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This past weekend I decided to pop in Mad Max 2: Road Warrior & Beyond Thunderdome (I didn't have the original Mad Max at my disposal otherwise I'd have indulged on the whole trilogy).  I hadn't seen either movies since childhood & thought it'd be fun to revisit the films with a pair of adult eyes; I was not disappointed.What really struck me was how influential these films were to the world of professional wrestling.  I guess I knew most of the references but, once you line them all up, it's rather impressive.  Let's take a look..-The Road Warriors: This is clearly the most obvious choice.  The name, the outfits, the face paint (not the designs, but just the existence of the paint itself).  The shoulder pads in particular.  Does anyone know if any wrestlers wore pads as entrance gear prior to the Roadies?  Let's also not forget that Hawk & Animal were the precursor for other similar teams like the Powers of Pain & Demolition.

-Lord Humungus/Humongous: Blatantly lifted from 'The Road Warrior' and dropped smack dab in the middle of Memphis.  The moniker was used by Sid Vicious & Bull Buchanan among others.

-the Ayatollah of Rock & Rolla: one of Humungus' nicknames, aped by Chris Jericho

-pro wrestlers Mad Maxx, Super Maxx & Mad Maxine: I don't know a great deal about these three but I have to assume they were influenced by the movies (?) especially Maxine.-Thunderdome: Dusty Rhodes has gone on record to say that he got the idea (or at least the idea to seal the top of the cage) for War Games from Thunderdome.

-Bust a deal/face the wheel = spin the wheel/make a deal

-MasterBlaster: The Krang-like character wasn't copied but the name was given to Kevin Nash & his partners (Steel, Iron & Blade) for a brief period in WCW

-Finlay's jacket: The half shoulder padded, half leather studded jacket. I always wondered what the hell he was trying to pull off there.

Am I missing anything?  Are there any movies/series that come to mind that have been nearly as influential to wrestling?  Curious to hear what everyone thinks..

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I agree that you could argue that most post-apocalypse movies were a huge inspiration to past and current wrestling gimmicks.

 

When Jim Hellwig showed up in World Class, he worked as Dingo Warrior.  Despite what Hellwig says in an interview, it is pretty obvious it is a Mad Max 2 gimmick given the facepaint and the fact that Dingos are wild dogs that are most associated with the Aussie outback even though they are an introduced species.

 

Jim kept the post-apocalyptic vibe going in the WWE given that The Ultimate Warrior is the name of a 1975 after WW3 movie starring Yul Brynner.

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Low-ki

 

As in, he's a grown up feral kid?

 

I've always been fascinated with this topic too, and just have two visual tidbits to share:

 

-Recently referenced on Konnan's podcast, Animal tried to really play up his Road Warrior roots during a 2006 run.  I vaguely recall him wrestling in black leather with no paint, but never saw him sport this cosplay jacket.

 

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-You mentioned Demolition but it's worth noting they basically dressed exactly like Humongous from the neck down, even more apparent when they rocked their entrance mask, which was the coolest thing I had seen as a 7-year old.

Posted Image

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This is an excellent topic, hero. I have contemplated it as well, and all of my correlations I think have been mentioned (gotta find my notebooks). Mad Maxx & Super Maxx: slowly I turned... The Mad Max movie series heavily influenced the depiction of "punks" in Hollywood, b-movies and exploitation films, which then in turn colored pro wrestling gimmicks. In this broader sense, the Rotten Brothers, the Nasty Boys, the Head Bangers and Kronos & Saturn all fit in this category. 

oi, RAF

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-Recently referenced on Konnan's podcast, Animal tried to really play up his Road Warrior roots during a 2006 run.  I vaguely recall him wrestling in black leather with no paint, but never saw him sport this cosplay jacket.

 

Posted Image

I remember him wearing that get-up (jeans, chaps, tank top) with a regular leather vest instead of the jacket.  That was not a good image change.

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Great post, I agree with a ton of that.  I want to say that there were a lot of aesthetic points across wrestling taken from the Warriors too, but that just might be coincidental.

 

Knuckleball Shwartz, yo.

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Love that Animal 8x10.  I'd never seen that look & certainly don't recall his look or character from that era. Thank you for sharing.  I'm also unfamiliar w/ the AWA's Master Blaster.  Google tells me there was someone in Memphis w/ that name as well.  Does anyone have any photos?  This is all I could find...

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Pete- I love me some Black Warrior (and not just his torpedo topes).  Do you happen to know anything about the 'origin' of his character or have any photos to post of his more extravagant outfits (entrance gear included)?  I seem to remember him occasionally wearing a kilt.

 

Great additions to this topic; thanks guys!

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Low-ki

 

As in, he's a grown up feral kid?

 

I've always been fascinated with this topic too, and just have two visual tidbits to share:

 

-Recently referenced on Konnan's podcast, Animal tried to really play up his Road Warrior roots during a 2006 run.  I vaguely recall him wrestling in black leather with no paint, but never saw him sport this cosplay jacket.

 

Posted Image

-You mentioned Demolition but it's worth noting they basically dressed exactly like Humongous from the neck down, even more apparent when they rocked their entrance mask, which was the coolest thing I had seen as a 7-year old.

Posted Image

 

I always thought of Demolition as being more inspired by the rising tide of heavy metal (maybe even death metal) in the US at the time. 

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Don't know if Konga is a 'stretch' per se as I believe the Powers of Pain evolved from the Roadies (anyone have cited confirmation from a shoot or an autobio?).  I *do* want to go back and rewatch Arnold's Conan films to see what was transferred to the wrestling world.

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Don't know if Konga is a 'stretch' per se as I believe the Powers of Pain evolved from the Roadies (anyone have cited confirmation from a shoot or an autobio?).  I *do* want to go back and rewatch Arnold's Conan films to see what was transferred to the wrestling world.

 

Barbarian started using the face paint/Road Warriors look when he came into Jim Crockett Promotions.  That was late 1984 or early 1985.  The Powers of Pain team with the Barbarian  formed in 1988.

 

BTW, he was never actually billed as "Konga the Barbarian" on a show or called that on commentary.  He was simply "The Barbarian".  The Apter mags are the only one who called him "Konga the Barbarian" to differentiate him from Nord the Barbarian who started in World Class at about the same time.  His previous gimmick was King Konga and he wore tights with the word "Konga" down the leg.  When he started doing the Barbarian gimmick, he wore the same tights.

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Interesting.  I'd never heard that.  What was the Warlord doing prior to their pairing?  I can imagine him going "shit... I guess I'll take Hawk's hair since you already have a pretty decent 'Animal' going on... 

As a kid, I always assumed Nord the Barbarian was a poor Brody ripoff.  It wasn't until I was older that I realized that he had actually teamed with Brody and was a protege(?) of sorts.The King Konga bit makes me think of King Tonga.  I have plenty of questions re: Pacific Islanders but I will save that for another topic.  Cheers!

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