Posts Tagged ‘Gimmick’

Madusa (WWE’s Alundra Blayze) recently did an interview with Scott Fishman for SEScoops.

During the interview, the WWE Hall of Famer spoke about Cora Jade putting her “NXT” Tag Team Women’s Title belt in the trash on the July 19 edition of “NXT 2.0.” It was on December 18, 1995, on “WCW Nitro” when Madusa infamously dropped her WWE Women’s Title in the garbage.

“The Cora Jade throwing the belt in the trash, what was that? They keep trying to steal my gimmick,” said Madusa. “What is that? You’ll never be able to do it. The thing is when I saw that, I said, ‘Well damn at least that b*tch got to keep her job.”

Madusa appeared on the July 27 edition of “NXT 2.0,” a week after Jade’s incident. While on the show, she brought Roxanne Perez the garbage can, where her former tag team partner dumped the title belt and announced a Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Championship match to crown new champions. The winners of the match ended up being Kayden Carter and Katana Chance. The duo still holds the “NXT” Women’s Tag Team Titles.

Also, during the interview with SEScoops, Madusa teased that she isn’t done in the ring. 

“Never say never. That damn saying is such a trademark in this business because you can’t. I’ve never had a retirement match and I would love to have a retirement match, but that may have gone and sailed.”

Maria Kanellis wrestled in WWE under the name Maria from 2005 until 2010, originally getting her start in the wrestling business as part of one of the Diva Searches WWE did back in the Ruthless Aggression era. Kanelils did not find championship success in her first run with the company, however, she did compete in two different WrestleManias, most notably teaming with Ashley against Beth Phoenix and Melina at WrestleMania 24. In her run with WWE, Kanellis did not play the smartest woman in the world, and apparently, that did not stop onscreen. While on an Interview With James, Kanellis described how her gimmick was able to help her backstage when the cameras were not rolling.

“I liked playing my character pretty much full-time,” Kanellis said. “At that time, there was a lot of sexism, there was a lot of things that were kind of flying around and if I was the dumb girl, then people kind of left me alone and for me, it was almost like some shield against everyone else and their crazy.”

Maria returned to WWE in 2016 alongside her husband, Mike Bennett, who wrestled under the name Mike Kanellis during his tenure with WWE. The pairing did not find much success other than a few 24/7 title wins between the two of them, with Maria becoming the first woman in WWE history to win a championship while pregnant. Mike and Maria were released from WWE on April 15th, 2020, following their about four-year run with the company and have not returned since. Mike is currently one-half of the Impact World Tag Team Champions, and both are part of the Honor No More faction.

Rhea Ripley has admitted that her on-screen character was “slowly starting to get stale”.

The Judgment Day member told ITR that she “really needed” to turn heel and embrace a different side to her personality, because her character was regressing badly. Pre-Judgment Day, Rhea was stuck in female tag-teams alongside both Nikki A.S.H and Liv Morgan – neither role particularly suited her.

On that, Ripley said: “I felt myself just sort of shifting back to that. I was like, Nah! Nah, fam. I don’t want this, I don’t like this!”. Rhea was keen to “be a menace and just be chaotic and brutal”. She also fancied switching up her ring gear and look a little too.

Going under Edge’s learning tree alongside Damian Priest, and then ousting Edge from power to replace him with Finn Bàlor, let Ripley experiment with some new gear choices. She’s very happy about that, and recognises the value of freshening things up occasionally.

Rhea told fans that she’d “lost [her] brutal steak” and was “becoming too lovey-dovey” on TV. That, she thinks, needed arrested before things went too far and she lost purpose.

Finn Bálor thought his babyface character was “monotonous” before turning heel as the new leader of Judgment Day.

The Irishman told Gorilla Position that he’s “enjoying being a true heel”, and views his current persona as “a p*ssed off version” of himself – it’s also similar to “hungry Finn”. Yep, Mr. Bálor gets hangry! Seriously though, turning rogue was important to Finn, because he really wasn’t digging his “monotonous” baby guise.

It’s hard to argue that Bálor as a babyface in WWE is severely limited. Fans noted years ago that he was super-smiley on camera but lacked any depth as a personality, and it seems Finn himself agrees with that. He admitted during the interview that he’d been “going through the motions” pre-heel turn.

