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Likes wrestling....
11,470 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Wrestling has always had a foot ready to step into pop culture novelty acts at any point. Whenever it suits wrestling it's ready to embrace anything schlock.....If it can make them money these "novelty acts" will stick around.

Wether it be the Wrestling Batman of Buffalo, Cowabunga the Ninga Turtle, Arachnaman, or Lazer-Tron, goofy wrestling gimmicks are apart of the B- Movie appeal.

One of the craziest novelty act gimmicks happened of course, in Memphis, where Lawler had paraded out Witchdocters, Werewolves, Mummies, and Dr Frank of course.

But in 1988-89 it was time for the Slasher Movie Stars....

Jason, Leatherface, and Freddie, oh my.

All three slash stars were turned into somewhat successful wrestling acts. Krofatt took "Jason" to Canada, " Cprl Kirchner" became Leatherface in Japan, and in Memphis the Gilberts shared the Freddie role.

The father and brother of the late great Eddie Gilbert both played our Freddie. Tommy had occasional runs as a main event talent but he was not really a "top draw", just a steady hand who could top a card in a pinch. Doug was pretty much a very young mid card worker up to this point in his career. But the family name was well established in Memphis and across the south.

In 1984 "The Nightmare on Elm Street" hit the theaters. The lead villain, Freddie Krueger became an instant hit with fans, an early anti-hero. Four years later when Lawler put the mask on Tommy for his debut, the fans actually wanted to cheer for Freddie.

The actual debut of Freddie and the reasoning behind it is often times lost. The Nightmares were a long standing Memphis tag team that had began their breakup feud as Danny Davis would become a face.

Freddie was originally brought out as help for "Nightmare" Ken Wayne in his fued against his former partner "Nightmare" Danny Davis. The gimmick actually made some sense. I mean Freddie's whole gimmick was to enter your nightmares.....get it?

So fairly quickly Memphis recognized the fans loved Freddie and turned him face. He became a midcard attraction, even getting his own classic Memphis video.

Of course Freddie used the claw as his finisher.

The Freddie gimmick was so over Memphis started littering their cards with novelty acts to fight against Freddie.

At some point Tommy Gilbert turned the gimmick over to Doug Gilbert.

And Doug took the gimmick to Japan.

Joining Freddie in Japan was a steady diet of worlkers dressing as monsters.

Working for W*ING and the IWA, the monster tours were pretty successful and Freddie could always count on a Japan tour for over two decades. Doug would also bring Freddie back to the States and wrestle for Conrette and the indies.

From 1992 up until 1997 Freddie was over in Japan. Fact is Freddie scored a lot of wins and was pretty protected.

It was not until 1998 that the shine of the gimmick began to tarnish.

Freddie started to drop more matches and would put over other wrestlers and monsters.

That midcard gimmick that got over because of a tag team breakup. originally.....Who knows how much influence the Freddie gimmick had on wrestling? I mean the entire "monster card" hardcore gimmick in Japan was started because of the Memphis mid card angle.

Good for Tommy and Doug Gilbert for making this quirky idea work and spawn a subculture of wrestling in Japan.

Do they have Krusty's Partially Gelatinated, Non-D
3,238 Posts
Nice write up GL.

As silly as all that stuff is, it’s still pretty entertaining to watch.

Sub Zero Wins
156 Posts
People think this may be silly but I love this kind of stuff. As long as its done around Halloween.
Jason and Freddie were covered by various promotions but WWE actually had one of their longest reigning stars act as though he was Michael Myers for years with the sit ups and slow methodical walk which always caught his prey. The Undertaker portrayed him so well but it would have been amazing if he had put the Michael mask on for one match,maybe against Kane ,it would have worked. It would have been amazing to see live during a house show off screen. The Halloween theme song as his entrance would have gone hand in hand with his slow walk to the ring.
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