In professional wrestling, almost anything
can become a successful character for the
But despite professional wrestling embracing
a certain amount of weirdness, not every wrestling
gimmick gets out of the gate.
Here are a few of the most strange and odious
pro grappling concepts that didn’t survive
After Dustin Rhodes, formerly known as Goldust
in the WWE, jumped ship to WCW, they decided
to repackage him as a much darker character.
His new character, Seven, was a white-faced
demonic entity who lured children into serving
him for God knows what reason, which was messed
up on many levels.
The higher ups at Turner Broadcasting Corporation,
who owned WCW, got spooked as well, mainly
by the whole child abduction aspect of Seven,
so the character was already dead even as
he floated to the ring.
What fans got instead of Seven was Rhodes
going off and delivering one of the most vicious
tongue lashings ever witnessed in wrestling.
Dustin raged at WWE for having him be Goldust
before turning his scorn on WCW for making
him dress up “like Uncle Fester,” and for
firing his father Dusty from the company.
Although the whole thing was orchestrated
by WCW head writer Vince Russo, wrestling
fans were pretty shocked.
Dustin ultimately got what he said he wanted:
the chance to be himself, playing the “American
Nightmare,” a persona his brother Cody would
make far better use of twenty years later
in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
But in 1999, WCW was where ambition and promise
went to die, as far as up-and-coming wrestlers
were concerned, and so Dustin soon returned
to WWE, becoming his seemingly despised Goldust
character for good.
Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz
The Brooklyn Brawler is known to wrestling
fans as the world’s most legendary loser,
but he’s also had more secret identities
than the Justice League, including his baseball
player persona, Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz.
As it turns out, Schwartz may have been born
out of the WWE’s desire to make some weak
When Schwartz first stepped into the ring
in 1994, a huge strike was happening in Major
League Baseball that would last for nearly
a year, thanks to team owners trying to keep
baseball players’ salaries from rising.
Schwartz, apparently, was wrestling to make
From his first appearance, he made it clear
that he was less-than-happy about the strike
Schwartz’s ire was saved purely for the wrestling
fans, who apparently were the reason baseball
was so insanely screwed up.
If that logic makes sense to you, then congratulations
on getting your internet access privileges
back at the mental hospital.
Backstage, the idea for the character came
out of a desire to blast the MLB for their
constant profiteering of the fans, something
the WWE would absolutely never, ever do.
Abe proved to be about as useless as the actual
knuckleball, and he vanished from WWE television
in short order.
Thanks to a wave of cryptic doublespeak and
vicious brutality, Bray Wyatt sits at the
top of WWE.
But before he figured out how to channel his
inner cult leader, Bray’s first real appearance
in Florida Championship Wrestling was as Duke
Rotundo, a wise-cracking dude with a Shaft-esque
Together, they ran “sports entertainment’s
number one detective agency,” though Duke’s
real MO was to show off his chest to any interested
women of Florida.
Unfortunately for all those ladies, the agency
went bankrupt quick, in favor of Duke being
teamed up with his brother Bo Rotundo, aka
the soon-to-be Bo Dallas.
Eventually, he’d join the first season of
NXT, and then the Nexus, as Husky Harris.
He’s now the creepiest wrestler since Undertaker,
and a World Champion to boot.
We’d say that’s a mighty fine improvement
from “fat dude who thinks he’s Sexy Sherlock
Christmas Creature & Xanta Claus
Over his twenty-plus year run as Kane, the
scarred, pyromaniac brother of the Undertaker,
Glenn Jacobs has made it into wrestling legend
with multiple championship reigns.
But you can’t grow a flower without burying
it in a couple feet of crap, and Jacobs had
a lot of crap to wade through before he made
it to the Big Red Machine.
Probably the most ridiculous of his awful
gimmicks was the Christmas Creature.
A giant green apparition clad in the remains
of a Michael’s Christmas clearance sale, the
only thing diabolical about Christmas Creature
was the amount of tinsel strapped to his body.
As fellow wrestler Mad Man Pondo tells it,
the character inspired a lot more chuckles
than screams, and thankfully had a short shelf
Sadly, Jacobs still had some time as Jerry
Lawler’s evil dentist to look forward to.
Only after that did he finally become the
The Christmas Creature wasn’t even the worst
holiday-themed wrestling gimmick out there,
even though you can’t do a damn thing with
them from January to November.
There’s also Xanta Klaus, the Bizarro to Santa’s
Apparently, Xanta stole presents from good
little children, so if you’re ever wondering
who these heartless monsters are who swipe
from Toys For Tots, here’s Suspect #1.
Clad in a black Santa suit, and sporting a
coal-black beard, ECW’s Balls Mahoney allied
with Ted DiBiase to try and put the screws
to Christmas, for no discernible reason.
Old-school bad guys didn’t really need a motive
to be bad besides “we’re bad.”
However, even the legendary Million Dollar
Man couldn’t make Christmas miracles happen
for Xanta Claus, and he didn’t even stick
around as long as your average snowman.
Wrestling loves the idea of making famous
movie characters into wrestlers, and there
was no more ostentatious attempt at this than
Oz, which was Kevin Nash slapped into a goofy
wizarding costume, and sent out to beat down
Best part is, they didn’t even have to worry
about those pesky copyright issues, because
Turner Broadcasting owned the rights to The
Wizard of Oz!
Oz did get a few victories, and got massively
popular over in Japan.
That is, before Ron Simmons stomped a mudhole
in him at the 1991 Great American Bash, after
which he apparently clicked his heels three
times and bailed back to the Emerald City.
In reality, Oz’s push vanished after Nash
refused a new pay structure from WCW, and
he disappeared a year later to join Shawn
Michaels in the WWF as Diesel.
Eventually, he’d come back to WCW and start
the infamous New World Order, because who
wouldn’t want revenge on a company that shafted
them years back by getting stronger and attempting
to destroy it from within?
He was quite possibly the greatest wrestling
flop of all time, literally.
Fred Ottman had just left the WWF, and WCW
decided the best way to introduce him would
be to slap a bedazzled Stormtrooper helmet
on his head, throw a sleeveless XXL bathrobe
around his shoulders, and make him the mystery
partner for Sting’s team in an eight-man tag
Ottman burst through the wall, then tripped
over a piece of the wall in the bottom, toppling
him face-first and knocking his helmet off.
As he struggles to put it back on, you can
almost feel the moment die.
Dusty Rhodes, who came up with the Shockmaster
gimmick, claimed there was sabotage involved.
WCW tried to make lemonade out of this incident,
first by portraying the Shockmaster as a clumsy
goof, then really doubling down by making
him the “Super Shockmaster.”
Neither worked, and the Shockmaster quickly
wound up forever confined to the annals of
In 2016, after a very well-received heel run
unfortunately got cut short by injury, WWE’s
Emma announced her return to the ring via
a character change: a makeover from Emma to
The announcement was accompanied by a lot
of photos that wouldn’t have been out of place
in a Vanity Fair spread.
Fans didn’t seem to show much interest, so
while the WWE said Emmalina would be premiering
“soon,” her debut ended up happening after
over four months of empty promises.
Then, the day finally came.
In a voice that sounded like Fran Drescher
getting a colonoscopy, Emmalina informed the
RAW crowd that now they would get to witness
the makeover of Emmalina, back to Emma.
Then, she turned around and walked out, leaving
absolutely everyone confused.
In the aftermath, the WWE decided the character
had to be scrapped… at least for now.
There’s a possibility that another woman might
get the character, but whoever it is, it certainly
won’t be Evil Emma.
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