Let’s face it, folks—beneath all the body slams and behind the blood baths, professional wrestling is a ridiculously silly form of entertainment. The results being predetermined, winning and losing doesn’t matter that much in the WWE Universe; it’s more about how performers play their given role and connect with an audience. It also works if there’s not a connection so much as sheer entertainment, with droves of fans dying to see whatever bizarre antics their favorite superstar is getting up to next.
Generally speaking, the best angles in wrestling are relatively simple. Two wrestlers don’t like one another, and they’re going to fight to decide which one of them wins their latest argument. Sometimes, though, WWE likes to make things a bit more interesting, and with Vince McMahon at the helm, this can mean insane things happen to the wrestlers. Ideally, the entertainment provided by wrestling will be engaging, funny, emotional, or some combination of all three.
Unfortunately, these are pretty lofty goals, and at times McMahon and other wrestling promoters write stories that are gosh darn stupid. Believe it or not, however, plenty of outrageously idiotic ideas have become extremely popular in WWE and various other top wrestling promotions around the world. Were the angles simply so bad they were good, or are we missing an important detail that secretly made them great? Decide for yourself when you read all about it with these 15 dumb AF wrestling storylines that fans inexplicably loved.
15. The bWo Are Takin’ Over
Right off that bat, we need to make it clear this list isn’t meant to be an insult to any of the performers on it, nor is it necessarily a slight to the people behind the scenes writing the angles. The fact is, sometimes stupid is exactly what people want out of their entertainment, and this is especially true when it comes to fans of absurdist comedy. In the mid-‘90s, a large enough number of people with an off-kilter sense of humor were ECW fans that arguably the promotion’s most popular creation ever was born in the Blue World Order. All the bWo ever amounted to was a straight parody of the nWo, the stable of outlaws wrecking havoc in WCW, painted blue. Da Blue Guy and Hollywood Nova barely even said anything, and once Big Stevie Cool started talking, his words had no relation to those of Kevin Nash. Nonetheless, fans loved every minute of it, simply because the most popular shirt in wrestling was a different color.
14. ECW Wants Head
In all fairness to Al Snow, there was a whole lot more to Head, the mannequin’s cranium he carried around and had conversations with, than the mere fact it allowed audiences to loudly chant a sexual pun. That said, boy howdy did ECW and WWE crowds alike enjoy screaming that pun. On top of the corresponding chant, Snow’s gimmick was about his character’s sheer insanity, driven so mad by his lack of success and companionship that he became close friends with a doll. None of this was relevant when Snow became the most popular in ECW throughout the summer of 1998, though, as the mutants in Philadelphia clearly were more interested in the ridiculous toy he carried around with him than the reasons he always had it with him. Considering how absurd the Head gimmick was when one really thinks about it, maybe this was for the better.
13. Rosey, Super Hero In Training
Truth be told, The Hurricane was already a pretty stupid gimmick before he decided to take on an understudy. Once again, we have to point out this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because a wrestling superhero was the exact sort of comically dumb idea that could become a hit with a self-aware enough audience. The Hurricane rode this comedic wave to a number of championships as a solo act and in tag teams, always earning applause for his failed choke slams and botched attempts at heroism. Adding a plus-sized sidekick in Rosey to the mix was a case of the more the merrier, but we gotta say, outright calling the guy a giant piece of SuperHero In Training was almost taking things a little bit too far into the low brow. Not that WWE fans cared, continuing to yuk up the laughs until Hurricane turned on Rosey and ended the partnership.
12. Kai En Tai Are EEEVIL
In comedy, there can be a fine line between offensive racism and humorous poking fun at cliché, and depending on which point in the team’s existence one is talking about, Kai En Tai fell on both sides of this designator. Initially, the group was straight up racist, simple and plain, with manager Mr. Yamaguchi-san a pathetic imitation of what Vince McMahon believed Japanese businessmen acted like. Once the group shed Yamaguchi-san and became a tag team, though, Vince’s son stepped in with an idea that poked at their heritage in an inoffensive and genuinely funny way. Of course, Shane’s idea was also really, really stupid, otherwise it wouldn’t have wound up on this list.
While Funaki actually spoke enough English he later became SmackDown’s number one announcer (another idea that could have easily made this article), Shane’s simple stroke of genius was to have him and Taka Michinoku give long, drawn out, poorly-dubbed speeches in the style of English dubs for Japanese movies. This makes the joke about film rather than race, and fans appropriately responded with laughter, despite how dumb the jokes they produced were.
