Creating no less than 10 hours of programming per week, World Wrestling Entertainment is one of the most prolific television companies in the world today. To fill these occasionally endless hours of content, WWE has hired an enormous number of writers throughout its long history. Like with any other television company out there, some of these scribes come up with brilliant ideas that change the art form forever, while others trod out the same pointless drivel that’s been boring fans for decades.
For whatever reason, Vince McMahon likes keeping the second category around more than the first, but that hasn’t stopped some wildly inventive ideas floating around his WWE Universe. Granted, that an idea is unique and/or original hardly makes it good in and of itself. In fact, a major reason certain ideas had never been tried before is that it’s obvious from the beginning how terrible they would be for all parties involved.
That hasn’t always stopped writers from suggesting them, though, leading to shocked looks from even the most ardent wrestling fans when their rejected ideas come to light. On the other hand, some storylines pitched by WWE writers and refused by Vince McMahon have been outright brilliant, making us wonder why the boss turned them down. For the best and worst of alternative WWE history, keep reading for 8 rumored storylines we wish actually happened and 7 we’re glad never did.
15. WISH IT HAPPENED: Bob Holly Goes To The Moon
While some of the ideas this list will get into were extremely fleshed out, others were merely a kernel, like the insane gimmick nearly given to Bob Holly circa 2005. In preparation for the introduction of ECW on Sci Fi, one plan was for the veteran wrestler and former WWE Hardcore and Tag Team Champion to change his persona entirely, due to an alleged working agreement between WWE and NASA. This interest in the space program would inevitably turn Holly into a full-fledged astronaut, along with his own monkey friend, who would have traveled with him to the ring and other various destinations that were literally out of this world. Unfortunately, the idea was never taken all that seriously, and given Holly’s low profile in WWE throughout much of his career, people kept forgetting about it and pushing it off until it entirely fell through the cracks.
14. GLAD IT DIDN’T: The Undertaker’s WrestleMania Legend Gets Killed Early
Without a doubt, Brock Lesnar defeating The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX was by far the most shocking WWE moment in recent history. In doing so, The Beast Incarnate ended the 21-match undefeated streak that helped put the Deadman, WrestleMania, and indeed WWE itself on the map over the past several decades. For as shocking as it was, WWE nearly did something that would have been even more earth shattering a solid 10 years earlier when The Undertaker faced Randy Orton at Mania 21. The original plan was for the Legend Killer to earn his name and then some by ending the streak way early, but it was ultimately decided Undertaker’s undefeated status should be saved for an even bigger moment down the line. Orton’s career didn’t suffer in the slightest by the loss, and Undertaker’s career was extended a solid ten years through his victory, so it’s a good thing everyone came to their senses before the Dead Man’s career was forced to rest in peace.
13. WISH IT HAPPENED: Alundra Blayze, Aja Kong, And The First Women’s Revolution
Every now and again WWE will try something completely different from the rest of their programming, sometimes with the unexpected result that weird experiments turn out to be wildly popular. One such example came at the 1995 Survivor Series, when the team of Bertha Faye, Aja Kong, Tomoko Watanabe, and Lioness Asuka took on WWE Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze, Kyoko Inou, Sakie Hasegawa, and Chaparita Asari. The point of the match was to slowly shift the focus of Blayze’s feud against Faye into a new one against Kong, with an incredible match light years ahead of anything fans of female wrestling in America had ever seen before. How far it could have gone remains unclear, but based on this match and the talent level involved, it’s entirely possible more programs like it could have kick started a women’s revolution a solid two decades early. Unfortunately, Aja Kong was caught with cocaine and Vince McMahon decided to drop the whole thing, firing Alundra while she was still champion and throwing women’s wrestling out the window.
