Ever since Vince McMahon Jr. took over the WWE the company's focus has shifted away from straight laced competition in favour of presenting an entertainment product. A large aspect of entertaining the audience includes making fans laugh, and WWE will try all manner of things to do so - with varied success. Any performer who fits outside the 'norm' of a WWE poster boy can often find themselves saddled with unenviable gimmicks that will usually get one of two reactions from crowds - cringe or laugh. Even those who are seemingly destined for the top can find themselves the butt of the jokes - for example, stuttering Matt Morgan, 'The Funkasaurus' Brodus Clay or what would become his partner, Lord Tensai. Sometimes you wonder what kind of a sense of humor McMahon and/or the creative team have.
Ever since the popularity of The Rock, the comedy has even made its way to the main event scene, as stars will often riff insults as jokes. While some fans may be tiring of everything becoming a joke, there is no denying that good comedy has a welcome place in the WWE and there has been some genuinely hilarious acts throughout history. Not everybody is able to quite find the right mixture of intensity and comedy, but when it's pulled off, it's a thing of beauty.
This list will look at the funniest gimmicks in WWE history, but ones that were blatantly created elsewhere - such as the bWo and Al Snow for example - do not qualify, despite how funny they were even when brought to the WWE stage.
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20 The Repo Man
After being left without any partners in Demolition, Smash had to find a new act. For just over a year he became The Repo Man, essentially professional wrestling's version of the The Hamburglar. Repo Man didn't really do much of significance, mostly causing trouble for fellow wrestlers by repossessing their belongings.
The most memorable repossession was one of Randy Savage's signature hats, although all it would earn him was a loss to the Macho Man the following week. Repo did have a big feud with The British Bulldog after hanging him over the ropes with his tow rope, leading to a series of matches across the summer of 1992.
Earlier in his run, he was hired by Ted DiBiase to reacquire his Million Dollar Championship from former lackey Virgil, earning his only pay-per-view victory when teaming with DiBiase against Virgil and Tito Santana.
19 Perry Saturn And Moppy
When Perry Saturn, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko made the jump from WCW together as a elite wrestling group known as The Radicalz few could've predicted what would become of the powerhouse of the unit. Perry Saturn, a former member of the United States Army, had established himself as a powerful ring technician but after legitimately attacking a local opponent he found himself the recipient of a drastic change of gimmick.
Saturn began to become infatuated with a mop, whom he referred to as Moppy. His actions were explained as the result of a storyline concussion and also led to him randomly exclaiming "You're welcome!" at inopportune moments. Eventually his on-screen girlfriend, Terri Runnels forced him to choose between herself and Moppy, but was left furious at his choice of the mop. She would then enlist Raven to kidnap the mop and feed it into a woodchipper, bringing an end to the gimmick. It was undeniably ridiculous, and sadly destroyed the career of Saturn, but it brought some truly funny moments during the end of the Attitude Era.
18 The Mountie
When Ray Rougeau retired in 1990, his partner Jacques was left without purpose in the WWE. But after leaving for a year, Jacques would return repackaged as The Mountie. Another play on Canadian stereotypes and still managed by Jimmy Hart, Jacques retained some similar features but as a power-mad member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who "always gets his man."
Naturally, he would attract the attention of the other 'law enforcer' in WWE at the time, The Big Boss Man. The two would feud for a while resulting in The Mountie's most memorable moment at SummerSlam 1991 where the two men met in a Jailhouse Match. Mountie would lose and be forced to spend the night in prison.
In November 1998, WCW's World Heavyweight Champion Bill Goldberg was at the height (and near-end) of his undefeated streak and a bona-fide mega-star whose rivalry with the nWo has led WCW to a lengthy run at the top of the Monday Night ratings war. WWE would take a dig at their competition.
Duane Gill, a member of the frequent losers, J.O.B. Squad, was used a direct parody of WCW's top man. After capturing the Light Heavyweight Championship in an upset victory, he started being referred to as Gillberg and came to the ring to pre-recorded chants of his name as he made his way past sparklers and the spray of fire extinguishers.
Gillberg would continue to be used as a jobber, losing all of his matches (bar one) and coined the phrase "Who's First?" The act proved popular enough that he was brought back in 2003, when The Rock used him during his feud with the real Goldberg.
16 Bo Dallas
When Bo Dallas appeared in the 2013 Royal Rumble match as a plucky up-and-comer to kick off a brief feud with Wade Barrett, few could have pictured how he would return to the main roster just over a year later. Bo would develop a new gimmick in WWE's development territory, NXT, where he became the third ever NXT Champion. There he would become an inspirational hero to the masses, at least in his own mind. Preaching that you too could be successful by simply Bo-lieving, Dallas would even give himself a lap of honour after every victory and was just unbelievably obnoxious. While not as successful on the main WWE roster, Dallas provided plenty of laughs last year.
15 Team ECK
The original self-promoter, Olympic Gold Medallist, Kurt Angle may be viewed now as a bad-ass wrestling machine but his original character was a complete nerd. Despite a successful start in the WWE, including becoming King of the Ring and having an undefeated streak (that actually saw him lose frequently, but not get pinned), Angle found himself on a losing run after Big Show officially ended his winning streak.
