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Gimmicks in different eras


SkinnersHat
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Hey all, my first post so go easy please & a happy ‘Mania weekend to all that will be watching.

As the title says, gimmicks in different eras. Which gimmicks do you think could have worked as well or even better in another era?

I think Rick The Model Martel could have been elevated to superstardom in an era where Instragram vanity is at an all time high. A few tweaks to update the character & the Arrogance would be right on the money I think. Lots of ways you could go with it too & the vignettes and promo material could be endless.

A seriously dark, twisted, dare I say ‘Fiendish’ Doink would have fitted in well in the Attitude or even Ruthless Aggression era. A sure fit for the Ministry too. Could have even ridden the wave of the IT remakes & been quite over in the mid 2010s I feel.

I have a few more I will post if this thread gains any traction & hopefully I’ll be reading a few of your own.

Just to add - late 80s & early 90s didn’t have a well known Pirate gimmick which looking back would have fitted right in & it’s a wonder there’s wasn't one. Not even with the Goonies crossover in 85. The mind boggles. 

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8 minutes ago, SkinnersHat said:

I think Rick The Model Martel could have been elevated to superstardom in an era where Instragram vanity is at an all time high. A few tweaks to update the character & the Arrogance would be right on the money I think. Lots of ways you could go with it too & the vignettes and promo material could be endless.

Isn't that basically Tyler Breeze?

It might just be because I was a huge fan of his as a kid, but I always felt Duke Droese could have done well in the Attitude Era. He was a good, rough around the edges brawler, and the gimmick could have been tweaked into a more general "blue collar brawler" thing, but with the metal bin still as his signature weapon. He'd have been a good fit for daft hardcore brawls. 

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It's probably an odd shout, but I reckon  Steve Blackman in the New Generation era or in the early 80s WWF would have been huge. Legit badass, flashy stick moves, proper hard man physique. 

Actually thinking about it, if Ken Shamrock came along ten years later in WWE he would have been a megastar given the rise of the UFC/MMA in general. 

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Doink but in the Bourne Again gimmick would Have probably been good say 2003-2005 when smackdown had tatanka and hacksaw kicking about. Have him bitter that the attitude era pushed him out and sent him down this mixed up madman path 

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25 minutes ago, mim731 said:

Actually thinking about it, if Ken Shamrock came along ten years later in WWE he would have been a megastar given the rise of the UFC/MMA in general. 

Shamrock should have been huge for the same reason in 1997, really. Reading the Wrestling Observer yearbook for '97, Meltzer has some really good insight into how they could have used Shamrock; basically saying that he needs to be presented as an outsider, and an expert in another discipline, not someone coming in and wrestling WWF style against WWF wrestlers. If they had taken that route - allowed some time to educate the audience as to what Shamrock's skillset was, how MMA/"No Holds Barred fighting" worked and how it differed from the WWF, and followed up on his interaction with Bret Hart after Bret/Austin, and treated him as a special attraction at least in the early going, it could have been fantastic.

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Umaga would have been fantastic in the 80s as a monster of the month for Hogan, I feel. Genuinely terrifying.

I think Bam Bam Bigelow would have done very well in the modern era too, any time from about 2006 and beyond where “gimmicks” gradually died out and basically wrestlers just became themselves with personalities turned up to 11. Bam Bam basically always stood out as being different, being big and bald with a tattooed bonce but with more agility than other 400lb guys. I think he’d have been brilliant as a guy that’s like “Well, he’s a bit different, but that’s who he is” and considering he had some great matches with guys of his day, I think he’d have had belters with some of the 21st century talent.

Also I have a weird compulsion than any tag team that pulled off a great degree of irritation, I’d love to send back to frustrate the Rockers, the Harts and Demolition before eventually getting unstuck. Thinking guys like Chuck & Billy, La Res, The Spirit Squad, The Vaudevillians, that kind of thing. Oh, and definitely send The Bludgeon Brothers back to do big brawls with Ax & Smash or LOD. Fuck it, give me The Rockers VS The Revival and American Alpha VS Tully & Arn while you’re at it. Many modern tag teams that actually got gimmicks would have been brilliant in the 80s.

Not that the gimmick makes any sense in any era but can I bring The Quebecers (93-94) to the present too?

 

Edited by air_raid
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1 hour ago, air_raid said:

Umaga would have been fantastic in the 80s as a monster of the month for Hogan, I feel. Genuinely terrifying.

I think Bam Bam Bigelow would have done very well in the modern era too, any time from about 2006 and beyond where “gimmicks” gradually died out and basically wrestlers just became themselves with personalities turned up to 11. Bam Bam basically always stood out as being different, being big and bald with a tattooed bonce but with more agility than other 400lb guys. I think he’d have been brilliant as a guy that’s like “Well, he’s a bit different, but that’s who he is” and considering he had some great matches with guys of his day, I think he’d have had belters with some of the 21st century talent.

Also I have a weird compulsion than any tag team that pulled off a great degree of irritation, I’d love to send back to frustrate the Rockers, the Harts and Demolition before eventually getting unstuck. Thinking guys like Chuck & Billy, La Res, The Spirit Squad, The Vaudevillians, that kind of thing. Oh, and definitely send The Bludgeon Brothers back to do big brawls with Ax & Smash or LOD. Fuck it, give me The Rockers VS The Revival and American Alpha VS Tully & Arn while you’re at it. Many modern tag teams that actually got gimmicks would have been brilliant in the 80s.

Not that the gimmick makes any sense in any era but can I bring The Quebecers (93-94) to the present too?

 

The Mounties could definitely ride on some of the political division & difference in opinion about law enforcement in the States at the moment.

Umaga in the 80s is a great shout, kind of on a similar note would Yoko have been even more over in Hogans mid late 80s heyday, I think that could have been phenomenal.

Bam Bam’s unique look & unreal ability for a man of his size would fit right in at anytime. I could see him being an enforcer for a whole host of factions. Imagining him & Bossman as a corporation tag team has got me thinking if only.

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Had a similar thread to this a couple of months ago - the thing that inspired me to post it was that I thought gimmicks like Goldust's and Sting's would've been perfect in this era of cinematic matches, particularly Goldust's sinister Hollywood director persona.

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I reckon Luna Vachon could have been a good fit in the modern era. Watching her back now, I find her genuinely unsettling - the raspy voice, the unhinged behaviour, that feeling of unpredictability - she’s captivating, memorable and seemed to be solid in ring too (I’ve only seen a limited amount of her ring work, hence ‘seemed’). 

Edited by RedRooster
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I'm not sure Spirit is entirely wrong in their thinking, there has been a huge bit of puritanism creeping in to most fandoms and liberal (less so leftist) Twitter in general. It's possibly a leftover from the death of Tumblr where there was a huge side of that during the platforms biggest days.

The "movies should never have sex scenes" take is held by a surprisingly large amount of people.

Edited by Merzbow
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I've seen Umaga and Rusev mentioned as having the potential to be huge if they were around in the ate 70/80's. I don't agree though. In those days, it felt like every territory had their own "Samoan Savage" and evil foreigner gimmicks, and I think they would have both got lost in the shuffle. They stood out to us at the time as it had been a while since we had the Headshrinkers(for example) or an evil Russian to boo. 

 I do like the Matt Bourne "Bourne Again" gimmick idea, though. Slot him in at the tail end of the Attitude Era, and I think he would be a solid mid-card/upper mid act. 

Finley would have been a brilliant fit in Bill Watts Mid-South territory. Just a no-frills double hard bastard putting on hard hitting matches would have ben right up Cowboy Bill's street.

 

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