I've just had an epiphany. Any time a WWE Superstar who's charisma is mediocre at best gets saddled with a gimmick that should be worthy for the halls of Wrestlecrap, it ends up getting that person over in ways one would never imagine. Let's take a look at the evidence, shall we?
Billy and Chuck: After Billy Gunn's "Assman" gimmick was dropped, he floundered around with his boring "The One" persona until he was hooked up with Chuck Palumbo, another wrestler no one knew what to do with, and they became "Billy and Chuck", gay tag-team extraordinaire. The two ended up running with the tag titles, and even gaining a small measure of mainstream publicity during their "gay wedding" angle.
John Cena: Basically, your standard "rookie with ugly tights", until the Halloween party, where he showed off his Vanilla Ice rapping skillz. As a result, WWE turned Cena into a white rapper. A wannabe. A "wigger", if you will. Surprisingly, this gimmick got Cena way over, and he even main-evented with Brock Lesnar, somehing he never would have done with his "Ruthless Agression Rookie" persona.
The Hurricane: Sugar Shane. Kid with braces. A nobody. Becomes a superhero. Is now super-over. End of story.
Goldust: As if being a "gold freak who likes movies" and doing several comedy skits with Booker T wasn't enough to get this guy noticed, leave it to Randy Orton and Batista to jam Goldie's hand into a fusebox and give him Tourette's Syndrome. Now, everytime he's onscreen it's a guaranteed laugh.
Now, I recently developed my theory when I saw Rosey coming out as a SuperHero In Training. A stupid costume, a stupid gimmick, and Voila! Already the fans are chanting "Holy Shit!" I can only wonder what Goldust is gonna do to get Lance Storm, the most boring wrestler in the world over.
Originally posted by The Great ThomasJohn Cena: Basically, your standard "rookie with ugly tights", until the Halloween party, where he showed off his Vanilla Ice rapping skillz. As a result, WWE turned Cena into a white rapper. A wannabe. A "wigger", if you will. Surprisingly, this gimmick got Cena way over, and he even main-evented with Brock Lesnar, somehing he never would have done with his "Ruthless Agression Rookie" persona.
I attribute Cena's overness with evolution (not the stable). His gimmick was supposed to be silly, but when his gimmick evolved from Vanilla Ice (comedic) to Eminem (badass), fans bought him as a serious threat. Cena's popularity will only rise as long as Eminem remains a prominent name.
As for Lance Storm, I can see Goldust trying to dress him in the gold bodysuit, makeup, and bizarre wig. But I can see Storm trying to play the role totally straight. It would actually make for a very funny visual.
Goldust has been around for a LONG time, and even thought his gimmick is strange, it has grown on fans over the years. I mean, he was the Blue Meanies, mother. He's been around so long, and he is so strange, that people just accept him.
Cena has flourished, not because of his gimmick, but because of himself. Cena is one of those guys who will make the most out of anything and make it everything. In time, he will be huge if he is given the opportunity. He has "just a little touch of star quality".
Originally posted by Tod deKindesDoesn't this apply for the majority of wrestlers?
The Rock and Triple H's first WWF gimmicks didn't really set the world on fire.
But I would argue that the actual people, not the gimmicks are responsible for the success. The Rock and HHH are overcame their gimmicks and became two of the most influential wrestlers of our time. They carried their gimmikcs. They found a way to connect with the fans.
It's a matter of opinion, but look at the Doink character. The heel run by Borne is still looked back upon by smarts as one of the more enjoyable gimmicks they came up with. The face run with Apollo, everyone hated. Another comparison, John Cena 2003 and P.N. News from 1991. Who got over and who now resides in wrestlecrap? For those who were in the know back in the day, how many of you thought a dead guy whose power came from an urn would be the most successful gimmick in history? And what other two guys could play that role but Percy Pringle III and Mark Calloway? Then look at Terry Taylor, a young talented wrestler in 1988, they called him a Red Rooster gave him mohawk, and the guy never recovered.
So it is all about catching lightning in a bottle with these things. There is nothing written in stone, and there is no mathematic formula to determine if they get over or not. I wouldn't consider any of your examples stupid because they made the company money, though I wouldn't consider neither Billy nor Chucky anymore over since there gimmick. But I guess stupid is a tasters choice. As you all know as well as I, for every successful "stupid gimmick" they have 10 unsuccessful stupid ones.