To get himself out of his hump, Angle aligned himself with the duo of Edge and Christian, two goofy surfer dudes. Edge and Christian had been making a name for themselves with their hilarious antics and their combination with Angle only continued the trend. With kazoos, impersonations and their own unique phrases, the pair were their own stand-out act and Angle threw himself straight into the mix, fitting in perfectly to produce plenty of memorable moments.
14 Simon Dean
In ECW Nova had made a name for himself for being a creator of innovative offence, and an all-round excellent wrestler in whatever scenario he was put. As Hollywood Nova he created the Blue World Order, an nWo spoof. More so, he was responsible for creating so many moves that Joey Styles dubbed him "the most imitated man in wrestling." So naturally he had to have something funny for the WWE, right?
When he was brought to WWE he was instead brought in as a shameless rip-off of Dodgeball's White Goodman - an obnoxious fitness instructor introduced through a series of infomercials that promoted his 'Simon System' to fix the nation of obesity. Dean's gimmick didn't make huge waves with regards to success, but like Goodman before him, it proved great entertainment value. He would team with Maven and later manage the Gymini - a team of massive bald twins - as examples of users of the Simon System but still nothing quite clicked.
13 Heath Slater And 3MB
Heath Slater may have debuted on the main WWE roster as a member of the very serious Nexus faction, but after it disbanded and his tag team with Justin Gabriel eventually imploded just before Slater got suspended for a Wellness Violation. Upon returning, Slater had returned to his One Man Band moniker he had used during the first season of NXT, only now he was doing it as a comedy act. The timing of this change was perfect, as it was the run up to the 1000th episode of Raw and led to Slater calling out legends, but not before he could sing his own theme song. Slater's antics became one of the most fun segments of Raw each week and one of the most anticipated parts of Raw 1000.
Slater would team with Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal. The trio usually jobbed out randomly but on occasion they would come out as a specific spoof act. In the UK they were The Union Jacks, in Nashville they were The Rhinestone Cowboys and so on.
12 Dr. Shelby
A completely one-note character, Dr. Shelby is the ultimate optimist. When the ultimate odd couple, Kane and Daniel Bryan, were sent to anger therapy during their rivalry in the summer of 2012. While both men provided a lot of great comedy themselves during the taped segments, Dr. Shelby was the comedic glue that moulded a very successful team from what seemed destined to be the worst creative idea in quite some time.
A completely unexpected success, Team Hell No would become Tag Team Champions and one of the most popular acts in the WWE at the time - and one of the most popular tag teams in the last decade. For anyone who believes that this is solely down to Bryan and Kane, look no further than the fan reaction to his return last year.
11 William Regal
Another man who made the most of material that looked terrible on paper, William Regal has spent the majority of his career with bad gimmicks. Ever the professional and entertainer, Regal has made the most of what he has been given, most notably as an uptight 'proper English gentlemen.' Hitting its height during the Attitude Era when he became WWE Commissioner, Regal always guaranteed a laugh or two. Some of his most memorable moments saw him play off the likes of Chris Jericho, Goldust, Tajiri and Eugene.
Better still, Regal is able to back it up with serious wrestling as one of the best mat technicians around. He even managed to bring his brand of comedy to the commentary booth during the last few years.
When R-Truth was randomly thrown forward as the challenger for John Cena's WWE Championship at the only ever Capitol Punishment event, there was little interest. While a solid performer, Truth was viewed merely as the challenger of the month, and correctly so. What came from the build-up to the match was a reinvention that made him one of the most entertaining parts of the entire product.
After harassing a young fan and throwing soda in his father's face, the Raw General Manager demanded an apology from Truth. The following week Truth did so, interrupting Stone Cold and Vince McMahon while dressed in a Confederate soldier's uniform. Truth's actions were crazed to say the least, and he started referring to an imaginary little boy that was with him as 'Little Jimmy'.
9 Too Cool
A duo that came together through being mutually directionless, Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor were originally known as Too Much and were just a pair of troublesome heels. Soon though they would adapt the monikers Grand Master Sexay and Scotty Too Hotty, and Too Cool was born. As exaggerated hip-hop fans, the team would dance around and the act soon became a fan favourite. Their popularity grew even further when they were joined by Rikishi and became a trio, and actually saw them capture the Tag Team, Intercontinental and Light Heavyweight Championships during their tenure.
They would disband thanks to Rikishi being unveiled as the man who ran down Steve Austin, but would reunite later as a tag team (minus Sexay) on the SmackDown brand, once again capturing gold. The popularity has been so lasting that Scotty and Sexay even returned for NXT Arrival to challenge The Ascension.
8 Damien Mizdow
When The Miz returned with a new Hollywood gimmick, Damien Sandow was soon used as his stunt double. First he took Miz's place in matches, simply mimicking his moveset but it would just grow from there. Soon Mizdow was seen outside the ring during Miz's matches, copying Miz's actions to his current levels of voodoo-esque activities.
Miz's matches have reached the point that most people now watch Mizdow on the outside more than the actual action, and Mizdow has now been called up by his tag team partner and receives a huge reception from all crowds.
