"I'm so pretty, I should have been born a little girl!"
writers are known to use every dirty trick in the book to make a heel
hated, and Gorgeous George is one of the most basic tricks there is. Gorgeous George is an effeminate pretty-boy who, if he's not an outright cross-dresser
, at least dresses, looks, and acts very androgynous. He wears sequined robes and feather boas, he keeps his hair perfectly coiffed, his nails perfectly manicured, and if somebody hits him in the face, watch out! Needless to say, this is all designed to exploit the wrestling fans' homophobia
; by presenting an effete image, coupled with the standard heel tactics of lying and cheating, he inflames the anger of the crowd. Gorgeous George never outright says that he's gay - it's constantly implied and hinted at
, but if he actually admitted
it, it wouldn't be Gorgeous George anymore.
The original Gorgeous George was George Wagner, who began wrestling in the 1930s, making this trope Older than Television
. Wagner became popular in the wrestling circuit for his outrageous character, and with the advent of television became one of the biggest celebrities of the era. Muhammad Ali
and James Brown
both credited Wagner as part of their inspiration for their own flamboyant behavior, and it may require two separate wikis to list everyone who THEY have influenced/inspired. Subsequent wrestlers took on similar personae, including Johnny B. Badd, Rico, Goldust (who subverted the trope by turning face
), "The Model" Rick Martel
, and "Adorable" Adrian Adonis.
See also Sissy Villain
, Depraved Homosexual
, Depraved Bisexual
and Psycho Lesbian
. Contrast The Fighting Narcissist
whose sexuality is rarely questioned.
- Of course, the Trope Namer, Gorgeous George himself, who was incidentally one of the biggest draws of the 1930s and 40s and often credited for turning wrestling into a national spectacle.
- Shawn Michaels had shades of this during his 1990s heel runs. He was a flamboyantly dressed, stripping narcissist who pranced around in front of a mirror and came out to a theme song called "Sexy Boy" and once posed for Playgirlnote . He also had TONS of Ho Yay with heel sidekicks Kevin Nash and Triple H. Parts of his heel runs subverted this, however, by having him hang around with Sensational Sherri or Jenny Mc Carthy. His face runs tended to downplay the vanity and the Ho Yay (unless Triple H was around), but still pretty much ran with the trope.
- "Exotic" Adrian Street was, according to many wrestling fans, the best wrestler to ever play this gimmick. Street found exactly the right balance between the antics and having good matches. He even had a "girlfriend", Miss Linda, who played a feminine inversion of the gimmick by dressing in leather and getting physically involved in matches. Despite pushing 70, Street has remained in shape and still uses the gimmick on occasion.
- He was also, as noted by Wrestlecrap, an extremely stiff (har har) worker, which he also used if anyone mocked him in bars (the old days of Kayfabe and all that.)
- "Adorable" Adrian Adonis was a shameless rip-off of Street. In the AWA, he was formerly (at least gimmick-wise) a badass biker, where he teamed with Jesse "The Body" Ventura as part of the East-West Connection (Adrian being from New York, Ventura being from California). The team was brought into the WWF, but Ventura was forced to retire after developing blood clots in his lungs. Instead, Adrian was given pink trunks to wear, as well as legwarmers, scarves, sunhats, and ribbons for his hair. While Street had a bodybuilders physique, Adonis' weight quickly ballooned past 300 lbs.
- Ventura may have worn feather boas and other flamboyant attire, but his gimmick was more of a tough hippie, inspired by "Superstar" Billy Graham.
- He wore glasses with rhinestones. That alone qualifies him for this trope.
- Dustin Rhodes, unable to move out of his father Dusty's shadow, enthusiastically became Goldust when joining the WWF. He combined this trope with a whole lot of other bizarre mannerisms. He was also one of the first of this type of wrestler to turn face.
- His half-brother Cody Rhodes was supposed to be a different trope with his "Dashing" gimmick, but some considered him metrosexual. It comes from each week on Smackdown!, he gavegrooming tips, which vary from the normal (suggestions on bathing frequency and deodorant) to the metro (lip gloss, clear nail polish). When he entered the arena, he turns to one of the screens behind him which acts as a mirror, showing a real-time video of him on the stage.
- WCW had The West Hollywood Blonds, Lenny and Lodi. They wore body glitter and, when Lenny won the WCW Cruiserweight Title, decorated it with sparkles and bows. They got pulled off television when the GLAAD threatened to sue WCW.
- After WCW's demise, Lodi signed with TNA and replaced Lenny with Bruce, who had formerly worked in WCW as Alan Funk and Kwee-Wee.
- Since we mentioned Kwee Wee, he sorta fit this trope. His character was a fashion designer whose outfits were lavender and neon orange. However, he had a feminine girlfriend (Papaya). Kwee Wee was based on a Saturday Night Live character named Mango who was also heterosexual despite acting effeminate and even sexually teasing other men.
- WWE had Billy and Chuck, who were an Ambiguously Gay Duo. They eventually turned out to be straight after all, and admitted it was all a ruse to boost WWE ratings.
- Billy and Chuck also had Rico, their "stylist". After the breakup of Billy and Chuck, Rico started trying to imitate Adrian Street's version of the gimmick, complete with a valet named Miss Jackie. After moving to Smackdown in 2004 and teaming with Charlie Haas, Rico turned face and became popular for his antics. He once kissed Bubba Ray Dudley on the lips to a massive pop from the crowd.
