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Top 10 Crazy WWE Wrestlers
Every WWE has their "insane" moment. A move or even a whole match where common sense, self preservation, moral and literal laws all go out the backdoor. It takes a whole different level of stamina and commitment to a character to bring that madness with you every time the camera hits you. These are the top ten WWE "Crazy man" Gimmicks. Ironic omission from this list? Supercrazy, name fits the bill character doesn't live up to it.
10. Waylon Mercy
Lets not beat around the bush, Waylon Mercy is Bray Wyatt, perhaps with some Festus thrown in there for good measure. Even Bray Wyatt admits that Bray Watt is Waylon Mercy, very cape fear, very Hawaiian shirt, very crazy. A southern gentleman with quite a mean streak. Now with his imitator being one of the hottest things going in the WWE right now it begs the question as to why the original is dead last on the list. The fact of the matter is, Waylon Mercy was not successful, he had no legion fans, frankly most of the people watching didn't really get what he was going for. Some say the character was before it's time, others think it just wasn't pitched correctly. Whatever the reason may be, Waylon Mercy never took off, his vignettes had far more longevity than the character as a whole. Mercy didn't last long, only appearing in one PPV. What he lacked in staying power he made up for in uniqueness, he was the first of his kind, he was crazy but in a somewhat subtle but somehow at the same time eerily over the top way. It was something different, something innovative, though the fans at the time didn't connect with the character, fans today appreciate the "legacy" Mercy left behind.
9. Sycho Sid
Whereas Mercy had to cultivate and embrace an insane character, it's debatable how much of a "character" Sid was, or if he was just a lot bit "off" to begin with and simply had an enhancing theme. I honestly don't remember much about Sid, I was too young to appreciate him. All I remember was how tall he was and that he was constantly yelling all the time. From using the way back time machine that is youtube I feel like I didn't miss out on much, that is exactly what Sid was, that and the ruler / master of the world. He's that homeless guy on the side of the street screaming about the ends of days! Difference is it's Sid who is the end of days, he is Armageddon. Suplex city is a sensation but powerboat plaza could've easily taken that spot. Point of the matter is Sycho Sid lived up to his name, he was psycho, just listen to him talk or more accurately yell, spit and blink, there will be no doubt in your mind that this guy's crazy. There's no subtly to Sid's character but professional wrestling isn't known for it's subtly. He was the crazy rambler, but the crazy rambler that was a two time WWF champion and the crazy rambler that YOU'D have to be crazy to mess with.
8. Cody Rhodes
Chody Rhodes is the dos equies guy of crazy. He's not always off his rocker, but when he is, he's completely insane. Eighty six percent of the time Cody Rhodes is your normal cookie cutter WWE star. But there's more to life than being really really ridiculously good looking and Cody knows that . . . or knew it because Cody is dead and stardust lives *cue hissing.* He has truly embraced this quirky off the wall, batman villain esque character. Now the leader of the Cosmic Wasteland, he and the ascension can back up his crazy ramblings. Before Stardust, Cody went crazy once before, becoming the phantom of the WWE. As quirky and campy as Stardust is "The Phantom" was just as brooding and cynical. After Mysterio legitimately broke Rhode's nose apparently something else snapped. He came back with his clear mask, one of the coolest leather jackets ever, and a vendetta against all the ugly people in the world. This character was probably my favorite Cody Rhodes, giving him more than one dimension, he may be "disfigured" but the world is a disgusting place. Also you have to give him credit. It's easy to stand alone and be crazy, when you're convincing other people that wearing paper bags over your head is a solid idea that's impressive. Whether or not Rhodes sticks with crazy is unknown, but what we do know is he commits to crazy, and it pays off.
7. Bray Wyatt
Waylon Mercy 2.0 has taken the WWE Universe by storm, the man of 1,000 truths and his swarm of fireflies are must see T.V. He also does not come alone, he has a whole family at his side, also at varying levels of crazy. Bray has the mentality and charm of Charles Manson. He has such a way with words that for a second everything he says makes solid sense, till you take a step back think it over and realize it's completely insane. He is definitely crazy, talking to a Sister Abigail no one has ever seen, doing backwards spider poses and trying feverishly to become the new face of fear. As out of his mind as Bray Wyatt might be it doesn't matter as long as he can get into the mind of his opponents. He uses his silver tonged ramblings to get under the skin of whomever he's feuding with at the time, never was it more clear, more crisp and more deranged than when he came for John Cena. His cult status reached past the family, past the fireflies and to a children's choir, it was eerie, it was haunting and effective (as effective as anything can be against Cena.) Wyatt may be saying the same things as Sid, even slightly more so (he's not just the ruler of the world, he's the eater of worlds) but instead of screaming, he's preaching. He's hypnotically off his rocker, one of the more dangerous types of crazy, he can convince an audience to follow the buzzards wherever it might lead them.
