Wrestling, WWE more specifically, has gone through a lot of transitional periods over time. There was the Golden Era, which was dominated by the likes of Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior and more. The Golden Era gravitated more to young audiences, just like how it is today. When the big stars of WWE such as Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall jumped ship to WCW, the WWE were lacking stars, compelling characters, and lack of direction. This led to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon turning towards an edgier product fans know today as the Attitude Era. The Attitude Era got the WWE back on the map with their wacky and crude antics, but characters the fans could truly get behind. What rivals the Attitude Era was the Ruthless Agression Era, as there more of a focus with true talent, but the crudeness remained. While people remember both era's as being revolutionary and just flat out fun, there were those moments that made fans pretty uncomfortable. A lot of the younger fans see the WWE as a family friendly product now, but back then, no one that is easily triggered could possibly be entertained by this company.
Simply, sometimes, Vince and his employees just went too far in trying to entertain the fans. Looking back at everything this company has done to "push the envelope", it makes a lot of fans appreciate the fact that the company has turned into a family friendly product. Here are the 15 most uncomfortable moments in wrestling that made us nearly stop watching.
This may be considered a reach, but so be it. The Eugene character was undoubtedly over due to his charisma, his witty comments, and imitating his favorite wrestlers' finishing moves. Despite all of that, this character was brutally offensive. Eugene's character was mentally challenged, and WWE's portrayal of disadvantaged people was insulting. His kayfabe uncle Eric Bischoff gave Eugene the impression that he, and his family was ashamed of him for being "special".
Other wrestlers, including Vince McMahon would bully him for being different, and it was just very disgusting to watch. Considering the WWE is linked with Be A Star and the Special Olympics, hopefully none of those kids watch Raw from 2004-2008. Disgusting.
Who in the world thought this was a brilliant idea? In 2002, Torrie Wilson's real life father, Al, was approached by diva Dawn Marie, and what happened afterwards was weird and uncomfortable. Torrie found Al and Dawn in the shower, which was the start of their strange and vengeful relationship. Dawn continued this weird and uncomfortable relationship to enrage Wilson, and it led to an eventual wedding on January 2nd, 2003. Now every wedding that has took place on WWE television has had some wacky and much discussed anything, but this wedding was memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Both Dawn and Al were half naked during the ceremony, and the segment got booed pretty heavily. In their honeymoon, the couple had sex numerous times, which led to Al having a heart attack and kayfabed passed away. At Al's funeral, Torrie and Dawn brawled, leading to a match at the Royal Rumble (which Torrie won), and the rivalry was mercifully over.
If you are a wrestling purist, you remember this match, and being very uncomfortable watching it. Vince McMahon was unhappy with his daughter, Stephanie, who was the SmackDown general manager at the time. Vince's unhappiness came from Stephanie's unwillingness to make the "tough" decisions. Vince would send the likes of Brock Lesnar, Big Show, and A-Train to attack his own daughter, while at the same time snooping around with Sable, who Stephanie was justifiably not fond of. The rift between the two led to a match at No Mercy as the first father/daughter match.
It was a beyond ridiculous idea, and the match, as most expected, it was hard to watch. Vince was choking, giving body slams, and clotheslining his own daughter; like how was this a good idea? Also, to put the icing on the cake, he shoved his wife Linda down to the canvas. The match was just an all around train wreck.
Kurt Angle is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and he was recently inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. However, the storyline between him, Booker T, and his wife Sharmell is something that everyone involved should want to forget. Angle was coming off a match, which was widely considered one of the greatest WrestleMania matches of all time with Shawn Michaels. Afterwards, Booker T cost Kurt Angle a match to be the number one contender for John Cena's WWE Championship, so this caused Angle to pursue Booker T, but more notably Sharmell.
He was quoted as saying he wanted to have sex with Sharmell because she is a "gutter s***". What followed was a series of uncomfortable of sexual predator like acts from Angle such as groping and laying on top of Sharmell. This was a huge blemish on Angle's career, but we definitely will not be hearing about this angle (no pun intended) on WWE programming ever again hopefully.
