Let’s face it—sometimes wrestling can be weird as hell. In fact, this unchecked creativity is often one of the greatest strengths sports entertainment has over virtually everything else on TV. Fans literally never know what to expect next when watching a given episode of Raw or SmackDown Live, thanks to the long-held maxim that anything can happen in the WWE Universe. And by “anything,” it turns out Vince McMahon and his various writers and producers genuinely mean absolutely g*ddamn anything.
Everyone accepts that pro wrestling is a pretty silly medium from top to bottom. 90% of what happens backstage during the average WWE event would get employees of any other business immediately fired, yet in their walls, it suffices for sports entertainment enjoyed by millions. Typically, wrestling fans are able to check logic at the door when watching their favorite superstars throw down and accept whatever they see at face value.
On the other hand, there have also been literally hundreds of times when WWE presented something that forced even their most hardcore believers to scratch their heads and wonder what the hell was going on. In the worst cases, it’s not just one moment or match that exists outside of rational reality, but the entire career and history of select pro wrestlers. Keep reading to learn who we’re talking about this list of 15 WWE superstar backstories that make absolutely no goddamn sense.
15 The Gobbledy Gooker
To this day, the 1990 Survivor Series remains unforgettable due to the introduction of The Gobbledy Gooker, a weird giant turkey that danced around with Hall of Fame announcer “Mean” Gene Okerlund. Of the many, many things wrong with the Gooker, perhaps the most important issue is that it made absolutely no sense. For weeks prior to the turkey’s big debut, a giant egg was carted around to various WWE events…for no noted reason whatsoever. Then a big turkey popped out, again defying logic. He didn’t even wrestle after arriving, instead doing aforementioned jig with the golden voiced commentator. On a night specifically catered towards mystery partners and surprises, the Gooker capped off an already profound confusion with even more questions, then was so harshly rejected he disappeared before any could get answered. Not that a logical explanation for what happened would have made the bomb of the Gooker any less embarrassing.
14 Papa Shango
In retrospect, the worst thing about Papa Shango is obviously the institutional racism related to having one of the few notable black wrestlers of the day in such an offensive and outdated gimmick. Before one even gets into the implications of suggesting the only way a black athlete could rise to prominence was by literal voodoo, the mere fact voodoo was involved at all didn’t make all that much sense. Voodoo is a real thing that some people do still practice to this day, albeit not in any way like the way Papa Shango used it to make The Ultimate Warrior throw up. More than that, anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the practice knows that no actual voodoo practitioner would use it inside a wrestling ring, nor to angrily create smoke and mirrors during interviews. Except, perhaps, a racist, bringing this entry full circle.
13 Irwin R. Schyster
No matter what line of work a person is in, it’s pretty much everyone’s worst nightmare for the taxman to take a little too much interest in things. Even if someone tries their best to follow each and every tax law completely on the up and up, mistakes are made, and no one wants to find out they suddenly owe the government boatloads of money. For this reason, evil tax agent Irwin R. Schyster makes for a natural villain in just about any form of entertainment there is…except professional wrestling. Forget about headlocks and Write Offs, the real way to hit a wrestler where it hurts is an attack on their wallets, which IRS was more than capable of doing with his day job. Maybe it would make sense if every match he wrestled was a matter of someone trying to get revenge on him, but IRS was just another wrestler who happened to be a taxman on the side, a combination that just doesn’t make any sense.
12 The Boogeyman
On face value alone, there’s really no explaining The Boogeyman in a rational way. Unfortunately, the more one looks into his tenure with WWE, the less sense any of it makes. One might expect there really no way to get lower than eating a handful of worms after appearing out of a puff of smoke, but Vince McMahon somehow managed with his strange method of introducing such a monster to his company. Boogeyman debuted at the behest of UPN Network Executive Palmer Canon, who claimed the beastly superstar was a character on some other random, unnamed UPN program. After Boogeyman accidentally killed one of his costars, he figured being a WWE superstar was just as well as starring in some other show, and his now fellow wrestlers were more than happy to square off against this apparent killer. Somehow it almost would’ve made more sense if he was just a real life Boogeyman, and not one from a fictional TV show that didn’t even have a name.
