My Two Centsss - The Top Seven Gimmicks From The Past Decade That Didn't Quite Make It
By Super Chrisss
Nov 3, 2013 - 4:13:32 PM
If you're having a lazy Sunday like I am, then you've come to the right place! It's been a while since the last time I posted a list column, so I'd like to give a shout-out to both LOP's very own Mr. Tito as well as Twitter user/follower Subrha for inspiring this article. I haven't been following professional wrestling anywhere as long as someone like Tito, but in the past eleven years or so, I've been witness to a number of 'questionable' gimmicks to pop up on WWE television during that period of time. Some were extremely short-lived and the wrestlers portraying the gimmick didn't last long with the company (see: The Heart Throbs or Kizarny). Other gimmicks were portrayed by established stars, but while the wrestlers remained with the company, the gimmicks were buried and never spoken of again (see: Mr. America or Kerwin White).
The subject for today's column is simple: which wrestlers were fortunate enough to find successful gimmicks in the WWE, and could have become even bigger stars than they were? (Note: this list does not include stars who started off with crappy gimmicks but later became top stars, like The Rock or Kane). Well, let's find out.
7. Simon Dean
WCW fans may remember him as Nova, or "Super Nova", but to me, he'll always be known as the innovator of the "Simon System". I may get some heat for this, but I consider Fandango to be a modern-day version of Simon Dean. Both are over-the-top gimmicks that can be best described as metrosexual, and although Fandango has already been more successful than Dean ever was, I always get flashbacks to 2005/2006 when I see Fandango on my TV screen (that is, when I actually bother to care about Johnny Curtis).
So why does Simon Dean make this list? Well, before he was used as a jobber to everyone and their mother, Dean was a heat magnet. No offense to any of my readers, but I'm willing to bet a large percentage of WWE's fanbase eight years ago - and still to this day - are overweight. Therefore, what could be more infuriating than a skinny guy showing up on Raw or SmackDown every week telling you that you're fat and making fun of you for it? In my opinion, Simon Dean had a brilliant gimmick going for him and had he not been used mainly as a jobber throughout his WWE career, he would have made for a solid addition to the midcard for years to come.
6. Deuce 'N Domino
Confession time: in 2006, my top three favourite wrestlers were John Cena at number one, Shawn Michaels at number two, with Deuce & Domino were tied for third place. It was around 2006 that I became a member of the Internet Wrestling Community, and with the exception of HBK, none of those men were receiving plenty of online praise. But for some reason, I always marked out for Deuce & Domino's theme song, and I thought their gimmick was so over-the-top, yet successful. After all, they were responsible for ending Brian Kendrick & Paul London's record-setting reign as WWE Tag Team Champions, which means the company saw potential in them back then as well.
I was sad the day WWE decided to split them up and try to give Deuce a push as a repackaged second-generation wrestler (he is the real-life son of Jimmy Snuka), as neither of their WWE careers really went anywhere after their tag team went their separate ways. Snuka briefly aligned with Randy Orton's Legacy, but for some reason, the company didn't feel he was worthy of the stable and soon showed him the door. Poor Domino didn't fare much better, as the company didn't even bother trying to repackage him; they just jobbed him out until releasing him as well. As for their valet, Cherry, she received a mini-push in the women's division, both during and after Deuce 'N Domino's time together, but as you can probably guess, she didn't quite make an impact either.
Deuce 'N Domino are a perfect example of a team who should never have been split up unless WWE Creative had a plan for them as singles wrestlers, which, of course, they didn't.
5. The Boogeyman
"I'M THE BOOGEYMAN...AND I'M COMIN' TO GETCHA!!!"
Was there any gimmick from the past decade that WWE costantly tried to push as a top star more so than Marty Wright's The Boogeyman? The dude was fired, re-hired, had a match with Booker T at Wrestlemania 22, was briefly in title contention in WWECW, and so much more. Yet, it never worked out. In WWE's defense, The Boogeyman character was over with the fans, so it made sense for them to try and get him into major feuds and storylines, rather than using him as talent enhancement. The problem was, no matter how well Wright portrayed the character, he simply wasn't a good wrestler. Maybe it was because of his lack of wrestling experience and trying to 'cheat' his way through Tough Enough by lying about his age. In any case, WWE was thrilled with how easily Boogeyman got over, but no matter who his opponent was on a given night, the man could not wrestle a good match. Furthermore, his character wasn't unique enough to be considered an attraction like The Great Khali, and so Boogeyman got the pink slip not once, but twice. I always wonder how far Boogeyman could have gone if only he was a decent wrestler.
4. The Hurricane & Rosey (S.H.I.T.)
The second tag team on today's list is none other than comic relief gone...right? The Hurricane, a.k.a. Shane Helms, had been with the company for quite some time, and was the Santino Marella of his time. You know, the goofy midcarder who lost most of his matches, but remained fairly credible due to some big wins throughout his career (most notably his upset victory over Hollywood Rock on Raw one night). Eric Bischoff's 3-Minute Warning had recently disbanded and they needed something for Rosey to do. Therefore, they decided to pair Helms with Rosey (newly babyface) and have both of them be superheroes together. The acronym S.H.I.T. actually stood for Super Hero In Training, and they were met with success, even going as far as to capture the world tag team titles. If London & Kendrick were the anchors of SmackDown's tag team division in the mid-2000s, then Hurricane & Rosey did the same for Raw, as they mostly feuded with younger teams like La Resistance and Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch.
The question is, could Hurricane & Rosey have been bigger than they were? It's debatable, but not a definitive no. They didn't have a large pool of teams to work with, and the company was slowly transitioning into the current PG era, which resulted in a lot of on-and-off pushes in the midcard and tag team division back then. However, I do feel Hurricane & Rosey were ahead of their time as they would have been gold had they debuted in today's WWE rather than the post-Attitude Era.
Ah, Eugene. Where did WWE go wrong with you? Was it the heel turn? The feud with Triple H and Evolution? Because if memory serves correctly, Eugene was once the most over star on the entire roster. I cannot quite explain how a wrestler who is supposed to be mentally challenged ends up getting the loudest cheers on Monday Night Raw over the likes of then-world champion Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels, and others, but believe me, it happened. For those of you who are relatively new to wrestling and missed the Eugene era, the best way I can describe it is by calling him a mash-up of NXT's Bailey and TNA's Eric Young. You had to see it to believe it. Whether it was Eric Bischoff manipulating his "nephew" or scumbag HHH pretending to be friends with Eugene, the storyline was gold, and as a viewer, you couldn't help but feel sympathy for the young man. His moveset was a lot like Santino's, in which he 'borrowed' other wrestler's finishers and used them in his matches, such as The Rock Bottom or The Stone Cold Stunner.
Eugene was extremely over as both a character and a competitor. It's truly a shame that the highlight of his career was a top-billed match with Triple H at SummerSlam 2004. I don't think Eugene would have made it as a world champion, but he certainly had the fan support to get him to that level. Sadly, WWE dropped the ball on the gimmick and the storyline and it was only very recently that Eugene was re-hired to work for the company, but as a trainer this time around. Like I said, Eugene was once money, and for reasons unknown, WWE let that money go to waste...
2. Carlito Caribbean Cool
Earlier, I mentioned how I used to be a huge John Cena fan back in 2006. As a result, you can imagine how I felt back in 2004 when some guy named Carlito Caribbean Cool made his SmackDown debut and won the United States Championship on his very first night by defeating none other than John Cena. As a twelve year old fan, I was livid. Cena was at the height of his popularity on SmackDown (a.k.a. before the masses turned on him) and for months, I hated Carlito for robbing Cena of his title. How times change, don't they?
As the years passed, I got older, I got wiser, and I got less and less interested in Carlito. Many people began describing him as 'lazy' or 'uncaring' and when you compare his work in 2004-2006 to his final days with WWE, you really can notice a difference in the quality of his work. Carlito had all the tools to be a major player for the company, but he was always rumoured to have a terrible attitude backstage, and that attitude crossed over onto television. WWE officials paired him with his cousin Primo and gave them a lengthy run as the undisputed tag team champions in hopes of motivating the elder Colon, but to no avail. Carlito's dreams of someday becoming a WWE world champion went up in flames as he felt he was being underutilized and could be a greater asset elsewhere.
Unlike others on this countdown, no one in power stopped Carlito from becoming successful - it was Carlito who screwed Carlito.
1. Montel Vontavious Poter
Five years ago, if you asked pretty much any member of the IWC to predict who they felt would be the next world champion, chances are, they would have picked this man. MVP made his SmackDown debut after a lot of hype by coming out to a killer entrance theme and exploding from a blow-up funnel. At first, MVP was more flash than anything else, as WWE wasted no time in having him feud with big names like Kane, but it was his feuds with Chris Benoit and Matt Hardy which really made MVP step-up his in-ring name. He had quickly become the total package - mic skills, hateable gimmick, and capable of getting a good match out of nearly anyone on the roster. Therefore, it's not really a surprise that people were calling for MVP to win Money in the Bank year after year.
But, it never happened. WWE decided to take a gamble and turn MVP face in a rather unique manner - by having him go on an extensive losing streak, hoping that the fans would sympathize with his terrible win/loss record. In some ways, it worked - MVP successfully turned face after an assist from Triple H allowed Porter to defeat Big Show in a Last Man Standing match on SmackDown, thus ending his losing streak. But, MVP was never the same after that. His pairing with Mark Henry on Raw didn't really amount to anything, and he was mostly used as filler between rivalries. WWE never pulled the trigger on an MVP main-event run, and to this day, most people still don't why not.
If you ask me, MVP is the gimmicked wrestler of the past decade who should have experienced the most success, and while runs with the U.S. and Tag Team titles are nothing to scoff at, he should have been so much more.
Your Two Centsss: Which gimmicked wrestler (doesn't have to be from the 21st Century) do you feel should have achieved more with the WWE than he/she did?
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: Search for "Super Chrisss" and LIKE the page
- Twitter: @ChrisssLOP
Are you a gamer? Then add me!
-XboX Live Gamertag: Good Guy Chris
-Nintendo 3DS Friend Code: 0662 3338 1993
As always, thanks for reading.