Back when Jim Cornette was still a universally beloved wrestling mind, he posited the take that everything was fair game for redoing wholesale after seven years, and wrestling moves so fast now that that's probably even shorter.
Almost nothing in wrestling is original anymore, but that sentiment was realistically true decades ago. The trick is in repackaging an old idea effectively enough that it feels like a brand spanking new concept.
It's just not got to feel so...stolen. There's all sorts of negative connotations understandably attached to "rip-off", because people race to the likes of the laughable Fake Razor Ramon and Diesel from WWE's 1996 desperation, WCW's pathetic attempt to dodge copyright with Arachnaman (poor Brad Armstrong - he had to work a knockoff of his own brother Road Dogg too), or almost every act prefaced with "New".
But it's not been that awful for every pretender - imitation is might the sincerest form of flattery in real life, but through pro wrestling's warped prism, it's sometimes the the first step to improvement. Every act below borrowed a concept and took it so far beyond the original idea that became stars on their own terms, even if the presentation was somebody else's first...
10. Demolition (The Road Warriors)
In shoot interviews long after their peak had passed, both Ax and Smash spoke on how they'd never made four from the two and two everybody put together when two massive monsters emerged with painted faces, spiked gear and a penchant for pulverising everybody in their path.
In their defence, Animal has since spoke on the subject too, noting that neither he nor Hawk ever minded the rather similar look on the other side, safe in the knowledge and confidence that their own take on the act was the best of the bunch. And within months of the Demos debuting, they'd stepped out of that shadow anyway.
Demolition were so believable as themselves that the comparisons disappeared in an instant. Instead of thinking about the Road Warriors, fans were made to fear this new act on their own terms. Ax and Smash bulldozed through the opposition, winning the WWE Tag Team Championships three times and living up to the tremendous prestige that had been earned by the duos that came before them.
And they weren't even the only ones batting back the imposter accusations...