The importance of having interesting gimmicks in professional wrestling can not be understated. This is especially true for a character driven company like the WWE. One of the main reasons the WWE was able to make it to the top of the wrestling industry was because they had entertaining characters like the "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, The Undertaker, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and the list goes on and on.
Of course not every gimmick is a successful one. Over the years the WWE has thrown a ton gimmicks against the wall, hoping that they would stick. While some of these became a hit with the fans, there was just as much, if not more that ended up being complete duds. Some of these gimmicks were lucky enough to stay around for a few months, while some only made a single appearance before they were scrapped. Some of these gimmicks will make you question just what exactly was the WWE Creative Team thinking when they came up with such ludicrous gimmicks. On the other hand, the WWE had some good gimmicks going for them, but for various reasons they decided to drop the gimmicks before they could reach their true potential.
Here are eight short-lived gimmicks that deserved to be quickly put out to pasture, and seven gimmicks the WWE should have given more time.
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15 Deserved to End: Who
Every wrestling fan knows that Jim Neidhart was one-half of one of greatest tag teams in wrestling history in The Hart Foundation. What most wrestling fans don't know/remember is that Neidhart once played a masked character in the WWE named Who. In 1996, Neidhart's former tag team partner Bret Hart was busy wrestling in main event matches, so Neidhart needed a new gimmick. This is where the masked character of Who came in. The gimmick was created solely for the commentary team of Jerry Lawler and Vince McMahon to make Abbott and Costello "Who's on First?" jokes. Did they also think the fans would not recognize Neidhart, with his same signature laugh and hairy chest? Could they not have found some unknown jobber for the role? It seems like it was just punishment for Neidhart. Fortunately for Neidhart's and the fans sake, the Who character had a quick and justified death.
14 Deserved More Time: Sean O'Haire: Devil's Advocate
Sean O'Haire first made a name for himself wrestling in WCW while teaming up with Chuck Palumbo. When the WWE bought WCW in 2001, the team stayed together for a few more months. Eventually, the team was broken up and O'Haire was sent down by the WWE to OVW to develop. O'Haire was back up to the WWE shortly after with a brand new gimmick, as he became known as the Devil's Advocate. In his promos he urged people to cheat on their spouses, not pay their taxes, and told them not to go to church as it was a farce. He ended all of these promos with the catchphrase: "I'm not telling you anything you don't already know." Unfortunately, the WWE dropped the gimmick before it really even started. O'Haire would instead be teamed up with Roddy Piper as his mentor. He had a bit of success with Piper by his side, but as soon as Roddy was released by the WWE, it wasn't too long before O'Haire was gone too. It sucks that the WWE didn't even give the Devil's Advocate character a chance.
13 Deserved to End: Friar Ferguson
Mike Shaw's most known WWE gimmick was that of Bastion Booger. The character was that of a man who was utterly fat and disgusting. With a character like that, you might think it couldn't get any worse for Shaw, but he actually portrayed an even worse gimmick. Prior to becoming Bastion Booger, Shaw made his WWE debut as a monk named Friar Ferguson. The whole point of his character was that he was the worst monk ever. He loved being violent with his opponents, and spent tons of money, especially at buffets. It's not hard to imagine that the fans had a hard time getting behind Ferguson, and they weren't the only ones who didn't like the character. The WWE received negative feedback from the Catholic Church, and decided it was best to remove the character for good, which was not a minute too late for the fans sake.
12 Deserved More Time: Adam Bomb
Adam Bomb made his WWE debut in 1993 as a monster heel managed by Johnny Polo (Raven). The gimmick was that of a man who survived a nuclear meltdown. Adam Bomb had a unique look as he wore distinctive round goggles, and had neon green contact lenses. He started his WWE career by competing and winning many squash matches. His huge physique made the fact that he dominated his opponents very believable. Besides being the last entrant of the 1994 Royal Rumble, Bomb never got much of a push as a heel. Bomb would eventually turn face when his new manager Harvey Wippleman turned on him. As a babyface the Adam Bomb gimmick was now being marketed towards children. During his entrance and after his matches, he would actually throw out rubber nuclear missiles into the crowd. By 1995, Bomb was reduced to only wrestling at house shows and on episodes of WWE Superstars.
