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[1992-06-13-USWA-TV] Jerry Lawler and Ron Oakes feature

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Ron Oates, a big blond kid who looks like he'd be pushed. Not sure whatever happened to him. Oates failed in a recent bid for the Southern title and came to Lawler for advice. Lawler talks about how he reminds him of Sting and the Ultimate Warrior in Memphis and how a new look gave them self confidence, and maybe the same will work for Oates. Lawler paints his face and says wrestling has a Sting but it doesn't have a guy named THE HORNET. He now has Sting's haircut and has his face painted exactly like Sting and that's his new name. They can't be serious.

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Lawler says Oates reminds him of Hellwig & Borden, but they were both lacking. Lawler then paints his face to see if it has the same impact on Oates, who he calls the Hornet. This was a really minor league segment.

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Lawler sells this as well as possible, tying in the facepaint to the gifts given out at the end of The Wizard of Oz. But still, there's ripping off gimmicks and then there's blatantly, openly SAYING you're ripping off gimmicks. Oakes doesn't exactly reek of charisma here.

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I thought this came off more as Memphis trying to bury Sting rather than trying to push Ron Oates as a Sting clone - even revealing Sting's & Warrior's real names.

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At least Lawler was open about wanting to steal the Sting gimmick and why, the better to avoid possible lawsuits from Turner Broadcasting. The problem was, this guy was just as big a nothing after he got his face painted as he was beforehand. I'd neither seen nor heard about this guy before, which proves that you need more than a certain look to be successful in the wrestling business. Whatever it was that Lawler thought Oates already had, it didn't come across on screen, paint or no paint.

 

I disagree with TG about the USWA wanting to bury Sting. If anything, this was a sort of tribute to a man who got his start in Memphis and was now one of the top two or three wrestlers in the world. Hell, maybe they thought that Sting would show up at the WMC studios someday and give his official stamp of approval to Oates.

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I thought of Sting right away looking at the guy.  Way more steroid-y looking, which is kind of strange after Lawler's burial of the steroid-enhanced wrestlers a year or two back.  If you're going to rip off a gimmick, why not be honest about it?

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