Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Boo: We Suck (Blood)

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

I think wrestling was ahead of its time when it comes to the trend of vampires.  Back in the 1990's and mid 2000's, there were a handful of vampire gimmicks.  This of course all came BEFORE the popularity of things like Twilight (the books and movies) and the TV series on HBO, True Blood.

The Brood (from WWE)
The Brood immediately comes to mind.  Gangrel, Edge, and Christian made up this threesome of goth characters.  Gangrel had wrestled in USWA as the Vampire Warrior and had some success there.  He had the look down pretty well, fangs and all.  When the Brood would enter the ring, they came up through the arena floor.  Gangrel would also drink from a goblet of blood.  While I thought he played the role very well, I never really bought into Edge and Christian as vampires. I think maybe they were supposed to be more goth, than vamps.  I don't know the exact etiquette here.  But obviously the two of them evolved through the years and each became world champion.   Early in the storyline too, Edge and Christian were brothers, but I think the WWE eventually stopped acknowledging that and called them "best friends."

The "New" Brood (WWE)
The Brood also ended up joining forces with the Undertaker and his Ministry of Darkness.  Gangrel would separate from Edge and Christian and teamed briefly with Viscera.  But he never enjoyed even a fraction of the success his Brood brethren did.  A New Brood was also formed at one point when Gangrel started managing the Hardy Boyz.  I don't remember that relationship lasting very long though.

Vampiro (From WWE)
Vampiro, I think became WCW's answer to the Brood during the Monday Night Wars.  He had enjoyed success with the character on the indy scene prior to that.  I don't really think he caught on with the fans though.  This was in the dying days of WCW, I remember he feuded with Mike Awesome, the Kiss Demon, and Sting.  If memory serves me, there was some kind of "blood" soaking involving him.  He also joined up with the Insane Clown Posse during their time with the company.  When WCW went belly up, he spent some time with TNA.  And I'm pretty sure he still wrestles under the name Vampiro back in the indies.

Kevin Thorn & Ariel in Poplar Bluff, MO
Kevin Thorn and Ariel were a part of the new ECW back in 2006.  The two made a good pair.  Thorn was a bit green in the ring, but I didn't really have a problem with him.  He had a hell of a time getting over though.  Earlier in the decade he wrestled as Mordecai in a gimmick that didn't last too long.  He was repackaged into the vampire gimmick.

With Thorn and Ariel, I think they were just before their time in terms of the popularity of vampires now.  But I've read reports that both of them had heat with WWE management, so it's hard to prosper under those conditions too.  I saw Thorn wrestle Jerry Lawler just over a year ago.  He's still got the vampire gimmick to an extent.  It's not to the extreme that it was in WWE.

Freddy Blassie bites the Captain
And here's a way back one for you.  "Classy" Freddie Blassie was called "The Vampire" in his early days in the ring.  Legend has it, it's because he would bite his opponents so often and draw blood.  Hard to believe the Fashion Fad Plate had such a violent streak.

I added this cuz she's hot!
I wonder if a vampire gimmick would get over today.  Would fans welcome back someone like Gangrel or Kevin Thorn?  Perhaps they could create competing vampire factions or have a group of werewolves also get involved.

Like they used to say, "anything can happen in the WWF."  If nothing else, bring back Ariel.

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