Two weeks ago, several WWE Superstars visited Yankee Stadium to promote the 2017 installment of SummerSlam. They even presented a championship belt to Aaron Judge for his Home Run Derby victory. The promotion has made visiting the Yankees a tradition since moving their flagship summer pay-per-view to the Barclays Center two years ago.
To celebrate a successful show — and subsequent fallout programs — we’ve paired the 2017 Yankees with corresponding wrestlers. That’s right. It’s time for another one of Pinstripe Alley’s comparison pieces. From the same blog that brought you Yankees as Simpsons characters, U.S. Presidents, and Pokemon, here’s the Yankees as WWE Superstars. Before jumping in, a shout out is in order to Greg Kirkland who assisted with the pairings.
CC Sabathia - The Big Show
A number of comparisons come to mind between Sabathia and The Big Show. There’s size, of course, but more similarities exist. They’re both aging stars who enjoyed tremendous peaks. Sabathia and Show have adjusted to late-career roles, but don’t count either out for a top performance.
Masahiro Tanaka - Samoa Joe
Tanaka strikes me as a calculated pitcher, tough as nails on the mound. Nothing bothers him. He’s ice cold. The same can be said for the Samoan Submission Machine. Samoa Joe bills himself as a quiet warrior, and that describes Tanaka nicely.
Luis Severino - Sasha Banks
Anyone who has watched Severino pitch this year knows he’s a boss. A legit boss.
Sonny Gray - Bayley
The Hugster is a fan favorite from the Bay Area. She also has shown the ability to carry a show. Gray came to New York from Oakland, has been well received by the Yankees Universe, and can anchor a rotation. That sounds good enough for me!
Jaime Garcia - Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Garcia is the fifth starter. The Good Brothers are a second-tier tag team. Sometimes they strike gold, but otherwise they’re simply serviceable. Too sweet.
Jordan Montgomery - Cesaro
They’re both incredible workers with bright futures. What’s not to like about Montgomery and Cesaro?
Michael Pineda - Big Cass
Big Mike suffered a season-ending UCL tear in July. Reports indicate that Big Cass needs surgery on his knee. Get well soon, guys.
Brett Gardner - Bret Hart
If you’ve been to Yankee Stadium, you’ve probably seen the “Brett ‘The Hit Man’ Gardner” scoreboard display. A homegrown player who routinely tops the lineup for the Yankees? That’s a fine match for the Excellence of Execution.
Gary Sanchez - Braun Strowman
The Monster Among Men has demolished his competition in the WWE. Meanwhile, the Kraken torments opposing pitching. Sanchez has hit 10 home runs since August 3rd. I think that’s worthy of being the sea monster among men.
Aaron Judge - John Cena
Ah, yes, the franchise players. Cena and Judge represent their brands’ top performers. They have scores of fans, and sell a ton of merchandise. They’re also both great role models, always saying exactly the right thing. Some might think they’re boring, but there’s no denying their talent.
Jacoby Ellsbury - Dolph Ziggler
There once existed a time when Ellsbury and Ziggler were on top of the world. Ziggler was a world champion, while Ellsbury finished second in the 2011 American League MVP voting. Now they’re just lost and boring, rarely contributing much of anything.
Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro - The New Day
This one works too well. Talented athletes entering their peaks? Seemingly best friends? Tremendous personalities with strong social media game? Gregorius and Castro could show up to SmackDown with trombones and fit right into The New Day!
Matt Holliday - Sting
Their career paths are eerily similar. Both were connected to the Yankees and WWE, respectively, long before signing. They arrived and made an immediate impact, but ultimately were derailed by injuries. It was fun while it lasted, though.
Greg Bird - Finn Bálor
Bird and Bálor were expected to be stars. Then they both suffered labrum tears in their shoulders. Bálor returned to the squared circle in April, though, the night after Yankees Opening Day. Freaky. Bird has been dealing with an ankle injury, while Bálor is suffering from poor booking. There’s still plenty of time for both to reach their potential, though.
Clint Frazier - Sheamus
I think Red Thunder describes both of their hair pretty well.
Chase Headley - The Miz
A veteran who has enjoyed moderate levels of success, yet still manages to draw some heat? I’d say that sums up them up. Now if only Headley had an entourage...
Austin Romine - Bo Dallas
A former top prospect who has ultimately settled into a backup role? Ouch. Not all of these are pretty.
Todd Frazier - Curtis Axel
Their best days, which were never that great to begin with, are behind Frazier and Axel. They’re still somewhat entertaining though, I guess.
Ronald Torreyes - Kalisto
Torreyes, the diminutive utilityman, comes up big as a fan favorite. Kalisto may be short in stature, but his high-flying offense puts him over with the crowd. I think a tag team is in the works here...
Tyler Austin - Stone Cold Steve Austin
“Austin 3:16 says I just took Chris Sale deep!”
Tyler Wade - Tye Dillinger
Both Wade and Dillinger were called up as prospects and met with fanfare. Then they shuffled around before disappearing on the bench. Their names also sound similar, which make this comparison a perfect 10!
Garrett Cooper - Sami Zayn
It took Cooper until he was 26 to make his debut. After a few years in the minor leagues, he came up and became a hitting machine. He was easy to root for, a feel good story! Doesn’t that sound like the Underdog from the Underground? Maybe Cooper won’t have a storied career like Zayn, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Aroldis Chapman - Roman Reigns
The two most polarizing figures in their sport. You either really love them or really hate them. No one is impartial. One thing’s clear, though, after struggling, the ninth inning is no longer Chapman’s yard.
Dellin Betances - Brock Lesnar
Lesnar might be the most dominant athlete in sports entertainment. Betances is likely the most overpowering pitcher in the Yankees bullpen. They’re also insanely large. I wouldn’t hate it if we started calling Betances the Beast Incarnate.
David Robertson - AJ Styles
The Phenomenal One and D-Rob, two elite performers who are great in any role. Their versatility and longevity serve as a testament to their excellence. Always a fan favorite, it’s no stretch to call Robertson the Face that Runs the Place.
Tommy Kahnle - Shinsuke Nakamura
This one’s easy. Kahnle warms up to The Rising Sun.
Chad Green and Adam Warren - The Hardy Boyz
An electric performer and a steady workhorse? Green and Warren may not be as popular as Broken Matt and Brother Nero, but their contributions can’t be overlooked.
Chasen Shreve - Heath Slater
The last man out of the bullpen is basically a jobber, right?
Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman - Kurt Angle and Daniel Bryan
This one’s a fun package deal. Girardi, the old-school veteran slides nicely into Angle’s role. Meanwhile, Cashman is a wizard whose trade deadline deals left Yankees fans saying: “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
Randy Levine and Lonn Trost - Triple-H and Stephanie McMahon
This one’s a sad package deal. These authority figures take the fun right out of the story.
Hal Steinbrenner - Mr. McMahon
Billionaire owners who work their ways into the storylines? This one practically writes itself.
Did we miss anyone? Have any better fits? Weigh in with your Yankees-WWE combinations in the comment section!