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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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Worst Gimmicks in Wrestling History, Part Two

Speed on the Beat here, picking up the bloodied carcass of what remains of my childhood after True eviscerated it, to deliver even more of some of the worst gimmicks in wrestling history. And for once, I'm not really trolling with this (that much). It was just that easy.

LOD 2000


It's as if Vince and company sat down one day during the early days of the Attitude Era, pulled out the drugs and popped a couple of mollies. But, of course, instead of rolling, sweating, and hitting some biddies with the genetic jackhammer (I never thought I'd ever have to type that out), something else happened. The end result of the conversation must have been "hey, let's make something for the wrestling fan of now! Something hip, something trendy, something that screams 'future!' Never mind the fact that Tekno Team 2000 already existed and failed with a similar type of name/gimmick. Let's reinvent LOD and make them...new!" Now, let it be known that The Road Warriors were one of the greater tag teams in history. But, this rehash, complete with Sunny, an alcoholism-fueled feud, and Droz ('memba him?) makes LOD 2000 quite shake-your-head-in-shame-worthy. At least they got the return pop, right?

Mantaur


Do I really need to explain this one? The New Generation was crap, but this guy took the crap cake. And this was a generation that began somewhere around the time Ultimate Warrior puking his guts out from Papa Shango's voodoo mystery powers. At least we know where El Torito came from. Watch the above video, and you'll see damn near everything wrong with the New Generation.

Papa Shango


While we're on Papa Shango, what in the actual hell? Was one savage black guy not enough for early-1990s WWE? Did we really need two? I guess we did, if you let the above video tell it. From Shango's first non-jobber appearance (his late run-in at WrestleMania VIII) to his...y'know what? The gimmick was trash. I can't even talk much on it. It wasn't scary, it was nonsensical (and not even in the fun way), and--had it happened about twelve years later--The Godfather would receive "SHAAAAAN-GOOOOO" chants every time he stepped out with his hoes. At least with Kamala, we got his rant-y, comedic, produced-on-a-1981-Casio song "Push It," which was about racism (and more) in WWE. Papa Shango, as Papa Shango at least, gave us no such epicness.

Oz



From the minds who brought you Arachnaman and Seven comes Kevin Nash in a green cape, "silver" hair, a removable beard (take that, Daniel Bryan), and Merlin the Magician as his manager, all walking out to a late-1980s country rock theme. 

Wait, what?

Yeah, someone must have taken a hit from Vince's stash when they were thinking this one up. Never mind the fact that the Wizard of Oz was really a tiny, little man who decided to embiggen people with wisdom and not actually a giant. The bigger picture is the many types of genre-crossing we saw with this gimmick. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and Kevin Nash went Diesel. And then he joined the NWO. Yay.

Lord Tensai


Now, we know that the man now known as Jason Albert hasn't had the greatest run of luck in the WWE. You could almost make a list like this just based on the gimmicks he's had. But, Lord Tensai was, to me, the Asian equivalent of Kerwin White and Johnny B. Badd.

As you can clearly see, Jason Albert is a big white guy who used to be known as "A-Train" and "Prince Albert." Said big white guy went to Japan for a few years (where he was quite popular). Apparently, this popularity went to his head as he returned to the WWE as a big white guy in "traditional" Japanese garb, with a worshipper and green mist. And to top it all off, after he started beating the holy beejeezus out of his manager Sakamoto (who, per Wrestle-1 and TNA, is a "global phenomenon" now), he ended up becoming one half of Tons of Funk. That is, before Brodus Clay Tyrus kicked the crap out of him. Now, Albert (cue the chants) works in the performance center.

Jamison



Even if it was acceptable in the '80s (hey OSW Review), Jamison was...a failure all around. He was pretty much a parody of wrestling fans, a prototype to Triple H's "My Friend Mark" even. At least he got to meet Heather Hunter, I guess? Closest I've gotten to meeting a porn star was having Aurora Jolie in my DMs, having a couple cam girls send me videos, and True having Teanna Trump on TeamDAR Radio (but that's something entirely different). Yes, I'm aware that Jamison was a manager (?) and not really a wrestler, but for Pete's sake...this guy was horrid. And anytime you have a gimmick who looks like the damned Six Flags Guy, but over nine-thousand times less cool, you've got a problem.

Max Moon



If wrestling really was like a video game, this Mega Man-meets-Buck Rogers in the 25th Century rip-off would be cool. The kids would love him, and he'd probably be bigger than Cena. Konnan would probably be taken as less of a groan-worthy, gripe-filled, race baiter (mind you that these are words I've seen written about Konnan; my views are something I'll get into at a later date). But, alas, we live in the real world, where laser cannons don't really exist, and are replaced by techno-aided sparkler guns. And while Konnan is a pretty legit talent, you could've put Hulk Hogan in this gimmick and it would've failed. Hell, Hulk Hogan was in this gimmick and it failed.

In closing, wrestling fans often have to put up with a lot of foolishness to get to the good parts. For every Pipebomb, there is a Jamison hiding his crotch with a pillow at the sight of a porn star (hyuck-hyuck). Thankfully, cooler heads tend to prevail and these gimmicks are ended as soon as they begin. Most of the time, at least (I'm looking at you, John Cena). Sure, there are talents who can overcome bad gimmicks. For example, Kane was once the Christmas Creature, Stone Cold was once The Ringmaster, and Dolph Ziggler was once Nicky from the Spirit Squad. But more often than not, a crap gimmick will ingrain a mental image into the minds of fans everywhere.

That mental image tells fans to run away. Run far the fuck away.

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