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The W - Pro Wrestling - Wrestlers who have changed their gimmicks on-screen.
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Parvini
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Since: 13.7.04

Since last post: 3734 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.85
I was reading the question about Tug-boat and it got me thinking. How many wrestlers who have changed their gimmicks (or adopted new ones) have done it on-screen and how many are acutally explained.

It is a very interesting question I think because all the heel-turns I can think of usually emerge from a bust-up in a tag match and then, a couple of weeks later, the new gimmick emerges. This is the EXACT scenario, for example, for Ric "The Model" Martel when he ditched Tito Santna and split up Strike Force.

The only one that actually springs to mind is when One Man Gang became Akeem the African dream in a Voodoo ritual. He stepped into the smoke as quasi-punk One Man Gang and emerged as the yellow lycra wearing, spastic dancing freak known as Akeem.

Oh, and of course Brutus Beefcake becoming "The Barber" at WM 3.

Apart from that I'm spent. Whenever anyone joined Right to Censor it was an on-screen and explicit turn but I'm not sure if that counts.

Here are some lingering questions relating to this topic, things that, to my mind at least, were never fully explained:

1. How exactly did Greg "The Hammer" Valentine become part of Rhythm 'n' Blues?

2. How exactly did Macho Man Randy Savage become the "Macho King".

3. How exactly did Tito Santana become "El Matador".

4. How did Demoltion Smash become "Repo Man"?

5. How did Demolition Crush become "Pineapple" Crush?

6. How did Terry Taylor go back to being plain old Terry Taylor after being "The Red Rooster".

7. How did The Blue Blazer become Owen Hart?

8. How did The Powers of Pain become the gimmicky version of The Warlord (with Zeus' big metal belt) and The Barbarian (with Fur boots)?

9. How did Papa Shango become Karma/ Godfather?

10. How did "The One" Billy Gun become Mr. Ass?

11. How did Rocky Mavia become "The Rock"?

12. How did "The Ringmaster" become Stone Cold?

13. How did Mr. Fuji in the suit become Mr. Fuji in the robe?

14. How Headshrinker Phatu become Rikishi?

15. How did Referee Theodore Long become the current character?





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Since: 28.1.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.35
hulk Hogan, of course. His heel turn was more or less completely unexpected and changed his gimmick completely. Before, he was all posedown and take your vitamins, say your prayers. Afterward, he was all, screw the fans, the fans suck.

Maybe the most radical change of all time for a big-time wrestler. We're not talking about a guy starting who changes up. Maybe Alex whatsisname to Berlin was another change, but it happened while he was off the air



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Freeway
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Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.35
1. How exactly did Greg "The Hammer" Valentine become part of Rhythm 'n' Blues?
A: *Shrug* The Dream Team broke up and Jimmy Hart's hobby was bringing teams together to take on his former clients The Hart Foundation. Honky Tonk Man was already a Hart wrestler, so he recruited The Hammer into the fold and they took a run at The Foundation...and lost.

2. How exactly did Macho Man Randy Savage become the "Macho King"?
A: He won the annual WWF King of the Ring tournament held September 4th, 1987. The tournament was held annually, but the gimmick usually wasn't used until Harley Race used it.

3. How exactly did Tito Santana become "El Matador"?
A: In October 1991 Tito was repackaged, debuting his gimmick on Superstars.

7. How did The Blue Blazer become Owen Hart?
A: Simple. Owen wrestled as The Blue Blazer when he, Bret, Davey Boy and others were brought in thanks to the Stampede Wrestling buy-out. Owen didn't wanna be associated with his brother so he could create his own persona. The Blazer gimmick tanked, so Owen went abroad and wrestled in Mexico & Japan before the WWF signed him and brought him in as Owen Hart.

