You know them, you love them, and you love to hate them.
Some are incredibly girly, some are after YOUR girl. Some come wrapped in rhinestones and feathers; some are wrapped in PVC and chains. And in one case, one was buck naked.
These are some of the flashiest, gaudiest, and most flamboyant men in the business. I've left off some of the more obvious choices, and your mileage may vary. THESE ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, so please don't think I rated someone over someone else.
Now, on with the opulence, the audacity.....
You can't mention flashy men in wrestling without starting at the source.
In the dawn of television, George Wagner was a shock for conservative viewing audiences: bleached blond hair, pin-curled and primped. He wore huge robes, heavily gemmed and tossed golden hairpins to the crowds.
Every man on this list owes his sequins, rhinestones, feather boas, and fringe to George Wagner: the Human Orchid, and 2010 WWE Hall of Famer.
Initially, Brutus Beefcake in the 80's just looked like an overzealous Chippendale's dancer, wearing long tights and a bow-tie.
As his time in the then-WWF progressed, however, the tights got tighter. Elbow-length fingerless gloves were added. Then fishnet-paneled "rips" appeared down the sides, which then gave way to fishnet panels that exposed his entire flank.
As you can see in this video, even that wasn't enough, and by the 90's there was more flesh than outfit! I haven't even gotten into his Ric Flair-esque struttin' and cuttin' dance, or the fact that he carried a barber's bag containing hedge clippers to the ring!
In the beginning of his WWE career, Shawn Michaels was a Rocker, and looked like a marshmallow with a long blond mullet. As his star rose, he got tanner and leaner, and he became a singles competitor. Out went the neon t-shirts and in came leather chaps, dangling chains, and pretty ring companions, including Pamela Anderson.
He even posed for Playgirl! (Link is safe for work.)
Though he went through many incarnations, including founding D-Generation X, being then-WWF Commissioner, and his spiritual awakening, he kept the chaps and chains and added a moment of prayer on the ramp. But he's still one of the flashier men in the business.
He came down to the ring to the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey." He referred to his romantic exploits with women during his promos as "a ride on Space Mountain," which Triple H hilariously referred to during Ric Flair's induction. If he sounds like an egotist...well, you've been paying attention.
But unlike a lot of the boasts and declarations made in sports entertainment, Ric Flair could back it up. If he said he was wearing a $3000 suit, he was. When he talked about "jet settin' and limousine ridin'," he did it. The bigger he talked, the bigger his entrances got.
It started with "2001: A Space Odyssey," and he added sequined robes. When that wasn't enough, he made the robes louder, with pink rhinestones and feathers. When that wasn't enough, he got pyro in WCW.
Somehow, Ric Flair's moments were bigger, too. He had iconic moments, including the formation of the Four Horsemen, re-forming it, and the famous "My Spot" promo on WCW Nitro which Ric was only a part of. Just when you thought it couldn't get bigger, Flair went to WWE and formed Evolution, which capitalized on the Horseman spirit, but updated it.
By the time Flair "retired" from WWE, he had the robes, the videos, the music, the pyro, and FIREWORKS over the Citrus Bowl! The next night, he had every performer in WWE lined up to pay tribute to the alleged end of his career.
Who else gets all of that? Nobody.
Never has someone done so much with so little...literally.
Sean Morley came into the WWE, and he was informed he would be a porn star named Val Venis. Wearing just a towel over nondescript trunks and boots, Morley ran with it. Bumping and grinding and whipping off his towel, he worked the look, giving lewd smiles and (kayfabe) romancing everyone from Ryan Shamrock, to Mrs. Yamaguchi, wife to Kaientai's manager, Yamaguchi-san. Women loved him, and his opponents hated him.
Later, he did a heel turn by turning his back on his porn-y ways with Right to Censor, then came right back to being the Big Valbowski. After a few years away, Sean Morley works for WWE as a producer, but is best known now for his political views.
