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Complete Repackaging of Wrestlers  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 04:16 am
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srossi
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It didn't always work out, in fact it was probably a complete failure well over 50% of the time, but I think the business today sorely needs a return to total repackaging of some well-known stars.  This was commonplace in the '80s and '90s.  Masked Superstar was a huge star and suddenly became Ax.  His partner Smash was a million totally different characters, from Krusher Khrushchev to Repo-Man.  Scott Hall was very successful in the AWA when he became the Diamond Studd, and then an improved version as Razor Ramon.  They just threw a mask on Billy Jack Haynes and called him Black Blood, and he had been around forever.  Hercules all of a sudden was just a generic Assassin.  There might be no greater success story than Scott Levy, who toiled as Scotty the Body/Scotty Flamingo/Johnny Polo (essentially the same character) before being completely revamped as Raven in ECW to take advantage of the grunge movement.

This doesn't happen anymore, at all.  Of course there are new names because of trademark or control issues, but nothing really changes.  WWE repackages some of their characters repeatedly in progressively silly ways, like Bray Wyatt, but they're still the same person.  L.A. Knight came into NXT as exactly Eli Drake, not one thing different.  Malakai Black is Aleister Black, right down to selling the same eye injury he suffered in WWE.  No Way Jose was maybe the least successful wrestler in WWE the last 20 years, and he comes into Impact with that same awful gimmick and they just drop the "Jose" because they can't legally use it, so his name doesn't even make sense now. He was DOA before he even took the 2nd step from behind the curtain.  It makes no sense.

Like I said, many total overhauls didn't work and pissed off smarks, but it's desperately needed today.  How much cooler could Jack Swagger be in AEW if he had debuted under a mask with just a fucking nothing name like The Guardian or some shit and they didn't wink and nod at who he was and he never talked and he just destroyed some jobbers for 6 weeks straight using amateur wrestling and MMA moves?  And Excalibur was like, "Who the hell is this guy?" and they never told us even though it was on the Internet.  Instead, he's Jack Swagger, with a slightly different name and getting pushed sorta better (barely).  And still no one cares. 

I don't want to hear that it can't work today.  No fans were smarter and more demanding than ECW fans in 1995 when Raven came in, and they bought it because it was cool even though they knew who he was before.  It can be done, and done well.  There’s too many stale wrestlers out there who refuse to take a chance even though they’ve never been over. 



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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 05:31 am
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beejmi
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The wrestlers are stale because they sign contracts and after 6 months nobody has anything going on for them to do.

I'm in favor of what you say though (repackage=refreshen)


When's the last time it was done successfully? It probably isn't that long ago I just phase in and out with it all today.

Put me down for Mean Mark Callous becoming The Undertaker although not really a 'repackage' exactly but I'm guessing that's the best example.

Old school - Billy Whitewolf becoming Gen Adnan and you really didn't catch that one

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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 05:35 am
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srossi
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beejmi wrote: The wrestlers are stale because they sign contracts and after 6 months nobody has anything going on for them to do.

I'm in favor of what you say though (repackage=refreshen)


When's the last time it was done successfully? It probably isn't that long ago I just phase in and out with it all today.

Put me down for Mean Mark Callous becoming The Undertaker although not really a 'repackage' exactly but I'm guessing that's the best example.

Old school - Billy Whitewolf becoming Gen Adnan and you really didn't catch that one

The Undertaker certainly counts, although Mark Callous hadn’t done enough by that point to make it too noteworthy. But it was certainly a complete repackage into a fresh and unique character, one I never thought would work. 



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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 06:11 am
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I'd like to see Lacey Evans come back to embrace her military roots and give her a program where she's pissed at accepting her frilly frocks to get ahead, and if they need to tell a story, it is that she is keeping her matches short and sweet, maybe go 75/25 at the most as she mows down the challengers.  No bullshit, just a Bad News Brown beeline to the opponent and back.  Her motivation is to show her kids they can be proud of her work ethic, and instead of using her in vignettes, the cameras just capture her texting or face-timing the family, stretching/working out her aggression in anticipation of her match that night but nobody with a mic approaching asking "Whatcha thinking about?"   Her push grows by staying away from everything they used to do with her.  She doesn't have to dress like Cpl. Kirchner, either. They could even keep her music the same, like the production crew hasn't gotten the hint that their presentation is obsolete.   Her goal can be to win gold on her own terms, never talking about becoming a top contender but doing everything that spells it out so the crowd wonders when it is going to happen.  Whoever the champ is shouldn't address it either, because they don't want the match to begin with.   

Or give her Repo Man's coat and mask and make her Lady Riddler.  

