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Rick Starr

The Splash: When Should Wrestler’s Change Their Gimmicks

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Welcome back Splashers! I wanted to take this time to thank all my readers, and throw a shout-out to some of the people who comment on my splashes. (in no particular order) Ackbar, Thunderlips, Spankyspank22, pld459666, TheGreatOne, Heavy, Grave, PhEonYx, DX Wrestling Savior, Lucas Chapel, and Silvon. Whether you love my "splashes", or not. Agree or disagree with me, I thank you all for contributing. Now let's get down to business!

I watched the Zack Ryder’s 86th episode of True Long Island Story. In a nutshell Ryder talked about his career, and how 2012 was supposed to be his year, but things “sucked” for him. Ryder then went on to talk about how things needed to change. That’s when reality faded in, and we saw Zack was just “dreaming” the whole episode. Many could say the episode was just a promo, a “tease”. But the hard truth is, as long as Zack Ryder keeps his “Goofy Long Island” gimmick, he will always be “Just another guy on the roster”.

This is not Ryder’s first gimmick. He debuted with his tag-team partner Curt Hawkins, and joined Edge, as a part of La Familia. While the team only lasted 3 years, Ryder proved he has not problems using different gimmicks in the past. Ryder has had the “Long Island” gimmick for over 3 years, and he continues to be a stepping stone.

While I will give some props to Ryder, as he took some incredible bumps from Kane. The WWE even had him hanging around John Cena and Eve, until they swerved the angle, and left Ryder out in the cold once again. That should have been the wake-up call for Ryder. What’s more, the huge bumps that he took from Kane, was the perfect opportunity to change his gimmick. Apparently Ryder is content with the “Goofy Long Island” gimmick, and just being “Internet Champion”.

If you look back through history, most comic relief gimmicks almost never hit main even status. Doink, Goldust, Eugene, Santino Marella, and Zack Ryder are just some of the names that didn’t make it to the top. This is because these gimmicks are made for mid-card laughter…And not main event entertainment.

There were a few superstars that were fortunate enough to have “goofball humor” and be some of the top superstars: Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Mick Foley all were fortunate enough to be in the WWF/WWE during the Attitude Era. Also, despite the stellar matches, that all these men had which defined their careers, they also changed their gimmick which gave them that initial push. Furthermore, all three of these men could cut some of the best promos one second, and then be goofy the next. That is a skill that makes you shine!

Some would also include The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in those names. But I would not consider Rock and Austin “goofball” humor. Rock and Austin could certainly chime in on any situation to make things much funnier. However when they did their own promos, it was more of an off-beat comedy, rather than “goofball humor” than other superstars had.

Some would argue that Kane and Daniel Bryan are also exceptions to the rule, considering their current “anger management” story-line. Both men have been former World Champions; however that was long before they started the storyline. Now I will admit the “anger management” angle is very humorous, and it is getting crowd appeal. However I feel the more comedy sketches that Bryan and Kane do as a team, and as individuals, it will only hurt their careers, rather than hurt them. If you don’t believe me..Just ask The Big Show or Mark Henry.

In 2002, The Big Show had won his second World/WWE Title. Although He had done a few comedy skits, at this point in the WWF/WWE, The Big Show was more of an “Angry Giant” character in his early years. Despite several Tag-Team title reigns, The Big Show was more or a clown than a monster over the years. By his own admission, Show had made a fool of himself at several WrestleManias, and failed on top of that. It’s only been since mid-2011, that the “Angry Giant” gimmick has come back out. Since then The Big Show has been making a hard run for another WWE/World Title, but he has yet to capture the gold as of this writing. Perhaps he was just a little too late to make his change?

Mark Henry, the strongest men in the WWE. While the short-lived gimmick of “Sexual Chocolate” did get him over with the fans, it did him no favors in winning titles. In 2006 Henry was making a run for the World title, but a Patella injury set him back a few years. When Henry returned and started teaming with MVP, he was dubbed “Mr. Kool-Aid” because of the big red singlet he wore. While he won several tag-team titles, it did him no favors in the World/WWE Title Divisions. He finally turned heel, dropped the “Happy Mr. Kool-Aid” outfit, and finally won his first World Title.

You can call it a coincidence or you can call it flat out bullshit. The cold hard facts are that “Goofball” wrestlers might entertain the fans; they might even get mid-ranked titles. But at the end of the day, you’re going to be nothing more than a joke. The only company that put a World Title around a goofball was WCW (David Arquette)...And look where they are now!

So here’s my question for you: If you could pick 1 wrestler to change his gimmick (just 1) who would it be?

As always, feel free to post any comments, and follow me on my twitter page. Until Next time Splashers…See you when I see you -Rick Starr.

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  1. Kaisered's Avatar
    Obviously Jack Swagger needs a gimmick change. He needs something that he is more comfortable with and can play it better the All American American gimmick was not suited for him and although he pulled it off in the beginning it just faded away. He needs something that we can just say he belongs to the character an extension of himself or something like that.
  2. Y2JLionsault's Avatar
    I think Tyson Kidd actually needs a gimmick. He is just the cookie cutter who comes out, smile on his face and wrestles his heart out yet has nothing to show for it. He needs an actual gimmick to get over and get somewhere. Also Jinder Mahal. I see something in the guy but his gimmick is terrible, especially when they added the turban -_-
  3. PhEonYx's Avatar
    First and foremost, thanks for the shout out! Whether or not I agree with you on your blogs, I still read them, hence, I AM A FAN of them.

    Now down to the "one" wrestler whom I believe needs a change in gimmick. Many names come to mind; Brodus Clay, Ryder, Cena, Orton, Sheamus, Santino,... Hell, now that I analyze it, nearly HALF of the damn roster!!! But in all seriousness, IMO the one superstar who needs a change in gimmick is Orton.

    For months now, he's been screaming for change in his character, and I've yet to see the E' do anything about it. Hell by the looks of it, once he returns, he'll still be force fed as a face. I read not too long ago a thread on the forums, about whether or not Orton was underrated or over rated.... Fact is; he's neither. His character has gotten stale, and perhaps it's simply not his fault.

    Somebody posted a comment on a blog not too long ago about leading a successful company, and in doing so, one must have a happy and content staff. If the E' went with the gimmicks that some of these wrestlers would rather portray, maybe the product as a whole would be much different.

    Either way, great blog, awesome topic, and keep em' coming.
  4. CGBigMan's Avatar
    Probelm is some superstars dont even have gimmicks
    Gabriel and Kidd being the main two that can do with one
  5. akbar's Avatar
    Spelled my name wrong but I'll take it.
  6. Rick Starr's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by akbar
    Spelled my name wrong but I'll take it.
    Sorry buddy
  7. Rick Starr's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by CGBigMan
    Probelm is some superstars dont even have gimmicks
    Gabriel and Kidd being the main two that can do with one
    I see with what your saying. I watched the new show "The Main Event" last night, and I thought they were a great tag team with a lot of potential. They are definitely 2 guys that I would like to see pushed. But I would like to see them pushed as a tag team, and not as individuals at this moment. Sometimes stars start out as a great tag team, before starting out as a single wrestler.
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