11 The Mountie
Some readers might be surprised that the Big Bossman didn’t make his way to this list, and it’s not just because his gimmick was successful enough to make him a WWE Hall of Famer. Granted, it was a little weird that a police officer/CO would decide to leave law and order behind to focus on a career in sports entertainment, it’s really not that outlandish. Cops are generally aggressive people who make decisions that at times make them natural villains, so sure, one might want to start getting in the ring for fun when catching bad guys doesn’t do it anymore. So, what makes The Mountie, basically just a Canadian cop, any more ridiculous or nonsensical than an American version? Well, it’s implied that The Mountie was still an active Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman, meaning he had to travel all the way back to Canada after his matches. The Big Boss Man at least put law enforcement behind him and just used it as a gimmick, which made all the difference.
10 Beaver Cleavage
In the interest of fairness, we’ll point out that even the WWE writers who came up with Beaver Cleavage eventually admitted no part of the horrific gimmick made a lick of sense. An obvious and terrible joke from the start, former WWE Tag Team Champion Headbanger Mosh portrayed the Beaver, alongside his real life girlfriend/valet Marianna Komlos as Mrs. Cleavage. The joke is that despite that being a parody of hokey 1950s TV, the two also were implied to have a disgustingly sexual relationship. In addition to being gross, there’s the issue that at no point did WWE, the performers, or the writers, make any attempt to parlay this character detail into something that affected his skills inside the ring. Beaver Cleavage was just a dude in weird, outdated clothing and a fascination with “mother’s milk.” The plus side is that rather than explain why he wanted to wrestle, WWE just dropped the whole thing.
9 Repo Man
It’s a sad fact of business that most pro wrestlers don’t make enough money considering what they do and how many people watch them do it. With this in mind, we suppose it’s entirely possible some WWE Superstars might suffer a visit from an actual repo man at one point or another. However, why this repossession specialist would choose to then fight them inside the squared circle for the right to get their items back was never quite made clear. This is probably because there’s really no explanation that would do. The idea of wrestlers with a day job was extremely common back in the ‘90s, but few of these gimmicks required the performer put their regular livelihood at risk with each and every match. With Repo Man constantly doing this, he may have well quit the repo business and just wrestled, because every feud he involved himself in ultimately lead to his attempts at repossession blowing up in his face.
What the hell was Mantaur supposed to be, anyway? He wasn’t actually a minotaur or centaur, because he took the big stupid hairy bull mask thing off before the bell actually rang. He did wander around the ring like a giant oaf and literally mooed like a cow, though, so it wouldn’t be accurate to call him a human playing a character, either. Not even legendary manager James E. Cornette could do anything to make sense of it, although in his defense, WWE probably didn’t want him to, the man in question saying he believes the pairing was a rib. There have ben plenty of borderline illogical monsters in WWE’s past, who didn’t necessarily do all that much to describe their true intentions, but at least none of the others mooed. In fact, no one in any profession does that, making the a character like Mantaur weird as hell no matter where he appeared.
7 Isaac Yankem
The idea of a wrestler bringing in a random friend to help them out in the middle of a heated feud has existed since the earliest days of the sport. Of the million times this basic trope has happened, though, only once has the wrestler looked to his dentist for that much needed support. Granted, Isaac Yankem, D.D.S. was obviously a whole lot bigger and presumably meaner than the average dentist. Jerry Lawler was also an off-kilter individual, so he would be just scummy enough to ask literally any big lug he knew to help him beat up Bret “The Hitman” Hart during their long lasting feud. Still, it doesn’t quite justify why Yankem would then continue to have a brief wrestling career at nights, still drilling cavities out of teeth during the day. Amazingly, it wasn’t the even the weirdest role of Glenn Jacobs’s career.
Hitting an elusive offensive stereotype twofer, we’re pretty sure short-statured not-actually-Irish wrestler Hornswoggle was literally supposed to be a leprechaun his entire WWE run. Maybe the company gradually forgot about that by the time he was the mascot for D-Generation X, but that was certainly the implication back when he debuted as Fit Finlay’s “Little Bastard.” Also, he couldn’t talk, because WWE is great at handling these sort of things. How exactly being a mute mythical creature lead him to the sport of pro wrestling wasn’t clear, his friendship with Finlay notwithstanding. As Hornswoggle’s career continued, his outlandish cartoonish antics would make progressively less sense, especially the reveal he was basically a Looney Tunes character who could jump through holes he painted in the wall. Of course, the fact leprechauns don’t even exist made it evident logic was never going to be all that important in Hornswoggle’s career path.
