In pro wrestling, a wrestler’s character is the determining factor to whether that person will get over with the audience or not. That’s not to say that a bad character will doom a wrestler, it all depends on how the performer uses what is given to him or her along with how the audience takes to a given character. Just look at Fandango a couple years ago as an example of a wrestler getting over despite having a pretty bad gimmick. Once a character is set for a wrestler, do the various additions and accoutrements come to help sell that character to the crowd? This could include how their ring attire is designed to objects or people that work as accessories or props to accentuate the character.
This list is designed to look at such objects throughout wrestling history. Things that were considered for the list include attire worn in matches, entrance attire, accessories used by a wrestler, and people or animals used by the wrestler. The items selected were ranked according to a number of reasons including how the item helped build upon the wrestler’s character, originality, how cool it looked worn by the wrestler if it is attire, among other things. These items not only were a part of the character being portrayed by a wrestler, but they were items that built upon that character in order for them to come across as believable to the crowd in order to get over more with that audience.
So please read, enjoy, and let us know what you think down in the comments section. How would you have ranked these differently? Are there other accessory pieces or pieces of attire or accessories that you felt should have made the list or that one of the entries should be ranked differently?
20 Stone Cold Steve Austin's Vest and Black Trunks
There was nothing fancy about this one, but it was extremely effective for the character. Stone Cold Steve Austin came out looking just like what he said he was, which was the world's toughest S.O.B. Walking down to the ring always with the intense stare, Austin simply came out with black trunks, black boots and his Stone Cold vest, with his signature skull on the back and a message written on the front. To think, Austin was once told he wasn't marketable.
19 The Godfather’s Pimp Attire
Originally as a part of the Nation of Domination, Kama Mustafa would soon evolve into everyone’s favorite pimp, the Godfather. With an overall attire that included a godfather hat, decorated vest and matching slacks, a large cigar, and followed to the ring by anywhere from three to a dozen hos, the Godfather got over easily with the Attitude Era crowds. In an interview for the Attitude Era volume 2 DVD, the Godfather would admit that he would wear a completely different attire to the ring each night, making every appearance one-of-a-kind for the audience, a true rarity considering most wrestlers wear the same getup each night.
18 Rick Steiner’s Collegiate Wrestling Attire
While Scott Steiner would eventually abandon the gimmick concerning his amateur wrestling background, his brother Rick would maintain that gimmick for the entirety of his career. Coming to the ring usually wearing a letterman jacket and head protector, fans felt that Steiner could hold his own inside the squared circle. While he would adopt a gimmick of the “dog-faced gremlin” over the course of his career, he still used that base gimmick of collegiate wrestler in his matches in the WWE as well as WCW.
17 Rey Mysterio’s Wrestlemania Attire
Similar to how Kofi Kingston has become known for his wild antics that help him in the Royal Rumble match, Rey Mysterio became known for his unique outfits for his WrestleMania matches. Portraying characters like the Joker, the Na'vi from Avatar, and the Flash, Mysterio wowed the crowd with these highly detailed ensembles. Unfortunately the getups were not the best things to wrestle in, so Mysterio’s matches would sometimes be shorter than usual, especially his 25-second win over JBL for the Intercontinental title.
16 The Honky Tonk Man’s Elvis Suits
Portraying himself as an Elvis impersonator, the Honky Tonk Man definitely came off as one with his attire. Clad in sequins and frill, the Honky Tonk Man was the personification of all those lame Elvis impersonators that you see in Las Vegas. To top it off, he would come to the ring with his trusty acoustic guitar and perform a little shimmy upon winning, to the growing boos of the crowd who could not wait to see the long reigning Intercontinental Champion get his comeuppance, which would eventually happen when he faced the Ultimate Warrior.
