WWE: Ranking the 40 Worst Gimmicks in History
Gimmicks. Every wrestler has one. WWE is filled with colorful superstars, from simple, realistic characters like John Cena, the squeaky clean good guy, to outrageous, supernatural wrestlers like The Undertaker and his "deadman" gimmick.
During the '80s and '90s gimmicks were at their craziest. Some wrestlers dressed up like mascots while others changed their gimmick every three weeks. It was had to take many characters seriously, but it still made for entertaining television...most of the time.
This list will look at 40 of the worst gimmicks in pro wrestling history. While they are all pretty terrible, some are definitely worse than others.
Afterward, let me know what you think in the comments below. Did I miss someone? Who would you have at #1?
Thanks for reading! Enjoy!
40: The Mountie
The Mountie was such a controversial character that Jacques Rougeau could not perform under The Mountie name when WWE held shows in Canada.
Feuding with Big Boss Man and Bret Hart for a good portion of the gimmick's lifetime, The Mountie actually became the Intercontinental Champion, which is a great achievement for someone with a gimmick as ridiculous as this.
When The Mountie finally faded out, Rougeau formed The Quebecers and held one-half of the Tag Team Championship on three occasions.
39: Rosey, the S.H.I.T. (Super Hero in Training)
As if having a superhero gimmick wasn't enough, WWE had to go and give him a sidekick with an oh-so-clever acronim for a nickname.
Rosey, who's real name is Matt Anoa'i, had the same potential as his former tag team partner, Eddie Fatu, who made it in WWE as Umaga the "Samoan Bulldozer."
Sure, Umaga wasn't the greatest gimmick in the world, but it sure wasn't as bad as coming out to the ring with S.H.I.T. on your ring attire.
38: Papa Shango
Before he wrestled as Kama and The Godfather, Charles Wright was packaged as a voodoo priest known as Papa Shango.
Shango would carry a skull to the ring and could control the arena lights. Later on in his career, Shango would begin casting spells on his opponents, causing them pain. During his feud with Ultimate Warrior, he even made Warrior vomit with one of his spells.
The Papa Shango character lasted in WWE for a little over a year. Wright returned to WWE in 1995 as Kama, and later won the Intercontinental Championship as The Godfather.
37: Repo Man
Though he was better known as Smash, one half of the legendary tag team Demolition, Barry Darsow will always be remembered as having one of the dumbest gimmicks in WWE history.
Wearing a Lone Ranger type mask and carrying a rope that he used to tie up his opponents, Repo Man was an attempt at creating a sneaky heel who the fans would dislike. Unfortunately, he never really took off and was only somewhat successful at establishing feuds.
Repo Man had short feuds with with The British Bulldog and Randy Savage before fading into history.
36: The Berserker
John Nord wrestled most of his career as a barbarian type wrestler. You would think that he would have eventually tried something new.
As "The Berserker," Nord wore a tunic and viking helmet while carrying a sword and sheild. He was managed by Mr. Fuji and feuded with several big name superstars, including Davey Boy Smith and Jimmy Snuka. At one point, he feuded with The Undertaker and even tried to "stab" him with his sword.
The gimmick lasted less than two years and was, thankfully, quickly forgotten.
Formerly known in AWA as "Mr. Magnificent" Kevin Kelly, Kevin Wacholz debuted in WWE as Nailz in 1992.
The Nailz character was a former prisoner who claimed his innocence and that he had been abused by a prison guard while he was locked up. He claimed that the prison guard was WWE superstar, Big Boss Man. This prompted a feud that lasted approximately six months, with Big Boss Man coming out on top in a Nightstick match at Survivor Series in 1992.
Wacholz was released shortly after his feud with Big Boss Man, after allegedly assaulting Vince McMahon over money issues. No, he did not spend time in jail for it.
34: Spirit Squad
Does a team of male cheerleaders sound like a good idea to anyone?
The team of Kenny, Johnny, Mickey, Nicky and Mitch dressed in green and white "school colors" and debuted during a match between Jonathan Coachman and Jerry Lawler, cheering Coach to a victory.
