Doink the Clown is a gimmick used by several professional wrestlers since the 1990s. The Doink character originally wrestled in the World Wrestling Federation. Doink now can be found occasionally on the independent wrestling circuit in the United States and on WWE programming.
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, and he wrestled as both a heel and face. As a heel, Doink played cruel jokes on both fans and face wrestlers in order to amuse himself and put them off guard. Some of his heelish pranks included tripping The Big Boss Man with a trip wire and attacking Crush with a prosthetic arm. As a heel, some of his most notable clashes were with Crush at WrestleMania IX, Randy Savage on an early edition of Monday Night RAW, and Bret Hart after substituting for an "injured" then-heel, Jerry Lawler at SummerSlam 1993.
Doink would turn on Lawler, effectively turning face as a result. 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 Apollo. Now as a face and with a new dwarf sidekick Dink, Doink encountered Lawler again the following year in a match at Survivor Series 1994. In this match, Doink and Dink teamed with Wink and Pink to meet Lawler's dwarf team of 'little kings' Queazy, Cheezy, and Sleazy. As a face, Doink was more of a comic relief character, but continued to play jokes on other wrestlers, mostly heels such as Jerry Lawler and Bobby Heenan. These jokes were considerably less cruel while Doink was a face, however. Doink and Dink would also battle with Bam Bam Bigelow and his 'main squeeze' Luna Vachon in a feud that would culminate at WrestleMania X.
Doink found himself a feature character in two fairly successful WWF video game releases. The first: WWF Raw, the 1994 sequel video game to WWF Royal Rumble (1993). WWF Raw was released on the SNES, Sega Genesis, and Sega 32x platforms, as well as Game Boy and Game Gear (although the Doink character was omitted in the Game Gear version). The second: WWF WrestleMania - The Arcade Game, a 1995 arcade, Sega 32x, Playstation, and SNES release which attempts to mimic the fighting style of the hugely successful Mortal Kombat series.
Some wrestling purists criticized the WWF for creating the Doink character, claiming that it pandered to what they saw as the "one-ring circus" atmosphere the WWF was promoting at the time; others thought that Doink was appropriate given professional wrestling's carny origins. Others preferred the heel version, saying that Matt Borne made the gimmick work, but once he was turned face, his character was neutered. One of Doink's final appearances in his original run was at the Slammy Awards when he was attacked by then-heel, Stone Cold Steve Austin amidst chants of 'kill the clown'. Thus Austin would get cheered anyway even though he was playing a heel character.
Doink would make random appearances in the next decade. He competed in the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-Seven. He showed up in the A.P.A. Bar Room Brawl on the Smackdown! Vengeance 2003 pay-per-view. Then on the following SmackDown! he wrestled Chris Benoit. He fought Rob Conway on an October 2005 episode of Raw.
On the June 2, 2007 episode of Saturday Night's Main Event, he teamed up with Eugene and then-babyface, Kane to defeat Umaga, Viscera, and Kevin Thorn. On Raw XV, the 15th-anniversary WWE Raw special on December 10, 2007, Doink participated in the 15th Anniversary Battle Royal. His profile is in the WWE Alumni section of wwe.com.
After the first run of Doinks, the character was not used for a number of years.
The Doink character is easily portrayed by just about anybody on the independent wrestling scene by purchasing the Doink gimmicks (wig and tights) from one of many wrestling gear makers.
In the New England area, Doink is portrayed by short time former WWE star, Scott Ashworth.From 1995 to 1997 , in the New York, Pittsburgh, West virginia, and Cleveland area, Doink was portrayed by former USCW tag champ/and ECW mid-card wrestler Todd (Taylor) Breninghouse