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The W - Pro Wrestling - Gimmick genesis
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2P4E
Boerewors








Since: 4.1.05
From: SE12, London, UK.

Since last post: 379 days
Last activity: 3 min.
#1 Posted on
I'm not sure if any of you will have any great insight into or opinion about this kind of thing, but I have a convoluted general wondering about gimmicks and wrestler names.

This probably applies more to WWE than the smaller feds, where I assume the wrestlers choose their own names and gimmicks to a greater degree. I basically wondered how often bookers/writers come up with the gimmicks/names/storylines first before finding the wrestler that would go on to fill that role, as opposed to a more organic approach based on writing to their strengths as performers (for example giving an impervious-to-pain type gimmick to someone who just isn't good at selling)?

I guess I just got a kick out of the idea that the writers spend their down time making lists of cool sounding names and ridiculous backstories that could potentially be used for whoever walks through the door. Then I thought that if they don't do this, then maybe they should, just to avoid another situation where there's no better suggestion than Braden Walker, Fat Disappointment.
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InVerse
Bierwurst








Since: 26.8.02

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.01
I don't know how often it occurs, but it definitely occurs. I remember seeing some "Behind the Scenes of WCW (NWA?)" where they showed sketches someone had done for the character of El Gigante before they ever signed Jorge González.

Didn't Ted Dibiase explain that the entire Million Dollar Man character was developed prior to him actually signing with the WWE as well?

There's also the somewhat related story of Bret Hart being offered the cowboy gimmick that presumably went to Bob Orton instead. Bret turned it down and suggested the creation of The Hart Foundation instead.

I don't think it's fair to blame the creative staff on Braden Walker being fat, though.

(edited by InVerse on 1.4.11 1220)
geemoney
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Since: 26.1.03
From: Naples, FL

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.17
I think I read it in a Torch Talk that WWE has (or had) a giant list of names for wrestlers that they would use when they'd hire new guys. Now that I think about it, it might have been the story behind either Chyna or Sable's name, that WWE gave them a long list of names to choose from or something like that.
John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 52 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.64
It works in all kinds of ways. According to what Mick Foley wrote in Have A Nice Day, the Mankind character was a concept created by the WWF for Foley and he was given the name Mason the Mutiliator, which he hated. Foley pitched the name Mankind to Vince and got it approved, then collaborated on the rest of the gimmick.

Sometimes there's a character or concept that Vince really wants to use and there's trial and error until they get it right: The Undertaker character is basically a take two of The Widowmaker character Barry Windham was given in 1989. That character failed, but obviously something about the old west-style outlaw killer in the hat and duster coat was something Vince wanted to try again. I don't know if Mark Calaway was hired specifically for that character or if he was hired and then they realized he'd be a good fit for that gimmick. Nor do I know whose idea it was to make him an undead supernatural zombie. But the failure of The Widowmaker meant 21 years and counting for the greatest gimmick ever in WWE history.

It's been years since I read Adam Copeland on Edge and I don't recall how and why he got the Edge name and gimmick.

(edited by John Orquiola on 1.4.11 1236)


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Matt Tracker
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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 1 day
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.70
I think it was also in Foley's book that I read how Austin became Stone Cold. The WWE wanted a cold-blooded gimmick, and at one point considered such extremes as "Ice Dagger." It was Austin's wife who came up with his moniker while serving him breakfast. Here, she said, have this before it gets "stone cold." Voila.

As a lifelong Carolina resident, I didn't know the phrase before that gimmick was unveiled.



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
2P4E
Boerewors








Since: 4.1.05
From: SE12, London, UK.

Since last post: 379 days
Last activity: 3 min.
#6 Posted on
    Originally posted by Matt Tracker
    I think it was also in Foley's book that I read how Austin became Stone Cold. The WWE wanted a cold-blooded gimmick, and at one point considered such extremes as "Ice Dagger."


I've heard "Chilly McFreeze" before, and I'd rather believe that was a serious suggestion rather than just an unfounded rumour.
odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 63 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.69

one only look at FCW to see the WWE Random Name Generator at work.

Also, they seem to like naming people after former athletes, probably based on where a particualr writer grew up.

Kenny Dykstra comes to mind first.



Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine
ISSUE FOUR - OCTOBER 2009
Kei Posiskunk
Kolbasz








Since: 7.1.02
From: Central PA, USA

Since last post: 78 days
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#8 Posted on
Because of Kenny Dykstra and Bam Neely, when AmDrag signed, I was expecting WWE to name him "Jobe Bryant".






My username is kind of inaccurate, now...
KJames199
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Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.59
    Originally posted by Matt Tracker
    The WWE wanted a cold-blooded gimmick
Austin suggested the cold-blooded character and the creative team gave him the famous list of names with things like Ice Dagger and Frosty McFreeze or whatever it was. Then his wife said "Drink your tea before it gets stone cold" and poof, magic happens.

In Jericho's new book, he included a scan of a list of suggested names for what would become the Walls of Jericho, including "Ball-Dropper," "The Whammer Jammer," "Double Leg Vise of Torment," "Lion Clutch Press," and "The Embarrasser!" (complete with exclamation point and a note saying "that move is pretty degrading!")
Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.43
    Originally posted by Matt Tracker
    I think it was also in Foley's book that I read how Austin became Stone Cold. The WWE wanted a cold-blooded gimmick, and at one point considered such extremes as "Ice Dagger." It was Austin's wife who came up with his moniker while serving him breakfast. Here, she said, have this before it gets "stone cold." Voila.

    As a lifelong Carolina resident, I didn't know the phrase before that gimmick was unveiled.
"Stone cold" is a British term, if I'm not mistaken...I'm sure I heard it on Hell's Kitchen a handful of times.

