The standard professional wrestling
ring introduction consists of four parts: hometown, height, weight, and name. However, there are some characters where one might not want
to give a hometown; after all, if you have a quasi-mystical
, made of iron
loner, it would probably rob him of some of his mystique if he was from Joisey
. The solution? Announce him as being "from Parts Unknown".
Parts Unknown, simply put, is wrestling speak for "we don't know where the hell this guy's from." However, it's taken on a life of its own in wrestling fandom, where it's become popular to depict Parts Unknown as a real place that's home to some very unreal personalities. Possibly as a result of this, most wrestling promoters have changed from using Parts Unknown to using more descriptive, though equally non-specific, hometowns.
This is also often used in video games, specifically fighting games, including Street Fighter
, The King of Fighters
, the Soul
. This is probably due to the fact that nationality can often lead to pre-conceived ideas about how a character should behave and look
. Parts Unknown avoids this situation, especially with regards to certain characters who are not
designed with any specific cultural/nationality
tropes in mind, meaning that it is regularly applied to overtly mysterious, more fantastical characters. It's also regularly applied to final bosses
, like Street Fighter
's M. Bison, who has a design that clearly evokes a Nazi general
, but actually labelling him as being
German could be seen to have unfortunate implications
. It is far better to avoid mention of his nationality altogether.
As an aside, when used too
liberally amongst a series' characters, this arguably becomes unrealistic
. Afterall, most people (especially in a modern setting) do
have a nationality and are aware of where they were born.
- Parts Unknown's most famous resident would have to be former WWF wrestler The Ultimate Warrior.
- WCW took things one step further with the Man of Question (later Hugh Morrus), who was announced at least once as "from Parts Unknown, height unknown, weight unknown." Geez, guys, can't anybody get him up on a scale? However, in the Dungeon of Doom vignette where "The Taskmaster" Kevin Sullivan presented Morrus to the Master, Sullivan said he was giving the Master "the man from the Isle of Nowhere."
- And then there was the infamous "WCW Special Forces", whence hailed The Patriots: Todd Champion and Chip the Firebreaker.
- And the less infamous but no less absurd "Web City", the hometown of Arachnaman, WCW's Captain Ersatz for Spider-Man (one of many masked wrestlers portrayed by Brad Armstrong).
- Former WWE wrestler The Boogeyman is announced as from "The Bottomless Pit".
- Hack Myers was famously introduced throughout his career as from "The Last House on the Left".
- So is ROH wrestler Sami Callahan.
- WWE wrestler The Undertaker is something of a subversion, as he's always been announced from "Death Valley". While there is an actual town called Death Valley in California, the conspicuous lack of a state has always led fans to believe that this was just a Parts Unknown-style descriptive hometown. At one pre-WrestleMania XXV press conference, 'Taker dropped all pretense, asking the crowd "What's up, hometown?" and noting that Death Valley was "just off of loop 610". note However, recently, WWE has aired vignettes featuring The Undertaker which seem to take place in California's Mojave Desert, which would seem to back up the idea that Taker calls the real town of Death Valley home.
- He wasn't always announced as being from "Death Valley". During his "American Bad-Ass" biker gimmick, he was announced as being from Houston.
- His brother Kane, however, is generally known to be a Parts Unknown resident.
- Similar to the Undertaker example, Ryback is announced from the intentionally vague "Sin City", alluding to Las Vegas (note, Ryan "Ryback" Reeves is actually from Las Vegas).
- Christopher Daniels is also announced as either from "Sin City" or "The City of Angels" (better known as Las Vegas and Los Angeles, respectively).
- Spoofed in the Futurama episode "Raging Bender", where a wrestling robot dubbed the Clearcutter is described as being "from, and made of, Parts Unknown".
- Deuce and Domino are from "The Other Side of the Tracks".
- Ring of Honor's Delirious is from "The Edge of Sanity"
- In the same vein, short-lived WWF wrestler Damien Demento was from "The Outer Reaches of Your Mind"
- Sid Vicious (the wrestler, not the musician) was from "Anywhere He Darn Well Pleases".
- In the women's pro wrestling organization SHIMMER, Amazing Kong had a regular hometown (Tokyo, Japan)... but her weight was announced as "Weighing None of Your Damn Business".
- Short-lived WCW wrestler Blackblood (Billy Jack Haynes under a mask) had "A Little Town in France" as his hometown. Short-lived because he sucked, and also because Jim Ross couldn't resist mocking that line ("A little town in... What is it, Smallville?")
- WrestleCrap's induction of WCW The Great American Bash 1991 (which was so awful it made the audience "WANT FLAIR!", the #1 heel in the company) notes this as being the worst hometown in the history of wrestling, sentences after saying exactly the same thing about Yellow Dog (Brian Pillman in a mask)'s hometown, "the Kennel Club." It's hard to say which is actually more embarrassing.