All right, so we already explained why the Big Bossman gets a pass, and while The Mountie was weird, at least it was theoretically possible. The same is true of just about every weird ‘90s wrestler with a day job, up to and including Repo Man, despite what this list already said about him. Convict turned wrestler Nailz is the one outlier, not just because “convict” obviously isn’t a profession per se, but also because it means he would hardly be able to fight professionally on national television. The implication was always that Nailz was recently released, but the fact he continued to wear his inmate uniform suggested otherwise. Also, the fact he was openly getting revenge on a former CO is the sort of thing that could get him sent right back to the slammer.
Next to pro wrestlers, people in the acting business are seen as some of the weirdest eccentrics in the world. Those who co-starred in Hulk Hogan’s ridiculous wrestling comedy No Holds Barred proved just how wacky actors can be just by agreeing to be in the film. Hogan’s character’s rival, Zeus, portrayed by Tom “Tiny” Lister, took it even further than that when he later also agreed to step inside a wrestling ring for real in promotion of their awful movie. It was never quite clear if Zeus was the character he played in the movie, the actor getting too far into the role, or some mix thereof, and WWE announcers likewise had trouble separating what happened in the motion picture from reality. The only part of it that made sense is the fact Zeus disappeared once his issue with Hogan was over, as he had no logical connection to any other wrestlers.
3 Jeff Jarrett
Compared to the monsters, weirdos, and freaks populating most of this list, mild mannered wrestler’s wrestler the life story of Jeff Jarrett really doesn’t seem all that strange. His father was a wrestler, his grandmother was a promoter, and he himself was pretty good at grappling, so he wanted to become a superstar. It’s almost boring when we spell it out. However, when Jarrett first appeared in WWE, this wasn’t the story Vince McMahon tried to tell. Instead, putting sports entertainment first and logical history second, Jeff Jarrett was a man who desperately wanted to be a country music star. Somehow, in a line of thought we still don’t understand decades later, he believed that becoming WWE Champion was the obvious first step to achieving that sort of fame. In many respects, this makes the least sense of any gimmick on this list, as not only does it make no sense why Jarrett’s character wanted to wrestle, it paints the entire industry as an irrelevant afterthought to his real motivation.
Okay, so maybe a bloodthirsty dentist wasn’t all that weird after all. Silencing all critics who said Isaac Yankem, D.D.S. was the least logical character WWE could ever come up with, Glenn Jacobs revived his career only two short years after Yankem went back to med school. Arriving out of hellfire and brimstone, Kane’s origins were weird enough from the beginning, when he was said to be The Undertaker’s forgotten brother who was thought to have died in a fire. His backstory only got weirder and more confusing from there when Paul Bearer was revealed as his illegitimate father, but that was still just the beginning. Kane also apparently had quite the active social life in high school, experimenting with alcohol at a young age and taking a girl named Katie Vick’s life in a drunk driving accident. All the while institutionalized at an insane asylum. Or something like that. The more one thinks about Kane’s backstory, the less sense it makes, and it already didn’t make any when he debuted.
1 The Undertaker
With all due respect to one of the greatest icons in pro wrestling history, the only character that makes less sense than Kane is his iconic and demonic brother, The Undertaker. Before he was a Phenom, The Dead Man was simply a part-time gravedigger who spent his nights beating up enemies in the ring. Also, he might have been a zombie, given the fact he was genuinely immune to feeling any pain. Why exactly a mortician/undead beast would be so polite as to follow the rules of an athletic event was conveniently overlooked throughout his entire career. One might expect that as The Undertaker became more popular, his less realistic, supernaturally mystic abilities would gradually fade away, but in fact the opposite was true, and his character continued to abandon all logic no matter how popular it got. Even so, he was so darn good at being unrealistically awesome that fans don’t mind believing whatever he threw at them.