Stuff I Loved In Spite of Myself
No company in the history of man has ever done everything right all the time. Sports entertainment companies are no different and I’ll definitely be posting on the truly terrible mistakes in a future episode. Sometimes though, a company comes up with an idea so weird that I can only shake my head and go “Alright, let’s see where this goes.” Sometimes I’m disappointed and sometimes I’m rewarded for my patience but these moments never fail to entertain.
Yes. You read that right. Doink is a wrestling clown. Doink was originally portrayed by Matt Osborne in 1992 but was also played by eight other men. When Doink debuted I was definitely intrigued and I have continued to be interested in the following 22 years that “he” has appeared. Even though one of Doink’s strength’s are his facial expressions, his make up allowed for pretty much anybody to play him. I preferred Osborne’s Doink who was a villainous clown when he first showed up. He was dressed so festive but looked so unhappy and would often play cruel pranks on babyfaces (good guys). Later he even briefly added a “twin” and did the mirror gag that Lucille Ball and the Marx Brothers made famous. He lost some of his shine when he became a good guy, largely due to Osborne getting fired.
So in 2006, five young wrestlers were brought up from Ohio Valley Wrestling which at the time acted as the WWE’s developmental promotion. All five guys were pretty much novices in the business but thrown together, they could possibly cover each other’s weaknesses. What gimmick were they given? They were a male cheerleader squad. You would think they would give this gimmick to a group of female wrestlers but no. I rolled my eyes but they kind of grew on me. They were committed to their gimmick and they were all pretty athletic. For some reason, the evil Vince McMahon decided to use them to enforce his despotic ways. He would pit all five of them against one of his enemies. The five to one advantage would pretty much always win out until they faced the reformed DX. After that, it was fun to watch them get their asses kicked. The only one left with the company is Nicky who became Dolph Ziggler.
I realize that this choice might be controversial. Now, I have been a fan of Santino Marella for some time ever since he changed from a generic hero to the people to a comical immigrant character that reminds me of Chico Marx. He is definitely a performer who quickly embraced his role as the company’s comic relief. He kind of went off the deep end when he decided he wanted to compete against women a la Andy Kauffman. When that didn’t work, he cross-dressed and spoke in a comically high-pitched voice and claimed to be his twin sister Santina. The wrestling was admittedly not very good but the backstage comedy bits could be priceless. He wore revealing dresses and did not bother to cover up his distinctive tattoos or shave body hair. You never saw Santino and Santina in the same place at the same time although he did pretape an interview with himself. It was all ended by Donald Trump of all people and everybody shrugged and carried on.
Damien Sandow has been a bright spot ever since I became aware of him. He is a pretty good physical performer but his skills on the mic are great. I consider myself to be pretty smart and well read. Sandow’s character takes that several steps farther and names himself the intellectual savior of the masses (his actual words) and combines that with a brutal offensive style. When Hugh Jackman showed up on WWE programming the first time I was wary but he pulled it off nicely. Prior to his recent appearance I heard that he was a really big fan of the product so when he appeared again, I looked forward to it. Damien Sandow stepped out in a certain costume that looked handmade and pathetic while being simultaneously pretty accurate. I urge you to watch the above video. It ended up being just perfect.
Brodus Clay originally debuted as a monster. He was a wall of a man who stood in the way when Edge was facing the villainous Alberto Del Rio. He brutalized Edge’s “brother” Christian over and over just by being difficult to knock down. He went away for a while after that feud was over and when he came back things were really, really different. Suddenly he had back up dancers and lights and catchy, poppy music. It was a huge change and I was very confused especially since Clay could never actually dance well. He was supposed to be chock full of funk but could only do the T-Rex arms bit from Thriller, the electric slide and the Gangnam Style dance. He later added other lame moves. Still, he kind of grew on me. It didn’t hurt that he continued to tear his opponents apart.
There is not much to say on this one yet as the character just debuted on Monday. Cody Rhodes might just warrant a whole episode of his own in the future. Cody is the real life younger brother of Dustin Runnels aka Goldust. In order to continue their tag team, Cody has now adopted his brother’s bizarre gimmick. Time will tell on this one but I’m willing to ride it out.
Tags: Brodus Clay, Cobra, Cody Rhodes, Damian Sandow, Doink the Clown, Goofiness, Pro-Wrestling, Santina Marella, Smark, Somebody Call My Mama, Spirit Squad, Stardust, WILPW, wrestling, You're Welcome