'80s Superstar Style: Still in fashion?
We took a long, critical look back at a time when nobody batted an eye at a muscular dude wearing a bandana, a denim jacket and zebra–striped pants. And we didn’t do it alone. WWE Classics enlisted AJ Lee, Kaitlyn and Rosa Mendes to hop in the DeLorean with us and examine the look of five Superstars whose clothes made them stand out in an era where everyone dressed loudly. Would their clothes make the pages of GQ today? Let’s find out!
Jake "The Snake" Roberts
When he wasn’t slithering around the squared circle, Jake “The Snake” Roberts could often be found walking around in a pair of snakeskin boots, which must have been pretty awkward for his pet python, Damien. Outside the ring, Roberts didn’t dress like the dark, brooding Superstar he liked to be seen as. No, “The Snake’s” wardrobe made it seem like he’d fit right in with Crockett and Tubbs on “Miami Vice.”
The WWE Universe got to see examples of this on Roberts’ talk show, “The Snake Pit.” He wore bright colors and baggy suits, a stark contrast to the simplistic, sadistic tactics he employed in the ring. Despite that, his style choices seemed to fit the era, when a blinding white blazer with the sleeves pushed up or a dress shirt tied off at the belly was totally acceptable. But is our panel of Divas willing to let “The Snake” slide?
AJ Lee: Any man who can wear a shirt tied at the belly like that is a real man. He could wear a sack if he wanted to.
Rosa Mendes: I’m not a big fan.
Kaitlyn: He’s kind of all over the place. I think he’s confused about his identity as far as clothes go.
With a 2-1 vote, Jake “The Snake’s” clothes have been voted Out of Style.
“Nature Boy” Ric Flair called himself a limousine-riding, Learjet-flying, kiss-stealing, wheeling, dealing son of a gun. He certainly dressed the part, too. Every Saturday night on World Championship Wrestling, Flair joined Tony Schiavone and David Crockett in a suit that cost more than most people made in a year, with big, open-collar dress shirts exposing a gold chain around his neck. The TV cameras were blinded by the studio lights’ reflection off the enormous Rolex on his wrist.
Though he went with classic suits, Flair’s style was still decidedly ’80s. He donned blazers with plaid patterns so big, even a lumberjack would think twice about wearing it. The waist on his pants often came up higher than, well, his waist. And let’s not forget “The Nature Boy’s” luxurious blond mullet. Would Flair’s flair for excess pass today? Let’s see what our Divas had to say.
Kaitlyn: He could be wearing a burlap sack and you would know that he knows what’s up. His style is very classy … the dress clothes say “I make a lot of money and take myself very seriously.”
AJ Lee: Ric Flair always looks good, but I feel like we’re in two different worlds. I shop at Target, so I assume that’s what fancy dressing looks like.
Rosa Mendes: Ric Flair is very, very cool. That’s the style I would like my man to dress in.
All of the Divas agree, Ric Flair is still Stylin’.
Jesse "The Body" Ventura
Jesse Ventura’s in-ring career was cut short by injuries in the mid-1980s, but that didn’t mean “The Body” stopped wanting to be the center of attention. The Superstar simply adopted the over-the-top style he employed in the ring into his everyday dress to make sure he would always be on the tips of the tongues of the WWE Universe.
Neon colors, tie-dye and plenty of feathered boas made sure Jesse “The Body” Ventura stood out. If a hot pink suit wasn’t enough, he accessorized with crazy sunglasses over his eyes or a jewel decorating the pronounced cleft in his chin. But does his outlandish fashion stand the test of time?
AJ Lee: He reminds me of Edge & Christian with the sunglasses, which is awesome.
Rosa Mendes: For me, it’s a little too much. Way too much.
Kaitlyn: I’m all for having your own style, but I think this is overkill. I don’t know what to look at. Am I looking at the weird blue thing on your chin? Am I looking at the Facebook pouty lips? Am I looking at the detail on your pink jacket? It’s too much to digest.
Sorry, Jesse. Our panel of Divas thinks you’re Out of Style.
Dusty Rhodes saw himself as the human incarnation of America. A blue-collar warrior, Rhodes fought like a common man inside the ring and dressed like one outside it. Looking out on the world from behind a pair of bright yellow aviators, The American Dream crafted a unique style that hadn’t been seen before and hasn’t been seen since.
Not afraid to pair a tank top with a sport coat or tie a bandana around his neck, Dusty Rhodes made it clear that despite being a World Championship–caliber wrestler, a suit and tie just wasn’t his thing. And his supply of shirts from Sloppy Joe’s in Key West, Fla., was seemingly endless.
Rosa Mendes: What I love about Dusty’s style is that he’s comfortable in it. It may not match, but it’s very cool. I like it because he knows he looks good in it, whether it looks good or not.
AJ Lee: I love the plaid, but my favorite Dusty Rhodes style is the polka dots. I blatantly stole it for my own gear.
Kaitlyn: What stands out about Dusty is that he’s consistent. The T-shirts say, “I’m casual.” The jackets say, “I’m here to party.” And the accessories say, “I know fashion.”
According to the Divas, dressing like The American Dream wouldn’t be out of place in 2013. Dusty Rhodes’ fashion is Funky like a Monkey.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage
There was perhaps no Superstar who embodied the loud, in-your-face style of the 1980s better than “Macho Man” Randy Savage. While he may be known for the colorful sequin robes he wore on the way to the ring, Savage certainly didn’t tone things down when he was outside it.
Tie-dye, animal prints and even more sequins, “Macho Man” didn’t shy away from any of it. He also wasn’t afraid to incorporate spandex into his everyday wardrobe. While most wrestlers didn’t go home in the material they wore to do battle every night, Savage embraced it, showing off the physique that earned him his nickname. But what do our Divas think?
AJ Lee: I’m a sucker for animal print. I love it.
Kaitlyn: I don’t think his style will ever be in style or out of style. It’s his style. He has to wear clothes that accentuate his personality.
Rosa Mendes: I love the zebra prints, the snakeskin boots and tie-dye. He had a wild, wild style.
Is “Macho Man” stylish? Our Divas gave him a resounding “Ooooh Yeahhh!”