It's a classic situation: you don't know what you have until it's gone. We have all been there, something in our lives that we never realized meant so much to us suddenly disappears and we miss it instantaneously. We long for its return, but its gone.
In WWE; things come and go on a daily basis. Whether it's superstars or storyline ideas, the format is a constant never-ending flow of contradiction and at times confusion. It is said that Vince McMahon can change his mind on something in a split second, which has occurred a great number of times.
When ideas are pitched and bounced around and tweaked and molded certain ways, you some times end up far away from where you began and suddenly you have an entirely new concept on your hands – could be for the better but more often than not; it's for the worse.
WWE is the sideshow of the new millennium. The closest thing to a nation-wide freak show available without political correctness taking over. It's the kind of entertainment that keeps up coming back for more, even if we try and resist.
One of biggest factors in this entertainment is the incorporation of gimmicks. The fantasy that we seek is portrayed by the wrestlers while they are in character. One's gimmick is the most important part of his/her career and getting over with the crowd is essential.
Numerous gimmicks have flopped over the years in WWE as birdbrain ideas often can't take flight. Numerous gimmicks have also succeeded. Speaking from a pure character-oriented perspective, The Undertaker is the greatest wrestling gimmick of all time.
However, there have been times when WWE simply gave up on a gimmick, even though it was good and had the potential to last, it was still shut down. This article will take a look at some of the long lost ideas that could have resulted in so much more.
These are the top 15 gimmicks WWE gave up on too soon:
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15 Pretty Mean Sisters
The Attitude Era provided some great WWE factions. Everything felt fresh and new as it truly was an exciting time to be a wrestling fan. The brainchild of Vince Russo, Pretty Mean Sisters, were a faction of embittered women that included Jacqueline, Terri, and Ryan Shamrock – each holding their own separate grudge towards the men who had done them wrong.
Eventually, PMS added a love-slave named Meat (Shawn Stasiak) who would do their bidding and serve them "physically." The PMS gimmick was a swerve on the usual male-dominated concept of the stable. However, PMS only lasted for about nine months.
14 "The" Brian Kendrick
Brian Kendrick was never meant to be a main event player in WWE. His greatest accomplishment was becoming a two-time WWE Tag Team Champion along side his partner Paul London. In 2008, the team was split during the Supplemental Draft and Kendrick was on his was to SmackDown – along with a new gimmick.
“The” Brian Kendrick was a cocky and arrogant heel who despite his small stature believed he was a main event player, even participating in the WWE Championship Scramble match at the Unforgiven Pay-Per-View.
“The” Brian Kendrick would not have been a believable WWE Champion but could have been the best mid-card heel in WWE had they not released him from his contract.
13 Zack Ryder
While personally I was never amused or entertained by Zack Ryder, I respect how he connected to the fans with his grass-roots internet campaign.
Ryder was upset with WWE and their use – or lack thereof – of his talents. Thus began Z! True Long Island Story, a web series featuring Ryder and his goofball antics. The self-proclaimed “Internet Champion” developed a massive following and “we want Ryder” chants were soon being heard on WWE programming.
Eventually, the company took notice and Ryder was featured regularly on television, even given a friendship angle with John Cena. However, it didn't take long before Ryder was lowered on the card, slowly fading in WWE obscurity.
Zack Ryder is corny but the people were into “Long Island Iced Z.” WWE could have done something more with the gimmick.
12 Brodus Clay
“The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay who hailed from “Planet Funk” was another cheesy dance gimmick which WWE thought necessary to unleash upon its audience.
In the weeks leading up to this dancing debut, a series of vignettes were shown promoting Brodus Clay. However, John Laurinaitis kept on delaying his debut week after week. The vignettes were slightly dark and in no way indicated that Clay would be appearing as a ridiculous hybrid of a dancing-man-dinosaur. The feeling was that a new monster was about to enter the WWE.
Why the sudden change of heart? I guess we can go back to the Vince McMahon changing his mind situation. Brodus Clay as a monster was a gimmick that never even had a chance to surface. The WWE doesn't need more dancing, it needs more substance.
11 The Awesome Truth
The Awesome Truth was a short-lived heel tag team consisting of The Miz and R-Truth. The pair were brought together by mutual disdain for Triple H and the fact that they were not being used properly by the company.
The gimmick placed Miz and Truth in somewhat of a renegade position, interfering in high-profile matches and attacking whomever they pleased; including referees and cameramen, resulting in their storyline termination.
When The Awesome Truth were “reinstated,” they would go on to headline Survivor Series 2011 by taking on The Rock and John Cena in a losing effort. Following the event, R-Truth was suspended for thirty days for violating the WWE Wellness Policy thus ending the tag team as WWE decided not to continue with The Awesome Truth upon Truth's return to the company.
10 3-Minute Warning
Jamal and Rose,; known as 3-Minute Warning, made their WWE debut in 2002 as enforcers for then Raw General Manager, Eric Bischoff. The concept being that whenever a match or segment was boring Bischoff, he would declare that the match/segment was running “three minutes too long.” This would lead to Jamal and Rosey attacking Bischoff's target.
3-Minute Warning were made up of real life cousins Eddie Fatu and Matt Anoa'i. The team was disbanded when Fatu was released from WWE before returning as a repackaged character known as Umaga. Fatu has since passed away.