They then began a feud with Shawn Michaels and eventually D-Generation X. They held the Tag Team Championship for 216 days, the longest since the team of The British Bulldog and Owen Hart.
They eventually broke up, with Kenny looking to be the next big WWE superstar. However, something changed in the stars and Nicky, now known as Dolph Ziggler has become one of WWE's top heels while Kenny faded away.
33: Waylon Mercy
In 1995, pro wrestling veteran Dan Spivey debuted in WWE as Waylon Mercy, a gimmick based on Max Cady, Robert DeNiro's character in the movie Cape Fear.
Waylon Mercy was a heel who acted polite and kind when not in the ring. However, after the bell rang Mercy would turn into a lunatic, choking and kicking his opponents with no remorse. He retuned to his peaceful self after the bell rang again.
After facing several top superstars in WWE, including Razor Ramon and Bret Hart, Spivey was forced to retire after suffering an injury from a Jacknife Powerbomb at the hands of Diesel.
32: Damien Demento
Damien Demento was the gimmick of a crazy wrestler who hailed from "The Outer Reaches of Your Mind." It is rumored that the gimmick was created to mock Phil Theis, who played Demento, who Vince McMahon believed was really crazy.
If you have seen some of his YouTube videos, you would think that Vince was right. His crazy attire to go along with his shaved head and ridiculous goatee only added to his crazy persona.
Though he was in the main event of the first ever episode of Monday Night Raw against The Undertaker, the character never took off, and Demento's WWE career was short lived. He competed mostly in house shows toward the end of his career.
Played by Harry Del Rios, Phantasio made a one-time-only appearance in WWE.
The gimmick was that of a mime/magician who came to the ring with no entrance music. He wore a mask, but had identical facepaint underneath.
He faced Tony DeVito and during the match, snuck up behind his opponent and "magically" removed his boxers, allowing him to secure a roll-up victory. He also removed referee Earl Hebner's boxers before disappearing forever.
30: PN News
Before John Cena, there was another rapper gimmick, only it was terrible.
Take John Cena, add 100 pounds, and take away the muscles and charisma, there you have PN News.
Played by Paul Neu, PN News would rap before his matches, which included those against high-profile superstars including "Stunning" Steve Austin and Diamond Dallas Page.
Luckily the gimmick didn't last very long, and PN News found better success on the independent curcuit under various other gimmicks.
Kizarny received more acknowledgement from the vignettes that aired on SmackDown prior to his debut than he did when he was actually performing in the ring.
During the vignettes, Nick Cvetkovich was revealed to be Kizarny, a member of a carnival who spoke in "carny talk." He wrestled in several dark matches before making his debut to a dead crowd in January of 2009. By March, he had been released.
Cvetkovich now wrestles successfully in Chikara as Sinn Bohdi, the leader of the Batiri.
28: Disco Inferno
Disco was still relevant during the mid-nineties, right? At least that's what the creative team at WCW thought when they gave the gimmick of a disco dancer to Glenn Gilbertti.
What was even worse than the disco gimmick is that Disco Inferno would "forget" how to use his finisher, the figure-four leglock. Inferno would bring a cheat-sheet with him to the ring in order to remember how to lock in the finisher.
Inferno had a relatively long and successful career for such an absurd gimmick. Gilbertti is a former WCW Cruiserweight, Tag Team and Television Champion.
Heidenreich had many terrible gimmicks throughout his career.
First, he debuted on Raw and was said to be controlled by someone or something known only as "Little Johnny." Though it was later revealed that "Little Johnny" was supposed to be a doll similar to Al Snow's Head, the storyline was scrapped while Heidenreich was sent back to developmental.
Heidenreich then returned as a poetry reading heel who would interfere in matches and read hateful poetry. He then turned face and his poetry turned much lighter.
Later, he became a member of The Road Warriors after Road Warrior Animal was looking for a new tag partner.
Heidenreich was last seen with Paul Heyman in an insane asylum, claiming that he never wanted to go back to WWE.
