There's an old saying. You got to start somewhere. And it's no different for some of the WWE Superstars who are some of the greatest WWE Wrestlers of all time. It's quite revealing that like any artist, wrestlers have evolved their gimmicks over time, till they find the one that works.
More importantly, their mic skills are limited at times and their move set probably is not what they're actually known for, at that point. In other cases, some WWE Superstars had a different avatar than some of the WWE fans are used to and well, came off 'weird.' Sometimes, you have to go the long way around to get to the place that makes any wrestler or performer special.
AJ Styles wasn't always the performer he is today. In TNA/Impact Wrestling, he was known for his dangerous high-flying exploits but not necessarily a polished guy on the mic. It was his reincarnation as The Lone Wolf and his being part of The Bullet Club in NJPW which transformed him into The Phenomenal One.
Here are 6 rarely seen promos by famous WWE Wrestlers in different gimmicks then you're used to.
#6 Scott Hall
Razor Ramon. The Bad Guy. Last Call Scott Hall. Was this version Texas Scott Hall? It's quite amusing to see 'The Cuban' Razor Ramon as a guy you would mostly find at a local rodeo. Granted, Scott Hall was not Cuban to say the least, but it is jarring to those who grew up seeing the man oozing 'Machismo' come across as a 'Good Ol' Boy.'
The clip below is from CWA Memphis Wrestling. It seems so out of character for The Bad Guy to come off as a straight-faced but muscled 'goody two shoes.' At the same time, his mic skills are excellent. He's able to connect with the audience while still in Kayfabe. This is from the wrestling territory days when wrestling was treated as a sport and not just sports entertainment.
But Scott Hall was a natural on camera, and it's one of the reasons why he succeeded as well as he did.
The Cerebral Assassin. The Game. Triple H. French Aristocrat? It's hard to imagine HHH in the getup. He looks like someone who escaped from the Pirates of the Carribean theme park ride and never went back. And they said that WWE had horrible gimmicks in the 1990s? As Jim Ross famously said, 'Good God Almighty.'
The character is actually not that different to when HHH debuted in WWE but speaking with a French accent? Triple H is a lot of things when it comes to professional wrestling but providing an actual French accent is not one of them. It's a good thing he never went into Hollywood full time because the results would certainly have not been in his favour.
While the promo is laughable at best, it also shows how much work HHH has put in over the years and he has evolved with the times.
#4 Kevin Nash
Good lord, another member of The Kliq? If anyone has had numerous bad gimmicks in their careers, it was Kevin Nash. He was one half of a tag-team called The Master Blasters and went by the name Steel. Then, he was repackaged as Oz, a character who apparently got tired of tangling with the likes of Dorothy and decided to pursue his dream of being a pro-wrestler.
Before he was Diesel in the WWE, he was Vinnie Vegas. Yes, the man known was Big Daddy Cool and Big Sexy was now a man who was a 'wise guy' from Vegas. His 'Brooklyn accent' is laughable at best but he still does the promo with ease and is a natural with the camera.
While it's debatable how good an in-ring performer he was, he certainly did know how to do a promo and do it well.
#3 The Undertaker
If Sting was Mr WCW, The Undertaker was Mr WWE. Sure, he got his start elsewhere but who didn't? The man who went by The Lord of Darkness, The Phenom, The American Bad Ass, Big Evil, The Deadman, The Man From Death Valley and The Demon From Death Valley...was once known as 'Master of Pain' and 'Mean Marc.'
It's interesting that one of the most famous and greatest WWE Wrestlers of all time was just a 'big mean ginger' who kicked everyone around in the ring. It's interesting how the man seen below wasn't necessarily the presence he was today.
His promo as 'Master of Pain' in CWA Memphis wrestling portrayed him as the man who was released from Prison. The Mean Mark promo is limited in comparison and more of a showcase for Teddy Long. But what is notable in both is that there was talent in the way he handled the promos as well as his performance in the ring.
Vince McMahon sure does know how to build WWE Superstars.
#2 The Ultimate Warrior
Let's be clear. This is The Ultimate Warrior in his second run in 1996. His return was anticipated and he returned at WrestleMania 12, destroying HHH in a few minutes. It started with a bang but ended with a whimper. What's more, is that the WWE didn't know how to handle him or in what feuds to put him in.
At one point, Warrior, Ahmed Johnson and Shawn Michaels were scheduled to face Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith and Vader at In Your House 9. This is also the same time that Ultimate Warrior and Vince McMahon had a falling out and had a dispute over merchandise sales and no-showing house shows.
The video below goes as planned but it is strange seeing Warrior in what essentially him looking like he's going to the beach in Malibu. The sunglasses belong to Count Dracula and him going around in circles like a caged animal just doesn't fit. Considering he's wearing white it looks like he escaped from a local mental asylum. Ultimate, he was not.
#1 The Rock
The Rock. The People's Champion. The Brahma Bull. The Great One. The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment. These are the monikers that the WWE Universe knows Rocky by. But many don't realize that he actually started as Flex Kavana. It's not that bad a name but sounds like a rejected character from G.I. Joe.
The Rock got his start in the indies wrestling in front of the few rather than the millions of WWE fans. Thanks to Jerry Lawler, Rocky was able to 'cut his teeth' on USWA, an independent now-defunct promotion co-owned by Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett. Even in these early promos, you can see glimpses of the man most wrestling fans would come to know as The Great One.
At the same time, he is quite raw in his presentation and the glasses don't help. But you got to start somewhere. Even for those who were born great.
Do you guys remember any old promos like these? Comment below