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WWE's Marvel-ous Superstars

Greetings, true believers.

Sports-entertainers have long been compared to comic book heroes and villains, and with just cause. The four-color worlds in which those larger-than-life archetypes reside certainly have their overlapping elements. Bombastic battles, colorful clothing and alliterative alter egos abound in their analogous arenas. The “good guys” and “bad guys” of the comic book universes battle it out inside the panels in a fashion similar to how scores are settled inside the WWE ring.

WWE.com has taken an inner-office argument and turned it into a blockbuster summer list event, comparing WWE’s Superstars and Divas to their Marvel Comics counterparts. So suit up and check out the list, then be sure to sound off in the comments and on Facebook about which Superstars and Divas you’d pair up with their mighty Marvel counterparts!

And of course, in the immortal words of Stan "The Man" Lee, "Excelsior!"

Namor, The Sub-Mariner & Chris Jericho

If or when Marvel begins casting for the role of Namor the Sub-Mariner in a movie, the chosen actor will no doubt be provided with countless comics dating back to the 1940s, when the ruler of Atlantis battled alongside Captain America as part of The Invaders. However, to truly get a grasp of Namor’s personality, the performer needs only to study the very attitude of Chris Jericho.

As ruler of Atlantis, Namor demands respect, and he’s quick to admonish those who do not show his highness the proper pomp. Sound familiar? When CM Punk declared himself “The Best in the World,” Jericho was quick to return to WWE, all to reclaim the label he saw as rightfully his and to demand Punk’s respect. Namor frequently and aggressively touts his royalty and accomplishments, presenting such a high level arrogance and sense of entitlement that it’s rivaled only by “The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla.”

Jericho’s royal Atlantean side recently surfaced when John Cena entered himself into the Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a WWE Championship contract. Jericho returned from hiatus, quickly pointed out his accomplishments and, not to be outdone, entered himself in the match. He might as well have used Namor’s battle cry “Imperius Rex!” because the Sub-Mariner would no doubt approve of his brother-in-arrogance’s strong declarations.

Hawkeye & Tyson Kidd

These might be two names you weren’t expecting to see next to each other. But think about it for a moment and you might realize that rising Superstar Tyson Kidd and The Avengers’ expert archer, Hawkeye, have quite a bit in common.

In the heat of battle, both men bring to the table a precision in their respective offensive arsenals, proving time and again that they are exceedingly daring, especially from the shadows.

Kidd’s ascension to the Money In The Bank Ladder Match for a World Heavyweight Championship Contract took the WWE Universe by surprise, but if you were paying attention, maybe you wouldn’t consider the young Superstar that much of a dark horse. Exceedingly capable in the ring, Kidd relies on his technical proficiency between the ropes to carry him to victory. Like Kidd, Hawkeye has no superpower to speak of; to keep up with the likes of Captain America and The Hulk, he must also rely on his combat expertise to survive.

Norman Osborn/Green Goblin & Daniel Bryan

Cunning, deceitful, maniacal. These are adjectives most would shy away from being affixed to. However, when you’re talking about Daniel Bryan and Norman Osborn — the dread Green Goblin of Spider-Man lore — such descriptors are worn as badges of honor.

Osborn is a brilliant-but-mad scientist who has been hell-bent on destroying Spider-Man since his first appearance in the Marvel Universe in the 1960s. As was evident early on in his diabolical endeavors, Green Goblin always has a plan, and his actions always serve to suit him. The same can be said about Daniel Bryan, WWE’s resident submission specialist and constant thorn in the side to sitting champions. When Bryan surprised everyone and decided to cash in his Money in the Bank Contract at WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2011 instead of at WrestleMania as he had promised, it became evident that the former journeyman technician had gone to the dark side in an attempt to further his career goals.

With each of his actions underscored with just the right amount of nefariousness, Bryan launches his own “pumpkin bombs” in an effort to counter WWE Champion CM Punk’s “pipe bombs.” But, just as the story typically ends when it comes to Green Goblin and Spider-Man, Bryan has come up just short in the face of the hero. And, as is the case with Osborn, Bryan usually reveals himself as his own worst enemy.

Deadpool & Dolph Ziggler

Known for his wisecracking ways and wanton desire to accumulate as much cash as possible — by doing whatever he has to do to make that happen, it should be noted — Deadpool is Marvel’s “Merc with a Mouth.” And the mercenary-for-hire is the perfect comparison to none other than The Showoff, Dolph Ziggler.

As Deadpool follows the green to whatever his next mission may be, so too is Ziggler willing to do whatever it takes to chase gold in the form of a title opportunity. Both Ziggler and Deadpool are willing to align themselves with the shadiest characters to get what they want, a practice that is none too wise. Except, of course, if you believe you’re better at the game than, well … everyone.

Abrasive, loud and unapologetic for his actions, Deadpool knows that there’s no better player in the merc business, a confidence he indubitably shares with Ziggler. So convinced in his abilities is Ziggler that, despite numerous loses to World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, The Showoff hasn’t lost a beat as he claws and scratches his way to the next title opportunity.

Juggernaut & Ryback

Nothing can stop the… RYBACK! As if he possesses the power of Cyttorrak inside the squared circle, the behemoth known as Ryback has decimated every challenger that stands in his way with only one request: “Feed me more!”

The powerful competitor from Sin City draws strong parallels to Marvel Comics’ Juggernaut, an unstoppable menace who can withstand even the powerful strikes of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Ryback and Juggernaut strike fear into the hearts of their opponents, be it an opposing Superstar or even the most seasoned X-Man or Avenger.