Now, he’s “reinvigorated” and loving life.

WWE did try on a heel run in NXT back in 2019, but plans changed when the COVID pandemic hit in March 2020. By then, the company had decided to turn Bálor into a tweener and skirt the fine line between heel and face.

He’s much more comfortable as an out-and-out villain these days though. Long may it continue.

Alexa Bliss claims she has a new “version” of herself that she’s “dying” to show the world.

The WWE Raw star told ‘MackMania‘ that she’s just waiting for “the right time” to sell company creative on the idea and bring it to screens. In an interesting moment, Bliss also said that “it’s all about timing” – she isn’t sure this fresh idea would work in the current landscape.

If Alexa was being brutally honest, she thinks her latest character (which is a little no-frills and as close to her real-life personality as fans are going to get) is pretty “boring”. Yes, Bliss actually used that word during the interview to describe her recent run alongside Asuka in the women’s tag-team division.

She wants more then, but knows that timing is everything.

Alexa added that she’s looking to “regroup and reorganise things” so she’s ready to strike when the time is right. That could be later this year, or it might be during WrestleMania season in 2023. Either way, Bliss is looking forward to trying on something new soon.

It isn’t every day you hear a current WWE star describe their work as “boring”.

Alexa Bliss has had quite a career in WWE, winning major championships and wrestling at shows such as WrestleMania and SummerSlam. But does that make The Goddess a certified WWE Hall of Famer in her opinion?

“I think on paper, yes,” former Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss said appearing on “MackMania.” “On paper, I could be a Hall of Famer, 100%. You know, I’ve been very fortunate with the opportunities I’ve had in WWE, especially in my first couple of years on the roster … On paper our whole women’s division technically yes, could be Hall of Famers.”

Bliss has been on the main roster since she was drafted to the “WWE Smackdown” brand in July 2016. Within her first year of being on the main roster, Bliss became the first woman in WWE history to win both the “Raw” and “Smackdown” Women’s Championships, doing so, in fact, within 10 months of her debut. Since then, Bliss has gone on to win a total of five Women’s Championships, three on “Raw” and two on “Smackdown,” and the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship twice.

Prior to her main roster run, Bliss wrestled on the “NXT” brand, however, she was never the main focus of the show. More often than not she was the manager of a tag team consisting of Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy.

What does Bliss believe gives her a Hall of Fame career on paper? The Five Feet of Fury has played many iterations of different characters in WWE.

“There is a version of me that I am dying to get to, it just hasn’t gotten there yet,” Bliss said. “Man, I’ve been like nine different people. If you really look at it, from start to now, nine different like, variations of how I look, how I act, how I speak, and right now it’s just me … Lexi is not for TV, I’m boring like as a person, you know? On TV right now I’m boring.”

Some of the well-known gimmicks from Bliss’ WWE career include The Goddess, which was her character when she first came to the WWE main roster. There was also the darker version of her when she was aligned with Brat Wyatt and following Wyatt’s release, she began talking to Lilly (a doll). In “NXT,” Bliss had worked under a bubbly cheerleader gimmick when she first debuted, however, in turning heel and joining Blake & Murphy, that gimmick was dissolved.

Alexa Bliss is a five-time women’s champion, a two-time women’s tag team champion, and a former Money In The Bank winner. But ever since she returned to WWE for the Elimination Chamber match this year following a lengthy break after SummerSlam 2021, Bliss hasn’t had a defined gimmick.

“I’m this limbo right now,” Bliss recently admitted to Metro. “I don’t really know where I’m going with my character yet. I kind of evolved so many times in the last nine years, I feel like I’ve had more characters than any other woman on the roster. So now, it’s finding where I fit, what character is needed for the show. Right now, I’m just me, and I don’t like that for TV. I like me for me outside in life, but for TV – Lexi is not entertaining.”

Bliss’ character work has been strong in the past, whether it was playing a bratty heel or The Fiend’s supernatural sidekick, but right now she doesn’t have anything specific. Bliss had been working with a psychologist on television, having meetings that were seemingly going to lead to a clear character, but that didn’t happen. Her current gimmick sees her dressing the same as she did during her darker, more eerie run, complete with her sinister doll, Lilly, but she no longer uses Lilly as a weapon, and all her supernatural evil has been removed, leaving Bliss portraying a largely generic babyface character.