As for Edge, I looked on Wikipedia, and found nothing for where the name or the gimmick came from. I could only assume that it means something to do with the edge of darkness or the edge of sanity or whatever.





Enojado Viento
Potato korv








Since: 12.3.02
From: Your Grocer's Freezer, NC

Since last post: 657 days
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#11 Posted on
    Originally posted by Oliver
      Originally posted by Matt Tracker
      I think it was also in Foley's book that I read how Austin became Stone Cold. The WWE wanted a cold-blooded gimmick, and at one point considered such extremes as "Ice Dagger." It was Austin's wife who came up with his moniker while serving him breakfast. Here, she said, have this before it gets "stone cold." Voila.

      As a lifelong Carolina resident, I didn't know the phrase before that gimmick was unveiled.
    "Stone cold" is a British term, if I'm not mistaken...I'm sure I heard it on Hell's Kitchen a handful of times.

    As for Edge, I looked on Wikipedia, and found nothing for where the name or the gimmick came from. I could only assume that it means something to do with the edge of darkness or the edge of sanity or whatever.





Wasn't his first feud against Gangrel? I think he was meant to the "Blade" to Gangel's vampire originally.




-LS

"ahhh...vague, mandatory knee-jerk cynicism. God Bless Internet Forums.."
Matt Tracker
Scrapple








Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 9 min.
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.70
    Originally posted by Enojado Viento
      Originally posted by Oliver
        Originally posted by Matt Tracker
        I think it was also in Foley's book that I read how Austin became Stone Cold. The WWE wanted a cold-blooded gimmick, and at one point considered such extremes as "Ice Dagger." It was Austin's wife who came up with his moniker while serving him breakfast. Here, she said, have this before it gets "stone cold." Voila.

        As a lifelong Carolina resident, I didn't know the phrase before that gimmick was unveiled.
      "Stone cold" is a British term, if I'm not mistaken...I'm sure I heard it on Hell's Kitchen a handful of times.

      As for Edge, I looked on Wikipedia, and found nothing for where the name or the gimmick came from. I could only assume that it means something to do with the edge of darkness or the edge of sanity or whatever.





    Wasn't his first feud against Gangrel? I think he was meant to the "Blade" to Gangel's vampire originally.


He and Christian made up The Brood with Gangrel.



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
InVerse
Bierwurst








Since: 26.8.02

Since last post: 1 day
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.01
    Originally posted by Matt Tracker

    He and Christian made up The Brood with Gangrel.


But not at first. Edge and Gangrel debuted within a couple of weeks of each other, along with Val Venis. Not long afterward, Gangrel and Christian (who had yet to debut in ring) started appearing in the stands during Edge's matches. This lead to a feud between Edge & Gangrel over the soul of Christian, but eventually Edge joined up with them to form The Brood.

Edge sure has come a long way from the guy who's PPV debut was as Sable's mystery partner.
BigDaddyLoco
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 14 hours
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
I thought Edge was originally supposed to be their version of what Raven was to WCW, at least character wise.

John Orquiola
Scrapple








Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 52 days
Last activity: 52 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.64
    Originally posted by Oliver
    "Stone cold" is a British term, if I'm not mistaken...I'm sure I heard it on Hell's Kitchen a handful of times.


Austin's wife at the time, Jeannie Clark (Lady Blossom), who coined the name "Stone Cold" is British. She was married to Gentleman Chris Adams before Steve Austin.



@BackoftheHead






www.backofthehead.com
2P4E
Boerewors








Since: 4.1.05
From: SE12, London, UK.

Since last post: 379 days
Last activity: 3 min.
#16 Posted on
Up to now I'd always assumed that it was a normal phrase for any type of English. Though having thought about it the only other time I can think of it being used in popular culture off the top of my head is the Queen song Stone Cold Crazy.
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 63 days
Last activity: 30 days
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.69
    Originally posted by 2P4E
    Up to now I'd always assumed that it was a normal phrase for any type of English. Though having thought about it the only other time I can think of it being used in popular culture off the top of my head is the Queen song Stone Cold Crazy.


"stone cold lead pipe lock"

although the phrase (adapted from "lead pipe sinch(sp)) may have come after Austin



Mark Coale
Odessa Steps Magazine
ISSUE FOUR - OCTOBER 2009
LostInUbe
Linguica








Since: 19.11.02
From: Ube, Japan

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 4 hours
#18 Posted on
    Originally posted by 2P4E
    Up to now I'd always assumed that it was a normal phrase for any type of English. Though having thought about it the only other time I can think of it being used in popular culture off the top of my head is the Queen song Stone Cold Crazy.


Well, there's also this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WukfC-6Gpc



http://lostinube.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/lostinube
Amos Cochran
Lap cheong








Since: 28.8.09

Since last post: 50 days
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.22
Completely unfounded rumour, probably, but back in the early '00s an issue of Power Slam suggested that Sean Morley and Adam Copeland were inches away from having their gimmicks swapped prior to their debuts.
Scottyflamingo
Bratwurst








Since: 23.6.10
From: Auburn, AL

Since last post: 397 days
Last activity: 126 days
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.77
    Originally posted by Amos Cochran
    Completely unfounded rumour, probably, but back in the early '00s an issue of Power Slam suggested that Sean Morley and Adam Copeland were inches away from having their gimmicks swapped prior to their debuts.


Tee hee. Inches. Val Venis. Choppy choppy.


Ahem.

I always heard that Edge and Val were gonna form a tag team called "Sex and Violence". That was right up there with the Val/Godfather team of "Supply and Demand".
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I just bought ECW Hardcore History on DVD the other day, and one of the special features on the disc is a Steve Austin promo. This is post WCW pre WWF Austin. No gotee, blond crew cut, hunting jacket younger looking Austin.
- BigDaddyLoco, Steve Austin...slipping? (2002)
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