While there are many nerds that cross over from one obsession to another, some obsessions are more alike than they appear. Comic books contain an assortment of fans that are usually imaginative, well-read, and appreciate art. Pro wrestling usually has rowdy fans that are a bit more outspoken and enjoy loud, stunt-like action. Then there are those fans that enjoy both. Why? Because pro wrestling and comics are the same thing.
While the average fan of either might not see it, there are tons of similarities between wrestling and comics. The parallels between the two go deeper than just battles between good guys and bad guys. The stories, the psychology, and even business practices between the two mediums are nearly identical.
Don't believe it? Take a look at this list that explains how professional wrestling and comic books are the same.
Dynamic Costumed Characters
Both superhero comics and pro wrestling feature larger-than-life characters that wear elaborate, colorful costumes. Heroes like Spider-Man and Atom Smasher would fit in with the masked luchadores like Blue Demon Jr. or La Parka. The red-and-blue color scheme of Superman matches the iconic red-and-yellow of Hulk Hogan.
There are also many modern wrestlers today that wear gear inspired by comic books, especially in promotions like Chikara. Former WWE World Champion Rey Mysterio wore costume homages to comic book characters such as Daredevil, Spider-Man, Captain America, The Flash, and several more.
Modern-Day Morality Plays
While a lot of modern television, film, and literature has moved towards "shades of gray" regarding character motivations, most comic books and pro wrestling matches adhere to classic morality plays of good versus evil. The hard-fighting, humble family man Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat was the noble Superman as the excessive, dastardly pompous Ric Flair was the Lex Luthor in their feud. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was fighting off the corporate cronyism within WWE as Batman cleaned up police corruption in Gotham City. While some comic book stories and pro wrestling storylines have moral ambiguity, many of the better-remembered and effective stories featured a clear hero to cheer and villain to boo.
Heroes Become Villains and Villains Become Heroes
What happens when heroes or villains get stale? You turn them. This has been a go-to device for both comic books and pro wrestling for decades. Goodie good guy Hulk Hogan became the villainous Hollywood Hogan when fans had enough of his babyface schtick. The Hulkster then turned good again years later. When DC needed a shake-up, Hal Jordan went from being the best Green Lantern in the Green Lantern Corps to the evil near-god Parallax. Jordan then redeemed himself in his Green Lantern: Rebirth storyline.
There are also villains that turned into heroes in the world of pro wrestling. Steve Austin and Roddy Piper were despised men that fans eventually respected, forcing creative teams to turn them into babyface heroes. In superhero comics, it's like the recent heroic runs of Dr. Octopus and Dr. Doom in the Superior Spider-Man and Infamous Iron Man stories.
They Offer Something for Everyone
The world of pro wrestling contains moments of comedy, horror, and great drama. WWE's New Day entertains audiences with their skits before and after their matches. Lucha Underground features the undead Mil Muertes and his horrific battles involving coffins. The stiff in-ring bouts between New Japan Pro Wrestling's Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi are sports dramas on par with the Rocky film franchise.
In just the Marvel Universe alone, you have comedy books like Deadpool, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and The Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Within the same universe, horror comics like Marvel Zombies and the melodrama of stories like Uncanny X-Men also thrive. Both pro wrestling and comics can offer a variety of different stories, approaches, and tastes for everyone to consume.