As many of you know, I am an avid Hip Hop fan as well as lifelong WWF/E fan. The worlds haven't often intersected and its all good because each hold a place in the pantheon of my problematic faves. With that said, over the years I've definitely noticed a few parallels between my favorite wrestlers and my favorite rappers. They are showmen, react to the crowds energy, and know how to perform, tell a story in the ring or on stage, and of course know their way around a mic.
This is a list of Rappers and their WWE counterparts. I based this list off of their careers, impact, style and trajectory. Lets get into it.
Jay Z is Triple H
You can draw comparisons from the accomplishments alone. Jay Z has 21 grammys and 13 Number 1 albums. Triple H has 14 World Title Reigns, multiple Royal Rumble Wins, and has headlined Wrestlemania numerous times. The parallels go even further though. At their best they have been villains. People love to hate on Hov and though HHH will always have the respect of his fans, the Cerebral assassin is at his best when he makes you want to hate him. Both in the later stages of their careers now work mostly behind the scenes and are helping to shape the future of their respective industries. Hov has Rocnation and Tidal and HHH has NXT and works behind the scenes at WWE in other facets. Don't get it twisted though, because even though Jay works mostly behind the scenes now, he can still lace you with an incredible 16 (for example when he featured on Pusha T's Drug Dealer's Anonymous). HHH still gets in the ring and mixes it up a few times a year as a way of elevating upcoming talents. He hasn't lost a step either and if these young wrestlers don't bring their all, HHH will definitely out shine them in the Ring.
Also did you think I'd forget the fact that both Jigga and Hunter are married to two of the most powerful women in this country? Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are THE power couple in WWE and she is arguably a bigger villain than he is. Beyoncé is Queen Bey, one of, if not the greatest artist of our time and the greatest performer since Janet Jackson. Together they are the most powerful tandem in the music industry. The King of Kings, The Game, The Cerebral Assassin, Hunter Hearst Helmsley is Hov, Jigga, S.Dot, Jay Z.
Drake is John Cena
This one is so obvious. Drake and John Cena are THE most divisive and polarizing figures in their respective industries. Since Drake has arrived he has divided hip hop fans. Many don't like his style or appreciate the way he carries himself and Hip Hop "purists" are mad he's breaking many of their accustomed rules and norms. People claim he politics in the industry and rides waves, burying artists in the process and some say he's corny and fake. This can all be said about Cena.
Cena blew up in the WWE when he came out with his Word Life (white rapper) gimmick and in the subsequent years fans began to turn on him when he dawned the Hustle, Loyalty, Respect catchphrase. Wrestling purists/ Marks would say he couldn't wrestle, his character was stale, and he buries the other talent. Cena hardly would lose clean and dominated the main event scene. He is currently tied with Ric Flair for the most world title reigns at 16. Dual chants of "lets go Cena!, Cena Sucks!" rage on at every arena and he has completely divided the WWE universe. But the numbers don't lie, Cena has made WWE a lot of money of the years with his Clash against The Rock at Wrestlemania 28 being the highest grossing ever.
The thing is whether you love or hate Drake and Cena, they can be counted on to produce. Every year you can count on Drake to drop 3 or 4 hits that dominate the airwaves, and with Cena WWE routinely has counted on him to shoulder high profile storylines and pack those arenas. They might seem corny, but they put asses in seats and produce at a high level. They are going to continue to piss off their respective "purists" but that isn't going to stop them. The reality is Drake is going to have a lot more number one records and John Cena is going to break Flair's record. Deal with it. Not to mention the kids love these guys.
Big Pun is Vader
Both Pun and Vader were the complete package. They were big and menacing but also charismatic and comedic. The dexterity that each had for their size is incredible. Big Pun was a verbal acrobat with a supreme flow and control that was unmatched. I work out all the time and there's no way I can have the breath control that Pun had. Vader was 400 plus pounds and pulling moonsalts and splashes off the top rope. They shined with smaller guys and showed they could keep up the pace. Pun held his own and shined on verses with Raekwon, Nas, Black Thought and countless others. Vader had some stellar matches with Sting, Flair, Cactus Jack and Shawn Michaels. Outside of a botched elbow drop, Vader's match against Michaels at Summerslam is one of my favorites all time. Big Pun and Vader were essentially freak athletes and a sight to behold. Both were people you could build around, and both were people you wouldn't want to step to.
