Recently on his blog, John Layfield, a.k.a. JBL, offered some history behind one of the worst gimmicks ever in WWE history: Terry Taylor as the Red Rooster.
Anyone who watched wrestling in the late 1980s will recall Taylor, dressed in his red tights and red ring jacket, with his hair teased up in a red mohawk. He also moved his neck like a hen when he came to the ring and even yelled out an occasional “cock-a-doodle-doo.”
I challenge anyone complaining about the WWE product today to find a dumber gimmick than the Red Rooster.
It was a shame, too, because Taylor was talented. I remember first reading about his matches in the Apter mags when he was in the NWA and later Bill Watts’ UWF. It always irked me (actually, it still does today) that the WWF just can’t bring in an established star and let them be … the star they already are. But as we all know, there isn’t a great wrestler that Vince McMahon can’t find a “better” gimmick for.
But I digress, because the point of this post isn’t to rail on the Red Rooster, but rather explain the character a bit, as told by Layfield on his website. In short, it appears the gimmick was given to Taylor because he was an office stooge — in other words, he ratted out his misbehaving fellow wrestlers to the WWF brass.
The Red Rooster was a rib; they wanted him walking through airports moving his head back and forth like a chicken,” Bradshaw wrote. “It was a rib from the office to put him in the gimmick to begin with. I can’t think of anyone in history that had more heat than the Rooster. Before I arrived in WWE, the boys, allegedly, had cut up the Rooster’s suit for being a stooge. What did he do? He stooged the rib, that’s why he had monster heat.”
Bradshaw added that he never liked stooges to begin with, so he and Taylor never got along.
The rest of Bradshaw’s post veers off into an incident he and Ron Simmons had with the late members of the Public Enemy tag team, who were brought into the WWF by Taylor and Vince Russo. It’s a good piece for anyone interested in the backstage doings of the WWE.