11. Goldust Gets A Shocking Stutter
From the very beginning, Goldust’s gimmick could be described as strange, bizarre, or even ridiculous, yet the word dumb didn’t necessarily come into play. Yes, it was unusual for a wrestler to use sexual mind games against his opponents, using their homophobia against them, but the point was never cheap laughs, and the more important fact is that it usually worked. Several years into his career, however, it stopped working, or at least WWE decided it was too risqué for Goldust to use the elements of his character that once made him infamous. To make up for this, Dustin Rhodes eventually dove in head first into the idea of being a lowbrow comedy character, surprisingly bringing himself back to prominence in doing so. In the midst of a popular tag team with Booker T, with a strong comedic edge due to the mismatch alone, WWE decided to throw some absurdity into the mix by having Goldust crash into an electric outlet and develop a stutter. Naturally, he only ever stuttered when making unfunny sex puns. This time around, the only bizarre thing about it was that fans actually found it hilarious.
10. George Steele Meets Mine
Make no mistake about it, George “The Animal” Steele was an absolute wrestling legend in every sense of the word. Covered in wild body hair and grunting like a madman, all while viciously ripping apart his opponents in the ring, Steele appeared to be the genuine missing link. This made him a much hated heel from the 1960s, when he feuded against Bruno Sammartino, all the way up until the 1980s. At this point, Vince McMahon decided the Animal needed to become a good guy, achieving that goal by having him develop a childish crush on Miss Elizabeth. Immediately, Steele was more popular than he was ever hated, yet this isn’t the dumb part. Things took a turn for the idiotic when Elizabeth obviously and repeatedly rejected George’s advances, causing him to fall in love with a weird Muppet looking creature named Mine. Senseless as Mine was, it kept Steele extremely popular for another year or so, well past what should have been his career expiration date.
9. The WWE Universe Didn’t Pay Their Taxes
They say the only constants in life are death and taxes, and despite what the Internal Revenue Service once believed, Vince McMahon has been unable to escape these burdens like all the rest of us. For as universal as people’s distaste for paying taxes is, however, it’s pretty ridiculous to think an actual taxman would care so much about getting the government’s share that they would resort to physical violence over the matter. Well, maybe a hired goon or two isn’t out of the question for certain debt collectors, but to take it inside a wrestling ring? That’s so ridiculous it’s almost stupid, or at least it would have been had Irwin R. Schyster not somehow become quite a hit with WWE audiences. Of course, they weren’t cheering him, but rather booing their lungs out as intended, which is the same thing as a success if that’s what the company was going for, and indeed that was the case.
8. Vince McMahon’s Answer To Goldberg
During the Attitude Era, WWE was firing on all cylinders, while WCW kept making mistake after mistake, making it pretty inevitable who would win the Monday Night Wars from the start. For all their errors, Ted Turner’s company did have one thing going for them, though, that being Da Man, perhaps the only superstar to truly challenge the popularity of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Goldberg. Almost a complete oddity, Goldberg was a homegrown WCW talent, meaning Vince McMahon couldn’t well mock them for stealing his creation and watering it down. Instead, he created he own version of a silent, simplistic, unstoppable monster, albeit one without the whole “unstoppable monster” thing. Tiny and meager in every way Goldberg was big and powerful, Duane Gill, aka Gillberg, suddenly received the push of his life, solely due to a passing resemblance to WCW’s biggest superstar. The whole joke being this version of Goldberg was smaller and sillier than the other, one could never call Gillberg’s career highbrow humor, yet it sure was funny, and a hit with audiences for years to come.
7. The World’s Largest Love Machine And Lilian Garcia
Few wrestlers have experienced such roller coaster careers as the late Nelson Frazier, Jr., and the strangest year of that ride was most likely 2005. Still in his early 30s at the time, Frazier had gone up and down the card in the tag and solo ranks as Mabel, his peak occurring in the main event of SummerSlam 1995. By the time a decade passed, he switched his name to Viscera and took on a much darker character, but that period came to an end when a long hiatus ended with a sudden reappearance saving Trish Stratus from an attack by Kane. From there, Viscera focused entirely on the ladies, and even found love in WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia. This would have been weird enough had Vis maintained his leather-clad monster persona, and the fact he started wearing pajamas to the ring and singing like Barry White pushed it straight into ridiculously stupid territory…that is, just stupid enough to work, as Viscera got fans laughing for the first time in his career and almost became popular for it.