The Lance Storm boring gimmick wasn't working because he was losing every week. If he was winning and could have had something to back up his claims of being a great technical wrestler it would have made more sense and probably would have worked. But that's another rant I know I've gotten into in the past, so I won't go over it again.
The difference between the heavy gimmicks they do now and the ones they used to do is that now they are treated with a level of seriousness more appropriate to the character. Imagine if they had come up with The Hurricane in 1995. They probably would have tried to treat him as a legitimate super hero and tried to make fans believe that he actually did have super powers. People would have thought it was stupid and turned the channel, the same way they did when we were supposed to believe that Jerry Lawler really did have a gigantic dentist who just happened to be a former wrestler and that the guy really wanted revenge on Bret Hart for the Kiss My Foot match.
By contrast, imagine if they tried to do the Isaac Yankem angle now. Instead of Vince McMahon constantly trying to sell the notion of a dentist as a man to be feared because going to the dentist sucks, you'd probably have Jim Ross not buying the angle at all, telling Lawler as much, and trying to prod the King into revealing who this guy really was, where he found him, and why he was really after Bret Hart.
The workers still deserve most of the credit in my eyes, because even the best gimmick will fall flat if it's given to a guy who can't play the role. But perception is everything, and perception is created by the people responsible for getting the angles over. The way announcers and other wrestlers respond to a given character can be the difference between a good gimmick getting over and a good gimmick dying out of the shoot.
It's not just wrestlers! What about Brian Hebner? I mean about a month ago he was just 'a referee' and now he's huge!!! (Well he isn't really but at least my 'Hamtaro' lovin' friend can remember his name and as 'Bananarama' said that's 'really saying something!')
Cobra: If I stood on your (Zach Gowen's)foot would you kick my ass? Zach: If you stood on my foot I would fall over.
Two problems with this theory. One, John Cena's gimmick isn't stupid. It's a rap music world we live in right now, rap is huge, the biggest rapper in the industry at this point is white, and Cena can cut a decent freestyle without alienating too many of the hick towns VKM likes to run. So I don't think this belongs on your list.
Also, when was Hurricane ever super-over? He's a five-minute midcard comedy filler performer, who gets an okay reaction. You could say the same thing about the Bushwhackers, but I don't remember anyone referring to them as "over".
"Whatever I just posted above is what your mother said in bed last night."
Hurricane holds his own when he's paired up with a top guy. Let's not forget how well he was received as a foil for heel Rock earlier this year, or even during his brief feud with HHH/Flair. And while I wouldn't be so blind as to realize that it's natural for such a reaction when you're getting the rub for the big players, such a result is far from automatic. The fact that Hurricane consistently gets good reactions when he does get a significant spot on the show considering he spends maybe 10 months a year losing meaningless matches to just about every other midcarder on Raw is the biggest testament to the success of the character.
Hurricane is a very good wrestler, better than most of the Raw roster, and already have 2 catchphrases. He was also a co-founder of OMEGA, one of the best indies in US history, so the administrative end too.
A modern day superhero saying "Beeyotch!" Damn right it gets over today.
The divas should not be about T&A, they should be about Kicking A.
I would like to think that John Cena has a lot of charisma. Same with Hurricane and Maven. Whenever I'm watching WWE programming, those three often get the best reactions from the crowd. Rosie is starting to show some shimmer of hope; I only hope that we'll see more of his personality come out in the coming weeks. I mean, how much personality can he show when he's a 3MW thug?
Lance Storm's current storyline with Goldust was something that was probably tested already. I remember (during the Alliance?) that Storm and Hurricane were teaming up for a short while. Hurricane would do his charismatic superhero thing, and Storm would add in, with a very nervous look on his face, with the words Storm something or other. My memory's fairly foggy from that, but I did indeed mark out when they were teamed together.
Steven & Faith... Wedding day cometh July 24th, 2004
I'm going to go over to Lake Hiawatha NJ (Parsippany, basically) to go to the free "TV" taping for the Jersey All Pro Wrestling internet show tonight. I don't really watch internet shows (no broadband)