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Expy / Pro Wrestling
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  • Psycho!AJ was extremely similar to Psycho!Mickie James from circa 2005. Both got rejected from their respective love interests and acted erratically in retaliation while descending into insanity. Mickie took the the Women's Title from Trish at WrestleMania while AJ strung along Daniel and two of his rivals, then-current WWE Champion CM Punk and future tag team partner Kane for months. The only really differences are how they reacted and the lesbian overtones of Mickie's storyline. One could deign to say that the main reason AJ became so popular is because her psycho character is extremely similar to Mickie's, who became popular for that character.
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  • Alberto Del Rio and John "Bradshaw" Layfield are both expies of Ted DiBiase, in so far as being richer-than-thou characters who flaunt it in the face of the audience (given that a recession is always either around the corner or already in full swing, this always gets heat).
  • CM Punk's world champion turn made him an expy of Harley Race in the way of stating himself as the very best and how people MUST admit that they respect him. This is very similar to Race's heel run as "King" Harley Race where he told his opponents and detractors to bow and kneel before him. Whereas Race had Bobby Heenan, Punk had Paul Heyman. Punk even went as far as trimming his beard much like how Race's looked and wearing colors matching Race's at the time.
  • Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard & JTG) of the Gangstas (New Jack & Mustafa) in Smoky Mountain Wrestling and ECW, though, because they worked for a big-money worldwide promotion and not, originally, a small independent in eastern Tennessee, Cryme Tyme were Played for Laughs rather than to provoke racial anger, worked a more traditional in-ring style as opposed to the hardcore style of the Gangstas, and without the success. (New Jack & Mustafa were 1x SMW Tag Team Champions and 2x ECW World Tag Team Champions. As Shad Gaspard & the Neighborhoodie, they held the OVW Southern Tag Team Titles in WWE's then-developmental promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling for two months.)
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  • Dave McLane will use similar character types repeatedly in his various promotions GLOW, POWW, and WOW, which will in turn be used by whatever promotions that imitate them (ex:Wrestlicious)
  • Dramatic Dream Team: Sanshiro Takagi himself is an Expy of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, right down to having the same glass shattering sound that begins his entrance music.
  • Goldberg was seen by many people as an expy of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin due to his bald head and similar outfit (basic black trunks and boots), and how Eric Bischoff had famously told Austin that a guy wearing such an outfit wasn't marketable. Goldberg's streak of squashes and the fact that he usually said very little, as opposed to Austin's usual involvement in 20-minute interviews, served to get him over and give him his own identity. Despite the appearance, Goldberg was much closer to 1980s Foreign Wrestling Heel "The Russian Nightmare" Nikita Koloff, though what he was going for was a Captain Ersatz of Dan Severn, which isn't so obvious because Goldberg looks nothing like him, no matter how closely he tries to copy his mannerisms.
    • Goldberg seems to have gotten an expy of his own in Ryback, who shares his quiet intensity, short catch phrase, baldness, and goatee. Not that smarks would let anyone forget that.
  • The Great Kabuki is an expy of Rey Urbano and himself spawned several expies, some of whom spawned expies of their own.
    • The first was Kendo Nagasaki(the one in Stampede, not the World Of Sport wrestler), who was followed by The Great Muta, Kwang the Ninja (Savio Vega in a mask), "The Japanese Buzzsaw" Yoshihiro Tajiri (who used the mist but not the face paint) and "Tokyo Monster" Kahagas.
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  • Jack Swagger was basically a whinier, lamer Kurt Angle - both are former amateur wrestlers that use the Ankle Lock as a finishing move, dress in the traditional singlet and are very very proud of their amateur accomplishments. Both use of American patriotism in their gimmicks.
  • Beer Money Inc. was an expy of the APA, they even had the same manager.
  • Kane spawned TNA's Abyss, who is a combination of Kane and Mankind.
  • Masa Kitamiya of Pro Wrestling NOAH was portrayed as the second coming of Masa Saito — he used Saito's name, dressed like him in the ring, and did all of his moves. There isn't a great facial resemblance between them, though, so it's hard to say where this character came from.
  • Mason Ryan not only looked very similar to Batista, but his role in the New Nexus was similar to the role Batista played when he was part of Evolution (namely, being the largest, most physically imposing member of a four-man heel stable).
  • For a period during 2010 and 2011, WWE tried turning Michael Cole into a new version of Vince McMahon's "Mr. McMahon" character. Unfortunately, it failed spectacularly, mostly because McMahon actually was the boss of WW(F/E), while Michael Cole was simply an announcer. Thankfully, WWE ended the experiment at Over The Limit 2011, with Cole returning to his neutral Chew Toy announcer role on Raw the night after — though he does still show a tendency to root for the heels.
  • Paul Heyman created Mikey Whipwreck as an expy of "The Wrestling School" Dropout Jim Mulkey, a character from the late 1980s-1990s New England promotion ICW/IWCCW.
