WOOWOO WOO! Find out what that means by reading this week.
In the world of professional wrestling, there are always gimmicks and characters that are never meant to main event shows, sell out arenas, or capture championships. The characters such as Doink the Clown, Bastion Booger, and Eugene are fine examples of this. However, there is an occasional break-through with an over-the-top character actually making it to the big time. When you think about this, no one should come to mind as fast as The Undertaker.
Originally debuting on-camera at Survivor Series 1990 (he had made previous appearances at tapings and house shows as Cain the Undertaker), The Undertaker was put off as an unstoppable force, joining the Million Dollar Man's five man team for a classic Survivor Series match-up. It seemed at the time that this man was going to be just another gimmick wrestler. However, within one year of being in the company, he became WWE Champion by defeating Hulk Hogan at Survivor Series 1991, the same show he had debuted on.
So what made the Undertaker work? Could it have been the way Mark Calloway perfectly portrayed a dead man walking, and combined with the amazing managerial skills of Paul Bearer, the fans loved him more than any other character at the time? Or was it just the simple fact that the writers liked his character, and took personal opinion into account when giving him storylines? No matter which of these options it was, or an entirely separate one altogether, the Undertaker has become one of the biggest legends in the industry, and a major argument in favor of gimmick wrestlers being capable of making it to the top.
Now, despite my utter lack of knowledge on how the minds of WWE creative work (God knows NOBODY knows how they work), I'm going to take a shot at some of their current gimmick wrestlers, and see what could be done to make them a major player. This won't factor in any actual fan reaction to the subject, but rather storylines that could be built up to potentially make the fans react more to the character in the future. Hopefully that makes sense, cause I'm writing this when I'm tired as hell, and as we all know, **** if I'm gonna go back and fix it. Aren't you glad you hired me, Simian?
Let us begin with Festus, the "cornbread colossus". For anyone just reading, and unaware of specific characters I speak of, I'll give a quick description. Festus is a pretty basic character. He seems mentally handicapped, and is incapable of doing anything but drooling/staring, until a bell rings. Once the bell rings, he goes bat-**** crazy, and beats the hell out of anything in his way (magically, this always excludes his tag-team partners, despite other occasions that make you believe he WILL attack the other faces, a.k.a. good guys). Then when the bell rings again, we get disgusting drooling Festus again. It's stuff like this that makes me love WWE.
Anyways, how in the world would you go about making this character "work"? I'm not even sure it's possible, but I'll wing it. Let's see.....first, I'd say give him more of a story as to WHY he's like this. Was he mentally handicapped, then hypnotized or something? Therefore whenever he hears a bell, he flips his ****? Or was he just a completely normal guy who was made this way by some form of permanent hypnosis? Remember folks, this is wrestling, it doesn't need THAT MUCH logic. Then, just as he begins to figure himself out, you have him become a pawn in the game of the top heel. So for this case, we'll say Orton. However, I see this playing out very similar to when Triple H manipulated Eugene back in 2004 (was it? Hell if I'm checking, but I think it was.). Anyways, Eugene kind of fell off the radar after he was done feuding with Triple H. So unless the man behind the Festus character can really do some original stuff, and make the crowd get behind him, I don't see anyone giving a damn beyond that feud.
Mission #1 - Give Festus credibility - FAILED
Next up...Umaga. This one's gonna be hard. It's because WWE has ALWAYS had this monster character similar to Umaga. The foreign beast who the face falls victim to time and time again, just to come out on top 90% of the time in the final match. Umaga is just another one of these, others being Yokozuna, Kamala, & Giant Gonzales. These characters very rarely achieve the success of attaining the WWE Championship. Umaga has already gotten his chance to main event Pay-Per-Views, feuding with John Cena over the WWE Championship in a program a few years back. I think what would have to be done here is to actually turn Umaga face, and let the fans embrace him as he comes out of his shell. Usually this type of character development is a turn-off to hardcore fans as far as a character goes, as it did not go particularly well for the careers of other monster characters such as Kane and Abyss (from TNA). However, with a good portion of the WWE audience currently being children, and with WWE seeming to be honing in on that audience, it seems logical that turning Umaga face and letting the kids see this big bad guy now fighting on their side could work. As long as they don't botch it like they did with The Great Khali (Khali Kiss-Cam? Wut?).
Mission #2 - Give Umaga a main-event spot? - SUCCESS
And we now come to the final two. It didn't occur to me that WWE really doesn't have many insane gimmick characters anymore. It's saddening really, because while not being main eventers, they were almost always the most entertaining part of the show.
Mission #3 - Make Hornswoggle not a waste of television time - FAILED
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand that brings us to the final gimmick for tonight, ladies and gents.
Zack. Freaking. Ryder. Anyone whose gimmick consists solely of them running around being a prick and yelling WOOWOO WOO in people's faces is an auto-win in my book. No further explanation needed. How this man is not ALREADY WWE, World Heavyweight, ECW, Intercontinental, United States, Unified Tag Team, Women's, Diva's, Welterweight, Light Heavyweight, WCW, CZW, ROH, TNA, X-Division, TNA Tag Team, and Knockouts Champion is beyond me.
Mission #4 - Make Zack Ryder Awesome - WOOWOO WOO!
Anyways, I hope you once again enjoyed my inane ramblings. I tend to get off topic quite easily, but you should be getting used to that by now. It's all part of the plan....
Now until next week, get me thirteen gallons of gasoline, a zamboni, and the entire cast of "Look Who's Talking Now!", and meet me at Jefferson High School. Now come along.....FREEZY!