Top 15 Amazing Ideas Wrestlers Came Up With Themselves
Wrestling has been proven to be a very odd business. So often, things that look great and sound terrific flop while dumb stuff works out. In so many ways, it’s a bit of chance, figuring out which gimmicks or characters can click and which won’t. Promoters try over and over to give guys stuff that just doesn’t work out and often hurts them. Other times, guys can manage to make even stupid ideas work well. Look at The Undertaker. He was given as dumb a gimmick as possible but it turned out to be an incredibly successful one. Sometimes, it just needs the right guy to make it work.
Sometimes, guys come up with ideas on their own that end up far better than anything the promoters could have come up with. An old mantra is the best wrestling personas are just the real guy taken to the tenth level and so many times, they’re able to prove that. It’s what has led to major mega-stars taking off and especially in the Attitude Era. But other guys are able to work with great ideas as well to boost themselves up more. Here are 15 times wrestlers came up with stuff on their own that elevated them to a new level and proved how the real workers can do a lot better than the top brass in working things out.
- THE HOLLYWOOD BLONDES – GIMMICK
Over the years, Steve Austin and Brian Pillman would achieve greater fame for ideas they came up with that appear later on this list. In 1993, both were faltering in WCW as each had a great singles style but just didn’t seem that important to the higher-ups. They were put together as a tag team and basically told to just do anything they wanted. They came up with an old-school idea of a pair of heels who were wildly arrogant, calling themselves The Hollywood Blondes.
Pillman thought of stuff like matching tights and wearing jackets with stars and had the fun idea of putting lights in their boots to flash as they wrestled. They were meant to be forgotten but their great work and promos soon won fans over and pushed them to the tag team titles. WCW would break them up at the height of their success but it showed how Pillman and Austin had the tools to rise on their own merits.
- RAVEN – GIMMICK
Scott Levy had bounced around the scene for a while, starting as “Scotty the Body” in Portland and WCW with a surfer boy gimmick. In WWE, he was Johnny Polo, a rich kid manager and commentator. Joining ECW, Levy wanted something different and was inspired by the grunge movement, taking off to create a fantastic character. Raven was a brooding sociopath in ragged clothes and a leather jacket with long hair covering his face. His promos were different than the others, eloquent and philosophical, ending with “Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.” Fans loved it from the start, truly something unique even for ECW and his ring work helped get him over. This led to the epic feud with Tommy Dreamer that helped put ECW on the map. Levy would continue it in WWE, WCW and TNA and showcased a terrific character that was way ahead of his time.
- TRIPLE H & SHAWN MICHAELS – CHYNA
In early 1997, Hunter Hearst-Helmlsey (still the “Greenwich snob”) was IC champion and being pushed a bit more as a heel. Vince McMahon wanted him to have a bodyguard with the beefy Mr. Hughes in the role. However, Hunter wasn’t sure as that idea had been done to death already. He and Shawn Michaels were hanging at a hotel after a show when up came Joanie Laurer, talking about wanting to break into the business. Seeing tape of her work and seeing this impressive woman in person, Shawn and Hunter were instantly sold on the idea of a female bodyguard. Vince was unsure but they pressed that it could work and so “Chyna” debuted shaking Marlena like a rag doll.
Just as Hunter figured, fans responded to give him heat and she impressed by knocking down guys easily to help Hunter out. It aided him immensely in his rise to fame and would make both among the bigger stars of the Attitude Era.
- THE ROAD WARRIORS – THEIR LOOK
Hawk and Animal were pushed nicely because of their tough drive and great strength but they brought their own intensity and incredible power to the ring. The Legion of Doom would benefit from the addition of Paul Ellering, who really was their manager, helping them out a lot. That included creating the Road Warrior look as simple leather biker pants moved to studded collars and the spiked shoulder pads. The real brilliant touch was the face paint, something you didn’t see back in 1983 and really made them stand out. They also added the Mohawks and came up with their own design work (Hawk with a “Joker” motif on one eye while Animal had variations of a spider web) that made them even more impressive. It helped the Warriors become major stars and continue with their legacy as one of the best teams of all time and sold them as the best, despite so many imitators.
- SCOTT HALL – RAZOR RAMON
Scott Hall always had the good looks and build to be a wrestler but lacked the right touch to really get over. By 1991, he had dumped his afro and mustache for slicked-back hair, touched off with a toothpick as the Diamond Studd in WCW. It was good but WCW didn’t really grasp what they had and dropped him. Moving to WWE, Hall suggested a take on the character based on “Scarface” only to find Vince McMahon had never seen the movie. But he liked Hall’s “Cuban” accent and with the addition of gold chains and a tough attitude, pushed him for it. Soon, Razor Ramon was a top star, a heel but his cool factor soon won fans over to make him a face and a multiple-time Intercontinental champion. Hall has had his demons but this act showed how great he was finally getting over with his charisma and machismo.