Getting stuck with an awful gimmick can sometimes kill a wrestler’s career to the point that they never really recover.
Eugene, the Red Rooster, Johnny B. Badd, and Adam Rose come to mind.
Some performers are able to shake off bad early gimmicks just because of talent and look. Glenn Jacobs made people forget about Doctor Isaac Yankem when he transformed into Kane and Kevin Nash had more than a few awful incarnations before becoming Diesel.
WWE creative came up with the idea for Runway Man and it’s as awful as it sounds.
“It had something to do with being a fricking male model. Yeah, I remember because I got told about it. I was about 26 at the time.
‘We got this great idea for ya Drew. You’re gonna be The Runway Man. You’re gonna come out on a runway. And you’re gonna model all the greatest underpants or whatever.
That’s gonna be your gimmick because you’re this model character,’ and all my dreams just like crashed before my very eyes, but I couldn’t register it on my face because it’s WWE. It’s a huge opportunity.”
A blatant ripoff of Rick Martel’s “Model” gimmick from a decade earlier, McIntyre played the good soldier and went along with the idea. He even lost a ton of weight to look more like a runway model.
“Eventually, I had to cut down to 260 to be a male model. So I lost about 35 pounds to get the abs in, looking like an Abercrombie and Fitch model.”
McIntyre even watched YouTube videos to teach himself to walk more like a runway model.
Thankfully, a meeting with Vince McMahon before his debut brought an end to the idea.
“You know, I was a lot younger looking at the time. I had a shaved face at the time, a bit of a pretty boy. I had myself looking the part, sat down with Vince McMahon.
He asked me my honest opinion of the character, and I said, ‘You know what sir, if it gets me on television, I’ll make it work.’
He clearly saw I did not like it at all and said, ‘Just go out there and be yourself.’ And I had already lost like 35 pounds.
I have to gain this weight back somehow because I looked like a male model, but I have to be a butt kicker.”
Is it true @DMcIntyreWWE's original gimmick had him as a male model?!@toojiggy asked the question and you won't believe the #WWE Champion's response:@wwe #RoyalRumble @VinceMcMahon @StephMcMahon @TripleH @WWESheamus @WolfgangYoung @JinderMahal pic.twitter.com/Ktz1NOgV7Q
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) February 1, 2021
McIntyre eventually morphed into the World Champion he is today and growing a beard to cover his baby face did wonders for his overall look.
[via The Rich Eisen Show]