The music hits and the Superstar steps out from behind the curtain. (Or … light board, or whatever.) Before they strike their pose, before they make their way to the ring, the first thing we notice is the gear. Some go for gaudy, while others are motivated by minimalism. Some turn it all the way up for the biggest shows of the year. Some take a couple steps out of gorilla, remove one article, then walk to the ring.
Whatever the approach to ring gear is, a lot of thought is put into a wrestler’s look. With all due respect to Tyler Breeze and Fandango, here are some wrestlers we’d like to see get entirely new ring gear in the entirely new year, and why.
Can we get the old Luke Harper back? The one that looked like the dude I’m least interested in seeing in the forest? The one who looks like he just killed something, ate it, and is still not too full to fight? Rowan can still be part Bludgeon Brother, part Wyatt Family member, that’s fine. It’s not that he can pull it off, really; it’s just that it’s … fine.
But Harper deserves better. It’s hard to take him as seriously as we did before as we watch him devolve into Hammer Time. The stained white tank top and blue jeans works, and a return to that would be *Italian chef kiss*. But imagine Harper in regular, unexciting wrestling gear. Now imagine Harper looking like a regular wrestler, but performing like an insane one. What if a classic black tights look is what will give us the best possible version of Luke Harper?
Dude’s already been called out by one Flair:
Okay it’s true, the walking homage to Ric Flair and Ravishing Rick Rude (and everyone else who he was inspired by before Bobby Roode stepped foot in a ring) has a defined look. Also true: there’s an entire generation of wrestling fans who are being introduced to the dramatic robe look, and that counts for something. But what if Roode blazed his own trail? What if he went in a completely new direction?
Charlotte is keeping the entrance robe alive just fine on her own, so let’s imagine a rebranded Bobby Roode. Imagine if he went full heel by taking away the parts we like the best about him. No robe, no “Glorious Domination.” Gear changes coinciding with perspective changes is good for pro wrestling, and Roode has an opportunity to hold us all in the palm of his hand.
Whether it’s a return to Beer Money mode or a plain jane partnership with Dolph Ziggler (two pretty boys with no music, who are exhausted by gimmicks), a pivot to plain for Booby Roode would be an interesting spin.
Sasha’s entire aesthetic is great. and has been since NXT. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with The Boss’ look, most WWE fans agree that Banks works better as a heel. She even said so herself on a recent episode of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast. Perhaps new gear would be a quick fix to switch Sasha back to her natural state. The truth is, she can make anything fly, so it’s fun to imagine her with a complete wardrobe reboot.
What if Sasha completely embraced the “Boss” motif and pulled a Corporate Rock? (Or an Alexandra York, if you’re old school.) While we’re here, imagine Sasha Banks as the Corporate Boss, with WWE giving this angle and character arc the same amount of time and space it gave The Rock in 1998. Push ’em ALL out the way, Sasha!
In order for E to be as Big as we want him to be, he needs freshening up. Like others mentioned above, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Big E as the centerpiece of The New Day. The bright unitard works. His goofy obnoxiousness works. Dumping cereal and flapjacks into fans’ laps works.
But if Langston got the Seth Rollins treatment here, it could be huge. Let’s see Big E rip off a heel turn out of nowhere and then stomp his way to the world title picture. At the same time, let’s see Big E don a dope new wardrobe. What about some sort of cross between Big Van Vader, Big Show, Big Daddy V, Big John Studd, and Big Bossman? Sign me up for Big E absorbing the powers and look of every other “big” before him.
As absurd as some of the above ideas are, it’s fun to think how something as simple as a different outfit can completely shift a character. Whose gear would you alter and why? Holler at us in the comments.