Lately I’ve been thinking about all the failed storylines that WWE has put in front of us fans over the years. We can all point the finger and say it’s Vince McMahon’s fault, it’s the Creative Team’s fault or hell, even blame wrestlers and Divas with enough power backstage to demand things go a certain way *coughJohnCenacough*.
So below is a list of storylines and decisions that were so bad I can’t believe they made it on the air. I know there are hundreds more than this list but these came to mind. Let me know which storylines you thought were the worst in the comments.
1. The Big Show flip-flopping
Remember when The Big Show returned at No Way Out in 2008? When he came out the fans were fully behind him and it looked like he’d be a face this time around. It was after Rey Mysterio’s match with Edge and Mysterio, injured and being helped from the ring area, was spotted by the Big Show. Big Show’s talk about how he’s better, faster, meaner and leaner (he’d lost over 100 pounds since we’d last seen him) it seemed that Big Show might have been out there to distract the fans from Mysterio’s injury and medical attention at ringside.
Instead we were treated to The Big Show climbing over the top rope and hopping down to ringside. Instead of having him help Rey (which would’ve gotten a huge fan pop) Big Show instead grabbed Rey by the throat and taunted Floyd Mayweather Jr., Msterio’s friend, who was at ringside. The boxer watched on, looking distraught as Big Show pushed Mysterio into the ring and set him up for the chokeslam. Mayweather and his friends hopped the security barricade and entered the ring, making the save for Mysterio. Mayweather confronted the Big Show, who in return, shoved Mayweather back and mocked his height as he kneeled down and dared Mayweather to take a shot. Mayweather did so, bust Big Show open, before he and his pals left the ring and took off.
While this segment was entertaining all it really did was confuse fans who, not even five minutes previous were happy Big Show was back. This also set up the feud between Mayweather and the Big Show and again, the Big Show began to appear as a face while Mayweather took on the heel role. When this feud ended it was quickly pushed aside by WWE and The Big Show continues to flip-flop between being a heel and a face pretty regularly.
See Big Show’s return and flip-flop here.
2. Exploiting the Death of Eddie Guererro
Okay, it was bad enough that the wrestling world had lost Eddie much too soon but what they did directly after that was, at least to me, worse. WWE isn’t afraid of controversy (because it brings ratings, as long as it doesn’t bring bad press) however they have a bad habit of bringing up the dead and using that to garner heat and pity as needed when their own writing can’t get the job done.
After Eddie passed away it was two weeks later the Randy Orton crashed his trademark lowrider, claimed Eddie was in hell and taunted fans and Eddie’s friend Rey Mysterio about the death of the former Champion. Rey dedicated that year’s Royal Rumble to Eddie’s memory and, when he won, he was challenged by Randy Orton to put the title shot on the line.
Mysterio did put the title match on the line at No Way Out and lost his hard earned victory in the Rumble to Orton. Despite Theodore Long re-adding Rey to the Wrestlemania picture by making then Champion Kurt Angle defend against Orton and Mysterio the entire time Eddie was mentioned constantly. While it is nice to pay tribute perhaps silent tribute would’ve been better and there wasn’t a day that went by during Mysterio’s reign as Champion after Wrestlemania that Eddie’s name wasn’t brought up. Also, Eddie’s nephew, Chavo, was unable to feud with anyone without Eddie being brought up as well.
At first both Mysterio and Chavo’s mentions of Guererro were cheered by fans as time went on the fans felt that WWE was going too far in dragging out the aftermath of Eddie’s death. It felt as though they would not let Eddie rest until his name had made all the money it could which was distasteful.
3. Brawl For All 1998
This one was idiotic from start to finish and very clearly a bad idea as fans hated it and wrestlers were legitimately injured during it. The idea was to show how tough the wrestlers actually were and involvement in the brawl was voluntary. Set up in a bracket system competitors would fight their opponents for three, one minute long rounds, while wearing boxing gloves. Whoever connected the most punches won 5 points and the winner at the end of the three rounds would move on in the tournament. A take down earned five points and a Knock Out earned ten. The prize at the end? $100,000.
Instead of finding this shift in competition exciting fans found it boring (chants can be heard from the fans shouting “We want wrestling!”). Aside from the lack of appeal for the fans several careers suffered after this event. (Dr. Death Steve Williams and the winner Bart Gunn both were released not long after the event itself).
In short this was one of the worst plans WWE ever had.
4. Fake Razor Ramon and Fake Diesel
After Razor Ramon and Diesel left the WWF for WCW their character names changed but their attitudes didn’t. In the end, Vince sued and also decided that he would have two wrestlers take up these names and character traits and…well I guess he hoped no one would notice?
Rick Bognar was the replacement for Razor Ramon and Glenn Jacobs (yes Kane) was the replacement for Diesel. It was poorly received and scrapped quickly but not quickly enough as it made the WWF look dumb and the fans resentful that the powers that be felt as though the fans might not catch on that this wasn’t Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.
5. Muhammad Hassan
This character and storyline was not only in bad taste but terrible timing. If you don’t remember this bit just look at old videos and you’ll see how wrong this entire angle was.
Mark Copani, an Italian, was thrown into playing the character known as Muhammad Hassan. Hassan’s character would go out to the ring and rant about how he suffered from the sterotypes placed on Arabs ever since 9/11. In his debut he insulted Mick Foley, the United States troops fighting overseas and anyone who considers themselves a patriot.
The debut ended with Hasaan claiming “I will not fight a man I don’t respect.” See the debut here.
After his debut Hasaan’s character continued to interrupt other wrestlers and complain about his unfair treatment. He was disrespectful constantly and his manager, Daivari, would translate Hassan’s words to Persian, a part of the gimmick that ate up air time and did nothing except enrage fans.
Poor taste continued to follow throughout this entire character angle but nothing was as bad as the Smackdown tapings on July 4, 2005. Hassan was scheduled to take on The Undertaker at the Great American Bash but Daivari wrestled the Undertaker on Smackdown. While Daivairi was defeated Hasaan began to pray and, through pray, “summoned” five masked men in ski masks, camo pants and carrying various weapons. Thee men attacked The Undertaker, allowing Hasaan to put The Undertaker in the camel clutch. Daivari was carried out by the men in masks.
Three days later the London bombings took place. International outcry at the distasteful character was at a high point and, eventually Copani was released from his contract and would later retire from professional wrestling. Many people feel the gimmick essentially ruined him.
So that’s my list for the 5 Failed Storylines. I know there are a ton more so please let me know which storylines you feel were just beyond horrible.
Tags: bart gunn, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Daivari, Dr. Death Steve Williams, Eddie Guerrero, Fake Diesel, Fake Razor Ramon, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Glenn Jacobs, Kevin Nash, Mick Foley, Muhammad Hassan, Rey Mysterio Jr., Rick Bognar, scott hall, the big show, WWE, WWF Brawl For All