WWE’s Ruthless Aggression Era was a strange time. The years between 2002 and 2008 saw the biggest pro wrestling company on the planet move away from the Attitude Era and the Monday Night Wars, comfortable with an industry monopoly and all the stars in the world. In 2002, WWE was on top of the world.
The Ruthless Aggression Era was when everything changed. The cartoonish nature of pro wrestling gave way to a more reality-based product, but the change didn’t come overnight. A number of stars arrived on the main roster during this time, saddled with outlandish gimmicks that were good for a cheap laugh but absolute death in the long term.
When you look back at WWE between 2002 and 2008, the landscape is strewn with the cadavers of a million failed gimmicks, from overweight love machines to fitness gurus via conmen to a couple of Dicks.
10. 'The Con Man' Rob Conway
Conway had arguably the most unappreciated entrance music in WWE history. ‘Just Look At Me’ is an exercise in pompous ridiculousness, a lounge number with the most narcissistic lyrics and a theme that absolutely needs to be recycled somewhere down the line. The 98% fat-free line was also a winner.
That was about as good as it got however. ‘The Con Man’ came off as a diet version of Buff Bagwell, and if you are going to be a lite version of any Attitude Era character then the perpetually underwhelming Bagwell probably isn’t the wisest choice. Conway was definitely better than Bagwell between the ropes, but the character was exponentially less successful than its WCW prototype.
Conway experienced some success with the gimmick, provided you are okay with defining success as ‘defeating legends’. He ran over WWE Hall of Famers Koko B. Ware and Greg Valentine before coming a cropper against Eugene. With his legends story over, Conway embarked on a losing streak that ended the same as every other losing streak in history — with a potential star ruined beyond repair.
Born in the middle of Wales in the middle of the 1980's, John can't quite remember when he started watching wrestling but he has a terrible feeling that Dino Bravo was involved. Now living in Prague, John spends most of his time trying to work out how Tomohiro Ishii still stands upright. His favourite wrestler of all time is Dean Malenko, but really it is Repo Man. He is the author of 'An Illustrated History of Slavic Misery', the best book about the Slavic people that you haven't yet read. You can buy it at the link below...