World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has never shied away from gimmicks, ridiculous characters and superstars who need to transition themselves in order to channel a personality vastly different from who they truly are. As you can see in the above photo, a makeover can make all the difference.
Sometimes, certain roles are overdone and turn sour in no time once we see them fail on weekly episodes of Raw and SmackDown. It becomes tiresome for a wrestler to have to force something that is not working and it becomes even more frustrating for fans to have to digest it when a shift could be put in place.
With that being said, there are many wrestlers who could use a makeover. Here are 10 singles competitors and teams that need an attitude -- and a wardrobe change -- to salvage their WWE careers.
At 42 years of age, R-Truth doesn’t have much left in the tank.
When Truth joined TNA, K-Krush may not have been the right option to label him as, but Ron “The Truth” Killings had an impact on fans. He was a strong, gifted high-flyer who feuded with Brian Christopher, Ken Shamrock, and Scott Hall, to name a few. He really had a following behind him and because of that, he held five titles in TNA, including two NWA World Heavyweight Championship runs.
Fast-forward to almost a decade later and R-Truth has become totally overstored. His partnership with The Miz was quite good, but there’s nowhere for him to go at the moment.
There’s not a lot to do with Truth since he’s aging, but maybe he can turn on Xavier Woods and become a heel. It would help put the young superstar over and to top it all off, Truth can turn on the fans and ditch his rap gimmick in order to become Ron “The Truth” Killings again.
9 Three Man Band (3MB)
Drew McIntyre was the young Scottish stud that was apparently handpicked by Vince McMahon. After stints as WWE Intercontinental Champion and WWE Tag Team Champion alongside Cody Rhodes, it seemed like McIntyre had a bright future.
Jinder Mahal has a very good physique and showed promising signs when he debuted in 2011. The Canadian-born athlete was rude, obnoxious and full of disdain, which are all positive signs for a heel to have under his belt. Unfortunately, he became boring fast.
Heath Slater was nothing special when he first emerged onto the scene, although he amassed a cult following after holding the WWE Tag Team Championship three times with Justin Gabriel as part of The Nexus.
So, what’s left to do with this stable?
Even though 3MB could be fun at times (because we laugh at them more so than not), the band has to break up.
8 Adam Rose
The jury is still not out on Adam Rose, but it’s not looking too bright for him. There has to be Rose followers out there, since his promotion to the main roster has been put into effect.
However, his debut on Raw didn’t go so well since he came out to dead silence. He interrupted Jack Swagger and his manager Zeb Colter, throwing Swagger out of the ring and continued to party, but it would have been nice if he had more than three minutes to work. They overhyped his debut and maybe an impromptu match against “The Real American” would have been better.
It’s apparent we’re in a wrestling world with the parental guidance sticker smacked on it, yet it’s not the right era for Rose’s party gimmick. Maybe Rose should be peddled as a cocky and arrogant rock star. This isn’t to say he should join 3MB, but he could be a lot meaner.
7 The Miz
His WWE Championship run is forgettable at best and he still doesn't know how to do a Figure Four Leg Lock properly. “Miz TV” is used once in a while without any real conviction and now that he’s doing most of his work as an announcer, observers are quick to forget about this superstar entirely.
It’s difficult to find alternatives for someone who can’t really put on a gimmick or change the natural character he is, but if The Miz feels like he has work left to do in the ring, then the creative team needs to find something that suits him.
Working as a broadcaster can work for now, but it’s going to be difficult for him to continue if he sucks at that in the long run, too.
6 David Otunga
Where in the world is David Otunga? He made one-off appearance at WrestleMania 30 in the “Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal,” but disappeared shortly after. Apparently, it was a reward. He works as an ambassador for WWE, but we haven’t seen him compete in the ring for in hell of a long time. Does this mean WWE basically gave him a treat and that his wrestling career is over?
The runner up of the first season of NXT has an incredible body, but his skills were limited in the ring. His work as a legal adviser was great, simply because of his coffee thermos and his actual background in law. WWE failed to capitalize on that and Otunga could have been used in a similar way to Irwin R. Schyster’s (IRS). That is, if he wants to work at all.
