Pro Wrestling

13 Dumbest Wrestling Gimmicks Ever;jsessionid=472EC3D9902554C311DD2C9B14D778BE?r30_r1_r1:page=38 Source:

In wrestling, you can always change your character if you have to. If your act gets old, or the fans don’t respond to it the correct way, if you’re creative enough (or if the people writing for the promotion are), you can always go away, then come back as an entirely different persona. The problem is, sometimes you have to run through an encyclopedia’s worth of bad ideas before you hit upon one that works. And after getting stuck with these terrible, horrible, awful gimmicks, everyone on this list were quickly searching for a completely new role, if they even still had a job afterwards.

13. Oz

When you really think about it, it wasn’t entirely a shock that Kevin Nash would eventually try to destroy WCW, after you consider the ridiculous gimmicks that he suffered under in his early years with the company. There was the generic Road Warrior rip-offs The Master Blasters, goofy lounge singer Vinnie Vegas, and this horrible cross-promotional idea dredged up by the marketing department, one which clearly hadn’t actually even watched the movie they were referencing! As “Oz”, Nash played a big guy dressed in green with an funny looking hat and a rubber mask with a fake beard, who was accompanied by “The Wizard”, Kevin Sullivan, and a dancing leprechaun. Now, if you’ve ever seen the movie The Wizard of Oz (and at this point, who hasn’t), you might point out that, aside from the fact that there is a city full of people who wear green clothing, absolutely none of that gimmick is an actual reference to it at all. The Lollipop Guild aren’t leprechauns, The Wizard is a normal guy pretending to have magical powers (wait, that’s probably a spoiler), and most importantly, Oz is the name of the entire world, not a person. After spending way too much money on the idea, WCW dumped the Oz gimmick after only a few weeks, but it was never forgotten, and Nash even mocked it as part of his WWE Hall of Fame acceptance speech. Source:

12. Stutterin’ Matt Morgan

Here are some fact about Matt Morgan: He’s roughly seven feet tall, he’s built like a Greek god, and he’s such a unique physical specimen that NASA actually shot his DNA into space for reasons that weren’t entirely clear. As wrestlers go, he wasn’t much more than average, and when he originally arrived in WWE (fresh off being one of many contracts given to former Tough Enough contestants), he was clearly in over his head. He bounced up and down between WWE and their developmental system a couple of times, and for his final shot at the main roster, WWE clearly thought they had a winning idea. Morgan was made a bodyguard for midcard Superstar Carlito, with his gimmick being…he had a speech impediment which made him stutter during promos. Now, to be fair, this did work for Bubba Ray Dudley down in ECW, but he had a lot more going for him than just that. Shockingly, a stuttering giant was not the money-making idea it must have seemed like when they came up with it, and WWE eventually released Morgan. After which, he went to TNA, where they gave him the gimmick of “really big and strong guy who kicks ass” and somehow he managed to make that work slightly better. Who would have guessed? Source:

11. Xanta Claus

If you need any more indicators that Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation was a terrible stable (because there were already a whole lot of them), look no further than Xanta Klaus, the evil version of Santa who lived at the South Pole and attacked Savio Vega during an episode of Raw. Sure, evil Santa sounds like a great heel gimmick that would scar thousands of children’s fragile psyches, but apparently nobody bothered to think about how dumb it would be to have someone play a Christmas-related gimmick all the time before putting it on TV. Once it became apparent that Xanta had no place outside the holidays, he disappeared quickly. Fortunately, the actor inside the Xanta suit went on to better things as ECW mainstay Balls Mahoney, but this wouldn’t be the first time that WWE would place way too many eggs in the basket of a holiday-themed gimmick. Don’t worry, we’ll get there, and yes, pun definitely intended. Source:

10. Jillian Hall

In WWE’s continuing history of either catching on to pop culture phenomenons far too late, or completely missing the point of why something is funny, the gimmick of Jillian Hall was that she was a perfectly normal woman (she actually acted as the PR consultant for JBL’s Cabinet), who happened to have a massive, ugly growth on the side of her face. Reportedly, this was inspired by a character in the third Austin Powers movie, who had a ridiculously noticeable mole that the main character was obsessed with, but taken to a ridiculous extreme. Of course, the entire joke in the movie is that everyone deliberately doesn’t mention the mole right up until Austin explodes in a rant about it, while WWE spent every second Jillian was on TV pointing out the horrible blemish on the side of her face. And even though they called it a mole, the thing looked like somebody had hit her with a gigantic lump of Play-Doh that just kind of stuck there. It was so large and unwieldy that she had to wrestle (which she did, occasionally) wearing headgear, like an amateur wrestler, so that it wouldn’t fall off! The whole concept was stupid and pointless, and eventually The Boogeyman ate the damned thing right off her cheek and we all moved on. No, we’re not kidding. Source:

