Damien Demento

The early-mid 1990s were weird for the World Wrestling Federation. For every Undertaker and Bret Hart, there was a Repo Man and Papa Shango. The WWF was goofy, and the beginning of the decade would mark the company’s brief fall from grace at the hands of rival promotion, World Championship Wrestling. One of the most fascinating parts of rewatching WWF programming from this era is the sheer number of obscure and bizarre characters forgotten to time. On an October episode of WWF Superstars in 1992, one of these strange characters, Damien Demento, made his in-ring debut.

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Photo credit: WWE

It’s pretty difficult to explain what Demento’s character was supposed to be. He was “demented,” I guess. He talked to himself, which is… scary, I think. He had a long skullet and an Anton Lavey beard, so he looked kind of Satanic. He also wore this curious vest thingy that looked like an animal carcass with tassels. Oh, and he was hailed from “The Outer Reaches of Your Mind.” Any ideas as to what he’s supposed to be? I’m genuinely asking because I legitimately have no clue. What is for sure though, is that he wasn’t a good guy. 

 

On the contrary in fact, as Demento’s maniacal self-ramblings would sometimes be captured by the live mics. He would point up at the sky and mutter things like, “you will suffer destruction!” It was weird, and didn’t necessarily answer any more questions about his character, but it sure worked in having the audience believe he was truly unstable. The man behind the gimmick, Phil Thesis, actually played the role really well, whatever it was supposed to be. He was a good promo, and what he said always made you believe what he was saying. He’d talk about the voice in his head that would “guide [him] to victories.” Who was this voice, you may ask? Satan? Himself? Who knows?

 

Unfortunately, that question would never be answered, nor would any others about his character, as he only lasted about a year in the company. His main claim to fame and perhaps the reason most people remember his name, is that he competed in the main event of the debut episode of Monday Night Raw in a losing effort against The Undertaker. His last few matches were on the house show circuit, often seeing him lose against the company’s midcard babyfaces. Despite being an odd blip in professional wrestling history, it’s fun to ponder on what Demento could have been, had he stayed in the company. Would he have been a hit in the attitude era alongside The Undertaker’s “Ministry of Darkness?” Would he fit in well with today’s landscape of demonic wrestling characters? No one can really say, as his career was so brief. This short run, however, shouldn’t take away from the fact that Damien Demento is a notable entry in the wild world of scary professional wrestlers.