The ability to draw: Cheesiness in wrestling
by, 11-23-2012 at 02:49 PM (6049 Views)
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 HottyLet'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 CenaJohn 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 MichaelsShawn 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.
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.
Cheesy storylines in wrestling
The Brothers of DestructionBefore 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.