Sometimes a wrestler needs a manager in order to get over because his mic abilities are lackluster (see Brock Lesnar). Other times a wrestler gets over simply based on his entrance music being catchy (see Fandango and Bobby Roode). Other times a wrestler is provided with support via an attractive valet (see Rusev and Lana). More often than not a wrestler needs that extra oomph in order to resonate with the fans, regardless of whether or not he is playing the role of a do-no-wrong babyface or a sadistic heel.
Sometimes a wrestler doesn't have a manager or a catchy theme or a valet to help propel him to greater heights. Instead, he uses props. Sometimes these props help to further the character, and other times they simply ruin the character.
Here, we take a look at the eight best and seven worst props that were part of a wrestler's gimmick.
20 BEST: The New Day's Booty O's Cereal
The New Day had told the WWE Universe for months to eat their Booty O's because "they make sure you ain't booty." As of May 2016, the New Day has an actual cereal that is sold on WWEShop.com and at FYE dubbed Booty-O's. This is a testament to the New Day's incredible way to strike up demand for a product that hadn't even been created at the time. The trio of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods frequently throw out boxes of the sugary goodness to fans, who are much more eager to receive the breakfast cereal than fans were to receive John Cena's t-shirt at the ECW One Night Stand PPV. Along with Booty O's cereal, the New Day has had trombones, Francesca I, Francesca II and Francesca Turbo that have been over as well as evidenced by WWE releasing a R.I.P. Francesca trombone t-shirt. Not to forget, the unicorn horn is worn by all walks of life. The New Day seem to be able to make any and every prop work for them.
19 WORST: Kane's Cape
The former dentist, Dr. Isaac Yankem, had at one time sported a cape to go along with his mask and red/black attire. A cape generally signifies something a superhero wears, not a 7'0" behemoth who plays the role of a villain, or better said a heel in the WWE. With the exception of Magneto and Dr. Doom, how many villains are there that look intimidating with a cape? Kane sporting a cape can be compared to what the WWE had originally planned for the Shield. Initially, the WWE had wanted the Shield to come out with actual shields so they could look more like a riot squad trio. Thankfully, the WWE didn't pull the trigger on the idea. Unfortunately for the WWE they did pull the trigger on Kane's cape; things could have been worse, they could've gotten rid of his mask - oh wait, never mind.
18 BEST: Razor Ramon's Toothpick
The WWE's version of everyone's favorite bad guy, Scarface, Razor Ramon came to the ring flush with multiple chains, a look and persona that screamed Miami born and bred and most importantly, his patented toothpick. Razor Ramon was infamous for throwing his toothpick at his opponents prior to a match beginning and then either acting as if he was cowering in fear or laughing directly to their faces (if not both). This imagery of Razor Ramon is a little difficult to imagine in present day as he's been battling his own personal demons of drugs and alcohol. To put it in Hall's own words in his 2014 Hall of Fame induction, "bad times don't last, but bad guys do"! Here's to Hall getting clean sooner rather than later!
17 WORST: Kerwin White's Golf Cart
Better known as Chavo Guerrero Jr, Kerwin White is the gimmick in which Chavo adapted the persona of a golf caddy. The gimmick was a fail almost instantaneously and is best (worst?) remembered for White's catchphrase of "If it's not White, it's not right". While this can be interpreted as a play on words, many obviously took it to be racially insensitive. White also dyed his hair blond and started wearing golf attire such as a sweater tied around his neck. The gimmick didn't last too long as it was eventually dropped due to the unfortunate passing of White's real life uncle, Eddie Guerrero. While lavish vehicles for the likes of JBL and Alberto Del Rio added to their gimmicks, the golf cart did nothing to help this terrible gimmick get over.
16 BEST: Steve Austin's Beer
Austin technically didn't make his way to the ring with beer, but he did exit the ring with a copious amount of beer consumption. Countless Monday Night Raw episodes would conclude with Austin smacking two beers together, essentially cheering with himself and guzzling them down (even if his shirt consumed more than Austin did himself). By the way, an overlooked element of Stone Cold's beer is the person(s) who threw him the can with what seemed to be pinpoint accuracy, time in and time out. The WWE is drastically different from Austin's heyday, however, you can be assured that when Austin makes the occasional appearance for WWE he isn't leaving without his customary beer knock and guzzle. Depending on who is in the ring, friend or foe, they'll either enjoy a beer with Austin, or they will have beer poured all over them.
15 WORST: The Undertaker's Mask
While one half of the Brothers of Destruction, Kane, can't be taken seriously without his mask, the other half of the Brothers of Destruction, The Undertaker, can't be taken seriously with his mask. The man known as the Deadman wore the mask as a result of an orbital injury. However, while precautionary measures to prevent further injury aren't anything to scoff at, The Undertaker donning this mask is everything to scoff at. Ironically, the mask seems to resemble the mask Kane had worn during his run with Daniel Bryan as a part of Team Hell No. The Undertaker comes off as an intimidating character, but this mask makes him look quite goofy and does nothing to enhance his eerie persona. Rest easy Undertaker, anytime someone insults your American Bad Ass persona, just point them to your mask.
14 BEST: Al Snow's Mannequin Head
The Al Snow character would have no business in today's WWE PG Era; in the Attitude Era Snow was a head case (no pun intended) that almost always grabbed the attention of viewers. For the younger crowd, Snow was viewed as a mentally unstable character as a result of the "HELP ME" written across his forehead in large, black, capitalized letters. Not to forget, Snow carrying the head mannequin didn't resonate with them as their innocent souls hadn't known the true meaning behind the head mannequin. This resulted to them viewing Snow as even more of a nutcase. For the older crowd, Snow's "what does everybody want? What does everybody need?" catchphrase followed by him raising the head mannequin signified a not so subliminal indication of you-know-what. Snow relished in the gimmick.
