The rise and fall of the fanny pack: Inside wrestling's most infamous accessory

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March 13, 2014

Despite the investment some wrestlers put into their fanny packs, as the 1990s gave way to a new millennium, the accessory faded into obscurity. Many have their own theories as to why belt bags aren’t prevalent anymore.

“I think, in the age of technology, you don’t need to fill that up with your belongings,” Dolph Ziggler explained. “People have locks, a little more security and all kinds of information on their phones.”

“I think, ultimately, people just found simpler was better,” Rhodes said. “The wallet and the belt was a better combo than the fanny pack.”

Others have ideas that aren’t so kind to the fanny pack.

“It went out of fashion because people finally understood how ridiculous it looked,” Bad News Barrett said.

“Because they’re hideous!” Road Dogg exclaimed.

While fanny packs have, for the most part, been relegated to something your dad might wear at Walt Disney World, there’s one WWE Legend who’s still rocking a fanny pack like it never went out of style.

“When I think of fanny packs, I think of Michael P.S. Hayes,” Ziggler said.

Indeed, the founder of The Fabulous Freebirds has become as closely associated with the fanny pack as he once was with a sequined Confederate Flag robe. Whether it’s a backstage meeting or a more formal occasion — like the annual WWE Hall of Fame Induction ceremony — Hayes and his fanny pack are rarely separated. The WWE producer has a reputation for being a sports-entertainment original, but his unique fashion statement still baffles most of the locker room.

“Maybe he just doesn’t like putting things in his pockets, I don’t know,” Goldust said.

Watch The Fabulous Freebirds in WCCW on WWE Network

To get the real deal on the fanny pack, went straight to the source. The Freebird told us why he started wearing his belt bag years ago.

“It was the best way for me not to lose my wallet and all my personal items that I needed to take with me around the world,” Hayes said. “When I didn’t have them hooked to me, I lost countless wallets, driver’s licenses and credit cards.”

Hayes’ reasons for adopting the fanny pack are sensible. But why hasn’t he gotten with the times, as many of his contemporaries have?

“I rock mine because I rock to the beat of a different drummer. I do what I like. If I like something, I do it forever,” he explained. “I happen to like the fanny pack. I’m not a fad guy. I don’t do things because other people are doing them. I will rock this fanny pack into the grave and beyond.”

With Michael Hayes remaining steadfast in his commitment to wearing the fanny pack to the very end, it has us wondering: Will the fanny pack ever make a comeback?

“Absolutely!” Rhodes said.                                                            

Though Superstars aren’t on the road as much as their predecessors, there are still roadblocks that can make travel time consuming— namely airport security. Rifling through pockets to get every last coin onto the x-ray conveyor belt could mean the difference between making and missing a flight, so wouldn’t it make sense to put everything in a fanny pack and save time?

“The functionality of the fanny pack cannot be argued,” Rhodes said. “It is an ingenious bag.”

And with ’90s trends like Zubaz making a huge comeback, can the fanny pack’s resurgence be far behind? Michael Hayes doesn’t doubt it.

“When you see it come back into style, don’t thank me,” he declared. “Just know that I’m doing what I’ve always done, leading the way.”


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