John Bradshaw Layfield is notorious for being one of the "bad boys" in the WWE locker room. Bradshaw has been accused of bullying, hazing, and basically being a straight up jerk. That was backstage, but this one particular segment in 2004 was absolutely deplorable. New general manager Kurt Angle held a tournament to decide who would win the "Great American Award", and the newly formed JBL decided to show a video. The video consists of him kicking out immigrants, basically telling them "go back to where you came from". As a result, he won the award over the likes of Eddie Guerrero, John Cena, and Booker T. It was a deplorable segment, and brutally offensive. Just imagine being from a different country watching this segment, it is discouraging. Politics, in any form or fashion, should have not a place in wrestling.
Vince, you are here again, and it will not be the last time. Vince McMahon's on screen character was as evil as evil can get, but this particular action was flat out disgusting. In 1994, WWE announcer Jim Ross suffered an of bell's palsy, and another one happened in 1998. Bell's Palsy, for those do not know, is a facial paralysis and affects a side of your face. Obviously, it is not something to joke about, but leave it to Vince McMahon to bully Jim Ross yet again. This segment happened in 2012, and if you decide to go back and look this video up, you will see a Be A Star poster in the background. Be A Star is a campaign to stop bullying across the United States. This picture speaks for itself; way to expose your hypocrisy, Vince.
How awkward would it be for your real-life to abuse you verbally and physically on screen? This was the case for Test and Stacy Keibler back in 2003. They were paired originally as heels, but when the marketing of "Testicles" took off, they were turned face. When Test began to lose matches, the relationship between the two was strained; and Test began verbally abusing Stacy any chance he got. This turned into physical altercations; then Scott Steiner comes in. Steiner was a baby face at the time, but started to sour among the fans due to misbooking.
For a time, both Steiner and Test were battling it out for the services of Keibler, which they both won on separate occasions. However, on September 20, 2003, Keibler cost Steiner a match, which caused him to attack her. This would continue for the rest of the year and it was uncomfortable to watch. Not something the WWE would like to remember at all.
What if I told you that two miscarriages occurred live on WWE programming? This is not a 30 for 30 hype commercial, this is real stuff. The very first one was in 1999, where Terri Runnels was on the apron; and D'Lo Brown inadvertently knocked her off, which she claimed to have suffered a miscarriage. In an interview last year, Terri claimed to not want anything to do with the storyline due to the fact she had a daughter at the time. However, Vince Russo overruled her.
The second featured Kane and Lita in a rather odd storyline to say the least. Kane had become with obsessed with Lita, kidnapped her, and impregnated her (um, rape?). Kane won the services of Lita in a "Til Death Do Us Part" match against her then-boyfriend Matt Hardy at SummerSlam in 2004. In a match with newcomer Gene Snitsky, Kane was hit by a chair by Snitsky, landed on Lita; and eventually killed the baby. I do not know how any of the WWE writers thought that this would make for compelling television, because it simply was not.
Oh look at that, Vince has made this list again. This is an example of trying witty and edgy, but it was just flat out inappropriate. Vince McMahon encountered WWE Champion John Cena backstage during Survivor Series in 2005, and what followed is the reason why Cena's face is the way it is. To appeal to Cena's rapper gimmick, McMahon used the term "what's good in the hood"; then he said "keep it up, my n***a".
Oh, to make it even "funnier" for McMahon, Booker T and his wife Sharmell were standing by. As you would expect, their faces were not what you would call "happy". Given the history of that particular word, it was completely offensive to the minority population watching this pay per view. Especially because it is someone like McMahon saying it, it is even worse.
Heidenreich came into the WWE as psychopath. He ran in on random matches to unleash pain; and he attacked a fan once. Heidenreich was definitely one of the more crazier individuals we have ever seen in the ring, but what he did to then-Smackdown announcer Michael Cole was awful to say the least. Weeks prior to the September 16, 2004 edition of SmackDown, Heidenreich had been giving warnings to Michael Cole as he was being provoked by manager Paul Heyman.
