During the 1980’s and 90’s, gimmicks were all the rage in professional wrestling, and in particular in WWF at the time. In 1996, WCW decided to go head-to-head with WWF on Monday nights, introducing a new flagship show in the form of Nitro. This show was lead by executive Vice President Eric Bischoff, who wanted the show to come across as being ‘real’ rather than the outlandish and cartoonish style of WWF at the time. A new ‘real’ looking approach to professional wrestling quickly propelled WCW to the number one slot in wrestling, and forced WWF to change their approach too.
Gimmicks never completely died out in either company, but were less used as the years passed. Today, we take a look at the 10 worst gimmicks in WWF/WWE history.
10. REPO MAN
After a successful run in the tag team ‘Demolition’, Barry Darsow reappeared under a new gimmick of the Repo Man. The whole thing was a disaster from the start as he would sneak up behind opponents to repo them. Almost every fan thought it was stupid and dumb even in the time of over the top cartoon villains.
9. DAMIEN DEMENTO
Honestly I have no idea what Vince McMahon was thinking here. Demento was supposed to be a character from the far reaches of your mind, but instead came across as the dumbest thing your mind could think of. However, Demento will go down in history for headlining the very first ever edition of Monday Night Raw, in a losing effort to the Undertaker.
8. DUKE “ THE DUMPSTER” DROESE
The most surprising thing about Duke’s dumpster man gimmick was that it lasted for 2 years between 1994 and 1996. A dumpster man was never going to be any threat to the world champion, and I like to think he rode his his dumpster truck into the sunset to never be seen again.
Eugene was introduced as the nephew of Raw GM Eric Bischoff. This gimmick was all kinds of wrong as Bischoff would feud with his mentally challenged nephew. The less said about it the better.
6. XANTA CLAUS
Before becoming a star in ECW, Balls Mahoney portrayed an evil version of Santa for a few weeks. Thank goodness the holidays only last a couple of weeks and the gimmick was quickly dropped with Balls joining ECW shortly after.
5. ISAAC YANKEM
Personally, as someone who is terrified of the dentist – this did nothing to help me get over my fear. After being introduced by Jerry Lawler, Glenn Jacobs as Isaac Yankem the evil dentist would go on to help him in his ongoing feud with Bret Hart at the time. Thankfully, the gimmick didn’t last too long and Jacobs went onto bigger things as the the Undertaker’s brother, Kane.
Yeah, in 1995 Mantaur was introduced to the WWF audience – and I’ll let the picture do the talking for me here. The most bizarre thing was that Mantaur actually participated in the Royal Rumble and King of the Ring in 95.
3. MAX MOON
Before making a name for himself in WCW, Konnan pulled on the mask of Max Moon. However, Konnan’s run in WWF was to be short lived as he left due to a contract dispute and was replaced by Paul Diamond.
2. BATTLE CAT
Even in 1990, a man in orange and purple spandex wearing a mask with cat ears was not what people wanted to pay money to see. Despite beating legendary jobber the Brooklyn Brawler on his debut, Dean Peters who donned the mask was released from his contract only a month after debuting the gimmick.
1. FRIAR FERGUSON
Taking the number one spot is Mike Shaw, who may well be the king of bad gimmicks. After a short run as the mad monk Friar Ferguson he would go onto to play Bastion Booger – a man who would eat heaps of the food in the back before his matches while getting his body covered in food at the same time.
And there you have it – the top 10 worst gimmicks in WWE ever. If you have a personal favourite bad gimmick that wasn’t in the list, make sure you drop it in our comments for everyone to enjoy!