WWE: Alberto Del Rio and 11 Other Wrestlers Who Need a New Gimmick
Alberto Del Rio celebrates his 10th day as WWE Champion. This may barely seem like anything to be very proud of, but it shows the fact that the WWE finally gave a championship to him and made sure it was the top championship of the entire company. Del Rio is looked at as a top-tier talent and that is difficult to argue with.
However, Del Rio's gimmick is beginning to get old for many wrestling fans. His promos rarely change and his move-set is starting to get repetitive. In fact, the only part about about him that is constantly changing is the car that he drives into the ring.
As WWE Champion, Del Rio's previous place with his gimmick isn't going to cut it anymore. If he is going to represent the company as its main champion, Del Rio's gimmick needs some alterations, if not a complete overhaul.
Here are the reasons why Del Rio, as well as 11 other current superstars, need new gimmicks with some suggestions of what to do.
Alberto Del Rio
Let's start with the current WWE Champion. I'm still a fan of the personal ring announcer, the armbreaker finisher and the pyro in his entrance. However, John Cena addressed one major flaw in Del Rio's basic gimmick when he spoke Monday night on RAW.
How is it that we should buy the fact that Del Rio owns all of these cars that he drives to the ring? I get it if he is a rich man and all, but most of the cars are well into six figures.
At least when JBL rode to the ring in a limo or Eddie Guerrero in a low rider, they wouldn't be drastically different each week. With all of the different models, as well as Del Rio's lack of closing doors or shutting cars off, these are clearly rentals.
Have you ever noticed that Del Rio likes to refer to a lot of people in negative ways but somehow brings dogs into the picture? Even his insults are sounding as played out as Jerry Lawler's commentary during a Divas match.
Del Rio doesn't have to be brought back down to Earth, but rather back into a possibility of actually existing. Right now, he is so far over the top that it almost becomes a joke to watch him.
I'm awaiting the storyline that seemingly every stereotypical rich gimmick goes through: poverty. Eventually, Del Rio will lose his cars and probably lose Ricardo Rodriguez with it.
Only then can we mold Del Rio and turn him into a superstar that everyone can get on board with and actually believe could be a real person.
Alex Riley's gimmick is that of a "Varisty Villain." Isn't that nice?
First of all, Riley is a face right now. Speaking of face, his entrance music tells us to say things to Riley's face, but not much more about Riley himself. The jacket that he wears during pay-per-views reminds me of someone leading a circus. It is all just pretty ridiculous.
That silly gimmick did enough to bring Riley aboard the main roster, but a repackaging is in order if he wants to stay relevant.
Just like how Steve Austin was the Ringmaster before he was Stone Cold, Riley needs a breakout gimmick to get him noticed.
Riley showed tremendous skill on the microphone during his stint on NXT, so his gimmick should center around that aspect. I could see Riley keeping close to his high school-inspired gimmick and turn into the typical jock who never forgot about high school.
Riley can live out his glory days once more, try and give his jacket to a pretty girl and pick on a bunch of nerds. Sure, it sounds like a heel. That's what Riley plays best. Turn this kid bad because it does it better than some heels currently on the roster.
Right now, Curt Hawkins is referred to as "The Party Starter," which would be good if he was on Jersey Shore. Instead, the former tag team champion can barely start matches that are televised.
Hawkins came into the company with Zack Ryder, but he has not made the impact that his former tag team partner has made. Hawkins has tried to do the Internet thing, just like Ryder, and has actually had more matches on Superstars than Ryder. But Hawkins has failed to make that impact.
Hawkins is very talented in the ring and his attitude has actually made him one of those dark horse heels that were never given many chances on the main shows. His brash attitude doesn't need to change and he can easily become more of a lost cause (if that is even possible) if he turned face.
Align him with other cocky heels and give him a chance to impress. Hawkins was last aligned with Vance Archer, which didn't do him any favors.
Now that David Otunga is no longer in Nexus and has lost his tag team championship, it is the perfect time to reintroduce him. Otunga is basically walking charisma with big arms and not a lot of in-ring ability. That ability can be built up over time, but Otunga has not been able to break out much.
Otunga looked to be on his way to leading Nexus without Wade Barrett, only to see CM Punk step in instead. He seems to be champing at the bit to get that chance to shine. Even as a tag team champion, the belts were seldom defended and Otunga was never seen in a match without McGillicutty as his tag team partner.
I would put a new faction together, since there aren't any anymore, and have Otunga at the forefront of it. Perhaps, it could be sort of like the old J.O.B. Squad and have a bunch of low- and mid-card wrestlers who are tired of not getting a chance.
Otunga could also align with R-Truth and The Miz with their conspiracy theories. If that is the case, I would put Otunga in more of a managerial role with occasional wrestling as he hones his skills behind the scenes.
Heath Slater is a project. Even though Slater has enough skill to stay on the roster for a while longer, he is a young guy with a lack of charisma and direction.
What the heck is a "One Man Rock Band" supposed to be? I think I saw one of those in a New York subway, playing drums while banging cymbals together with his knees.
Slater impressed at Money in the Bank as a man who was in the middle of multiple spots. Slater is certainly respected a worker among the young guys.
In not so many words, Slater needs a new gimmick. Literally, give him anything. Be bold and give Slater a bad and uninteresting gimmick, which will let him work to get over. Slater has it in him to get over with fans if he really tries hard enough.