9. The Spirit Squad

We’re not sure what’s more ridiculous about this gimmick: that somebody thought a team of male cheerleaders who are wrestlers made any sense, or that they actually pushed them as a main event threat. Yes, these goofs (who, sadly, were also some of the most talented wrestlers in the developmental system at the time and four of whom would never recover from this disastrous stable) were not only the WWE Tag Team Champions for an extended stretch during their tenure, but were pushed in feuds against top main event wrestlers Triple H and Shawn Michaels! The whole thing was a long, unfunny joke, that at least started out as a relatively inoffensive mid-card comedy bit, but which turned into something that ate up massive amounts of time on television, as they aligned with Vince McMahon in his war against the re-formed D-Generation X and were suddenly this intimidating guerrilla force of bodyguards…dressed in white and green sweaters and warm-up pants. In possibly the only occasion where people didn’t mind Triple H exerting his authority, he and Shawn eventually squashed the hell out of the team, then literally packed them in a gigantic box and had them shipped back to developmental. Only Ken “Kenny” Doane would immediately re-appear, though he was never taken seriously again despite starting out as a hot prospect, and only one member, Nicky, still has a WWE career to this day (you might know who we’re talking about, but he still has another entry on this list to get through before we’ll reveal the persona that made him a star). Source:

8. The Shockmaster

By now, if you’re a wrestling fan, you’ve almost certainly heard of The Shockmaster. He debuted as the surprise fourth member of Sting’s team for the upcoming War Games, by bursting through a wall in a puff of smoke…then tripping and falling on his face in front of a national television audience, while someone else did voice-over for the character behind the scenes, having not realized that the entire thing had gone sideways. But even if the entire scene had played out without turning into a ridiculous comedy of errors, one question still remains: what the heck was The Shockmaster supposed to be? His initial, doomed appearance had him garbed in a massive furry vest, sweat pants, and what was clearly a Stormtrooper helmet covered in glitter. As mentioned, he didn’t even use his own voice! His brief future appearance saw him ditch the helmet (no word on if George Lucas’ lawyers got involved) to reveal…the guy best known for playing Tugboat (or Typhoon, for all you Natural Disaster fans) in WWF. Obviously, after the flop, The Shockmaster was basically dead in the water and did not survive long past the War Games match (yes, apparently he was still the best choice for Sting’s fourth member), but one does have to wonder what the future would have held for the gimmick anyway. Source:

7. The Ding Dongs

The most important thing to understand about wrestling promoters is that they’ll try almost anything once. That’s how so many of these gimmicks actually end up making it past the planning stage, instead of somebody standing up and saying “listen, this sounds really dumb, maybe we shouldn’t do it”. This tag team is a shining example of a wrestling promoter (in this case, WCW’s Jim Herd, known for making many terrible decisions during his time in charge) who thought he had a genius idea, and nobody around him dared to say “No”. Dressed in full bodysuits and masks, in a color that can only be described as “eye-searingly awful”, the Ding Dongs’ entire gimmick was the fact that they brought bells to the ring, and then whichever one wasn’t actually wrestling would ring their bell while standing on the apron. Apparently it took the entire act coming to life on television for those in charge to realize that it was a complete train wreck, and the Ding Dongs disappeared immediately, never to return. Source:

6. Mantaur

He’s a man who thinks he’s a bull. We’re not sure how else to describe it. Apparently nobody ever told WWE that “minotaur” was already the term for a half-man, half-bull, but that’s far from the biggest issue with this gimmick. And you’d think, for a wrestler who walks to the ring with an honest-to-goodness bull head as a mask, he’d at least be a little intimidating. Instead, the ridiculous headdress made him look like a rejected university mascot, and his propensity for actually “moo”-ing at his opponents made it impossible to take him seriously. Despite being assigned James E. Cornette as his manager, it seemed as if there were no real plans for Mantaur, and his time under this gimmick was mercifully brief, as he was gone within months of his debut. Source:

5. The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust

You would think it would be hard to make a character like Goldust even weirder, but somehow, WWE managed it. In an attempt to shake the gimmick up and possibly have it regain some of the “edgy” nature it had when he debuted, Goldust underwent a series of nervous breakdowns, eventually emerging as “The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust”, a twisted take on a performance artist, who painted himself odd colors and wore ridiculous costumes (yes, even more ridiculous than his original golden bodysuit), while being accompanied by the equally strange Luna Vachon. The attempt to re-invent the controversial Goldust character was laughable at best and seriously uncomfortable to watch at worst, and as the weirdness intensified with the rise of the Attitude Era, the whole act eventually reached a tipping point and became too bizarre to stomach. The gimmick was publicly retired, with Dustin Rhodes turning into an evangelical character who preached against the sordid nature of wrestling, but finally going back to the original Goldust character. Source:

4. Saba Simba

In case you ever needed confirmation that yes, wrestling can be pretty racist, look no further than this entry right here. Yes, that’s Saba Simba, the African warrior, who literally carried a spear to the ring and did a “tribal dance” as part of his entrance. The gimmick was pretty much met with outrage, and disappeared quickly, but not before he had a Royal Rumble appearance to his name. The silliest part of the whole thing is that Saba Simba was clearly being played by former WWF Tag Team Champion, Tony Atlas, who was a well-known figure in wrestling. In fact, Roddy Piper may have hastened the demise of the gimmick by exclaiming, upon seeing Simba’s debut, “Hey, that’s Tony Atlas!” while doing color commentary. Saba Simba is possibly the most embarassing thing Tony Atlas has ever been associated with in his life, and this is a man who appeared on WWE Legends House!;jsessionid=472EC3D9902554C311DD2C9B14D778BE?r30_r1_r1:page=38 Source:

3. Kerwin White

Speaking of horribly racist ideas that got way farther than they should have, but this time don’t have the excuse of taking place in a less politically correct era, here’s Chavo Guerrero, nephew of the legendary Eddie Guerrero and heir to the legacy of one of wrestling’s greatest Hispanic families, pretending to be a white guy! This was literally a tour de force of awfulness, from his new catchphrase “If it’s not White, it’s not all right”, to Kerwin driving around in an electric golf cart, winning matches by hitting his opponents with a seven-iron, and even introducing his caddie, played by former Spirit Squad member Nicky (Seriously, how that guy managed to survive in WWE long enough to become, drumroll please, Dolph Ziggler, is one of the greatest mysteries of the universe). There was no way to look at the gimmick as anything else but ridiculously racist and a blatant attempt to be “edgy” for no good reason. Sadly, the only reason the gimmick didn’t persist longer than a few months was due to the tragic and unexpected death of Eddie Guerrero, at which point WWE immediately decided it would probably be a bad idea to have a Guerrero out there mocking his Latino heritage on a weekly basis. Source:

2. The Yeti

The Dungeon of Doom was full of cartoonish gimmicks and bad wrestlers, united in their goal of destroying Hulk Hogan. But none of them, from John “Shark” Tenta to Ed “Zodiac” Leslie could possibly be half as dumb as the short-lived Yeti, who emerged from a block of ice on Nitro. then appeared on the Halloween Havoc 1995 Pay Per View to help The Giant (who you may know as The Big Show) attack Hogan. Also, he was clearly named by someone who had no idea what a yeti is actually supposed to be. For the record, traditionally the Yeti is represented as a gigantic hairy humanoid, similar to Bigfoot or the Abominable Snowman (okay, we know none of those are real things, but work with us, we’re trying to explain a wrestling gimmick here). But in the case of WCW’s Yeti, it appeared that somebody either mis-heard the name or just had trouble coming up with a costume and said “Screw it, he’s a mummy now”. Whatever the case, they actually re-designed the Yeti gimmick almost immediately, turning him (for some reason) into something resembling a ninja. The gimmick only lasted for three matches, possibly due to becoming impossible to explain to any rational human being. Source:

1. The Gobbledy Gooker

And now, to the surprise of likely nobody, it’s everyone’s least favorite wrestling turkey, who hatched from an egg in a terrible segment at Survivor Series! First of all, it was a horrible disappointment for wrestling fans, who had been hoping that the mystery debut who had been heavily promoted would actually be something good, as opposed to a man in a turkey suit dancing with Gene Okerlund. On the bright side, it helped lower expectations for future surprise wrestlers, which was a good plan, since most of them are never as good as expected. However, the true stupidity of the entire gimmick is that there was literally no longevity to the character. Yes, it’s a Thanksgiving turkey, it’s a timely reference for Survivor Series, but what was the point? Even WWE at its most cartoonish would never be able to sell a wrestling turkey as a legitimate part of the show. The turkey was gone immediately (it did return once, for the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-7), but not before establishing a new standard for the dumbest gimmick in the entire history of pro wrestling. Source:

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.