HomeArticlesWrestling History: Top 20 'Spooky' Wrestling Gimmicks EVER - Part 1

Wrestling History: Top 20 ‘Spooky’ Wrestling Gimmicks EVER – Part 1

Prepare for the spookiest, hell-raising and terrifying night of the year with our picks for the 20 best spooky wrestling gimmicks.  Here we go from 20 to 11 in this first part of our look back and beyond at these scary and terrifying characters, just in time for Halloween. (evil laugh) First a brief history on spooky wrestling gimmicks;

As far back as the idea of gimmicks in wrestling goes the idea of spooky or horror-themed characters have popped up throughout its history, some are more subtle in style and others more outlandish, but all give a sense of danger and fear of the unknown or at the time, of something they don’t quite understand.  This can be seen in the often racist and stereotypical portals of Samoans, Japanese and Black performers through history.

Stereotypes include the likes of Papa Shango and his voodoo priest gimmick and even The Boogeyman to some extent. Another notable gimmick that pulls on real-world inspiration is the character of Doink the Clown.  Doink, the clown was heavily inspired by the idea of murderous clowns such as Pennywise from Stephen King’s novel and the TV film adaptation of IT while also drawing on real-life serial killer clown John Wayne Gacy.  An absolutely terrifying portal of a kids entertainer and circus performer, even while funny there was always a sense that something would go awry while he was around.  Still to this day, I can’t watch him and that is the real power of Doink. The idea of the Big Scary Man is also common in wrestling; normally with a devilish or rough domineer, sometimes they are even sadistic with the way they attack their opponents and deal out punishment, this includes the likes of Abdullah The Butcher, Killer Kowalski and Bruiser Brody and Sycho Sid.

Honourable Mentions

La Parka, Vampiro, Killer Kross, Jimmy Jacobs, The Blackheart/Lio Rush in CZW, Damian Priest/Punishment Martinez.

20. Willow/Jeff Hardy

Jeff Hardy's Willow Character Is Being Set Up to Fail | Bleacher Report |  Latest News, Videos and Highlights

After Jeff Hardy walked out of TNA in 2013 strange vignettes began airing  around February 2014 advertising the return of  Hardy as a new character called Willow. Willow made his in ring debut at Lockdown and would go on to feud with Ethan Carter III (EC3) and Rockstar Spud.  After beginning a feud with Magnus he was finally defeated at Slammiversary XII.

In July of 2014Kurt Angle asked Willow to bring Jeff Hardy back, he did and this set up the third Hardy boys reunion.  Willow wouldn’t be seen again till October 2017 during a Wolf Creek match where the Hardy’s defended their TNA World Tag Team titles, it was during this match that Brother Nero transformed into Willow.  He has appeared one more time, if briefly, during the bar fight between Hardy and Sheamus in WWE during their feud on Smackdown in 2020.

The concept of Willow is intriguing and all together dark but it wasn’t given the time to breath or build much mythology around the character, although beloved by fans and done well by Hardy it wouldn’t have the same effect and notoriety as his Brother Nero character who we will discuss later.  This could have been a real turning point for Jeff Hardy to explore an even darker side to his personality but that would have to wait for another character and storyline.

19. Danhausen

Indie Watch: The Bizarro Worldhausen of Danhausen

Danhausen is very nice and very evil. With his Armyhausen of the Dead, he has taken over social media and our hearts, dressing as Elvirahausen and creating YouTube content that will have you hooked from the moment you lay eyes on it.

Classic horror with comedy are all rolled into one.  Danhausen has sighted Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, the 1989 Tim Burton directed Batman film, What We Do In The Shadows, The Simpsons and Conan O’Brien as huge inspirations behind this gimmick.  He created the character after becoming sick of trying to please everyone and just wanted to be more himselfhausen while having more funhausen.

To show how the two can mix so well Danhausen carries around a jar of teeth, which he uses in matches to gross out and defeat his opponents, he doesn’t like swearing, while also being unable to resist the urge to dance to Tequila by The Champs, but really isn’t that last part all of us when that song comes on.

