Mordecai: A Great Gimmick Cut Too Soon

Discussion in 'Old School Wrestling' started by Wildcat66, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Wildcat66

    Wildcat66 DELETE!

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    I'm sure some of you are going to be looking at me and asking either

    A. Who Mordecai is?
    B. Why i'm talking about a cartoon bird being in WWE?
    And C. If i'm crazy in any sort of fashion.

    But let me explain. Mordecai was a short-lived gimmick that was on SmackDown for a few months before returning back to OVW because of a bar fight he got into. His gimmick was that of a religious crusader bent on ridding the world of sin. Sort of like a reverse Undertaker. He wore all white, he prayed for the crowd's sins, he carried a big cross, he was basically God's messenger come to life.

    He would score two wins over Scotty 2 Hotty and Hardcore Holly before losing to Rey Mysterio and even teased a feud with The Undertaker before disappearing all together.

    And if I can be honest: I think it's a disappointment that the character didn't last long. I think Mordecai was a fantastic gimmick while it lasted and could've easily been while not the second coming of The Undertaker, at least a solid uppercard foe for wrestlers to overcome. I can already imagine him feuding with the likes of John Cena, Rhyno and Eddie Guerrero, maybe even had a U.S title run while he was at it. The gimmick could have (no pun intended) been white-hot.

    I believe that if things hadn't played out the way that they did, Mordecai would have done a great job in WWE as a alternate version of the Undertaker and had a long, successful career in the company. But no matter, a wrestling fan can dream all he wants.
     
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  2. Kyphael

    Kyphael Getting Noticed By Management

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    100% agreed, I was a huge Mordecai mark as a kid watching SmackDown. I remember hearing rumors of a feud between Mordecai and Eddie Guerrero, and later Mordecai vs. The Undertaker. Those would have been awesome because he would have learned from the best. Their reason for sending him back to OVW as being too green is total bullshit when you think of all the green guys they let on the roster back then. Plus, the feud they brought him back to TV with sucked; the vampire crap.

    Mordecai is just one of a many wrestler/gimmick packages I thought WWE wasted, among them Shawn Stasiak's Devil's Advocate, and Muhammad Hassan to state a few (though the latter really was the network's fault.)
     
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  3. MillionDollarMan

    MillionDollarMan Occasional Pre-Show

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    It was Sean O'Haire that had the fantastic devil's advocate character where "he wasn't telling you anything you didn't already know."

    The problem was he just wasn't as good live as he was in rehearsed skits and then they stuck him with Piper and did nothing with it.
     
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  4. shooter_mcgavin

    shooter_mcgavin Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    I want to forget this moment in Smackdown! 2004 after WM was the worst year for the brand. Eddie dropped the title to JBL, JBL held the title too early and way too long, Angle was jobbing to Big Show, Cena was starting to become Child Friend, and there were a few gimmicks that were just plain annoying.

    Mordecai was part of the latter. He was one of those guys where Smackdown! creative was trying to make colorful gimmicks off. I think the mandate for Smackdown! at the time was for the brand to revolve around gimmicks and Mordecai, Kenzo Suzuki, Rene Dupree, were certain examples.

    As for Mordecai from what I recall he wasn't that good of a wrestler and the way his gimmick was presented it was hard to take him seriously in any way. It felt like a character straight from 1995.

    That said the guy who portrayed Mordecai did become Kevin Thorn in ECW. I mean sure he wasn't that better as a worker but, at least, he had a much better gimmick that would be fine in a lower mid card/mid card level (something the ECW brand was anyways).
     
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  5. Y 2 Jake

    Y 2 Jake Slightly Autistic

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    They should have stuck with him. Let's not forget that the Undertaker looked stupid and was boredom inducing for many years. The spectacle of Mordecai being covered in blood would've been worth sticking with him for longer.
     
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  6. shooter_mcgavin

    shooter_mcgavin Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    I think the only reason why they had Mordecai was to feud and lose to The Undertaker. I mean Undertaker went back to his deadman gimmick not to recently so I would think the WWE wanted Undertaker's feud to involve gimmicks and over the top characters.

    Which is why early on we had Booker T invoking voodoo when feuding with The Undertaker and a Concrete Crypt match.

    I think it's safe to say that after Mordecai's feud with Taker he would have been gone not too long after.
     
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  7. OYDK

    OYDK King Of The Ring

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    I think the gimmick was literally created in order to be fed to the Undertaker, but I'm not 100 percent sure about that; what is pretty much undeniable is that a Mordecai/Taker feud was on the horizon until his demotion. It would have been difficult to have Mordecai and Taker on the same show in my opinion because they were basically playing two sides of the same character. I guess you could argue the same thing about Kane when he debuted, but that was a special circumstance. Kane's character was so fleshed out that he was a star before he ever appeared on our TV sets. Mordecai just seemed like he was created to be the exact opposite of Taker so that they could build up to their eventual feud and feed Mordecai to him.