12. GLAD IT DIDN’T: WWE Champion Chyna
Generally speaking, most wrestling fans would have warmly welcomed the idea of WWE treating female wrestlers with respect way earlier than they did, as that last entry would imply. That said, the idea of making Chyna the WWE Champion in 1999 would have been a disaster on many levels, despite what it might have done for women in the industry. Quite frankly, it may not even have helped women out all that much, as the perception of the only female WWE Champion in history would have been that she was a lousy wrestler who in no way deserved her status and clearly reached the top solely due to shock value. There’s also the fact Chyna had barely wrestled more than 10 matches by the time of SummerSlam 1999, which was the event she nearly won the gold at. Luckily, WWE came to their senses a few weeks beforehand and revoked her number one contendership status altogether.
11. WISH IT HAPPENED: Mankind And Undertaker Go To Alcatraz
One of the longest, hardest-hitting, and most brutal feuds in WWE history was the seemingly endless war between Mankind and The Undertaker. While the 1998 King of the Ring Hell in a Cell match is the one everyone remembers, Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy and The Deadman also did battle in Buried Alive matches, Boiler Room Brawls, and a good number of plain old no holds barred street fights, all intensely violent affairs in all the best ways. One area they never fought, however, was on Alcatraz Island, using the former prison and its contents to destroy one another on a greater scale than ever before. It almost happened, though, as Jim Ross later admitted he pitched exactly such a match, only for it to get bogged down by details and eventually forgotten. On the one hand, this could have been a House of Horrors style affair, but given the talent level involved, it might have been something special. Either way, we wish it happened so we could find out.
10. GLAD IT DIDN’T: Vince and Steph Get Too Close For Comfort
Easily the grossest item on this list, this next rumor proves that the depravity of Vince McMahon’s mind truly has no bounds. It started off innocently enough, as we don’t necessarily blame the guy for wanting to turn his daughter’s first pregnancy into an onscreen storyline. Sure, that’s a little bit crass, but this is the McMahon family we’re talking about, so it’s not like they’re personal lives haven’t been used in various wrestling angles already. However, Vince’s idea that he himself should be revealed as his grandchild’s father is sick on a level that would shock even hardened sports entertainment fans. When Stephanie rejected this idea outright, Vince then suggested her brother Shane be named the father, another idea the Billion Dollar Princess rightfully refused. We don’t say this much, so thank you, Stephanie McMahon, for being the most sensible person in your family…in this instance, at least.
9. WISH IT HAPPENED: The True Million Dollar Champion
Ultimately, the history that was written at WrestleMania IV turned out pretty great, so this one is more of a highly intriguing historical what-if than an actual desire to rewrite history. Starting from the beginning, prior to the fourth Showcase of Immortals, the WWE Championship had been vacated due to the shady actions of former champion André the Giant. A massive one-night tournament with the gold on the line was held as a result, eventually won by “Macho Man” Randy Savage. However, the original plan saw for “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase to walk away with the gold. This would have been the first time a heel walked away on top of WrestleMania, not to mention DiBiase’s only run with a World Championship. Again, the following run of Randy Savage was pretty amazing as well, so we don’t necessarily want to get rid of it. Still, seeing a prominent villain win at WrestleMania so early could have changed the nature of the event forever, and DiBiase deserved more titles than he ever won.
8. GLAD IT DIDN’T: The Dark Rise Of Sheik Tugboat
Every rumored storyline that didn’t happen has a reason as to why the writers decided to give up on the idea and move on to something else. Usually, they simply didn’t like it, or didn’t like it enough for people to keep bringing it up more than once. Other times, it was flat-out stupid, making utterly no sense at all. Such was the case in late 1991, when Vince McMahon briefly toyed with the idea of turning Tugboat, a plus-sized newcomer who quickly became best friends with Hulk Hogan, into the next Iron Sheik-styled Arabian supremacist. Not being Arabic or having any connection to the area wasn’t enough to convince McMahon that Sheik Tugboat was a bad idea, and in fact, he kept pushing it so hard some rumors indicate Tugboat could have taken this gimmick all the way to a WrestleMania main event. Thankfully, Vince eventually thought better of it and realized how bizarre it all was.
