15 Bizarre Wrestling Gimmicks You Won't Believe Happened More Than Once

We don't always learn from our mistakes.

Pro wrestlers have been assigned outlandish characters for a very long time, and the creativity of promoters has known no bounds. Sometimes, it seems that everything has been done before, and yes, most characters wind up being variations on an established theme. But what about the truly bizarre, one-off characters that barely worked in the first place? Surely, they must have been horrid anomalies that happened only once, and stunk up the ring so badly that potential imitators would be forever deterred. Well, not so much. This list compiles no less than 15 gimmicks so strange that they shouldn't have happened once, yet somehow did, twice. In some cases, these bad ideas slipped through the cracks three or four times. I'll try to provide some kind of historical context, but most of the time, nope, these were just hopelessly bad ideas that got pitched -- and aproved -- repeatedly, across promotional boundaries and over a number of years. Clearly, someone was simply throwing stuff against the wall to see if it'd stick, even if they had to fish it out of the trash first...

15. Boat Enthusiast

Over the years, almost everything on the spectrum of human personality and behavior has been mined for pro wrestling characters. You might assume they'd simply pass over the more pedestrian personality quirks on the way to "old west funeral industry revenant" or "Hawaiian karate dad", but nah; pro wrestling has had no less than three dudes whose defining characteristic was "likes boats." In the twilight of the 1980's, Fred Ottman showed up in the WWE dressed like a Popeye antagonist. He was originally called Tugboat Thomas, but he was such a big fan of tugboats that he abandoned his surname to literally become a recovery vessel, complete with interminable TOOT TOOOOOT sound effects. Not long after this, in WCW, Mike Rotunda decided to christen himself a captain, and assembled a crew of distinguished seamen such as Abdullah the Butcher and Norman the Lunatic.
Even now, Chikara boasts "Smooth Sailing" Ashley Remington, who is specifically a yachtsman. How weird is it that three separate companies have decided that "you gotta see how much this one wrestler likes boats" was a great marketing strategy?

Long-time fan (scholar?) of professional wrestling, kaiju films and comparative mythology. Aspiring two-fisted adventurer.