The pro wrestling gimmick invariably involves a tweak.
Take, for example, Stone Cold Steve Austin, whose first catchphrase didn't flog many t-shirts, heavily reliant as it was on his interviewer getting the gist. Austin had to say something callous in order to invite Mr. Perfect or Todd Pettengill to say "Man, that's cold". "Nah man," Austin responded, for about two weeks, before somebody realised. "That's Stone Cold". Had this contrived b*llocks continued, Austin would have had to turn down the thermostat to achieve the desired effect. "It's a bit nippy in here, isn't it?"
"Nah, man. It's Stone Cold."
It was a shaky start all round, really, when one remembers the original names pitched by the office for Austin's new character: Chilly McFreeze, Fang McFrost, Ice Dagger, Yeti Yobbo.
Incredibly, only one of these is made up.
Mercifully, foreshadowing his incredible, industry-defining run on top, Austin defied management and fashioned himself as a sociopath with a gruff, brutally economic wit and badass approach to the in-ring game, thus becoming the blood-soaked face of a resurgent company. This experimental character required fine-tuning to roar onwards, and leave WCW in the dust.
Others don't necessarily require a tweak, but...
10. The New Daniel Bryan
WWE isn't just a Republican-leaning organisation; by monopolising the pro wrestling racket and tearing apart the bodies of the workforce in its insatiable, abrasive maw, Vince McMahon is effectively the bile-spewing symbol of capitalism. The men and women under his watch have taken full-on chair shots to the skull and leaps of faith from lunatic heights, and the horrible bastard doesn't even provide them health insurance. And now, his flagship WWE Champion is an environmentalist socialist feminist vegan and his name, somehow, some way, is not Oar Bittar.
His name is The New Daniel Bryan.
The premise behind the persona is improbable enough, but Bryan has escalated it with the stupendous visual of his custom hemp WWE Title and a staunch refusal to wear unethical official merchandise. The man looks like a scraggy, ranting conspiracy theorist, and he wrestles, sometimes to the detriment of crowd heat, technical clinics that require deep thinking to extract the maximum appreciation from. Daniel Bryan performs for WWE, the broadest wrestling product out, and he aims his entire shtick at the dweller who thinks Akira Taue was better than Mitsuharu Misawa.
He is the pro wrestler for the soy boy beta wannabe hipster cuck, and I love him.
To emphasise the insanity of it all, Bryan is now flanked by...