On that episode, Heidenreich snatched Cole from his broadcast position and carried him to the back. Most viewers thought Cole was going to be beaten up by Heidenreich, but they were dead wrong. The SmackDown audience saw a sexual assault on television. It was uncomfortable for anyone to watch, and the crowd was silent for the rest of that event.
When disappointing feuds come to mind in the 2000s decade, Triple H vs Booker T will always come to mind. Not only for the fact that Booker T did not win the World Heavyweight Championship, but what happened prior to WrestleMania XIX was what made Booker T's loss even more disappointing. Going into the feud, this should have been an underdog story for Booker T. His mother passed at a young age; and was arrested before his wrestling career. However, the storyline was based off racism. Triple H told Booker T "Somebody like you doesn't get to be a world champion. People like you don't deserve it." and "You're not a competitor, you're an entertainer."
You think this is bad? There was a bathroom scene where the two crossed paths, and Triple H threw a dollar at Booker; and told him "go get me a towel". With all of the things said to Booker, you would think he would win, right? No, Triple H won, and Booker never got a real rematch. Good going, WWE.
Eddie Guerrero was taken too soon from us to 2005, and the tributes to him in the weeks following were good for the most part. The best part was the wrestlers wearing Guerrero t-shirts, and "EG" arm bands as of sign of respect for late, former WWE Champion. You have probably witnessed the exploitation of Eddie's death on the internet, but this instance was the absolute worst. Rey Mysterio just came off winning the 2006 Royal Rumble, and he appeared on Smackdown to celebrate his victory.
In comes Randy Orton, and what happened during this segment justifiably enraged the fans. Orton says to Mysterio "Eddie ain't in heaven, he's down there, in hell!". Most were wondering how did Eddie's family reacted to the disgusting act by Orton. There is simply no excuse for that comment being allowed, and this will forever be a black eye in this company's history.
Arguably the WORST wrestling storyline in history; Katie Vick. So here is the backstory: Kane won a handicap match, but afterwards, Triple H appears to ask Kane if the name "Katie Vick" is familiar. The next week, Kane went on to explain his side of the story; which was that Katie was drunk; and drove her home. However, an accident occurred; and Vick was killed. Triple H said that semen was inside her dead body; and claimed that Kane was deeply in love with her.
Now here's the worst part: Triple H promised the world footage of Vick's funeral, and it showed him in Kane's mask, getting undressed, and having sex with the "lifeless body" of Vick. The segment brought tons of uproar, and was dropped shortly after. WWE will never speak of this again, and rightly so.
This was offensive, and arguably the most degrading segment in WWE history. Vince McMahon was in the midst of a relationship with WWE Diva Trish Stratus, while Vince's wife, Linda just watched on. In the process, Trish was in a rivalry with Vince's daughter, Stephanie, who was not happy with Trish's pursuit to the top. Despite the relationship with Trish, Vince went to extra lengths to embarrass her, making her get on her knees and crawl around. Wait, there's more; Vince demanded Trish to bark like a dog; and strip down to her bra and panties. Trish will always be universally known as one of the greatest women wrestlers of all time, but this particular segment is truly an embarrassing one for her, and the company.
Such a awful sight for those in the crowd for Over the Edge 1999. Although this was not seen on TV, the fans witnessed Owen Hart (who was playing The Blue Blazer) attempt to do a superhero-like entrance, but it ended awfully. Hart fell to his death, and it dashed the desire the fans to keep watching the event. Oh, that is right, the event continued. Vince wanted his money, and did not end the show out of respect for one of his employees, who died because of a stunt Hart did not feel comfortable doing.
Just an ugly, ugly situation for the company in all, and the Hart family will probably never forget nor forgive the company for this. If there was ever a time we questioned being wrestling fans, it was following this tragedy.