The history of WWE is littered with superstars whose gimmicks seemed doomed from the start. Sometimes, however, the performers are able to turn seemingly bad ideas into gold. During the Ruthless Aggression era, former superstar Big Vito was given a crossdressing gimmick which saw him wrestle in a dress. He went on a long undefeated streak, and became a fan favorite in the process.
As reported by Wrestling Inc., Big Vito recently sat down with the outlet to discuss his career. During the interview, he fondly recalled his old gimmick, while also revealing that he was almost given a main event push and World Championship consideration because it was so over with the WWE Universe.
“I wouldn’t change it for the world and I wished it lasted for a couple more years. Probably the most discouraging thing about it was when I was supposed to have a championship match with King Booker and they substituted me for The Undertaker and nobody could understand. I had so much going for me and was undefeated. If we would have meshed and knocked heads, wouldn’t it have been worthy to have a man wearing a dress as the heavyweight champion of WWE?”
Big Vito also discussed the origins of the gimmick, revealing that the idea was proposed to him by Vince and Stephanie McMahon. The wrestler revealed that he agreed to portray his crossdressing character both inside and outside of the ring, which made it one of the last true kayfabe gimmicks in WWE. He also revealed that it led to him posing for Playgirl magazine, and he believes that the character was ahead of its time.
When asked about his regrets, the former SmackDown Live superstar revealed that he wishes he got to wear the dress longer. He also compared it to Dusty Rhodes, who wore ridiculous polka dot attire yet somehow managed to present himself as a serious wrestler who got over with the fans in a big way.
.@TheBigVitoBrand on his dress gimmick in WWE: "It was a soul-searching thing that taught me a lot about life in general. You learn about yourself..I wouldn’t change it for the world and I wished it lasted for a couple more years." #BigVito #WWE https://t.co/6YLc07w31m pic.twitter.com/UvdHgj5toS— 411 Wrestling (@411wrestling) September 1, 2019
Vito also revealed that while he does still watch the current WWE product, he’s not a fan of its entertainment-centric direction, which he described as “unwatchable.” Of the performers he does enjoy watching, however, he said that Kevin Owens interests him, and he is also a fan of Brock Lesnar.
According to the former superstar, he believes that the current WWE performers are prohibited from becoming huge stars because they aren’t allowed to showcase everything that they’re capable of doing.