Danhausen has teamed with Effy, as Gaytanic Panic, and WARHORSE, as Warhausen, and honestly these three together on any card will be worth the price of admission, and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that gang.

18. Kana/Asuka

Is Asuka Overrated? Pt. 2 Of 3 - eWrestlingNews.com

Kana started her wrestling career in 2004, taking a brief break between March 2006 and September 2007.  She cites her inspiration in the ring as Keiji Mutoh, Satoru SayamaYoshiaki FujiwaraAntonio InokiAkira MaedaNobuhiko TakadaMasakatsu FunakiVolk Han and Minoru Suzuki and was trained by Yuki Ishikawa.

In Japan Kana would wrestle for Ice Ribbon, JWP Joshi Puroresu, NEO Japan Ladies Pro-Wrestling, Pro-Wrestling Wave, Wrestling New Classic, Smash, Reina Joshi Puroresu, DDT Pro-Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling Zero 1.  While at DDT she would face Michael Nakazawa on many occasions while competing for the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship and she would face a young Hikaru Shida at Ice Ribbon.  Kana made her Mexican debut in May of 2011 and her American debut was in October the same year at Shimmer and Chikara, she would continue working for Shimmer on and off till 2014.

How Asuka has evolved from KANA to Kabuki Warrior.

While in Japan Kana started off as a Babyface but would slowly transition into a Heel after leaving WNC (Wrestling New Classic) and joining the Smash roaster in June of 2010.  By July of that same year, Kana was a full-blown heel and in August she would write a manifesto for the Weekly Pro-Wrestling magazine, where she attacked the entire Joshi Puroresu community, claiming it was full of “wrestlers with no personality, bad attitudes, and who wrestled in an unrealistic manner.”  This helped her become one of the top Heels in the company.  After a month away Kana would come back with the Shirai sisters as the leader of the Triple Tails in 2011.  She would become the inaugural Smash Diva Champion, holding the belt for almost three months in 2011.

By December of 2012 Kana had left Smash after it folded and began regularly performing for JWP and Ice Ribbon.  Her 2010 manifesto was a huge storyline and point of contention among the JWP roaster allowing her to continue acting more vicious and devious, making her opponents tap out in short order.  In August 2013 Kana became the JWP Openweight Champion and began smearing makeup on her opponent’s faces after beating them and gloating about her accomplishments while also badmouthing JWP and its wrestlers.  She would lose the belt in December of the same year after a three-month reign.

In August of 2014 Kana began working as a storyline consultant at Reina Joshi Puroresu, her new power allowed her to become even most devilish and she stripped Ariya and Makoto of their Reina World Tag Team Championships.  She would also bribe other competitors to turn on their teammates, like with Syuri and would take the Reina World Women’s Championship from her that December and start reforming the promotion and making it bend to her will appointing herself the new “general producer” GP.  By 2015 Kana had formed her own stable, originally called Kana-Gun (Kana Army), but would later change it to Piero-gun (Clown Army).  Members of the stable would adopt Kana’s clown face paint and would include a mix of homegrown talent and foreign exports. In August of 2015 Kana relinquished the Reina World Women’s Championship after an eight-month reign.

In September 2015 she became the first female Japanese star to sign with WWE since Bull Nakano in 1994.  Renamed Asuka the Empress of Tomorrow, she has maintained, most of the time, her strong in-ring ability and determined nature while also being a fan favourite even when playing the Heel.  This can be seen during her time as NXT Women’s Champion, which she won of Bayley on 1st April 2016 at NXT Takeover: Dallas, going undefeated and relinquishing the belt, after 510 days.  She also displayed a need to cheat, attack other competitors or show disrespect after her matches, cementing herself as a villain while in NXT.  By February 2016 she had become the longest-reigning singles champion in NXT history and had never been pinned or submitted in a match.  Once she moved to the main roster Asuka was presented as a Babyface. Her undefeated streak would continue all the way to Wrestlemania 34 where she was defeated by Charlotte Flair.

