|Doink the Clown|
Professional wrestling career
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||243 lb (110 kg)|
Doink the Clown is the name and persona originated by professional wrestler Matt Osborne in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and used there from 1992 to 1996, and sporadically thereafter. After Osborne left the WWF in late 1993, the character was played by several wrestlers, both in the WWF (later WWE) and elsewhere. Osborne continued to sporadically perform as Doink until six months before his death in June 2013.
World Wrestling Federation
Former WWE producer Bruce Prichard said in an interview on The Steve Austin Show that Michael Hegstrand had originally conceived the idea of a miserable clown character.
After making appearances in late 1992 in the crowd and at ringside, playing tricks on the fans and wrestlers, the Doink character made his in-ring debut in the WWF in 1993, originally wrestling as a technically sound heel. Doink played cruel jokes on both fans and wrestlers in order to amuse himself and put them off guard. Some of his villainous pranks included tripping The Big Boss Man with a tripwire, dumping water on Marty Jannetty and attacking Crush with a loaded prosthetic arm. He clashed with Crush at WrestleMania IX, a match which he won after the appearance of an identical Doink (played by Steve Keirn) from underneath the ring. Doink also briefly feuded with Randy Savage on an early edition of Monday Night Raw, and Bret Hart, after substituting for Jerry Lawler, who faked an injury, at SummerSlam in 1993.
Doink then turned on Lawler on the September 4 episode of WWF Wrestling Challenge in Lawler's The King's Court segment, making Burger King jokes to amuse the crowd and eventually emptied a bucket of water over Lawler. Matt Osborne, the original man behind Doink, was fired for re-occurring drug abuses, eventually leaving the gimmick (after bouncing through a few others) to Ray Liachelli (also known as Ray Apollo). Now as a fan favorite and with a new midget sidekick Dink, Doink was more of a comic relief character, but continued to pull pranks on other wrestlers (albeit more harmless and silly than outright cruel), mostly on heels like Lawler and Bobby Heenan. Doink and Dink also battled with Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon in a feud that culminated at WrestleMania X. Doink would later encounter Jerry Lawler again in a match at Survivor Series. In this match, Doink and Dink teamed with Wink and Pink to meet Lawler's dwarf team of 'little kings' Queazy, Cheezy, and Sleazy. Eventually, Doink soon became a jobber, regularly losing to wrestlers like Jeff Jarrett, Hakushi, Waylon Mercy and, in his final televised match in September 1995, to Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Doink reemerged one last time in 1997 at the Slammy Awards and was attacked by Stone Cold Steve Austin, amidst crowd chants of "kill the clown".
Doink is a playable character in Acclaim's 1994 video game, WWF Raw, and Midway's WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game (1995).
Extreme Championship Wrestling
Following his departure from the WWF, Osborne appeared (as Matt Borne) in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) for several matches as Doink in a blue and green clown suit, setting up an angle where ECW champion Shane Douglas criticized Vince McMahon for turning a talented wrestler like Borne into a comic relief character, and claimed that he knew how to bring out Borne's full potential. Borne then made a few appearances with Douglas as "himself", sporting his face half-painted with the Doink makeup. His attitude insinuated that he had developed borderline personality disorder from having been forced to wrestle as a clown; after winning matches he would dress his opponent in clown accessories to humiliate them. His ring name under this gimmick was "Borne Again". World Wrestling Entertainment Doink in July 2008
Since 1996, Doink has appeared sporadically in WWE. Matt Borne made a one-time return to play him in the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-Seven. On December 10, 2007, he participated in a battle royal of 15 WWE alumni for the Raw 15th anniversary special episode.
Chris Jericho dressed as Doink when he attacked William Regal on the March 26, 2001 Raw.
Played by Nick Dinsmore, he showed up in the A.P.A. Bar Room Brawl at Vengeance in 2003. He was selected by Rhino to face Chris Benoit on the July 31, 2003 Smackdown!.
Played by Steve Lombardi, he wrestled Rob Conway on an October 2005 episode of Raw. On June 2, 2007, Doink, Eugene and Kane defeated Umaga, Viscera and Kevin Thorn on the 34th edition of Saturday Night's Main Event. On the July 12, 2010 Raw, Doink teamed with William Regal, Primo and Zack Ryder to lose to Santino Marella, Goldust, Vladimir Kozlov and The Great Khali, when he was pinned by Khali. On the July 2, 2012 Raw, he made a surprise return and lost to Heath Slater. He reappeared on July 23, alongside several other WWE alumni, to help Lita take down Slater on WWE Raw 1000, the one thousandth episode of Raw.
Wrestlers who used the Doink gimmick
Seven men have officially used the Doink gimmick. Six wrestlers (including two tag-teams) have used the costume for storyline purposes, at various times.
- Matt Osborne – the original Doink, left WWF in December 1993, died June 28, 2013.
- Steve Keirn – wrestled as the "illusion" Doink at WrestleMania IX and occasionally the "real" Doink at house shows.
- Steve Lombardi – occasionally wrestled as Doink at house shows and dresses as Doink for various WWE appearances.
- Dusty Wolfe – wrestled as Doink in the NWA and other indie promotions.
- John Maloof – wrestled as Doink full-time after Osborne left the WWF.
- Ray Apollo – also wrestled as Doink in WWF after Osborne left.
- Nick Dinsmore – wrestled as Doink on the July 31, 2003 episode of SmackDown!, losing to Chris Benoit.
Wrestlers who used Doink's costume for storyline purposes