An engaging and complex gimmick is crucial to a wrestler’s success. If Dwayne Johnson never transitioned from Rocky Maivia to the Brahma Bull, would The Rock have ever become one of WWE’s biggest success stories? No.
With WWE’s already overpopulated roster still expanding, it is unsurprising that even some of the most talented wrestlers on the planet are falling to the wayside as a result of their one-dimensional gimmicks.
However, as Bray Wyatt is currently proving, all is not lost for even the most buried WWE wrestlers.
P.S. Some of these might seem a bit crazy but here them out…
10. Finn Bálor
Gimmick Change – Soul Destroying Demon
This first entry is more of an adjustment to Finn’s already-utilized Demon persona. The question we all ask is why does Finn not use the Demon for every match? In kayfabe, he becomes more ruthless with it and is significantly more successful, so what is stopping him? This backstory gives us the answers we are looking for.
The story is as follows: whenever Finn ‘releases’ the Demon, a part of his soul is lost. The longer he remains as the Demon, the more of his soul is destroyed. Eventually, his soul regenerates once he returns to his normal state. However, this takes time and causes Bálor to be significantly slower and mistake-ridden in the ring. In subsequent nights, he becomes almost a ghost of his former self, but with each week we see glimpses of him returning to his best.
If he competes in a significantly long match whilst in his Demon form then it may take months for his soul to regenerate and the ordeal may be so taxing, he has to avoid wrestling in the weeks that follow.
Therefore, Bálor has to weigh up the cost each time he decides to bring out the Demon for a match. Ultimately, this would prevent Finn from donning the paint for any old match *cough* Baron Corbin at Summerslam…
9. Bo Dallas
Gimmick Change – Bo Rida
People often forget that Bo Dallas was once NXT Champion. He is now lumbered in a comedy tag team with Curtis Axel that is going nowhere. The man was clearly highly regarded down in NXT but is yet to really find that break on the main roster.
Unfortunately, this gimmick change does not legitimize him as a top competitor straight away, but if executed correctly, could see him gain more opportunities and popularity among the main roster in the future despite its comedic undertone.
Essentially, the gimmick was inspired by this segment from 2016, where Bo bests Flo Rida in a freestyle rap battle.
The idea is Bo would rap about his opponents, but use lyrics that would almost shock the audience, much like when The Usos dropped the line against The New Day regarding the Xavier Woods and Paige scandal.
The gimmick also draws parallels to Elias’ gimmick. However, as Bo will be insulting primarily the wrestlers as opposed to the audience, feuds can formulate from the insults he throws at his opponents. Either way, this style of gimmick is working for Elias so can be executed successfully.
It may not be the most complex gimmick but hey, if it worked for the Dr. of Thuganomics, why not for Bo Dallas?
Gimmick Change – Swiss Submission Specialist
Admittedly, this is not a novel concept. Zack Sabre Jr. has based his entire career around submission based offence and Cesaro should do the same. A man who’s extremely talented at professional wresting, but not so talented at talking should exploit their wrestling prowess to the maximum.
It begins with Cesaro making beloved, but low-end babyfaces such as Heath Slater submit in quick fashion with his Sharpshooter. He slowly begins to introduce new submissions into his arsenal, with each one becoming more and more viscous in the process. Victories begin to build to the point where Cesaro has a notable winning streak.
Cesaro would finally be established as a real threat after he manages to make a much larger, protected wrestler submit. My suggestion for this position would be Braun Strowman.
Furthermore, to emphasize the heel persona, Cesaro should remove all moves used to work the crowd into a frenzy such as his Big Swing. Then… Bang! You have yourself a submission machine ready to contend for a top title in WWE.
7. Luke Harper
Gimmick Change – Biker Harper
It has been reported that Luke Harper wants out of WWE so this one is placed more in the realm of fantasy booking.
We all know how talented Harper is if given the right opportunities, and opportunities do not come much bigger than feuding with Daniel Bryan. Essentially, this gimmick is created to feud with Bryan and Rowan’s eco-friendly characters, with the idea being Harper will shine in matches against them both. A standout match with Bryan specifically should help Harper gain fan support and therefore move him up the card.
