April 12, 2010
Doink the Clown 'Reborne Again'
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
As if the character of Doink the Clown -- a villainous heel -- wasn't disturbing enough, the original Doink, Matt Borne, is back on the indy circuit with a darker version of his character.
"I do it, but I do a twist off of it, Reborne Again. I've changed it up," Borne recently told SLAM! Wrestling.
Movie fans will see the parallel with the new Doink and Heath Ledger's Joker in Christopher Nolan's Batman flick, The Dark Knight.
"[I'm] dressed all in black with a purple trenchcoat," warned Borne, who has dubbed the new look "Reborne Again."
In short, Doink the Clown has matured into a psychopath. "That's the direction I'm going with it," he said.
On the night that Borne debuted the new Doink, on March 27th, for ISPW in Freehold, NJ, he actually worked twice, competing against Dutch Mantell in the original gimmick, and then appearing later in the card, following a Street Fight Match between Nicholas Nice and Baby Hughie, leaving Baby Hughie laying. Naturally, that sets up am ISPW rematch on May 15th, with Baby Hughie now going by Smith James.
Borne, the son of retired wrestler and Pacific Northwest legend Tony Borne, has been around wrestling his whole life. But for the past four or five years, he was intentionally out of the game.
"I did a little something here and there," he explained. "I'm just getting back in, and working a bunch of independents now."
From his base in New Jersey, he's able to travel throughout the Northeast for indy shows. He also has been to a few fan fests, like Saturday's K&S Wrestlefest VI Spring Spectacular.
The 25-year veteran is not all that impressed with the up-and-comers.
"The locker rooms are much different now than they used to be," he said, stressing it's not necessarily a lack of respect. Mostly, it's that the younger wrestlers are "off, into their own thing, not wanting to learn, or just thinking they know. I don't know, I really don't know. It's hard for me to get into these young guys' minds. I don't know where they're coming from. I just know how different it is.
"When I was young, I was always talking to the older guys, listening to them, seeking advice ... I don't see it a lot. There are some guys who are, and I relish that. That's great. I'm there for them. But I can't help somebody who doesn't want it."
Greg Oliver has been called a clown on occasion, and actually, much worse too. He can be emailed at email@example.com.