A gimmick is often a wrestler's main hook, and an easy passageway to building-shaking babyface pops or nuclear heat.
That's what happens when they work. A bad gimmick, however, is usually the death of a superstar's prospects and in extreme cases could lead them to receive their marching orders.
But here's always the possibility of a second chance. The opportunity to go back to the drawing board and come up with something fresh. This has happened multiple times for several wrestlers (Kane, Bray Wyatt, etc.) and once they've created that magic formula, old characters are left to the history books.
In more recent years, the nostalgia wave has hit WWE, in the same way Rikishi hit Steve Austin with that car. Old characters and superstars are making a comeback at a much higher rate than previous years. Sometimes it works, other times not, but sometimes that one-night return of a classic gimmick can give that warm feeling of familiarity, or just remind you that "oh yeah, that was a thing".
These are the gimmicks that made a return for a single night be it for an in-ring return or a segment out in front of a live audience...
10. King Booker (Royal Rumble 2011)
Five-time WCW Champion Booker T was picked up by WWE in 2001, but got off to a bad start with a car crash of a debut match against Buff Bagwell. The Rock and Steve Austin aside, it took WWE years to give Booker the recognition and feuds he deserved. In 2006, he got what he was looking for in the most unlikely of places: the King of the Ring tournament.
After beating Bobby Lashley in the tournament finals at Judgment Day 2006, he and his wife Sharmell took the Royal gimmick to the moon and back, becoming heat magnets in all the perfect ways from the overly grandiose entrances to the worst accent since Dick Van Dyke. King Booker would last up until his 2007 release, when he jumped ship to TNA.
Booker returned to his original T in the 2011 Royal Rumble, and continued as a part-timer until WWE used him in non-wrestling roles, such as SmackDown general manager and commentary.
He would eventually bring back the King gimmick for New Day's celebration of becoming five-time Tag Team Champions, with his royal highness welcoming them into the club.