The Splash: When Should Wrestler’s Change Their Gimmicks
by, 10-03-2012 at 02:19 AM (13011 Views)
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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.