Operation: Gimmick Impossible Introduction
This is a new feature here at CrazyMax where yours truly, Cpl. Dick Peters, will go over some of the most memorable, and not so memorable, gimmicks of all time. I will be receiving a new mission every week, and once each mission is accomplished, I will give you a report of my debriefing. The goal of these missions is for yours truly, Cpl. Dick Peters, to work my way up the ranks and become a “Major” Dick in time. I can promise you, I will not stop until I accomplish this goal. So without further adieu, I bring you my first Mission….”The Prisoner 902714, better known by his inmates as “Nailz”.
Objective 1: The Beginning
The Nailz gimmick started with a few vignettes where he was never shown, only heard talking about how the Big Boss Man was a prison guard during his stay. Nailz would go on and on about how the Boss Man mistreated him and that Boss Man has no idea on what it’s like being on the other side of the bars. Nailz always spouted off the number of days he had been incarcerated, 2,478 days to be exact, or 6 and a half years. It had been that long since he had been free and that now that he was out of prison, he was going to take it out on the Boss Man once his sentence was up. Oh, and let us not forget about his ridiculous voice. I don’t know who’s idea it was to give Nailz an audio distorted voice, but it sounded like somebody on whippets. After weeks of vignette, the guy finally made his debut on the May 30th, 1992 edition of Superstars. This is the only thing the guy did worth a damn in the WWF. It is one of my favorite debuts of all time because of the brutality and the viciousness in which it was done. Also, for 1992 it was very ahead of it’s time as far as the WWF goes because you never saw anything like this. Take a look for yourself by watching the clip below. The goodness starts around the 2 minute mark:
After his debut the Boss Man took a short hiatus and didn’t come back for a few months. Nailz would go on to destroy a few jobbers along the way and cut promos on the Boss Man while he waited for him to return. By the way, the guys promos were such trash. He would start every promo with “Who’s the boss now……BOSS MAN!!!!” He would stroke his night stick like he had some form of perverted sexual intentions. Nailz squashed the “Boss Man’s friend” Virgil at SummerSlam ’92 as he continued on his path of destruction. Nailz would use a form of a choke as his submission/KO finisher. How it was legal is beyond me. After Summerslam, Nailz would just bide his time and wait to get his hands on the Big Boss Man one more time. That time would come at the 1992 Survivor Series.
Objective 2: The Blow Off
Following a most awesome debut, the storyline just sort of fell flat. It took too long to get any sort of payoff for the Boss Man and by the time Survivor Series finally rolled around it seemed like nobody cared. I’m not sure they ever cared to be honest but after that sort of debut you want to get to the payoff as soon as possible if you ask me. Let Boss Man stay at home until August, have him come back and attack Nailz but Nailz get away before any damage is done then you set up the match for SummerSlam. That way the Nailz debut is still fresh in peoples minds and the feud is hot and you get the blow off sooner. You could also let Nailz lose by DQ by attacking him with the night stick then extend it to Survivor Series where they had there Night Stick Match and that would have made for a pretty good feud. However, this is the WWF in the early 90’s and 75% of the pay per view matches never made sense so we got the pile of shit that they gave us. And I DO mean pile of shit. The blowoff came at Survivor Series 1992 where Nailz looks to exact his last bit of revenge by defeating the Big Boss Man in a night stick on a pole match. This match was really awkward and didn’t really deliver at all. The gimmick of the match was, you had to shimmy up a poll and retrieve the night stick to use as a weapon. They went at it for about 5-7 minutes then Big Boss Man finally gets his hands on the night stick, BARELY USING IT, and wins the match with the Boss Man Slam. However, before the Boss Man is able to exact his revenge the almighty Nailz steals the night stick from the Boss Man and attempts to hit him with it but Boss Man gets out of the way and ends up stealing the night stick back. He then lays into Nailz a few times before Nailz gets out of the ring and gets to the backstage area. Back there Sean Mooney sticks a mic in Nailz face and the ex-con says he’s not finished with Boss Man yet. They’d have some Cage matches at the house shows with Boss Man going over, but for TV purposes, THIS FEUD WAS FINISHED.
Objective 3: The Ending
Shortly after the Survivor Series match, Vince McMahon had the ingenious idea of having Nailz feud with the Undertaker, two guys who didn’t sell. They filmed the television taping where the stare down took place but nothing came of it. The feud and the gimmick came to a screeching halt after Nailz had a confrontation with Vince McMahon over his Summerslam pay. Nailz supposedly pushed over Vince McMahon in his chair and then choked him on the ground. Suffice to say, he was fired on the spot and he never appeared in a WWF ring again, and thank God for that!
Debriefing Mission 1: Nailz
With how great the debut was, there was no chance this gimmick was going to work. The idea was great because you already had an established star like the Big Boss Man who needed an opponent and what better opponent to give him than a ex-convict whom he supposedly beat on in prison. On paper it sounds like a good idea but in execution it fell flat and amounted to nothing memorable. The best part of this whole gimmick was his debut and after that there is absolutely nothing worth watching. There was a lot of junk being put out in 91 and 92 and this is one of them. However, it wasn’t terrible and the debut makes the gimmick worth a little bit. Nailz would appear once in WCW vs. Sting at a WCW PPV in 1993 as a replacement for Scott Norton. Due to trademark rights, he was simply called “The Prisoner”. Nailz would continue to work the gimmick on the indies, even appear on the AWF using the name “Nails”, with an “S”.
Can you believe this guy was once called “Mr. Magnificent” Kevin Kelly? YIKES!
Now, I am off to speak with the Commander to see what the next Mission is that he has in store for this Dick. Until next time CrazyMaxers, this is Cpl. Dick Peters, standing at attention.