If you are a part of the WWE Universe*, you are well aware of two things:
1. WWE wrestling is totally real.
2. The WWE is full of unique personalities.
Really, it is. If you can come up with a personality type, and I mean any personality type, there's a pretty good chance that someone in the WWE represents it as much as someone possibly can.
The Carolina Panthers are the same way. There are tons of unique personalities on the roster, and upon closer inspection there are some stark similarities between players on the Panthers roster and wrestlers in the WWE.
Below is your handy guide to comparing Panthers players to WWE Superstars:
Cam Newton: John Cena. Fans in the WWE either love Cena or hate him. There is no middle ground. The same is true about Cam Newton. You either love him, or hate him. A lot of people in WWE circles think John Cena isn't a good wrestler and only gets the push he does because he's an ass kisser. Outside of the Carolinas (and even inside the Carolinas in some cases), a lot of folks think Cam isn't a good quarterback. Also, just like it is with John Cena's status as WWE champion, Cam Newton is the Panthers' starting QB whether you want him to be or not.
Steve Smith: Randy Orton. Orton calls himself the apex predator (whatever that means), but his one strength in the ring is that he can strike at a moment's notice - just like Steve Smith on the field.
Brandon LaFell: Ryback. He's not the most versatile or the fastest, but he does one thing well and is really under-appreciated for what he does bring to the table. In Ryback's case, he hurts people. In LaFell's case, he comes through on third down. Both are important, but neither get the appreciation they deserve.
DeAngelo Williams: Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler is charismatic and interesting, and he also has the potential to be one of the best to ever set foot in the ring. Unfortunately, his character is being written incorrectly. Sound familiar?
Jonathan Stewart: Kofi Kingston. He's a fun-loving guy who just enjoys life, but isn't afraid to kick ass when he's in the ring. Just like J-Stew - fun-loving off the field, ass-kicking on the field.
Mike Tolbert: Broadus Clay. We all enjoy the fat guy who dances. It's entertaining and fun. Broadus Clay is the WWE's fat guy who dances, just like Mike Tolbert in Carolina.
Jordan Gross: Triple H. His prime is long gone, but he's still good enough at what he does to get by. He's not really a main eventer anymore, but he's still better than most alternatives.
Greg Olsen: Sheamus. He's a really neat guy, a fan favorite, and he's severely underrated. Honestly, if Sheamus didn't glow in the dark I would think that Greg Olsen were pulling double duty, because other than the pasty white skin they're basically the same guy.
Charles Johnson: Mark Henry, aka The World's Strongest Man. Henry enters the ring to a song whose lyrics include the phrase "somebody's gonna get their ass kicked". That's what happens when Big Money steps on the field, and that somebody is always the opposing QB.
Greg Hardy: Brock Lesnar. Like Lesnar, you have to wonder if there's a screw loose with Hardy. But, he uses his craziness for the greater good by helping Charles Johnson destroy opposing QBs without prejudice, just like Lesnar does in the ring when he destroys others without prejudice.
Derek Anderson: Daniel Bryan. Weird facial hair choices aside, the similarities between the two are stunning. Both are the second best part of their group, and both take their job way too seriously. It wouldn't surprise me to see Anderson stand on top of the bench and scream NO! NO! NO! to the crowd at the top of his lungs during a game this season.
Jimmy Clausen: Hornswoggle. They share the fighting Irish connection, and no one takes either of them seriously.
That's it for the players/wrestlers, but there are also some quality announcers in WWE. Let's find the Panthers' counterparts, shall we?
Eugene Robinson: Jim Ross. Good ol' JR. Eugene isn't as good as JR (of course, no one is), but he gets excited at every little thing and announces as if his life depends on it. It's actually kind of entertaining when you think about it.
Mick Mixon: Michael Cole. He's a really nice guy, and he's probably a good husband and father. But he's the guy that you really couldn't care less if he's announcing or not. It's not like WWE fans watching at home are sitting on their couches saying "Oh sweet! Michael Cole is announcing his match." Yeah, nobody does that for Mixon either.
There you have it friends - your handy guide to comparing Panthers players to WWE Superstars. These comparisons are totally real, and you know it.
If you have any Panthers/WWE Superstar comparisons that you would like to share, feel free to add them in the comments.
* - The WWE Universe is their "creative" way of saying WWE fans. Apparently, they're too high society to call us fans now, but whatevs.
Hat tip to James Dator for his contributions to this article, and also a hat tip to both James and MMA PITBULL for the Twitter conversation we had last week that inspired this idea.