It is that time of year again when the ghouls all come from their humble abodes to get a jolt from the mad scientist’s electrodes. We here at SLAM! Wrestling are celebrating Halloween looking back at wrestling’s own version of the Monster Mash.
Just like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, many wrestlers have had two sides of their on-air personalities and now is the perfect time to celebrate them. Without further ado, here is our Top 10.
10. Brutus Beefcake – The Zodiac
In WCW, the Barber took on several personalities. Teaming up with the Dungeon of Doom and supporting Kevin Sullivan’s vendetta against Hulk-A-Mania, Ed Leslie would become The Zodiac. Leslie painted his face black and white and only spoke the words… Yes. No. Yes. No. What this had to do with the actual Zodiac is anyone’s guess. It would be revealed that Zodiac had been loyal to Hulk-A-Mania all along and was a Hogan plant in the Dungeon of Doom. [It’s worth noting that Bob Orton Sr. had been the Zodiac in the past too.]
9. Jeff Hardy – Willow
Before Matt was “broken” Jeff was Willow. Hardy “quit” TNA after he was unable to deal with the backstage politics. Shortly thereafter, a mysterious and creepy figure named Willow appeared. Willow talked in riddles reveled in chaos and represented Jeff’s dark side. Willow has been responsible for reuniting the Hardy Boys and taking Jeff himself to new heights.
8. Cody Rhodes – Stardust
Losing streaks can often lead to new personae. This was the case with Cody Rhodes. Following a string of losses with his tag team partner and real-life half-brother Goldust (Dustin Runnels), Rhodes transformed into the enigmatic Stardust. Like Goldust, Stardust talked a bit strange, acted a bit strange and even sparked a rivalry with the star of Arrow Stephen Amell.
7. Sid Justice – Psycho Sid
He came into the WWE as Hulk Hogan’s friend but we all knew how it would all play out. I mean, his name was “Sid Vicious” in WCW for crying out loud. Honourable Sid Justice would turn heel at the 1992 Royal Rumble throwing his friend Hulk Hogan out of the ring. Sid would go on a rampage beating superstars to the point they were carried out on stretchers and… Gulp!… destroying the Barber Shop with a steel chair after threatening to rearrange Brutus Beefcake’s face.
6. Matt Hardy – “Broken” Matt Hardy
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Not in Matt Hardy’s case. His persona stuck in a rut, Matt Hardy finally got everyone’s attention when he became “broken”. A white streak through his hair as if he were hit by lighting, talking in an odd British accent while he spoke about omens and predictions, Matt Hardy was so outrageous one couldn’t help but become enthralled with whatever he was saying or doing.
5. Dustin Rhodes – Goldust
Whether it be a no-nonsense cowboy or an unconventional Hollywood admirer, Dustin Rhodes has always thrown his entire being into whatever role he is playing. The transition from walking in his Dad’s spurred boots to bumping and grinding dressed, painted like an Oscar trophy, stunned fans at first but Dustin was so fascinating he could never be ignored.
4. Takaaki Watanabe – Evil
Wrestling in Ring of Honor as per New Japan Pro Wrestling’s excursion tradition, Watanabe returned to his homeland a new man. Joining Los Ingobernables de Japon, Watanabe was declared to be the “King of Darkness” Evil by leader Tetsuya Naito and since then he has terrorized NJPW as simply… Evil.
3. Sting – Crow Sting
The greatest wrestlers are the one who know they must change with the times. Steve Borden did just that when he turned his back on the rambunctious, day-glow, dynamic Sting in 1996 to become what many refer to as Crow Sting, citing the comic book series and feature film character. Perpetually sullen, hiding out in the rafters, dressed in a black trench coat and carrying a baseball bat, Sting became a man of very few words. Although he eventually returned to the more recognizable buoyant personality, he still incorporates parts of Crow Sting in his persona today.
2. Finn Balor – The Demon
Finn Balor has been dressing up as all sorts of outrageous characters throughout his entire career. He has appeared dressed and painted as Venom, The Joker, Freddy Krueger, The Punisher, Spawn and even Spider-Man. Finn carried over his love of comic book characters when he joined NXT and his alternate persona — The Demon — was born.
1. Cactus Jack – Mankind
Anyone who has watched one of his Death Match Tournament appearances knows that Mick Foley is as demented as they come. It was no surprise to anyone when he showed up on the April Fool’s edition of Raw is War in 1996 as the masked maniac, Mankind. Wearing a leather mask, chains, screeching and pulling out his own hair, Mankind was certainly certifiable. His feud with The Undertaker established Foley and his character as a legend especially when he took the greatest bump of all on the King of the Ring in 1998.
Of course, this is not a full and complete list, and many of the names are “scary” for the purposes of Halloween. A few others come to mind too:
Mark Lewin becoming Purple Haze … Scotty Levy becoming Raven … Dale Torborg as the Kiss Demon … Dewey Robertson as the Missing Link … Stan Frazier as the Convict … and the most famous transformation of them all — George Wagner becoming Gorgeous George.
SPOOKY PAST STORIES