26: Duke "The Dumpster" Droese
Mike Droese played the character of a garbageman who would carry a trash can to the ring. The gimmick lasted surprisingly long, from 1994 through 1996.
"The Dumpster" participated in both the 1995 King of the Ring and Royal Rumble, though he didn't win either. He also participated in a long fued with Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
He asked for his release from his WWE after growing tired of the road schedule.
25: The Goon
It seemed that in the early '90s, every gimmick wrestler had to have an occupation. So why not use a professional athlete that has been kicked out of every league he has competed in?
That's where we get The Goon. He was a former hockey player who apparently doesn't own any other clothes, as he still wore his hockey gear to the ring. Luckily it was a short lived gimmick, and fans were only subjected to The Goon for a few months.
24: Paul Burchill
Paul Burchill claimed that his family heritage stretched back to pirate Blackbeard and wanted to try a pirate gimmick. What WWE got was a rip-off of Johnny Depp's character from Pirates of the Caribbean.
The gimmick didn't work. It got almost zero reaction from the crowd, and was likely only done to please Burchill. It was quickly ended with Mark Henry "injuring" Burchill, allowing for him to take time off and be repackaged.
23: Kerwin White
After a successful run in the Cruiserweight division which saw several short title reigns, Chavo Guerrero was drafted to Raw and denounced his Mexican heritage, changing his name to Kerwin White.
As Kerwin White, Guerrero drove a golf cart to the ring and wore a button-up shirt with a sweater tied around his neck. His caddy (future superstar Dolph Ziggler) would assist him in matches and would sometimes work as his tag team partner.
The Kerwin White gimmick was dropped after the unfortunate death of Eddie Guerrero, and Chavo went back to his regular name and gimmick.
22: Misfits in Action
The Misfits in Action were a group of wrestlers who were fired by Eric Bischoff for not helping his group, the New Blood, fight their enemies. The group then forged contracts with fake names, and it is the names that got this group on the list.
Current Tough Enough trainer Bill DeMott, then known as Hugh Morris, took the name of General Hugh G. Rection. Booker T joined the group as G.I. Bro and their manager, nWo Girl Tylene, was Major Gunns.
Other names included Private Stash, Sergeant AWOL, Corporal. Cajun and Chavo Guerrero as Lieutenant Loco.
Tom Lister made the jump from Hollywood actor to WWE superstar in 1989.
Lister starred as Zeus in the film No Holds Barred, which was financed by WWE and also starred Hulk Hogan. He appeared in WWE as the same exact character, continuing the feud with Hulk Hogan that they portrayed in the film.
Zeus lasted a few months in WWE, finishing his career teaming with Randy Savage versus Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake in a steel cage match.
Zeus left WWE without ever winning a match.
In 1996, WCW thought it would be a good idea to try and appeal to the fans of the widely popular Mortal Kombat video games. The result was Glacier.
Glacier had one of the most extravagant entrances of all-time which included blue laser lights and synthetic snow falling from the ceiling. Upon entering the ring, Glacier would take upwards of two minutes performing routines and removing his gear, which was estimated to have cost $35,000. In addition to the gear, estimates state that production costs for Glacier's entrance cost almost half a million dollars.
The costume and entrance were scrapped after only four matches.
Though Glacier's extravagant costume had been toned down, that didn't mean WCW was going to give up with their Mortal Komabt theme.
Chris Kanyon debuted as Mortis, a mix of several different characters from the Mortal Kombat games. He feuded with Glacier in a feud meant for Sega Genesis systems around the world.
Their feud continued and included two more ridiculous characters that would later be added. Fortunately, the angle was dropped after several months.
Bryan Clark was previously known as Adam Bomb, but debuted in WCW as an ally to Mortis known as Wrath.
Again taking a page from the Mortal Kombat handbook, Clark debuted as a helmeted martial artist dressed mostly in black with a helmet complete with horns.
Though not quite as over-the-top as Mortis or Glacier, Wrath was still a terrible attempt at trying to capture the popularity of the video games of the generation.
