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Poking Holes in the Gimmicks of Early 90’s WWF Wrestlers

August 15, 2008

I loved wrestling when I was a kid. Every Monday night I’d religiously watch WCW and WWF with my Dad and my brother. We loved guys like the Rock, Shawn Michaels, and Steve Austin. In fact, one of my comedy goals is to have Stone Cold’s entrance music played every time I walk onstage.

A quick aside: a friend of mine said he saw a “Best of Rey Mysterio” 3-disc DVD collection at Wal Mart. I don’t know if I want to meet the guy who sets aside room on his shelf for three discs worth of a Mexican peanut flying around a ring with a mask on.

Back to the topic at hand: I got so caught up in wrestling that I never questioned why any of the wrestlers masqueraded behind other jobs as their gimmicks. But it doesn’t make sense for a professional in one line of work to put their primary career on hold, participate in professional wrestling as a new side job, and yet still wear their work uniform into the ring with them. I never stopped to call the WWF out for that. Until today, that is.

THE MILLION DOLLAR MAN TED DIBIASE
THE GIMMICK:
Dibiase’s hook was that he was a self-made millionaire who flaunted his wealth at every opportunity.
THE PROBLEM: Why? What impact does your financial acumen have on your ability to wrestle? And why are you even wrestling? I know if I was loaded, I would rather wrestle the 1-2-3 Kid on RAW instead of chilling in the Caribbean. That’s a perfectly logical decision. You also have to figure that the wrestling had to take him away from day-to-day operations of his business. They never even explained how he got all that money. I guess he wouldn’t seem as evil if they told everybody he just invested in IBM.

DUKE “THE DUMPSTER” DROESE
THE GIMMICK: A garbage man.
THE PROBLEM: The whole fucking thing, that’s what. What possible storylines were they envisioning when they debuted the character? Next Monday Duke takes on Crush after he found an abnormally high amount of used rubbers on his route this week! If anyone can tell me Duke’s finishing maneuver, I would love to hear it. For all we know it was just him smelling like shit.

WELL DUNN
THE GIMMICK: The tag team of Timothy Well and Steven Dunn combined to form…Well Dunn.
THE PROBLEM: Most tag teams had some kind of unifying theme. The only one these two had was that their last names formed a common expression. Surprised we never got a follow up team of Brian Catch and Tyler Twenty-Two.

KAMALA
THE GIMMICK: Wrestling in nothing but a loin cloth, Kamala was a double threat: he portrayed a Ugandan cannibal while at the same time perpetuating a morally rancid stereotype.
THE PROBLEM: At some point Kamala had to go back to his tribe. How long could his 12 wives and 400-some children go without food? You’ve got duties as a father and as a provider. Get back over there and hunt some antelope! Also, doesn’t he realize that the dollars he would earn by wrestling would have literally no use in his tribal culture?

THE BROOKLYN BRAWLER
THE GIMMICK:
A dirty, smelly New York bum.
THE PROBLEM: If I want to see a stinking piece of New York garbage get in a fight, I’ll go to a Yankees game.

ISAAC YANKEM, D.D.S.
THE GIMMICK: A dentist.
THE PROBLEM: I just thought they got desperate with that one storyline where Isaac Yankem puts Bret Hart under anesthesia and then sexually assaults him while he’s still groggy.

RIC FLAIR
THE GIMMICK: WHOOOOOO.
THE PROBLEM: Ric Flair was 90 when I started watching wrestling back in ’93. As the years went on, he kept up with the same playboy shtick he always used. After awhile, it was just flat out creepy. He would always allude to consistently scoring with models, but the safer money was on old Natch not being able to get it up.

Another feature of Ric’s career I always thought was interesting was that Arn Anderson, his sidekick and enforcer, pretty much made a career out of following him everywhere. I’m imagining Arn hanging out in the hotel while Flair gets down, awkwardly trying to cheer him on. Good job, Ric…way to throw that D, old buddy! Oh shit, the battery’s running low….might need to go to Best Buy.

I.R.S.
THE GIMMICK: I.R.S., or Irwin R. Schyster, was an accountant who would wear a shirt and tie into the ring and hit people with his briefcase.
THE PROBLEM: Why bother taking the C.P.A exam if you’re just going to spend your Monday nights wrestling? You’d also have to explain your injuries to your clients. “Sorry I was late, it’s a lot to explain…I feel down the steps and…Macho Man, steel chair, turnbuckle….you know what, I don’t even feel like talking about it.”

THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR
THE GIMMICK: Warrior pretended to be a raving lunatic who would yell, scream and jump around the ring like some kind of maniac.
THE PROBLEM: Uhh…it wasn’t a gimmick.

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