EJ Moreno looks at the best horror-themed pro wrestling gimmicks…
Horror and wrestling are a match made in heaven, or I guess hell for the sake of this article. Throughout the sport’s history, there are countless wrestlers to embrace horror elements or a bit of the dark side. From demonic creatures to creepy clowns, every genre of horror with the success of those gimmicks ranging from scary good to oh so cruel.
Below is a collection of the most terrifying, most horror-inspired wrestlers of all time! This list will span every promotion, every era of wrestling, with the focus being on someone who’s gimmick takes inspiration from a horror film OR if the person is channeling something a little spooky for their persona.
10. Killer Kowalski
While Killer Kowalski is far less “gimmicky” than the others on this list, don’t let that take away from the horror of this man. Killer Kowalski is most known for training numerous modern wrestlers including Triple H, Eddie Edwards, and Tommaso Ciampa; but the wrestler is a legend in his own right. Not only did he perfect the ravenous heel persona, but his legacy contains stories of actually maiming wrestlers. Killer Kowalski is terrifying without having to be a cartoon character, like New Japan’s Minoru Suzuki. Also, Kowalski is the first man in America to pin Andre The Giant…a monster feat!
9. Doink The Clown
Clowns scare a lot of people, and throughout pop culture, they’re inescapable. From the Stephen King’s IT franchise to John Wayne Gacy, the once-friendly character is forever horrifying. In the 90’s, WWE came up with the idea of their clown character, giving birth to one of the most haunting wrestlers on this list. Doink The Clown started friendly, but slowly became the twisted clown that would cement his legacy. This clown scared kids with his cruel breaks and terrifying laugh. If it’s Matt Osborne or Chris Jericho for one night, the legacy of Doink The Clown is intact.
8. The Boogeyman
No one will call The Boogeyman a fantastic in-ring performer, but the man has one hell of a gimmick. From the bizarre backstage antics to his passion for eating worms, everything The Boogeyman would scream campy horror movie. You also can’t forget to mention he once ate a gross fake mole off Jillian Hall’s face; no denying the man was committed to the bit. If only this character were around during the gimmick-filled Attitude Era, as his appearance during the mid-00’s wrestling scene felt like seeing Jason Voorhees in the middle of a romantic comedy.
7. La Parka
The addition of La Parka on this list switches from Halloween to another macabre holiday, Día de Muertos. The Mexican wrestling legend based his look on a skeleton, a common theme in Day of the Dead celebrations. Think Disney’s Coco, but with a lucha-libre flair. During La Parka’s illustrious career, there have been many matches that felt brutal or scary like a horror film; Mexican wrestling usually being a bit more theatrical. There are also a few “mask vs. mask” matches with La Parka that get pretty scary, even if it for the safety of the wrestlers involved.
6. Kevin Sullivan
There have been a few cult leaders in wrestling, but none are quite like the Florida legend Kevin Sullivan. During his time in Championship Wrestling From Florida, Sullivan crafted eerie promos and got a gang of followers to do his bidding. This gimmick blurred the lines of real and fake, really adding the realism of everything. You also can’t forget Kevin Sullivan’s time in WCW, where he made the campy Dungeon of Doom. His cartoony horror villains took on Hulk Hogan and other wrestlers at various Halloween Havoc PPVs throughout the stable’s run.
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