5 Big E
Big E looked hopeful when he used to guide Dolph Ziggler to the ring alongside AJ Lee and he embarked on a singles career after putting “The Showoff” over. He dropped his last name (Langston) and went on to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
Still, it wasn’t enough. Fans started to turn on Big E, more specifically at pay-per-view events when he wrestled Jack Swagger at WWE Elimination Chamber and Bad News Barrett at WWE Extreme Rules. It wasn’t as bad as what happened to The Rock when he was Rocky Maivia and fans wanted to kill him, but it’s close.
The main focus here is that WWE shoved Big E down everyone’s throat when he didn’t have anything new to offer. There’s definitely something here, yet it’s hard to pinpoint where the improvements can be found. Maybe he needs to destroy some lightweights to show the world he’s a robust monster who’s fed up with life as a mid-card worker that few observers care about.
You have to applaud Natalya for being arguably the best technical women’s competitor on the entire roster (even if Paige and AJ Lee will soon give her a run for her money). The Hart Family affiliate has been one of the better Divas to watch compete over the years, yet she’s being marketed in a questionable manner.
If you’re keeping up with Total Divas, you’ll notice Natalya has been pushed to be more sexy; she’s put forth into storylines where the other girls make fun of her for not knowing explicit sexual positions and whenever she’s sitting down for an interview between segments, she’s showing a lot more cleavage than she’s ever shown in her wrestling career.
There was a time when Natalya, her beau Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith (now working as Davey Boy Smith Jr. in New Japan Pro Wrestling) formed The Hart Dynasty, and although they were nowhere close to being as over as The Hart Foundation in the latter half of the nineties, they were decent heels when they needed to be.
Natalya should revolt against “the Divas image,” much like Paige and Lee have done, and it would benefit her to turn heel.
3 Brodus Clay
For what it was worth, it was comical when Brodus Clay emerged as “The Funkasaurus” after promos indicated he would be emerging as a colossus brute. Ironically, that’s what needs to happen now. He’s really not that great in the squared circle and he needs to improve fast. On the flipside, he could easily work as muscle for another wrestler or take a different path. He’s been jobbing on NXT and as hard as it is to say this…he’s better than that.
It’s not like Mark Henry or The Great Khali are being utilized well for their size, but Clay can still becomes something noteworthy with the right kind of booking. He can still lose to better talent, but he should also be crushing a few guys in order to get there.
Tons of Funk were alluring for a short period of time, so maybe WWE can match up Clay with someone else who needs a different direction and have them find their respective forms in tag team competition.
2 Santino Marella
When Santino Marella made his debut, he won the WWE Intercontinental Championship right away and treated fans to hilarious segments shortly afterwards. It’s safe to say Marella’s happy-go-lucky character has run its course. WWE’s resident stooge is not that bad in the ring, so why are they drowning him with a terrible gimmick?
There’s still hope for Santino outside of his overplayed character. The problem is he’s been with the company for so many years now and we’re used to seeing the same old stuff that it’s going to be incredibly difficult for the company to make him step out of the shadows of his former self. Since he’s flirting with Italian stereotypes, there’s a lot he can do in that regard.
Maybe Santino can shift his character into an Italian gangster of some sorts. He can come to the ring in a suit and channel gangsters who came before him, or he could even utilize the greaser-look and turn into a badass Italian slugger since he’s got all those tattoos to fit the role. Another option is for him to pretend Italy is the greatest country in the world and emulate what Tom Brandi did in the mid-nineties as Salvatore Sincere.
1 Zack Ryder
Let’s just get this out of the way and say Zack Ryder has the most terrible gimmick out of everyone in WWE. Many observers feel like Ryder’s feud with Kane was detrimental in ruining his career, but it was more so him being John Cena’s Robin, if you want to compare the Massachusetts native to Batman. “The Long Island Iced Z” did well with his YouTube series, Z! True Long Island Story and it seemed like Ryder was onto something. His villainous alliance called La Familia with Edge and Curt Hawkins failed miserably, so the organization was successful on riding the bro-hype that was Jersey Shore and its entire nauseating following. Although, that phase came and went and the Long Island native needs to change himself for the better.
Ryder has been used very minimally these days, used for being squashed by heels and the future looks bleak for him. We can discuss potential changes to his character but the truth is unless they ditch what he’s been acting as for a few years now, he’s not going to go anywhere. We can’t say everyone needs to turn into a heel, so there has to be something else suitable for the former WWE United States Champion.
If all else fails, he could always join the Bro Mans in TNA, but that would be completely awful.