I was talking to Josh Ray (The Sergeant's handler) the other day about The Warrior DVD he got for Christmas. Interesting guy, that Warrior. But during the conversation, I kinda noticed that The Warrior, as he is now, the staunch Republican guy who tours colleges and rouses the rabble, is a huge influence on the way I play The Phantom Republican. It got me to thinking about who the influences for my characters are, because let's face it, we're all influenced by our surroundings, no matter how original our characters are.
So withour further adieu, all the influences for my characters!
I think JA is the character who's most "me" out of all of them. I guess that's why he's my "A" character. He has a lot of my sense of humor, which I sorta cribbed from Family Guy, the Simpsons, Mel Brooks movies and my own friends from high school and college over the years. So I guess you can say that through me, Brooks, Seth McFarlane, Matt Groening and folks I know/knew are influences on the JA character. Chris Jericho is a no-brainer, seeing that the character in part is a homage to the Ayatollah of Rock 'n Rolla, but I hope people don't make the mistake of thinking he's a Jericho rip-off. But most people haven't had that problem yet ;) With the Gimmick Infringement ® stage, he cribbed a lot from other wrestlers, but I've grown him out of that.
I think by now, I can admit that Dave Brunk is a huge influence on the way I promo. I know people want to say that they're always 100% original in the way they as handlers write, but not everyone can innovate. I don't blatantly plagiarize him, cuz that's idiotic (and I will tackle a post on plagiarism in e-fedding soon), but I do admit that he's influenced the way I write JA since I brought him back full-time.
I think wrestling-wise, JA was a hybrid of Jericho, Eddie Guerrero and a little bit of Chris Benoit and some WCW spot lucha. I kept some of that style for him, but I also added in a healthy does of Japanese head dropping, effectively making JA a bully to cruiserweights everywhere and someone who can inflict damage on bigger oppoonents without contrived offense.
The idea for the Maggot character was actually thought up by my cousin Steve, but where he is now is a far cry from the character he was when he was first dreamed up.
It's really hard to say who influences Maggot the character, because there really isn't a non-insane wrestler who hangs out in sewers and boiler rooms voluntarily. The way he promos though, I guess Cactus Jack in WCW or the WWF is a big part. There's also a giant underdog complex going on, or if not underdog, then a classic counterpuncher, someone that Dan West has said "will take ten punches to deliever one."
Wrestling-wise, I guess he's a combination of Hulk Hogan in the 1980s (in the respect that he is a proficient technical wrestler who chooses not to use that to its fullest), ECW brawlers and I guess Chris Benoit (when he does decide to use his technical wrestling skills).
Roddy can be described in two ways, I guess. He's the gimmicky, smart-alecky, "funny" part of JA in concentrated bulk form, or he's loophole Chris Jericho turned up to eleven... thousand.
But even those descriptions wouldn't do him complete justice. Once again, I get a good amount of influence from Seth McFarlane here, because I use Family Guy cadence with him, probaby moreso than JA. Groening too... actually, the premise for the introduction of "Rodney McRipped" was totally lifted from a Simpsons episode. For those who don't remember, his second match, Roderick hired "Rodney McRipped" to wrestle in his place, using the premise that sometimes, after the pilot episode, some characters and appearances are changed. That's a lift from the Simpsons episode where there's a cop show on TV where the main character shares a name with Homer.
There are also a lot of sexual innuendo with Roderick, mostly on the gay and pedophile side of things. Not sure where I picked that up, but I thought it definitely added to Roddy's seemy underbelly.
I'd also say that Dan West's and Bill Dempsey's comedy characters were a major influence on Roderick. (ProfT and ElT specifically) Most people won't say it though, but if they're doing a comedy character in an A1 fed, they're probably in some way indebted to Dan and Bill.
The Phantom Republican
As I stated above, the Warrior as he is now is a major influence on him. Plus, stuff I pick up from neocon talking heads like Bill O'Rielly or the right wingers from the A1 Politics forum is huge for what GOP is all about.
I figure these are the major ones right now. I may come back later with my influences for Benoitholic, Suleimon, Jimmy Donovan and others later.