For every Stone Cold Steve Austin and CM Punk, there are 10 horrible wrestling gimmicks like Papa Shango, The Mountie and The Goon. Sometimes you just have to wonder exactly what Vince McMahon and the rest of the professional wrestling world is thinking when they come up with these bizarre characters that they want you to buy into.
Lord Tensai is the latest experiment gone terribly wrong. First of all, they want us to forget that Prince Albert/A-Train ever existed in the WWE. Secondly, are we really supposed to believe that this fat guy is a samurai? No, he just looks like a fat guy trying to be a samurai for Halloween. Sadly, the WWE really tried to push Lord Tensai and even gave him a win over John Cena before realizing that the schtick sucked and nobody connected with it. It’s time for a burial of yet another lame wrestling gimmick. But it’s not the worst we’ve ever seen. Here are 10 wrestling gimmicks gone wrong that the wrestling world would like their fans to forget even existed.
Repo Man (1991-1993)
The Repo Man gimmick was so bad it was good. He was a guy (Barry Darsow) that looked like an overgrown Hamburglar in a trench coat that showed up to repossess random items from wrestlers. He repossessed Macho Man Randy Savage‘s hat, cars, title belts and whatever he could get his hands on. When you really think about it, he was more like a kleptomaniac than a repo man because he was just stealing for the fun of it. You have to adore the catchphrase, “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours…IS MINE!”
Isaac Yankem DDS (1995-1996)
Before he became the monster known as Kane, Glen Thomas Jacobs was a dentist. No, not a real dentist. A WWF dentist known as Isaac Yankem DDS (gotta love the play on words). What was bizarre about Yankem was that he engaged in a feud with Bret Hart on behalf of Jerry Lawler. So, like, he was Lawler’s family dentist and stepped up to beat up Bret Hart. That makes total sense! No, it doesn’t. That’s why it only lasted one year.
Holy moly! This was utterly ridiculous. Mike Hallick had to wrestle as a minotaur-like character. He mooed, charged, bucked and pretty much acted like an ass instead of a minotaur. He actually had a small run of beating up jobbers. Then somebody said “Vince, this is really stupid” and that was that.
The Boogeyman (2005-2009)
The most recent ridiculous gimmick was given to 40-year-old Marty Wright after his stint on WWE’s Tough Enough was cut short because he lied about his age. So how do they pay him back? By making him a creepy worm-eating toothless witch doctor? Wait, what year was this? We could have sworn that this stuff only worked in the ’80s and ’90s. Nope, they wanted to give it a shot in the 2000s just to see how the fans enjoyed a dude reciting evil nursery rhymes and smashing an over-sized clock on his head (a shot at Flavor Flav perhaps?). If you were older than five, you hated every minute of it. We hated that Marty Wright had to subject himself to a worm dinner every night.
Battle Kat (1990)
Poor Dean Peters. After being a jobber, the WWF gave him a “push” as the dangerous Battle Kat. What, dude? He wore a cat mask, complete with kitty ears, and did back flips and other gymnastic junk. Oh God, it was awful. The WWF thought that too and released him after just over a month.
Holy Copyright Infringement Bat…err…Spiderman! Brad Armstrong had to wear basically a yellow Spiderman costume (you know, so nobody would notice the resemblance) and shot silly string out of his hands before each match. Marvel came calling and shut that down in no time flat. Stupid.
Trying to type this while not breaking down in tears of laughter is proving to be quite the task. Before Kevin Nash was “Diesel,” “Vinnie Vegas” or, you know, himself, he was Oz. The Oz character was brutal. Who the hell would be scared of a wrestler that was inspired by the Wizard of Oz? No, seriously. Castle, magic robe, weird beard and all. Hell, he was managed by Merlin the Wizard. Geeze this is stupid. This really happened.
Cue that Mortal Kombat techno theme song. WCW tried to capitalize on the Mortal Kombat craze by creating a fake Sub Zero character named Glacier. There was crazy hype for Glacier’s debut but because of the NWO launch, the Glacier angle fizzled. But there was so much hype behind it. Not to mention some extravagant costumes, laser lights, smoke and ninja schtick. They really tried with this and actually kept the character for three years. Nobody cared and since he couldn’t rip a head off of a body, the gimmick ended up being buried.
So, like, there was this wretched movie called “No Holds Barred” that starred Hulk Hogan and
Deebo Tommy “Tiny” Lister. And, like, they took Lister’s “Zeus” character and thought it would be cool to bring him to the WWF in an attempt to further the movie storyline. But, you know, Deebo can’t really wrestle so he just beat on his chest, no-sold chair shots, had a chokehold and hit you with a forearm on the back. No seriously, that’s it. No other moves. Oh yeah, he yelled a lot. It was so lame that neither Lister or the WWF were happy and decided to end it in a few months.
The Shockmaster (1993)
There is no wrestling gimmick that has crashed and burned in flames of failure like The Shockmaster. Fred Ottman was hyped up to be the mystery partner of Sting, Dustin Rhodes and Davey Boy Smith. When he made his debut on Ric Flair’s “Flair for the Gold” interview segment, Sting built up the mountain of fail with the following words:
“All I have to say is, our partner is going to “shock” the world, because he is none other than… The Shockmaster!!”
Corny. But what made it worse was the lousy pyrotechnics that went off as The Shockmaster came crashing, bedazzled Storm Trooper head first, through the wall and fell flat on his face. His Storm Trooper helmet fell off and rolled around as Ottman tried to recover it. In the background you could hear the wrestlers struggle to hold in their laughter. Props to Sid Vicious for overacting his shock and awe which made the segment even more epic. The crowd just sat in silence with the biggest “WTF?” thought bubble hanging above their heads. Needless to say, that gimmick was buried. But only after they actually had a match. Yeesh. Thankfully, Ottman finds humor in the schtick gone terribly wrong.
“They put me in a Storm Trooper mask which they painted and covered in glitter, I couldn’t see a thing. I got to the wall and put my hands up like a double axe handle and bust through. The top broke perfectly, but the bottom didn’t give. The momentum took me through the wall and to the floor.”
Yup. Epic Fail.