Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Trending Topics - The Dire State of Entrance Attire - [a case of the summer]

It's been a fun summer, but this is officially the final week of the [a case of the summer] series, which means this is the last Trending Topics.  Of course, since it's basically just me spewing my thoughts, a less formal edition will likely continue to appear on this blog.  I hope you've enjoyed my musings.

Anyway, most of you frequent readers have probably recognize that I'm a huge mark of wrestling attire.  Growing up, I used to anxiously await to see which Superstars would debut a new outfit at each PPV.  And even now, I grow a little disappointed when a PPV passes and somebody doesn't bring out a new design or color scheme.  In that same regard, I also really enjoy wrestlers who have an entrance attire.  However, now more than ever, we seem to be in this "rut" where everybody comes out wearing their WWE Authentic t-shirt.

Let's take a look back at our classic periods.  Hulk Hogan, of course, came out in his t-shirt and bandanna.  Ric Flair had his luxurious robe.  Sting had his flashy jacket.  Bret Hart had his leather jacket.  Shawn Michaels had his chaps.  Razor Ramon had his vest and chain.  Goldust, his wig and robe.  Demolition had their masks, vests, and chaps.  The Legion of Doom had their spiked shoulder pads.  Randy Savage first had his capes, and then later his jacket with tassels and cowboy hat.

Really, the only Superstars that were known to come out wearing their t-shirts were Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper.  I'm sure there are others, but those are the only two that stand out.  And even then, they played a part.  Hogan's shirt tearing was a huge part of his routine.  And while Piper wore his "Hot Rod" t-shirt, the real focus of his entrance attire was his kilt.

But what about now?  The following Superstars typically come out wearing their t-shirt:  John Cena, CM Punk, Zack Ryder, Daniel Bryan, Shawn Michaels, The Miz, Christian, Dolph Ziggler, the Prime Time Players, Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio, Wade Barrett, Santino, and the Big Show.

What's worse is that a few of those names USED to have unique entrance gear, but they ditched that look because it's easier to just cut the sleeves off of your t-shirt and come out in that.  And hey, you might even make a few bucks if it sells an extra shirt or two.  Yes, Daniel Bryan and Miz bring out their jackets at PPVs and a few other events, but who doesn't miss Christian's awesome hooded jacket and baggy pants?  Or Kofi Kingston's warm up gear?  Or Ryder's Randy Savage-inspired flashy jackets?

And some of those accessories told a story about the wrestler.  Wade Barrett used to wear his jacket over his shoulders, without putting his arms in the sleeves.  It was from his fighting days, so that he could quickly throw off his jacket if he needed to fight.  And he used to put an English rose on the lapel, with a each color symbolizing something different.

Yeah, the t-shirt works for some people -- notably Cena (for the same reason it fit Hogan) and "every day man" CM Punk -- but for everybody else, it's an unfortunately missed opportunity to add some personality to your appearance.  Would Shawn Michaels have catapulted into superstardom as the "Sexy Boy" if he didn't wear his decorated white leather jacket and sunglasses, and instead just wore a generic t-shirt?

An extension of this are the individuals who also wear jeans (or warm up pants) with their t-shirt during promos (I'm giving a pass to those who are wearing their trunks/tights, since they're ready for action).  The fact that Ric Flair and the Four Horseman always wore suits really added to the illusion that these guys are living the life of luxury.  When Edge came out wearing Affliction t-shirts, it gave us a glimpse of his personality.  In this regard, guys like Alberto Del Rio and the Miz stand out.  They typically appear in their suits, and it adds to their character (likewise, a suit helped establish Jericho's post-Y2J serious character).  Hell, David Otunga became more over than he could have ever imagined just by wearing a bowtie and carrying around a travel mug.  But if Sheamus came out in street clothes, I have no idea what he'd even be wearing.  Would it be a t-shirt and jeans?  A suit?  Or a casually preppy look with a hat (as he's been seen in some appearances on WWE.com)?

The fact that I don't know that shows how little is known of his character.  Little ways to help your talents establish a unique look and personality would go a long way in changing that.

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