There will be many serious analytical pieces about the Final Four on BiE in the run-up to Istanbul. This is not one of those pieces. Emmet Ryan looks at players across all four teams competing in Istanbul and finds their equivalent in the squared circle
Pero Antic – The Big Show
Bearded and skinheaded: Check
More versatile than their build suggests: Check
Spend part of their career based in Atlanta: Check
Backside of career but can still deliver on occasion: Check
Luka Doncic – Shinsuke Nakamura
Like the WWE fans have been waiting over a year for the King of Strong Style to make his main roster debut, NBA fans are going to have to wait at least another season before they get a dose of Doncic. Also, like Nakamura, Doncic is far more physically powerful than his frame suggests.
Milos Teodosic – Sami Zayn
Here are two guys who went through hell, coming up short time and again, before finally realising their goals and winning the big one. With Sami it was the NXT title, for Milos it was the Euroleague crown. At least for Milos, he wasn’t attacked by his best friend right after climbing the mountain.
Vassilis Spanoulis – The Undertaker
When CSKA see him in the Final Four, they tend to Rest. In. Peace. I know a bunch of Oly fans will say I should have gone with Bret Hart but, for the Final Four, this is a better analogy.
Bobby Dixon – Rey Mysterio
Ridiculously undersized and the tendency of opponents to under rate them usually backfires. They can look gone for lengthy stretches before exploding with some heroic stuff out of nowhere that gets the job done.
Sergio Llull – Eddy Guerroro
Never wholly trusted to be the guy by those in charge in their youth, when they got the chance to take charge they both proved they could deliver. No I’m not comparing Eddie to Rudy, the late great Guerrero was far too likable for that.
Georgios Printezis – Randy Orton
Similar build but it’s the Greek’s tendency to hit you with a winner out of nowhere (see Istanbul vs CSKA 2012, Game 4 vs Barca 2015) that puts him along the same lines as the Viper.
Rudy Fernandez – Roman Reigns
No two men generate as much negative heat in their respective working environments as this pair.
Kyle Hines – Stone Cold Steve Austin
When he talks you listen but they prefer to let their sheer physical prowess and ability get the job done.
Nikola Militunov – Apollo Crews
Both had plenty of belief in them coming up to their current roles that they could deliver. Spent a long time on the fringes and seeing limited action once they got there before circumstances gave them a new lease of life this past spring.
Jan Vesely – Dean Ambrose
They are both happy to rock up with bedraggled hair, be drowning in sweat within 30 seconds of the start, look like they are about to die, and then come out you with insane ferocity.
Anthony Randolph – The Rock
We have yet to see if Randolph can cut a promo like the great one but we do know that he delivered the most electrifying move of the past Euroleague season.
Khem Birch – Bret Hart
Honestly there’s not a clear analogy here. Really different competitors but take note: Khem Birch is a tall and well built Canadian man. He might read this. He might then see me at the Final Four. If I don’t give the Canadian the Hitman, he’s going to put me in a sharpshooter. Khem Birch gets Bret Hart.
Vitaly Fridzon – Dolph Ziggler
This is more to do with Ziggler’s in-ring work than his character. Both Fridzon and Ziggler are comically dependable for those working with them. They get their jobs and make their team-mates/in-ring opponents look a million bucks in the process.
Kostas Sloukas – John Cena
Sloukas may not win at the rate Cena does but, when it matters, it’s really hard to bet against him. Plus, you know the man has hustle, loyalty, and respect dripping through his game.
Felipe Reyes – Dusty Rhodes
The American Dream may not have been in the WWE all that long but, like Reyes, he showed that you don’t need to look like the protypical athlete to be devastatingly effective at what you do. Although I would pay money to see Felipe re-enact the Hard Times promo.
Patric Young – Brock Lesnar
Incredibly strong, often used in short bursts, incredibly strong, just terrifying to look at when psyched up, incredibly strong, oh and Brock’s wife Rena is from Pat’s home town of Jacksonville.
Nando de Colo – Hunter Hearst Helmsley aka Triple H
We’re going Attitude Era Triple H here because there’s no-one (that we know of) in the Final Four married to the boss’ daughter. Nando is a headline star who does plenty to deserve it but doesn’t get talked about the way those who have logged more time on this side of the Atlantic do.
Right, that’s our list. Let us know who you would change and what other F4 players match up with WWE stars?