The 7 Most Desperate WWE Gimmick Changes: From Viscera to Dreamer

Andy Soucek@Andy_SoucekFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2012

The 7 Most Desperate WWE Gimmick Changes: From Viscera to Dreamer

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    Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Most wrestlers come to a point in their career where their gimmicks have gone stale. Sometimes the wrestler realizes it's time to hang up the tights, but usually, WWE just lets them go.

    In some cases, though, wrestlers are given another chance with an act that sometimes reeks of desperation.

    Usually these gimmicks just don't work. Viewers are used to seeing the same act for years, and when the character suddenly does a 180 for little to no reason, it can be hard to buy in. 

    Instead of a dignified exit off of TV, these men were subjected to ridiculous gimmick changes that made their farewells less bittersweet and more just plain bitter.

    Here are seven of the most desperate gimmick changes seen in WWE.

No. 7: Trevor Murdoch Wants to Sing You a Song

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    A WWE gimmick that is almost always destined to fail, and reeking of desperation, is when creative asks you to sing.

    Heath Slater, be warned!

    Murdoch had an interesting look to him and some decent TV exposure with his tag team partner, Lance Cade. After the team ended, WWE couldn’t seem to find anything to do with him, so they decided to make him sing.

    It was strange.

    For a short while, Murdoch sang. People were indifferent. He went away.

    Instead of a bad-ass redneck, they played him as a fool (which WWE seems to do with any Southerner not named Austin).

    Murdoch's WWE swan song will be remembered as this sad attempt to get over.

No. 6: Charlie Haas Plays Dress Up

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    When WWE asks you to play a wrestler where your gimmick is dressing up as other wrestlers, start packing your bags. 

    WWE just didn’t know what to do with Haas when they re-signed him in 2006. For the next couple years, his most memorable moment was accidentally knocking Lillian Garcia off the ring apron.

    Unlucky for him, WWE had a gimmick that was not quite up his alley.

    He began appearing on TV dressed as other wrestlers from John Cena to Beth Phoenix. Maybe due to Haas’ average charisma, or because the audience had seen this gimmick before, it didn’t quite get over.

    The writing seemed to be on the wall. He had a lower card heel run on Smackdown, but was shortly released without much fanfare.

    He’s currently in Ring of Honor dressed up in the gimmick of an actual wrestler.

No. 5: Tommy Dreamer Drinks Toilet Water

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    One of the wrestlers most synonymous with ECW, Tommy Dreamer was an afterthought in the Invasion angle. Once it ended, he needed something else to do. Something fresh and innovative that would get people talking.

    Instead, WWE brought him to Raw in 2003 as a regular guy who just did disgusting things.

    Dreamer shared his toothbrush with a dog, ate his own hair and drank from a urinal. These antics are exactly how Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin became over as main-event faces. OK, that’s not true at all.

    The angle was very short-lived. Dreamer turned back into a hardcore wrestler for a short while before the division died. He was done wrestling for a couple years as he took up corporate jobs in WWE.

    He did come back again when ECW was resurrected, but his strange mid-career gimmick change was a desperate sight not to behold.

No. 4: Vito Wears a Dress

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    Being in the Full Blooded Italians wasn’t good enough for Vito. He just wanted to be himself.

    Or so WWE told us.

    Rumored to be a takeoff of a Sopranos character named Vito (who was gay on the show, but wasn't a cross-dresser), Vito's gimmick was to make other wrestlers feel uncomfortable.

    Maybe Perry Saturn's WCW gimmick of wearing a dress was too fresh in fan's minds, or maybe men wearing a dress just hasn't been funny since the 1959 film Some Like It Hot, but Vito's gimmick was destined for groan-inducing mediocrity.

    He didn't last too long, though, and to the surprise of no one but perhaps WWE creative, a guy wearing a dress just isn't enough to make a compelling gimmick out of.

No. 3: Planet Stasiak

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    Planet Stasiak thought he was cool. But WWE had him play a fool.

    His rhyming gimmick got tired, so then he got fired.

    He failed to do his thing, so now he works at Burger King.

    OK, he doesn’t work at Burger King; he’s actually a chiropractor now.

    Son of WWE Hall-of-Famer Stan “The Man” Stasiak, Sean looked like he had a bright future. Instead, he was a jobber the moment he joined WWE. He was made to look like an idiot who tripped and fell into things. It was time for a gimmick change

    Instead of an idiot, he became a...um…an even bigger idiot.

    Sean’s gimmick was that he would rhyme (not rap, just rhyme) when he spoke. He talked about Planet Stasiak. Other wrestlers thought it was weird. That’s about it.

    Unsurprisingly, the gimmick didn’t work and he was released. Scientists have still yet to find the actual Planet Stasiak.

No. 2: The World’s Largest Love Machine Viscera

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    Viscera had an abrupt gimmick change where his character had a change of heart. No longer was Big Vis a gothic monster. Now, he was a love monster.

    After Trish Stratus seduced Viscera into taking out Kane, he overhauled his look. Out with the black leather jacket, in with the pajamas.

    Unlike others on this list, his gimmick change was actually over.

    For a short while at least. 

    After an odd storyline with Lillian Garcia where they proposed marriage to each other, Big Vis didn’t have much to do. Vince McMahon must have got over the joke and went onto his next pleasure (most likely Hornswoggle).

    Another desperate gimmick change back to the monster Big Daddy V on ECW didn’t work out so well, and Viscera was heart-breakingly released from his contract.

No. 1: Naked Mideon

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    Dennis Knight was never trusted to be on his own.

    First, he portrayed Phineas I. Godwin (PIG, get it?), then on to the Southern Justice tag team, finally, he became Mideon as he joined the stable the Ministry.

    Once the group ended, though, he didn't have much going for him. A tag team with Viscera is only going to get you so far.

    Luckily for him, someone in WWE had the brilliant idea for him to portray Naked Mideon.

    Naked Mideon wasn’t actually naked; he wore a black thong and a fanny pack. Fanny-Pack-Thong Mideon doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, though.

    All Naked Mideon did was do run-ins on random matches distracting people. That was basically the entire act.

    His biggest moment was a match against William Regal at No Mercy 2000. Over the course of the fight, he stripped down and even planted one on Regal. Hilarity ensued for everyone named Vince McMahon.

    Shockingly, the gimmick didn’t last long and Knight was released.

    It is not confirmed, but believed he put on pants in retirement.