6. Al Snow
It doesn't take a genius to realize that anyone bringing a severed mannequin head to the ring along with him, let alone seeking advice from it, is bonkers. Al snow was crazy to the extreme. At the same time it was catchy because everyone wants and need "head." That gimmick was the key to success, well mild to mid success. With help me written backwards across his forehead, a leader of the J.O.B. squad he was screaming out in his own bizarre way, for much deserved attention. As brimming with mania as Al was, he was also brimming with charisma. Nothing else could explain holding up a match against himself. He kept himself relevant with crazy over the top storylines such as being forced to eat his own dog pepper (leading to the infamous kennel from hell match) or head cheese ( leading to the Steve Blackman's infamous stint as a stand up comedian.) To make the audience believe that this type of ridiculousness was believable or more importantly worth watching, you needed someone just as ridiculous, a perfect fit: Al Snow. He would be higher up on the list, because his craziness was truly undeniable, if it lead to more success. He was a cult classic, an ECW legend, a European champion, a six time Hardcore Champion and a Tag Team Champion but he was destined to linger in the WWF mid card, you don't become leader of a stable of self proclaimed jobbers for no reason. He might have stayed in the lower ranks but his wrestling style and his nuttiness were top notch.
5. Dean Ambrose
Talk about hovering the mid card, Dean Ambrose has been resting in the upper part of said position. You could say he's on the fringe (see what I did there?) What's keeping him afloat is his lunatic character. He's not a bruiser like Reigns, an acrobat like Rollins what makes Dean Ambrose stand out is his crazy! He has little to no rhyme or reason to his code of conduct, his actions, much less his promos He's always changing, always interesting, and always a lot a bit out of left field. He'll jump through, off, at anything. He'll let you take your best shot, he'll even hit himself, because . . . well he's just crazy like that. He's just crazy enough, he's eccentric, brash, and has crazy eyes for days, but still works the relatable everyday one of 'us' angel. In a time where you either have to have the most over the top ridiculous gimmicks ever, throwing everything but the kitchen sink, face paint, unicorns, fire and lightening OR have just enough of a gimmick for people to distinguish you from everyone else, Dean Ambrose has been able to find a reasonable and (As far as the company is concerned) more importantly bankable balance. He might be off the rails crazy but he has his fans going along for the ride. He is getting just as much if not more praise than his ex shield brethren, without much push as Rollins and Reigns have received. Ambrose puts all of his energy and all of his charisma into every match, every promo and it shows he's cultivated that unhinged bad boy to a T and I predict he will eventually ride that crazy train right to the top of the mountain.
4. George The Animal Steele
George the animal Steele is one of the O.G's of "crazy" professional wrestlers. You would think crazy would be detrimental to one's health but not in George's case, For being seventy eight and being a professional wrestler he looks damn good. It could be argued he went beyond crazy, his character was one step away from being the missing link, true to his name he was an animal. Green tongue, uncomfortable amount of body hair, incoherent jabbering and a penchant for eating turnbuckles. He made that unnerving level of crazy work for him. For over two decades he brought chaos to the ring, even popping back up in the nineties occasionally. He didn't win very many titles in his career, but he didn't have to, what does a rabid animal need gold for? He was there to be weird, odd, unpredictably crazy and generally not in a good way. This WWE hall of famer went from being a man from Detroit with a master's degree, to a crazed wild man that influenced future wrestlers. Proving to the world you didn't have to be completely in your right mind, you don't have to follow average society rules, to do something great, to be someone awesome. As far as I'm concerned, this one man freakshow was an innovator.