Adam Bomb had the look and feel of someone who could've been a real bad ass, but the WWE completely squandered that by turning to him into a lame kid friendly character.
11 Deserved to End: Mantaur
The WWE came up with some absolutely ridiculous gimmicks during the 1990s, and Mantaur is among the worst. He was played by the 6'ft 400 lb Mike Halac (who sadly would not do anything more notable in his career than this). The gimmick was that Halac was kind of a half man, half beast. During his entrance, he wore a goofy looking costume which included something resembling a buffalo head. His in-ring skills were limited to body slams, and mostly grunts and groans. The WWE actually gave him a bit of a push early on by giving him the talented Jim Cornette as his manager. Thankfully the WWE ended his push quickly, and Mantaur starting jobbing out to guys like Bob Holly and Bam Bam Bigelow. Mantaur's run in the WWE would only last a total of four months, but that is four months too long if you ask me.
10 Deserved More Time: Waylon Mercy
Dan Spivey had very accomplished career during the 1980s and 1990s for promotions like WCW, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and the WWE. His time in the WWE could have been even more successful if his character of Waylon Mercy was given more time to take off. Spivey's debuted as the Waylon Mercy character in June of 1995. His character was based off Robert De Niro's character in the film Cape Fear. Spivey dyed his hair black, wore Hawaiian t-shirts, and had a noticeable tattoo of a dagger on his forehead. In his promos's he talked in a calm yet eerie manner. When he entered the ring Mercy was calm, but when the bell rang he became violent. When the match was over he would go back to his calm self, even shaking the ref's hand. It was a unique gimmick at the time, but Spivey couldn't stay healthy enough for the gimmick to gain any momentum. Spivey would eventually be forced into the retirement in October 1995, and Waylon Mercy gimmick went with him. Although you can't blame WWE for Spivey's injuries, it might have been smart for them to give the gimmick to another wrester. There wouldn't be another gimmick like Waylon Mercy until Bray Wyatt made his WWE debut. Wyatt's character was heavily influenced by the Waylon Mercy gimmick.
9 Deserved to End: Naked Mideon
For the most of his five-year run in the WWE, Dennis Knight had a fair amount of success. He spent the first two years as Phineas I. Godwinn, one-half of the tag team The Godwinns. The team would win the Tag Team Championship on two different occasions. After The Godwinns, Knight became known as simply as Mideon, and joined The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness. He spent over a year with the group, with his greatest accomplishment coming when he won the WWE European Championship. The Ministry of Darkness eventually disbanded which left Mideon without any real direction for his character. After almost a year of competing on B-shows like Heat and Velocity, the WWE came up with a brand new gimmick for Knight, and he became known as Naked Mideon. While Mideon was not actually naked, he was a wearing very limited amount of clothing, way less than anybody ever wanted to see. Naked Mideon's attire was only composed of a thong, fanny pack, and some wrestling boots. When it come's to Naked Mideon's character, there was none, he was simply Mideon, but naked. Thankfully for the sake of everyone's eyes, the Naked Mideon character only made a few appearances. The saddest part of all was the fact that this was Dennis Knight's last gimmick before he was released by the WWE. That's not what you would call going out with a bang.
8 Deserved More Time: Damien Sandow
This next entry on this list is the most recent gimmick, and it was probably the shortest run before it was dropped. Damien Sandow started to make a name for himself in the WWE back in 2012, when he debuted as an old school arrogant intellectual heel. One of the biggest highlights of his time in the WWE was when he won the 2013 Money in the Bank. However, Sandow became the second person to lose the cashed-in title match. This was the first time the WWE dropped the ball on the Sandow character, but it wouldn't be the last. Damien would soon after be reduced to a comedic role as The Miz' stunt double. Surprisingly Sandow was still able to get himself way over with the fans. The angle would eventually end as Sandow and The Miz would face off. It was at this point when Damien Sandow was at the height of his popularity, and the WWE had a chance to capitalize on it. After losing to The Miz, Sandow cut a promo in the ring where he thanked the fans for the support and said he wasn't sure what was next for him.
