Let's be fair here, spending years scripting two or three hour shows that air every single week is freakin' difficult. With that in mind, I think it's understandable that not every installment of Raw and SmackDown is going to be gold. While WWE's creative team has produced some of the greatest and most exciting moments in wrestling history, there are also times when they seem to be treading worn ground - which is expected and easily forgiven. In an effort to show the audience something new and exciting, the writers often try to push boundaries and shatter expectations by introducing new and unique characters, exciting new matchups and epic, personal rivalries, which can result in truly great and revolutionary storylines and segments. Then again, there are other times when the writing team push things a little too far and any remnants of sanity fly gracelessly out the window, leaving us with with something so bizarre, offensive or ridiculous that we wonder whether WWE's Wellness Policy should be extended to apply to those in Creative.
With that in mind, we've decided to honour some of WWE's most head-scratching and cringe-inducing moments that really made us step back and ask "have they completely lost their minds?"
15 Mr. McMahon's Long Lost Son
In 2007, WWE decided to turn the soap opera element up to 11 when it was revealed that Mr. McMahon had fathered an illegitimate child, which conveniently, happened to be one of the WWE Superstars. After weeks of drawing out the big reveal, we eventually found out that Mr. McMahon's illegitimate child was none other than Hornswoggle. The following months saw Mr. McMahon enraged and embarrassed that his mighty grapefruits could produce a 'leprechaun', resulting in Hornswoggle being punished through various instances of "tough love." WWE eventually managed to drop this perplexing storyline by having JBL discover that Finlay was in fact Hornswoggle's father and the Irishman had set the entire thing up. This led JBL and Finlay to close up this story, with JBL defending his boss' honour in a Belfast Brawl against Finlay at WrestleMania XXIV.
The original plan was for Mr. Kennedy to be revealed as Vince's son, affording Kennedy a main event push and a place in the TV McMahon family. However, this plan was scrapped when Mr. Kennedy was found to have violated the company's Wellness Policy, resulting in a 30 day suspension.
14 Dawn Marie Marries Al Wilson
Never a fan of small scale vengeance, Dawn Marie decided that as part of a minor feud with Torrie Wilson, the next logical step was to seduce and marry her elderly father, therefore becoming her rival's step-mother. Obviously frustrated by the whirlwind romance between her father and arch-rival, Torrie Wilson became more enraged by the week, until things took an unexpected twist just weeks before the wedding when Dawn Marie planted a kiss on Torrie and revealed that she had feelings for her future step-daughter.
Dawn Marie then told Torrie Wilson that she was willing to cancel the wedding if the two ladies could spend the night together. In typical heel fashion, this turned out to be a lie and the wedding went ahead as intended. Following several months of being caught in the middle of this rivalry, Al Wilson was killed off after a night of passion on his honeymoon. This rivalry then concluded when Torrie Wilson faced Dawn Marie in a Stepdaughter vs Stepmother match at the 2003 Royal Rumble.
13 The Great Khali as World Heavyweight Champion
The World Heavyweight Championship had some ups and downs during it's time as SmackDown's showpiece title between 2005 and 2011, but perhaps it's lowest point was the three months that it was held by the lumbering, awkward giant The Great Khali.
On the July 20th, 2007 episode of SmackDown, Khali won a 20 man battle royal to be crowned as champion. Although a physically intimidating presence, Khali is not exactly known for being even a mediocre wrestler, so what followed was a three month title reign that was met with complete indifference and some of the least interesting title matches in the show's history. While many could have predicted that The Great Khali's flop as the face of the brand, creative clearly had high hopes for the big man, before seeing Khali as more of a comedy character and assigning him his 'Punjabi Playboy' gimmick.
12 Donald Trump vs Rosie O'Donnell
WrestleMania 23's 'hair vs hair' match, which saw Vince McMahon and Donald Trump's chosen representatives face off in a bid to protect their sponsors' luscious manes, is still lauded by WWE television as an example of its ability to attract major celebrities, as well as a catalyst in helping WrestleMania 23 break PPV buyrate records.
What seldom gets mentioned is some of the bizarre buildup that we saw leading to the event, including this farcical clash between fierce rivals Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell. While this may have been hilarious for Vince McMahon, and great promotion for the reality show The Apprentice, this just came across as an inane waste of time to a large section of fans who had no knowledge or interest in the war of words between these celebrities, but had to sit through two independent wrestlers in exaggerated costumes play out this ill-conceived attempted at comedy.
11 Brawl For All
Vince Russo's answer to the rising popularity of UFC was for the WWE to institute its own legitimate fighting contest open to any of the toughest competitors on the roster who were willing to volunteer. While this may have seemed like an innovative and promising idea on paper, when enacted, the tournament failed to live up to expectations.
An unclear and unfair points system saw commentators argue over what did and did not constitute takedowns and knockdowns, and fights between untrained fighters which were akin to bar brawls were met with hostility from a crowd hoping to see wresting matches. Perhaps the most baffling decision was to undermine eventual winner Bart Gunn by having him face off with professional boxer Butterbean after the tournament, where Gunn inevitably lost in quick fashion.
Long time wrestling fans will know that now and then, fictional characters in movies such as Robocop and Chucky will feel the need to leave the big screens and invade the world of pro wrestling.
One who not only appeared, but outstayed his welcome was Zeus, the villainous monster heel from Hulk Hogan's 1989 film No Holds Barred. Unhappy with his loss to Hulk Hogan in their silver screen clash, Zeus wanted to set the record straight and show that he deserved to be the movie's marquee star. Equipped with his uni-brow and unsettling wandering eye, Zeus terrorised Hogan and partner Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake for the rest of the year, facing the two in tag team clash's alongside 'Macho Man' Randy Savage and 'Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase.
Basically, this was a performer whose purpose was to no-sell moves and look imposing while relying on tag partners to carry matches, all in a bid to drive the most relentless promotional campaign for a movie in wrestling history.
9 Kevin Nash and the Mysterious Text
In the summer of 2011, WWE was white hot. This was all down to CM Punk's legendary 'pipebomb' promo and his rivalry with John Cena that saw Punk determined to prove that he was the best in the world before his contract expired, which finally culminated in the epic showdown at Money in the Bank where Punk walked out of the company with the title. CM Punk provoked more passion from fans and more interest in the product than anyone had for many years and firmly sat as the hottest Superstar in the company.
So how to you capitalise on this momentum? By having Triple H seize the spotlight for himself and his over-the-mountain range buddy Kevin Nash, of course. After Nash cost Punk the title at SummerSlam, an asinine story played out where Kevin Nash had received a text from Triple H telling him to do it, then it turned out that Nash had actually texted himself from The Game's phone for some reason.
The feud resulted in promos in which Triple H played the cool, know-it-all boss who undermined Punk at every turn and a match between the two where The Game defeated the company's biggest rising star (shock-horror!). Although the WWE got back on track at Survivor Series a few months later, when Punk would win the WWE Championship and begin his 434 day reign on top, this saga still stands as an odd tangent in C.M. Punk's time as WWE's top man.
8 Beaver Cleavage
At the height of the Attitude Era, WWE thrived on producing shock television that broke the mold set by the product's past and, sometimes, the creative team's attempts to shock went too far.
One such case was a brief persona of Headbanger Mosh - Beaver Cleavage. Based on the TV Show Leave it to Beaver, this man-child character appeared in black and white segments wearing a schoolboy uniform while his mother 'Mrs Cleavage' served him breakfast as the two made comments suggesting an incestuous relationship.
This character was short-lived and was dropped after a few weeks, when the character was panned and disowned by Mosh, who re-emerged as Chaz with Mrs. Cleavage revealed to be his girlfriend, complete with an 'accused woman-beater' storyline - as if Beaver Cleavage hadn't already left a bad enough impression.
7 Mr. McMahon's Exploding Limo
Returning to the Days of Our Lives marathon that is the life of Vince McMahon, we come to the June 11th, 2007 episode of Monday Night Raw in which a show-ending limo explosion was thought to have ended the Chairman's life.
Mr.McMahon spent the episode looking despondent and lost, culminating in a long, bleak walk past the entire lined-up roster, towards the doomed limousine. WWE played this to full effect, with tributes shows, a flag raised at half mast, and stories online insisting that Mr. McMahon had been killed, including one from a psychiatrist setting out how McMahon's mindset and body language was indicative of a man who knew he was about to die.
The storyline was so convincing that several media outlets reported it as genuine and the WWE saw its stock prices fall due to some investors believing the story to be real. This story was, of course, cut short by the Chris Benoit tragedy that occurred shortly thereafter.
If this storyline had continued as intended, it's likely that it would have been as a sweeping 'Whodunnit?' that would have taken insane wrestling stories to new heights.
6 J.R.'s Colon Surgery
Another ill-conceived attempt at humour that probably seemed like a comedic goldmine in the writers' room, was seen as one of the most cringe-worthy and disrespectful segments to have made it to WWE television when it aired.
Jim Ross was away for a short period in order to have colon surgery, so WWE followed this by warning viewers that they would be showing footage of the surgery, before airing a seven minute, painfully awkward skit featuring WWE owner Mr McMahon pulling assorted objects from the bowels of a dummy pair of buttocks.
