It’s time to go back in time and rescue some careers! On this Wrestling Salvage Yard, we look at Damien Demento! Could this short-term talent have been salvaged?
What Was He Supposed To Be?
Demento’s gimmick was hard to explain. He was supposed to be some sort of psychotic or demented persona who dressed like a nightmare demon. I don’t know what the hell he was supposed to be. His promos weren’t horrible and he was actually seasoned enough in that area that he would’ve improved had he remained in WWE and been put in front of the camera or on the mic.
In-ring, Damien Demento was nothing special. He wasn’t exactly horrible but he was far from good. The gimmick was unique for the early 1990s and could’ve grown more if it was given room to groove and time to talk. Unfortunately, he was only in WWE for half a cup of coffee. Following his Royal Rumble ‘93 appearance, it was a done deal for Damien Demento as WWE gave him shiny new keys to property on house shows.
Salvaging Damien Demento
This is a hard salvage job. He would’ve had three more years before he was rendered totally unnecessary by Mick Foley’s Mankind gimmick. In that time, he could’ve been a threat to midcard talent seeking a heavyweight heel challenge or as a means for heavyweights to turn face.
There’s really no way a guy with the name “Damien Demento” is going to turn into a babyface. The guy is demented! It’s like turning Typhoon or Earthquake babyface. Typhoon could’ve gone back to being Tugboat but it’s difficult to turn a heel with an evil or destructive name into a babyface.
WWE managed a feat by booking Kane’s face turn with writing that saw him get in touch with his human side—only to be betrayed by the person he trusted most. Demento wasn’t going to receive such treatment.
WCW wasn’t an option since the company was failing with cartoonish gimmicks left and right in the early 90s. His only option was USWA where Lawler regularly lumped up outsiders and monsters—when they did show up. However, since USWA wasn’t a long-term career for heels in the 90s, I’m going to say Demento was unsalvageable.
What can I say? There are some gimmicks a wrestler won’t be able to escape and that locks them in for the remainder of their career.
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