Months ago, Grantland featured an article written by the legendary Masked Man about the similarities in the WWE and the NBA. It's brilliant for basketball and WWE fans. And if you are a fan of both, then it's truly incredible. You can read it here: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7861414/david-stern-vince-mcmahon-lebron-james-john-cena-wwe-guide-nba.
The Masked Man's article, took players from the NBA and compared them against their WWE counterpart. Lebron James was John Cena, Dwayne Wade was CM Punk and David Stern was Vince McMahon. It was a truly incredible and fresh angle to look at both sports and how they aren't as different as we might think. Now with the awards season upon us, I started getting all cynical about the award shows aka popularity contests that Hollywood throws. And I couldn't help but see similarities in the WWE and the entertainment world. It could be that I watch waaaaay too much wrestling and my brain can't switch it off or maybe it's that the WWE really isn't that different from our lives as we think. That sentence sounds crazy I know but hang with me.
The Academy Awards is the WWEApart from the obvious comparison of the WWE's Slammy Awards and the Academy Awards, the connection between the two goes much deeper. First off, the only form of communication in either the WWE or the Academy awards is via microphone on stage. There is trash talking about people in the crowd and people back stage, there are references that only people who are in that world understand, and there are a plethora of badly written jokes. If they switched out the stage for a ring at the Academy Awards would any one be able to tell?
I also have a theory on the WWE and the Academy Awards as a whole. In the WWE the term "putting someone over" means that a superstar in wrestling will lose to an up and coming guy to give them ring cred and let the audience know that the new guy is legit. Now, I like to think of it in terms of leveling up in video games. For instance, Randy Orton is a level 10 warrior and Wade Barrett is a level 9 rogue. When Randy puts Wade over like what happened on Raw last night, Wade levels up to level 10. So now he can beat better opponents and never lose to lower level wrestlers.
But the same works for the Academy Awards. When someone is finally nominated for an Academy Award they are being put over. They have leveled up. Now whenever they are in a film, it is always thought to be Oscar worthy. Obviously not always, but more often then not, the actor will be nominated more often, his or her performances will only be viewed in an Award sense, and they will be in a LOT more movies. For instance, Jeremy Renner was basically a small time actor, only in a few things. But once Hurt Locker came out and he was sky rocketed to stardom and has appeared in tons of films. The Hurt Locker put him over. Another example would be Christopher Waltz. I thought he was great in Django, but not award worthy. But since he is an Academy Award winner, he is always in title contention.
Tom Hanks is John Cena
It seems like no matter what Tom Hanks does, no matter what films he appears in, he is always in Oscar contention. The guy is incredible and an easy guy to root for but the guy has won everything he can win twice. It almost has gotten to the point where it seems like the Academy doesn't even look at other actors once he's been nominated. He's the golden boy, and for that we love to hate on him. Much like John Cena. The guy has put the WWE on his back for the last 10 or so years but still we boo and hiss at him. But it's nothing personal, it's just that he is max out when it comes to leveling up. No one could ever be on his level and that's because the WWE has made him into a superhero. Perfect example, he won the Superstar of the Year Award at the Slammy's. If the WWE actually had real open voting from the fans, there would be no way in hell that Cena would win. It is rigged, just the Academy. The most popular guy usually wins.
Daniel Day Lewis is CM Punk
Now the only other guy in the WWE on the active roster that can hold a candle to John Cena would be CM Punk. The guy has wrestled his dick off and the fan have watched him grow into an incredible performer in and out of the ring. He has built a fan base on pure talent, that had nothing to do with the WWE deciding that he was the guy. We wanted him to win and the WWE recognized it. That's how Daniel Day Lewis' career has been in a way. He doesn't really chose the flashy, big budget movies. He'd much rather hone his craft and work on the complexity of character development in smaller films or perhaps, not so mainstream films. He is a crowd favorite because we can recognize that he has an incredible talent and he has worked his ass off to achieve what he has accomplished. And both CM Punk and Daniel Day Lewis reek of coolness in my book.
Jeremy Renner is Dolph Ziggler
I spoke briefly about Jeremy Renner before. The guy is a great actor and proved so to the world in Hurt Locker. Since then, his star has only been rising in Hollywood. He's been in Mission Impossible, Bourne Legacy, The Avengers, the guys all over the place. He has become a household name and he is only getting more popular. That's like Dolph Ziggler. Dolph has always been in the background, though he had the US title for a while, but he has never gotten the push that he deserves. It is clear to anyone watching that he is one of the best performers that the WWE has but has yet to reach the next level of his career. He has the Money in the Bank contract still to cash in for a title shot and will probably be the champ before or at Mania but the sky is the limit for both stars.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is the Undertaker
There was a time when Philip Seymour Hoffman was in what seemed like almost every movie that came out in a year. And the Undertaker used to wrestle regularly on WWE programming. Now both have limited themselves to only 2 or 3 appearances a year, culminating in one award worthy performance. Both celebrities have become so revered in their respective fields that they are always on people's wishlist for dream matchups or roles.
Harrison Ford is Randy Orton
Who plays an anit-hero scoundrel like Han Solo better than Harrison Ford? Randy Orton maybe. This comparison isn't air tight but the two do share a sense of danger and brooding foreboding. Harrison Ford has a quite demeanor and is known for kicking major ass. He has been nominated for Academy Awards and usually is in title contention just like Randy Orton. Randy is the bad guy with a heart of gold. He is never too far from a title shot, but he also doesn't need it to be one of our favorites in the biz.
Dwayne Johnson is The Rock
Martin Scorsese is Mick Foley
This comparison is a little out dated since both have won after years of trying and being snubbed over and over again. Martin Scorsese is a legend in the film business who for years has been nominated for Best Director. Year after year he was snubbed until he finally won in 2006 for "The Departed". This is much like Mick Foley's career where he was an unconventional wrestler, destroying himself in some of the greatest matches of all time without ever winning a title. Until he finally won title from the Rock. Which is fitting as The Rock and Triple H were the ones in the ring with him to congratulate him after the win. Just like how long time friend's of Scorsese Steve Spielberg and George Lucas were on stage presenting his first Academy Award.
Billy Crystal is Hornswoggle
What's the Academy Awards without Billy Crystal and what's the WWE without Hornswoggle. Both are funny, short, and can be found at the end of a rainbow. Both have been asked to do the ridiculous and delivered year after year culminating in Hornswoggle being birthed as the New Years baby a few Raws back.
If I try to think of any more they will just get more and more ridiculous. But next time you want to knock the WWE for being fake or anything like that, think back to your precious Academy Awards show, and ask yourself if they are that much different.
And if you have any other comparisons, shoot them in the comments below.