9. How did Papa Shango become Kama/Godfather?
A: Papa Shango got sent to the USWA, then came back as Kama, The Ultimate Fighting Machine as part of the Million Dollar Man's stable. Kama was unsuccessful, left for a few months, then came back with a last name (Kama Mustafa) as part of The Nation. Again, "The Godfather" was just a nickname they used for promos...and it stuck and they retroactively called him that.

10. How did "The One" Billy Gun become Mr. Ass?
A: Gradually "Bad Ass" Billy Gunn talked about asses and called himself "Mr. Ass" instead of "Bad Ass".

11. How did Rocky Mavia become "The Rock"?
A: Rocky Miavia turned heel and joined The Nation, gradually becoming more and more arrogant and finally calling himself The Rock.

12. How did "The Ringmaster" become Stone Cold?
A: They gradually moved away from the Ringmaster character, then Austin lost a match to Savio Vega intentionally so that he could get rid of Ted DiBiase's mismanagement. Then, King of the Ring 1996 happened...and the rest is history.

14. How Headshrinker Fatu become Rikishi?
A: Fatu left the WWF for a while, then came back 100 pounds heavier as Rikishi.

15. How did Referee Theodore Long become the current character?
A: Teddy Long became a road agent, then came back on TV.



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Since: 18.6.02
From: North Cacalacky

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.73
3. I believe Tito Santana's change to El Matador was explained by saying that Tito decided to go back to his roots. They had vignettes of him talking about his ancestors being great bull-fighters. Not sure if they delved into it any more than that.

4/5. I believe Smash/Repo Man and Demolition Crush/Hawaiian Crush were never explained. They just took time off from appearing on TV, and then debuted as new-characters with no explanation.

7. They just never mentioned they were the same person (at least, in the beginning they didn't).

10. He was known as "Bad Ass Billy Gunn". He started wearing tights that said "Mr. Ass" on them. I guess Vince thought it was a stroke of genius or something. So, when he turned heel on Road Dogg, he just became a guy who was obsessed with his ass. I still don't know why THAT didn't get over.

11. He joined the Nation of Domination and gradually went from Happy-babyface to arrogant-jerk-heel. The explanation was that he was sick of giving to the fans, only to have them chant "Rocky sucks" and "Die Rock, die" back at him.

14. Several years off screen. I doubt a lot of fans remembered who he was (he re-debuted during the boom-era, where WWF had lots of new fans). Don't think they ever explained it.


Other than that, I really don't know. A lot of them, though, weren't explained. They just sort of happened. Usually from years being off tv.



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Evil Antler God
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Since: 10.1.02

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.26
Didn't Savage beat the then current King Jim Duggan....who won it from (I believe) King Haku?
The Vile1
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Since: 4.9.02
From: California

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.52
I remember once after losing a match to RTC, Billy Gunn was forced to stop using the Mr. Ass gimmick and then became THE ONE Billy Gunn, with some even more God awful music. A little after that he briefly held the IC title which was quickly ended by Chris Benoit, and has been pretty much the end of Gunny's singles push.

Gunn went through another gimmick change when he and Chuck Palumbo copied the Too Much gimmick and basically became the ambiguously gay duo, ending that gimmick with a stupid big fat gay wedding. After coming back from an injury, Billy Gunn came back as Mr. Ass with Torrie as his valet. Now he's still a jobber as Mr. Ass, but Torrie is no longer his valet.


(edited by The Vile1 on 1.8.04 1726)


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Mild Mannered Madman
Toulouse








Since: 1.3.02
From: Westminster, CA

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.78
    Originally posted by Freeway420
    2. How exactly did Macho Man Randy Savage become the "Macho King"?
    A: He won the annual WWF King of the Ring tournament held September 4th, 1987. The tournament was held annually, but the gimmick usually wasn't used until Harley Race used it.
    15. How did Referee Theodore Long become the current character?
    A: Teddy Long became a road agent, then came back on TV.


