Playing Backstage Politics
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Far Away From Uncle Ole
Re: Analyze this: Importance of Gimmicks
I feel it is highly important in getting a particular wrestler over in the past. Lance Storm comes to mind. When he first hit big in America, he was easily one of the best in the ring, always brought his A game. However, in those times, he wasn't really over because fans weren't easily hooked by the actual wrestling aspect of the business. They wanted to see characters and wacky gimmicks, which made it harder for a guy like Lance to get the recognition he deserved. I feel had he broke in within the past 5 years, he would have been over greatly, despite not ever having a gimmick.
Gimmicks were originally in their peak in the Golden Era, despite many being a flop. IMO, thats when WWE went character crazy. However, in the New Generation Era, thats when those type of characters sorta lost all value, as WWE begin getting lazy and relying on those same cartoonish characters they did in the previous 10 years.
In a time where ECW broke through having gimmicks that everyday people can relate to, Vince went that route and it became the best decision he ever made. Wrestlers actually matched the real life personas of some and the characters actually became human again. No more watching a fat white guy being hailed from Africa or an Italian being portrayed as an Indian. Now it was about realistic gimmicks that the average fan can become interested in, while not completely ignoring the character & scripted aspect of the business.
So, based on the times, I think it truly hit it's peak in the AE, when wrestling was larger than ever and ushering in a new generation of fans. So, mid to late 90s.