“A working class hero is something to be.” – John Lennon
The working class are the glue that hold society together and keep this world from crumbling into a heaping mess of mayhem and debauchery. The working class are not considered martyrs when they die, they are not publicized on gossip sites, they are not mourned by legions of fans. They are simply dead and left for unappreciated decay.
It has been said that while the rich keep getting richer, the poor keep getting poorer. Meanwhile, the middle class remain in the blue-collar rut of forty hour weeks and wasted weekends. Work, pay taxes, work, get drunk, work, grow old, work, then perish; a life “lived.”
The careless, the reckless, and the mad all have it right in one way or another but the working class must face another Monday morning as the monthly monogamy continues. To get up and go would change the working class outlook; provide some sense of hope that life is worth living but the dream is deceased and all that lives is wretched reality.
In the end, all the working class can do is walk side-by-side in some kind of horrified harmony, attempting to be tolerant of one another as the rich look down their noses and the poor stick out their hands begging for help with a meal or a fix while the working class wish to be some version of steeled-toed Robin Hoods.
In WWE, many of the everyday working class jobs we know about have been used at some point as a wrestler’s gimmick – usually resulting in a disastrous failure as people watch wrestling to escape everyday life, not to be reminding of the world outside of the arena. Wrestling provides a temporary shelter from the real world.
In this article we will take a look at some of these characters.
These are the top 15 worst occupational gimmicks in WWE history:
15. Big Boss Man
Big Boss Man (played by Raymond Traylor) was first introduced to the WWE audience back in the late ’80s as a villainous prison guard complete with nightstick, handcuffs, and corny blue police shirt.
Traylor would leave WWE in 1993 and eventually find himself employed by WCW where his success was limited. Upon his return to WWE during the Attitude Era, the Big Boss Man gimmick was tweaked to a darker degree as the police gear was replaced with SWAT team apparel.
While the new version of Big Boss Man was an improvement, the original gimmick was drab and kind of a drag to watch.
14. Reverend D-Von
Reverend D-Von (played by Devon Hughes) was a short-lived character who existed on SmackDown following the separation of The Dudley Boyz in 2002 (draft), leading to D-Von Dudley taking on the role of a reverend.
During this time, Reverend D-Von would introduce his protégé: a monstrous man named Deacon Batista who of course would later transform into The Animal and proud member of Evolution.
Thankfully, The Dudley Boyz would reunite and D-Von was back beside his long-time partner Bubba Ray.
13. The Dicks
James and Chad Dick (played by John Toland and Charles Wicks), collectively known as The Dicks are a well-forgotten WWE tag team who once competed on the SmackDown brand during a time of transition for the television program.
Well, let’s takes a moment to remember this tag team and their occupational gimmick. The Dicks were meant to be Chippendales who would actually use body oil to temporarily “blind” their opponents in order to gain the upper hand.
These male dancer characters were soon let go and left for lists like ours. The forgotten foolery of WWE.
12. Simon Dean
Simon Dean (played by Mike Bucci) was physical-fitness guru who came to the WWE to sell his “Simon System,” which was a program of diet, exercise, and the all-around wellness of the human body.
In a world where physical-fitness in a prerequisite of the profession, how far could a character like Simon Dean have gone? The answer: not very far, as Bucci was soon nothing more than another jobber.
Mike Bucci – prior to his stint in WWE – was an acclaimed performer in the original ECW.
11. The Goon
The Goon (played by Barney Irwin) was a disgraced hockey player who had supposedly been kicked out of every league he participated in and thus turned to the world of professional wrestling.
This was gimmick which was doomed from the start and was evident by the length of time The Goon actually spent in WWE. The over-the-top image of a real life hockey player was soon dropped.
Surprisingly, Barney Irwin would reprise this character a few times over the years for some low-grade WWE humor and gimmick matches.
10. Irwin R. Schyster
Irwin R. Schyster (played by Mike Rotunda) was a much-hated tax-man who was perceived to be a former employee of IRS. Hence, the “clever” name play and constant reminder to fans and performers alike to “pay their taxes.”
The truth about Irwin R. Schyster was that he was a complete bore with a bland personality and reminded fans of a despised mandatory task which actually worked in gaining heat.
Mike Rotunda has played a number of characters throughout his career but will be remembered best as the WWE tax man.
