Craig Wilson, Jamie Lithgow & Brian Damage
By the 1990s the WWE had changed wrestling from its stuff image of old into something akin to showbiz with oversized superstars and over the top gimmicks – some better than others. In this latest Top Five we look at the worst gimmicks during the 90s in the WWE.
The Mantaur character was that of a Minotaur-like character, and the man performing it, Mike Halac, would perform antics such as charging, trampling, mauling, and mooing at opponents all under the management of Jim Cornette. He debuted in January 1995 and the character was last seen as a lumberjack during ‘In Your House 2’ in July of that same year. And no wonder.
4. Isaac Yankem
Under the guise of Kane, Glenn Jacobs has gone on to have a lengthy WWE career. Few would have expected that with the debut of Issac Yankem. During the mid 90s Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler was feuding with Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and, for reasons known only to WWE creative, went to his demonic dentist for back up. I. Yankem. Get it?
3. Max Moon
Max Moon was a gimmick designed for Konnan but he left and Paul Diamond was saddled with the gimmick. Diamond, a stellar in-ring performer, was supposed to be a a man from the future in a powder blue costume with a jet pack. Awful.
2. Battle Kat
A wrestling with a cat gimmick. ’nuff said.
1. Gobbledy Gooker
For weeks leading into the 1990 Survivor Series an egg featured in WWE programming hyping this debut. It was so bad – the crowd reaction is hilarious – that it was dropped and not seen of again until a gimmick battle royal many years later. Of course, a slightly more successful gimmick also debuted that night: The Undertaker.
5. Saba Simba
A racist gimmick that Roddy Piper – who was commentating – shat all over during its debut. Doomed to failure is an understatement.
‘He’s a man, such a man’. In WWE he is known as the once pompous heel, William Regal. Before this he was the pompous Lord Steven Regal in WCW. What most people don’t know – or choose to forget – is that he had a brief stint in late 1998 as WWE’s ‘Real Man’s Man’. He chopped wood, wore a checked shirt and shaved using a straight razor. What a man! It’s not the most horrific gimmick you’ll see, but debuting at the height of the Attitude Era, this gimmick made Regal look like a complete loser.
3. Duke ‘The Dumpster’ Droese
Back in the day every wrestler seemed to have a trade, or second job. We had tax men, prison guards, soldiers, plumbers, farmers and even dentists. However, my all-time favourite second job for a wrestler has to be Duke ‘The Bin Man’ Droese. Who thinks of this shit?!
2. Max Moon
I’ve delved into my ‘Icons of Wrestling’ series for my top 2, and I cannot ignore Max Moon. As the original Max Moon, Konnan’s vision was essentially a colourful Lucha Libre character with an elaborate entrance. His departure removed the Lucha aspect, so Max Moon became a spaceman. Yes, a fucking spaceman! Dude was even billed as hailing from ‘Outer Space’.
A grown man parodying a child from a 1950’s sit-com and lusting over his own mother. Sounds like a brilliant idea, but for some reason it didn’t get over. So, Beaver turned into Chaz and his mum became his girlfriend… who appeared with black eyes and bruises to imply that Chaz was a wife beater. This really happened folks. The PG, kid-friendly company you see today allowed this to air on television back in 1999.
5. Real Man’s Man Steve Regal
It was certainly a blessing in disguise that Regal was fired from the WWF during this gimmick and it was subsequently scrapped. A wrestling lumberjack/construction worker…he was all the Village people rolled into one character.
A wrestling magician who did magic tricks before a match…during a match and then after the match. Wow! *Cricket sounds*
3. TL Hopper
Pro wrestling already had a wrestler who was the son of a plumber….so why not just have a wrestling plumber itself? Enter TL (Toilet Lid) Hopper complete with dirty tee shirt…ass crack and plunger.
2. Bastion Booger
A basic gimmick of a wrestler who was fat and gluttonous. Not much more exciting than that….
1. Goobledy Gooker
A turkey that is hatched out of a giant egg and dances…not exactly Ric Flair Vs Ricky Steamboat type of pro wrestling is it?
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.