Even though they scream taunts of “Feed me more!” or “I’m the Juggernaut,” the actions of these larger-than-life bulldozers speak even louder. The most striking similarity between Ryback and Juggernaut is their ability to use momentum to their advantage. Every member of the X-Men that has stared down Professor X’s half-brother knows that once he starts running, get out of the way as fast as you can, because the longer he runs, the more powerful he becomes. In Ryback’s case, the longer he’s between the ropes, the more his power builds. It almost begs the question, “Who can stop Ryback the Juggernaut?”

Galactus & Mr. McMahon

In an interview about Galactus, the towering titan of a Marvel supervillain who devours planets whole, co-creator Jack Kirby once said, “He is beyond reproach, beyond anyone's opinion. … He is his own legend.”

Kirby might as well have been talking about WWE’s iconic Chairman, the one and only Mr. McMahon.

Though there are obvious physical differences between the god-like, purple-clad entity and the thousand dollar suit-wearing owner of WWE, the similarities between the two are striking. Galactus is an all-powerful entity who literally consumes planets in an attempt to sate an unquenchable hunger. In a similar vein, Mr. McMahon is a devourer of the competition, and has made his career – and his fortune – by laying waste to rival promotions through the decades of WWE’s dominance. Though Galactus might be stoic and silent in his rampant destruction, Mr. McMahon is anything but – just ask former WCW competitors about the night Mr. McMahon appeared on their show.

Still, were the two larger-than-life destroyers able to ever engage in combat, we’re not sure if any WWE Universe member would – or should – bet against Mr. McMahon.

Daredevil & Sin Cara

Initially, significant head-scratching may occur when wondering what a luchador like Sin Cara has in common with a blind lawyer from New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen. However, when you compare Sin Cara to Matt Murdock’s alter-ego, Daredevil, the two have a lot in common when considering their abilities.

Blinded as a child by an accident involving radioactive waste, Murdock developed radically heightened senses, including hyper-intuitive radar, and trained his body to become a costumed crime fighter. Daredevil’s jaw-dropping acrobatics and capability to outwit and out-fight the deadliest of enemies is nothing short of amazing, proving that he is truly the man without fear.

The secrets of Sin Cara’s astonishing maneuvers and agility could be easily explained by looking at Daredevil. Whenever the masked wonder competes, the surrounding arena lighting changes, and his acrobatic abilities leave even the most powerful Superstars on the defensive. Like Daredevil, Sin Cara uses his body in ways that defy logic and show no fear. It is almost as though he has a sixth sense, perhaps a radar-like ability that is more effective under certain lighting.

Spider-Man & Kofi Kingston

The closest the WWE Universe can get to the sensation that the citizens of Marvel New York feel when they see Spider-Man swinging high above the streets is to witness Kofi Kingston compete. Kofi’s fast-paced and innovative offense has the same ingenuity and flexibility of everyone’s favorite webhead. Plus, every time Kingston leaps into the air, the shock comes not in his elevation, but the fact that he doesn’t have web-shooters that aid him in defying gravity.

Kofi may not have the same penchant for witty banter as Spidey when it comes to battling opponents, but he certainly has the same positive spirit possessed by Peter Parker while in costume. Kingston’s abilities would likely make J. Jonah Jameson think he’s a menace, but the Ghana, West Africa, native always tries to find the best ways to overcome any challenge, and keeps the WWE Universe cheering for more.

As a three-time tag team champion, Kofi Kingston has proven himself a reliable partner in a team-up, one of Spidey’s favorite pastimes - leaving no doubt that these two would make one spectacular team.

Wolverine & CM Punk

At WrestleMania XXVIII, CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho to truly claim the title of “Best in the World” in WWE, but a certain comic book Canadian can also lay claim to that creed. Though “worldwide sensation” may not have been one’s initial thought back in 1974 when he first appeared in the pages of The Incredible Hulk, Issue 181, Marvel’s Wolverine has become one of the most popular comic book characters of all time.

Though Punk exclaims “It’s clobberin’ time” before every match – a reference to the Fantastic Four’s Thing – he certainly has much more in common with the Adamantium-laced member of the X-Men.

Wolverine and The Straight Edge Superstar are cut from the same cloth; they are tenacious, outspoken, and always try to do what’s right based on their beliefs. Neither makes any apologies for the things they say and both back up their respective “pipe bombs” with their actions in battle. Their methods may not always be civilized, but whether battling Sabretooth or Kane, they do what is necessary for survival and victory.

And although CM Punk may not have a healing factor like Wolverine, The Second City Saint has dedicated himself to a straight edge lifestyle that keeps him strong of mind, body and spirit.

Captain America & John Cena

Since he first appeared in 1941, clocking Hitler across the jaw, Captain America – the first Avenger – has stood for equality all over the world. More than that, Marvel’s resident super soldier has become a symbol of hope, both in comic books and the real world. Though displaced in time, Cap (as he is known is to his friends and fans) represents the good in all of us, a red, white and blue-clad example of what we should all aspire to be no matter your nationality.

John Cena isn’t a super-soldier like Steve Rogers, nor does he wield a mighty shield, but he, like the star-spangled Avenger, stands up for what he believes in and always fights for the greater good. There’s also no threat too great that could keep the Cenation leader from standing up to a challenge inside the ring or fulfilling wishes for young fans all over the world.

The WWE Universe often refers to the former WWE Champion as “SuperCena” for his seemingly superhuman strength and uncanny ability to emerge victorious even when all of the chips are stacked against him. Yet, the truth about “SuperCena” doesn’t necessarily lie in what he does inside the squared circle; it’s more about what he represents. Cena’s creeds of “hustle, loyalty and respect” and “rise above hate” are synonymous with Captain America’s never-ending battle for those less fortunate and oppressed through the evils of hatred.

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