Rick Rude was kind of petite, by sports entertainment standards, especially in the 80's, when a lot of wrestlers were still either heavy or stocky. His muscularity tended toward the swimmer's build, without a lot of bulk. But he was a big influence in a lot of ways, including attitude.
He came out to old-fashioned stripper music, wrapped in a velvet robe and was in possession of one of the most prodigious mustaches in wrestling history.
Then, "CUT THA MUSIC!"
He'd get on the mike and told whichever town he was in to "keep the noise down" so he could either show the women "what a real man looks like" or so they could "see my ravishing body".
"HIT THA MUSIC!"
Then he would strip off that velvet robe and gyrate his hips and stroke his body for the female fans. The camera would always cut to the audience, where women were yelling and taking pictures. And when he said he was "the sexiest man alive," by God, you knew he believed it.
You gotta give it up: When it comes to over the top and outrageous, it's hard to beat Randy Savage.
His ring music was "Pomp And Circumstance," a.k.a. the graduation march, signifying achievement even before he got to the ring. Loud rhinestone capes and robes gave way to even louder spandex cowboy outfits with fringe and matching cowboy hats (see video).
During his time in WCW as a member of NWO, even the limitations of only wearing black and white didn't stop his extravagant outfits. But the wardrobe wasn't the only over-the-top aspect of Randy Savage.
There was also THAT VOICE.
When Savage spoke, it sounded like he had smoked a carton of cigarettes and washed it down with a smoothie made of whiskey and broken light bulbs. His promos are stuff of legend, from accusing Hulk Hogan of lusting after his then-wife, the late Miss Elizabeth, to later confronting Elizabeth, after their divorce, in WCW.
And just when you thought his odd behavior was just for the cameras, Randy Savage decided to become a rapper. You read that right: he put out a rap album, including a diss track to Hulk Hogan.
All you need to hear is one of two songs: "Real American" by Rick Derringer, or "Voodoo Chile" by Jimi Hendrix, and you get the image immediately.
Red and yellow or black and white, the torn t-shirt, the feather boas, the big personality, and the big guy behind it all: Hulk Hogan. What makes Hogan flamboyant is just HIM. His charisma, his personality make him the icon. He's a legitimate celebrity, having taken his image and put it into movies, and several TV series. He's even big enough to roast, having appeared on Comedy Central's Roast of David Hasslehoff.
Hulk's just Hulk, and he can't help but be over the top.
This is flamboyance with a pedigree: as the son of Dusty Rhodes, how could he not be an attention-getter?
During Goldust's tenure with WWE, he's done some of the most outrageous things in the company's history. He tried to seduce Roddy Piper in vignettes leading up to WrestleMania 12. When the singer Prince dropped his name, Goldust became the Artist Formerly Known as Goldust. When Marilyn Manson became popular, Goldust emulated MM's look.
He paired up with the Blue Meanie, who referred to Goldie as "Mommy." He even showed up on live TV in lingerie and fishnets. Ever the master of understatement, Bret Hart noted in his documentary, "Bret Hart: Wrestling with Shadows," "He pushes the 'gay button', and he pushes it hard."
I haven't even gotten to the entrance, with gold-tinted lights, gold glitter raining down from the ceiling and the infamous music. Do I need to?
Orlando Jordan didn't start out too noticeably.
During his time in WWE, Jordan was just mid-card, and became part of JBL's Cabinet, in a suit and tie when he wasn't wrestling. Though he won the U.S. Championship, he didn't seem to make a real impression.
All that changed when he went to TNA.
Suddenly he was showing up in pink hot pants, wrapped in caution tape, or a Hooters waitress uniform (12/16/10 TNA Impact). He walked to the ring working a Shake Weight. Even with his short-lived interview show, the O-Zone, he was flanked by a beautiful girl AND a beautiful boy.
Jordan spelled it out in his ring music: Women love me, and the guys want to get with me. If Goldust was merely pushing the gay button, Orlando was daring the audience to say anything about it.