2. This is incorrect. Harley Race lost the "King" gimmick to Haku, who lost it to Jim Duggan, who lost it to Randy Savage. Randy Savage continued as "Macho King" until his "retirement" at Wrestlemania 7.

15. Fans with long memories remembered Teddy Long as a fun manager in WCW. When I was at Royal Rumble '99, Teddy got chants for every match he ref'd.




There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
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Vgmastr
Cotechino








Since: 3.12.03
From: Neenah, WI

Since last post: 244 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.36
8. When Mr. Fuji began managing the Orient Express, he sold the Powers of Pain. He sold the Barbarian to Bobby Heenan and the Warlord to Slick. With new managers they also got makeovers.

13. When Mr. Fuji began managing Yokozuna, he just started dressing like him.
redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 481 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.38
    Originally posted by Evil Antler God
    Didn't Savage beat the then current King Jim Duggan....who won it from (I believe) King Haku?









Savage won the KOTR tourneys in '87 (at least the one in Providence. That wasn't a bad house show, as they sold brackets of the 16 man tourney) as he was being built up for the main event run in '88. However, Antler is right that the Macho King was crowned after he lost the World Title to Hogan, but then beat Duggan, and then Savage had his coronation ceremony on Superstars.
As for Teddy Long, depending on how far back we are going, he was a ref until he screwed the Road Warriors at Clash VI against the Varsity Club, eventually becoming a manager in the NWA/WCW off and on for a decade before showing up in the WWF as a ref.
The Yak
Polska kielbasa








Since: 4.10.03

Since last post: 3076 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.65
Chaz Warrington had a pretty memorable on-air gimmick change, if I remember correctly.
Freeway
Scrapple








Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.35
    Originally posted by CompleteWWF.com
    King of the WWF
    Not to be confused with the current King of the Ring PPV, but this "title" grew out of a KOTR tournament. On 14-Jul-1986, in Foxboro, MA, Harley Race defeated Pedro Morales in the finals of a KOTR Tournament. On 05-Aug-1986, as a promotional gimmick, he was crowned "King of the WWF" and actually defended the crown in matches until he "vacated the throne" in May of 1988 due to an injury. Haku was then crowned King of the WWF on 21-Jun-1988 in Glens Falls, NY. He lost the crown to "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan on 25-Apr-1989 in Des Moines, IA. Duggan lost the crown to Randy Savage on 30-Aug-1989 in Portland, ME, and Savage held the crown until the "title" was abandoned in April of 1990.





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Since: 22.4.02
From: Long Island

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.55
You wanted the best, you got... Out of Context Quote of the Week.

"His tits are at least REAL." (Kane Is Ugly)


12. How did "The Ringmaster" become Stone Cold?
A: They gradually moved away from the Ringmaster character, then Austin lost a match to Savio Vega intentionally so that he could get rid of Ted DiBiase's mismanagement. Then, King of the Ring 1996 happened...and the rest is history.


Just to clarify, they started adding the Stone Cold bit of the moniker during the actual tournament, not during the coronation (as you might think). Also when they started calling (and he started using) the Stunner. Think it was the quarters or semifinals.



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TopTenPro
Italian
No longer registered








Since: 21.3.04
From: Johnson City, TN

Since last post: 3574 days
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.49
How about:

Volkoff, he went from anti-American to pro American, just because the Cold War ended. It was funny being young and having politics explained to me by pro wrestling. See Volkoff had to say he was from Moscow, Russia, USSR, instead of just Lithuania because that was the Communist system. Damn Commies!

I think Slaughter coming back as an Iraqi was an odd character change. In the same storyline, the Iranian Olympic hero Iron Sheik jumped boarders also to join Iraq.

Adrian Adonis. The briefcase turned him "Adorable," but was never explained.