During their tenure in WWE, 3-Minute Warning could have been used as much more than just Eric Bischoff's glorified henchmen. The men are part of the legendary Anoa'i family and with their modern day look, could have been a twenty-first century version of The Wild Samoans.
9 Matt Hardy: Version 1
Matt Hardy had a number of singles runs in WWE. However, his biggest claim to fame is being one half of The Hardy Boyz. While brother Jeff was once the hottest commodity in the company, even capturing the WWE Championship, Matt has not been able to attain that level of stardom.
Although, when Matt Hardy suddenly became Matt Hardy: Version 1; something interesting was happening with his character. The gimmick was good and even involved real life friend Shannon Moore, when he became a “Mattitude” follower.
The “Mattitude” movement would soon include Crash Holly who worked as Moore's “Moore-on” follower, thus following Hardy by extension. When Hardy moved over to Raw in order to travel with then-girlfriend Lita, Version 1 was lost. WWE could have brought over Moore and Holly to continue with the gimmick, but opted to set Matt off in a different direction.
8 Right to Censor
The Right to Censor was WWE's response to the negative backlash they received from parental groups in regards to their violent and adult content. RTC was made up of Steven Richards, Bull Buchanan, The Goodfather (formerly The Godfather), Ivory, and The Kat.
The group wore a uniform of white shirts and black ties along with black slacks for the men and long black dresses for the women – resembling that of a Mormon missionary. The goal of the RTC was to clean up the WWE and to rid the company of all its ill-morals. The group was a great piece of satire but would only last for a year.
7 Cryme Tyme Cenation
Over the past decade, many of the biggest WWE moments and angles have involved John Cena, so it is easy to forget some of the little things that transpired along the way.
For a very brief moment in time, John Cena and the tag team of Cryme Tyme (JTG and Shad) formed what was known as the Cryme Tyme Cenation. The most memorable moment from the trio came when they vandalized the limousine of JBL. CTC was placed on hold when Cena suffered an injury.
Months later, with Cena back in WWE, there was no mention of CTC as it was virtually forgotten. This gimmick could have worked. John Cena leading a stable that may have given him some legitimate street cred while helping propel the careers of JTG and Shad, but alas the gimmick was dropped.
6 The Wyatt Family
Bray Wyatt is off to WrestleMania to face The Undertaker. Obviously, he is doing just fine at the moment as the most interesting character in WWE. However, without directly saying it, Wyatt is viewed as a cult leader – so where are his followers?
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan have gone their separate ways, breaking away from Bray Wyatt and thus dismantling the family. Harper had a run as Intercontinental Champion but it really seems as though these two are lacking direction.
WWE should have kept both men with Bray Wyatt as his loyal followers. Unlike The Shield, The Wyatt Family has but one breakout star. This group was broken up too soon.
5 Tea Party Jack Swagger
When Jack Swagger reappeared in WWE with his new manager Zeb Colter, they were instantly grabbing attention with their Tea Party-like rhetoric.
The new gimmick would even garner a response from those who work at FOX News, claiming that Swagger and Colter were degrading the Tea Party and its beliefs. WWE eventually toned everything down before completely stepping away from the Tea Party angle.
This is a gimmick that hit home for many people, regardless of their political view – they either loved or hated the angle and that's a good thing. WWE seems to fear outsider confrontation. What happened to Vince McMahon's grapefruits?
4 The Black Hart
In 1997 at In Your House: D-Generation X, Owen Hart would make a surprise appearance to attack Shawn Michaels, one month following the “Montreal Screwjob.”
Owen was now the lone Hart in WWE, the only man left to defend the honor of his family, The Black Hart. This gimmick had all the makings to be something great, to elevate Owen into the main event picture, especially considering the circumstances surrounding Shawn Michaels and his brother. However, Owen was soon turned heel, joining The Nation in the process.
3 Muhammad Hassan
Mark Copani was given the daunting task of portraying Muhammad Hassan; an Arab-American who had been a victim of great prejudice throughout the United States – good gimmick but one that surely not to last.
On an episode of SmackDown; Hassan was seen praying at the top of the ramp before five masked men entered the ring and attacked The Undertaker; beating and choking him out. The angle took place just prior to the London Bombings and WWE was placed under pressure to remove Hassan from their programming.
WWE complied and gave up on the gimmick. While real life attacks are senseless, selfish, and outright stupid; we must not forget that the WWE is just entertainment.
2 Ministry of Darkness
The Ministry of Darkness was led by none other than the darkest man in WWE, The Undertaker. The Ministry were controversial as they would partake in Satanic-like rituals and sacrifices.
The Ministry of Darkness feuded with the McMahon family, going as far as kidnapping Stephanie in an attempt to make her the bride of The Undertaker. The gimmick was creepy and captivating all at the same time. The Undertaker was perhaps at the peak of his darkness during The Ministry days, which was shut down too early.
1 Straight Edge Society
The days of CM Punk and WWE are long gone, but we can still look back fondly on some of his greatest achievements. One of which was his Straight Edge Society stable which consisted of Luke Gallows – who Punk apparently got off drugs – Joesph Mercury, and Serena.
This was Punk's group from start to finish. The promos were his own and the delivery never failed. The Straight Edge Society looked to save those from their vices while promoting their own unique philosophy on life, it's a shame the group didn't have a longer lifespan in WWE.
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