9. Friar Ferguson
Friar Ferguson (played by Mike Shaw) was a terrible attempt at a mad monk character who was quickly dropped when pressure and criticism from the New York Catholic Church came rolling in on WWE.
There is probably some grand philosophical explanation regarding a monk not technically being an occupation but we will simply disagree with that as devoting one’s life to the practice falls along the lines of monotonous work.
Following the monk gimmick, Mike Shaw would become known as Bastion Booger – a loathsome slob.
Skinner (played by Steve Keirn) was an alligator hunter from the Florida Everglades who chewed tobacco and spit his horrible nicotine-laced venom at opponents – not a pretty sight for WWE fans.
This character was introduced in the early ’90s when things were far-off from any sense of reality in WWE. Obviously, this foul gimmick did not work out well and the character of Skinner was soon laid to rest.
Steve Keirn has probably found more success as a trainer rather than performer.
7. The Mountie
The Mountie (played by Jacques Rougeau) was exactly what you would think: a Mountie. This character was a supposed member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and used a cattle prod as his chosen weapon.
Jacques Rougeau was best known as a tag team wrestler, working as one half of The Rougeau Brothers and The Quebecers. However, The Mountie was nothing more than a ridiculous Canadian caricature.
Law enforcement gimmicks of any kind seemingly turn out as duds in WWE.
6. Repo Man
Repo Man (played by Barry Darsow) was somewhat of a sly heel who worked in the field of repossession with twisted delight. Equipped with tow rope and Lone Ranger mask, Repo Man looked and acted like a buffoon.
Prior to playing the Repo Man character, Barry Darsow assumed the role of Smash as one half of Demolition – one of the most dominant and intimidating tag teams in WWE history – as well as record breakers.
Demolition hold the record for longest reign as WWE Tag Team Champion. What a long, hard fall for Barry Darsow.
Phantasio (played by Harry Del Rios) was a babyface (something this list was lacking) magician who only appeared once on WWE television in a winning effort against Tony DeVito on an episode of Wrestling Challenge.
This one-off television appearance was with just cause, as Phantasio was a complete waste of time – completing “magic tricks” to help him secure a victory and even removing the boxers of referee Earl Hebner following the contest.
The WWE quickly noticed the flaws of this character and would pull the plug immediately on this not-so-magical gimmick.
4. T.L. Hopper
T.L. Hopper (played by Darrell Anthony) was a plumber turned wrestler who was shown in a series of work-related vignettes before making his greasy, lowbrow debut in his raggedy jeans and stained undershirt while carrying his trusty plunger.
Following a victory, T.L. Hopper would stick the dirty plunger into the face of his defeated opponent in another example of bad humor on the part of WWE. The plumber was soon terminated from his position.
Darrell Anthony would move on from plumber to hillbilly as the character of Uncle Cletus. Rough roads.
3. Duke “The Dumpster” Droese
Duke “The Dumpster” Droese (played by Michael Droese) was a garbage man character who brought his work to the ring by carrying his trash can down to the ring prior to a match.
“Garbage” is definitely a fitting word for this gimmick as yet again WWE failed to capture the everyman and instead made the working-class citizen seem like something that is not worth attaining.
Michael Droese would eventually be relieved of this degrading character.
2. Isaac Yankem, DDS
Isaac Yankem, DDS (played by Glenn Jacobs) made his WWE debut serving as the “personal dentist” to Jerry “The King” Lawler. Yankem was brought into the company for the purposes of helping Lawler rid the WWE of Bret “Hitman” Hart.
This gimmick would not lost very long and soon Isaac Yankem would join the long list of failed WWE characters. However, there was something imposing and unique about Glenn Jacobs and WWE took notice.
Glenn Jacobs would move to find great success as Kane and remains active to this day under the moniker.
1. Doink the Clown
Doink the Clown (played by Matt Osborne, Steve Keirn, Steve Lombardi, John Maloof, Ray Apollo, and Nick Dinsmore) was the active clown of WWE; a role which was given to a number of men while with the company.
Was there a point to Doink the Clown? No. This was a bad time character-wise in WWE as everything took on a cartoonish feel. The reality of the Attitude Era was on the horizon but the colorful days of clowns first had to pass.
Professional wrestling may be the circus but one void of the clowns.
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