Throughout the history of the WWE, the company has worked wonders in making the most unlikeliest of athletes become internationally acclaimed and loved. Mick Foley probably never should have been as successful as he was, but Vince McMahon allowed the man to flourish under his range of characters.
But for all the Foley's, there are a number of stars who have been ruined by either terrible gimmicks or just terrible in-ring abilities. Nowadays, we're lucky that they aren't quite as regular as they were in the 90s and early 2000s, with the company seemingly learning their lesson.
Some of the athletes on this list were tremendous wrestlers who achieved success elsewhere. Some were downright terrible wrestlers who were only used in the company either for their looks or unusual build. And more often than not, a number of these wrestlers are in here for the terrible gimmicks that were pushed on them.
After much deliberation, here are some of the very worst WWE stars and what they are up to today!
21 Rosa Mendes
When you’re paired with Fandango, then Adam Rose, you know it isn’t going well for you. Another highly appreciated member of the Diva Search, Rosa Mendes debuted in 2008 and, from then on, found it very difficult to improve. Mainly a manager, her wrestling ability didn’t improve at all during her tenure and she became just another female on the roster purely due to Total Divas.
You might not have noticed that Mendes is still a WWE talent, as it’s been difficult to remember her for a good few years now. She is currently on maternity leave after giving birth in February and will likely return to television in the next few months. How she will fit in remains to be seen.
20 Max Moon
Before Konnan was a star with WCW and TNA, he was "out of this world" in the WWE. Given another odd gimmick in the 90s, the Superstar was allegedly from outer space and named Max Moon. The gimmick saw him carry a pyrotechnic gun which shot sparkles around the arena, in addition to a truly woeful outfit.
Konnan eventually let the gimmick be passed on, with Paul Diamond taking control. Today, Konnan recently held a creative role with AAA, having been a success in TNA. He also hosts a podcast, while he remains friends with many of the main event stars of the 90s and 2000s. The former WCW star typically discusses the world of pro wrestling alongside several former stars, including WCW alumni Disco Inferno.
19 Jackie Gayda
Up until the last two years, the women’s division had been filled with some pretty lousy competitors. With Jackie Gayda, it all started pretty nicely, as she won Tough Enough II. Unfortunately, her momentum ended at that point. Her infamous tag team match in 2002 saw her severely botch a number of moves, including a pretty awful sell of a bulldog. You know a match has gone dreadfully when even good old J.R says “mercifully, it’s over.”
A partnership with Rico followed and she eventually became the love interest of Charlie Haas, both in and out the ring. Today, the two are still happily married after 11 years, with four little Haas’ following. Away from parenthood, the pair opened a smoothie shop in Texas back in 2008.
18 Mason Ryan
When Batista left the WWE, the company was hungry for a similar main-event star. Mason Ryan was supposed to fill that void and fool the WWE Universe into not realizing Batista had left – but it didn’t work.
Joining The Nexus, he got off to a very slow start and despite being aligned with CM Punk, he couldn’t reach anywhere near the heights that his mentor did. Ryan was later sent down to NXT and, even then, he was rarely seen on program.
Maybe Ryan was dealt an unfair blow by looking like a "Madame Tussauds" version of "The Animal," but he didn’t exactly get himself over. He then appeared in the Japanese Inoki Genome Federation, but has since gone onto a very exciting career change – chief archer in a Cirque de Soleil production.
When you think of absolutely terrible tag teams from 2003 onwards, it truly hurts the brain for the simple fact that there has been so darn many! One of the worst was Gymini. Teamed with the hugely underrated Simon Dean (his Ben Stiller in Dodgeball copy was amazing), it’s hard to know what the bald headed brothers' purpose really was.
They were so forgettable that simply googling the name Gymini takes you to children's toys long before you manage to find The Shane Twins, as they are completely unknown it seems.
Debuting in 2006, they rarely appeared on SmackDown and instead had to make do with regular showings on Velocity. By the end of 2007, they were gone. No longer wrestling, the brothers now work as bouncers at a club in Florida.
Is it unfair to have Tatanka on this list? Maybe, as he’s memorable, but so is the ECW revamp, so that isn’t saying much. Debuting in 1991, Tatanka’s first run was okay and he didn’t lose a match in his first two years. At that time, he was young and moved around in the ring. His second time, returning in 2005, wasn't as smooth. Slow, overweight and quite boring to watch, Tatanka’s return offered nothing to SmackDown at that time.
Last year, the Native American returned to the WWE on a legends contract and is a DLC in the WWE 2K17 game. In his spare time, he tweets his support for Donald Trump. McMahon and Trump are friends; McMahon rehires Tatanka who then pledges a lot of support for the presidential candidate? Coincidence…Maybe, Maybe not.