6. The Hardcore Championship 24/7 Rule
In the beginning, there was nothing wrong with the WWE Hardcore Championship. Violent brawling with weapons and various plunder was all the rage during the Attitude Era, and it made perfect sense the world leaders in sports entertainment would join in on the trend. Unfortunately, less than two years into the Hardcore title’s existence, WWE created a gimmick for the belt that ultimately caused its downfall. Almost immediately after Crash Holly decided to defend the gold 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the title turned into a complete joke, most of his matches lasting little more than the 3-second pin to determine the winner. Where they took place was also a problem—it was all well and good when these matches were simply backstage, but once Crash started wrestling in amusement parks and spas, things started getting pretty stupid. But hey, fans kept laughing through it all, so obviously something was working.
5. Mr. Socko
Sure, Al Snow had to be pretty crazy to become BFFs with a mannequin’s Head he carried around, but at least the thing basically looked like a human on a basic level. Even if Head couldn’t take, it had a face, making it easy for a crazy character like Snow to spark up a relationship. Shortly after Head started to gain popularity, however, Snow’s good friend Mankind would take the idea of inanimate friends to the next level by introducing the most popular version in his beloved hand puppet Mr. Socko. Initially introduced to cheer up Vince McMahon (and failing at doing so in epic fashion), Mr. Socko soon took on a second life as part of the build-up to Mankind’s finishing move, the Mandible Claw. On one level, it does sound pretty gross for a wrestler to shove his sweaty socks down his opponents’ throat, yet whenever Mankind talked to the sock it made him look more like an idiot than a madman. That said, fans always smiled when Mankind and Socko had their chats, so it clearly worked beyond the surface stupidity.
4. Eugene, A Very Special Wrestler
Given the connotations involved, it doesn’t quite feel right calling the character of Eugene dumb or stupid, yet WWE certainly were for thinking they could get away with such an idea in the modern era. Presented as a mentally challenged wrestler, Eugene was offensive from the moment he stepped through the door, not to mention just a horrifically bad idea in general. There was obviously a pretty low ceiling of success with a gimmick like this, and one no wrestler as talented as Nick Dinsmore should have been forced to suffer through. That said, despite all expectations, Eugene became enormously popular in the early months of his run, earning top feuds against names like Kurt Angle and Triple H. Eugene’s questionably dim-witted imitations of his fellow superstars made him a huge hit with audiences, and his, let’s say, condition in many respects did create the ultimate underdog. Were the cheers worth putting up with the affront to good taste? Absolutely not.
3. WCW Gets Disco Fever
Despite the entire purpose of this list, it’s actually our contention that Disco Inferno was one of the more brilliant gimmicks of his era. However, the popular consensus is that he was one of the wackier and more ridiculous characters to come to prominence in that time frame. Therefore, Disco Inferno winds up on this list if only so we can provide an explanation on why there was nothing stupid about his love of crystal balls and Saturday Night Fever-inspired dancing. Think about it—WCW was always a Southern promotion at heart, and what do country-fried ‘rasslin fans hate more than anything else? That awful form of music that briefly became more popular than their precious country music and rock and roll. Sure, it was a little bit dated in the ‘90s, but hatred dies hard amongst rockers and country fans, and they despised this throwback goofball from the moment he made his first appearance.
2. Santino and Santina
In many respects, the entire WWE career of Santino Marella could end up on this list. Like many others we’ve mentioned, Santino has an incredible knack for making the dumb and inane utterly hilarious, which is why the most brainless angles he’s been involved with have also been his most successful. Even his absolute lowest moment in WWE brought the man a unique honor, albeit not one he necessarily should have wanted. For whatever reason, Santino dressed up as a woman, competed in the Miss WrestleMania contest, and managed to win the darn thing…twice. Calling him/herself Santina Marella, Santino pretended he wasn’t a man in drag, but rather his own sister, a key element in why this whole idea was actually funny, and not a mockery of trans people. Unfortunately, the way it ended would probably offended millions either way…
1. Saturn Loves Moppy
All right, so Perry Saturn becoming close friends with a mop was pretty darn stupid, but it wasn’t the first time wrestling had a grappler form a relationship with an inanimate object. This list already covered how Al Snow had Head and Mankind Mr. Socko, and a surprising number of other non-living beings befriended wrestlers over the years, almost making Moppy just another blip on the radar. The difference between Moppy and Saturn and all the other wrestler-object pairings is that Moppy and Saturn weren’t just friends, nor was Saturn simply using his item of affection as a weapon. No, Perry Saturn was full-on in love with a mop, all because someone went and drew a smiley face on its bristles. Without question, it was the dumbest gimmick a wrestler was ever forced to portray, and yet Saturn nonetheless gave the role everything he had. The result was fans laughing their butts off as he lovingly embraced his cleaning object, though few tears were shed when Raven and Terri threw the thing into a wood chipper.
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