The wrestling fan is among the most diehard in the entire entertainment world. Sports fans support a team or a player and root in a more transparent way, considering not every team can win the championship. The unlikelihood of winning a championship and the goal of feeling like part of a title adds to the sports fandom. There’s no such feeling for a fan in wrestling. Sure, you can root for your favorite wrestler to win the World Title or main event WrestleMania but performers have a shelf life unlike a sports team. Wrestling fans have to commit to watching a product with rotating talent and various stories causing dramatic changes through the years.
Fans that have stuck through it all truly love the industry and will likely support the art for the rest of their future. Unlike other sports or forms of entertainment, wrestling gets its fair share of detractors that go after the fans of the business. The notion that wrestling is only for children or is fake is always thrown at fans as a way to disparage someone for liking wrestling. The majority of wrestling fans are well aware that the product is scripted but appreciate the dangerous work that wrestlers put their bodies through all for the portrayal of the art form.
Sadly, the WWE has not always protected the integrity of the business as much as fans try to. The industry’s biggest wrestling company has delivered their fair share of mistakes and horrible moments that gave the anti-wrestling mind more motivation to trash the entire culture. Even the most avid of WWE fans can’t deny these incidents were shameful and actually made us doubt our pride for the business we love so much. We’ll break down the worst of the worst and try to pinpoint the specific moments that caused us regret. These are the top fifteen instances that almost made us give up on the WWE.
15 Vince McMahon Says The N-word
All of the things on this list have either been done by Vince McMahon or approved by him since it happened in the company he runs. That says a lot about the eccentric billionaire. One of his worst moments took place at the 2006 Survivor Series, when McMahon uttered the unspeakable n-word during a backstage segment with Booker T, Sharmell and John Cena. The chairman of the board tried to use the term as hip hop slang due to Cena’s rapper gimmick at the time, but said it in front of Booker and Sharmell for “comedic” effect. There was no reason for this and it made everyone involved look horrible with the racist term being used by a wealthy white businessman for the world to see.
14 The Big Bossman Crashing Funeral Of Big Show’s Dad
The Attitude Era delivered wonderful memories due to the talents of Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and many others becoming stars but the writing also gave us some of the lowest moments in WWE history. One of those featured The Big Bossman getting heel heat by harassing Big Show over the kayfabe death of his father. Bossman forced Big Show’s mother to admit Big Show was a “bastard” among other acts, but the worst was him crashing the funeral. The dastardly heel attacked Big Show, tied the casket to the back of his car and rode off with it. The visual of Big Show leaping onto the casket and falling off it as Bossman drove off gave us one of the more embarrassing moments in wrestling history.
Nick Dinsmore was a very talented wrestler but that never showed on television due to portraying the “comedic” character of Eugene. The gimmick was a mentally disabled super fan of the wrestling business getting involved in the other wrestlers’ business. Eugene could have been a good story if treated right, but the character was mocked and ridiculed for his disability. The rib was apparently meant to be a joke, taking a shot at the intelligence of wrestling fans. Between being blatantly insulted and watching mental disabilities being mocked, Eugene was a poorly done character that made you cringe when you watched it play out.
12 Stephanie McMahon Compares 9/11 To Steroid Trial
The tragedy of 9/11 is always going to be remembered among the saddest times in modern American history. Everyone was mourning in their own way, but Stephanie McMahon went off the deep end with her comments about the terrible moment. WWE allowed their talent to share words of support and patriotism with the viewer on the first show after the attacks but Stephanie used her time to compare it to her father’s steroid trial. In the early 90s, WWE was under the eye of the federal government for their use and distribution of steroids. Stephanie claimed the terrorist attack on America was the same as the feds attacking the McMahon family. It gave an insight into the McMahon's and how ignorant the first family of the wrestling business could be.
11 Beaver Cleavage
Vince Russo’s mind gave us the creation of Beaver Cleavage. Mosh of The Headbangers needed a character change with his partner Thrasher on the injured list. The idea was meant to be a parody of the "Leave it to Beaver" television series but, naturally, with an incest storyline regarding around Beaver and his mother Mrs. Cleavage. It didn’t take long for the idea to get scrapped after a few weeks of dismal results but the fact that this was even green lighted was rather embarrassing for both the talent and the fans. This gave ammunition to every critic that wanted to put down the wrestling industry, which was a trend with Russo’s writing.
10 Papa Shango
The entire premise of pro wrestling forces us to suspend our disbelief, but some moments push that way too far. Papa Shango was the perfect example of that with his voodoo being used to cast spells on The Ultimate Warrior. The “black magic” caused Warrior to get violently ill and start vomiting on live television. Shango’s gimmick was silly and unable to get any momentum due to going too far past the lines of reality or credibility. Anyone that watched Warrior throw up thanks to Shango’s spells knows why WWE started to decline in all numbers across the board during the early 90's.
