Playing With Fire: The Unmasking of Kane

Brian Damage

When Kane made is WWF debut on October 5, 1997, he quickly became the most feared superstar on the roster. ‘The Big Red Monster’ was one of the most successful masked wrestlers in WWE history. His feud with his “brother” the Undertaker was classic. He was also the first masked wrestler to win the WWF title. After six years of donning a mask, it was time for a change.

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Malpractice: ‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams in the WWF

Brian Damage

In 1998, the World Wrestling Federation was looking for their next top level, main event star. On the recommendation of Jim Ross, he suggested they keep an eye on a former football player turned pro wrestler nicknamed “Doctor Death.” Steve Williams and JR had been friends since Williams’ days playing for the University of Oklahoma Sooners. While Williams had some success as a pro wrestler in the United States, his biggest achievements were competing in Japan for All Japan Pro Wrestling. In Japan, Dr. Death was a bonafide superstar. The WWF saw how popular he was and figured that popularity would translate here in the States.

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If At First You Don’t Succeed: Early Wrestling Gimmicks That Didn’t Quite Make It

Brian Damage

There is the old saying…”If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” but when it pertains to some professional wrestling gimmicks…”If at first you don’t succeed…KILL IT WITH FIRE!” Today’s piece is all about some of your favorite well known wrestling stars and the early gimmicks they once had. Sure, we know all about Steve Austin changing from The Ringmaster to Stone Cold and Kane was the fake Diesel and Isaac Yankem DDS. There are others that were a bit more obscure. Perhaps, they might want to forget these gems from long ago. In many cases, I wouldn’t blame them at all.

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Not All In The Family: The Worth of the Von Erich Name

Brian Damage

If you are a fan of pro wrestling, it is hard for you not to at least be familiar with the Von Erich family from World Class Championship Wrestling in the 1980’s. The Von Erichs ruled Texas wrestling during this time. They consisted of the patriarch Fritz and his real life sons David, Kevin, Kerry, Mike and later Chris. While extremely popular, their careers were all cut short due to tragedy. Drugs, alcohol and suicide plagued the Von Erich family and brought a once very profitable promotion to its end. Despite all the scandals and tragedies, the Von Erich name still means something in pro wrestling, although perhaps not like it used to.

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The Fall of Berlyn: The Cursed WCW Gimmick

Brian Damage

Sometimes in professional wrestling, a wrestler needs to get “freshened up” and receive a new look or be completely overhauled to take the next big step in their career. Being repackaged under a new gimmick can really help elevate a performer, but it can also backfire and fail miserably. It all depends on the gimmick, how they are presented and how much support they receive from the bookers and other talent. In the case of Alex Wright, he got his repackaging and given the ball to run with. The only thing was, nobody wanted to play ball with him.

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