As much as we watch pro wrestling for the in-ring action and the spectacle of each event, one cannot argue against the importance of gimmicks. This industry has practically been built upon the shoulders of captivating characters. During the patriotic period of the 1980s, Hulk Hogan was the top face. In the grungy, rebellious era of the 1990s, no one personified the every man like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Of course, these are examples of characters that succeeded.
Others, however, slipped into obscurity when, arguably, they shouldn’t have. One can make the counter-argument that some of these characters deserved to fade, as they stood little chance of appealing to broad audiences. What about those that shouldn’t have gone away, though? While everyone has their own understanding of what “underrated” entails, it’s easy to imagine that some gimmicks, in professional wrestling, deserved better than what they received.
Here are just 4 of those very gimmicks, and we’ll start off with one that could make anyone’s skin crawl.
#4: Rick Rude
If there was a face that every WWE fan in the late 80s wanted to punch. Rick Rude exuded arrogance, and why shouldn’t he have? Along with being one of the better workers of the time, he had a body that was practically chiselled out of stone.
He could call arenas of people fat and unwashed – “sweathogs,” and it wouldn’t matter. Rude knew how talented he was, being a former Intercontinental Champion. Shouldn’t someone like that be primed for the WWE Championship?
It’d be easy to sit here and say that politics held him down, as rumours have spread about Hogan being reluctant to feud with Rude on TV. Supposedly, Hogan was intimidated by Rude’s superior definition and his legitimate tough guy background.
However, those rumours are largely substantiated, so your guess is as good as mine. It does not change the fact that the Ravishing One deserved better, as his gimmick is one that can be considered one of the most timeless.