Thanks to Budweiser’s Real Men of Genius musical campaign, the pro wrestling wardrobe designer finally got his just due. Of course, like most men highlighted in these songs the wardrobe designer was ridiculed to no end. It’s basically the one-minute version of the joke you’ve always heard from your friends who hate that you watch wrestling, but in the form of a not-so-subtle song.
Not much is known about the origins of a pro wrestler’s gear. Sometimes you’ll hear about people who design the art or decals that emblazoned on wrestling attire, like comic book artist Jill Thompson who has designed stuff for Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. Or you can go to Highspots and order from their catalog of generic wrestling gear that you’ll also find on the Create-A-Superstar mode on WWE 2K14. But among the masses of unsung heroes out there in the world or professional wrestling, the wardrobe designer is definitely one of the most unsung.
Let’s face it, part of what makes a wrestler badass or horrible has to do with what they’re wearing. Hell, that was one of the main discussion points when The Shield broke up and were no longer wearing Attitude Era Big Boss Man hand-me-downs. But this commercial wouldn’t be a Real Men of Genius song if they focused on the cool gear. Instead, they touch on all the iconography that adds to the homoeroticism of two half-naked men wrestling each other.
And even though these commercials started airing in 1998, when the Attitude Era started, the nWo was in full effect, and ECW had changed professional wrestling, Budwesier seemed to only be interested in highlighting the wrestling wardrobe from the late 80’s/early 90’s. Like pink spandex. More specifically, a close-up shot of some dude’s ass in said pink spandex. Leotards and capes are mentioned and shown. And to really drive the point home, thongs. The sad reality is there have been men in pro wrestling who wore thongs (Rikishi), or ill-fitting trunks as to give the illusion of one. I’m trying not to look your way, Ahmed Johnson.
No basic Goldberg or Steve Austin black trunks here. Or even Raven-style jorts. Nope. Because, if truth be told, the majority of wrestling attire isn’t as flamboyant or as flashy as this commercial makes it out to be. Then again, when it is flamboyant or flashy it’s turned up to 11. So you really can’t help but nod in agreement as the narrator reasons that wrestlers are not just going to rip their opponents’ heads off, but they’re going to look fabulous doing it. Because when it comes to being flamboyant or flashy few are as fabulous as pro wrestlers.