WrestleMania is wrestling’s Oscars, and just like The Oscars it’s an opportunity for the superstars in attendance to show off with new gear and turn heads with extravagant looks. Some succeed, some fail, and all deserve to be judged.
If you disagree, take one moment and think about how important ring attire is to character development and success. Would Ric Flair still be The Nature Boy without the robes? Would Randy Savage still be the Macho Man without the fringe? ...well, yeah probably but the iconic looks sure did help!
This new column is inspired by the Drag Race YouTube series “Rupaul’s Ruview” where they “Toot and Boot” the runway looks of the competing drag queens. But this is wrestling - we never do anything small - and when a look fails, it’s getting the “Big Boot!”
Toot - Mandy Rose
Mandy absolutely KILLED it for Mania weekend. Between her 70’s glam jumpsuit for the hall of fame and this golden feathered beauty Mandy has quickly become the woman to watch when it comes to fashion on SmackDown Live. The best part is that she played into her tag line “Golden Goddess” each time! The look is cohesive, glamorous and absolutely supports her in-ring character. It’s important to know your color palette and boy does gold absolutely work for Mandy.
Boot - Kairi Sane
Make us proud, @KairiSaneWWE! ⚓️⚓️ #WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/iW0fw3ZJdY— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) April 7, 2019
Kairi...I just don’t get it. So, she’s a pirate. We know this because the hat and the captains jacket, while not my favorite, support the character choice. But once she takes the captains gear off her gimmick is entirely unsupported by her actual ring gear. I mean, yeah it has an anchor on it, but why is it Lisa Frank colors and what, WHAT, is that weird line in the middle of her body? It’s like a collar that is connected to her belt? I get that she wears it all the time, but it just doesn’t make sense - character wise or function wise - and is super weird. There are inconsistencies and choices being made that I just cannot support.
Toot - The Riott Squad
What can I say, bad girls do it well! The thing I really love about The Riott Squad is that while they are three distinct characters with three distinct styles and gear design, they somehow still always look cohesive. Just because you’re a stable doesn’t mean you need to be match-y match-y and The Riott Squad understands this. The squad turned it up for Mania with this goth glam vibe and they looked intimidating as hell - even bubblegum pink Liv! Now if only they could win something...
Boot - Lana
NOPE. This looks like a DC licensed bathing suit sold at Target. That coupled with her “may I speak to your manager” hair cut. makes her look like a yuppie in a last minute Halloween costume. Plus, we all know Sasha did it better. I like the idea, but the execution is all wrong.
Toot - Nakamura, Rusev & Lana
Continuing with my “tag teams don’t need to be match-y match-y to look cohesive” we have Rusev, Nakamura and Lana CRUSHing (hehe) it with their ring gear. Nakamura’s coat is weird and totally fits his character while being a little extra for Mania, Rusev kept it simple but color matched his gear to his partner and Lana, oh, Lana. I miss the days when you were a severe power hungry manager and this look gave me massive nostalgia. Normally, I would hate the boa, but as a burlesque dancer, I don’t think I’m legally allowed to say a bad thing about an ostrich feather boa. Overall, this team dynamic totally worked for me.
Big Boot - Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins
While one doesn’t have to have matching ring gear to look like a tag team you do have to have a least ONE element in common with your partner. The colors are different, the design is different, the shape is different. It looks basic as hell. Which, to be fair, I guess is kind of the point of this busted tag team.
Toot - The Divas of Doom
Now this is a tag team ladies and gentlefolk! This look is perfection. The Hart family colors, the phoenix design, the little elements like the Glamazon head band versus the cat ears to set the team apart. * chef kiss * I also really love how the design of the gear looks similar to the infamous Divas belt. It serves to remind the audience that while there was a lot of stuff to hate about the Divas era, there was a lot of hard work that went into making the women’s Evolution happen. Beth and Nattie have been through it all together and have come out the other side looking fierce and ready to kick ass.
Big Boot - Bobby Lashley
Yo, SFX contacts are not a costume. They are an accessory. You ain’t fooling no one Bob.
Toot - The New Day
This was a big weekend for The New Day and what better way to celebrate than in style...pancake style that is. Look, the actual ring gear was fantastic. Bright colors, frenetic cartoon art inspired by the artist Basquait - full of heritage, full of hope - but honestly nothing gets better than matching pancake tracksuits. That is a ride or die friendship and that is why the Kofi win felt so amazing. He did it with the unwavering support of his pancake loving, fool brothers. New Day Rocks!
Big Boot - This Racist Trash
This look was always terrible. Sorry, but you know it’s true. Oh, also racism is not a cute look.
Toot - Becky Lynch
Becky Lynch looks like a legit super hero in this outfit. While the outfit made her look like a hero, the big hair and dark eye shadow gave her a bit of an edge. She may be a good guy, but cross her and she’ll rip your arm off! Kill Bill meets X-Force = Bad Ass Becky.
Big Boot - Ronda Rousey
Ronda already co-opted Roddy Piper’s look, why does she need to also co-opt Austin’s 3:16 gimmick? Everyone know’s that if anyone gets to pay homage to the Rattlesnake it’s Becky, but Becky’s to interested in being The Man, first of her name. I just want Ronda to find her own look and her own gimmick. Also, maybe she should get some gear that she doesn’t have to pull out of her crotch every 30 seconds. Did appreciate, however, her lack of insane Black Swann makeup. It’s all about baby steps with Ronda.
Toot & Big Boot - Rey Mysterio
On one hand this gear is silly as hell. On the other hand I really appreciate him cosplaying Marvel’s Mysterio. It suits him more that the Wolverine gear for sure and I love the call back to his name, but it’s also so silly! But wrestling is also silly so it’s great! ....I just can’t decide if it’s good or bad therefore it must be both.
The most IICONIC Toot of WrestleMania
That @BillieKayWWE & @PeytonRoyceWWE Mania Gear is IICONIC.— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) April 8, 2019
➡️ https://t.co/E0MswUzX3G pic.twitter.com/nPRO3TsBxA
This is how you turn out for a WrestleMania! The evil queen inspired accessories added just enough flair to get a big pop from the audience and establish them as heels (even though people were excited when they won) without taking away from their ring gear. Another example of a strong vibe over matching done right. Plus, Peyton’s homage to Eddie Guerrero was a nice touch.
Big Boot it back to Hell
This is a child’s costume. Somehow it worked in NXT but on the WrestleMania stage it looks lame. I also get that he needs to cut down time for the face painting process in order to do press and Mania related activities, but the lack of dimension in the face paint is odd looking. Too much black paint, not enough red. I can honestly say, I preferred the ribbon dance.
A League of his own
ALERT.— WWE (@WWE) April 8, 2019
The DOCTOR of THUGANOMICS @JohnCena IS HERE at #WrestleMania! pic.twitter.com/xkS7brfXHQ
He’s the GOAT. He gets to do whatever he wants and every time, good or bad, we love him for it. Now pump up those kicks!
What do you think Cagesiders? Whose outfit would you Toot and Big Boot?