She would turn Heel along with Kairi Sane as the Kabuki Warriors, after spraying there manager, Paige, with green mist indicating they did not need her anymore if ever.  She now spoke mainly in Japanese and sprayed green mist in the faces of her opponents, a clear throwback to many other popular Japanese Heels.  Since then the old Auska has returned and seems to be a Babyface once again but who knows when the old Evil Kana persona will reappear ready to destroy the women’s division yet again.

17. Sting

WCW Clash of the Champions 35: The Best and Worst of August 21, 1997

Sting made his in ring debut on 1st November 1985

After over a decade as a cool colourful surfer inspired babyface the industry had changed and Sting needed to change too.  With the NWO having a strangle hold on all the storylines and main event scene in WCW Sting would become a lone wolf, stalking the NWO from the rafters of each arena they went to.  Swapping the colourful clothes of  the past, he now wore a black trench coat, sporting long dark hair and carrying a baseball bat, in a look which was heavily inspired by Brandon Lee’s character from the 1994 film The Crow.  Sting wouldn’t speak on the mic for over a year and was an almost ghostly figure, targeting the NWO and WCW who he felt had betrayed him for newer shinier toys.  He would appear via zip line from the rafters or from under the ring to attack his enemies.  This run would last from 1996 to 1998 and would become the most iconic look for Sting.

Wolfpac Sting would only exist for around a year in WCW, between 1998 and 1999, he would after this go back to his Crow inspired gimmick. At the start of 1998 the NWO began to splinter off into two different sides with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall leading the babyface faction NWO Woldpac by May of 1998.  The two sides, NWO Wolfpac and NWO Hollywood, fronted by Hollywood Hogan, vide for Sting’s attention resulting in a double cross from Sting, believing he had joined NWO Hollywood Hogan was shocked when Sting ripped off his NWO shirt to reveal a NWO Wolfpac shirt underneath.  It was at this time Sting would adopt the red and black colour scheme of the Woldpac and incorporate it into his ring gear and makeup.  After being put out of action by Bret Hart in July of 1998 via a baseball bat Sting would return to his black and white crow gimmick in March of 1999 and returning to his lone wolf style refusing to align with any faction.  By July 1999 Sting was a heel, even though the crowd cheered him, and starting displaying a more vicious attitude.  After the fall of WCW in March 2001, where he appeared on the last episode of Nitro, Sting sat out his contract and wouldn’t return to the ring until November of 2002 for World Wrestling All-Stars.

Sting first appeared for TNA between 2003 and 2004 sporadically.  His run with TNA lasted eleven years from 2003 – 2014, he would mix it up with the likes of future stars Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Alex Shelley and AJ Styles as well as old rivals Jeff Jarret, Scott Stiner and Booker T.  He also wrestled TNA original Abyss, breakout star Ethan Carter III (EC3) and WWE defectors Christian Cage, Kurt Angle, and Jeff Hardy; the less said about that one the better.  In 2012 Sing became the first ever inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame.  In his 2010-2011 feud with Hogan, Sting would bring back his Wolfpac gimmick with the red and black face paint and turning heel and then turning back face by the end of 2010, returning back to his Crow gimmick.  During the summer of 2011 his character would yet again evolve, this time more maniacal, inspired by Heath Leger’s Joker character from Christopher Nolan’s Batman, even adapting his face paint to resemble a joker smile.

Sting’s run in WWE lasted around a year, between 2014 – 2015 but he would remain under contact till 2020, seems like a missed opportunity with the character, after an exciting mysterious and scary debut for Sting he was completely mismanaged.  He could have really torn it up with spooky contemporaries such as Kane and The Undertaker or even put over new talent such as Bray Wyatt, but that was not meant to be.  Sting officially retired in 2016 which he announced on 2nd April while being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Why the Crow Sting character worked so well and has maintained longevity in an industry that is constantly changing, the character has appeared in three different companies over the course of twenty years, the in-ring work and pure dedication to keep evolving the character.  The essence of Sting remains the same, proud and ready to do what is right, while an underlying sense of sadness and coldness is subtly bubbling away from the man behind the character during the 90s, but the way he goes about those things can change depending on the mood of the situation.  A character that is rooted in justice and vengeance that resonates with an audience that may not have even seen The Crow but know the character visually and are drawn to it.  Not all Spooky characters need to be evil to achieve their goals and be successful and Sting is proof of that.