Everyone can ease up. Kofi Kingston is on the list. Basically, we know now that Kofi isn't actually Jamaican, but rather from Ghana. He has dropped the awful accent, but still keeps the bad Jamaican stereotype gimmick.
His music is still reggae, his outfits are ridiculous and his logo is about as insensitive as any American Indian logo seen in sports.
Kingston is quietly becoming a fan favorite with the kiddies, even allowing fans to design his attire. One kid designed Kofi's trunks with some spider webs, apparently mistaking the dreads from the Jamaican face for a spider.
Kofi is a prime candidate for a heel turn, but he needs to improve his microphone skills. Partnering now with Evan Bourne as a tag team champion, Kofi can use this as simply him being held back and he can take it out on Bourne.
With WWE making him have an ethnicity that is different than what he really is, and the fans liking it, Bourne would be blamed for holding him down in the tag team division when he could be winning world championships.
Kofi's turn would be much like the one Shad Gaspard had, if WWE had followed through with it. This will be delayed a few months as Kingston and Bourne are spearheading the return of tag team wrestling.
Changing Mason Ryan's gimmick is a little bit easier, since he pretty much doesn't have one at the moment. Ryan was a big deal down in FCW, and he was brought up to the WWE as a new member of Nexus.
Ryan bypassed NXT and went directly to the main roster to be a major force. His push never really came, and now an injury will keep Ryan off television for a while.
There's a lot of hype about him but not a lot of information. All that we really know about him is that he is from Wales and used to be a gladiator in the U.K. version of "American Gladiators." Perhaps they could use that for Ryan? Turn him into a gladiator like Ron Simmons? Nah.
Although, Ryan could probably pass for a good impersonator of Leonidas from the movie, 300. We could probably imagine that TNA would use that cutting edge idea if Ryan was on their payroll.
As far as what WWE does for him, it is hard to say. Many will probably joke that he is similar to Batista, so anything separating him from The Animal would be beneficial to Ryan.
The son of the late Mr. Perfect needs a gimmick to keep him from ending up like other failed sons of legends. His epic fail of a promo after losing the NXT Season 2 finale is something he is still dealing with.
He doesn't need to tag with David Otunga anymore but can rather get over as Mr. Perfect Jr., if WWE decides to do that.
WWE has tried something a little different with every one of their second-generation stars. It's hard to say what is in the cards for McGillicutty, but a name change and repackaging might be in store.
A trip back to FCW seems like a punishment, but if it means that McGillicutty comes back with something that can stick out, it is an investment well worth it.
Yes, Rosa Mendes is still employed by WWE. Initially debuting as a fan of Beth Phoenix, Mendes has been seldom heard from since. Is it me or does the fan-turned-Diva storyline get used way too often in WWE?
Mendes did a decent job managing Zack Ryder back in ECW and could do the same nowadays. It isn't like she is actually competing in many matches anymore.
Mendes can be the eye candy that she still is and develop her heel character with promos and female heel tendencies. On Smackdown, align her with a guy like Tyson Kidd or Johnny Curtis and see what happens.
What could it hurt?
Explain what a Dudebuster is to me exactly.
Without Caylen Croft, Trent Baretta has basically been an Internet darling—if by Internet darling you mean a guy that only wrestles on Internet shows like Superstars and NXT.
Baretta is very versatile in the ring, but lacks any substance. I wouldn't consider him having a chance at a world championship, but Baretta could use a solid gimmick to stay a good, long-term worker.
If Baretta teams with another person—say Curt Hawkins—and stays in the tag team ranks, it would bide some more time for a new gimmick. As far as being a singles competitor, he reminds me slightly of a 1-2-3 Kid and those from similar molds.
Book him as a fast and agile competitor and he could at least seem formidable if he is going to get squashed on television.
It's pretty shameful to not see Tyler Reks doing anything on WWE programming. The guy is very strong and can put on great matches, but he becomes lost in the shuffle, just like many other big guys have been in the past. Can anyone recall the problems with pushing Mike Knox?
So where do we go from here with Reks? Well, the only thing to really work with now is his dreadlocks, which seems to be most of his mysterious gimmick anyway. When thinking about a new gimmick for Reks, I keep coming back to the idea of Paul Burchill becoming The Ripper back in the ECW days.
Put a mask on Reks and kick up his aggression and you might have something there. Also, make him not talk and bring in a guy, such as Byron Saxton, to be his mouthpiece and hype him up.
Tyson Kidd is all potential and no direction. The small guy from Calgary is a very talented man in the ring, but rode the coattails of the Hart family into the WWE.
Once he broke away from the Hart Dynasty with Natalya and D.H. Smith, Kidd was on his own and hasn't really had much of a gimmick since. His unique hair-flip thing has even been shaved, making him even more generic than he was.
Kidd was given Jackson Andrews as a bodyguard, but Andrews was squashed early on and taken off television entirely right after.
Kidd could get a run with the mid-card championships now without much of a gimmick change. His attitude reminds me of Gregory Helms post-Hurricane.
Use that kind of motivation, stick a cool jacket on Kidd, give him a permanent manager instead of using a revolving door of managers and you may actually be able to salvage this talent before he goes where "wrestling matters".
The X-Division is calling him, so act now, WWE.
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