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The ability to draw: Cheesiness in wrestling

Rating: 8 votes, 4.38 average.
The reason I created this blog was to talk about cheesy gimmicks and storylines in professional wrestling being an ability to draw believe it or not. Another reason I made this blog is because of everyone talking about Johnny Curtis' new Fandango and how much of a flop it'll be because of how cheesy and ridiculous it is which goes right along with the purpose of my blog.

Cheesy gimmicks in wrestling

For those who haven't seen the vignettes of the Fandango gimmick, check it out:

Now I'll admit, at first I thought "Really?!? A freaking tango dancer gimmick WWE!?" but then, I thought to myself "Well, this gimmick can be a way of getting Johnny Curtis some air-time on WWE programming and it may turn out to be entertaining so I wouldn't bash the gimmick just yet based on a vignette." The more I think about it, the more I have to admit that cheesy gimmicks are indeed a great thing. Actually, cheesy gimmicks are one of the best things in pro wrestling today. Without cheesy gimmicks, we would be stuck with cookie-cutter wrestlers who have no real character dynamic and also no real reason for the masses to care about them which results in the fans not buying what they are trying to sell as a wrestler. Whether it'd be T-shirts, action figures, lunchboxes, etc. The fans aren't going to buy your merchandise if you don't have a special attraction to get them to buy your merchandise. Without the fans buying your merchandise and paying good money for tickets to see you perform, you aren't going to draw. We all know that a professional wrestler's goal in the wrestling business is to draw money for the company and also to get the fans to give a damn about them. That's pretty much a goal that everyone who laces up a pair of boots has. Cheesy gimmicks are often a way of drawing fans into the product.

Some cheesy gimmicks lead towards bigger things like main event spots and it's often a great marketing tool to stand out from the rest of the other wrestlers but in other times, cheesy gimmicks can prevent someone from being a main eventer. Either way, you are giving the fans to care about you and you're standing out from the rest of the pack with a cheesy gimmick. Like the saying goes, it's better to stand out from the rest of the crowd than to fade in with the rest of the crowd. Let's take a look at cheesy gimmicks that often lead to success and recognition,

Scotty 2 Hotty
Let's face it, Scotty 2 Hotty's gimmick during the Attitude Era was pretty cheesy. From the wrestling attire he wore, his cheesy finisher being called 'The Worm', the dancing he did with Rikishi and Grand Master Sexay in Too Cool, and portraying a hip hop wrestler with Grand Master Sexay, Scotty 2 Hotty was seen as corny to me. Is that a bad thing? Nope, because not only did this help Scotty 2 Hotty's career of getting recognition but the Too Cool group he was involved in was one of the most over duo during the Attitude Era. The crowd loved Too Cool for their dancing and they had charisma. Whenever Scotty 2 Hotty would set up for his Worm finisher, the crowd would cheer along as he did it. If Scotty 2 Hotty wasn't given a cheesy gimmick, then I'm pretty sure nobody would know who he is today. His gimmick got the fans to care about him because it's simple; he had a gimmick. He had a spark to him and was very over in the Attitude Era as a result. Scotty 2 Hotty is a good example of a cheesy gimmick getting over with the masses. You want another better example? Well here it is,

Dr. of Thuganomics/Chain Gang Cena
John Cena made his debut back in 2002 on Smackdown where he faced Kurt Angle. He won over the fans by taking Angle to his limit even though he lost the match. Afterwards, he went on to getting a solid push in the WWE. He feuded with Chris Jericho and even beat him at the Vengeance 2002 PPV. Cena was getting a solid push but he was still too green. He needed a character but the WWE creatively didn't know what to do with him. Cena recalls almost being let go from the WWE but Stephanie McMahon found out that he could freestyle and decided to give him a rapper gimmick. He was suppose to potray a Vanilla Ice type gimmick so to speak. A rapper gimmick in wrestling is always cheesy but John Cena actually got over with it and made it entertaining. Back in 2003, his Thuganomics gimmick made him one of the top heels on Smackdown. It even got him put in great feuds with The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, and Eddie Guerrero. It may have been cheesy but it was a gimmick that got him recognition from the fans and also made him the top guy in the WWE. Without Stephanie McMahon giving him a cheesy rapper gimmick, he would have been let go by the WWE. This goes to show that cheesy gimmicks can be a great thing for someone's career. You guys want an even better example? Well here's one more example,

The HeartBreak Kid Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels' flamboyant HBK character is another gimmick that can be considered cheesy. The attires he wore, the HBK nickname, his entrance theme, and also his Sweet Chin Music finisher were cheesy stuff. Although it was a cheesy gimmick, it made him a top heel at the time after he shocked the fans by turning on Marty Jannetty and wanting to become a singles wrestler. He wanted to be in his own spot-light and it worked. His flamboyant gimmick made him a top guy in the WWE at one point back in 1996. He didn't draw as much as the top guy during a time where WCW was beating the WWE in the ratings with the NWO vs WCW angle but the fans still loved him. His HBK gimmick gave him an amazing career and will be remembered as one of the best gimmicks in wrestling. Shawn Michaels perfected his flamboyant gimmick and it gave him a Hall of Fame wrestling career.