16. Abyss

Does Abyss Regret Not Going to WWE? - WrestlingRumors.net

Abyss made his wrestling debut, as a character, for TNA in June 2003 and would remain with the company until signing with WWE as a backstage producer in January 2019.

When Abyss first appeared in TNA he was portrayed as a Monster and used as a bodyguard by Kid Kash who would go on to betray him, after which he would then align himself with Don Callis until 2005 when he would get a new manager, Goldy Locks. His relationship with Goldy Locks was extremely beneficial for her; using him to defeat her ex-boyfriend and anyone who crossed her, but like a true monster Abyss can’t be controlled and turned on Goldy Locks.

His most fruitful, interesting, and well-developed alliance and storyline were with manager James Mitchell, between 2005 and 2008.  He would feud with Sabu and then move on to joining up with Planet Jarrett in order for Abyss to go after Rhino.  Once Rhino was disposed of the team of Abyss and Mitchell decided to set their sights on NWA World Champion, Christen Cage. Abyss would attack Cage and begin stalking his wife for several weeks to get inside the head of the champion; he would untimely come up short against Cage.  He would also feud with Raven and Samoa Joe before going after the NWA World Heavyweight Champion Sting who he would defeat, via disqualification, at Genesis for the title.  This was the first time someone would try and turn Abyss against James Mitchell, Sting tried to reason with the man as opposed to the monster he had become, but Christen Cage would become embroiled in the feud confessing he knew something from Abyss’s past. Abyss would lose the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, being eliminated first and then attacking Sting, resulting in Christen Cage capturing the belt.

It was during this time that we began exploring the back-story and mythology around the character of Abyss, who seemed to display a very, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde type of personality, Abyss being the uncontrollable monster with the man underneath, Chris, being a kind and soft soul.  This is seen when Sting reveals that Abyss had been in prison for shooting his father in the back three times, sending him into a coma which he survived. As it would later turn out that wasn’t the case at all after Mitchell showed up with women who Abyss recognised it was revealed that the truth was this woman was the mother of Abyss and that she was the one who had actually shot Abyss’s father, but Abyss took the blame to protect his mother.  This one act of kindness was also the thing that would turn a young Chris into the monster we see before us.  James Mitchell uses this information to control Abyss until enough is enough, turning face as he turns his back on Mitchell.

Even after this, more information would come out about Abyss, after splitting with James Mitchell we would hear Abyss speak for the first time. But Mitchell was never that far from Abyss reappearing and beginning to mess with him enlisting the help of Raven, Black Reign, and Rellik until, after many months, another truth is revealed, after some blackmail and attempted murder by fire from James Mitchell and a returning Judus Mesias, adding even more layers to the story of Abyss. Mitchell reveals that he is in fact the farther of Abyss and that Mesias is his half brother.  Soon after Abyss would remove his mask and the next thing we hear is that he is locked up in an asylum. He would return at Slammiversary wearing a white asylum uniform with his inmate number and his last name ‘Park’ on the back and a new grey and black mask.

His speciality matches include hardcore matches such as a First Blood Steel Chair on a Pole match, Ladder match, Serengeti Survival match, Full Metal Mayhem match, A Barbed Wire Massacre match, Hangman’s Horror match, Shop of Horrors match, a Match of 10,000 Tacks, a Doomsday Chamber of Blood Match, and took part in the first Monster’s Ball match.

We can’t cover the whole of Abyss’s fifteen-year career here but from exploring the origins of the character we can see, he can be a good guy and a bad guy but his story, appearance, and personality are heavily influenced by great literary horror of the Victorian era, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to  Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Jekyll Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. This creates a compelling and thought-provoking character that isn’t all just visual but makes the audience think and sympathise with a supposed monster.

