As much as the writers of Walking Dead want him to be Hulk Hogan, Rick Grimes is far too one-dimensional to inspire that kind of enthusiasm. If there were a classic WWE wrestler whose gimmick was that of a whining, indecisive Boy Scout who limps around screaming his son's name over and over again like a crazy person, this would be a no-brainer. Since there's not, Bob Backlund will have to do. Rick spends entire episodes moping around on the verge of tears. Backlund spends entire matches executing nothing but headlocks. Don't everyone start lining up for autographs all at once now!
Honorable Mentions: Big Boss Man, Mr. Perfect
Just like the G-rated 1-2-3 Kid rebranded himself as the edgier X-Pac in the late 90's, Carl Grimes underwent a transformation of his own when he blasted that kid in the face for no apparent reason at the end of Season 3. Not that it made much of a difference to fans in either case, however. Five years from now, Carl could very well be the most bad ass walker-hunter in all the land. Until then, he's the zombie apocalypse equivalent of D-Generation X's errand boy and nothing more.
Honorable Mentions: Virgil, Owen Hart
Shane Walsh was one bad dude who liked to kick ass first, ask questions later, and challenge authority whenever he could. Sound familiar? Stone Cold Steve Austin practically invented this shtick in the 90's and if the WWE had incorporated a zombie outbreak angle at the time, it's pretty easy to picture Austin responding just like Shane the Ticking Timebomb did during his two-season run. The only way these two could be any more similar is if Shane had decided to bunker down for the apocalypse inside a beer truck, or if Stone Cold had accidentally gotten Linda McMahon pregnant during his feud with Vince.
Honorable Mentions: Ken Shamrock, Sid Vicious
Sure, it might be a stretch to say when Shawn Michaels used to stomp his foot before issuing a Sweet Chin Music it was just like when Daryl Dixon draws his crossbow back before annihilating a zombie, but the resemblance is undeniable nevertheless. Both are fan favorite sex symbols. Both constantly question their allegiance. And when it matters most, neither hesitate to kick some serious ass.
Honorable Mentions: Tatanka, Skinner
Considering professional wrestling is as much a soap opera as it is a sporting event, there are obviously plenty of parallels for the relationship between Daryl and his brother Merle, but few capture the latter's anguish quite like Kane. Now obviously Kane was much more justified in seeking revenge against his brother than Merle (Kane's brother, The Undertaker, started a fire that killed the rest of Kane's family, while Merle's brother basically just told him to stop being such a racist asshole), but both experienced real pain as a result and both characters, more than anything else, were defined by the betrayal. Since Baraka from Mortal Kombat has still yet to make his WWE debut, Kane will have to do.
Honorable Mentions: Diesel, Razor Ramon
Some are more exotic, but no WWE superstar matches the mysterious Michonne's rare combination of power, excitement, and universal popularity quite like the man from Parts Unknown. When the Ultimate Warrior storms a wrestling ring like the Tasmanian Devil and starts nonchalantly tossing fellow behemoths around like rag dolls, your mind can't help but cheer. Same goes for when the menacing swordswoman Michonne whips out her katana and starts decapitating zombies so fast you can hardly keep up. If these two aren't kindred spirits, no pair is.
Honorable Mentions: "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, Jake "The Snake" Roberts
There are plenty of wrestlers more sinister than Flair, and plenty whose moral philosophies align much closer to that of the murderous Governor. But The Governor is more complex than that. He's not just going around killing everyone, he uses people. He manipulates them. And just like Ric Flair led the Four Horseman for all those years in the late 80's, he's damn effective at it too. For Flair, that meant winning every major championship wrestling has to offer. For Phillip "The Governor" Blake, it meant securing command over large groups of survivors on multiple occasions. Few have accomplished nearly as much in either's world, and none are more fun to hate. Except maybe Goldust. Everyone hated that guy.
Honorable Mentions: Vader, The Undertaker
Illustrated by Kyle Bradley