10 Wrestling Storylines Totally Ripped Off From Movies

3. Rusev vs. John Cena Pretty Much Becomes Rocky IV

It wasn't only Ric Flair's retirement story which was influenced by the aging Rocky Balboa, the more recent tale of Rusev vs. John Cea drew heavy inspiration from the boxing movie franchise also. As 'Russia's Super Athlete', Rusev was portrayed in the same way as Ivan Drago was in Rocky IV, a purpose-built fighting machine who would dominate American athletes. Not only were the overtones obvious, but Lana - Rusev's second - was very similar in appearance to Brigitte Nielsen, who played Drago's wife and spokesperson in the Rocky movie. Speaking on Rusev's behalf, Lana insisted that her man would show the USA exactly how powerless they were up against the might of Russia.
Standing in their way was John Cena, who fulfilled the role of Rocky Balboa in this story. WWE may as well have shown a hype video with both guys training, set to the music of Survivor, because this angle was so blatantly relying on the Rocky IV formula. Eventually, after many trials and tribulations, Cena would overcome the foreign menace, just as Balboa would Drago.

Freelance journalist, podcasting loony, lifelong wrestling fan and musician (drums are people too). Also a huge, HUGE fan of Halloween and Lucky Charms. Huge.