Fingers crossed that Brock Lesnar doesn’t give this a read as he might rip me in half, but his wife was a horrific wrestler. The Attitude Era was a legendary time for wrestling, a big reason being the sexual nature of the show that encapsulated 90s culture. Though the women were memorable, their wrestling was, for the most part, not.
Picking Sable out of a poor bunch is simply bad luck for Mrs Lesnar, but she was given the biggest push and therefore is the easiest target. Hated backstage by the end of her run and terrible in the ring, it was a shock when she returned to the company in 2003. Luckily, her wrestling was a rarity the second time around. Today, Sable is both a mother and, as of September 2012, a grandmother.
14 Bull Buchanan
Whether he was Bull Buchanan or B-Squared, they were both horrible. Renowned for being Big Boss Man’s right hand man, Buchanan soon became an integral part to everyone’s favorite faction, "Right to Censor." It seemed creative had no idea what to do with Bull and threw him into his third and final dead end gimmick… "B-Squared."
This came at the height of John Cena’s rapper fame, with Buchanan aligning himself with "The Doctor of Thuganomics" and shouting “Boo-Yah” every now and then. Needless to say, this legendary double act didn’t last for long and Bull moved on soon after. Retiring in 2014, Buchanan became a deputy with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia. From law enforcer to hood rapper to law enforcer, it’s not the most common of routes.
Following Bull Buchanan in the ‘get involved with John Cena and lose your job soon after’ stakes, we have Jesus, the bodyguard of Carlito. The pairing of the two Caribbean based newcomers wasn’t all bad, as long as you ignore the, you know, attempted murder. Yes, the storyline went that Carlito’s henchman stabbed Cena at a nightclub and that meant he later earned a shot at the United States Championship.
An injury saw him get released before he could work his way through the rest of the roster and a tour of the independent scene followed. Aaron Aguilera, as he is actually called, then spent five years with All Japan Pro Wrestling up until 2012. Back in 2006, he followed his WWE days with a star role in MTV’s Wrestling Society X. He is currently in the field of acting.
There’s a few things worth mentioning about the Eugene character. First, his wrestling abilities truly weren't that bad. The second is that his gimmick was extremely touchy and insanely offensive. Bringing in a mentally disabled character was probably another incredible idea brought on by Vince McMahon, but looking back it was seriously over the edge. Then again, this was around the same time that Vince blew himself up and the Katie Vick angle, so it’s could be considered pretty tame in comparison.
Anyway, what became of Eugene after his departure? Nick Dinsmore, the real life Eugene, still performs on the independent scene – and he is still Eugene. It’s sort of understandable why Dinsmore continues to perform as Eugene, as he is one of the most remembered mid-carders of the mid 2000s. But for the sake of decency and political correctness, Eugene should probably come to an end by now.
10 The Gobbledy Gooker
The 90s was a strange time for wrestling. The Gobbledy Gooker was the epitome of that sentence, as he made his debut in the first half of the decade, which is widely regarded as the horrible half. What goes on in WWE creative meetings is a mystery to us mere mortals because a man dressed as a turkey emerging from an egg would never work. Ever. But they thought it would.
Fans hated it, unsurprisingly, and the gimmick wasn't mentioned for a full decade. But what about the poor soul tasked with playing a turkey? Hector Guerrero, a member of the legendary family that has produced some of the greatest wrestlers of all time, was the man under the furry head. Still involved in wrestling, Guerrero has been a Spanish color-commentator for TNA, and has also set up a wrestling consulting company.
Gillberg had a funny gimmick with all of the sparklers and grunting. But looking back (and probably at the time), it was a pretty desperate attempt by the WWE to diminish the man that received a tremendous pop recently and skyrocketed the WWE's ratings for Raw.
Bill Goldberg returned to a WWE ring this past week, having left in 2004. Before that, he was the biggest star in WCW, embarking on a long winning streak and becoming arguably the most dominant performer in professional wrestling. WWE thought they could make a joke out of this and mock the man at the top of their competition. In the same way that they did with Nash and Hall, creative created a gimmick to mock a WCW star, making them look petty and unable to deal with healthy competition.
Duane Gill played the former Light Heavyweight Champion, who held the belt for a record 15 months. In 2010, he opened his own wrestling school. If the Brock Lesnar feud doesn't work out, maybe the long awaited showdown between Gillberg and Goldberg will finally happen.
8 Fake Razor
The real Razor Ramon was legendary. The fake Razor Ramon was a terrible attempt to take away from his departure and try to recreate the character. It was an example of how WCW had really got under McMahon’s skin, as he tried to mock one of his biggest draws of the 90s and it really didn’t work. While Scott Hall continued to impress after his switch, WWE slowly dropped down in the ratings war and almost lost out to Ted Turner.
Rick Bognar was given that role and today he couldn’t be further away from a ring. After originally training a few budding athletes, he now resides in Canada and has a more conventional role in business development. He has even penned an autobiography, entitled Wrestling with Consciousness.