15. EVIL

EVIL off NJPW anniversary show due to injury

EVIL, The King of Darkness is heavily inspired by Goth and horror themes, as well as the Grim Reaper during his time in Los Ingobernables de Japon.  Adored by children not just in Japan but all around the world, EVIL gives off the same aura to children as The Undertaker or Kane did the first time they laid eyes on them, who can resist a chorus of people shouting EVERYTHING IS EVIL.

EVIL returned to New Japan Pro-Wrestling on the 12th October 2015 at King of Pro-Wrestling, aligning himself with Tetsuya Naito and joining the new stable of Los Ingobernables de Japon, the two of them would go on to win their block but lose in the finals of the 2015 World Tag League in December.  Evil would compete in the 2016 G1 Climax and go on to face and beat Katsuyori Shibata for the NEVER Openweight Championship in November at Power Struggle but he would lose it 10 days later to Shibata. By December 2016 EVIL would be paired up with fellow stablemate SANADA, losing World Tag League but along with BUSHI, winning the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships at Wrestle Kingdom 11 on 4th January 2017, they would lose them the very next day.  Before regaining them in February, losing them in April and again regaining them in May.  In March of that same year, EVIL would make it to the semi-finals of The New Japan Cup and would defeat Kazuchika Okada in the G1 Climax setting up a title match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at King of Pro-Wrestling in October 2017, which EVIL would lose. He and SANADA would win the 2017 World Tag League against Guerrillas of Destiny but would lose the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion to G.O.D. and Bad Luck Fale six days later.

At Wrestle Kingdom 12 on 4th January 2018 EVIL & SANADA would beat Killer Elite Squad for the IWGP Tag Team Championships, only to lose them to the Young Bucks at Dominion on 9th June 2018.  EVIL entered the G1 Climax that year and would later be attacked at King of Pro-Wrestling by Chris Jericho, seeing up a match that November for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at Power Struggle, but he would lose.  EVIL and SANADA would go on to win World Tag League in December 2018 and would win back the IWGP Tag Team Championships at Wrestle Kingdom 13 on 4th January 2019.  Again this would be short-lived as they would soon lose the belts to G.O.D.  2019 was not a good year for EVIL with him losing in the first round of the New Japan Cup and not scoring well in the G1 Climax, a tournament where EVIL started to become distant from many of his stablemates in L.I.J.  By day two of Wrestle Kingdom 14 on 5th January 2020 EVIL had been pushed down the card to the pre-show NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship gauntlet match, but he did win that match along with BUSHI and Shingo Takagi.  After a long hiatus between February and June 2020 New Japan returned with the New Japan Cup, something seemed different with EVIL after the long break, he seemed more willing to cheat to win and was merciless in his attacks, especially against Yoshi-Hashi and even his tag team partner SANADA.  He would go on to meet and defeat Kazuchika Okada in the finals, due in part to interference from the Bullet Club.  Tetsuya Naito would come out to congratulate him, only for EVIL to betray him, turning Heel and joining the Bullet Club.  The next day at Dominion EVIL became the second man to hold both IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental gold, with a little help from Dick Togo. He also still held the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship making him the first triple champion in the history of New Japan.  He would defeat Hiromu Takahashi in July and drop the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship in the august only for Tetsuya Naito to win back the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental championships.

His betrayal of Tetsuya Naito shouldn’t have been such a shock to us, but it was, he had been by Naito’s side from the start and very loyal but it was all an act and how could anyone have suspected the man we know as EVIL would truly turn out to be exactly what his name says he is. Betraying his mentor and friend while also taking his two belts was something only a true villain and mastermind could conjure up.

14. Abadon

Abadon the Monster in 2020 | Female wrestlers, Wrestler, Female

Abadon is quite the mystery but we do know she has been the Rocky Mountain Pro Wrestling Women’s champion twice and has been performing on TV on AEW: Dynamite and on YouTube for AEW: Dark leading to her being offered and accepting a contract with the company.

