“Wrestlers are just real life superheroes.” If you’re a long time wrestling fan, you’ve heard that statement made in various interviews, with promoters, stars and fans alike. The spectacle of these larger than life athletes that often have the body types, moves, and in some cases, appearances, of the superheroes found in comic books.
But what if the roles were reversed? Well, in an effort for comic book fans to explain the hierarchy of pro wrestling promotions around the world, we’re going to flip the script. Solely within the context of the DC Universe, here are several prominent wrestling promotions and the superhero that represents their position within the industry.
WWE is Superman
Easily the most well-known superhero on the planet, although he has a limited fight set and usually punches a lot. Can fly when he needs to though. While he’s the most popular superhero on the planet, there’s also a very vocal minority that loathes his kid-friendly appeal and mostly boring story arcs of late, and the only thing they hate more than Superman are people who like Superman.
NXT is Batman
Batman is pretty closely tied with Superman, sort of the yin and yang of each other. While Superman is far more powerful, Batman has more training in combat and isn’t afraid to get a little more rough around the edges. And Superman may be more popular, but Batman is wayyyy cooler.
NJPW is Martian Manhunter
While nowhere near the global popularity of Superman, Martian Manhunter is nearly as powerful. He’s got far more creativity in his power set, and has certain zen about him that’s more no-nonsense than the grandiose nature of Superman. His solo stories have always had some real grittiness in them, but he’s best at leading a faction like the Justice League, working alongside various other superheroes to make their spread across the globe more effective.
Stardom is Wonder Woman
A powerful hero who proves that a woman can compete on a level as high as any man on the planet, Wonder Woman is a product of a centuries-old philosophy and wisdom, combined with power and super athleticism.
IMPACT is Lobo
While not super well-known in the general mainstream, he’s fairly well-known by regular wrestling fans. Has an intensely loyal cult following and no matter how many times people have tried, they just can’t seem to kill him.
All Elite Wrestling is Aquaman
For years, Aquaman was just an elite level journeyman. He was better-suited working for others in other teams and was never truly considered to be a strong frontman. But with a new multi-million dollar push behind them in the past year, they’ve shown they have what it takes to make the box office.
NXT UK is Nightwing
Closely associated with Batman (NXT), Nightwing started off as Batman’s sidekick, the Boy Wonder Robin, before he went seriously out on his own to become Nightwing. Now that he has his own team to run with, he’s showing he was just being held back by the Bats and has the athleticism and confidence to be his own hero.
EVOLVE is Superboy
Connected to the Superman family, Superboy has always been an odd person out. He didn’t fit in with the cooler teen comics, like Teen Titans, but still had a loyal fan base. In the past few years, he did a bit of a turn, by doing some actions others found a bit shady, suddenly becoming a bit of a villain.
205 Live is Red Hood
Another hero connected to Batman, he was originally the second Robin, before some Joker nearly killed him. And it was mostly due to the bad fan feedback. But he came back with a new vengeance as the Red Hood and though he’s still not breaking records in comic book sales, he’s actually one of the more underrated characters in the DC Universe right now.
Ring of Honor is The Flash
Ring of Honor has been around a long time, with different people guiding the character. Started by Jay Garrick, passed on to Barry Allen, then Wally West, over the years, the Flash has become a vital part of the superhero reality and construct. Flash has influenced multiple generations of heroes and helped out various other heroes with their assistance.
PWG is Hawkman
A true warrior, Hawkman is a strong member of the Justice League, but not one of the most well-known ones. But he can fight hand to hand with the best of them and has wings and can soar like a bird, so he’s always dependable for a good fight. And those that like Hawman are pretty obsessed fans.
PROGRESS is Cyborg
Cyborg was just another teen superhero until he started hanging around with Superman, and now they find themselves eating at the grown-ups’ table.
SHIMMER is Black Canary
Not one of the most well-known superheroes in the DC Universe, but an important one. She has one of the most powerful voices in the whole world.
CHIKARA is Ambush Bug
Ambush Bug is one of those superheroes you either get or you don’t. He’s comedic, he’s satire, and a little bit cheeky, and he breaks the fourth wall and goes straight to the seventh sometimes. But it you can get through all of the zaniness, it’s actually quite clever and altogether quite enjoyable.
Pro Wrestling EVE is Harley Quinn
The schizophrenic punk rock superhero who’s as much a bad girl as she is a superhero. But when it comes to straight up fighting, there aren’t many who can touch her.
Game Changer Wrestling is Swamp Thing
A smaller cult following superhero, Swamp Thing can be a violent force of nature or a tender moment in the forest, a thing of beauty. Wild, unpredictable, often bring the past into the future, Swamp Thing isn’t one of the most popular superheroes in the DC Universe, but is one of the more overlooked stories of importance.