Throughout wrestling history, the “Rich Guy” has been a standard Heel gimmick. Someone powerful and privileged and wealthy is a magnet for heat, given that the vast majority of people are none of those things, but are well aware of those that are and how those powers are abused.
The idea of the One Percent, the most absurdly wealthy and influential in America, has been prominent in recent politics. I think it’s something that wrestling should seize upon.
The One Percenter is more than just a rich guy like Alberto del Rio or the Million Dollar Man. For one thing, the One Percenter doesn’t blatantly say that he’s better than everyone. That’s a cheap, shallow ploy, and it’s been done to death. For the One Percenter to work, he needs to be subtle. He needs to be backhanded, with a smiling face and a cheerful attitude.
He’s one part Ted DiBiase, one part Damien Sandow, and one part typical babyface. As far as he’s concerned, he’s a good guy, he’s helping people, and he deserves everything he’s got. He deserves to be rich, deserves to be on top, and he deserves to be in charge.
More than that, though, the One Percenter needs to game the system. He doesn’t just gloat and flaunt his wealth. He uses it. He might pay off referees to be more lenient for him in the ring. Charles Robinson will suddenly tweet about a new house he bought. Josh Matthews will sing the One Percenter’s praises, and Michael Cole will point out he drove in this week in a new car. He’ll pay off anybody to get an edge.
He even pays off jobbers to take the fall for him. Perhaps he’ll hold a Scouting Challenge, saying he’s tired of the guys he’s beaten in WWE. So he brings in local talent, paid to take a beating and make him look good. And I mean explicitly, not just in the usual jobber sense.
And on top of that, he needs a stable. He needs to be like the Million Dollar Corporation, JBL’s Cabinet. He has David Otunga as his legal advisor, he brings Laurinaitis back in as his manager. Eve can go to his side in her inevitable heel turn. He can pay off guys like the Damien Sandow, or bring in an assassin like Big E Langston from NXT, or the Prime Time Players as bodyguards.
He needs to be surrounded by bodies, as untouchable as Triple H at the height of Evolution, as treacherous as Ric Flair surrounded by the Four Horsemen, and as two-faced and arrogant as every slimy politician you’ve ever hated.
Sadly, for this gimmick to work, it would need to be applied to someone new. Someone we can buy into as unspeakably wealthy. The temptation is to suggest Del Rio, but he’s so damaged that giving him as ambitious a gimmick as this would be a waste. It needs to go onto a heel for the next generation, one who comes in as loaded with cash and never looks back.