    They probably could have treated him better, but like I said, I'm not entirely sure there were originally long-term plans for the gimmick in the first place.
     
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  8. Low_Ki

    Low_Ki Former WZCW Tag Team Champion

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    I made a post on these a few years back, and yes, in truth it was a wasted opportunity on his part.

    The only thing I really disliked about the whole gimmick is that it was quite clear he was set up to be fed to Taker. They could have easily built him for a good year or so, giving him the feel of someone who could have become a monster heel, and they have him fight Taker, but in 2004, ideas were being rushed.

    Regardless, the Mordecai character in my eyes will always feel like a missed opportunity to build a strange, out there character (that isn't laughable like the Boogeyman, or inconsistent like Bray Wyatt).
     
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  9. Weems2k

    Weems2k Getting Noticed By Management

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    Mordecai is doing pretty well for himself these days. He's the lead singer of Gemini Syndrome.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Dagger Dias

    Dagger Dias Natural 20
    Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Mordecai was an extremely cool gimmick. I too always wondered what he would have been like had he been able to stick around longer as that character. The feud with Undertaker had tons of potential. At least he was able to come back later as Kevin Thorn who was also a pretty cool character, but I often speculate on what we as fans missed out on here. Looks like I am not alone in that. The fact that people still wonder about Mordecai after more than a decade speaks for itself. Maybe the WWE could try running a similar character and see how it goes. This new character would probably have to settle for facing Bray instead though as Taker's got to be done by now.
     
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  11. GameOver

    GameOver Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Don't remember any of his matches only the look which was cool
    He did return as Kevin Thorn in the WWE ECW days, with a striking resemblance to Bobby Roode that had promise but they nixed that too.

    He still wrestles on the indies to this day as Kevin Thorn and Mordekai

    http://www.profightdb.com/wrestlers/kevin-fertig-397.html
     
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  12. Kyphael

    Kyphael Getting Noticed By Management

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    Ah yes, Sean O'Haire, why did I say Stasiak? I didn't know O'Haire stunk it up live, he was so good in the vignettes... um... maybe it was for the best. I heard they had pulled the plug just because the character was considered too racy by the network (encouraging men to cheat, drink, etc. Remember, the network was the reason the Muhammad Hassan character was scrapped, too.)

    Anyway, back on topic, the general consensus seems to be it was an incredibly cool gimmick and look with potential on those fronts, but that Kevin Fertig was just too green to pull it off in the ring, which was also true. To pull off a character like that, you need to be a bad ass in the ring and polished enough so when you're dominating it flows and you're not stumbling. I mean, then again, as was stated, Undertaker was also boring in the beginning and kind of green, they gave up on Mordecai too quickly. Alas, we'll never know what could have been.
     
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  13. Wildcat66

    Wildcat66 DELETE!

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    I saw a little bit of Kevin Thorn too. I don't know, he seemed a little too gimmicky for me. The theme song was good though.

    Good to hear Mordecai's doing well for himself.
     
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  14. Lowdown

    Lowdown Ooh baby I like it roooaaaaw!

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    My first thought of Mordecai was the vignettes and how he looked to be the antithesis of Taker. I thought the gimmick was corny and WWE was reaching a bit. Its as if they decided to get into a way back machine and retool and old gimmick. On top of that, he wasn't a great wrestler. I heard he improved once ha went back down to OVW and returned as Kevin Thorn (another recycled gimmick), but he was just another warm body in the locker room.
     
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  15. JVel

    JVel Occasional Pre-Show

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    Mordecai was cheesy but it definitely could have been given a run and it's unfortunate he never had the chance to run with it, whether or not it was his own fault. My real complaint was how clearly his character was being set up to be fed to Undertaker.

    His return as Kevin Thorn was pretty solid though but I feel like overall he was another victim of the transitional era WWE was kind of going through at the time where they dropped the ball on a pretty decent number of potential mid card talents through no real creative direction and inconsistent booking.
     
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  16. Starkist

    Starkist (To Rip) The Heart From Your Hate

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    I was interested in this gimmick when it came out. Mordecai was green in the ring which could be one of the main reasons the gimmick was pulled. If Mordecai was giving a chance, I could see him being more successful in the gimmick. Regardless if he was to be fed to Undertaker or not, the gimmick was cool and cut off too soon.
     
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  17. Just Do It

    Just Do It Getting Noticed By Management

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    Great gimmick? Huh. Saying it had potential and it was great are two very different things. Fact is, it was something which never got going, and there is nothing to say the performer behind it could have lived up to any potential anyway, based on his subsequent runs.
     
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