Abadon being mysterious really goes with the character.  She has the appearance of an undead zombie, her gear is reminiscent of a BDSM Goth, with fishnet and leather while her hair is red and black.  She crawls around as if she is a demon from hell and is visually captivating and disgustingly uncomfortable all at the same time. Her face is always covered in red paint or blood, her eyes two different colours and a dribble of blood pours from her mouth. Her entrance is dark and mysterious too, crawling to the ring and spitting blood into the air. Abadon is new on the wrestling scene but already has a gimmick to watch out for and that should be remembered.

13. Gangrel and The Brood

10 Wrestling Facts We Didn't Know Last Week (July 6) – Page 7

Gangrel is known as a vampire, more in the vein of Ann Rice and the role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade with a sprinkle of The Lost Boys for good measure.

His entrance completely feeds into that with him rising up from the floor in a ring of fire, as if coming from hell itself which he combines with a slow walk and sinister classical music.  He also carries a goblet of “blood” with him, drinking, and spitting it into the air. Gangrel also had his teeth shaved to enhance the vampire look making young children truly believe that this man was a vampire.

The Brood were together between 1998 and 1999 and originally consisted of Gangrel, Edge and Christen. They would douse their opponents in “blood baths” and would temporarily join up with The Undertaker and his Ministry of Darkness.  In the early part of 1999, The Brood would split from the Ministry targeting the Hardy Boyz but soon Gangrel became annoyed with his followers and turned on Edge and Christen only to side with The Hardy Boyz renaming themselves as The New Brood. By late 1999 The Brood was done.

Gangrel would remain with the WWE, until 2001, even bringing in his real-life wife Luna Vachon for a while, yes that Luna Vachon which makes him one brave man.  He would continue portraying this vampire gimmick for the rest of his career.

12.  The Demon King

When Prince Devitt signed with WWE in May 2014, he began appearing on the NXT brand, his new name Finn Bálor is a combination of two different Irish Celtic mythological figures, Fionn mac Cumhaill and Balor.  With using Finn and Balor he is representing the duality within himself, being a good shining beacon of light and needing to summon the demon and darkness that is within him.

Fionn mac Cumhaill  is a mythical hunter-warrior in Irish Mythology, the stories of Fionn and his followers, known as the Fianna, form the Fenian Cycle or Fhiannaíocht. The Fenian Cycle is a collection of proes based around the tales of Fionn mac Cumhaill and his band of small, semi-independent warrior’s.

Balor literally translated as “Demon King” is the last king of the Fomorians and is capable of killing and causing destruction with his deadly eye. Fomorians are a group of malevolent supernatural beings.

But the origins of The Demon King date back further than its first appearance in NXT. The demon first appeared in a New Japan ring after Finn Balor, known as Prince Devitt, turned heel on his tag team partner Ryusuke Taguchi and created the Bullet Club with Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga and Machine Gun Karl Anderson.

Finn Balor is quoted as saying about the demon character and potential match in the Tokyo Dome “The paint was kind of like a weird idea it was just it was supposed to be a one solve. I’ve been working like Babyface, straight squeaky teen Babyface for like 6 and half years in Japan and they ask if I wanna turn heel so I figured ‘ok, I wanna take everything away from them that they recognized me as the Babyface”

“So like I had already worn the bodysuit and I didn’t really want to change my body too much much. I thought, ’Why don’t I just cover it all in black paint?”

“The idea was that the babyface Taguchi would be wrestling this shadow on the ring.  So it was at Tokyo Dome, this big building so from far away it looks like the babyface is wrestling like a shadow, explains Bálor. “That’s where like the concept of the idea came from and the more I played with it, I found a really good painter to kind of collaborate within Tokyo. We came up with the first demon character and it was supposed to be a one solve.”

Since returning to NXT in the October of 2019 the Demon King hasn’t made a single appearance but Finn Balor has turned Heel for the first time since being in WWE, returning to his Prince character that is more dark and vicious than the Finn Balor of old.  It seems that he has finally embraced the Demon without having to physically change into him, it’s all physiological at this point, which makes him even more dangerous as the NXT World Champion, which he won on 8th September at NXT: Super Tuesday II.

