As a fan of professional wrestling, chances are you have seen tons of great matches, fantastic wrestlers, and amazing storylines that have kept you on the edge of your seat, as well as moments that have shocked you and took your breath away. We have also seen current and former superstars like Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan and even John Cena who have risen to stardom, left a lasting impression, and elevated not only themselves and their gimmick, but their wrestling organizations like WWE, WCW, TNA, and ROH to new levels.
Whether you're a die-hard fan, or even just a casual one, you have also likely seen a number of gimmicks that have been flat out ridiculous over the years. Wrestlers like the Bezerker, The Goon, Max Moon, Mantaur, Avatar, and Phantasio are just some examples of those. Not only was it bad for you, but the poor wrestlers who actually had to portray these gimmicks probably didn't have any fun either. A terrible gimmick can ruin an otherwise promising career. Who knows where Bret Hart would have ended up had he adopted the Cowboy gimmick he was pitched? How about if Austin didn't proactively suggest a gimmick change from The Ringmaster? Thankfully the WWE pulled the plug on the cheesy Rocky Maivia gimmick. In any event, when coming up with a gimmick, one must be very careful in what they choose, because a gimmick can make or break a career.
With that said, we here at TheSportster have created a Top 15 list of the horrible gimmicks that ruined a wrestler's career.
On a personal level, I loved this gimmick. The former One Man Gang making the transformation from a biker to The African Dream Akeem who wore a blue and yellow dashiki and was referred to as a jive soul bro was as ridiculous as it was hilarious. What added even more comedy and ridiculousness to the gimmick wasn't just the fact that he was Caucasian, it was also the constant dancing (if you can call it that) that Akeem did.
14 Repo Man
As one half of the Legendary tag-team Demolition Barry Darsow who preformed as Smash, won the World Wrestling Federation Tag-Team Championship with his partner Ax three times. The duo who would later grow into a trio after they added Crush (the late Brian Adams), would have many memorable battles with other legendary teams like The Hart Foundation, The Rockers, Strike Force, and the Colossal Connection to name a few.
Vito Lo Grasso is actually suing WWE in a concussion related lawsuit. While we can't discuss that, one injustice the WWE definitely did do to him was giving him a cross-dressing gimmick, in which Vito would wear a dress to the ring. He may not have had the potential of a main event star, but he had a good look and probably could have been a serviceable midcarder. Although he won many matches with the gimmick, there was no way he was ever going to grow out of it. He was released less than a year after debuting with the gimmick.
12 Perry Saturn - Moppy
Probably the only gimmick on this list that was a direct punishment to the wrestler, Perry Saturn was 'given' this gimmick after legitimately attacking jobber Mike Bell during a match. The character went nuts as a result of concussions sustained during matches and became infatuated with a mop, which he dubbed "Moppy". He eventually chose that mop over Terri Runnels. While one has to admit that some of it was funny, Perry Saturn's career took a bad turn to say the least. Saturn would be released from the company in 2002.
10 Mike Awesome: Fat Chick Thriller
9 P.N News
Before John Cena, Men on a Mission, R-Truth, and even the Funkasaurus, we had P.N News. The fan-favorite rapping wrestler was WCW's very lame attempt to try to connect with urban fans. Unlike the aforementioned first two wrestlers, P.N News couldn't rap to save his life. His skills in the squared circle however were much better as the extremely overweight grappler who was billed at 400 pounds, was surprisingly very agile in the ring.
8 The Boogeyman
Most 1990's WWE fans will remember the late John Tenta from his memorable gimmick as Earthquake who not only won the Tag-Team Championship with his partner Tugboat (more on him in a second), but also had many high profile matches against Hall of Famers like Macho Man Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase, Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, and Jake Roberts. Tenta left Vince McMahon's empire in 1994. He eventually resurfaced in WCW as The Avalanche which was basically rip off of his Earthquake character. After scrapping that idea, Tenta became The Shark.
6 Shelton Benjamin - Momma's Boy
5 Max Moon
This is yet another ridiculous gimmick that feels like it was ripped straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon lineup. Coming to the ring in a blue and multi-colored bodysuit and mask, with a jet pack, and arm bands that would shoot out fireworks. He was said to come have come from the future. Although Max Moon had matches against future legends like Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Rick Martel, the gimmick quickly flamed out and was done less than a year after its debut.
3 Bastion Booger
2 The Shockmaster
I told you we weren't done with Ottman. His hilarious WCW debut will forever live in infamy. Hyped as the mystery partner for the icon Sting and his partners the late great Davey Boy Smith, and Dustin Rhodes, at the 1993 Fall Brawl pay-per-view, The Shockmaster was introduced to the wrestling world on Ric Flair's classic interview segment called "A Flair for the Gold". Ottman who wore a black cape/vest, a pair of jeans and a helmet that all full of glitter was supposed to burst through a wall on the set, but he somehow tripped over a piece of the wall that didn't explode and fell flat on his face. The fall caused his helmet to fall off.
1 The Red Rooster
Despite the fact that Terry Taylor is a legend within the wrestling community, it's his time as the Red Rooster that earns him the number one spot on this list. Dressed in a red and white jacket with a fake red mo-hawk, he would would strut and caw like a rooster in interviews and in the ring during, before, during, and after matches. The former National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Champion would wrestle under the gimmick for nearly two years.
How the idea even made it out of creative meetings and/or Vince McMahon's office is anyone's guess. Taylor, who has been working for the WWE as a trainer in their developmental brand NXT since 2012, has done some quality work with the WWE's current and future talent. This horrible and ridiculous man-rooster gimmick was comical when it debuted in 1988. If it saw the light of day today, I think Twitter would explode.
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