- Blitzkrieg was introduced as being from "The Cosmos".
- In Homestar Runner, The Announcer delivers this a few times; he said that Strong Mad and Strong Bad were from Parts Unknown in "Marshamallow's Last Stand", and just Strong Bad in the e-mail "Lady... ing"
- Later, in "Strongest Man in the world", Mr. Bland is said to hail from "The middle of the road," and Seńor Havin' A Little Trouble is just said to be "from foreign lands".
- And, in the e-mail "Yes, wrestling" Strong Bad's in-ring persona Il Cartographer is said to be from "the age of exploration".
- Once spoofed in an old Drabble comic strip. The father, a masked wrestler, was pulled over for a traffic stop and was in full costume. He even had a kayfabe driver's licence, with his address listed as yes, Parts Unknown.
- TNA wrestler Black Reign (Dustin Rhodes) is introduced as being from "the deepest darkest corner of his mind", as he has a Split Personality gimmick. This is also a partial reference to a lesser known wrestler from the WWE called Damien Demento who was billed as being from "The Outer Reaches of Your Mind."
- Also in TNA, after the breakup of Team Canada in 2006 caused him to become incredibly paranoid, Eric Young was billed as coming from "an undisclosed location".
- His Superhero gimmick Super Eric comes from Metropolis, as did Chris Hero. The Skyscrapersnote Tag Team was billed from there in 1989-1990.
- After splitting from Robert Roode, Young was billed as coming from "Freedomland, USA". Now that he's dropped the Super Eric gimmick, he averts this trope: he's billed as being from Nashville.
- Speaking of TNA Shark Boy (and Shark Girl [Daffney Unger]) comes from the Deep Blue Sea.
- At one point Shark Boy was billed as being from The Mariana Trench, but that wasn't any fun.
- Ten years earlier, The Shark (John Tenta) hailed from either Tsunami or the Great Barrier Reef.
- As Avalanche, he was from "Mt. Everest, WA."
- Remember the TNA wrestler simply known as "X"? He came from "Parts Unknown, Place Unknown".
- MsChif is from The Inferno
- Lufisto is from Montreal... Japan
- In the same vein, while Rob Van Dam and Sabu were tag-teaming in ECW, Van Dam was often announced as being from Battle Creek, India; when he wasn't, Sabu was announced from Bombay, Michigan.
- In the most recent set of SHIMMER tapings, Ayako Hamada was announced as being from "Tokyo, Mexico".
- "The Generic Luchador" El Generico is sometimes billed from Tijuana... Canada
- ECW's Dudley clan all came from Dudleyville. Bubba Ray and D'Von Dudley kept it for part of their WWE careers, leading to the quote at the top of the page.
- This was personalised for each member of the clan: Big Dick, for example, came from the "Twisted Steel section of Dudleyville".
- Former ECW/WWE wrestler The Blue Meanie came from Pepperland.
- While working for the Wrestling Society X promotion, Jimmy Jacobs was announced as being from "The Dark Side Of A Broken Heart".
- The short lived tag team New Breed (Chris Champion and Sean Royal) hailed from the year 2002, where robots are common and Dusty Rhodes is the U.S. President, in case you were wondering whose idea this was.
- Most of the time if a wrestler is not from the United States, Japan, Mexico, or Canada, no city will be mentioned they will only be announced as being that country even if where they are from is made clear in other aspects of their gimmick. Some examples are:
- The Great Khali is announced as being from just India. Despite the fact he is nicknamed the "Punjabi Giant" and this specialty is the Punjabi Prison Match, the rest should be easy to figure out.
- This happened to WWE's Carlito who was billed as "From the Caribbean" instead from San Juan, Puerto Rico to match his "Caribbean Cool" gimmick and refer to him as the son of a Puerto Rican legend. His brother on the other hand is announced as hailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- An indy fed in my area had a tag team whose gimmick was the New Kids on the Block. Hometown? Venice Beach, circa 1985.
- In his early days in Mid-South/UWF, Sting was billed as being from "Every Man's Nightmare". And his manager, "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert, was from "Every Woman's Dream", and the current independent tag team the Heartbreak Express are billed from there as well.
- CHIKARA's UltraMantis Black has been referred to by several people as "The Mayor Of Parts Unknown".
- Smoky Mountain Wrestling once anounced Rick Davis as hailing from "P.O. Box 43" instead of an actual town.
- Meng was announced (by Michael Buffer no less) at WCW Uncensored 96 as being from "Some Unknown Part of the Planet." However, at WCW Fall Brawl 95, Buffer announced Meng as a member of Royalty from the South Pacific.