11. Kevin Sullivan and Woman

Kevin Sullivan is one of the first creepy, cult leader style gimmicks that we have seen be successful in wrestling.  He walked so the likes of Bray Wyatt and his family/The Fiend and The Dark Order could run.  With elements of magic and Satanism we see how this kind of gimmick can be used to create true fear and heat from fans in the arena and at home.

During his time in Championship Wrestling From Florida, 1982 – 1987, Kevin Sullivan’s “Prince of Darkness” gimmick was born, he would begin associating with notable acts as  “Maniac” Mark Lewin (Purple Haze), Mike Davis, Bob Roop, The Lock and Luna Vachon forming the Army of Darkness.  During this time he met his future wife Nancy, who would go on to be his valet originally known as the Fallen Angel, later known as Woman.

Between 1987 and 1991 Sullivan worked for Jim Crockett Promotions / World Championship Wrestling.  While there he formed The Varsity Club with Mike Rotunda and Rick Steiner which began a feud with Jimmy Garvin as he wanted his wife, Precious, for himself. Steiner would leave the group and be replaced by “Dr. Death” Steve Williams and Dan Spivey, by late 1989 the club was no more and Sullivan had formed a new stable including himself, Cactus Jack and Buzz Sawyer known as Sullivan’s Slaughterhouse.

Between 1992 and 1994 Sullivan worked for Smoky Mountain Wrestling where he became The Master and enlisted the help of The Nightstalker and the Mongolian Mauler.  During that time Sullivan and Women headed to Eastern Championship Wrestling (ECW), 1993 to 1994, where he would team with The Tazmaniac.  He also had a bloody and brutal feud with Abdullah the Butcher before his exit in the spring of 1994

 Sullivan returned to WCW in 1994 and would be fired before the company was brought out by WWF/WWE in 2001. He retired from active competition and became a booker backstage in 1997.  In 1995 Sullivan began hearing a voice calling to him, to come find him. He would meet The Master and turn into the Taskmaster, the two of them formed a group consisting of Kamala, The Barbarian, Meng, The Yeti, Hugh Morrus, Loch Ness, One Man Gang, Big Bubba Rogers, and The Giant. Calling themselves Dungeon of Doomand would feud with the Four Horseman.

We can’t talk about Kevin Sullivan without mentioning the empowering female presence of his manager, Woman, also known as Nancy Sullivan/Benoit.

During her early career, between 1984 and 1989, she would be known as the Fallen Angel and valet for  Kevin Sullivan’s stable of Satanists, the Army of Darkness.  She was a bold, strong an empowering figure throughout her career, using her beauty and brains to get what she wanted and what her clients wanted too.  Her first appearance in WCW was between 1989 and 1990 where she portrayed a fan of Rick Steiner, known as Robin Green, eventually she would turn on Steiner and align herself with Kevin Sullivan, yet again adopting the name Woman while also managing the tag team of Doom and later on joining Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen. Her run in ECW would last for three years, between 1993 – 1996, where she continued using the name Woman and manage Sandman and wrestle  his estranged wife Peaches, while also carry a Singapore cane to the ring, to attack her clients opponents. She managed Shane Douglas but would always go back to Sandman, knowing exactly how to manipulate every man she was around and every situation she was in to her advantage. Woman would make her return to WCW in January of 1997 and would soon realise with Ric Flair and the new incarnation of the Four Horsemen, which included Flair, Arn Anderson, Brian Pillman and Chris Benoit.  Her most famous storyline was the onscreen love triangle between her, Sullivan and Beniot, mainly because of the real life implications for the three’s relationship but also how it really blurred the lines between fantasy and reality.  She would leave the wrestling business in May of 1997.

Look out for part two, coming your way soon.

Amber McCrudden
Amber McCrudden
HOD at TWM:Japan | Podcaster |Stylist |Deathmatch Lover |Mother |Nutella the Hun |Queen of the Alpacas | “A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous…” — Ingrid Bergman

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