3. Brian Pillman
Brian Pillman didn't start out crazy, at one point he was flying Brian, one half of the hollywood blondes as well as member of an iteration of the four horsemen. After he was done establishing himself as a viable wrestler he brought out a new character. An innovator in his own right Pillman really pushed the fiction / reality boundary with some of his angst ridden, off the wall crazy rantings. It was perfect for the angry counter culture attitude era, he looked, dressed and worked the part. It was also beneficial for himself, after a brutal car accident kept him from using those "flying" moves he was known for. It caused him to amp up his crazy gimmick to the next level, gaining himself the moniker "The loose Cannon." He did whatever he wanted, including threatening to piss all over an ECW ring. Not long after said accident he teamed with his old hollywood partner Steve Austin, but as most any partnerships or friendships in the WWF do, it quickly devolved into a feud. There was nothing the unpredictable Pillman wouldn't do to prove himself the better man. As their feud heated up and Austin chased Pillman all the way to his house, Pillman did something downright crazy . . . he pulled out a gun. If taking a wrestling feud to a possible attempted murder charge doesn't make someone insane I don't know what would. Brian Pillman unfortunately died in 1997, only giving the WWF a small taste of his perfectly unstable character. Who knows how that character would have evolved over the years, but what he did in such a short period made him more than memorable, it made him an icon of the times.
When Mankind debuted he didn't just seem a little out of touch, he brought full on certifiable mentally ill. What I remember most of early, dark Mankind, was him pulling out chunks of his hair, wild eyes staring up down and off into the distance, lurching his way creepily to the ring. What most people remember is the insane Hell in a Cell match between him and The Undertaker. Being thrown off the top of the cage, questionable, being thrown through the ring, crazy, continuing the match with little to no regard for one's own well being? Being thrown down onto his own thumbtacks? Absolutely insane. His extreme self encouraged / induced mutilation aside just his vignettes were unsettlingly bizarre. He could have coasted on being hauntingly mad, living in boiler rooms and talking to pet rats but Mankind chose to evolve. Still batty, but in a more lovable quirky kind of way, with an equally cooky sidekick Mr. Socko. Adding still more dimensions to the Hardcore Legend Mick Foley, he had the WWF universe embracing not one but three over the top, loony and or insane characters: Mankind, Dude Love and Cactus Jack, he gets points for quality and quantity. Each one of Mick's split personalities competed in the 1998 Royal rumble. Mick Foley is versatile to say the least, each one of his gimmicks were crazy, whether it be a skitsofrantic, an out of touch out of place hippie, or a mad man with the goal to hurt as many people as badly as possible, including himself. Mankind was by far the craziest of the lot, truly terrifying, truly insane and truly made his mark on the WWF/E Universe.
Kane had no choice but to be a crazy character. A pyromaniac locked in a basement, hellbent on revenge against his demonic brother spurred on my the rantings of an angry little man who turned out later to be his father. He was such a tortured soul he had either been tricked or had delusions that he was disfigured and scared by the fire. Three or four outfit updates, mask removal and even the eventual growing of eyebrows proved that all to be a figment of Kane's imagination. One needs to be crazy to constantly go after the Undertaker, and that's just what Kane did, time and time again, when they weren't teaming together of course. This character could have, and occasionally did get hokey but Kane's crazy feets of strength made it easier to suspend reality when it came to his mental state and subsequent actions. How many other wrestlers have been sent 'back' to an asylum? Or threaten to set themselves on fire if they don't win a title? Kane might have been unhinged on many psychopathic levels but he held it together when it counted. The big red monster used his ruthlessness, his one track mindedness and his brute strength to bring home the gold. Kane projects that angry loner type but it makes you wonder why he was so successful when it comes to tag teams, he has won the World tag titles 9 times, the WWE tag team titles twice and the WCW tag titles once. Singles championships were not out of the crazed monster's grasp either, wining the intercontinental title twice, the hardcore title once, as well as the WWF championship, ECW championship and the World Heavyweight championship one time each. Being the third ever Grand slam champion makes Kane the most successful ( if we're going by number of championship) on this list. If Kane had staid the one dimensional mute monster stalking his sibling it's doubtful he would have becalmed such a tenured and successful superstar. Kane went from a brainwashed brute, to a sociopath, to someone with anger management "issues", to a corporate lackey with a spilt personality gifting people their severed heads. When it comes to crazy characters they tend to lose their novelty quickly, becoming stale or used soley as jobbers after a few years, Kane has risen from the bottom to the top and everywhere in-between. Perhaps this list might be biased seeing as Kane is my all time favorite wrestler but even if you don't find him as awesome as I do you have to admit he's gone the full mental spectrum to scare, amuse, put on unique matches and when it comes down to it entertain the WWE Universe.
(This video is a two for one deal, highlighting Daniel Bryan's emotional breakdown)