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Gimmick

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In professional wrestling, a gimmick is a wrestler's personality, behavior, attire and/or other distinguishing traits while performing.

Nature of a Gimmick

The nature and plausibility of gimmicks vary widely. In recent years, the emphasis has been on more realistic gimmicks which portray the wrestler as an actual person, albeit with exaggerated personality traits, as opposed to previous years during which gimmicks could be best described as cartoonish (most of the World Wrestling Federation's product in the 1980s and early 1990s fits this category).

Gimmicks can be described as heel or face. A face gimmick is one that is designed to be popular with crowds, often through adopting endearing mannerisms. A heel gimmick is one that is designed to be hated by crowds, usually to make the face more popular in any storyline in which they may both be involved. A tweener gimmick falls between the two extremes. Over a wrestler's career, he or she may be expected to portray many gimmicks, most of which may be implausible or inconsistent (see kayfabe). Sometimes a wrestler may undergo a complete on-screen personality change from one week to the next.

A promotion will often recycle past gimmicks, giving them to newer wrestlers. Typically, a promotion will wait several years before trying to recycle a gimmick in order to allow fans' memories to fade.

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