7 Santino Marella
Hide the pitchforks, while the mere mention of Santino Marella will roll the eyes of many thanks to years of terrible weekly skits, many people forget the glory days of the Milan Miracle man. After capturing the Intercontinental Championship on his first night as a fan in attendance, Santino soon lost the title and became a complete buffoon and a heel in the process.
As a heel Santino was funny every single time he appeared starting with his scathing campaign against Stone Cold's movie The Condemned. Most of his storyline's centred around his on-screen girlfriend Maria, with the two eventually splitting up over her Playboy cover shoot. This led the way to Santino's new love, Beth Phoenix.
The two would become known as Glamarella, which would see Phoenix doing the heavy lifting for Santino to aim to become the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion - something he counted down to with his weekly Honk-A-Meter. He even had a hit WWE.com show, Santino's Foreign Exchange. Marella was so popular WWE had no choice but to turn him face, where he lasted as one of the most popular acts until his sabbatical last year.
6 Doink The Clown
Much like Santino, Doink found great success as a comedy character as both a face and heel, after turning due to popular demand. Originally arriving as a sinister clown who would play pranks on crowd members as well as his opponents, Doink was a child's worst nightmare but still got laughs. Upon turning face Doink would become a more traditional circus clown and play pranks on his opponents with the only design being to make the audience laugh, and it worked.
Matt Osborne is the original man behind the paint and wig, and the name most synonymous with gimmick but there have been plenty of men to play Doink.
5 Eddie Guerrero
The term 'late, great Hall of Famer' has rarely been linked more accurately than with Eddie Guerrero. Only a one-time WWE Champion, but one of the most popular wrestlers in the history of the industry, to fans and colleagues alike. One of the most endearing traits of Guerrero's was his trademark sense of humour. Previews of it were on display with the sleazy Latino Heat character, but when he teamed up with his cousin Chavo the true potential was unleashed under the mantra "lie, cheat and steal."
The act was an instant hit with fans as Eddie would frequently trick referees to his advantage, his signature move being to frame his opponent for the use of a steel chair. In a rare success story for comedy in the WWE, he managed to use the act to catapult him from the tag team division all the way to capturing the WWE Championship and successfully retaining it at WrestleMania XX.
While Eddie may have been a natural fit for the comedic side of wrestling, 'The Natural' Dustin Rhodes was far from it. Always a straight-up gimmick-free second generation wrestler, when Rhodes came to the WWE he was asked to do something radically different. Donning a golden jumpsuit with face paint to match, Rhodes would become a movie obsessed drag queen named Goldust.
While the man himself doesn't seem too keen on the role, it was hugely successful. He found himself a key player in the beginning of the Attitude Era with his creepy mind games that elicited more scares than laughs, until he started an impersonation gimmick under the name 'The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust' a preview of his return WWE in 2002 where he would be in all-out comedy mode, teaming with Booker T.
3 Mick Foley
Like Eddie Guerrero, Mick Foley made his way to the top with a large helping of comedy. Whether it be Dude Love's "groovy" attitude or as Commissioner Mick Foley, Mrs. Foley's baby boy found a way to put smiles on peoples faces. Even Cactus Jack occasionally joined in the fun, as seen in the iconic meeting of the personas before Jack came out for a Street Fight with Triple H on Raw.
The most fondly remembered comedy character of Foley's is of course, Mankind. Thanks to the creation of sock puppet Mr. Socko, Mankind changed from a dark, tortured soul to a loveable buffoon who tried cheering up the injured Mr. McMahon. He would go on to become one-half of the Rock 'n Sock Connection, being the leading force in the farcical This Is Your Life presentation to his partner, The Rock that is still the highest rating segment in Raw history to this day.
2 Crash Holly
Another member of the Attitude Era, Crash Holly was the world's biggest little man long before the phrase was donned to Rey Mysterio. Unfortunately for Crash, it was only in his own mind. Arriving on the scene in a tag team with cousin Bob 'Hardcore' Holly, the two would proclaim themselves super heavyweights who were over 400 pounds. Crash would even bring his own set of scales to the ring for a pre-match weigh-in.
After the two disbanded, Crash headed to the Hardcore Championship division where he would become a 22-time champion and was the man to usher in the 24/7 rule that led to many humorous sketches that included seeing him being attacked in his hotel room, a circus and even an airport. He may have had limited success but he remained as funny as ever throughout his different gimmicks.
1 The Hurricane
The ultimate success story for a ridiculous comedy gimmick, when 'Sugar' Shane Helms joined the WWE after WCW's merge he re-branded himself. A massive Green Lantern fan (he even has a tattoo on his right bicep) Helms moulded himself in the image and created The Hurricane. Despite the ridiculousness of a superhero in the WWE, Helms played the act perfectly and not only provided the laughs but also had great success.
The Hurricane became one of the most popular superstars on the roster, capturing various championships and even found himself as a part of the rivalry between Stone Cold and The Rock leading into WrestleMania XIX - famously scoring a win over Rock after the two had repeatedly bickered in backstage segments. Hurricane's gimmick is so successful he still uses it on the independent circuit to this day.
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