Also there is some comedic charm to both Vader and the Punisher. Pun had some hilarious skits and verses and Vader was a recurring character on Boy Meets World, not to mention he also starred in that horrible WCW movie. Vader was a World Champion in WCW and Pun had a classic in Capital Punishment. Two legendary Big men of their industries. Also Pun's finisher would definitely be a Powerbomb if he ever wrestled.
Fabolous is Randy Orton
Admittedly I am huge fans of both these phenomenal talents but I've always felt like there was something missing.
Randy Orton has all the gifts. He has the ability to go down as the greatest of all time and its as if his skill comes naturally. The same can be said about Fab.
Fab has all the tools to go down as one of the greatest. It seems as his skills are effortless. You can always count on Fabolous to give us a summer banger and an ill mixtape but some of us are greedy and are still waiting on that classic album. The Young OG project, like Orton's stellar bout with CM Punk at Wrestlemania might be the closest we see to either these men making a classic. Orton has had 13 World Title Reigns and amazing moments over the years but we are still waiting on that career defining moment.
The question is will we get those moments from them? They have both had amazing careers that most people would love to have. So why would they even want to push the envelop any further? Fab has shared the stage with Hov, made hit after hit, and he can go bar for bar with anyone in the industry. Orton was in Evolution with Triple H, gave Undertaker one of his greatest Wrestlemania matches, and not to mention his powerslam and superplex are the best in the industry. Randy is incapable of having a bad match, but the hunger doesn't seem there anymore. The RKO is like a Fab punchline and can hit you from out of no where, and arguably is the best finishing move in the industry. Fab has quotable for days, so many that I'm not even going to narrow it down. Do yourself a favor and go listen to the Soul Tapes.
Another thing they have in common is the legacies and shadows they've had to come out of. Fab is a 4th generation Brooklyn emcee who has fought to rep the city like Kane, BIG and Jay, while Orton is a 3rd generation superstar. Both have had a lot to prove and did,, both can be considered legendary, and both still might have their best to come. We just have to wait and see.
G-Unit is The NWO
In the mid 1990s Hulk Hogan had to reinvent himself because he was becoming stale and fans had begun turning against him. 50 Cent had an underground following but upset a lot of folks in the industry. His re-emergence in the early 2000s, like Hogan's reinvention changed everything. Led by 50 Cent, G-Unit was the most intimidating group in the industry at the time. Charting out hit after hit G-Unit was untouchable in the early 2000s. They were the villains that everyone wanted to be and didn't want to get in the way of.
When Get Rich or Die Tryin' came out, everyone in my hood thought they were gangsta (even those who really weren't). Chants of "G-G-G-G-Unit would ring out" in junior high during fights and yeah some folks even rocked those G-unit wifebeaters. Everyone wanted to be down with G-Unit and they were getting at emcees left and right. Also every artist that got with G-Unit from Buck to Game saw success right out the gates.
The NWO blew up in the late 90s and changed the landscape of wrestling. They were edgy, thugged out and took out everyone who didn't join them. At the top of that group was Hogan, Hall and Nash. They'd later add Macho Man and damn near the whole WCW locker room to the fold, but that was because you either had to get down or lay down. The NWO also had all the gold. Everyone on that stable was winning belts, much like everyone on G-unit was dropping Platinum albums,
Also much like G-Unit, everyone in school wanted to be the NWO. That NWO shirt is still one of the most popular wrestling shirts. Good guys were no longer in. Luckily Flair's fan base didn't do him like Ja rule. See Flair had to play to the backstage politics of the NWO and Ja Rule's career never fully recovered from going to toe with 50. like the NWO, not many people could stand up to the juggernaut that was G-Unit. I have to also add that both reunion tours didn't live up to their original massive hype, and were pretty lackluster. That doesn't take away at all from the fact that their respective runs were amazing. 50, Banks and Yayo are Hogan, Hall and Nash. Also F*ck Hogan for being a racist.
Be sure to comment below what you think of this list. This is only part 1, I'm going to be updating this list periodically. Wait until you see who I have pegged as Macho Man, Chyna, AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan.