In WWE, a superstar’s hometown can be a huge part of their identity. The same goes especially for international wrestlers like Drew McIntyre and Scotland, Sheamus and Becky Lynch for Ireland, and The Great Khali for India.
But what about wrestlers who aren’t from a real place like The Undertaker from Death Valley? Or better yet, how about wrestlers from “Parts Unknown?” How can a gimmick be so mysterious and vague that no one can even figure out where they’re from? Probably because that gimmick’s mystique is more interesting when from “Parts Unknown.” They simply fell from the sky and became a WWF wrestler.
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One of the very first wrestlers to come from “Parts Unknown” called himself The Destroyer during the 1960s for World Wrestling Associates. In the 1980s and early 1990s era of cartoonish wrestling, there were a plethora of characters from unknown whereabouts. Some worked out well and thrived, others were historically bad and fell flat on their face. Some characters came off as borderline lazy like The Executioner, who started with a generic wrestling mask. Battle Kat, who only lasted in 1990, literally wore a plush cat mask. Everyone’s favorite, Giant Gonzalez, a near-eight foot tall giant, would’ve been forgotten by everyone had he not been the third victim of Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak.
While there was a lot of bad from “Parts Unknown,” there was also plenty of good. Doink the Clown could have been a forgettable gimmick, but Matt Borne made him a nasty mid-card heel in the 1990s who demanded to be taken seriously. Charles Wright, who would later be repackaged as The Godfather, embraced the voodoo gimmick of Papa Shango in the early 1990s. Being from “Parts Unknown” helped Shango land big feuds with The Ultimate Warrior and The Undertaker. He even scored a WWF title match against Bret Hart in 1992.
The shining example of a “Parts Unknown” wrestler has to be Kane. Many may not think of the Big Red Machine when thinking of “Parts Unknown.” That’s because Kane’s kayfabe life story is as detailed as probably any character in WWE history. Kane’s character garnered so much fan interest because he’s directly associated with the greatest character in WWE history, The Undertaker. His brother-vs-brother feud with The Undertaker made him an instant main eventer, even winning the WWF championship over “Stone Cold Steve Austin.”
Kane’s WWF championship reign lasted only one day, highlighting just how rare it is for a wrestler from “Parts Unknown” to get that kind of push. It’s also extremely rare for that wrestler to be WWE champion as a face and win it in the main event of WrestleMania. That’s precisely what happened to the most famous wrestler ever from Parts Unknown, The Ultimate Warrior.
The Ultimate Warrior garnered a passionate fanbase when he exploded onto the WWF. His incredible physique and intense personality were must-watch television. His “Parts Unknown” whereabouts only added to his mystique, as if he was a superhero who came from outer space. For the Warrior, the planets aligned in 1990 when the WWF decided to have Hulk Hogan pass the baton and anoint a new face of the company. Their epic clash at WrestleMania VI remains the gold standard for a Face vs. Face title match, and the Warrior got the ultimate rub of cleanly defeating a baby-face Hulk Hogan.
While still very rare, there are a few examples of wrestlers from “Parts Unknown,” such as Abyss and Suicide of TNA fame. With AEW now opening the door for wrestlers of all places, perhaps there will be a migration of new wrestlers who hail from the unknown.