In professional wrestling, there are gimmicks.
And then there are the really good gimmicks.
As a fan of independent professional wrestling, I’ve seen so many gimmicks, I can’t remember them all. There are the overused ones — such as the “hardcore” guys who wrestle in jeans or bright plastic-like outfits and copy different things — such as drinking beer, swearing, shaving their heads (well, some need to do this!) or stealing catch phrases, such as Ric Flair’s “Woooooo!”
But good gimmicks are worth their weight in gold.
Such as Gentlemania.
Before I dive into this further, realize not all wrestlers need a gimmick. But gimmicks not only help a wrestler, they help make a show fun, entertaining and something to remember.
One company a few of us often watch is 2CW. There are many good gimmicks in the federation at all levels of the card. One is Pete D. Order, who is a “cop.” But it’s not just the cop angle — it’s carrying donuts to the ring and handing them to fans. It’s a lot of stereotypical stuff, which makes it fun.
A month or so back, I traveled to the Albany area to watch a new federation — Wrestling is Awesome. Some of the wrestlers are Chikara wrestlers, or those styled after Chikara, which is a federation that has a lot of masked wrestlers and some fun gimmicks.
A few stuck out to me, such as Dasher Hatfield, whose mask looks like a baseball. There’s Latvian Proud Oak, who is, well, some sort of a tree.
Then there’s “Gentleman” Jervis Cottonbelly. And he’s bringing Gentlemania to the masses.
I don’t know what it is about this gimmick, but it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. His outfit is classic — including, yes, a cotton belly. The mask is great, he has his English accent and he’s, well, a gentleman. Handshakes and good sportsmanship.
Pip, pip, cheerio, sir.
To make it better? He comes out to the theme song from Mr. Belvedere. That’s worth major points.
His match was against the “Man of 1,000 holds” Mike Quackenbush, a wrestler I’ve wanted to see for a long time. The action was good, they countered, they grappled and it was full of sportsmanship. The match was excellent and was worth the price of admission on its own.
Sportsmanship … in professional wrestling? Who’d a thunk it?
But Jervis is a gentleman. A top o’ the morning sort of fella. I’m sure there’s tea, crumpets and many handshakes. Talk about a nice guy. Besides Quackenbush and a couple of others on the card I had seen before, Jervis was a main reason for me going to this event.
This video of Jervis sold it to me:
How awesome is that?
Remember, independent wrestlers don’t make an awful lot of money, so to see things like this is absolutely awesome.
Professional wrestling at the highest level (WWE) may be a multi-million dollar industry, but getting to watch it at the lower levels really shows you how great this can be in regard to entertainment. This day was full of laughs, good action and an entertaining card. In the end, the wrestlers, Jervis included, lined up and shook hands with fans as they left. That’s class. That’s gentleman like. Maybe Gentlemania really is taking over?
This same company is supposed to be back in the area during the first weekend in March. I look forward to hopefully watching again and, if all is right, there will be a gentleman grappling that evening.
Allow me to leave you with an entrance video somebody put together for Jervis.
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