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Doink the Clown is a gimmick used by several wrestlers since the 1990s. The Doink character originally wrestled in the World Wrestling Federation and now can be found occasionally on the independent wrestling circuit in the United States.

The Doink wrestling persona is that of a circus clown. He wrestles in a clown costume, complete with face paint, makeup, and bright green hair. His diminutive sidekick, Dink the Clown (who was approximately four feet tall) wore a similar clown suit.

The Doink character wrestled as both a heel and a face in the WWF. As a heel, Doink played cruel jokes on both fans and face wrestlers in order to amuse himself and put them off guard. Some of his heelish pranks included tripping the Big Bossman with a trip wire and attacking Crush with a prostheic arm. As a heel, some of his most notable clashes were with Crush at WrestleMania IX, with Randy Savage on an early edition of Monday Night Raw and with Bret Hart after substituting for an 'injured' Jerry Lawler at SummerSlam 1993.

Lawler would turn on Doink and effectively turn Doink face as a result. Matt Borne, the original man behind Doink, disapproved of this face turn and would leave the company, eventually leaving the gimmick (after bouncing through a few others) to Ray Apollo. Now as a face and with a new midget sidekick Dink, Doink would encounter Lawler again the following year in the infamous match at Survivor Series 1994. In this match Doink and Dink would team with Wink and Pink to meet Lawler's midget team of 'little kings' Queazy, Cheezy and Sleazy. As a face, Doink was more of a comic relief character, but continued to play jokes on other wrestlers, mostly heels; notable examples were with Jerry Lawler and Bobby Heenan. These jokes were considerably less cruel while Doink was a face, however. Doink and Dink would also battle with Bam Bam Bigelow and his 'main squeeze' Luna Vachon in a feud that would culminate at WrestleMania X.

Doink's finishing move as a heel was the Stump Puller, a submission hold which involves seating an opponent on the mat, sitting on his shoulders, and pulling one of the opponent's legs towards their head. After becoming a babyface, his switch his finisher to a top rope Seated senton to a fallen opponent, dubbed the "Whoopie Cushion" (by Jerry Lawler).

Some wrestling purists criticized the WWF for creating the Doink character, claiming that it pandered to what they saw as the "one-ring circus" atmosphere the WWF was promoting at the time; others thought that Doink was appropriate given professional wrestling's carny origins. Others preferred the heel version, saying that Matt Borne made the gimmick work, but once he was turned face his character was neutered. One of Doink's final appearances in his original run was at the Slammy Awards when he was given a Stunner by Stone Cold Steve Austin amidst chants of 'kill the clown'.

The personnel behind Doink

A number of men have used the Doink gimmick in the WWF. The first (and best-known) Doink was Matt Borne. He was succeeded by Dusty Wolfe and Steve Lombardi, who played the character temporarily after Borne left the company until Ray Apollo was brought in as the permanent replacement.

Steve Keirn also donned the Doink gimmick as part of a storyline that involved multiple Doinks, the character's first feud, with Crush, which culminated in a WrestleMania IX match where a second Doink (Keirn) crawled from underneath the ring during the match to incapacitate Crush with a cast. The 'real' Doink was at this point still played by Borne.

Known "fake Doinks" at the time included Jeff Jarrett, who disguised himself as Doink to play practical jokes on Dink, and Men on a Mission and The Bushwhackers, who dressed as "The Four Doinks" for the 1993 Survivor Series.

At the 1994 Royal Rumble, Crush, Diesel, and Bam Bam Bigelow eliminated Doink and he fell on his knee awkwardly. After the incident, referees had to escort him to the back while Mabel was making his way to the ring.

After the first run of Doinks, the character was not used for a number of years.

Later, Chris Jericho donned the Doink costume shortly before WrestleMania X-Seven in order to ambush William Regal, while an unknown wrestler (speculated by many to be either Ray Apollo or Nick Dinsmore but never confirmed) competed as Doink in a "gimmick battle royal" at WrestleMania itself (the timing of the event led several commentators to speculate that the advertised "battle royal" was an April Fool's Day joke, but the event did in fact take place, and was won by The Iron Sheik).

Nick Dinsmore later portrayed Doink in a bar room brawl at Vengeance 2003 and again in a singles loss to Chris Benoit on the July 31 episode of SmackDown!.

Doink made yet another return on the October 10, 2005 edition of WWE Raw, in a match against Rob Conway, once again being played by Lombardi.

Steve Lombardi once again donned the Doink the Clown gear in 2006, this time in the corner of Eugene during a match against Umaga at that June's Vengeance' pay-per view. Doink sprayed Umaga with a water pistol after he won the match, prompting Umaga to attack him.

The Doink character is easily portrayed by just about anybody on the independent wrestling scene by purchasing the Doink gimmicks (wig and tights) from one of many wrestling gear makers.

See also

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