9 The Montreal Screwjob
Everyone has their own opinion on The Montreal Screwjob and what side they believe was right. The one thing that remains a damning fact against WWE was that the script was flipped on a performer. Wrestlers put their trust in each other and the company by working together in the ring under the belief that they are all on the same page. Vince McMahon orchestrating a “screwjob” was not only shady but dangerous to the safety of everyone involved. Bret Hart not knowing what was going down and Shawn Michaels not knowing Bret’s reaction could have gone down far worse than just damaged egos. The Montreal Screwjob showed us just how pathetic the politics of WWE could be.
8 Val Venis Choppy Choppy
The Val Venis character was bound to get in some sticky situations with the gimmick of an adult star in the Attitude Era. There was plenty of juvenile comedy involved with Venis but one specific moment delivered feelings of shame for any wrestling fan watching Raw with a friend or relative in the room. Kai En Tai and Yamaguchi-San attacked Venis for sleeping with Yamaguchi’s wife. The physical beat down wasn’t enough as they took him backstage to literally chop off his privates with a katana. The Attitude Era pushed the envelope with shock television, but this set the envelope on fire in the most shameful of ways.
7 Dr. Hiney
Jim Ross has always come off as the ideal employee with hard work, great results and loyalty to any wrestling promotion he works for. Vince McMahon did not appreciate that and frequently bullied Ross through various on-air segments over the years. The saddest moment came when McMahon, along with “Dr. Hiney,” mocked JR’s very serious colon surgery. Ross never did anything disparaging to WWE and there was no true story line and obviously no payoff. The segment was just designed for McMahon to humiliate Ross by pulling objects out of a fake rear end in another effort to further demean the voice of the WWE on national television.
6 The Gobbledy Gooker
The art of the gimmick is a fascinating concept in wrestling as promoions try to figure out what character would best suit a performer. This was not as fun a thought process in the early 90s with WWE thinking of the most ridiculous and cartoonish characters. The Gobbledy Gooker was the perfect example of this and caused many haters to further shout wrestling was only for children. Hector Guerrero would rock the turkey suit and try to portray a bird after getting hatched from a giant egg. The character went down as the biggest flop in WWE history and likely caused many fans to turn their back on WWE following the abysmal creation of The Gobbledy Gooker.
The Big Bossman makes the list once again as WWE put him in horrible situations during The Attitude Era. Al Snow had a pet Chihuahua named Pepper and, of course, Bossman would use that against him like the evil heel that he was. Bossman kidnapped, killed and then fed Pepper to Snow, which culminated in the infamous Kennel from Hell match. The fact that WWE went with the story of killing a pet dog and feeding it to its owner was another one of those moments that make you shake your head as a diehard or casual fan.
4 Mae Young Gives Birth To A Hand
“Sexual Chocolate” Mark Henry and the elderly Mae Young entering a relationship on WWE television was bad enough, but the WWE upped the ante with the culmination of the storyline. The unlikely couple would partake in many “sexual” segments, leading to Young getting pregnant and giving birth to a hand. No one could ever properly explain the thought process between the “hand” being the birth of choice but that was just one of many ridiculous things involved in the story. Imagine explaining to your parents why you were watching a television program featuring a large man and nearly 80-year-old woman giving birth to a severed hand.
3 The Kiss My Ass Club
Vince McMahon will always be the most brilliant mind in pro wrestling for the positive things he did for the business, but there reached a point when his ego got out of control. The overwhelming popularity of The Attitude Era and putting WCW out of business would see McMahon put himself in more ridiculous television segments. The Kiss My Ass Club was the worst of them, as McMahon would force talents to get on their knees and peck his backside. William Regal, Jim Ross, Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley were the most noteworthy members of the club, but we were all the true losers for having to watch that as our fandom was tested.
2 Katie Vick
The name Katie Vick will be a name that we all remember but desperately try to forget for the remainder of our lives. Triple H revealed a story from Kane's past, which involved a car accident that saw his girlfriend Katie Vick die during their teenage years. The ridiculous story wasn’t bad enough, so WWE had Triple H wear a Kane mask, strip and have intercourse with a dummy of a corpse inside of the casket. The segment goes down among the worst in wrestling history and everyone shudders at the thought of this taking place on WWE television. Every single facet to this story line and segment was horribly embarrassing and makes wrestling fans wonder how they stuck through it.
1 Randy Orton Says Eddie Guerrero Is In Hell
The sudden death of Eddie Guerrero may be the most heartbreaking story in WWE history, as the gifted performer was in his prime when he passed away. WWE exploited the death by using Eddie’s name in various storylines to get fans more emotionally invested but one specific idea went too far. The hated villain Randy Orton was instructed to tell Rey Mysterio that Guerrero was in hell following his death and would not be able to watch over him. Most of the moments on this list were dreadful ideas, but could be passed off as harmless things that happened on a silly television show. The use of Guerrero’s name in such a terrible way went way too far and made us all embarrassed to support this company.