I have very fond memories of watching wrestling on Monday nights (and eventually Thursday nights) and being creeped the hell out by some of the more spooky denizens of sports entertainment. I would have been on the edge of my seat if I had not been sitting on the floor. Sure I thought wrestling was real for a bit when I first got into it but I quickly smartened up. Still, like all the horror movies I loved, I could get sucked in and my heart would start pounding and I would lean in. It was alright, because I knew the babyface (good guy) was always going to win.
I am only making a statement about the performers and clips I chose. The performers are the ones that stuck out in my mind and the clips are frankly subject to what is on youtube. I briefly worried that my lists so far are mostly comprised of WWE talent. There is a reason for that. WWE is what I grew up with so there’s something to be said about brand loyalty. I watch ROH and TNA but the first’s production values aren’t good enough to allow for creepiness and TNA is mostly too cartoony to be anything but laughable.
I read a lot about creepy/scary WCW performers but I did not watch much WCW back in the day since the DVR had not been invented yet. When I watch WCW now, I find myself so removed from it because I have read so many stories about the old days. For instance, I hear that Vampiro was scary but I just don’t see it, especially after reading Chris Jericho’s first book. I hear Kevin Sullivan was creepy but everything I read just sounds silly. Anyway, here are some examples of stuff that creeped or weirded me out.
Hands down, when I was scared while watching Monday Night Raw, it was probably the Undertaker who was the culprit. I mean, it’s enough that he can do that trick where you roll your eyes back and leave just the whites of your eyes showing. Add onto that his habit of taking horrible punishment and then just sitting up like a vampire in a coffin and you start getting nervous. He has come back from the dead on at least two occasions and slowly became a legendary, elemental force rather than a man. He was especially creepy during the period where he took on satanic overtones and became more ruthless. He gained the power to convert people into members of his “Ministry” and mind control is one of the things in fiction that scares me most. Sure his mistique has faded heavily as he has aged but still, when the gong hits and the lights go out for his entrance, I get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I fully admit to being creeped out and weirded out by The Boogeyman when he first showed up on Smackdown to terrorize people. The way he would show up suddenly and stare and sing innocent songs in a very creepy way was actually legitimately creepy. He looked and sounded unbalanced and seemed to have access to anywhere in the arenas that WWE visited. He also ate worms and moved his body like a crazy person. The only problem with the Boogeyman is that the spent a lot of money and time on promoting him and giving him a huge crazy entrance. They did not actually train him to be that good in the ring. Maybe his gimmick prevented him from really showing his stuff but he kind of went over like a fart in church. Still, while it lasted, it was fun to see him preying on the heels on the roster and he was definitely memorable.
Now, I am currently 31 years old and this guy still scares me a bit even almost a year after his debut. See, Bray Wyatt is the leader of the Wyatt Family which is a backwoods cult with vaguely Cthulu leanings. I mean, the guy calls himself “Bray Wyatt, Eater of Worlds” and claims to be more monster than man. He speaks cryptically about changing the world but in order to change the world, he must first watch it burn. He has two “sons” in Luke Harper and Eric Rowan who are both just as crazy as he is. Luke Harper speaks the Wyatt gospel whenever he can with a glossy-eyed, adoring look on his face. Eric Rowan wears a sheep mask and so far has only spoken one word: “Run.”. They are beholden to a mysterious “Sister Abigail” and much of their story is still shrouded in mystery. I find myself curious but also I don’t think I really want to know.
Hey, a TNA guy. The rest of the guys on this short list are all supernatural, spooky bad guys but that is not what Samuel Shaw is all about. He is that guy you might have met who is a little too focused and maybe the words come out of his mouth at a different rythym. The gimmick here seems to have a healthy dose of Dexter and then you throw in every crazy ex-boyfriend who was ever served a restraining order. He is obsessed with Christy Hemme and stalked her for months. He was not able to take no for an answer and pummeled anybody who so much as looked at her. Who knows what he would have done had he caught her. My mom always used to say that horror films like Cujo scared the crap out of her as a little girl because they were plausible. Maybe that’s why Samuel Shaw is so creepy.