Tuesday, February 24, 2009

eW Six Pack: Best E-Fed Gimmicks Ever


For some, it's a dirty word. Gimmick? I don't need a stinkin' gimmick to get over in eW. For others, like me, it's their bread and butter. I don't think I've had a character that didn't start out as a total gimmick that I've gotten over huge. Arguing the benefits of gimmicks vs. characters that are the handler turned up to 11 is a post for another day.

This post is for the best gimmicks in eW that I've at least seen, in Six Pack form. Now, a few disclaimers. One, best gimmick doesn't necessarily mean best quality. A handler could have a mediocre gimmick, but RP the hell out of it and be a top talent. Plus, most handlers run characters that are part "real" and part gimmick anyway. Two, well, there is no two, only Zuul. Now, without further ado...

The Six Best E-Fed Gimmicks Ever

1. Olivir Arsvinnar, Porn Star Viking - I want to know what was going through Strawsma's mind when he came up with this. Actually, scratch that. I'd probably be deathly afraid of what I'd find there. In all seriousness though, this is the kind of absurd gimmick that could only work in eW, which is usually populated by those smarky Internet fans whose quirky senses of humor give us characters like The Illustrious Face-Eater and Professor Tremendous. Just to give some background to the folks who don't know and are new to the blog (where I've raved before), Olvir is like Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, only instead of a caveman, he's a Viking seafarer unthawed in the modern ages. Vikings are good at a few things, some of them being pillaging, drinking, screwing and fighting, all good qualities to have if you're a professional wrestler. Well, maybe not the screwing part, but it helps with the gimmick.

It doesn't hurt that Strawsma's warped mind is the perfect vehicle for this character to roar on all cylinders, or to get in the mood of the character more, to row with the might of a thousand rowers in a Viking longboat. When Olvir is on, there isn't really a character more entertaining to read.

2. Slambo the Clown, e-Wrestling's Answer to Pennywise - This is the Bill Dempsey edition that teamed with Prisoner 187 and the HPSC, not the one that was P-187 in what was the seminal swerve in the early history of A1E.

Anyway, the evil clown gimmick was done in the WWF back in the '90s with Doink. As an aside, I always thought Doink was underrated as a heel. It got a bit too kitschy when he became face, but that's neither here nor there. Now, if you think Slambo mk II was a play off that character, you'd be sorely mistaken. Slambo wasn't really an evil clown as much as he was psychotic, downtrodden, almost subhuman. He was really a clown who was everything that a clown wasn't for most kids (who weren't afraid of them growing up :p).

There was always an underlying innocence behind every Slambo RP, like there was a gentle child behind the savage exterior, and even though he never won a World Championship (while Bill achieved that with Freakfish), I always thought Slambo was his greatest success as a character.

3. Dr. Curiosity, Mad Scientist of the Squared Circle... Literally - This is the prime example of a gimmick that can only really work on eW. If it were tried in the "real" thing, it'd come off contrived and really fuckin' goofy. However, in the e-fed universe, where in-character writing isn't limited to on-camera stuff and is often times better-written than the more outlandish stuff you see on camera for one of the big promotions, it's gold in the right hands.

Andy Hewitt's hands were, and still are, more than capable of turning lead into gold, and I bet Doc C has tried that at one point. The Good Doctor got his start in XUW, which was PTC's resident nuthouse, but he parlayed that success into a crossover smash in the fWo and more recently, NFW.

4. The Codemaster, The Blackest Brother in the Kingdom of Hyrule - Now here's a gimmick that I thought would have worked huge in the WWE. A guy who's so delusional to think that he's a video game overlord... classic. Although Mike Renner will be known for a lot of things in our extended circle before his time's up, this bombastic, video-game trivia spouting villain will rank as his most colorful character (and for a guy who created the traveling geek squad known as Mega Job... that's something).

I think what helps is that Renner probably has an unhealthy addiction to video games and video game characters. I mean, this is the guy who penned (sprited?) the webcomic In Wily's Defense. All in all, whatever fed Codemaster lands in should be grateful to get him and will always get entertaining segments that are satisfying on every level to giant nerds such as myself.

5. El Magick-O (blogger's note: the "O" is for orgasm), The Sexual Wrestling Magician - LVW was such a great concept for a fed because the city itself lends itself to gimmicks. I mean, a crapload of casinos there have some kind of theme going for them, from the Pirates of the Caribbean to scaled-down models of European landmarks. The acts that populate the stages at the lounges there often times are laden with gimmicks. You could find anything to watch in Vegas if you really wanted to, and I truly believe that LVW was a microcosm for that, something that let people try things they'd never try in another FWC fed. This is the fed that gave us the aforementioned Olvir Arsvinnar, Eastern European strongman Hans Novak, a character that was a wrestling Elvis impersonator and in the later days, an actual "dog-boy".

Aside from Olvir, the standout gimmick to me was El Magick-O (the O being for orgasm). Not that there was anything really groundbreaking about it, but it was almost the perfect gimmick to be played in a fed based out of Las Vegas. Of course, the sexual aspect was just icing on the cake, but coming from the warped mind of Mike McNichols, well, that's to be expected.

6. Lowell Dot Com, The Shillin' Villain - A devious, constantly scheming manipulator who sells advertising space on his ring attire? Handled by Devin Woods, who probably huffs as much glue as Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia but writes wrestling RPs instead of rock operas about Dayman?



Sean said...

Not a bad list (granted I'm unfamiliar with some of the names), but I think you're leaning too much towards the comedic spectrum, and not taking some of the great serious gimmicks of the hobby into account.

Lowell really is brilliant though, and it's even more amazing considering Devin's other best known character is a total old-school Memphis heel who finishes with a piledriver.

Steven Caldera said...

Andy's the only writer on the list I'm completely familiar with, so I'll just say this: I think there's a dearth of great gimmicks these days. I blame WWE; they've completely erased anything the slightest bit gimmicky and make everyone dress alike. The only gimmick left in WWE is Cryme Tyme, and their gimmick is that they're black.

I'm a staunch realist, but a talented writer can make anything work. Bring back the lost art of the gimmick!

FrankieScott said...

I have to agree with the LVW stuff. That league was the best in the way it had gimmick style. I decided to go the other way and bring a former "Broadway" performer in. I think if there was time, people would have known Broadway Johnny Doll more than they would ever know Frankie Scott. (Not that anyone knows Frankie that well anyway. lol)