10 Wrestlers Who Got PISSED When Their Moves Were Stolen

In a weird way, that Steve Austin Vs. John Cena Dream WrestleMania match has happened...

Austin Cena

"Stolen," should probably be framed in air quotes, since pro wrestling is teeming with plagiarism.

Ironically, since certain wrestling fans really, really enjoy burying All Elite Wrestling for signing talent that voluntarily requested to leave WWE - as if being perceived as a destination and promoting established popular talent is in any way bad - WWE itself became a global phenomenon (and maintained its popularity) by raiding the AWA in the '80s and drawing much inspiration from ECW in the '90s.

The extent to which these wrestlers are sympathetic varies.

The practise can be viewed as flattery. The move obviously looks cool or is over enough to warrant stealing/adopting in the first instance.

But then, writing from experience, being @'d relentlessly by trolls who cry bias but also tweet stuff like "Roman Reigns is the best thing going right now and there can be no debate f*ckhead" should be flattering, too. These people must on some level resent the level of influence. "I don't care what you think [cry-laugh emoji x8]" is clearly untrue, and says more about them.

But it's also very annoying, as, one can readily imagine, is a wrestler getting over using a certain move could be...

10. Steve Austin's Stunner

Austin Cena

Back in 2015, John Cena fully reinvented himself after learning a new way of working from CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.

It was a decision that launched a twilight-years peak so good that it reframed the legacy of his entire career. Cena was possibly the most subjectively-received pro wrestler ever. No less an authority than Mick Foley once proclaimed him to be the greatest of all-time; his critics countered with words to the effect of "Mate he holds his own hands like a virgin on a first date when he applies the STF".

But that United States Title Open Challenge changed everything.

Cena embraced the pacing and movez of the indie boom and gave so much more to his opponents. Those matches were exhilarating, productive, and inspired; by just about executing the modern banger, Cena removed the "boring" tag that will forever plague the likes of Triple H and Randy Orton.

"Just about" is not latent snark. Though Cena kept up with Kevin Owens in a hot matches themed on parity and transition, he was still the same, somewhat clumsy Cena at his core. His springboard Stunner illustrated this. An overambitious move he botched enough times to swiftly drop, it drew the ire of originator Steve Austin. Speaking on his podcast, Austin claimed he was disappointed that Cena used it arbitrarily for a cheap pop kick-out.

But the subtext - "it requires such precision and timing, because his foot could slip on that rope, guys are wearing baby oil..." - seemed to tut at the piss-poor execution.

Sympathy factor: Can't blame him, really.


Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!