So last week’s visit to the Casa went down an unusually serious route didn?t it? I hope you devoted visitors didn?t mind. It was simply an issue I felt needed addressing and has done for a long time. However, it’s business as usual this week, as I plunge the depths of my man ? flu ridden brain to entertain you with my thought showers on what gimmicks should next be introduced to this wacky world of sports entertainment that we so dearly love.
Ah the wrestling gimmick. So often a make or break point in a would be superstars career. If a performer can make an entertaining plumber or doctor the odds are they?ll do well in the squared circle. That ability and charisma to pull off the silliest of personalities isn?t something which can be taught, which is why Mark Calloway has become one of the most popular wrestler’s in history by portraying the undead for nearly two decades.
Nowadays however, the gimmick is becoming harder to perfect. Almost every conceivable alter ego has been thought of and put into practice. We?ve had voodoo priests, evil dentists, male cheerleaders, borderline retards, vampires, black militants and back in the day, Memphis even had a guy who was supposed to be child murdering extraordinaire Freddy Krueger! So where the hell do we go from there?
So many young guns come through the ranks of developmental or the indies and think that their deep moveset or glittering amateur career will help them through the glass ceiling. The ability to take a chair shot or to perform a 450 splash means nothing if the crowd would rather be licking a leper than watching you in the ring.
Ask Shelton Benjamin. All the athletic prowess in the world has got Shelton roughly nowhere in five years. He’s spent half a decade relying on his spring loaded feet and phenomenal conditioning and where has it got him exactly? Yet take a seemingly green, generic lower card worker like Zach Ryder, turn him into a Broski from Long Island, and you?ve got yourself a prodigious young talent with a great catchphrase whom no one had given two shiny shits about a handful of months ago.
Should gimmicks nowadays be kept low key? Are the days of the Boogeyman behind us? Is Paul Burchill better off for not being a Captain Jack Sparrow wannabe? When the WWE went through it’s nostalgia phase in 2006, there were grumblings about the product being goofy and more than ever was the Attitude Era mark 2.0 being called for. However, Burchill was actually pretty well over under his pirate guise, whereas now he’s a tepid heel relying on his valet for a reaction. I?m sure Gregory Helms hasn?t been at all bothered by donning the green of The Hurricane despite a four year absence from the role, as he was more boring than Juno as plain old Gregory ?Cruiserweight Champion forever? Helms.
So I am of the opinion that a gimmick, no matter how immature, still has it’s place within today’s wrestling society. Now obviously I?m not saying WWE creative should slap some clown makeup on Shelton Benjamin and tell him to dance but how about test running a few of these bad boys somewhere down the line and see what happens?
BAIA?S BIG BUMPER LIST OF GIMMICKS THAT SHOULD TOTALLY BE USED IN MODERN DAY SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT
1) The Creepy Gynaecologist ? Ok so this may not exactly fit into the WWE’s newfound PG rating, but there HAS to be a place for this character somewhere. All Gynaecologists are perverts, and don?t let anyone tell you otherwise. Any man who tells a woman to take her pants off, spread her legs and put her feet in stirrups whilst he takes a gander at her sacred V is a pervert. And awesome. So why not bring in some apparently caring, sensitive, mild mannered gentleman who is in touch with his feminine side and comes complete with a medical diploma and have him befriend the female roster one by one. Slowly but surely he gains their trust before they realise he’s calling them at weird hours and he tends to breath quite heavily during appointments. This character and feud basically writes itself.
2) The Scientologist – I?m actually pretty stunned this hasn?t been touched upon by a wrestling promotion already. It’s a movement that’s had endless hours of media attention devoted to it and also has some hugely famous followers. That’s the sort of cultural phenomena Vinny Mac usually creams himself over. Chuck and Billy would need to be brought back for this to really gather momentum, as they and the Scientologist could feud over the Church of Scientology’s decision to support Proposition 8 in California (the prohibition of same sex marriages in the state for those of you not in the know). For some reason I believe Chavo Guerrero would make a good Scientology character. Particularly as his middle class American alter ego Kerwin White.
3) The ?Bernard Madoff? look a like ? Just so he could have the shit mercilessly beaten out of him every week. Everyone suffering from the current worldwide economic depression would surely love this. As an alternative to Madoff you could just have a character who is the head of a Bank who enjoys delivering multi million pound bonuses to himself for doing roughly nothing. Either way they?re both characters whom people despise and would have no problem seeing squashed each and every week.
4) The Single Parent who has to wrestle to put his kids through college ? Everyone loves an underdog story. This guy would be your average Joe with two dopey looking kids (big glasses and braces, one can perhaps be in a wheelchair for ultimate sympathy purposes) who has somehow become embroiled in the world of sports entertainment (don?t ask how, it’s wrestling, weirder shit than this has happened and never been explained as to why) and now must wrestle his way through life in order to support the two little guys. His ex wife meanwhile could have easily shacked up with a returning JBL or maybe some young main event stud. The feud would culminate with a ?Custody Court Room Brawl? at Wrestlemania. Hell, I?d even make it my main event. Single Dad wins and has a glorious tickertape celebration to see out the show. Then the next night on Raw it turns out the kids aren?t his and he gets fired.
So there you go. Four ready made gimmicks just waiting to be unleashed on the wrestling world. I have a few more lodged in my brain tank but they?re for another time and another place. Plus it would have meant this column would have rumbled on for at least another thousand words and I would have gradually gotten less and less coherent with each passing sentence had that been the case.
So take these gimmicks in and digest them. And feel free to send me any ideas you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, arrivederci mothafuckas!