The art of the wrestling storyline is the most important aspect on a wrestling show. Fans ultimately want to see conflict with a resolution at the end of the day. Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels both credit their storyline together as being one of the biggest accomplishments of their careers. Batista’s slow turn on Triple H in Evolution to win his first World Championship put him on the map as a top star. The evil Vince McMahon trying to stop Steve Austin’s ascension as the new face of WWE during the Attitude Era is what made his popularity reach new heights.
It's fascinating to watch the twists and turns in a storyline building towards a culmination. Unfortunately, not all stories in wrestling get the perfect ending to wrap it up. There have been quite a few instances of WWE and other wrestling promotions just quitting on it. Some storylines were not working, others had poor writing fail to end it properly and a few just ended cold turkey. We'll take a look at some of the more interesting stories in wrestling through the years that actually started on television and went on for a while without having an ending.
15 Vince McMahon's Lockbox
The return of Shane McMahon provided an incredible moment but ended up having a horrible storyline attached to it. Shane wrestled The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32 with the stipulation of Shane having to give up a lockbox that he was using to blackmail Vince McMahon. It was discussed as something horrible that made Vince nervous enough to put up control of WWE in the match as well.
14 Brock Lesnar Vs Shane McMahon
A Brock Lesnar WrestleMania match was changed for the second consecutive year heading into WrestleMania 33. The end of SummerSlam 2016 featured Lesnar brutally beating Randy Orton to uncomfortable levels until SmackDown General Manager Shane McMahon came out to protect his star. Lesnar then took his anger out on Shane beating him up.
13 Vince's Illegitimate Child
The storyline of Vince McMahon’s mysterious illegitimate child on the WWE roster had an ending but it didn’t really count in the grand scheme of things. It was revealed McMahon had a child he did not know about working for him. The reveal was teased for a long time with plans for a huge aftermath. WWE wanted to elevate Mr. Kennedy into a main event position and was slated for the spot.
12 Nexus Attacks The Undertaker
The Undertaker and Kane had their final feud back in 2010 for the World Championship. It culminated in a Buried Alive match at Bragging Rights. The shocking ending of the match featured the Nexus faction coming out of nowhere to attack Undertaker and help Kane bury the legend. Nexus was on Raw and the Brothers of Destruction were on SmackDown making it even weirder that they intertwined.
11 Just Joe
One of the more random characters during the Attitude Era that showed no purpose was Just Joe. Independent wrestling standout Joe E. Legend was signed for the role of a backstage instigator starting drama between many top wrestlers. For example, Just Joe would tell Triple H that “the boys” were talking about Kurt Angle making a move on Stephanie McMahon and then go back to Angle claiming Triple H was verbally abusing Stephanie to get them to fight.
10 WCW's White Hummer
WCW was home to many of the dumbest ideas in wrestling history. One that never even had an ending featured Kevin Nash getting brutally attacked. Randy Savage and his ladies lured Nash into a limo. Savage drove the limo away with Nash locked in alone before running off. A mystery white hummer appeared to slam into the car multiple times badly hurting Nash. The identity of the driver was a huge angle for the summer of 2000.
9 NXT Redemption
The early incarnation of NXT featured a competition between developmental talents to win a main roster contract. Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Bray Wyatt and AJ Lee were just some of the stars to start their television careers in WWE on this show. Many of the losers that were placed in the NXT Redemption season getting a second chance.
8 Brock Lesnar Vs Bray Wyatt
Another storyline with no ending during WrestleMania 32 season featured Brock Lesnar feuding with The Wyatt Family. Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan attacked Lesnar on an episode of Raw leading up to the Royal Rumble. During the actual Rumble match, Wyatt was responsible for the elimination of Lesnar obviously attempting to set up a WrestleMania match.
7 Who Attacked Hideo Itami?
The write-off storyline for Hideo Itami after suffering a shoulder injury back in 2015 was meant to set up something for his return. NXT did a great job in setting up long term storylines. This was a rare case of one not paying off in the slightest. Itami was shown down in the parking lot after a brutal attack as Kevin Owens walked by making a snarky comment.
6 Samoa Joe Kidnapping
Vince Russo is known for having some of the most ridiculous ideas you’ll ever witness in the wrestling industry. One of them took place in TNA when top star Samoa Joe was abducted by ninjas. Joe was taken into a van and did not appear on television for a few weeks. Fans expected some sort of payoff with the identity of the abductors or a big change in Joe when he returned.
5 King Of The Ring Flying Briefcase
The main event of the 1999 King of the Ring featured Steve Austin facing both Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon in a Ladder Match for control of WWE. Austin had the win a few times until the briefcase started moving around with someone having access to control the prize it was being hung from.
4 Kane Vs Fake Kane
Kane has been a part of WWE for over two decades. The character has seen many ups and downs, including getting stale numerous times. At one point, WWE decided to spice things up by having another Kane character appear. During this time period, Kane did not wrestle with his mask and sported the bald head.
3 Anonymous Raw GM
The long story of the anonymous Raw General Manager continued on for quite some time. Vince McMahon stated the GM would use email to break news and announcements. Michael Cole walked to a podium and read the emails to loud jeers from the fans every week. The character was clearly a heel and often used their power to punish the fan favorites.
Attitude Era fans will remember the mystery of GTV going on for many months. The hidden camera segments would show WWE stars in scenarios they did not want on screen. GTV revealed Eddie Guerrero cheated on Chyna, Big Show and Val Venis fighting in the men’s bathroom and other embarrassing moments. It was implied that we would eventually find out the mystery man behind the hidden camera.
1 Who “Killed” Vince McMahon?
The shocking ending of an episode of Raw back in 2007 featured Vince McMahon slowly walking past all the wrestlers to get into his limousine before it exploded. WWE’s website reported that McMahon had died with someone planning to kill him in such fashion. They even claimed federal agents were looking into finding the culprit.
WWE would witness the biggest tragedy in wrestling history a week later when Chris Benoit killed his wife and son followed by taking his own life committing suicide. The heartbreaking story led to McMahon ending his storyline and returning to television. WWE could not have a fake death at such a time and McMahon had to address the Benoit story. Obviously, the McMahon death storyline would never play out. There’s no telling what WWE was trying to go for and we’ll never know.
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