Thursday, March 27, 2008

Performer Analysis: Koko B. Ware

The "Birdman" is my featured guest this week on "Let's Scrutinize your Career!" I'm glad to have him here with me today, and, hey, Koko, don't let Frankie drink from the coffee cup- Haven't you ever seen what vodka does to a macaw?! Anyways, it's my pleasure to analyze one of the guys from the NHO Marquee (feel free to look at it now.)

1) Innovation- 5/10 You don't always have to be the guy that breaks down the walls to be known as innovative. Koko did a lot of things that were just different. Different hair, different clothes, different style. He always stood out no matter what he was doing. He performed different moves, unique ones that no one else was utilizing. He was part of the wave of guys that were bringing animals to the ring with them; Koko certainly embraced that part of his character. And for any African American to break into the sport of professional wrestling in the South is certainly a different path.

2) Conditioning- 5/10 Koko was no Olympic athlete but his frame worked for what he could do. He was really agile and had good speed for a heavier guy. Due to the rampant use of steroids in the 80's, it's hard to say anyone one guy didn't use them for his own personal gain, but I would say Koko was never a guy who was one of the problem guys. He never went long in matches anyways, so his stamnia was fine.

3) Skill- 6/10 Koko definitley had some skills inside the ring. His speed was good, his move set was fresh and actually very fun to watch. He worked well with most guys and could bump well for a guy of his size and build. He was one of the more frequently used enhancement performers in the WWF for a good number of years for this reason.

4) Psychology- 6/10 Koko does good believable work inside the ring. He sells body parts well, even if it's not on a submission hold. He plays the fans well too, they respond to his ups and downs. He's not one of those guys who uses subtlety in their work but it gets the job done.

5) Interviews- 6/10 Koko is an energetic interview. He kind of has that Southern Baptist preacher speak that's really loud and in your face without all the heavy breathing in between sentences. He isn't really a money promo guy but he's definitely fun to watch.

6) Character- 7/10 "The Birdman," not really a main event level gimmick but Koko makes it work. I'm not saying he main evented with it, but he has turned something that would usually be a death sentence into a rememerable character. Always accompanied by his friend Frankie (who unfortunately died in a house fire) Koko strutted into the ring doing "The Bird" and got the fans out of their seats.

7) Fans- 5/10 In his prime, Koko was a fan favorite of many wrestling fans around the USA. His colorful attire, pet macaw and loud personality is something fans can get behind. He normally played the underdog role in his matches and people really responded to it. Even now, fans haven't forgotten "the Birdman," although he wouldn't be a top tier name these days.

8) Basics- 5/10 Koko isn't the most scientifically gifted performer there ever was, but her certainly was schooled in the ways of your basic wrestling. He doesn't do much ground work, but from what I've seen he is sufficient. He knows good counter wrestling and has a decent punch too.

9) Matches/ Feuds- 3/10 His weakest category, by far. In the South, he had some noted feuds against the Fabulous Ones and Jerry Lawler early in his career, but nothing legendary. He literally worked little to no programs against anyone during his tenure with the WWF, mostly used as an enhancement guy to get good matches out of burgeoning heels or monsters Vince wanted to push.

10) Gutcheck- 4/10 Koko still takes occasional indy bookings these days and in a recent shoot interview, expressed he would like to be able to step out on the grand stage once again and enjoy a little more time in the ring. He faithfully stuck with his Birdman gimmick and even after the passing of his beloved friend Frankie, still mentions him at indy shows( I was at such a show) showing that he has some compassion and character.

Total: 52

Ranking: Midcarder
PO: Thumbs Middle

No comments: