31 days of Halloween: top 10 best wrestling gimmicks of all time

I am back with another post, this time, the sequel to the top 10 worst gimmicks of all time, This time it will be the top 10 best wrestling gimmicks of all time

10. The Boogeyman

Like many gimmicks on this list, the Boogeyman gimmick remains a cult favorite with a lot of fans. Marty Wright got booted from Tough Enough for lying about his age, but got what he wanted out of the deal anyway. WWE saw potential in him, and he ended up with the Boogeyman gimmick. Wright embraced the gimmick wholeheartedly. You really couldn’t have asked for more. His recitation of nursery rhymes, combined with his mannerisms made what should have been a ridiculous gimmick something not only believable, but occasionally creepy. The crawling, the fantastic makeup, and the mouthful of worms combined to make WWE’s version definitely creepier than the Boogeyman from The Ghostbusters cartoon. Wright lasted nearly four years off and on with WWE with this gimmick, and scored several high profile wins over talent such as JBL and Booker T. Boogeyman remains proof that any gimmick can be successful if talent is willing to sell out for it to make it work.

9.Gangrel

The Vampire Warrior gimmick began in Memphis in the USWA, which has been home to several outlandish gimmicks. He parlayed that into a job with the World Wrestling Federation, thanks to Bruce Pritchard and Vince Russo, who felt that a vampire gimmick had legs. The character was fleshed out a bit by giving it a gothic twist, similar to what fans had seen in the screen adaptation of Interview With A Vampire. However, the true influence for the character came from the game Vampire: The Masquerade. Much like The Boogeyman, the behind the gimmick (David Heath) embraced it wholeheartedly and made it work. He would be given a couple of lackeys – Edge and Christian – in a stable called The Brood. It could be argued that a big part of the success Heath enjoyed is due to the Brood’s intro, because this was the greatest entrance ever. Gangrel could deliver in the ring, though. Everything about this gimmick worked, from blood baths to the spitting of the blood to his participating in the Ministry with The Undertaker.

8.Latin American Exchange

These three men took the world of pro-wrestling by storm, in many ways. They were a very unique team with Konnan on board, as the revolution began in TNA. The team of Homicide and Hernandez would capture many championships, Have their own Commentator table, and along with many bloody battles along the way, with names such as The New Age Outlaws, The Dudleys, Beer Money, and AJ Styles and Daniels. It’s been prove true over the past few years, there is nothing like the original as The Latin American Xchange can never be duplicated.Clearly they were the best group in TNA until the Main Event Mafia in 2008.

7.Sting

ting is arguably the most popular wrestler of all-time. He was named “Most Popular Wrestler of the Year” four times by PWI, which is more than any other wrestler.

He became known as WCW’s “Franchise” and was its most important star from the late ’80s until the company folded in 2001.

Sting is currently the only wrestler to ever win the NWA, WCW and TNA world titles and is considered by many to be the best wrestler to never step foot in a WWE ring.

Sting was WCW’s brightest star in the ’90s along with his trademark blonde flattop and various face paints.

Sting feuded with many of the company’s biggest stars including Sid Vicious, Lex Luger, The Great Muta, Cactus Jack, Vader, Nikita Koloff, Rick Rude and most famously Ric Flair.

Flair and Sting feuded for years and it was Sting who would defeat Flair in the last WCW match ever.The most dramatic moment of Sting’s career happened in 1996. Sting traded in his bright blonde hair and carefree persona and transformed into a gloomy and dark Sting.The new Sting wore all black, covered his face in white paint and would often descend from the rafters during shows. Sting would not speak on WCW programming for over a year.It was during this time period that WCW held a distinct edge over the WWE in the Monday night ratings “war.”Some of WCW’s success had to be attributed to the presence of Sting. Many fans tuned into the WCW programming to find out if and when Sting would make his next appearance.In December of 1997, Sting captured the WCW title from Hulk Hogan in the main event of Starrcade.Sting continued with WCW until the company was bought out in 2001.Sting joined the TNA wrestling company in 2006 where he still competes under the same name.

The man they call Sting is one of the greatest professional wrestling stars ever.

6.Raven

Raven – yes raven this guy was deeply disturbed he wore all black and looked like he would kill you and in his mind he probably was.From Scotty Flamingo in WCW , to Johnny polo in WWF, Raven Would soon land in ECW on January 1995 . Raven IMO is singlely the most underrated, underutilized character ever! Raven was this character that could go in many different directions . He was an ECW hardcore legend he put on some of the most extreme matches in ecw history with Tommy dreamer,The Sandman and Justin credible . Look at the promo work he did to he was able to be well worded with his work to he was able to run with emotions that IMO I believe other wrestlers look back and look to feed on. The funny thing is this guy could work the heel so well his character was made for it but he was able to get the fans behind him. In WWE,TNA,WCW and ECW, this guy had a gift maybe because deep in our minds we understand him. He won quite a few titles but when he got into wwe it seemed like they were to scared to push him I would loved to see him and Kane or undertaker feud I really would

5.Goldust

Yes Goldust I agree with a comment Mean Gene or Mick Foley said Without Goldust you might have never seen an attitude era, But then again it was ECW involvement and Brian Pillman’s “Pillman got a gun” segment.But anyways, I mean he was the man that started it pushing the envelope you never saw anything like it I mean you didn’t know what he was gonna say or do next. He not only should be on there because of that but because he deiced to take himself out of bein dusty son. He was also very good in the ring and I always just wondered that if it wasn’t for back stage politics how far he could of gone. Goldust was able to draw heat and gain fans especially during his rivalry with Lawler and his team up with Booker t.Scott Hall even said in an interview one time that he did not want to work with that guy because of the gimmick. Goldust will never get the credit he deserves – Cody Rhodes. I agree with that he never will I honestly think he should be IMO in the Hall of fame.But we will never know

4.Kane

Kane has evolved through the years, becoming at times a comedic character. He’s been masked and unmasked, heel and face. Way back when, though, the character was inspired by one of the great horror icons. Glen Jacobs himself has said that his portrayal of Kane was heavily influenced by none other than Michael Myers, the antagonist of Halloween. Despite the obvious differences in color patterns, the similarities are there – a slighted brother hellbent on destruction, the mask, remaining silent for years. In his early days, and occasionally in the years since, Kane was an indestructible force that was constantly moving forward. As time has gone by, there have been layers added to the character. At its roots, though, the Kane figure remains a dominant monster in WWE. For me, the night he took of that mask in 2003 is the greatest moment in the history for the big red machine

3.Mankind

The original idea for this character was “Mason the Mutilator”, a name dreamed up by Vince McMahon. Foley himself suggested the change, and the rest is history. Long before Mankind was a lovable underdog, he was a monster. Mankind was originally a masochistic sort that lived in boiler rooms, tucked away from society. Once he was brought into society, he was a force of destruction. Seemingly incapable of controlling himself, Mankind was prone to acts of violence and screeching fits of masochism in the middle of the ring. Mick Foley has always been able to deliver on the microphone, and his eloquent monologues and understanding of the value of vocal inflections allowed Mankind to become a very unsettling character on WWF television in the mid-90’s. Even now, watching the interview segment that results in Jim Ross having the Mandible Claw applied to him by Mankind gives me an uneasy feeling. Mankind is one of the truly great characters in wrestling history.

2.John Cena (rapper)

I’m still in shock over this.

When he debuted in the WWE, John Cena was one of the bland, faceless blue chippers. The only thing that made him stand out were his pastel tights. And then, one day, Stephanie McMahon caught him free-style rapping. Thus, Cena ditched the colorful shorts and put on some jean shorts as he adopted a white rapper gimmick. “Well, that’s it for Cena,” I thought.

And a weird thing happened. Fans started to root for him. This totally blew my mind. A rap gimmick hardly works for black wrestlers. Does anyone remember the No Limit Soldiers? Me neither. It’s even worse for white wrestlers. I mean, when I think of white rappers, I think of pop culture jokes like Vanilla Ice and Snow… and of a barely remembered tag team known as PG-13. How is this black hole of a gimmick actually getting John Cena over?

Then Cena took it to the next level. He started wearing throwback jerseys and pump shoes. He blinged out the US Title. OK, I thought, maybe fans are OK with white rappers since the Eminem thing. But Eminem’s not the kind of guy you associate with the “bling.” And Cena was also starting to do stupid puns revolving around the words “deez nutz.” Fans are going to turn on him soon, aren’t they?

In less than a year, Cena would ride the “white rapper” gimmick all the way to the WWE Heavyweight Title.

Oh, sure, eventually some fans would get tired of the gimmick and start booing Cena. And Cena would gradually drop the more overt aspects of his persona (like the rap offs) to become a superstar reminscent of Hulk Hogan. But that doesn’t change the fact that Cena parlayed a “white rapper” gimmick into one of the longest title reigns in WWF/WWE history.

1. The Undertaker

When the Undertaker debuted, it was assumed that it would be just another cartoonish gimmick that faded away relatively quickly. Instead, the character gained a cult following even as a vicious heel, and survived longer than most gimmicks – cartoonish or not – do in professional wrestling. The Undertaker has become an iconic character, the “franchise” of WWE, and an attraction unto himself. The original look for the Undertaker was based on the morticians of the old west, and the close relationship with death was enough to make people uneasy. His affinity for locking people in caskets and undead appearance furthered the effectiveness of the gimmick. As the years went on, The Undertaker became a cult leader, a biker, returned to his undead persona before becoming something of an undefined supernatural force. No matter how often this topic is revisited, or how far into the future it goes, it’s going to be virtually impossible to knock The Undertaker off this perch.

 

julian

Writer and Media Journalist for Alternativemindz since 2012. I Cover the latest in Pop Culture, Video Games, Comics, Pro Wrestling and much more.