When Wrestlers win a Championship, they usually compare it to winning or feeling like a million bucks. Well, Alberto Del Rio already has a million dollars. So when the Mexican Aristocrat defeated Dolph Zigger at WWE Payback, what did he feel like afterwards? Despite the questionably ruthless means Del Rio used to win the Championship, he came out the next night on RAW and compared himself to Superman!
Del Rio’s reference is pretty timely: Superman made his triumphant return to movie theaters this weekend with Man of Steel and broke the June opening weekend record. Wrestling has always had a sense for the thrilling superheroics that Superman embodies. Incredible strength? Defy gravity? Capable of overcoming immense odds? AND while wearing bright blue tights? This should inspire every professional wrestler.
R-Truth likes to call himself the Suntan Superman even though it is illogical: although he is powered by the yellow sun, Superman is – technically – unable to be tanned by it, making him the only person in Kansas without a farmer’s tan. The Super-influence is not limited to the boy scout in blue; his alter ego, Clark Kent, inspired Shane Helms to create both the WWE Superstar The Hurricane and the mild mannered backstage reporter, Gregory Helms. Sometimes its Superman’s allegiances that can have an iMPACT: TNA’s Eric Young, who may or may not have been Super Eric, formed The Prince Justice Brotherhood. A supergroup of masked wrestlers – SuperEric, Curry Man and Shark Boy – were an homage to either The Justice League, the Superfriends or the Legion of Superheroes. Your choice depends on where you rank Sharkboy above or below Aquaman. Still, here are 5 other Wrestlers that pay tribute to the last son of Krypton.
5. Kofi Kingston
Kofi has reminded us time and time again that he is a big fan of comics. His Superstar Toyz episode is a shrine to all things pop culture, creating the mancave that everybody wishes they had. And while Kofi’s in-ring ability seems more Spider than Super, he has found ways to pay tribute to the Man of Steel. One of his signature maneuvers is a “Superman Punch” where Kofi leaps high into the air – almost a tall building’s height – to come crashing down, delivering all that force to his opponent. When donning his Superman tights that he debuted at SummerSlam 2012, the impact of damage that moves delivered is at least doubled.
|Image Courtesy of Kofi Kingston’s Twitter|
4. Roman Reigns
The Superman effect is also seen in Roman Reigns. He’s in a Justice League (of sorts) in the WWE: The Shield. Despite their Marvel-sounding name, they stand for Justice, or at least their version of it. That is one part of Superman’s vintage creedo: Truth, Justice and the American Way. And like Kofi Kingston, Roman Reigns delivers one intense Superman Punch.
|Image Courtesy of Tumblr (Please Don’t Sue)|
The all-black attire and flak jackets make the Shield seem more like elite members of General Zod’s army. Either way, You can tell that Roman has spent some time in the Shield’s top secret, tripod-less hideout, thumbing through the pages of Action Comics.
3. Jerry Lawler
You can see Jerry Lawler’s enthusiasm for Superman on his face. Literally: he has been known to style his hair so that it includes Superman’s trademark S Curl. Plus, his second rope fist drop is definitely a Superman inspired move. He not only shows his love for Superman inside the ring but outside of it too; in addition to being a King of the Ring, Lawler is an accomplished artist. So much so that DC Comics reached out to him for a Superman contribution. And Jerry Lawler has established himself as the go to opinion in the WWE for all things Superman. The week Man of Steel was released, The King took a pilgrimage – so to speak – to Metropolis, Illinois. The WWE even showcased Lawler’s legendary Superman collection on Superstar Toyz, making even Kofi’s epic mancave jealous.
2. Chris Hero
With a name like Hero, you have to expect some type of Superhero appreciation. And Chris Hero did not disappoint. Throughout Chris Hero’s career in the independents, Hero not only wore ring attire that reflected the Man of Steel’s attire but also emblazoned himself with a Superman-esque ensignia. Instead of the “S,” Chris chose a “CH,” which might as well have been stood for “champion” with all the titles Hero racked up through the years.
|Image Courtesy of WrestlingForum.com|
He formed a Superfriends faction in CHIKARA with Mike “Lightning” Quackenbush before finding his ultimate team-up partner. Hero and Claudio Castignoli formed the Kings of Wrestling and the dominant tag team wasn’t complete until these two Superheroes had their own theme music. Sorry, 3 Doors Down’s Kryptonite, you’ve been replaced by Cody B. Ware’s “K.O.W (Kings).”
1. John Cena
C’mon, John Cena is a no brainer for this list. We all call him SuperCena! They paired him with Superman on Saturday Mornings, even!
The Ryback kept referring to John as “SuperCena” leading up to their match at WWE Payback. Look where that got him. WWE.com has articles calling Cena the Superman of the WWE. And even when we use SuperCena as an insult, the barbs bounce off the animated likeness stretched across his barrel chest the same way bullets bounce off the S on Superman’s chest. But John’s SuperCena-ness startd long before that. Back when he was a wild-mannered Doctor of Thuganomics, he was invoking Supes. Those throwback jerseys that were always one size too big, the same way Clark Kent’s suit were one size to big. This was intentional; it deceived people into neglecting his massive strength, which he showcased time and time again, lifting the heavys of the WWE. Instead of glasses, Cena wore a backwards cap and a chain-link chain but, hey, Cena’s from West Newbury, not Smallville. Still, Cena still gives off that All American (American) charm: Hustle Loyalty and Respect are his Truth and Justice.