Craig Wilson, Brian Damage and Jamie Lithgow
There’s no doubt that ‘having the look’ can make it a lot easier to get over in the world of wrestling. That can be everything from a wrestler’s appearance right through to their ring attire. In today’s Top Five, we look at guys, and girls, not blessed when it came to what they were being asked to wrestle in.
(dis) honourable mentions: The Johnsons, Oz, The Shockmaster
5. Rocky Maivia: The Rock is one of the biggest names in the history of wrestling and many argue that with his family links it was inevitable he would be a star. That inevitability was surely cast in some doubt when he first arrived on our screens with a woeful, woeful feathury cape cum top. A really terrible look coupled with his smiley babyface ways, marked him out in the eyes of many of the WWF fans. It took a long time for him to recover but we know how far he has come since. But, still, an awful in-ring get-up in his initial run with the company.
4. Max Moon: Konnan, who portrayed Max Moon, spent eight months in the god awful costume. It was a gimmick created by Konnan and purchased by the WWE. Covered with circuitry and a pyrotechnic gun during his approach to the ring, the attire was just terrible and far too colourful to take the character seriously. Frankly, it was a very expensive but cheap looking costume. Shows the perilous state the company was in at the time that both the character and the attire was approved.
3. TAKFA Goldust: To many, Goldust is best remembered for his black and gold ensemble. But for a terrible, terrible period at the end of 1997/start of 1998 he became ‘The Artist Formerly Known As’ Goldust, parading around in some of the most ridiculous attire the WWE fans have ever seen. He began mimicking celebrities and fellow wrestlers with characters such as “Chynadust”, “Hunterdust”, “Flashdust”, “Marilyn Mansondust” and “Vaderdust”. On another occasion, he appeared wearing the weirdest green dominatrix gear ever shown on TV – pictured.
2. Double J Jeff Jarrett: The mid-90s did not lend itself well to good gimmicks or top class ring wear. Jeff Jarrett suffered at the hands of both: a country singer using the company to launch his music career whilst dressed in over the top hats, braces and garish attires seen – even for the time.
1. Giant Gonzalez: To be fair, you could argue that the worst thing about Giant Gonzalez wasn’t actually his attire but that’s more a slight on his in-ring “ability” rather than a compliment towards his costume. A naked body costume with airbrushed muscles and tufts of hair covering particular areas of his body couldn’t have even sounded good on paper and it was worse in reality. The costume played a part in him stinking up his, mercifully, short run with the WWF in 1993.
5. M.V.P: No, I am not referring to the goofy Steve Lombardi baseball character…although that could be an honorable mention. I am talking about Montel Vontavious Porter’s absurd looking Power Ranger ring attire. Not flattering at all.
4. Tugboat: Let’s see….a sailor hat, white pants and a red and white striped shirt. It looked utterly ridiculous although I guess it did fit the equally horrible gimmick.
3. Oz: I get it….Kevin Nash was suppose to be this almighty, powerful Oz from the Emerald City. I guess that explains his all lime green tights….but was it really necessary to come to the ring in an old man rubber mask too?
2. Real Man’s Man Steven Regal: A look straight out of the Village People complete with a flannel jacket and construction hat.
1. Mantaur: The singlet was a bit silly, but what made this number one for me was the absolutely ridiculous bull’s head mask that Mantaur was suppose to wear to the ring.
5. John Cena: The elephant in the room for me. This guy has been hiding in plain sight for years, in fact it’s almost part of his gimmick to look like a complete douche. He’s a 39 year old man dressed as a ten year old boy. You can justify his look with the marketing argument all you want, but at the end of the day he’s still a grown man who wears jorts and and too many sweat bands.
4. Demolition: Back in the 1980s why did powerful tag teams equal sadomasochists? I’ve never understood this. The Road Warriors and Powers of Pain liked to wear leather and spikes so Demolition took it one step further and wore gimp masks to the ring, but why?
3. Konnan: Before he joined the nWo Konnan was a thoroughly generic character who had a long, and largely forgettable, run as United States Champion. His wrestling attire was fairly colourful, but it’s his entrance attire that always caught my eye. What on Earth was it and why was he wearing it?
2. Max Moon: It’s Konnan again, and he’s even more colourful! The pictures speak for themselves, but it could have been so much stupider. Almost every time you see Max Moon the man under the mask is Paul ‘Kato from The Orient Express’ Diamond, however it was Konnan’s brainchild. Back in the very early days of the character, part of the gimmick saw K-Dogg wear a rocket/jet pack to the ring. He also had some kind of mechanical exoskeleton that made him look like a Transformer. There’s a fine line between genius and stupidity…
1. Arachnaman: One of the worst gimmicks ever, and the costume is a key ingredient. The only way this gimmick could have worked – and even this wold have been a long shot – is if WCW ignored all copyright laws and purchased an shit hot Spiderman costume for Brad Armstrong to wear. They did not do this, but for some reason did still want a Spiderman inspired character. So, they dressed Brad in a poor quality purple and yellow Halloween outfit and expected people not to laugh.
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.