13 WORST: Boogeyman's Clock
The Boogeyman legitimately frightened many not so much because of his aura, but rather because he consumed worms. Yet, while the worms were far from appetizing or appealing they did benefit his character as it presented him as a sickening madman. However, what did not benefit Boogeyman's character was the clock he carried. Boogeyman was a sure fire guarantee to crack the clock over his head and then laugh uncontrollably in a maniacal fashion usually after saying, "I'm the Boogeyman and I'm coming to get you"! Hey Boogeyman, here's a tip, why not strike your opponent with the clock and pick up an easy W? The Boogeyman is currently signed to WWE on a Legends Deal and he'll make the occasional appearance when WWE sees fitting.
12 BEST: Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Belt
The Million Dollar Man was never able to claim the WWE's most illustrious prize, the WWE Championship. Instead, DiBiase decided to create his own posh, over the top belt which contained numerous dollar signs. Now, DiBiase not only had dollar signs on his blazers, but on his waist as well. The WWE never recognized the championship as an actual championship. In essence, DiBiase's million dollar belt was the Internet Championship before Zack Ryder had created a belt he crowned himself with. However, unlike Ryder, DiBiase's title surfaced on television prominently. This further highlighted DiBiase's character as being an upper echelon millionaire who was in a class above his coworkers. The popularity of the belt still remains today as it can be purchased on WWEShop.com.
11 WORST: Giant Gonzalez's Spandex Body Suit
The 7'6'' Argentinian is the tallest man to ever work for the WWE and for the record, Andre the Giant was only 6'11'' despite WWE claiming he was 7'5''. It isn't and won't be the first time the WWE has stretched the truth regarding a wrestler's height. The body suit Gonzalez wore portrayed a chiseled physique with immense definition in all body parts. The suit also contained airbrushed hair which can be inferred was done to signify a manly, machismo type of persona. The character looked cartoonish and did nothing to highlight Gonzalez's own physique. Instead, the body suit was commonly met with unfavourable opinions. The former Atlanta Hawk draftee and WWE superstar passed away in 2010 as a result of diabetes and heart failure. He was only forty-four years old.
10 BEST: Mankind's Mr. Socko
Mrs. Foley's baby boy has always stood out whether he had a prop by his side or not. His Cactus Jack character is synonymous with carrying a baseball bat accompanied with barbwire. His Dude Love character comes complete with hippie attire including a tie-dyed bandana and funky shades. The Mankind character comes complete with everyone's favorite dirty sock, Mr. Socko. Mankind used the mandible claw as his finishing maneuver, but later adapted it and put his own spin on it by using a sock he named Mr. Socko which he would have stuffed in his pants. The crowd ate it up (not literally, because well that'd be gross) and embraced Mr. Socko instantaneously. The Mr. Socko prop is one of the most popular props ever used in WWE and Foley has even sold autographed hand drawn Mr. Sockos himself.
9 WORST: "Mr. Hole in One" Barry Darsow's Golf Equipment
In better days, Barry Darsow went by the ring name Smash in which he was a member of Demolition, the tag team that had a historic reign of 478 days. His golfing gimmick though? Not so great. Darsow would come to the ring dressed with a golfer cap, a polo and slacks. In addition, he would carry numerous clubs and golf equipment with him. Then, Darsow would challenge his opponents to, wait for it, a putting contest! The WWE has had segments where a superstar would showcase a talent and then have an opponent come out and try to dethrone them such as Chris Masters and the Master Lock challenge which proved to be interesting when it began, even if it fizzled at times. Darsow never experienced his putting challenge sizzle or fizzle as it was completely dead in the water the minute it began.
8 BEST: Jake Roberts's Snake
Seeing Jake "the Snake" Roberts without a snake was like seeing R-Truth without Little Jimmy. Well, like seeing R-Truth without Little Jimmy in R-Truth's parallel universe. Roberts would come to the ring accompanied by numerous snakes draped around his neck; the most prominent of these snakes was a python he had named Damien (for the record, Roberts named multiple snakes Damien). The irony in Roberts' snake persona is that he claims he adapted the moniker of a snake because he wasn't an easy person to trust which fits the description of a snake. Roberts had other snakes as well that had names such as Lucifer and Revelations. Roberts was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014 and also recovered from muscular cancer which made for quite the year for the former superstar.
4 WORST: Hulk Hogan's Boas
Hogan is a walking, talking atrocity when it comes to his attire and appearance. For one, he's been holding on to his lack of mane since the 1980s and refuses to cut it. Secondly, he's a sixty-year-old man who seems to have just gotten into sporting Jordans. Thirdly, his bandanas aren't fooling anyone and are about as successful at hiding his baldness as Hogan's Pastamania restaurant was. And we haven't even gotten to his boas! How many men have you seen strut with a boa in both present day and past? Hogan's boas were over the top and not in a good way. He appeared to be going for a unique and somewhat lavish look. He achieved the former; but he didn't achieve the latter.
3 BEST: Ric Flair's Robes
The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheeling and dealing son of a gun himself arguably embodied his character's persona more so than any other wrestler in history. Flair would almost always show up to the arena in a limousine as he wanted to give off the impression that his character symbolized one who was above his peers. Flair would almost always fly via jet as well. Flair certainly looked the part and his patented robes ensured he was the part. Flair's robes were glossy and instantaneously caught your eyes regardless of if you thought they may be gaudy or if you thought they were gorgeous. The back of the robe would display Flair's nickname, "Nature Boy". In and out of the ring Flair looked like a million bucks.
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