The WWE As The Sopranos
One could assume that the closest parallel for professional wrestling might be that of organized crime.
In any wrestling promotion, you have your bosses, the men who run the show and hold the titles, the capo's who are capable main-event caliber workers, the soldiers who work hard for their opportunity at the mid-card level, and the associates who are looking to make their name in the business.
Comparing the current WWE landscape to the most popular mob related television show of all-time only seemed natural as we look at the WWE as The Sopranos.
Vince McMahon as Tony Soprano
Tony Soprano entered the family business at the bottom and worked his way to the top of the New Jersey underworld through his cunning and smarts.
Having achieved far more in the business than he father ever did, Tony rose to his position by not always playing by the rules that the old guard set forth, and chose to chart his own path as a mob leader.
Vince did the same as Tony taking a somewhat successful business and making it the biggest brand name in professional wrestling by moving away from the "old ways" of doing business.
Also there are the family similarities in particular with the women in their life. Both have wives who act in some way as their husband's conscience, yet can't escape the business. They also have daughters who seemed to rebel against their daddy, only to fully accept everything the business entails.
Like Tony, Vince has taken on all challengers. And while down, he was never out, including both winning battles with the FBI and Justice Department.
John Cena as Uncle Junior
Uncle Junior was an old-school mobster who respected tradition, yet he never received the respect of other mobsters.
Junior never had the mob muscle that he thought he had and, while powerful, was never as smart or as cunning as his nephew Tony.
John Cena is a throw-back wrestler who talks a great deal about tradition, and respects the old-school of professional wrestling.
However, he too lacks the wrestling skill and cunning to ever really be fully respected and appreciated by the true savvy wrestling fans.
Randy Orton as Phil Leotardo
Utterly ruthless and sociopathic with a chip on his shoulder as big as the Grand Canyon, Phil Leotardo used his guile and utter disregard for others to fill a power vacuum and become the boss of New York.
Phil would just as rather put a bullet in his opponents heads as negotiate, and was able to use his associates to do his bidding and carry out his quest for power and respect.
No wrestler in the WWE today fits this mold better than Randy Orton.
Orton is ruthless, sociopathic, has just as big a chip on his shoulder, and will do anything in his power (or get the other members of Legacy to do anything in their power) to secure his spot in WrestleMania and a shot as the WWE Heavyweight Championship.
Ric Flair as Carmine Lupertazzi Sr.
Carmine Sr. was the old-school boss of bosses in New York, who even in semi-retirement, was so respected that even Tony Soprano was in awe of his accomplishments.
Few mobsters were as respected as "Big Carmine," and his accomplishments speak for themselves, from inventing point shaving to controlling the largest mafia family in the United States.
For over twenty years Ric Flair was the best wrestler in the business ,who even in retirement holds the respect of every member of the WWE roster (with the exception of Jericho.)
Flair's accomplishments and impact on pro wrestling are without question or parallel and like Carmine Sr. he is considered the greatest to ever live in his business.
Triple H as Silvio Dante
Silvio was the smartest guy in the family, and a man who used his Consigliare political connections and friendship with Tony Soprano to move up to the level of family .
Triple H is referred to as "the cerebral assassin" because of his intelligence and savvy in the ring.
Also he is an expert political player with family connections to the boss. However, make no mistake, like Silvio, he still has enough violent tendencies to get the job done if needed.
Edge as Paulie Walnuts
The ultimate opportunist of the Soprano family was Paulie Walnuts, a man who sought out opportunities to earn even if it was at the expense of other family members.
More often than not using violence as a means-to-an-end, Paulie had a mean streak, and nothing was off-limits in his quest to keep his high standing in the family (including stealing an old lady's money and killing her.)
Edge is a perfect representation of this character, a man who seeks out whatever opportunities he can find in order to achieve his goals in the business, and like Paulie he has enough of a ruthless streak to get the job done.
Chris Jericho as Chris Moltesanti
As the young turk of the family with little respect for the traditions of mob life, Chris Moltesanti made it up the ladder quickly despite his attitude problems and unwillingness to respect tradition.
Young Chris never understood why the old guard wouldn't get out of the way and allow him to take what he felt was rightfully his.
Chris Jericho is quickly turning into to wrestling's Chris Moltesanti, with his arrogance and sense of self-importance to move the business forward with him as the cornerstone, while the old guard fades away into retirement.
Matt Hardy as Big Pussy Bompesaro
Big Pussy was the show's ultimate heel, a man who had been accepted by the family, only to turn on one of his own.
At one time he was a well-respected soldier and capo, until he turned his back on his brothers in the family to work for the FBI. Big Pussy eventually helped put his friend and boss Tony Soprano behind bars.
With the recent attack on his brother Jeff, Matt Hardy has turned into one of the biggest heels in the WWE, turning on his own brother and trying to destroy his family.
Kane as Patsy Parisi
Patsy Parisi was the Soprano's ultimate knock-around guy, a mobster who was always given second-rate jobs who was never going to reach the inner circle.
However, at the end of the series after multiple bigger names in the family had died, Patsy was one of the few left standing.
Kane might be the WWE's ultimate knock-around guy, a wrestler who is almost always given second-rate programs who will never become a respected star.
However, as WWE talent comes and goes Kane still finds himself drawing a paycheck.
Kofi Kingston as Bennie Fazio
Throughout the series we saw Bennie rise from the ranks of doing odd jobs for Tony and Paulie, and facing a number of humiliations in the story lines.
However, he became one of the best earners and the family's most important members by the end of the series.
Kofi Kingston is one of the best up-and-coming superstars in the WWE today. Yet his booking hasn't been strong and he was utterly humiliated Sunday night.
However, I can see Kofi becoming a star in the WWE and a major player in the company for years to come.
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