It was looking like the Sandow character was due for another big push. However, the WWE ended up wasting a great opportunity by putting Sandow in another comedic role. It wasn't too long before Sandow was off of television and then released from the WWE altogether. It's a shame that the WWE wasted months building up Sandow into a huge babyface just to do absolutely nothing with him. The fans were ready to once again see Sandow be treated like a serious character, but the WWE obviously had other ideas.
7 Deserved to End: Max Moon
The character of Max Moon was a strange one, even by WWE standards. The gimmick was that of a man from the future, although he looked like he came from a different planet altogether. He wore very colourful, but ugly costume. The best thing the gimmick had going for it was the character's entrance. Max Moon would shoot out fireworks and streamers from his fists while he made his way to the ring. Sadly, that is about all the entertainment the gimmick would ever provide. Max Moon was originally supposed to be portrayed by Konnan, but after he quit the WWE, the gimmick was given to Paul Diamond instead. Although Diamond was a fairly established wrestler at the time, not even someone as talented as Shawn Michaels could pull off stupid gimmick like Max Moon. He made just one Pay-Per-View appearance at the 1994 Royal Rumble during his brief run. After just four months, the WWE thankfully pulled the plug on the character.
6 Deserved More Time: Mordecai
Promos for Mordecai started airing on SmackDown! in the Spring of 2004. In his promos he stated that he wanted to rid the world of sin. He had a unique look, as he dressed in all white and dyed his hair and beard blonde to show just how pure he was. His eerie theme song made the character even more unique and interesting. He made his debut at the 2004 Judgement Day Pay-Per-View, defeating Scotty Too Hotty in a squash match. He defeated Hardcore Holly in his second and last Pay-Per-View appearance at the Great American Bash. Less than a week after that win over Holly, he would lose to the underdog Rey Mysterio on SmackDown!. That would be the end for the character of Mordecai after barely two months. It's a shame we didn't get a much longer run out the Mordecai character. It seemed like the gimmick was made specifically to eventually feud with The Undertaker. It's sad that it never happened.
5 Deserved to End: Phantasio
If you went for a bathroom break while watching a certain episode of WWE Superstars back in 1995, you might have missed the one and only televised match of the mysterious man that was Phantasio. The gimmick was that of a mime/magician. He was a fairly creepy looking wrestler, dressing in all black, with black and white face paint. From his entrance to during his match, he would perform various magic tricks. These tricks would include pulling never-ending string from his mouth, to famously finishing off his opponent by stealing their underwear.
There are many reasons why this gimmick didn't go anywhere. It's hard to figure out who this character was supposed to be for. He was probably too scary for younger kids, and too lame for everybody else. It's a good thing the WWE ended the Phantasio character as quickly as they did, as his tricks would no doubt get old, very fast. Harry Del Rios, who played Phantasio, wouldn't get another shot in the WWE after this, and it's not hard to see why after his one and only performance.
4 Deserved More Time: Evil Doink
When the Doink the Clown made his debut made his WWE debut in 1992, it was a gimmick that wasn't seen before. Had Doink been just your average happy-go-lucky clown, the gimmick probably would've had a quick death. Instead, the WWE was smart enough to make the character a heel. Doink would play ruthless jokes on fans and the wrestlers alike. He had feuds with the likes of the Big Bossman, Crush, and Bret Hart. Doink would briefly associate himself with Jerry 'The King" Lawler before turning on him by dumping a bucket of water on his head. This would end Doink's run as a heel, and it would also end Matt Osbourne's run as playing Doink, as he was fired because of his drug abuse problems. Doink was now a full out babyface. He was no longer taken serious as a character and was used mostly as just comic relief. It wasn't too long before Doink acquired a partner, a little person look-alike named Dink. By 1995, the character was taken off of television.
