One of the many things we like on this blog is discussing ‘what ifs’ and looking at, often crazy, ideas that never saw the light of day. Today is one of those days as we look at a series of proposed WWE gimmicks that mercifully never made it to our screens.
If getting to the main roster of the WWE isn’t hard enough, coming up with the perfect gimmick to get there is just as hard. We have read or heard interviews with former WWE writers who worked 50 to 60 hour work weeks trying to come up with the perfect gimmick, storyline or angle that will “put asses in the seats” and eyes glued to their televisions.
Dozens upon dozens of ideas are bounced around and suggested but truly only a handful see the light of day. Some ideas get close, but falter at the last minute. Whether they were tweaked, completely repackaged or flat out turned down by Vince McMahon. These are the ideas that are the focus of today’s piece.
Some were just in the drawing board stage, while others actually started to film vignettes to propose to McMahon and company. Either way, these are all ideas that eventually hit the scrap heap of the WWE’s vast garbage dump of ideas. Some we can only wonder “what if?” while others were thankfully tossed before making it to our television screens.
Kalisto as a gay hairdresser
Yes, before Kalisto debuted on the main roster with Sin Cara as the Lucha Dragons, there was talk about unmasking Kalisto and making him a gay hairdresser to The Miz. As a matter of fact, Kalisto filmed a few demo reels while in NXT as this character and was said to be really entertaining.
The Female version of the Shield
With the initial huge success of the Shield, there was an idea to perhaps incorporate a female version for the Divas division. The trio of members consisted of Summer Rae, Paige and former NXT developmental wrestler Anna Bogomazova aka Anya. The trio filmed a demo reel as the unnamed group, but it never took off.
A “New” Shield
This was only in the talking stages, but when the idea of one of the members of the Shield was going to turn on the other two members, it was discussed having a new member replace the turncoat. Mason Ryan was the wrestler largely being talked about to be the replacement, but nothing ever came of the idea.
Speaking of Mason Ryan, there were also talk of having him be a very “macho” gay wrestler. Alas, that too never made it past discussion stages.
Layla as Layla Gaga?
After Layla El returned to the WWE after a knee injury, there was a proposed gimmick change for her. Some in WWE creative wanted Layla to start wearing very outrageous outfits and be a sort of eccentric fashionista much from the mold of pop singer Lady Gaga.
The Usos: twins but very different
When the Usos first debuted in the WWE, some in creative felt that they were really bland. Seeing as they were twins, nothing about them stood out as individuals. A proposal had Jimmy as a borderline genius and his brother Jey as a goofball or someone more on the dumb, airhead side.
Orlando Jordan Bi Sexual Gimmick
In 2006, Orlando Jordan who was quickly becoming a very nondescript character on WWE television came up with a new gimmick for himself. He wanted to portray WWE’s first ever bi sexual wrestler. Jordan in real life was and is bi sexual. The WWE started dropping some hints of the gimmick change, but nothing concrete ever really came of it.
Incidentally, when Orlando Jordan left the WWE and joined TNA wrestling, TNA decided to move forward with that gimmick that got rejected by the WWE.
Tyson Kidd/Heath Slater Tag Team
At one time, WWE creative wanted to pair up both Tyson Kidd and Heath Slater and form a tag team. The team even had a name: ‘The Rock N Roll Kidds’. Get it?
At one point, when the WWE brought their version of ECW to the Sy Fy network, Court Bauer a former WWE creative writer came up with an idea to repackage Bob Holly. They had him go become a space traveler and he would return to the company in an astronaut costume. He would be renamed ‘Spacecore’ Holly and he would have a monkey as a mascot. Initially, Vince McMahon liked the idea, but it eventually was scrapped. Bauer the creator of the gimmick said it was originally made as a joke because he was frustrated with several of his other ideas getting turned down.
Cody Rhodes Industries
Right before the WWE settled on making Cody Rhodes into Stardust, there were talks and even plans to make Cody into a much different character. Cody was going to be a sort of Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) character. He would be rich and play on his legacy as a member of the Rhodes family. His wife Eden Stiles would be his manager/valet. They even filmed a vignette/demo to introduce Cody’s new gimmick. Sadly, the demo and the gimmick made the cutting room floor.
Tori as Sable’s Sister
Before Terri Poch aka ‘Tori’ debuted with the WWF in 1998, the initial plan was to make Tori Sable’s long lost sister. The WWF decided against it at the last minute seeing as they already had the Kane/Undertaker storyline which was similar. When Tori eventually debuted, she was presented as an obsessed fan of Sable.
A much darker Adam Rose
After the failure of the happy go lucky party goer known as Adam Rose and the Exotic Express, WWE tried experimenting with different ways to change up the character. One idea that didn’t get very far was the ‘other side’ of Adam Rose in which we saw a more evil sadistic Rose. Not too far from his NXT character of Leo Kruger. He even came with a darker, creepier version of his bunny sidekick.
Alas, the evil gimmick never really got off from the ground and he was repackaged briefly with a gossiping gimmick. That didn’t last very long either and was eventually paired up in the Social Outcasts group led by Heath Slater.