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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 06:13 am
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Dr. Strangelove



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Bradshaw to JBL.

He basically went from a perennial tag team tough guy who would probably never rose above mid-card to having an almost year long reign as WWE Champion.

Last edited on Mon Sep 6th, 2021 06:14 am by Dr. Strangelove

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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 06:45 am
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BitterOldMan



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To be honest, I'm not certain that the people involved in the creative process at AEW are even aware of what you've proposed, putting a debuting wrestler in a mask or re introducing a known wrestler under a mask. I'm also not sure that a heel wrestler wearing a mask to conceal their identity so the "ignorant masses" won't know who they are and they can lead a normal life would get over with the current audience.There has to be a certain element of realism for this to work and I just don't see either the current workers being able to pull off the concept of a true heel (with one notable exception) or a promotion willing to commit itself to the level of kayfabe to make it work.

Last edited on Mon Sep 6th, 2021 06:48 am by BitterOldMan



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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 07:15 am
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Jim_Irish

 

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Cactus Jack to Mankind comes to mind as one of more successful examples.

It could work today and I'd like to see someone try it. As mentioned, the concept is very alien to many of the people involved in 'creative' and probably to some of the wrestlers too.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 08:44 am
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Kriss
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One Fan Gang wrote:
I'd like to see Lacey Evans come back to embrace her military roots and give her a program where she's pissed at accepting her frilly frocks to get ahead, and if they need to tell a story, it is that she is keeping her matches short and sweet, maybe go 75/25 at the most as she mows down the challengers.  No bullshit, just a Bad News Brown beeline to the opponent and back.  Her motivation is to show her kids they can be proud of her work ethic, and instead of using her in vignettes, the cameras just capture her texting or face-timing the family, stretching/working out her aggression in anticipation of her match that night but nobody with a mic approaching asking "Whatcha thinking about?"   Her push grows by staying away from everything they used to do with her.  She doesn't have to dress like Cpl. Kirchner, either. They could even keep her music the same, like the production crew hasn't gotten the hint that their presentation is obsolete.   Her goal can be to win gold on her own terms, never talking about becoming a top contender but doing everything that spells it out so the crowd wonders when it is going to happen.  Whoever the champ is shouldn't address it either, because they don't want the match to begin with.   

Or give her Repo Man's coat and mask and make her Lady Riddler.  


If they want to give Lacey Evans a US military gimmick, she shouldn't have short and sweet matches. To really sell the gimmick, all her matches should be 90 minute draws.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 08:49 am
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Dewey Robertson, reduced to working for Geigel in KC, overhauls to becoming The Missing Link, completely reinventing himself and his career.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 02:07 pm
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srossi
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Principal_Raditch wrote: Dewey Robertson, reduced to working for Geigel in KC, overhauls to becoming The Missing Link, completely reinventing himself and his career.
That’s a good one. 



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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 02:12 pm
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martini
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Isaac Yankem/New Diesel to Kane should be the winner for from the outhouse to the penthouse.

Probably the best repackage in WWF/E history.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 02:56 pm
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In 1981 Jimmy Valiant is in the Mid Atlantic being managed by Alfred Hayes going by the persona King James Valiant. It does not work. He goes away for a month or two and returns as The Boogie Woogie Man and becomes a Legend in The Carolinas. 

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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 03:24 pm
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Kriss
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WWE definitely repackage people when they bring them in, and often when they move from NXT to the main roster. Mace and T-Bar have never had their previous identities referenced. Vince hates masked wrestlers, so there's also that. I think it doesn't happen today because we aren't in the territories any more with 30 different places to work full time. If your known persona or gimmick has any value, then you are reducing that value by trying to completely repackage someone.

There are some examples from today. Jon Cruz and Serpentico are never acknowledged as the same person. Cruz hasn't been used for a while, but there are episodes of Dark that he did double-duty on. PCO completely re-invented himself, which goes back to my earlier point. This was a good move for him, because his known persona/gimmicks had zero value.

Lucha Underground did it a lot. Most of the US wrestlers were given new gimmicks and their histories weren't referenced.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 06:22 pm
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Not sure it's that easy these days because of the smarks. Q.v. Tensai. It almost happened to Bray Wyatt ("Husky Harris" chants early doors) but Wyatt was such a good character and Rotunda nailed the persona so well that people didn't care.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 6th, 2021 10:24 pm
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beejmi
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Funny because we all hated the repackages back then. We didn't want Barry Windham as a Stalker or Steve Keirn as Skinner, etc

More good ones. Scott Hall becomes Razor Ramon. Matt Borne becomes Doink The Clown.

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