ViRTUE's RAGE: A Letter to Wrestling Gimmicks
Submitted by Virtue on 10/28/2017 at 12:51 PM

October 28, 2017

Twitter: @NoDQ_Virtue

An Open Letter to Wrestling Gimmicks

Open Letter Series links:
Martha Hart (Vengeance)
Vince McMahon (ViRTUE)
Triple H (ViRTUE)
Fan Chants (Vengeance)
Attitude Era (Vengeance)

For those of you that forgot, I’m Vengeance, an old “friend” of Virtue’s. Way back when, Virtue came to me in an effort to actually get some people to read his crummy column, and I obliged. He’s been desperate for me to come back and do another, but I’m a busy guy. Anyway, I finally decided to dust off the keyboard and do another guest column here on ViRTUE’s RAGE, and get something off my chest. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll actually do this more often. So here we go. An open letter to Wrestling Gimmicks.

Dear Wrestling Gimmicks,

You’re nearly extinct in today’s wrestling. I miss the days when you were everywhere in all your garish, cheesy glory. Sure, technically you’re still around, but it’s very few and far between. Now, in place of you today, we have characters such as Randy Orton being the “Apex Predator,” or Brock Lesnar being a “Beast,” or John Cena being, well, John Cena. Those aren’t gimmicks. Even Bray Wyatt or Jinder Mahal aren’t a gimmick. In fact, they’re characters. Characters have pretty much replaced true gimmicks in wrestling today. It’s one of the lasting effects of the Attitude Era and its heightened “reality” of wrestling. (See all my thoughts on the Attitude Era here linked above)

I know I’m one of the few that miss gimmicks, but I’d rather watch a plumber and a cowboy settle their differences by wrestling than to watch two guys with names that sound like real names. That’s the worst part about it, too. All the characters today are mostly the same! Think about how many wrestlers out there are just guys with real sounding names with chips on their shoulders. Sure, some are “crazy” and some are “calculating” and others are “egotistical,” but that’s it. I’m talking real gimmicks. Thanks to the late 90s, people started shedding their gimmicks, often times seemingly breaking the 4th wall to do it. Suddenly Diesel was Kevin Nash, Razor Ramon was Scott Hall. And while Razor and Diesel weren’t quite gimmicks as I’m talking about them, that shedding of personas started a chain reaction that was ultimately a fatal blow to the gimmick.

I understand why it happened, believe me. All the little Hulkamaniacs were growing up, and they wanted their wrestling to grow up, too. The nWo, DX, and even the Nation of Domination were the evolution of wrestling. However, there were still good gimmicks thrown into the mix as well. For a while, it was a nice balance, a golden time in wrestling where gimmicks and characters not only shared the same card, but thrived doing so. As the attitude Era pressed on, however, things kept being pushed in a more “real” and “adult” direction, which made the gimmicks of our childhood more and more out of place. Some wrestlers thrived in this time, such as Steve Austin, Hall and Nash. These are guys that always had what it took to be top guys, but could never find a gimmick that suited them. Other wrestlers weren’t as entertaining or captivating, at least to me. Take Mick Foley for example. I loved watching Mankind wrestle. I liked watching Cactus Jack wrestle. I never gave a crap about watching Mick Foley wrestle. I know you’re all going to hate me for saying that, but I don’t really care what you all think. I loved seeing Mankind in some boiler room somewhere toiling away, being led to the ring by Paul Bearer. But I never cared about Mick Foley wrestling.

To be sure, Wrestling Gimmicks, you were terrible at times; Isaac Yankem, Phantasio, the Goon, but I’d take you being terrible over not at all. I miss the days of Papa Shango cursing someone or Repo Man repossessing someone’s car from their garage in the middle of the night. Hell, I’d love to see Disco Inferno Vs the Mountie! Granted, that’s not exactly a dream match, but you get the point. For all my sadness at your disappearance from wrestling, I understand it. I just wish we could go back to the days where you were still delivering greatness more often, and did it alongside the “reality” of today’s wrestling.

Best Wishes,

@EGW_Vengeance on Twitter


I have heard recent rumblings that the Clueless Wrestling Columnist is working on a new episode and plans to return this November. I am not sure exactly what the topic is, but I am sure that it will be something worthwhile and potentially controversial. Stay tuned…

Twitter: @NoDQ_Virtue

PPV Grades for 2017
NXT TakeOver: San Antonio = B++
WWE Royal Rumble = B
WWE Elimination Chamber = B
WWE FastLane = C++
NXT TakeOver: Orlando = B++
WWE WrestleMania 33 = B+
WWE Payback = B
NXT TakeOver Chicago = A-
WWE Backlash = B-
WWE Extreme Rules = B
WWE Money in the Bank = B-
WWE Great Balls of Fire = A-
WWE Battleground = C
NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III = A-
WWE SummerSlam = C++
WWE No Mercy = B+
WWE Hell in a Cell = B+

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