    • Mikey gained an expy of his own in Colin Delaney of WWE's mediocre version of ECW.
  • What do you get when you cross the promotion dominating goals of the nWo with the youth of the Natural Born Thrillers? The Nexus.
    • Nowadays, it seems every new team that debuts just attacks random people for no real reason like the nWo. In the New Tens, we have had the aforementioned Nexus, the Corre, the Aces & Eights in TNA, The Shield, and the Wyatt Family.
  • The Renegade was an Expy of The Ultimate Warrior, and a pretty poor one at that. In fact, he was WCW's THIRD attempt at creating their own version of UW.
  • "Nature Boy" Ric Flair was an expy of "The Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers.
    • Flair would later get an expy of his own in "Nature Boy" Buddy Landel.
  • The Road Warriors were a huge smash hit in the 1980s, changing tag team wrestling forever. The various companies couldn't rip off their gimmick (that being "huge face-painted tough guys who smashed-up everyone and didn't care who they beat on") fast enough. The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian) were formed to feud with the Warriors, and the WWF threw a couple of solid midcard performers together creating Demolition. All of these teams ended up feuding with each other at various times.
    • Road Warriors expies the Blade Runners didn't have much success as a tag team but both members broke out to become major singles superstars: Sting and the Ultimate Warrior.
    • The Road Warriors themselves made an expy of their own named Power Warrior (Kensuke Sasaki) in Japan, who formed the Hell Raisers with Hawk when Animal was injured and later formed the Hell Warriors with Animal when Hawk passed away.
    • The Ascension is an expy team of Demolition, the Legion of Doom/Road Warriors, and the Powers of Pain — an asskicking team of large dudes who wear facepaint and come to the ring with intimidating gear. Following their main roster debut they repeatedly almost-lampshaded this — they would mention all of these teams, but only in the context of "well-known and dominant tag teams the Ascension is better than", without directly noting that they share many similarities with those teams.
    • Meanwhile, Chikara had the Devastation Corporation, who are closely analogous to Demolition - including a johnny-come-lately third member. Unlike the other teams, they even included the manager, with Sidney Bakabella doing his best imitation of "Precious" Paul Ellering. They also ended up facing Demolition in a match at one point (and lost).
  • The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) perfected the underdog heartthrob pretty boy babyface team role in the 1980s and spawned several expies, most notably the Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) and, later, the Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff.)
  • "Superstar" Billy Graham is the direct influence of Hulk Hogan, Scott Steiner, and Jesse Ventura in image and mannerisms, which all three have alluded to in the past (Hogan in shoot interviews, Steiner by briefly using the name "Superstar", and Ventura by claiming Graham copied him!)
  • Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger essentially replayed Sgt. Slaughter's early 90's gimmick (used for a few months before he became an "Iraqi sympathizer" during the Gulf War). Slaughter targeted Tito Santana, Zeb and Swagger went after Alberto Del Rio, each basically claiming their opponent were in the United States illegally. And then Swagger even had a foreigner, Antonio Cesaro, as a partner, much as Slaughter eventually teamed with Col. Mustafa (Iron Sheik repackaged as an Iraqi instead of an Iranian).
    • Colter had a little bit of JBL in him as well, particularly doing the same anti-immigration angle that was done with Eddie Guerrero with Alberto Del Rio. Ironic, considering Uncle Zebekiah was JBL's manager at one point.
    • The Swagger-Cesaro team being called "The Real Americans" brings to mind the NWA "Real American Heroes" Joey Ryan and Karl Anderson. For added bonus WWE group feuded with "Los Matadores" as the NWA group had with "Los Luchas".
  • And TNA did expy versions of much older WWE characters. Orlando Jordan's playing with gay stereotypes bore a few similarities to Goldust. Mr. Anderson was the same type of loudmouth as The Miz (who is an expy of Anderson back when he was Kennedy).
    • Orlando Jordan is actually bisexual in real life. The gimmick was supposedly his idea, though who can say if he wanted it to be taken as far as or in the direction it was.
  • WWE and TNA have been having a little game of back and forth with the same types of characters. Granted, they're common tropes, but one tends to pop up a few weeks or months after the other, making it look more like a blatant combo of expy and Follow the Leader. Some Examples:
  • YAMATO of Dragon Gate debuted as a successor to then-retired Yasushi Kanda, wearing Kanda's gear and performing his moves.
    • Kzy's rapper character was partially based on "brother" Yasshi, including the use of the running Blockbuster move. The two had an amusing interaction when Yasshi returned to Dragon Gate in early 2016.
    • Kotoka once wrestled as CIBA, a knockoff of CIMA. This gimmick was poorly-received and therefore short-lived, but Kotoka still uses the Meteora-based Caldera double stomp as his finishing move.
  • Chief Jay Strongbow was one for Chief Wahoo McDaniel after McDaniel got into an altercation with a promoter and ended up not returning to the WWWF as planned. Strongbow was given the American Indian gimmick and McDaniel's planned push.

Alternative Title(s): Professional Wrestling