I’d like to introduce myself, and explain what I have in common with Rocky Miavia here. (Aside from an affinity for tassled shawls.)
The insider term for a wrestler’s character or identity is “gimmick”. When first starting out in business wrestlers are often assigned theirs by management. They will live and die by their gimmick. A bad one can be a sentence to a career as a jobber (guy who always loses) while a good one can bring appearances in the top matches, book deals, movie roles, fame and fortune, and ultimately a shot at the Heavyweight Title. Some of the most legendary wrestlers started out with terrible gimmicks.
Stone Cold Steve Austin started out in the WWE as someone called the “Ringmaster “. He had long blonde hair and was managed by the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. The Rock began his career as Rocky Miavia (Pictured above looking distinctly un-electrifying) an earnestly positive face (good guy). Mick Foley’s first gimmick was Mankind, a mask-wearing demented Hannibal Lecture style crazy person. All three found moderate, but ultimately limited success with their assigned gimmicks. Each of them made the decision to change their gimmick to better reflect their actual identity. All three would become the biggest names in the business and leaders of the “Attitude Era”. It was by dropping their original gimmick that they were able to become household names. I have decided to follow in their path.
I have been a member and occasional contributor at Pension Plan Puppets since April of 2009. I have been writing and commenting under the gimmick of Plea From A Cat Named Felix. It has served me well and I am proud to remain a member of that community under that name. I have been given the opportunity to join an excellent group of writers at Leafs Nation and I will be writing under my new gimmick, Danny Gray. Much like the WWE superstars of the mid 1990s I hope to find success using my real name. That and I couldn’t afford the $10,000 bond.
So what can you expect from me? Over the summer I am going to continue with my new series Better Know a Bias here at Leafs Nation. I’ll be writing about how different cognitive biases can affect both fans and General Managers, and how we can avoid falling victim to them. You can read the first post over at Pension Plan Puppets. I’m also going to write about the history of the Maple Leafs franchise. More generally I bring with me the ability to make animated .gifs and a wealth of Arrested Development and other pop culture references. I have been a Leaf fan for as long as I can remember. My all-time favourite Leaf is Doug Gilmour and my current favourite is Nikolai Kulemin. I am wearing my Optimus Reim shirsey from Pucking Hilarious as I write this. It’s a pleasure to be here.
CODA: On Entrance Music
I’ve always thought that the NHL should make use of WWE style entrance music. How awesome would it be if each member of the Leafs starting line-up was introduced with their own theme music? Plenty of teams storm the ice through some prop or another, the Oil Rig in Edmonton, the Shark Mouth in San Jose, Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez in Montreal. (Upon further review it seems as though those are actually two small children) They could only do it for the starting line to save time, and since that line always changes it wouldn’t be the same 6 guys every night. It would give the players a chance to show off their personalities and get the fans all riled up. The mere sound of glass shattering brought fans to their feet during Stone Cold’s heyday. The ACC could use a little fun. If I had entrance music it would definitely be “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire. Toss your ideas for what music each player would use in the comments.