glenn Archer – Mick Foley
These two men are stupidly brave, scarily tough and will do anything if need be to secure the win. Archer would fit right in replacing Mick Foley atop the Hell in a Cell cage ready to launch off to a staggering fall below. While I can well see Mick Foley going back in the hole when the Shinboners need it.
Lou Richards – Ric Flair
The Nature Boy had an aura about him, an elegance and grace that couldn’t be matched. But just like Lou, could get his hands dirty when he needed to. These two sneaky veterans would do whatever it takes to win… whatever it takes. They were also as entertaining as you could ask for.
Eddie McGuire – Eric Bischoff
As the outspoken Collingwood president, Eddie is naturally hated by many and seen as the corporate enemy. Eric Bischoff is seen much the same, the former president of WCW nearly ran the WWE out of business at one point and was a key figure behind the famous Monday Night Wars. But WWE fans never see him as anything but the enemy.
But like McGuire, who is adored and loved by Collingwood fans for what he has done since taking over as president in 1998, many WCW fans cherish Bischoff for his achievements.
Mason Cox – The Great Khali
The big foreigner (literally massive) who probably shouldn’t have been there when he was but somehow made it work. The Great Khali came in to the WWE with unprecedented size and impact. Much like Cox did on debut on ANZAC day. It quickly derailed for the Punjabi Nightmare, so here’s hoping Cox doesn’t suffer a similar fate.
Dennis Commetti – Jim Ross
The voices of our childhood, the voice we heard on the video games. These men are the voices synonymous with some of the greatest moments of our lives. “Centimetre perfect” was matched by JR’s “He has a family” and how can we forget Commetti’s ” Look out! Look Out! Look Out!” or JR’s “Not this way” cries. The commentary GOATs!
Scott Brothers – Dudley Boyz
If the Scott brothers were allowed to get the tables they probably would have. You can envision Chris smashing Brad’s chest and screaming “GET THE TABLES!” The Dudley’s were the tag team most feared in the WWE – hard as nails and willing to toe the line to do what it takes to win. It mirrors the way the Scott’s played their football.
Collingwood ‘Rat Pack’ – NwO
Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Hollywood Hulk Hogan formed the nWo in a move that changed the wrestling industry forever. The rebelious group recruited people with uncanny speed and were soon out of control. The infamous Collingwood ‘Rat Pack’ had those same traits, Dane Swan, Dale Thomas, Chris Tarrant, Alan Didak, Ben Johnson and Heath Shaw were the cool kids. The group above the rest, until a few mishaps and new direction from the club split them up.
Just like the nWo, the Rat Pack was edgy, and is now often replicated but never duplicated.
Caleb Daniel – Rey Mysterio
The exciting little men recognised for their head gear. The helmet is now something of a cult item for Caleb Daniel, just like Mysterio is the WWE’s masked icon. Both are incredibly talented and an favourites, their size makes them the underdog…and who doesn’t love an underdog?
Nat Fyfe – Shawn Michaels
The long wavy hair and good rig, heck their look alone is almost enough in itself! Shawn Michaels was as naturally gifted a performer as there has ever been. He had it all and when on there was no one like him. The Fremantle skipper also has that ability to stand above his peers. He has been gifted the total package and isn’t afraid to let it show.
Dustin Fletcher – The Undertaker
Undertaker just keeps on keeping on. Year after year for three decades the Deadman has shown up and left fans in awe of his superhuman abilities. Dustin Fletcher did much the same throughout his career. Every year, it seemed like Fletcher was done, but he found ways to reinvent himself constantly and maintain a high level of performance. Father time finally caught up with Dustin though, we’re not sure it’ll ever catch the Deadman!
Jeff Kennett – Vince McMahon
Two men who run the show with incredible self confidence and swagger to match. Separated at birth?
Both seen as a tad out of touch with today’s climate, they refuse to ever stand down or take a step back, both believe their opinion carries great weight and are willing to share said opinion. But when it comes down to it both will do anything to help something they love thrive. Kennett took a hands on approach at the Hawks in his time as President while Vince is as hands on as it gets at WWE.
Anthony Koutoufidies – Brock Lesnar
We have never and probably will never again see an athlete like Kouta. He could do it all and all at an elite level. Kouta could play anywhere and dominate a game in his prime and was worth the ticket price alone. Lesnar is much the same, a giant of a man who can move as quick as any high flyer. Lesnar is unparalleled for attraction value in WWE and is able to perform no matter what position in the show he takes.
We will never see another Kouta and we will never see another Brock Lesnar.
Erin Phillips – Becky Lynch
Lynch was at the forefront of WWE’s women’s revolution and is now the face of the division. ‘The Man’ has become one of the most popular superstars in the company as a whole, transcending the women’s division.
Phillips did much the same in the AFLW, she was the game’s best player up until the end of the 2019 season when she ruptured her ACL and was ruled out for 2020. But she made herself and the league a household name and helped put it on the map. She was a key reason the 2019 Grand Final drew 53,000 people.
Warwick Capper – Hulk Hogan
The two beach blonde superstars are scarily alike, incredibly talented and wildly popular but both perhaps have egos far too big to control. Egos that have often found them on the outside and egos that have perhaps hurt their legacies.
Hogan was a driving force behind the changing of WWE in the 1980’s and then again changed the landscape when he moved to WCW in the 1990’s. Capper made short shorts trendy and taking speckies a skill every kid needed to have. Both have faded popularity now but when looked back upon, their prime days bring a lot of joy to their fans.
Jason Akermanis – CM Punk
Voices of the voiceless, CM Punk was just that. He spoke out on what he thought there were wrongdoings by the WWE and was gone not long after he made said comments. Punk was never welcomed back into the fold after his departure from the company and has gone on to badmouth it. To this day, Punk says he stands by his comments and is happy not going back to WWE… sound familiar?
Aker’s time at both the Lions and the Bulldogs went much the same, he spoke out about his thoughts on Brisbane and after his relationship with Leigh Matthews soured, much like Punk’s did with Vince McMahon. Not long after landing at Whitten Oval, Aker suffered a similar foot in mouth fate and was gone. He too has never been welcomed back into the fold.
Aaron Sandilands – Kane
The two giants of each league from the 2000s that were genuinely scary and terrorised opponents with their brute size. Kane was destructively big and powerful and a force of nature. Sandilands was the Big Purple Machine – the 211cm ruckman was incredibly intimidating at centre bounces. Get out of their way is the best advice we can offer.