6 Great WWE/WCW Wrestlers Who Were Held Back by Terrible Gimmicks
In the colorful world of pro wrestling, there have been countless characters based on everything from garbage men to a giant turkey.
These gimmicks are meant to enhance the product, but in many cases a bad gimmick will keep a good wrestler down.
Plenty of great workers have been given characters that had little to no chance of reaching the top of WWE and they still put on their costumes and performed for the crowds with a smile.
This slideshow will honor some of the more talented workers who were given gimmicks than undoubtedly kept them from succeeding.
Terry Taylor AKA the Red Rooster
Terry Taylor was a great worker who could have been a huge star, but the Red Rooster gimmick held him down like a pair of cement shoes.
Taylor was as talented as they come in the ring, but when you put a big red Mohawk in the middle of your mullet, you are bound to be laughed at.
Taylor held a few dozen titles across the NWA, WCW and AWA, but he never held any gold in WWE, which is where he would get his most exposure on television.
After lessening his time in the ring, Taylor was used by both WWE and WCW as a writer, booker and backstage interviewer later in the '90s.
Taylor has retired from in-ring competition after having a few back surgeries, and these days he makes sporadic appearances for Christian organizations after having been born again.
Terry Taylor is a valuable wrestling mind who was never quite used to his fullest potential, like so many other greats of his day.
Ray Traylor AKA the Big Bossman
The Big Boss Man is a character who is well known and looked at with fond memories by those who watched him in the '80s, '90s and early 2000s.
Ray Traylor was given the Big Boss Man gimmick and he used the gimmick well both as a heel and a babyface.
Unfortunately for him, there was no way to get past the gimmick that made him a household name after leaving WWE.
Throughout his WCW and later WWE runs, he continued to wear outfits that were somehow related to law enforcement.
Despite wrestling for over 15 years, Traylor never held a major title. He was booked as a tag team champion and hardcore champion in WWE, but never held any titles in WCW.
Traylor had originally come up with parts of the gimmick before joining WWF after having been a real-life prison guard.
The wrestling world lost Ray Traylor in 2004 when he suffered a heart attack at the age of 41.
Anyone who grew up watching Big Boss Man will no doubt have fond memories of the larger-than-life superstar, and that is the true measure of success over how many titles someone holds.
Alex Wright AKA Das Wunderkind AKA Berlyn
Alex Wright was overflowing with potential but he was unlucky enough to be a part of WCW during a time when you had to either be an established star or a bodybuilder to get ahead.
Wright had a long winning streak before Goldberg used his own streak to get ahead and Wright was looking like the next breakout star for many months.
His ladies' man gimmick helped get him over, but eventually he was buried under a pile of uninteresting characters who were featured heavier than he was.
Once the dancing gimmick was dropped, he reappeared later in a long trench coat with a whole new attitude, wrestling under the name Berlyn.
He was paired with The Wall for a short time, but his push was derailed after Columbine High School was attacked by kids wearing long coats similar to what Wright was wearing.
WCW did not want anyone to draw parallels between the character and the tragic events in Colorado so he was delayed in his debut as the new character. When he finally arrived he was given less than a decent push.
Wright was not picked up by WWE during the WCW buyout because he was under contract to Time Warner, not WCW, and therefore unable to make the jump.
Since then, Wright has semi-retired from the ring.
His two bad gimmicks, combined with the highly-egotistical climate of WCW back in the day, made it impossible for him to get over despite being a very talented worker.
Jeff Jarrett, Country Star
Jeff Jarrett is a great wrestler and he has plenty of accomplishments to his name to prove it, but in WWE, he was not exactly being pushed to the top.
As a country music star character, Jarrett was more of a mid-card superstar instead of a main eventer like he thought he deserved to be.
It wasn't until he moved to WCW that he would be booked as a World champion.
Jarrett is still heavily involved with TNA, and he has contributed a lot to the business over his decades-long career.
The gimmick of being a heel singer might have worked for The Honky Tonk Man, but in the '80s, that kind of stuff worked a lot better than in the '90s.
There was no doubt that Jarrett was talented enough to be a top star in WWE, but the chance was never there and he was second fiddle to guys like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels.
Jarrett will someday end up in the WWE Hall of Fame, even if he has to wait until he cuts ties with TNA or they shut down.
Justin Credible as Aldo Montoya
Aldo Montoya was the short-lived gimmick of Justin Credible. WWE was capitalizing on his Portuguese heritage with the gimmick.
He had a few notable feuds with guys like Jeff Jarrett and Ted DiBiase, but he was eventually released after requesting it due to a lack of a push.
He found his groove in ECW under the name Justin Credible, but he never rose to the main event scene despite his high level of talent.
These days he takes indy bookings and has recently spoke on Twitter about being contacted by WWE to work on the WWE Network.
Mike Rotunda AKA I.R.S.
Mike Rotunda was a great worker who became one of the most hated heels of his era as IRS, but he was never able to break out on his own.
He was usually associated with Ted DiBiase and if he wasn't, he was putting others over.
Rotunda wasn't always a tax man in wrestling. He was also a varsity-type character in a heel stable known as The Varsity Club.
He was an accomplished wrestler in different NWA territories, but the place where he got his most exposure to the public did not give him his most successful run.
These days, WWE can bring in Rotunda to make a legends appearance as IRS and it invokes happy memories for fans of his era.
Rotunda was a great worker who ended up making other people look better than he made himself look.
His legacy is being continued in the business by his two sons, who currently work in WWE's developmental system.
Images property of WWE
As you can see, there have been many talented wrestlers buried under an annoying or unrealistic gimmick and it can hurt their chances of success.
Some superstars have been able to get past these kinds of characters and find success, but there is only so much room at the top of the mountain.
Thanks for reading and please share some of your favorite names who were used poorly due to a gimmick.
Follow me on Twitter @BR_Doctor.