It's unfortunate that Doink's run as a babyface ran over two years, compared to his eight-month run as a heel. There was so much more potential with Doink as a heel. He would never be a contender to win the WWE Heavyweight Championship, but at least he would've been a more interesting character to watch, compared to his mundane babyface run.
3 Deserved to End: Beaver Cleavage
Charles Warrington first made a name for himself as Mosh, who was one-half of the tag team The Headbangers. They had a very solid three-year run in the WWE during the Attitude Era, winning the Tag Team Championship in 1997. Warrington's partner Thrasher suffered a serious injury in 1999, so the WWE was forced to give Charles a gimmick change. The WWE decided to give him the character of Beaver Cleavage. The gimmick was a parody of the 1960s show Leave it to Beaver. The character would appear in black and white vignettes with his mom. The vignettes would be full of sexual innuendos between the two, including Mrs. Cleavage offering Beaver some of her "Mother's milk." It wasn't too long before the character was quickly scrapped, and Warrington became known as "Chaz." Even though the character of Beaver Cleavage came during the adult-oriented Attitude Era, a character involving incest doesn't belong in any era of wrestling.
2 Deserved More Time: Muhammad Hassan
The WWE has had many controversial gimmicks throughout its history, but none may have been more controversial than Muhammad Hassan. The character was that of an Arab American who was tired of the prejudice views and stereotypes that Americans had about his people after the 9/11 attacks. Hassan, who was actually portrayed by the "100 percent Italian" Marc Copani, made his WWE debut in 2004. He was heavily pushed by the WWE early on, defeating top guys like Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho. Hassan would also have a notable feud with Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan before being drafted to SmackDown!. It was during his time on SmackDown! where all the controversy started to take place. During a match between Hassan's partner Daivari and The Undertaker, Hassan interfered. He began to pray on his knees until masked men dressed in all black came out and attacked The Undertaker. This segment occurred three days before the London Bombings, which would eventually draw negative criticism from major media outlets. What was worse for the WWE was that UPN, the television network that aired SmackDown!, was not at all happy with the Muhammad Hassan character. The WWE decided it was best for business to get rid the Hassan character altogether. Hassan's last match took place at the Great American Bash, where he was defeated and seriously injured (kayfabe), thus taking him off of television for good. At the time of his departure from the WWE, the Hassan character was one of the most entertaining heels on the roster, and the fans were rightfully upset that the WWE gave into UPN's demands without a fight. Mark Copani would be released shortly after the incident, and would end up retiring from the business. Rumour has it that Copani was supposed to get a major push, which would eventually lead to a World Heavyweight Championship reign. There was so much untapped potential for the Hassan character and Copani as a performer that was all thrown away by the WWE.
1 Deserved to End: Gobbledy Gooker
For months prior to the 1990 Survivor Series, the WWE was talking heavily about what might hatch out of a giant oversized egg at ringside. The fans would get their long-awaited answer at Survivor Series when out popped a man dressed in an ugly turkey outfit. It wasn't surprising that fans were just a bit disappointed with the debut of the Gobbledy Gooker. The turkey would awkwardly dance with "Mean Gene" Okerlund, before quickly leaving the ring.
Thankfully the Gooker would only make one more appearance (besides a brief appearance at WrestleMania X-Seven) at a show in Madison Square Garden. On his way to the ring, Hector Guerrero, who was the man inside the suit, was blinded by a spotlight which made it even harder to see out of his suit. Guerrero went to flip over the ropes into the ring, but he completely botched it and landed on his backside. Guerrero and the Gobbledy Gooker were done with the WWE at that point, just one month after his debut. The crazy part about all this is that fact the WWE actually planned on having Guerrero wrestle while wearing the turkey suit. The WWE would have been better off not having a guy in a turkey suit, period.
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