Following on from the repackaging of Bray Wyatt into his new Firefly Fun House character, we look at some past gimmicks that shouldn’t have worked but did.
It’s safe to say that Bray Wyatt segment on last week’s RAW was interesting if nothing else. It’s definitely strange at first glance to see the former Eater of Worlds coming out as a children’s entertainer. However, when you watch it’s clear there’s more to the gimmick than meets the eye.
We shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss this new version of Bray . It could be just what he needs climb back up the ladder in WWE. It has the potential to go places. After all, wrestling has a history of gimmicks that by all rights should have died but for whatever managed to get over with the fans. Whether it’s to down to the work of the wrestlers playing the character.
Honourable Mention: The Velveteen Dream
I really wanted to include the Dream on this list. The fact he’s became such a master of his character despite his limited time in wrestling is impressive. The only reason he’s not on the list is because the character has not been tested on the main roster yet. If he can get the character as over with the main roster as he has with the NXT fans that will be the test of the character.
5. The Hurricane
I doubt when Shane Helms came over to WWE to WCW, he thought he’d have something weirder than 3 Count. Then in late 2001, we were introduced to the Hurricane. This gimmick lasted over 4 years in which he would recruit sidekicks like Mighty Molly and Rosey.
Why did this work? Purely down to the commitment of Helms who clearly knew the gimmick was silly so never took himself too seriously. His shining moment as the character was in a serious of backstage of skits with The Rock in 2003 that showcased his personality.
It’s not like he wasn’t successful as he would become European, Hardcore, Cruiserweight and Tag Team champion as the Hurricane.
The pop he got for his return at the 2018 Royal Rumble is a testament to how fondly remember this gimmick is.
4. The New Day
Thank god WWE let New Day do the gimmick the way they wanted it.
When the New Day debuted in late 2014 as Vince’s vision of gospel preachers it seemed to spell that all three them were permanently typecast as comedy characters. There was no way you could look at the first incarnation of this gimmick and think one of these guys is going to be WWE champion in a few years.
This overly positive clapping gimmick was not enough for modern fans who quickly dumped all over it.
The saving grace of this gimmick was turning them heel which allowed their over the top humour to naturally get over with the fans. This set them on the path to being one the biggest merchandise sellers in WWE history.
3.Broken Matt Hardy
By 2016 we thought we’d seen everything from Matt Hardy. That was until the first video from the Hardy compound featuring the throwing of a fake baby got a lot of attention. Then the Final Deletion almost broke the internet. The biggest compliment you can give the Broken Universe that Matt created is that it made Impact more watchable than it had been in a long time.
It took Matt talking in an unknown accent and producing wrestling’s answer to the Room for many to finally see him as the better Hardy brother.
His time as Woken Matt in WWE may not have been as good, but it still provided some entertaining moments like Mower of Lawn! And the Chair of Wheels!
A gimmick that should have been a product of it’s time with the heavy gay panic vibes which made Goldust the biggest heel in the mid 90’s. Taking the son of the American Dream and making him this face painted androgynous that’s weirdly obsessed with Hollywood should have been a career killer.
Given the changing landscape of wrestling at the time, a character like Goldust didn’t seem too out of place in the Attitude Era. You talk about commitment to a gimmick, at one-point Dustin Rhodes offered to get breast implants.
Dustin has had several gimmicks over the years but none of them as iconic as Goldust.
1.Undertaker & Kane
Speaking of gimmicks that should have been products of their time. The Undertaker should have gone along the lines of other laughable early 90’s gimmicks like The Repo Man. The idea of an undead funeral worker lasting 25 years is bizarre. Especially since he’s gone from dead man to satanic cult leader to biker back to dead man.
The Undertaker is silly but revealing that he had a brother who had been presumed dead sounds like a soap opera plot. Yet not only did it work but the Big Red Machine Kane managed to have the same longevity as his undead brother. Despite that brief period he spent wearing a suit.
I’ve included them both as one as Kane is an extension of the backstory of Undertaker due to them being related. In Kayfabe at least.
As weird as it seems, it’s almost like these were the characters that Mark Calloway and Glen Jacobs were born to play.
So those are 5 gimmicks that somehow got over. Do you agree? Any other strange gimmicks you thought should have been included? Let us know on Twitter @suplexretweet.