Gimmicks We Will Never See Again

When it comes to pro-wrestling, never say never.

Goldberg will never go back to the WWE. He did.

Brock Lesnar will never leave Wrestlemania with the title. He did.

It is the nature of the business.

Gimmicks are used and reused. The unstoppable monster, the underdog face, the cheating heel these gimmicks will never go out of style but here are five gimmicks that will probably never be used again.

The Goody Goody

Bob Backlund
Bob Backlund (Source: WWE)

Who did it: Steve Corino (ECW), Bill Alfonso (ECW), Bob Backlund (WWE)

What was it?

As you can see from the booing of John Cena and Roman Reigns, fans do not like pure faces these days.

They are seen as appealing to kids but not to adults. Some wrestlers used this to be a heel even though they were acting like a face. Steve Corino is a great example. ECW was known for its no disqualification, no rules action. Steve Corino played the “King of Old School”. He refused “No DQ” matches and would often win by disqualification. He would bring a chair in the ring but instead of hitting someone he’d sit on it and apply a headlock. In an organization built on violence, the peacemaker is the heel.

Why it’s gone?

We live in a corporate wrestling world. The face of the WWE will probably be the “goody goody” from now on. If you’re pushing that gimmick as your top face it can’t be used as a heel. Also, violent organizations, like ECW, are few and far between anymore. It is those organizations where the gimmick works best.

Roll into a Ball

Benito Gardini
Benito Gardini

Who did it: Checkmate (WCCW), Benito Gardini (WWF, NWA)

What was it?

One of the purposes of wrestling is to pin a person’s shoulders for a three count.

If they’re in the shape of a ball, you can’t pin them because they keep rolling. Eventually, the wrestler gets frustrated, turns to the ref and, bam, the wrestler comes out of a ball and attacks.

Why it’s gone?

Comedy gimmicks of this type simply went away. They no longer feel modern. You no longer see heels hiding the object they used against the face for the same reason. It just feels old-fashioned.

The Terrorist

Muhammed Hassan
Muhammed Hassan (Source: YouTube)

Who did it: Cuban Assassin (NWA), Muhammad Hassan (WWE), The Terrorist (WCW)

What was it?

The evil foreigner has been around a long time. Germans and Japanese during the 40’s. Russians during the 50’s -80’s. The terrorist was a play on this concept.

Not only would it be enough to defeat American wrestlers but in some ways, they’d destroy the company too. The Cuban Assassin tried to take over Florida Championship Wrestling by forming the Cuban Connection. Hassan, similarly, could call on masked men to help him with his evil deeds.

Why it’s gone?

Terrorism isn’t seen as entertainment. Too many people have been killed in terrorist attacks and the whole gimmick reeks of bad taste.

The Magical Person

The Undertaker (Source:

Who did it: Papa Shango (WWE), Undertaker (WWE), Kevin Sullivan (NWA)

What was it?

The wrestler could perform all types of magic. Teleport, lightning strike, illness, disappearing whatever was needed for the plot the wrestler could do it. Papa Shango made the Ultimate Warrior vomit with his voodoo powers. The Undertaker disappears and reappears. Kevin Sullivan made fire fly from his hands.

Why it’s gone?

Yes, the Undertaker is still around but there’s no magical urn and he rarely does his magic tricks anymore. Wrestling has tried to become more realistic and in doing so some of this has been sacrificed.

The Creature from Parts Unknown

Abdullah the Butcher (Source: WWE)

Who did it: Abdullah the Butcher (NWA), Missing Link (WCCW), Samoans (WWE), Kamala (NWA, WWE)

What was it?

A new creature would enter a territory usually accompanied by a manager. He’d speak no English but be absolutely terrifying. Abdullah would use a fork to carve his opponents head. The Missing Link used his head like a battering ram. The Samoans chewed on bones. The creature barely understood how to wrestler and was always vanquished by the big face in the territory.

Why it’s gone?

Part of it is the move to a more realistic pro wrestling but the biggest reason is a lack of managers. Without a manager as a mouthpiece, the creature simply can’t exist as a gimmick.

Wrestling has always been a fairly colorful place. In the last few years, wrestling has gotten safer but also a bit more boring. Is wrestling better off because it’s more realistic? I’ll leave that question to you, the reader.



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