Professional wrestling characters are meant to be larger than life. Characters people can understand but, like a good movie, bring the most emotion out of the audience as possible.
The Boogeyman is a classic tale in current society. Nearly everyone can relate to a reference of the bedroom monster in their life.
The Boogeyman, played through the creative direction of Marty Wright in WWE, fit the bill perfectly for an entertaining character in the sports entertainment genre.
I spoke with Marty Wright in an exclusive interview Tuesday on Wrestling Reality on TribLIVE Radio sports station in Pittsburgh.
Wright summed it up when he said, “That's what wrestling is all about—good versus evil. You go out there and tell a good story and that's what it's all about.”
Wright was never known for having 15-minute technical bouts. In fact, most of his matches were inside of five minutes. However, The Boogeyman brought more than five minutes worth of entertainment with his unique entrance and creepy but comical promos that would literally pop up at anytime.
Wright spoke about everybody in WWE being very fun to work with. He was once a Tough Enough reality show contestant who was eventually disqualified because he lied about his age. The cut-off age was 35. Wright lied when told the producers he was 30, when in fact he was 40.
Despite breaking the rules, Wright's determination eventually got him signed to a WWE developmental contract with Ohio Valley Wrestling.
Though he had minimal experience compared to guys half his age, Wright said everybody on the WWE roster was enjoyable to work with.
Wright did mention that one person, who was a guest on WWE programming, didn't show him the same respect.
“Donald Trump, however, he wasn't the best. Actually, let me rephrase that. He was the worst. He didn't want to sell the character.”
In the skit, Trump is sitting on the couch with Miss America when The Boogeyman pops up from behind. Wright explained that Trump didn't think he should sell being scared of the character, and he didn't.
“I just wanted to bite his head off. He actually wasn't the most favorable person to work with,” Wright explained.
On paper, the character comes off as a heel. But Wright explained it worked well as a babyface because of the character's motivations.
“The Boogyman will come and get ya if you do something bad,” explained Wright, adding that it made it easier to be booked in a situation against the heels.
The character being portrayed this way did work out. It allowed The Boogeyman to appear in many promos with various Superstars without breaking logic. If he was out to be malicious to anyone, it wouldn't have made sense for him to appear in many of the situations he did.
The promos best displayed the character that only Marty Wright can play. He took a legendary, haunting figure and kept the intimidation factor, but he added a tone of voyeurism and comedy with his antics. He would smash a clock on his head—even eat worms in his entrance. And he did so willingly.
Wright explained he only ate the worms because WWE wouldn't let him have any other insect as part of the gimmick.
“We had to pay an infestation clause, which would cost much more money.” Wright wanted to use roaches, crickets, maggots and more. He said because arenas were afraid of something getting lose, the WWE only let him use worms every week. “Worms were the only thing we could control.”
Wright laughed about the faces he could get people in WWE to make when they saw the character. He said many times he was able to get stunned facial reactions of disbelief from Vince McMahon based on what Wright would do or eat in the effort of getting the character over.
He credits McMahon for allowing him to run free with The Boogeyman.
“So fun working with Edge and Lita, popping up behind the couch. Vince also gave me the opportunity to have character license. He just let the character take off.”
While The Boogeyman was released from his last WWE run in 2009, I had to ask, especially with the 1,000th episode of Raw coming up this week—will we being seeing The Boogeyman again in WWE?
“Hell yeah, keep your eyes open,” he said. “I can't say when, but just keep your eyes open. You never know when The Boogeyman is going to pop up again, but I'm definitely working toward that.”