17: The Boogeyman
Marty Wright tried out for the fourth season of Tough Enough. Though he was chosen as one of the eight finalists, he revealed that he had lied about his age and was disqualified. Looking for a way to break into WWE, Wright adopted the persona of The Boogeyman.
When The Boogeyman debuted in WWE, he crawled onto the stage with an oversize alarm clock in his mouth. When he staggered down the ramp, he would smash the clock against his head.
After defeating another superstar, The Boogeyman would reach into his pocket or the bag he would bring to the ring and pull out a handful of worms, stick them in his mouth and eat them.
Hey, if it gets you a job with WWE.
Eugene made his WWE debut in 2004 as the special needs nephew of then Raw General Manager, Eric Bischoff. Eugene remained the same character for over three years with WWE and continuously on the independent circuit.
What is almost as shocking as using a gimmick of someone with a mental disorder is that Nick Dinsmore, the man behind Eugene, holds the record for most reigns and longest combined reign in Ohio Valley Wrestling history, and that is as himself, not Eugene.
15: The Fat Chick Thrilla/That '70s Guy
During the summer and early fall of 2000, Mike Awesome had some of the worst gimmicks in professional wrestling history.
He started becoming obsessed with overweight women, calling himself the "Fat Chick Thrilla." During that time he feuded with Scott Steiner and Lance Storm for the United States Championship.
He then transformed into "That '70s Guy," a play off of the popular television show, That '70s Show. He dressed in '70s outfits and hosted an interview segment called the Lava Lamp Lounge. He even started driving to the ring in a painted Volkswagen Bus.
Luckily, WWE bought WCW and put an end to stupid gimmicks like these.
14: Xanta Claus
In 1995, the man who would become a future star in ECW and WWE appeared as Xanta Claus, the evil twin brother of Santa who lives at the south pole and steals presents from children.
Luckily this gimmick only lasted a few weeks around the holiday season before being dropped and never mentioned again. Balls Mahoney debuted in ECW in 1997, and the rest is history.
13: Isaac Yankem
Though he has since become one of the most successful wrestlers as far as longevity goes, Glen Jacobs, better known today as Kane, had one crazy gimmick when he first debuted in WWE.
Isaac Yankem DDS was Jerry Lawler's dentist. Yankem frequently wrestled Bret Hart in place of Jerry Lawler, including a match at SummerSlam in '95. Yankem dressed in dentist scrubs and his entrance music kicked off with the sound of a drill, something that you could feel in your fillings.
After the Yankem gimmick was dropped, Jacobs spent a short time as "Imposter Diesel" before becoming the monster we know today, Kane.
12: Friar Ferguson/Bastion Booger
If you have seen my last article or if you know a little bit about wrestling history, you probably already know about the gross, slob of a gimmick given to Mike Shaw, known as Bastion Booger.
While that gimmick was bad enough, there was one that got WWE in some actual hot water.
Friar Ferguson was portrayed as a "mad monk" and wrestled in the months before the Bastion Booger character. WWE received complaints from the Catholic Church of New York, and decided to drop the gimmick.
One bad gimmick leads to another.
Seven's WCW debut and exit came on the same night.
After leaving WWE, Dustin Runnels was set to debut as Seven, a face pained character who was seen in vignettes standing outside of a child's bedroom window.
When Seven made his debut, he floated from the entrance ramp to the ring, with lights and ambiance very similar to The Undertaker. When he got to the ring, Runnels performed a worked shoot where he downplayed his former character Goldust as well as his current gimmick.
This set up Runnels as "The American Nightmare" Dustin Rhodes, but it was still one of the most ridiculous characters to ever be shown on television.
Look at the photo. Yes, that was a WWE wrestler.
Mike Hallick debuted as Mantaur in 1995. The character would frequently headbutt, maul and even moo at his opponents.
Though he participated in the Royal Rumble and King of the Ring tournament in 1995, the gimmick was quickly discarded.
Here's another bright idea from the minds at WCW.