There are plenty more cheesy gimmicks that got over with the crowd. The Ultimate Warrior, Al Snow's "Head" gimmick, Gillberg, The Million Dollar Man, Jim Duggan, Disco Inferno, the Warlord, and the Bushwackers to name a few. These guys all have something in common and that's making the fans care about them even with a cheesy gimmick they were given. Even in modern wrestling today, wrestlers like Colt Cabana, El Generico, Zack Ryder, Santino Marella, Eric Young, and Brodus Clay have cheesy gimmicks but they are still making it work. Like I said before, cheesy gimmicks may not elevate someone to the main event scene sometimes but it's about making the fans care about you and standing out from the rest of the other wrestlers and that's what any gimmick will do; make you stand out.

So Johnny Curtis' Fandango gimmick may or may not turn into a flop. We may never know until we see how the gimmick plays out first. We'll just have to give it a chance and see how well Johnny Curtis is able to work with such a cheesy gimmick like this. Cheesy gimmicks aren't a bad thing, it's a good thing.

Cheesy storylines in wrestling
Over the years in wrestling, we have had to deal with a lot of great storylines, a lot of bad storylines, and some of the most cheesiest storylines ever produced in any organization. The Team Hell No tag team between Kane and Daniel Bryan is a cheesy storyline. We've had cheesy backstage skits from these guys and their comedy promos are also cheesy. Is that a bad thing? Not really because these guys are entertaining as a tag team duo. Daniel Bryan and Kane are working greatly with one other. Sometimes, cheesy storylines like this whole Team Friendship storyline between the two are a good thing because it lightens up the mood. Even though in a comedic way it's cheesy, it's cheesy in a good way. Do you know hat other storyline is cheesy and considered one of the best feuds of all time? Kane and The Undertaker.

The Brothers of Destruction
Before you say "Dubs, what do you mean The Undertaker vs Kane's feud was cheesy? What are you talking about?!" let me explain. The Undertaker and Kane have feuded with each other countless of times. In their times of feuding with one another, they have had casket matches against one another, Inferno matches, Hell in a Cell matches, and even a Buried Alive match. Their characters have put one another through hell (no pun intended) and back, like Kane burying The Undertaker alive twice and The Undertaker burning Kane in their Inferno match. Their feud sounds like a bad, cheesy comic book or a low-budget thriller movie but that's what makes wrestling great. Cheesy storylines that are just unrealistic makes for great entertainment in wrestling. I wish we can have more cheesy wrestling storylines like The Undertaker and Kane's feud.

All in all, my point in all of this is that cheesiness in wrestling isn't bad thing in some cases. Hell, wrestling is all about cheesiness. Sometimes, we need cheesy characters or cheesy storylines just to lighten things up instead of things being SUPER SERIOUZ all the time. Without cheesiness in wrestling, we would be stuck watching a million Davey Richards' wrestling in random matches without any storylines and gimmicks. Cheesy gimmicks will make the masses care about you/your feuds even if it's over-the-top or unrealistic.
Take care and I hope to hear your feedback.

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Updated 11-24-2012 at 11:08 AM by Dubs



  1. ewantu2's Avatar
    Also Undertaker is one of the most cheesy wrestlers of all time (The deadman one) Since allot of the time i can't help have a smile when you hear him talking.
  2. nothingmusic42's Avatar
    Everyone bashes the TNA Claire Lynch storyline, and it was atrocious, but it gave the Real World Tag-Team Champions of the World a lot of tv time, and Kaz and Daniels are gold together.
  3. Dubs's Avatar
    @ewantu2 You're right. Undertaker's gimmick was cheesy. The whole "Rest in peaaace!" one-liner was also cheesy which is why Taker's Deadman gimmick was great. It was over-the-top and larger than life.

    @nothingmusic42 You do have a point there. The Claire Lynch storyline was horrible but on the other hand, it was pretty funny and something that shouldn't have been taken so seriously. Not trying to defend that storyline because it was horrible but it did give Kaz and Daniels a major storyline to be involved in which was great.
  4. kiltbill's Avatar
    The Claire Lynch storyline could have been cheesy and fun. There were far better ways to have done this. Even if she’d been Scarlet Johansen (spl), as soon as they brought drug addiction into it, they crossed the line for entertainment. But enough about her…

    Some other top notch cheesy points include Goldust and Booker T. Fun segments that actually gave both men better exposure and certainly kept Booker T in people’s minds as a potential Champ. But it depends on the era. The people you mention fall into different categories, though. I mean, the idea that a rich man would buy his way to being a champion made sense for Ted Dibiase. The Bushwackers, as dumb Rednecks that likes fighting, made for some good loveable losers. But most of these were mid card fodder, and if that’s all you want as a wrestler then cheesy is fine. If you want to be WHWC, then your screwed.

    But cheesy is relative. My kids already think The Rock and SCSA are cheesy when I watch them on YouTube.
  5. Vondraco's Avatar
    Entirely agree. The cheesiness of wrestling is part of what attracts me to it. Some of the stuff is soooo stupid and over-the-top that you (or at least I) can't help but be entertained. I tune in to see just how stupid some of these people can get. Marketing stopped reading that last sentence after the first three words.

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