The skit saw WWE's Chairman dressed as surgeon Dr. Hiney, along with the buxom Nurse Slobberknockers, remove objects such as an owl, a football and a bottle of BBQ sauce, while various toilet sounds played intermittently. While Mr. McMahon looked to be having the time of his life doing this sketch, to the fans watching, it just amounted to the longest seven minutes that Raw has ever aired.
5 Tim White's Suicide Attempts
This is one that truly boggles the mind - not just that somebody thought of it, but that their peers allowed this to take place.
Tim White was one of WWE's long-time referees who, after injuring his shoulder in a Hell in a Cell match, was unable to continue his duties and forced into retirement. At Armageddon 2005, a segment aired showing Tim White being interviewed by announcer Josh Mathews at a bar that he owned. Tim White explained that his life had been wrecked because of the injury and that he wanted to "kill himself", before grabbing a shotgun and walking off screen.
This led to a regular segment called 'Lunchtime Suicide' which would be posted online each week and featured Tim White attempting to end his life in different ways, but ultimately failing each time. These segments went on for four months.
4 May 19th
Kane has been a WWE mainstay for the past 19 years and his illustrious career has involved some of the most ludicrous storylines and events in the company's history - as one might expect from a gigantic demonic pyromaniac.
This particular tale starts with Kane's starring role in horror movie See No Evil. Once the film's release date of May 19th was announced, this seemed to drive Kane into a psychotic frenzy as he would regularly be seen pacing around backstage repeating the date and struggling to keep himself under control, whereas if anybody mentioned the date to him, he would go wild and brutalize the poor, hapless fool. This affected Kane's matches as he would at times be debilitated when his angst caused red lights to flicker and odd images to appear on the screen while his voice repeated the date over and over (which we all heard through some sort of psychic projection, I'd assume).
When May 19th finally came, Kane defeated then-champion Rey Mysterio in a non-title match, ending the traumatic obsession in a completely non-consequential manner.
Things got even more bizarre after the date had passed and Kane had regained self control. Thinking the entire ordeal was over, Kane was then assaulted by a doppelganger (complete with 80s-style perm), who terrorized The Big Red Monster for the next several weeks, until the Kane vs Imposter Kane feud was dropped due to lack of interest.
3 It Wasn't His Fault!
WWE brought it's usual level of tact and sensitivity to the issue of miscarriage in 2004, with the debut of Gene Snitsky, who, in his debut match against Kane, ended up hitting The Big Red Monster with a steel chair, causing him to fall on Lita, which in turn caused her to lose the baby that she had been carrying as part of the storyline involving Kane. Snitsky then built his entire gimmick as the guy who vehemently denied responsibility for this, with his catchphrase "It wasn't my fault."
At this point, Snitsky had become the full blown heel and would, as part of his ongoing feud with Kane, aggravate his rival further by boasting about causing the miscarriage, going so far as to come to the ring with a doll in hand and punt it into the audience. After the rivalry ended, and Snitsky developed his 'foot fetish' gimmick, this feud would be occasionally referenced for laughs due to its ridiculousness.
2 Katie Vick
Building an impressive streak to rival that of his brother, Kane makes his third straight appearance on this list as the central figure in one of WWE's most disgusting, over the top and despised storylines of all time - the Katie Vick saga.
This is one that has become infamous for its poor taste and is the prime example of wrestling's attempt to push boundaries going too far. Coming off the tail end of the Attitude Era, WWE was still able to get away with a lot and really tested that when, in 2002, Triple H said that Kane's former girlfriend Katie Vick had been killed in a car accident caused by Kane's drunk driving years earlier and that he made love to her after she passed. This led to Kane's rival Triple H making light of the accident by acting out a funeral which saw Hunter (dressed as Kane) "interact" with a dummy representing Katie Vick laying in a casket.
By the time the feud was thankfully over, WWE's warped necrophilia humour had left fans with a lasting bitter taste in their mouths.
1 Mae Young Gives Birth To a Hand
Growing up with WWE's Attitude Era can result in a very confusing childhood. More specifically, witnessing the Mae Young pregnancy storyline before you learn about 'the birds and the bees' can be borderline traumatic.
This all took place when Mark Henry's 'Sexual Chocolate' persona was in full swing. Henry spent most of his screen time jumping from bed to bed before he finally found a woman who could meet his needs - the 72-year-old Mae Young. One heated encounter left the septuagenarian pregnant, which alone was enough to leave audiences baffled. Things went from bizarre to complete insanity a month later when Mae Young went into labour backstage. Panicked colleagues rushed to help while Mae Young lay there casually smoking a cigar, before finally giving birth to a fully formed human hand.
This tops the list because this isn't just tasteless or ill-conceived, this entire concept was so bananas that it seemed like the entire creative team must have cracked under the pressure and gone completely insane.