No matter who argues against it, it’s extremely likely that part of the reason Dolph Ziggler got (started getting) over was because of his look.
Stone Cold Steve Austin got over because he had fire in the ring and he wore the un-marketables that Bischoff thought wouldn’t draw money but which respresented who he was in the WWF – No thrills, no colourful gimmicks, just black boots and trunks and attitude.
Ziggler was the opposite, he had the long blonde hair, flashy ring gear, but above all of that he looked like Mr. Perfect, even down to the way his hair puffed out by the end of the match. Perhaps not to a younger audience, but to those who remember Mr. Perfect, Ziggler arguably got a rub and a credibility just by looking like him.
It was working for him.
The Miz had credibility as the ‘chick magnet’ with the hats, bandanas, baggy shorts etc. Then they push him with the Jericho serious-heel gig and his look is gone, to be replaced with suit and generic set of ring gear. I’m not down with it, I don’t buy him as a tough guy or straight-shooter no matter how you dress him and present him, but that’s another blog.
What impact would John Morrison have if he lost the colourful ring pants, the big jackets, the slow-mo entrance and his long hair, and came out to wrestle in a singlet?
For a company that pumps as much money and puts so much emphasis on presentation – the over-the-top raw and smackdown sets, the incredible video packages, the very high all-round production values – it’s surprising and irritating when they hamstring a talent by taking away his unique look, ‘plain him down’ and send him out looking more like a local jobber.
I’d say it works when they are working an angle and are trying to convey that a wrestler has been under-achieving and he’s going back to basics – see Ravens last match on Raw before he joined Tits N Ass Rasslin – but actually I don’t think it does.
So Zigglers got a haircut and thrown out the bleach. Nothing wrong with freshening up your look, but not before the old one’s got tired. Now he looks like just another guy on the roster.