The gimmick hearkens back to the American Bad Ass version of The Undertaker. Harper would ride down to the ring on a Harley-Davidson, revving the engine excessively on the way. This will no doubt frustrate Bryan and Rowan, thus beginning a feud.
Team this with an outlaw lifestyle of gambling, beer drinking and any other activity WWE can work into their PG product and you’re left with the Yin to Bryan’s Yang.
Harper should go on to promote a freedom-based lifestyle to all American’s to gain their support in this strange world where the fans boo being environmentally friendly. This will then establish him as a solid midcard face at least, but who knows? Harper could take this gimmick all the way to the top.
Gimmick Change – Mr. 24/7
Again, this gimmick starts with a feud and ends with EC3 mixing in among WWE’s main event.
So, for those unaware, EC3 and Drake Maverick (formerly known as Rockstar Spud) have a storied history in Impact Wrestling. He was also Maverick’s best man at his wedding. Therefore, the two know each like the back of their hands so why not explore this relationship on TV?
In Maverick’s pursuit of the 24/7 Championship, Drake should recruit the help of EC3 to obtain the title. EC3 would then offer his services as a guard to Maverick to keep him, his wife and the championship together.
C3 does his job rather well but unfortunately, this is not his actual motive. The more the duo work together, the closer they become. Eventually, EC3 will turn on Maverick by pinning him for the 24/7 Championship after he gains Maverick’s trust.
The next phase starts with EC3 hiring bodyguards to protect him from all challengers. Not just one or two, but a whole entourage. EC3 does not go anywhere without his security and begins cutting promos in the ring.
He unveils in these promos that his goal is to hold the 24/7 Championship hostage until he receives a shot at a top title, something he manages to achieve as half of WWE’s roster voice their anger at EC3’s behavior.
We are then left with EC3 going from comedy jobber holding a comedy title to a man competing against legitimate main event players, providing some justification to all of WWE’s burial of him thus far.
5. Drew McIntyre
Gimmick Change – The British Berserker
McIntyre’s career is not necessarily dead in the water as he’s featured regularly on TV by the side of Shane McMahon. However, being the sidekick of Shane is not where the fans want to see the Scottish Psychopath.
Moreover, what aspect of Drew’s current character makes him a psychopath?
The idea for this gimmick spawned from McIntyre’s Falls Count Anywhere match against Dean Ambrose from the March 11 episode of Raw.
In this match McIntyre fought with a brutality that lived up to his psychopath nickname and gave fans hope for the future of his career. Alas, this hope was eventually lost when he began siding with Shane. This gimmick will restore hope in Drew again.
The gimmick will essentially have Drew wrestle in this style for the majority of his matches. The gimmick can also take elements from Randy Orton’s sickening attacks on the likes of Jeff Hardy from 2018, notably when he put a screwdriver through Jeff’s gauging lobe.
If rumors are to be believed, McIntyre will face The Undertaker this year. In this match, Drew needs to wrestle with a similar trance-like rage to cement him as an out-and-out heel, ideally retiring The Undertaker in the process. This match will give Drew the taste for violence. He could then use this as a motivation to turn on Shane as he wants to inflict pain on those close to him as he feels he can make his way in WWE alone.
If Drew brutalized Shane to such an extent where the fans begin to feel sorry for him, then we should be left with ferocious warrior the rest of the roster become afraid of. Furthermore, with Shane’s history of insane stunts, there is no doubt McIntyre could do something so viscous to Shane the fans would thoroughly despise him.
4. Buddy Murphy
Gimmick Change – “I’m so good I can beat anyone at their own game!”
This one may be slightly unfair as Murphy’s main roster career has barely begun but he is yet to make his debut so here is the gimmick he should introduce on TV.
“I’m so good I can beat anyone at their own game!” – That is Murphy’s mantra.
What is fascinating about Murphy is he is powerful, yet can pull of high spots as good as anyone. He can almost wrestle any style which is why this gimmick is suited to him.
