Like in entertainment, trying to do a proper storyline in wrestling can be tricky. Some guys are better able to work it than others while other times, circumstances can ruin something. It’s easy to list storylines marred by injuries or other plots and the fact that so often, ideas that look great on paper bomb on air. Yet sometimes, these storylines fail for the simple fact that logic just doesn’t play into them. That’s especially true with the work of Vince Russo who loved his “shocking swerves” and ignored how most of them made no sense overall. Sadly, too many have replicated that by coming up with “twists” despite how blatantly wrong they are.
Wrestling fans can suspend disbelief. Most of wrestling moves prove that. But in some cases, there are things you just can’t buy. You can’t buy guys acting a certain way or a certain turn. You can’t buy someone who’s been a career midcarder turned into a main event. And in some cases, the holes in logic and continuity are far too much to ignore. There are so many bad storylines in wrestling but several just have too much in the way of plot holes for fans to ignore. Here are 15 cases where the holes in logic played a huge part in why these storylines are among the worst ever seen on TV.
15. The Maryland Blood Rule
Lex Luger gets a raw deal from many fans. He’s cited as a minimally talented performer, but when you look at his early stuff, he was good. He just got dealt a bad deal from politics. In 1988, Luger was clearly the hottest thing with Jim Crockett and getting a run as NWA champion should have been obvious. But Ric Flair didn’t like Luger and had veto rights on any planned title change. At the Great American Bash, Luger and Flair went at it with Luger having Flair in his backbreaker and the bell rung. Everyone celebrated Luger winning the title but it was announced the match had ended under a rule preventing excess blood in the state of Maryland. The idea was Luger was supposed to be a bloody mess but the blade job was botched, so it was just a few drops.
That was bad enough on its own but what made it crazier was that Baltimore had seen slews of bloody matches over the years and not once had this “rule” come up. To try and sell Luger’s minor cut as something so massive was terrible, they should have tried an alternate plan. Making it crazier was the next year, Flair and Terry Funk bled buckets in the same arena with nothing made of it. It was a move that crushed much of Luger’s momentum and ruined JCP majorly.
14. AJ Styles’ ‘Affair’ With Claire Lynch
This may be the single stupidest storyline in TNA history (which is surely saying something). In 2012, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian had turned on AJ Styles and soon pushing a big secret. That secret: Styles having an affair with Dixie Carter. Both AJ and Carter denied it as Bad Influence pushed the plot even more. This led to Carter’s husband punching out Styles, not the best look for him. Eventually, the heels revealed that Styles had an affair with a woman named Claire Lynch who also bore his child. They even had a photo in bed together. What was making this a bad idea was that it was well known Styles was a faithful Christian and he and his wife open on being a happy couple. Thus, selling him as the wayward dad with a crack addict was nuts.
The plan had been to continue the whole thing, complete with a match for a paternity test. Before that happened, a “lawyer” came out to reveal Lynch had redacted her story and made the whole thing up. In reality, the actress who played the part was unprepared for the fan hate on the whole thing and quit to go back to her old job…as Olive Oyl at the Universal theme park. Seriously. It was a bad idea but the plot hole of Styles as a cheater was one reason it couldn’t work.
13. The nWo Sting
They’ve tried it a few times before and since but it never works out right. Sting is a fantastic performer, a great star notable for his painted face, blond hair and great outfits. When the New World Order rose up to power, Sting was seen by fans as the one guy to face them down. In the build to Fall Brawl, the nWo hinted that Sting was on their side. Lex Luger came out to attack a mystery man in a limo and was confronted by Sting, who beat him down. The announcers went wild about Sting betraying WCW and going heel and what it meant. Just one tiny little problem: Unless you had terrible eyesight, it was blatantly obvious this wasn’t the real Sting.
WCW kept it up with Sting being accused by the other guys, meaning Sting waited a week to talk about this. The War Games match came out and “Sting” rushed out with the announcers going wild despite how, again, this clearly wasn’t the real guy. The real Sting raced out, beat everyone down, then walked out. This would set up the wildly successful “Crow” look for Sting but WCW trying to sell such a blatant imposter ruined the whole thing.
12. David Arquette Title Win/Loss
It’s the moment WCW passed the point of no return. With ratings and attendance falling and things going bad, Vince Russo made his most shocking decision. In a tag match on “Thunder,” David Arquette and DDP faced Jeff Jarrett and Eric Bischoff with the WCW title on the line. Arquette pinned Bischoff, which made him the champion. It was a horrible move, meant to promote the terrible “Ready to Rumble” movie but it turned WCW into a true joke. That was bad enough except Arquette “defending” the belt in matches best left undiscussed.
