The writer of the comic or television show (Can't remember the details) said on one of the after shows that he grew up a huge wrestling fan and there are several pieces inspired by professional wrestling. Negan's barbed wire baseball bat, which was also, set on fire this season, is another example. It had to be the comic writer I think since the bat appears in those as well.
Walking Dead to me is an example of why wrestling in general will never sit on top again. Yes, wrestling has to produce 52 weeks a year compared to 16 episodes, but those 16 are so well written with drama and carryover and respect to the past. You also can't take wrestlers seriously with their rhetoric when you have Negan saying "No, I do. I do like to kill people." That's a sinister heel you want to get his comeuppance. Television has changed so much and wrestling really can't keep up, or at least chooses not to.