So, the aim of this gimmick is for Murphy to wrestle using similar mannerisms and moves as his opponent. He will toy with his opposition, telegraphing moves his opponents use regularly and reversing them with ease.
He can wrestle in this mocking style for a few minutes before ending each match with Murphy’s Law whenever he decides the match should end.
The key here is that any plucky babyface could occasionally give Murphy a minor scare but, in the end, Murphy will always win. However, on one night, one fiery babyface will do the unthinkable and beat Murphy – aka a Johnny Gargano type – bringing Murphy’s cocky character to a grinding halt.
From here, Murphy could either become more ruthless in his matches, ditching the character and just being the superior wrestler. Alternatively, he could deem it a fluke and continue his cocky ways. Either way, Murphy is the perfect wrestler to execute such a gimmick.
3. Bobby Lashley
Gimmick Change – Bobby The Bounty Hunter
Lashley is physically impressive, but he has no character. His sheer size though means he is always perceived as a legitimate threat when presented as such.
With that being said, Lashley needs to become a hired-gun-like character to hide his weakness in promos. Crucially, he ignores all ethical or moral view-points. Lashley will take any job offered to him for the right price.
These jobs can vary; for example, he could be hired to replace a cowardly heel in their match. Or, he could be hired to ‘injure’ a heel’s upcoming opponent. Nevertheless, Lashley’s business is never personal, he is just doing his job.
To extend this gimmick into an actual story, Lashley could eventually develop a sense of morality. For instance, he could be ‘injuring’ a competitor at ringside but suddenly stops when he clocks onto the wrestlers family sitting in the front row, witnessing his brutality.
He will then realize his actions have consequences too, not just his victims, but the loved ones around them as well. He will then set out to right his wrongs. This can lead to him feuding with all the heels who originally hired him to bring back some form of justice for what he has done.
2. Sami Zayn
Gimmick Change – Justice In WWE
Speaking of justice…
This character draws influence from Raven’s scraped Seven Deadly Sins gimmick, but does not go down such a religious route. The idea is Sami will take exception to his colleagues previous transgressions. The twist is these transgressions can be from any point in the history of the wrestler in questions career.
For example, Seth Rollins is currently a definitive babyface; however, we all remember when he turned on his Shield brothers. Sami has not forgotten this either. Although we all know Rollins is a changed man now, Zayn is not convinced. Sami will then have match-ups against the likes of Rollins to try and bring justice to WWE.
In a sort of dichotomy, Zayn will technically be doing right, but in reality he will be fighting for justice when justice has already been achieved. This will therefore make him heel in the eyes of the fans as he will be punishing revered babyfaces.
The gimmick also has an extensive shelf-life as there is a wealth of WWE history for Sami to target and is an instant feud-maker.
Gimmick Change – The Joker
Right now Asuka’s character is almost non-existent. She is stuck in a tag team with Kairi Sane despite being one of the best wrestlers in the world. WWE’s Creative clearly has no clear direction for her so why not completely revamp her character.
If you look at this picture, you instantly think of a sadistic psychopath. You know who else is a sadistic psychopath? The Joker.
The Joker said, “All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy.”
Have The Kabuki Warriors lose a hard fought match against one of the women’s teams in WWE, but ensure Sane takes the pinfall. This can become Asuka’s “bad day”. She snaps, becoming insane with rage. Have her inflict pain and kayfabe injure Sane. Then, if Paige’s health will allow it, have Asuka punish Paige right in front of a helpless Kairi.
Have this moment be the catalyst for Asuka realising she gets a kick out of physically and psychologically tormenting her rivals. She could essentially torture her rival’s friends and/or loved ones to enrage her opposition. Why not have her inflict pain to the likes of Jimmy Uso to get inside Naomi’s head perhaps?
To take it even further, Asuka would also enjoy making clean-cut babyfaces do sadistic things. Have Asuka smile whilst being beaten with a kendo stick or maniacally laugh when she witnesses a babyface showing uncharacteristic anger due to her actions.
The potential for this gimmick is massive, it just needs a wrestler talented enough to pull it off. Asuka can be that wrestler.