Source: E&C Pod Of Awesomeness
Recently on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness, world champions Edge and Christian talked all about pro wrestling gimmicks. Notably, Edge and Christian discussed Glenn Jacobs, better known as Kane, The Undertaker's legendary run, and why 'The Ringmaster' gimmick did not work for WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin.
"There's a guy, okay, Isaac Yankem, then, new Diesel, and just, he's too good to deny. And then, thankfully, finally, they realized, 'okay, let's do something with him.'" Edge said, "how thankful do you think he [has] got to be after trying to make all of those gimmicks work and then [to hear], 'okay, you're going to be The Undertaker's brother, Kane'?"
Christian concurred that Kane was saddled with bad gimmicks, but the Knox County, Tennessee mayoral candidate was just too good to be kept down.
"He probably did everything he could to make those other [gimmicks] work, right? So it's one of those ones where you get out what you put in. And he might not necessarily like those ones, but he always did the best with what he had. And plus, he just looked so unique. He had the size. He was good, still is good, that eventually something was going to work out for him."
According to Edge, on paper, the Undertaker gimmick does not have legs, but The Undertaker went on to become the new Andre The Giant.
"On paper, does The Undertaker [gimmick] sound like something that will go on to be undefeated at WrestleMania for like 22 years, and be the tentpole holding up the company at certain times, and kind of the measuring stick within the [pro] wrestling industry, more or less, the new Andre The Giant?" Edge added, "it sounds like the shelf life isn't going to be that long."
On the subject of The Undertaker, Christian agreed with his fellow 'Kazookeeper' and argued that the gimmick would not have worked on anyone else.
"The thing is too, I honestly believe if it was on anybody but The Undertaker, it wouldn't've worked. It would've had that shelf life, but because he personified it and he embraced it and he became The Undertaker. You just had to look at him. He had everything down, the movements, he had the entrance, and when he did his entrance, people still when they hear that gong, they stand up. It has become this revered character. He's also one of the most revered guys in the locker room. But I don't think it would have had much lasting power if it had been anybody but him doing it. I don't think anybody could do the character the way that he has done it."
Edge suggested that part of the reason for The Undertaker to shift to 'The American Bad Ass' gimmick was to refresh the character, but also because 'The Bikertaker' persona was less limiting than 'The Deadman' persona in terms of actual ring work.
"I mean, probably. I think one of the keys to longevity in [pro] wrestling, especially if you are going to remain the same character is the fact that you have to change it sometimes. Otherwise, it gets stagnant. It can still be a lighter shade or a darker shade, but The Undertaker went through many different phases like that. It was the Ministry [Of Darkness] Undertaker for a little while, which got even darker. And then, I think it just came a point where he had to switch it up. I also think that the reason it switched up is that he actually wanted to wrestle more because, as The Undertaker in the first kind of incarnation of it, the character kind of pigeonholed how much he could actually wrestle and he's a guy who can really work. So while he was working the gimmick initially, you couldn't go out and have the type of matches he could actually have, so I think 'The American Bad Ass' was a way to segue into being able to get in there with Kurt Angle and have amazing matches, technical matches too." Edge professed, "you had to have that segue to have The Undertaker that we have now."
With respect to Austin's short-lived 'Ringmaster' gimmick, Christian stated that 'The Ringmaster' did not work because the name did not fit Austin's look.
"I not really sure if it was a gimmick or really just a name, but the name didn't fit the look. Do you know what I mean? He had the bald head, huge legs, well-built. He was full-steam ahead when he was in the ring. Yeah, [Austin wore green trunks as 'The Ringmaster' because he was with 'The Million Dollar Man', right? But, like I said, I don't think the name fit the character [or] what he looked like. Do you know what I mean? And I think, to his credit, that he was not only good enough, but had the guts, I guess, to take the reins and change it into 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and make it the way he wanted it to be and like [Edge] said, become the biggest draw in the history of the company."
Click here to check out the podcast. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.