I also challenge the Hulk Hogan nWo change as being aforeshadowed event . Every wrestling fan seems to forget Hogan tried to turn bad in WCW, but the fans did not allow it. I remember Hogan, Savage and Sting burning a black outfit, ending this unsuccessful turn.
Mild Mannered Madman
Toulouse








Since: 1.3.02
From: Westminster, CA

Since last post: 472 days
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.78
The most amusing on-screen gimmick change?

The Shark to John Tenta.

"I'M NOT A SHARK! I'M A MAN!"




There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
- The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Deputy Marshall
Liverwurst








Since: 28.6.04
From: Troy, NY

Since last post: 9 days
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.59
I liked personally when Meat decided he was tired of his gimmick and became Sean Stasiak, in one of those worked-shoot things where he said the gimmick was stupid. Then a few weeks later, he got punked out by The Mean Street Posse.

Hi-freakling-larious.

    Originally posted by Parvini
    6. How did Terry Taylor go back to being plain old Terry Taylor after being "The Red Rooster".


He never really DID change back, not in the WWF anyway (as an active wrestler I mean).




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Since: 10.1.03
From: Enter your city here

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.14
"He never really DID change back, not in the WWF anyway (as an active wrestler I mean)."

He had a brief run in the WWF in early 93 as Terrific Terry Taylor. They hinted at a feud between him and Mr Perfect, but it wasn't meant to be.



I AM A PLAYER HATER
Quezzy
Knackwurst








Since: 6.1.02
From: The Moon

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.89
Also Dustin change gimmicks on screen once, after being Goldust in WWF he went back to WCW as some other freak (Seven?) and then on screen said it was stupid and just wanted to be himself.

Jericho went from clean baby face to whiney conspiracy theorist on screen.

Hurricane went from mild-mannered reporter Gregory Helms to superhero Hurricane on screen.



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dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.31
    Originally posted by Quezzy
    Also Dustin change gimmicks on screen once, after being Goldust in WWF he went back to WCW as some other freak (Seven?) and then on screen said it was stupid and just wanted to be himself.

    Jericho went from clean baby face to whiney conspiracy theorist on screen.

    Hurricane went from mild-mannered reporter Gregory Helms to superhero Hurricane on screen.


Other recent ones would be Rosey becoming a Super Hero In Training on screen, and then graduating to bona fide super hero.

Albert became A-Train via on screen Heyman promo. Kane the masked monster became, um, Kane the unmasked monster on screen. Val Venis returned to said gimmick to compete in the IC battle royal (Morley was banned).

Batista's turn from D-Von's collection boy to Ric Flair protege was less well explained. And unless you count a change of shows as reason enough for a personality transplant, Tajiri, Shelton Benjamin and Mark Jindrak have all been behaving rather oddly of late.



Matt Tracker
Scrapple








Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.97
    Originally posted by Freeway420
    12. How did "The Ringmaster" become Stone Cold?
    A: They gradually moved away from the Ringmaster character, then Austin lost a match to Savio Vega intentionally so that he could get rid of Ted DiBiase's mismanagement. Then, King of the Ring 1996 happened...and the rest is history


The interview with Austin right after DiBiase's departure was, I believe, the first time we heard him talk, shifting him somewhat from a thug into a bully.



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Since: 18.6.02
From: North Cacalacky

Since last post: 1943 days
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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.73
    Originally posted by TopTenPro
    Every wrestling fan seems to forget Hogan tried to turn bad in WCW, but the fans did not allow it. I remember Hogan, Savage and Sting burning a black outfit, ending this unsuccessful turn.


Was that a bonafide way to try and turn him heel, though? I think it was him just trying to "get in the Dungeon of Doom's head".

Oh well, either way, it ended with one of the funniest promos ever, where Hogan burnt his black clothes, and then burnt a copy of the WRESTLING OBSERVER!!! I just laughed out loud, and found it so sad that Hogan would actually resort to that because a newsletter writer wrote bad things about him. Really shows how paranoid the guy was.



The answer to WWE's financial problems...

Never 'Wiener of the Day', and is actually quite bitter about it.
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