Let's take Spiderman, change the colors slightly and package him as a wrestler! It worked so well that Marvel Comics sued WCW, forcing the gimmick to be dropped.
8: Max Moon
Everyone's "worst gimmicks" list includes Max Moon.
Before making a name for himself in WCW and TNA as Konnan, Carlos Moises donned the blue suit as Max Moon, a cyborg hailing from "the future." After Konnan left WWE due to contract issues, Max Moon was taken over by Paul Diamond.
Though he received one Intercontinental Title shot, Max Moon only appeared on one pay-per-view and quickly faded as Diamond's contract expired.
7: The Yeti
Luckily, this abomination of a gimmick was only used a few times before being forced back into the WCW history books.
Debuting in a block of ice on the October 23, 1995 episode of Monday Nitro, Ron Reis was dubbed The Yeti, a member of the Dungeon of Doom. When the ice thawed, The Yeti was revealed to actually be a mummy, who interfered on behalf of The Giant in his match with Hulk Hogan, poorly executing a tandem bear-hug.
He later wrestled at World War 3, only this time he appeared as a ninja. Eventually, he was billed as the Super Giant Ninja for a short appearance before the character was dropped.
Before Kevin Nash, before Deisel, even before Vinnie Vegas there was Oz.
Managed by Merlin the Wizard, Kevin Nash's Oz dressed in a long green robe and was based on the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Oz crushed many superstars on his way up the ladder in WCW, only to lose to Ron Simmons at the 1991 Bash at the Beach.
Luckily the gimmick didn't last much longer, and Kevin Nash progressed into a six-time World Champion.
5: Battle Kat
In 1990, Dean Peters donned a cat mask and debuted at Battle Kat.
Peters utilized gymnastics to further emphasize the "cat" gimmick, using his abilities to defeat The Brooklyn Brawler on his debut.
The gimmick lasted a little over a month before Peters was released from his contract.
4: Mr. America
Yup, that's Hulk Hogan in a mask, posing like Hogan, with Hogan's music playing in the background.
The storyline was based on Hogan being forced to sit out the remainder of his contract. Therefore he debuted as Mr. America, claiming that he wasn't Hulk Hogan. Mr. America even passed a lie dectector test to prove he wasn't Hogan.
In the end, it was revealed that Mr. America was indeed Hogan (big suprise), only to have Hulk Hogan legitimately quit WWE.
3: KISS Demon
In 1999 Eric Bischoff struck a deal with the band KISS to create a wrestler based on the theme of the rock band. The result was the KISS Demon.
KISS Demon was supposed to be the start of a stable called Warriors of KISS, which would include a member who represented each member of KISS, as KISS Demon was meant to be an alter ego of Gene Simmons.
When Eric Bischoff lost his position with WCW, the KISS Demon was quickly disposed off.
2: Gobbledy Gooker
For months leading up to the 1990 Survivor Series, a mysterious egg had been on display, and was promised to hatch at the event. The result was Hector Guerrero in a cartoonish chicken suit.
The event was so hyped and the result was so terrible that it was an instant failure. The announcers and commentators, Mean Gene, Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper all tried to play up the Gooker, but it didn't help.
After Survivor Series, the gimmick was abandoned, leaving the question of whether the Gobbledy Gooker was supposed to be a one-night gimmick, or was canned immediately due to the negative response.
The Gobbledy Gooker has made several sporadic, comedic appearances over the years, to a much more positive reaction.
If you don't know who The Shockmaster is, then you need to brush up on your wrestling history.
What do you get when you mix former WWE Tag Team Champion Fred Ottman, a Star Wars Stormtrooper mask covered in glitter, a long black vest and a piece of lumber carelessly placed on the floor? One of the most unintentionally funny moments in television history.
Ottman even described the gimmick, saying: "they put me in a Storm Trooper mask which they painted and covered in glitter, I couldn't see a thing. I got to the wall and put my hands up like a double axe handle and bust through. The top broke perfectly, but the bottom didn't give. The momentum took me through the wall and the floor."
Go here to watch the whole thing. It needs to be seen.