"Ok, so you want me to dress as a fictional creature? A minotaur? And you want me to trample and charge at opponents? And just to be clear, I should moo as well? Thanks Vince!" One can only assume that is how Mike Halac's initial conversation with the powers at be in Stamford, Connecticut went.
In a long line of terrible gimmicks in the WWE, Mantaur is arguably the most humiliating, with absolutely no coming back from that. He made two further gimmick appearances with the company; one as Goldust's bodyguard and another as a member of the "Truth Commission."
Today, Halac is another of those taking legal action against WWE in the 53 man strong case regarding the lack of clarity on brain injuries. He has worked as a tow truck driver and is now hoping to make something of himself in the world of acting.
6 The Great Khali
The Great Khali was pretty woeful, but it wasn’t all his fault. His time in the WWE started off impressively, with him disposing of The Undertaker and Batista and picking up the World Heavyweight Championship quickly. But the character grew stale quickly, as his lack of actual wrestling ability hindered his career. "The Punjabi Playboy" gimmick followed, transforming a World Champion into just the most hideous character you could ever imagine.
Khali’s height has led to a series of health issues, so the fact he performed in the WWE for so long is an achievement just in itself. Today, Khali is the creator of a wrestling school back home in Punjab and he recently beat an indie wrestler who dared to trash his academy. Of all the people to try and antagonize, one of the tallest in the world isn’t the best place to start.
5 Giant Gonzalez
WWE loves big men, whether they can wrestle or not. Giant Gonzalez was one of the originals in a long line, a line that has included the previously mentioned Khali and currently holds Braun Strowman. When you take a look at the latest signings for WWE's development programs, many of those are built big, but have no wrestling experience.
Gonzalez did okay in WCW, but his move to the WWE spelled disaster. If you put a 7'9" man into a full sized body suit that has pictures of muscles and body hair on it, you're not really setting them up for success. Being put into a feud with The Undertaker which saw a WrestleMania match that involved chloroform also didn't really help him. Looking back, it's difficult to tell whether WWE has got better or worse since then.
Sadly, Gonzalez passed away in 2010. He was confined to a wheelchair after returning to his native Argentina and died at 44 years of age.
4 Bastion Booger
You know you're being mistreated when the Catholic Church makes complaints. Mike Shaw was the unlucky fellow who took on the role of an unkempt fat man, allegedly a punishment for his actual body weight. But before that, his time as "The Friar" was equally cringeworthy.
Booger's look was the absolute worst thing, as he wore small silver trunks that surely humiliated him. He was used as a jobber, being portrayed as a strange guy who fell in love with Luna Vachon at one point. Proving he was an actual wrestler, he opened a wrestling academy in Michigan after his retirement. He also worked in public relations and as security for a casino. Shaw passed away in 2010, three years after making a one night only return to the 15th Anniversary of Raw.
3 The Dicks
Is it coincidence that The Dicks and The Gymini were both a part of the WWE at around the same time? Probably not, because the WWE had a host of absolutely terrible teams at that point. When you’re handed the sheet upon arrival that tells you you’re going to be taking on the role of Chippendale dancers, you know it’s going to be a tough day at the office.
The duo came through development and spent three years with the WWE, yet all they were left with was some tight trunks and braces. Their tenure on the main roster saw them debut in November of 2005 and their legendary stay ended prematurely just four months later. James Dick, one of the pair, married Jillian Hall in 2009, but they are now separated. Oh what could have been.
2 Braden Walker
“Do you smell what The Rock is cookin’?” “Hulkamania is running wild!” “I’m Braden Walker and I’m gonna knock your brains out.” It’s hard to understand why Walker didn’t make it in the WWE when you consider how powerful and memorable his catchphrase was…
Chris Harris, which is his real name, was a big draw in TNA as a part of America’s Most Wanted, the biggest team in the company alongside James Storm. But out in the wilderness of the WWE, it went very wrong, very quickly. A departure almost straight after his entrance was the best thing for everyone and he eventually made his back to TNA.
Today, Walker continues to tour independently, attempting to get over by being just another talented wrestler ruined by McMahon and company.
Some people thought Hornswoggle was funny and a worthwhile member of the roster…although those people were wrong. His introduction as Finlay’s little leprechaun wasn’t too painful to watch. Finlay was great and playing on the Irish stereotype was kind of fun. But putting a title on him, the Cruiserweight title, was a disgrace to the belt as he couldn't wrestle at all, regardless of size. Spelling the end for the championship, Hornswoggle went on to become an illegitimate son of the chairman, ruined DX, became the terrible answer to the anonymous GM and added nothing to 3MB. He was released but lasted ten YEARS!
He departed in May as part of a mass announcement of releases and is another one touring the independent scene. Hilariously, he is now known as "The Big Deal." Please, please, please let us have moved on from those dark days of wrestling.