- The Headbangers were announced (on the WWF Warzone Playstation game, at least) as being "From their own Private Hell."
- Leva Bates is from the Bates Motel.
- Rachel Summerlyn and Jessica James are from the International House of Paincakes.
- Nikki Roxx and "Portuguese Princess" Ariel have a total combined weight of Awesome.
- Prior to his arrival in ECW in 1993, Tommy Dreamer wrestled in various independent leagues in the Northeast and was billed from Dreamland, USA. After coming to ECW, he relocated to Yonkers, NY, where he is still billed from to this day.
- Kevin Nash was billed from The Emerald City as part of his Oz gimmick in 1991 WCW. As Steele of the Tag Team the Master Blasters he was billed from the Steel Mines.
- Dolph Ziggler bills himself on his Twitter as being from Bikini Bottom, Transylvania.
- Spoofed on Conan, when a Real Steel parody included a robot made from parts unknown, while hailing from Greenwich, Connecticut.
- In Trailer Park Boys, Bubbles' wrestling persona, the Green Bastard, is from Parts Unknown.
- Brodus Clay's newest Funkasarus gimmick has him billed from "Planet Funk."
- Mankind was announced as being from the Boiler Room.
- Short-lived WWE wrestler The Stalker (Barry Windham wearing camouflage) was billed from "the Environment."
- Another one: Maxx Payne in WCW was billed from "The State of Euphoria."
- One of the most infamous examples of Wrestling Doesn't Pay, Duke "the Dumpster" Droese was billed as hailing from "Mt. Trashmore, Florida."
- The Vampire Warrior/Gangrel and Luna Vachon were from "The Other Side of Darkness."
- At WWA Inception, Devon Storm (WCW's Crowbar) was billed from "The Other Side of Sanity."
- NXT wrestler Xavier Woods is billed as being from Angel Grove, California.
Examples: Video games
- The Soul series employs this a fair bit, which is quite odd considering the (heightened) real world setting and detailed bios provided for most characters. Examples include Algol, Edgemaster and Zasalamel. Although arguably these three represent characters from very ancient civilizations, with mysterious pasts, so are trickier to categorize.
- It's odder when this is applied to characters like Tira and ZWEI, who were both born within the same time-frame as their series contempories, although ZWEI's design and fighting-style (using a summoned werewolf) is arguably a shift into more of a fantasy-type character, perhaps explaining the need for this trope.
- Viola takes the cake. Her official bio is especially whimsical, listing her birthplace as "a place of roses and lilies" and her blood type as "twisted strings of red and blue", which is in stark contrast to the more factual bios of the rest of the cast.
- The Street Fighter series uses this less often, as it heavily relies on national stereotypes when designing characters. This is usually restricted to boss characters. M. Bison (Vega), Gill, and Seth are good examples.
- Other non-boss examples include the bizarre, enigmatic Q of Street Fighter III 3rd Strike fame, and platinum blonde Kid from the Future Ingrid. Both characters probably justify use of this, with each having a character shtick heavily revolving around a sense of other-wordly mystery.
- The Darkstalkers series has a handful of examples, although most characters avoid this as they are (for the most part) shout outs to global legendary creatures. Examples that play this straight include Donovan, who has a Buddhist priest vibe but who's birthplace is simply listed as "unknown" and B.B. Hood, who's bio at least narrows her birthplace down to somewhere in "Northern Europe".
- Tekken 6 introduces us to Zafina, an exotic beauty who used to be listed as being "Indian" on the official English site. However, she's now listed as of "unknown" origin. Perhaps this was required due to her overall look being a cultural mish-mash; with an Indian fighting style, make-up and skin coloring, elements of American Indian costume design and a storyline that hints at ancient Egyptian origins.
- The King of Fighters is king of this. A large chunk of the characters in the series have "unknown" listed against their birthplaces. 26 out of the 90 (non-powered/cloned) total characters have "unknown" listed under birthplace on the official site. This is most likely because the series contains a blend of fairly conventional, global warriors (Mai, Terry, Billy, Robert, etc.), who are all assigned a nationality, alongside a large selection of far more "colourful" fighters (Ash, Foxy, Kula, Botan, Magaki, Saiki, etc.) who's off-the-wall designs require the use of this.
- In the handheld Pokémon games, Pokémon that are snagged in Orre are stated to come from "a distant land".
- There have been some variants of this in other games. For instance, in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, a Keldeo you can get via event is slated to come from "Lovely Place".
- In recent wrestling games, the player can choose to invoke this. It's possible to play it straight, or to give it a variant, such as "Your Darkest Fears" and "Wherever (S)He Wants".
- Pro Wrestling lists the Amazon's nationality as "? ? ?"