Marty Scurll is a veteran of professional wrestling with a dozen years' experience but he truly started to find notoriety after adopting his current "Villain" gimmick.
Scurll told the story of the evolution of the character in an appearance on the latest episode of the Steve Austin Show. As he noted, Scurll previously was known for his impressive technical matches but he had not truly begun to resonate with audiences.
"I'm going out there and I'm having great matches and none of it needs anything," he recalled.
Scurll said he used a quote by Mat Groening, creator of The Simpsons, as inspiration.
"An amazing quote which always stuck with me for many many years, and I quote it all the time, 'Every great character can be recognized from its silhouette.' I thought, right, I need to find something. It wasn't like I came up with that Villain character overnight," Scurll said.
He started fine-tuning the look and feel of the persona while he was out with an injury, but still working shows as a manager. First, he began coming to the ring wearing a long fur coat. The other elements, including the umbrella, came later.
"The umbrella, that was super duper marketable to me," he said. "I was selling so many T-shirts and that mask, one day, I thought that would be a good entrance."
The umbrella also has become a merchandise item. Scurll told Austin he recently sold one of his ring-used umbrellas on eBay for $2,600.
He went on to describe "The Villain" as being inspired in part by the Alex character from A Clockwork Orange and Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight. Scurll also voiced his opinion that his character was evidence of how the face/heel dynamic in wrestling has changed.
"The way that I would define a heel back in the day is someone, a wrestler that fans would pay to see get beaten up. In 2017, I don't think it's impossible but it's not like that anymore in a sense that the fans are essentially told these days its a work. They're not paying anymore, I don't think, to see the heel get beaten up in a fake fight."
Scurll also addressed criticisms he has received in the past for getting some of the biggest pops at events despite being a heel.
"When did I ever say I was a heel? I'm a villain. It's up to you how you take it," he said.
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