“I’m stuck trying to figure out what that is,” Bliss said. “Especially after therapy, after taking away all the aspects of what the dark, evil Alexa was, but still having Lilly and being able to understand that Lilly is now an accessory, not as a focal point,”

“It’s finding that creative process of trying to figure out what’s gonna be, one, fun for me, two, what’s gonna relate to an audience, and what’s gonna be easy for the writers to write for,” she explained.”

Recently Bliss has lacked a clear narrative or storyline in WWE, having been used in random matches on “WWE Raw” which have primarily seen her feud with Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H., which did see her briefly become 24/7 Champion for a period. While it seemed for a moment that WWE was planning to have Bliss team up with Asuka, the two did not interact on this past Monday’s “Raw,” and with the WWE as a whole now under new creative management, it remains to be seen where Bliss goes from here.

Few AEW talents have the kind of savage promo skills that Dan Lambert possesses.

The mouthpiece of American Top Team has inspired several awe-inspiring insults in the past regardless of who the faction was feuding with at the time. But are AEW fans actually starting to welcome these vicious insults on the weekly AEW shows? Ethan Page certainly thinks so.

In a new interview with “Insight With Chris Van Vliet”, Page praised Lambert for the notoriety he’s brought to Page and his partner, Scorpio Sky, also known as the Men of the Year in AEW.

“Honestly, the amount of people that he’s had us brush shoulders with and share the ring with, his connections, the heat that he gets from the crowd, [it’s incredible],” Page commented.

And, as mentioned, the featured AEW star believes that audiences are warming up to seeing American Top Team grill their opponents each week. Their main goal is to make a lasting impression on the fans whether they have “60 or 90 seconds”

“I’m noticing lately, people are turning the corner on Dynamite Dan and I think it’s because they understand the fact that he is a world-class entertainer, he’s a performer. He is knocking it out of the park every single week. Us as a unit, I don’t think there’s ever been a time where we’ve been on screen and people have been like, ‘Well, that kind of stinked’ … I’ve been noticing that we’re on television every single week and people don’t ever remember the length of it, they just remember that they got to see us.”

Page notes that, similar to Lambert, he emphasizes the obscene words he chooses so that it will stir up attention. For instance, Page prefers to use the words “tits” to describe his pectoral muscles.

“So, I am all about wordplay, things that sound good when they come out of my mouth, shock value. Like, ‘Did this guy really just say that?’

“To stand out, to be different, and my social media has always been like, oh, what’s going to get a laugh? What’s going to get a like? What’s going to get some interaction? And I’ve always been a silly dude, and I thought, okay, why do females only get to say the word tits? So I was like, ‘I got tits too and they’re the tightest in the game!’

Alexa Bliss’ new character direction continued on last night’s episode of WWE Raw, as she swept Doudrop aside in her latest quickfire Monday night victory since returning as a full-time regular earlier this month.

Raw announcer Corey Graves has made a point of suggesting that Bliss has been working with less ruthlessness and intensity since returning from her hiatus. Clearly, this is a character direction WWE is attempting to take with Alexa, who, despite no longer leaning as heavily on her former Fiend-isms, still carries her toy doll, Lilly, to the ring.

This latest Bliss run was preceded by talk that the former Raw and SmackDown Women’s Champion may return to her old ‘Goddess’ persona following a series of counselling segments earlier in the year. This hasn’t happened thus far, but Alexa herself appeared to acknowledge the discourse on Twitter after Raw:

Bliss is currently 4-0 since returning in early May, having defeated Sonya Deville (twice), Nikki A.S.H., and now Doudrop during this run. Previously, she came back to WWE at Elimination Chamber 2022 before vanishing for another two-and-a-half months without apparent reason.

The ‘Goddess’ character’s blueprint was drawn during Alexa’s time managing Blake and Murphy in NXT in 2015, making it to the main roster the following year.

