10 Iconic Wrestling Gimmicks You Didn't Know Were STOLEN

Oh, you didn't know? Somebody once ripped off the Road Dogg, for some reason!

The Undertaker and... some guy

Pro wrestling has an incredibly relaxed attitude towards plagiarism - or rather "inspiration".

Listen to virtually every non-licensed entrance theme. Given that musicians get taken to court for inadvertently recording a soundalike these days, wrestling as an industry is weirdly unnerved by its Jimmy Hart version. Crow Sting, the Road Warriors, Razor Ramon: the cinema industry isn't safe from WWE's meddling, either!

Well, those A-listers gunning for Academy Awards next year probably won’t get troubled by the Bloodline saga, but you get the idea.

Ric Flair took the 'Nature Boy' nickname from Buddy Rogers (God rest his soul). Triple H, in turn, took on the Flair role in 2003 (except that his promos, not his matches, often lasted for an hour). Hulk Hogan more or less dressed up as Superstar Billy Graham before transforming the business in the 1980s.

JD McDonagh is open in taking influence from Finn Bálor, though he didn't take everything from his mentor. If Bálor walked into the Black Lodge with imperfect courage, the sinister McDonagh is what would walk back out.

There are however less famous - but far more insane! - gimmick thefts to wade through...

10. Road Dogg

The Undertaker and... some guy
WWE Network

How do you rip off the Road Dogg?

Appropriate culture, enthusiastically hump mid-air like a dog with two penises, and send Tony Khan a fruit basket before calling him a bitch like an incel when he doesn't give you a job?

Not only is Road Dogg a difficult wrestling act to plagiarise, there's no real money in it. It was fun to chant along with his schtick in 1998 in the building, but nobody paid to enter those buildings to watch the guy. They were there to watch Steve Austin.

So which jelly-for-brains moron would think parodying the Road Dogg was a good idea?!

Why, Vince Russo, of course: as part of his 'Powers That Be' character, he told Brad Armstrong, one of the most underrated sellers and mechanics ever, that he needed a TV-friendly "gimmick". Armstrong was made to arrive at 'Buzzkill'. In a meta upon meta development, he parodied his own brother in a parody of a televised wrestling show.

It was just odd: Buzzkill came out to a soundalike of Road Dogg's theme, with cornrows and a similar "B U Double Z" call-and-response, but he was also an anti-marijuana campaigner?

Who were you ripping off: Road Dogg or Right To Censor?!


Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champions Kenny Omega and MJF, and surefire Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!