15 Demolition’s Mad Max Attire
A mainstay of tag team wrestling in the eighties, Demolition was truly a sight to behold when they came to the ring. Decked out in leather and spikes and wearing masks that covered their whole heads, Ax and Smash were designed to look like characters that were a part of Lord Humongous’ gang in The Road Warrior. Once the masks were off, the duo showed off their red and white face paint that only added to their already terrifying demeanor. It was a case where the WWE not only had a team that looked tough and dangerous, but their overall gimmick was not outdated and behind the times, as has been a problem over the years for the promotion.
14 Chris Jericho’s Light-Up Jacket
After a series of vignettes were shown in 2011 promoting the return of a wrestler to the WWE, many wondered who it could be, with guesses ranging from Sting to the Undertaker. It was finally revealed on an first episode of Raw in 2012 as Chris Jericho made his return to the WWE, decked out in a light up jacket that would make Dynamo from The Running Man swoon. The jacket worked for Jericho as it went with his gimmick of always needing the attention of the crowd, which he further pushed by not saying anything for a couple weeks, but still keeping the attention of the crowd in the palm of his hands.
13 Vader’s Helmet
Known as a monster heel, Vader was a serious threat to anyone who stepped into the ring against him. With both power and aerial moves at his disposal, Vader could hurt you from anywhere in the ring. So to further push the idea of his monster status, Vader would come to the ring wearing a metal elephant helmet, complete with smoke blowing from the trunk. It really was a cool effect and it got across the notion that Vader was from another dimension, ready to destroy anyone who got in his way towards championship gold.
12 Ted DiBiase’s Money & Suit
He had the Million Dollar Belt around his waist, he had his bodyguard Virgil in his corner, and he had the sinister laugh to let you know that the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase was coming to the ring. So to further sell the point that DiBiase was a man of means, he would throw his money around freely. Another way he would use that money was after beating an opponent he would take a one hundred dollar bill and jam it into his unconscious opponent’s mouth, showing them how much he felt that they were really worth. And who could forget that shining suit?
11 The Rock’s "$800" Shirts
After dropping his last name of Maivia and becoming The Rock, he began to show how much better his life was compared to the wrestlers he faced and the audience watching him. One of the ways that he did this was with the over the top designer clothes that he would wear to the ring, most notably the leather shoes and proclaimed $800 shirts. There was never a reason given as to why these shirts cost so much, but the mere fact that The Rock felt the need to point out the cost and that he owned so many of them only made the audience hate the arrogant wrestler that much more.
10 Shawn Michaels's Chaps, Chest Guard
After Shawn Michaels broke away from Marty Jannety and became the Heartbreak Kid, his attire changed alongside his personality. Now decked out in tights covered in hearts and frills, Michaels would begin to make his way to the ring wearing chaps and a chest piece, usually made up of shiny metal. The chest cover would change over the years but almost always feature some sort of chains and other small metal pieces. The pieces would work as building Michaels up as “the Showstopper,” a larger than life performer, though there have been a few blooper moments where the metal has gotten stuck in the entrance ramp when Michaels leaned down too close to it.
9 Sting’s Sgt. Pepper Jackets
As Sting was starting his first real run as a strong singles competitor, he would continue to portray himself as his character from the Blade Runners tag team, though with more leanings to that of a laid back surfer. With bleach blond hair, face paint, and jackets that looked like they were borrowed from the cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, Sting would work to become one of the biggest stars in Jim Crockett Promotions. The upbeat look would also help his eventual one hundred and eighty degree turn towards a darker character based on the Crow after NWO began to terrorize WCW.
8 Jerry Lawler’s Crown and Jacket
When you are called “the King” you better look pretty stinking royal. Well, Jerry Lawler took this in mind, coming to the ring with a large crown on his head and a jacket covered in gold and red shoulder pads, Lawler definitely came off as a king. When he came to the WWE to provide color commentary, he could be seen from anywhere on the screen while he had that giant crown on during the whole show. He would over the years drop the attire for a simple t-shirt or suit while on commentary, but by that point, he was still the king to the WWE Universe.
