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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Analyze This: Advent of Supernatural/Dark gimmicks

Pro-wrestling became mainly about gimmicks long time back and the usual gimmicks were based on what was in trend at that time or based on real time events like Iron Sheik during Iran Hostage Crisis.

But at some point of time, the gimmicks started to become dark in psychotic manner and involve supernatural like black magic among others. Kevin Sullivan is my opinion was a pioneer with his devil worshiping gimmick and Raven brought in the psychotic character. Mind you, am not talking about a wild man or beast character which was straightforward but twisted characters.

To the old timers specifically, when did the gimmicks start to become supernatural and dark and who pioneered them during the territorial days?

To all, which is the best Supernatural/Dark gimmick and how much do you think these characters add spice to the programming content?

Spoiler for Give the guy a break:
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 10:50 AM
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Re: Analyze This: Advent of Supernatural/Dark gimmicks

Obvious answer:



I do like the topic though.

I believe Baron Von Ratchke was also considered a "dark" type of character there may have been others that I'm not familiar with.

I think the supernatural characters add a cartoonish edge to wrestling, which is both good & bad, depending on what kind of product you have.

In the 80s & 90s WWF those types of characters could flourish because it was already a cartoonish product. As a kid I got a kick out of Papa Shango (even though he's terrible), Undertaker and characters that were superhuman because it kept in the tradition of comic book superheroes & supervillians which I've always loved.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Analyze This: Advent of Supernatural/Dark gimmicks

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonoaries View Post
Obvious answer:



I do like the topic though.

I believe Baron Von Ratchke was also considered a "dark" type of character there may have been others that I'm not familiar with.

I think the supernatural characters add a cartoonish edge to wrestling, which is both good & bad, depending on what kind of product you have.

In the 80s & 90s WWF those types of characters could flourish because it was already a cartoonish product. As a kid I got a kick out of Papa Shango (even though he's terrible), Undertaker and characters that were superhuman because it kept in the tradition of comic book superheroes & supervillians which I've always loved.
Quite true that Taker would easily top any poll for supernatural character easily but for old timers and newbies with respect to Attitude Era who did not catch or cherish Ministry, other gimmicks may come up and for even AE guys, Mankind and Kane are as perfect foil for Taker in this regards. Voice in the head Orton was also a bit dark and psychotic as was Mordecai. It did not disappear all of a sudden but did not flourish as it did back then.

Spoiler for Give the guy a break:

Last edited by theidealstranger; 11-11-2012 at 11:08 AM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 11:44 AM
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Re: Analyze This: Advent of Supernatural/Dark gimmicks

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Originally Posted by theidealstranger View Post
Quite true that Taker would easily top any poll for supernatural character easily but for old timers and newbies with respect to Attitude Era who did not catch or cherish Ministry, other gimmicks may come up and for even AE guys, Mankind and Kane are as perfect foil for Taker in this regards. Voice in the head Orton was also a bit dark and psychotic as was Mordecai. It did not disappear all of a sudden but did not flourish as it did back then.
I was a Gangrel mark during the AE too. The music, the look, the bloodbaths, everything just worked. I think they should have done more with him. I feel like they sort of dropped the ball on the whole Brood idea.

Mankind is also a great gimmick. Its a character that was confusing, you didn't understand his motivations, he's ugly. apparently some type of hunchback, with one ear playing with rats, it was amazing.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 01:56 PM
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Re: Analyze This: Advent of Supernatural/Dark gimmicks

It's odd, that Undertaker survived the New Generation Era with that gimmick, while many other weird gimmicks died. Gimmicks like Mantaur, Battle Cat, etc. And Gangrel's entrance was epic.

I accept Hayley Williams rep.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 02:05 PM
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Re: Analyze This: Advent of Supernatural/Dark gimmicks

as far as dark characters you had guys like the Crusher, Killer Kowalski, Abdulah and The original Sheik. The baron was great too, with his Claw finisher.

Some of my favorites from the modern era are.. Vader, not so much here in the states but in Japan he was pushed as a scary monster heel. Sabu, not so much in WWE but in ECW he was definitely one of the best of the guys that you didn't know a whole lot about, but you knew he was crazy and entertaining. And I like Vampiro's character just about everywhere he goes. He really has a handle on it (even if he doesn't seem to have much of a handle on the real world) He's crazy interesting in Mexico.




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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 02:05 PM
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Re: Analyze This: Advent of Supernatural/Dark gimmicks

I'd push it back even further, although the darker gimmicks were a lot more culture/race related. The original Shiek, Abdullah the Butcher, Bruiser Brody, Kamala, The Wild Samoans and Kabuki to name a few. All had an aura of mystery and danger but it wasn't until WWF started to blow kayfabe out of the water that things were being passed off as 'supernatural'.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 02:18 PM
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Re: Analyze This: Advent of Supernatural/Dark gimmicks

The brood had arguably the best entrance ever. The music, the fire, just fantastic. The gimmick as a whole was superb and will always be a favourite of mine.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-15-2012, 10:02 PM
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Re: Analyze This: Advent of Supernatural/Dark gimmicks

In my opinion there is a difference in psycho heels and dark gimmicks. Von Rashcke had a monster heel gimmick because he was a Nazi. There were dozens of Nazi's in wrestling before him. Probably the most famous being Hans Schmidt, and Fritz and Waldo Von Erich.

I think the first possible "dark" gimmick I remember was from the 1970's, but it is hard to believe it took till then for someone to do a dark gimmick. The gimmick however was more of a "monster gimmick" Dr. Frank debuted in like 1975 in Memphis as a monster brought in by Lawler (in a box, great angle) on Halloween to battle the faces...who were I think Ron Mikalocheck (a football player) and Tommy Rich.
Memphis was a really gimmick heavy promotion and we had Jason, Freddy (Ken Wayne), The Zombie, The Yeti and a cavalcade of creatures. Freddy even had an extended run, and was a face winning titles.

However like I said monster and dark are very different.

Chris Colt had a really dark gimmick pretty early, can't remember when...but to me Kevin Sullivan was the original. The Dark Scorpian gimmick was dark, and if it had a better payoff would be remembered as one of the all time great angles.

Lucha Libra went dark long before we did here. Wrestlers like Satanico were drinking blood out of grails long before Gangrel.

There was a guy who predated Shango in GWF. Remember Rasta the Vodoo Mon?

Personally I love these gimmicks, and wish there were more.

Anyways Stranger that's all I got for now....

Last edited by Greenlawler; 11-15-2012 at 10:06 PM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 01:20 AM
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Re: Analyze This: Advent of Supernatural/Dark gimmicks

I am a proponent of reality in wrestling. If it can't happen in real life then it just doesn't work for me. Undertaker is the rare exception but only because of the amazing matches he has had over the years.

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