Dustin Rhodes admits he didn’t know exactly what he was getting himself into when he signed with the World Wrestling Federation (now, WWE) in 1995. Rhodes was given the character of “Goldust”. It was a dramatic departure from his in-ring persona up to that point in his career, but Rhodes was determined to make it work.

“A lot of people think that could be a rib,” Rhodes told Thunder Rosa on her Taco Vlog. “Like Dad [Dusty Rhodes] in the polka dots was a rib but he got it over. He got it over because he’s Dusty Rhodes, ‘The American Dream’. I didn’t think of it that way back then because I was young and I just wanted to do something other than try to fill my dad’s shoes. I wanted – I saw this as an opportunity.

“Had no idea what any of the things he [Vince McMahon] was telling me meant, like being androgynous and things like that, until I hung up the phone and would look in the dictionary and figured out. What did I just sign up for, right?” Rhodes continued. “But after all that, I said, ‘You know what? Let’s give it a try.’ It was – He was 110% behind the character and hands-on and gave me a lot of rope when everybody else was – like The Kliq and things – trying to get people fired and whatnot. Didn’t matter, he was going with me. So he let me take my time and find the character, and it took about seven months.”

Dustin Rhodes says his memorable look as Goldust was different from the original concept Vince McMahon had in mind. It was Rhodes who wanted to paint his face.

“(Vince McMahon) wanted the wig and all that, and like, Adrian Adonis makeup, right?” Rhodes explained. “Which was like some pink blush and stuff. I wanted paint. We agreed to that. I was a big fan of paint because of watching Sting all those years in WCW. I always wanted to paint my face, so he was OK with that. But we made it to where at the beginning, it was a gold face, two black eyes, and black ears. It looked really out there with the wig and all the stuff.”

Goldust won the WWF Intercontinental Championship just a few months after his debut, but Dustin Rhodes says he was struggling to find the character at the time. He says it was another WWF regular, Savio Vega, who helped him overcome his inhibitions and find the spark that would lead to future success.

“Savio Vega was such a good worker, man,” Rhodes recalled. “And I give him a lot of credit for bringing Goldust out. And he kept wanting for weeks and a couple of months for me to just do these things that I wasn’t comfortable with. And I finally broke down in Madison Square Garden – a huge Puerto Rican community. He’s there, I’m the Intercontinental Champion, we go in, and I finally tell him, ‘OK, fine. Let’s do it.’ And it was so simple but I built it up in my head to be so, ‘I’m against that. I can’t do that, that’s not me.’ Whatever. I was scared, right?

“So as soon as I [did] what we had talked about, was me going behind him and rubbing up and down his chest,” Rhodes continued. “That’s it, right? I was really terrified to do that. It was something that I just would not do. Did not do that, did not think that way. And I did it and he turned around, and I just ran out of the ring. They [the fans] (expletive). I did not get any reaction for that 6-7 months until right then. And it was like they were screaming every profane name that they could possibly call me, and I was like, ‘Holy f*ck’. And I’m looking at Savio in the ring and I’m staying away from the rails because they’re stepping over, and they’re spitting, and they’re cussing. And this is…’95, this is 1995 or 1996.

“And I rolled back in and I’m looking at him in the corner, and he’s laughing. I’m like, ‘Motherf*cker’. And we lock up and he takes me back to the corner, and he’s still laughing, and I’m like, ‘Why are you laughing?’ ‘See? I told you it’d work. I told you it’d work, just listen to me.’ He said, ‘We’re gonna do another one now.’ And I’m like, ‘Aw, God. What are we gonna do now?’ He said, ‘Back me up to the corner.’ I backed him up to the corner. I turned around and I stuck my ass right in his d*ck. OK? Ref’s counting, counting, counting. I start rubbing my ass on his d*ck. He pushed me in the back. I turned around, I gave him a little kiss and I rolled out of the ring. They (went), ‘Whoa!’ Goldust was created.”

Dustin Rhodes said his experience as Goldust provided lessons that he now tries to pass on to his own students. He explained how pro wrestlers need to break out of their comfort zones.

“I did not want to do touchy, step-over-the-line stuff,” Rhodes explained. “And that – Now looking back on it, it is what I tell my students is you have to step over that scary line and out of your little bubble if you’re gonna make something, if you’re gonna be a success story. And I did, finally.”