Welcome to our new feature article, Friday Freak Out, where every Friday going forward we will look at a number of funny, absurd, or just really poor moments in wrestling history across all promotions. With the help of visuals, we will also explore the background and fallout of some of wrestling's weirder moments. So to kick things off, it only makes sense to look into a gimmick that has become a meme in itself, a character that has become synonymous with "botch," Sin Cara.
Spanish for "Faceless," Sin Cara came to the WWE on April 4, 2011, saving Daniel Bryan from an attack by then U.S. champion, Sheamus. Before the gimmick became a botch meme, Sin Cara was to be portrayed by one of the finest luchadors in Mexico, where he was known as Mistico. Debuting in 1998, Mistico put in years of work in promotions like CMLL and NJPW before coming to WWE where they went all out for their new hire, hosting a press conference in Mexico City to debut his new WWE name.
Sin Cara began his new journey with the yellow and blue lights dimmed low during his matches, it was looking like WWE had a future star in the making, and then...
The mistakes came, not only did they occur frequently, but in a number of ways. Above, you'll see Sin Cara simply misjudge the ropes and hurt his knee in the process. Below, he messed up (again, by himself) while attempting to taunt Curtis Axel. Not a big deal in itself, but as the mistakes piled up, wrestling fans couldn't help but make jokes.
Most famously, he would mess up his entrance on the regular, now granted, jumping on a tiny trampoline does provide a higher degree of difficulty, and WWE should have changed that up after the first few mess-ups. Even though he caught the top rope, he was able to recover fairly well. Also, notice how Hornswoggle eats up that tiny trampoline afterwards to decorate his home.
The mistakes took a toll on the gimmick and Sin Cara dropped down the card as we approached his final year with WWE in 2014. During a match with Alberto Del Rio, Sin Cara dislocated his finger while he attempted a suicide dive, he instantly called for the referee, and they stopped the match. This obviously didn't sit well with people backstage, as other wrestlers have gutted out far worse injuries to finish their match or segment. After receiving some backstage heat and months of inactivity, the WWE finally released Sin Cara in March of 2014.
Mistico blamed his lack of success on WWE not allowing him to use the wrestling style he was used to, which was a big reason for most of the mistakes. The WWE rings and ropes are different from Mexico, so there had to be a bit of an adjustment there too. Other factors included him not going to WWE's developmental (Florida Championship Wrestling) first and going up against bigger opponents may have played a part in the gimmick's demise. Afterwards, Mistico then went on to work for promotions like AAA, NJPW, and CMLL.
Usually that would be the end of the story, but WWE was determined to get the character over and decided to bring in Hunico as a replacement. At this time, he was pretty low on the card, working with his bodyguard, Camacho (who is now Tanga Roa in NJPW) as they road to the ring on a lowrider bicycle.
Fair to say, the Sin Cara gimmick was actually an upgrade from where Hunico was at, and initially, he was given a solid winning streak, donning the mask after re-debuting in December of 2013. Unfortunately, the curse continued on as the mistakes began (granted at less frequency), although they were magnified each time as fans were basically looking for botches to happen at this point.
Thanks to Kalisto, Sin Cara found success in NXT and on the main roster, until WWE decided to split up the group and give Kalisto a singles push. Since then, Sin Cara has been decimated by Braun Strowman, moved to the Cruiserweight division, and returned back to the main roster without much fanfare. Much like TNA, Sin Cara is a damaged brand where there may be no recovery, but at the very least, it has provided us some pretty hilarious moments.
"But you know and I know that you are only half the man that I am. And I have half the brain that you do! Week after week, you try to make me look like a jacka**."
Sid/Sid Vicious/Sid Justice/Sycho Sid is the gift that just keeps on giving. Aside from Sid's line, the funniest part in that video is the quick cut to Kevin Nash (who's dressed up like Sid) and Scott Hall who totally broke character, cracking up at Sid's miscue. With an intensity that most wrestlers couldn't match, his words sometimes got a bit out of a sort, as you can see above. Speaking of Sid's intensity, you've all seen The Shockmaster video, but pay attention to how Sid totally disregards the fall and goes after Shockmaster in hopes of bringing some legitimacy back to the character.
Shockmaster was played by Fred Ottman, who also played Tugboat/Typhoon in the WWE, spoke on the incident:
"They put me in a Storm Trooper mask which they painted and covered in glitter, I couldn't see a thing. I got to the wall and put my hands up like a double axe handle and bust through. The top broke perfectly, but the bottom didn't give. The momentum took me through the wall and to the floor."
A piece of lumber was put at the bottom of the wall after the initial (and successful) run, Ottman didn't know it was placed there and was the main reason he fell on his face. While Ottman initially was really upset at the botch, he now finds humor in the incident, as it's known as one of the funniest mistakes ever in wrestling. Despite Sid's initial attempts, the gimmick was deemed a failure and repackaged a comedic klutz gimmick, which was killed off soon after. If you thought that gimmick was bad, near the end of Ottman's career, he worked in a Florida promotion (WXO) and his gimmick...he was too big to get out of his own car.
Enjoy your Friday everyone, see you back here next week.