- Too Cool, Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2-Hotty, were originally known as Too Much. "Too Sexy" Brian Christopher and "Too Hot" Scott Taylor. The duo never really got pushed or over and they were taken off TV in under a year and then repackaged as Too Cool and teamed up with Rikishi. Word is that the gay marriage angle that Billy and Chuck went through was originally intended for them.
- Long before the West Hollywood Blondes, WCW had Johnny B. Badd, one of the earliest face examples of this trope. Then again, possibly the only reason he was a face was because he was a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Little Richard.
- Going back to the 1950s, Ricki Starr was a legitimate ballet dancer, who ended up in professional wrestling. He used ballet for much of his wrestling moves, wore ballet slippers in the ring, and had stereotypical gay mannerisms. For most of his career, he was a Face. Yes, in the 1950s.
- Vito, the toughest man to wear a dress, was initially a more subtle version. If one noticed the trope at all it would be in the mafia-type tough man's butterfly finishing move. Then he came out in the dress and started forcing other men's heads under it, making it obvious to everyone.
- Masked women's swimsuit wearing wrestler Japanese Pool Boy is a more comedic version than most other examples but still manages to get under a lot of fans' skin.
- Subversion: Buddy Rogers imitated Gorgeous George's mannerisms, bleached hair and robes but put off audiences more with pure arrogance and obviously false claims prowess and pedigree than ambiguous homosexuality. His successor Ric Flair looks even more like George by incorporating feather boas but is even more non homosexual.
- Razor Ramon HG, could have been considered an example early in his HUSTLE career, besides the fact he was always a face but he eventually became so popular that the Fan Nickname Hard Gay stuck and the ambiguous elements were totally abandoned.
- WSU has the "Boy Diva" Rick Cataldo who wears colourful and frilly outfits and has the Camp Gay behaviour down to a T. A man heel in an all-women's promotion isn't as rare as you would think but a Gorgeous George is pretty out there.
- OVW had the kamikaze kid become "glamazon" Paredyse, the fabulous, flamboyant, femmeboy phenom of wrestling! CJ Lane became his manservant(she is obviously a woman). Paradyse acts stereotypically gay in his matches but will not admit to being anymore than a "revolutionary" who created "new" gender roles.
- "Stunning" Steve Austin early in his WCW career fit this mold pretty well, complete with the valet.
- Mid-carder Tony Falk adopted the "Boy Tony" persona in the mid-80's as a Shout-Out to Boy George. When he wrestled in the World Class promotion in Texas, the persona morphed into "Cowboy Tony", a Gay Cowboy character.
- Ash Crimson, Ash Crimson, ASH CRIMSON. At the moment you're reading this, at least one person on the planet is bashing the series solely because of his existence.
- Super Punch-Out!! had Heike Kagero, a shirtless woman without breasts who boxed. He had a slim build, lilac trunks, lipstick, long silver hair which he used as a lethal weapon, and he used to skip back and forth when he knocked you down. He also punched in an effeminate manner — It was just very, very painful. Oh, and he laughed in a high-pitched cooing tone when he won. As far as can be told Kagero was actually trained in kabuki before taking up boxing as a means of defending himself. Based on his mannerisms, he was most likely an onnagata — meaning that he played female characters.
- Don't forget about Narcis Prince, who will go berserk when punched in the face.
- Valtome from Fire Emblem 10 (Radiant Dawn). Wears makeup, has perfectly done nails, flirts with Zelgius and some interesting desires concerning Elincia.
- One of the characters in Heroes of Might and Magic IV was a pirate named Pete Girly after his long blond hair. He was very vain about his appearance, especially the hair. Of course, the first person who called him "Pete Girly" ended up dead - he started wearing the nickname with pride later.
- Zhang He in Dynasty Warriors, who gets campier and campier with every installment in the series, and has a seriously badass moveset. Whether he's a Heel or a Face depends on your interpretation of the Wei kingdom, which has traditionally gotten the Historical Villain Upgrade.
- Mocked in a Looney Tunes cartoon with "Ravishing Ronald — the original De-natured Boy", a timid, mincing wrestler who kept his long blond hair in a net and bobby pins. In an odd inversion, Ronald appeared to be a Face; it was his opponent, The Crusher, who was the Heel (and thus, the subsequent target of Bugs Bunny's wrath).
- Futurama: In the episode "Raging Bender", after Bender is successfully established as the tough "Bender the Offender", he's forced to become an exaggeration of this trope — "The Gender Bender" — as part of a Face-Heel Turn, in order to build up another rising star.
- On the "Gorgeous Grampa" episode of The Simpsons, Abe reveals that he used to wrestle as Gorgeous Godfrey. Mr. Burns, who was Godfrey's biggest fan, convinces him to fight again, which leads Bart to emulate him. Abe feels bad about this and makes a Heel-Face Turn as Honest Abe.
- In the Mickey Mouse short "Tapped Out", Mickey has to fight Pulchritudinous Pete.
- Nong Toom was a kathoey (or "ladyboy") Muay Thai kick boxer, who would enter matches wearing make up and even kissing defeated opponents. She eventually used the money made as a kick boxer to get gender reassignment surgery.