This led to Slamboree as Arquette had the title on the line in a triple decker cage match with Jarrett and DDP. As they fought for the belt, Arquette smashed Page with a guitar to let Jarrett win. He turned heel, bragging this was the plan all along which naturally made fans wonder why the hell Jarrett would agree to lose the belt to a third-rate actor just to get it back a few weeks later. Arquette soon left but the damage was something WCW never recovered from.
11. The Eddie-Rey Custody Battle
Eddie Guerrero had a lot going for him in his career. So it’s sad that just months before his death, he had to be put through this stupid story. The idea was Eddie turning heel on good friend Rey Mysterio which was interesting in and of itself. But making it worse was how it was set up with Eddie claiming to be the father of Rey’s son, Dominick. They had some bad bits leading to a ladder match at SummerSlam with “custody papers” for Dominick hung over the ring. Vickie interfered to push Eddie off the ladder and sell the idea she thought his obsession with Dominick was ruining their marriage. WWE themselves seemed to realize how bad it was and the whole thing was quickly dropped, ignoring Vickie screwing over her husband and Dominick’s parentage, a mess fans wanted aborted.
10. “I Did It For the Rock”
When you begin a story, you should know how it ends. WWE missed that memo in 2000. At the 1999 Survivor Series, Stone Cold Steve Austin needed time off for surgery and thus he was run over by a car during the show to explain his absence. This led to the Big Show winning the title. Nearly a year later, Austin returned and wanted to find out who did this to him. This led to various ups and downs, some turns, blind alleys and more. Finally, The Rock was under suspicion but instead Mick Foley revealed the driver to be…Rikishi, who hadn’t even been with WWE at the time and wasn’t in the building that night. That was already a big hole but then came Rikishi’s idiotic explanation that “I did it for The Rock” to let “another Islander” get his shot at the belt. It was way too much for fans to accept and the entire storyline cited as one of the worst ever.
9. Sting Heel Turn
There are some guys who just can’t work as heels. Sting is one of them. From his debut, Sting was over in a way few could touch, the fans loving him massively. He was the heart of WCW, loyal to the company despite huge WWE offers and his act leant itself well to being a face. They had tried a turn in 1995 but it didn’t take as even with Hulk Hogan in the company, Sting was clearly the mega-face. At Fall Brawl ’99, Hogan had recently turned back to a face after three years of being the biggest heel in wrestling. He and Sting went at it for the title with liberal interference from Sid, Diamond Dallas Page and Lex Luger.
In the end, Sting hit Hogan with the bat and put him in the Scorpion Deathlock to get the title. The idea was him turning on Hogan and set up as the bigger star. The problem? The fans cheered. They loved Sting way too much to boo him and no way they were cheering Hogan after all he’d done for the last three years. WCW even realized it, turning Sting back just a few weeks later as trying to make the face of WCW a bad guy just never worked.
8. Hogan’s WrestleMania IX Victory
Many still hold this as the worst Mania of all time and that’s mostly for the main event. Bret Hart had been doing great as WWE Champion. He was set to face Yokozuna for the title, a great showdown of skill vs size and both did well. It ended with Mr. Fuji throwing salt in Bret’s eyes, letting Yoko get the pin and the title. At which point, Hulk Hogan came out to check on Bret despite how he and Hart were known to have almost no connection whatsoever. Fuji issued a challenge and Bret waved at Hogan to accept. Thirty seconds later and Hogan was the champion again. For Hogan to get a shot just on the spot made little sense and worse was how Bret seemed okay with it despite how much pride he took in being champion. It’s a bad moment and worse given how it didn’t build on any connection with fans.
7. THEY Are Coming
Much has been made over how TNA has tried to create a super-heel group way too many times over the years. In 2010, they were keeping it up with Fortune, a group made up of some younger guys and causing trouble. As the build to Bound For Glory began, Abyss was seen warning about a mysterious “THEY” coming over and over. He even claimed to have been “controlled” by them to attack Hogan and others. He attacked RVD, forcing him to vacate the TNA title. This set up a main event at the PPV with Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson going at it for the belt. Bischoff came to interfere, followed by Hogan on crutches…who then helped Hardy win the title. Abyss came out and joined them as the group were the mysterious “They” now calling themselves Immortal. It was totally nuts especially when Fortune joined with no explanation. It just made no sense to have this group form or Abyss warning of them coming and the whole thing was yet another attempt to replicate the nWo that did almost nothing.
