Gimmick Men

Gimmick Men

In professional wrestling, men who can’t win the crowd over with their interview skills and wrestling ability are often given gimmicks. These are sometimes known as gimmick men. A gimmick man is given a character. His character may be flamboyantly gay. He may be a Sudanese cannibal. He may be a middle-eastern madman. Gimmick men have been wrestling plumbers and garbagemen. A bland wrestler who can’t work a crowd with his pure wrestling ability has a far easier time provoking the audience as a reviled, taunting homosexual or hated Nazi. Hence, the gift of the gimmick.

Sometimes the gimmick man can actually work and talk, but maybe he’s just too short. Either way, gimmicks generally make up for severe shortcomings in the fundamentals of what it is or what it takes to be a “real” (drawing) wrestler.

In life, we are gimmick men too. Our gimmicks are Libertarian, Catholic, Amish, patriot, anarchist, sporty suburban housewife, drag queen, vegan, etc. The gimmick man is Boogaloo Boi or Proud Boy. The gimmick man is BLM or Antifa. The gimmick man is MAGA or Q. The gimmick man needs to be a caricature of himself. Sometimes our gimmick is the brooding, sentimental and sensitive artist or poet with his beard or beret or pork pie hat. Sometimes our gimmick is streetwise hustler or redneck. We love gimmicks, so we adopt them. We believe in them to the points of dressing and pantomiming the parts. There’s a plethora of gimmicks out here in real life, just like in wrestling. And, just like in wrestling, it’s the gimmicks that generally make up for our shortcomings in being human.

Gimmicks in wrestling have no more depth than gimmick men in life. Neither gimmick, in life nor wrestling, can be too complex, lest we lose sight of their black and white villainy or heroism. The gimmick is flat. The gimmick cannot be too complicated. The gimmick man of life needs himself to be easily understood, not only to his family and community but to himself. The gimmick man needs life to be easily compartmentalized and as easily understood as the rules in a wrestling match. The gimmick man needs a black and white world so his black and white gimmick is an easy fit.

Gimmick men in wrestling often have managers to speak for them, just as gimmick men in life have preachers and politicians. Gimmick men have managers to draw them heat or favor, since they can’t draw enough on their own.

Just as the promotor offers the deficient wrestler his gimmick, the gimmick man in life needs somebody behind a podium or pulpit or a television camera to offer him the gimmick. The gimmick man in life needs someone on cable news to tell him what he is. The gimmick man needs someone to explain to him what the gimmick is and to sell the gimmick to him. The gimmick man needs the man on cable news to put the gimmick man’s gimmick over to the deficient man in need of a gimmick. The man on TV tells the deficient man in need of a gimmick what he really is. He sells the gimmick man the righteous version of himself, just as the preacher sells righteousness to the disciple. And the gimmick man will return over and over for reassurance and confirmation of exactly what he is, which is what he’s been sold.

Sometimes, after thousands of miles and thousands of matches and years of method acting the gimmick in order to get it over, the gimmick man of wrestling begins to lose sight of which is him and which is the character.

Sometimes it’s easier being the over-the-top gimmick both in and outside the arena when cheap hotel rooms and miles and miles of open road are all there otherwise is.

The gimmick man accepts and adopts his character. He fine tunes his character to maximize the reaction from the crowd, for the more the crowd reacts to him, the more they clamor for his return. And the more they clamor to see him justly rewarded or defeated, the more valuable he is to the promoter. To the real life gimmick man, he fine tunes the character to convince himself and his congregation of what they are, too often losing sight that their collective gimmicks are nothing but a work. But it makes sense when, without the gimmick, we’re otherwise just dopes rolling down the road, paying bills and waiting to die.

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