Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Oz - The Most WCW Gimmick Ever

The crown jewel of the WWE Network is all of their WCW stuff. I was a WWE kid, so the early years are all a total mystery to me, and you get to find out how great people like the Fabulous Freebirds were. Then you get into the Nitro years where things are legitimately great with the Cruiserweight division for great matches and the nWo which is basically the Michael Jordan of wrestling factions. Then the final two years are probably the most amazing of all, as it is so amazingly bad that I cannot help to enjoy it.

The one thing that I learned from the early years is that WCW was great at identifying talent but truly awful at developing that talent. They had Triple H, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash well before they became big stars in the WWE, but they weren't able to do anything of note with those guys. Today, I want to focus on Nash who had three awful gimmicks in WCW. At first, he was one half of a tag team called the Master Blasters, then he became Oz, followed by a run as Vinnie Vegas. They were all bad, but I believe Oz had that special something that truly made it stand out awful.

Kevin Nash was a big guy who moved well, had a good look, and the ability to at least form complete sentences. To have a guy like that, you would think you could just send him out, let him dominate, and reap the profits of creating a new star. Instead, they gave him a shitty tag team and made him a Vegas Wiseguy. In between was Oz, and Oz was somehow the worst. My favorite thing, by far, is that WCW creative had a conversation that went something like this:

Executive 1: We've got this big guy with a great look and a lot of charisma, how can we capitalize?
Executive 2: Considering we already gave the guy one half of the Master Blasters, I'm not sure if we can do much better.
Executive 1: Heh heh, Master Blasters. That was a good one.
Executive 2: Yeah, it's what I call my weiner.
Executive 1: Me too (high five). But what if we went with something that was popular right now?
Executive 2: Popular now?
Executive 1: Yeah, like WWF had success with music, so what if we did television or movies?
Executive 2: Movies? I like that. The great thing about movies is that they are timeless.
Executive 1: That's a great point?
Executive 2: And therefore what was once hot shall always be hot.
Executive 1: So even something that is 62 years old is still a great idea for a wrestling gimmick.
Executive 2: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Executive 1 and 2 (simultaneously): WIZARD OF OZ GIMMICK!
Executive 1: Oh man, that is perfect.
Executive 2: It will really appeal to the new generation, and wrestling fans will really identify with a a movie that has a woman as the protagonist as we have such a large population of female viewers.
Executive 1: Yeah, the only gimmick that would be better would be a Vegas gambler, but let's keep that as our ace in the hole.

I mean, just look at this debut video from Oz. It's incredible in how ill conceived it was.

As stupid as the Great Wizard is, that isn't even near the same level of stupidity as fake gray beard. When I first watched this, I was speechless. After watching it again (and again), only one thought is going through my mind: Bring back WCW immediately.

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