10 Wrestlers Who Broke Typecasting In The Most Epic Way

First the worst, second the best...

Trish Stratus Then And Now

Professional wrestling, for all its comparisons to film and television, should actually be easier on those that maybe take longer to find their best personas either side of the bell-to-bell bit.

Few performers are genuinely great actors - the nuts and bolts of the in-ring craft can be practiced and perfected, but it takes an altogether different head to master the microphone in a believable manner that connects emotionally and financially with live and television audiences alike.

Typecasting shouldn't be as common as it is in the industry, but promoters and performers often take the path of least resistance in the interest of making the quickest buck. Why ask a musclehead to talk, a wrestler to Sports Entertain or - once upon a time - a woman to actually work?

When it's hard enough to get potential stars to be themselves (but turned up to 11, etc etc), it can be more effort than it's worth to go looking for something entirely different to make somebody a somebody.

Shame, too. As the following examples show, there's a lot to be said for unlocking somebody's surprising second self...

10. Raven

Trish Stratus Then And Now

Starting life as Scotty The Body, Scotty Flamingo and Johnny Polo, Scott Levy seemed destined to play braggarts and bolshie body guys for the rest of his career until Extreme Championship Wrestling mastermind Paul Heyman unlocked something entirely different in the WWE want-away.

Levy developed the character at the very end of 1994 following his exit from the organisation, altering his entire look to include grunge attire and piercings whilst taking a misanthropic swing at the wider world in his promos.

Jim Cornette allegedly passed on the persona for Smokey Mountain Wrestling, but Heyman fell in love with the gimmick and tweaked it further to position Raven as a cult leader and childhood scourge of existing babyface Tommy Dreamer.

Their angle in particular brought him in red hot, and multiple reigns as ECW World Champion were underpinned by Dreamer's inability to beat Raven in multiple brawls over two absorbing years.

The gimmick had enough legs to last out the remainder of Levy's career, though the night-and-day switch upon his 1995-1997 run (and callous acts he engaged in to further distance himself from the bombastic buffoonery of old) remained the most impactful period in his career.

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Trish Stratus
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