7 Roddy Piper’s Kilt
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper is next on the list with his trademark kilt. In reality, the kilt is probably the most mismatched accessory for a wrestler as Piper was never really selling himself as Scottish outside of being listed as having Scottish heritage and coming to the ring with a kilt and bagpipes. He never used an accent or featured other Scottish characteristics outside of his attire and “Scottish rage” inside the ring. Despite this, Piper would become well loved by fans and still makes regular appearances on WWE programs.
6 Jake Roberts’s Burlap Sack of Snakes
One of the best ring psychologists in wrestling history, Jake “the Snake” Roberts knew how to get into his opponent’s head. And what better way to get into someone’s head than by bringing a large burlap sack to the ring which contained a large snake of some sort? Roberts would not just carry the sack into the ring, he would slide it under the bottom rope towards his opponents, making them question why they were fighting Roberts in the first place. The snakes worked well with Roberts as they matched his personality as a sly and slippery wrestler who you could never quite figure out completely, and who could strike from anywhere.
5 The Road Warriors’ Shoulder Pads
When you heard the line “what a rush,” you knew that you were in for an exciting tag match featuring one of the greatest tag teams of all time, the Road Warriors. Coming to the ring with wild hair, face paint, and giant spiked shoulder pads, the Road Warriors were a force to be reckoned with. Similar to Demolition, the Road Warriors were designed to come off as fighters from a dystopian film, and they were believable at it. They would alter their attire slightly after being known as Legion of Doom 2000, coming to the ring wearing painted helmets along with their shoulder pads. They're undoubtedly the coolest tag team of all time and a lot of this impression stems from their attire.
4 Bret Hart’s Sunglasses and Leather Jacket
Known as one of the best technical wrestlers in history, Bret Hart could lay claim to the title of “best there is, best there was, and best there ever will be.” With his nickname “the Hitman,” Hart completed his look with his signature leather jacket and a pair of tinted sunglasses. Coming off as calm, cool, and collected, Hart would enter the ring ready to fight, but not before he would take off his signature shades and place them upon the face of a nearby fan of his, solidifying himself as a top babyface.
3 Randy Savage’s Hats, Tassels, Sunglasses
Over the course of his career, “Macho Man” Randy Savage had a lot of memorable getups. From his multi-colored cowboy hats, giant sunglasses, brightly colored suits, Savage was a sight to see. With frill robes covering his body as he entered the ring as the “Macho King,” Savage could come off as regal even while giving one of infamous and crazy promos. A truly one of a kind wrestler, Savage was able to stand out from the rest of the crowd with attire that made him appear to be the most macho person you would ever see.
2 Ric Flair’s Robes
While Randy Savage’s attire was designed to make him look crazy or tough, Ric Flair’s feathery robes were designed to showcase a more formal and high end kind of wrestler, fit to being called “stlyin’ and profilin’.” You knew when you heard his entrance music that you were going to see a wrestler who liked the finer things in life and that he would not be coming to the ring in just any old robe or tights, no he was “the Nature Boy,” and by God the audience was going to see how good life was for Flair. Many wrestlers over the years would adopt using these robes with Flair as their manager, but none could pull it off like he could.
1 The Undertaker's Hat, Long coat, Urn
One of the most imposing figures in pro wrestling history, the Undertaker is one of the longest enduring characters in wrestling. Debuting in the WWE as an unstoppable force of evil, the Undertaker. His entrance is perhaps the greatest in wrestling history, not just because of his music, but the intimidating long coat, hat and eerie walk.
Added to the mix earlier in his career was an urn that was carried by his manager, Paul Bearer. This urn would be used against the Undertaker at times, with whoever controlled it having control over the Deadman. Even just opening the urn had spooky aftereffects as green smoke would billow out of the urn if it was ever opened, seemingly taking the Undertaker’s power away in a literal puff of smoke. A lot of the aura around the Deadman came from his attire and it complimented the greatest gimmick ever created. Hence, the no.1 spot.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!