Though most people wouldn't think so at first, World Wrestling Entertainment and the National Football League have a lot in common.
Both companies promote a form of entertainment that is both entertaining and violent. In the case of the NFL, violence probably takes the front seat, while entertainment is the focus of WWE.
Both are hoping to dominate the same target audience. The NFL and WWE covet the male 18-35 demographic, and both do a good job of capturing that audience, though WWE's ratings have been in a bit of a decline lately. The NFL also captures a wider market share than Vince McMahon's wrestling company. Professional football appeals more to women and to older adults than wrestling does.
Both WWE and the NFL are huge proponents of the social media. WWE is one of the most "liked" entities on Facebook, and has garnered a huge following on Twitter. During the NFL season, fantasy football sites inspire more Internet traffic than any other single sports entity.
Both "sports" inspire fanaticism. Fans of the Green Bay Packers would rather be executed than root for the Chicago Bears. The same type of loyalty is present in the WWE Universe. Those who love John Cena will probably love him forever, and will automatically hate whatever opponent he happens to be facing.
How did these seemingly disparate companies end up with so many parallels? The answer is simple. Both employ athletes who are the best in the world (apologies to CM Punk) at what they do. Some players (Wahoo McDaniel, Steve McMichael, Ron Simmons and Dwayne Johnson) come to the world of pro wrestling after their football glory days are behind them.
Top performers in WWE and in the NFL need a lot of the same characteristics. Here's a list of several WWE superstars, and their NFL "twins."