WWE has given plenty of Superstars ideas out of the box of gimmicks, but putting a dress on Big Vito was definitely an interesting decision.
While speaking to Wrestling Inc, Big Vito opened up about this gimmick. It might not have seen him get to the main event, but it still meant a lot to several people along the way. It also sounded like he had a lot of fun in the process.
“It was Stephanie and Vince that came up to me after a TV taping and said we have an idea for you: what do you think of wearing a dress? I said if that’s what you want me to do, I’ll do it,” stated Vito. “They said, ‘Do you think you could pull it off and wear it every day?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’
“It was probably one of the last kayfabe gimmicks that ever was done in the WWE. I wore it. I went out in it. I traveled in it. I became the most recognizable pro athlete in sports as everywhere I went, everyone knew who I was. I posed in Playgirl. I did a lot of great things and did TV openings and talk [shows]. That gimmick was ahead of its time because it stood for a lot of things.”
Along the way this gimmick seemed to connect with fans. He said that a lot of battered women have reached out to him as well. Other males would also say to him that they wish that they had an opportunity like he did.
“It was a soul-searching thing that taught me a lot about life in general. You learn about yourself as a man and a human being. I wouldn’t change it for the world and I wished it lasted for a couple more years.”
“Probably the most discouraging thing about it was when I was supposed to have a championship match with King Booker and they substituted me for The Undertaker and nobody could understand. I had so much going for me and was undefeated. If we would have meshed and knocked heads, wouldn’t it have been worthy to having a man wearing a dress as the heavyweight champion of WWE?”
It just goes to show what you can do if given the opportunity. Some wrestlers would have refused this gimmick, but Big Vito was all for it. He had a great experience now and is able to look back and see that this meant more to some fans than just a man in a dress.