6. Warrior in the Mirror
When Hulk Hogan admits a storyline idea is bad, you know it has to be. In 1998, WCW signed the Warrior up to a huge contract and pushed him hard for a big showdown with Hogan. That was fine in itself. But then they added to it with Warrior appearing and vanishing in clouds of smoke and other nutty bits. The craziest had to be when Hogan was in his dressing room, mulling over what the Warrior was up to. Suddenly, the Warrior appeared in the mirror and Hogan freaked out. Bischoff came in and acted like he couldn’t see the Warrior, hinting Hogan was losing it. This had a key problem, mainly that the entire audience could see the Warrior and the announcers talked of seeing him too. Yet Hogan and Bischoff sold it so only Hogan could see the Warrior, shattering what illusion there was. No wonder their Halloween Havoc match was a disaster.
5. Flair in the Insane Asylum
There was so much insanity in WCW in the last couple of years. So a segment taking place in a nuthouse was only inevitable. That doesn’t make it any better though. In 1999, Ric Flair was set up as the President of WCW for some wild stuff. However, Flair was pushed as going out of his mind, declaring that he was also President of the United States on top of other wild rants. He was soon committed to an institution by Roddy Piper who took over as President with David Flair helping out. We thus had bits of Flair dancing in his underwear and robe and whipping the other patients into a frenzy.
A truly bizarre bit was Scott Hall just wandering around for no real reason and no explanation given for him being there. And for how Flair got out? He paid bail. That’s right, you can just get out of an asylum by paying bail. It was a story so nuts, even WCW couldn’t handle it.
4. Triple H and Stephanie Still Together
There are slews of reasons it just doesn’t work. At least not on screen. Triple H was already on the rise when he did the “drive-by wedding” with Stephanie McMahon to really push himself as a monster heel. Naturally, some complained over how even a Vegas chapel wouldn’t accept an obviously drugged up Stephanie not even saying her own vows. WWE actually answered that by revealing that Stephanie and Hunter were working together all along and that worked great.
The issue is in 2002 when Stephanie turned on Hunter who fought her and Jericho and even gave his wife a Pedigree. They announced a divorce, so they weren’t together in storyline. But when Triple H and Orton went at it in 2009, Stephanie was brought back as the wife for some attacks by Orton and Hunter was out for revenge. Which would be good except WWE had gone out of their way to show the two weren’t married anymore. It was among the various reasons the feud fizzled out as suddenly selling Hunter and Stephanie as a loving couple was a bit much after set up as enemies.
3. The RAW GM
Somehow, wrestling writers and bookers still fall into the classic trap of starting a storyline with no idea how to pay it off. A clear case was when the RAW General Manager became…a computer. It would flash the lights on and off and let out a chime with Michael Cole then reading his announcements. There was little rhyme or reason to his choices and folks wondered who he was. Speculation was rampant on various ideas with Kevin Nash a prime suspect. Eventually, Santino donned a Sherlock Holmes cap (literally) to figure out it was…Hornswoggle. Yep, the little guy was going around and just doing this all for fun. It was completely dumb and a huge letdown as half the time, Hornswoggle wasn’t even around when this stuff was happening. It was a truly lame way to end something after so much build and too much of a jump to accept.
2. The Halloween Havoc Hoax
The Black Scorpion may have been bad for WCW but this bit in 1990 was even crazier. For Halloween Havoc, Sting was to defend the NWA title against Sid in a huge battle. It was a wild bit with interference from the Horsemen and Sting chasing Arn Anderson to the back. A few minutes later, Sting returned…now about three inches taller and 40 pounds heavier. He and Sid fought before Sid got the pin, at which point, the real Sting came out with a broken rope on his hand. The idea was the Horsemen had tossed Sting into a closet and then had Barry Windham compete to set up Sid’s win.
There was, of course, a key issue: How the Horsemen knew not only what tights Sting would be wearing that night, but what design his face paint would be. One of the Apter mags tried to explain it but it was still a huge thing that made the entire bit more nonsensical.
1. The Greater Power
In 1999, WWE was doing a bit rough as Vince Russo’s “Crash TV” style of storytelling was getting out of hand. A key case is this “epic” storyline where The Undertaker and Shane McMahon formed an alliance. Vince actually turned face for it as Taker kidnapped Stephanie and Stone Cold Steve Austin came to rescue her. There were various twists and turns with McMahon going against Taker and his mysterious “Greater Power” who showed himself to Austin. The Greater Power came out as Vince was shown on the titantron yelling for him to show himself. He pulled off the hood to reveal…Vince McMahon.
According to reports, WWE did want someone else with Jake Roberts often mentioned. However, it just didn’t work out so they went to Vince. This, of course, made no sense in story of Vince going to all this trouble just to screw with Austin and threw out his development as a sympathetic character. WWE seemed to realize it as they had Linda and Stephanie so ticked at Vince that they made Austin CEO to drive McMahon even crazier. Yet many hold this as one of the worst storylines in WWE because of how little sense it made.
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