7. WISH IT HAPPENED: Bryan vs. Lesnar
In all fairness to WWE and any other involved parties, it isn’t always Vince McMahon’s fault when a great rumored storyline doesn’t come to fruition. Sometimes, injuries and real life intervene in ways that prevent incredible wrestling from taking place, as was the case with the career of Daniel Bryan in general. Specifically, one amazing sounding story we lost when Bryan was forced into retirement was the tale of how WWE intended for him to lose the WWE Championship after he won it at WrestleMania XXX. After five months on top, Bryan was going to get decimated by Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam in a destructive match, making the Beast Incarnate a monstrous villain and Bryan a sympathetic hero building himself up to a comeback. Instead, Bryan’s neck problems forced him to vacate the title, and when Lesnar destroyed John Cena at SummerSlam in the planned fashion, it merely served to make people cheer him, the exact opposite of WWE’s intentions.
6. GLAD IT DIDN’T: The Evolution Of Mark Jindrak
Before the recent rise of The Shield, it could be said the last truly iconic stable in WWE was Evolution. Linking legendary sports entertainers past, present, and future, the group defined decades of wrestling history with only four members: Triple H, Batista, Ric Flair, and Randy Orton. However, in the beginning, the plan was for the crew to look a little different. Instead of the charismatic monster Batista, another wrestler by the name of Mark Jindrak was slotted to serve as the fourth man. Fans of lucha libre may better recognize him as Marco Corleone, one of the top stars in CMLL. At the time, though, Jindrak was a forgettable low-card wrestler, one of many WCW newcomers who never got much of a chance during the Invasion. It’s not that he was a bad wrestler, but Jindrak was nowhere near ready for the high-profile role, to the extent that the original plans for Evolution may have greatly diminished the group’s place in history had they actually happened.
5. WISH IT HAPPENED: Hogan And Flair At WrestleMania
Certain moments in wrestling pretty much write themselves, like the idea of NWA Champion and greatest wrestler alive Ric Flair having faced off with WWE Champion and most popular wrestler in the world Hulk Hogan during their respective peaks. Of course, the fact they worked in different companies made that highly unlikely…until 1991, when they suddenly found themselves under the same roof. All signs pointed to Vince McMahon capitalizing on this fact at WrestleMania VIII with the ultimate showdown between icons, only to change his mind en route to the show, moving Flair into a match against Randy Savage and Hogan one with Sid Justice. Not that either of these resulting contests were particularly bad, nor that fans weren’t happy to see them, but the original idea to have Hogan and Flair do battle was where the real money is. To this day, fans question what WWE was thinking to change their minds on such a sure thing.
4. GLAD IT DIDN’T: Baron von Bava, Unfrozen Nazi Warrior
All right, so that incest angle was pretty gross, but believe it or not, WWE actually has at least one rumored story that almost everyone would agree would have been far more offensive. In fact, this particular suggested story was actually so offensive that it was reported Vince McMahon himself simply stood up and walked out of the writer’s room when it was pitched to him without saying a single word. What could possibly be so bad? How about an unfrozen German soldier who woke up circa the early 2000s, who believed the one way to bring Nazism back into the mainstream was through body slamming it into people? Oh, and just for added kicks, why not throw in noted Jewish person Paul Heyman as his manager. Yes, that was actually the plan pitched by a WWE writer, who happened to be the same brain trust behind the Katie Vick debacle. Terrible as Vick was, we’d take Triple H humping a coffin over a Nazi any day of the week.
3. WISH IT HAPPENED: Raven’s 7 Deadly Sins
Most of the items on this list fell through the cracks despite involving some pretty major talent, so the fact an idea revolving around someone WWE never took all that seriously would wind up here should be no surprise. Of course, while WWE never saw much stock in Raven’s potential, fans have always felt differently, rightfully recognizing him as one of the best microphone workers the business has ever seen. Raven was also a pretty creative writing, once crafting an idea where his character would gradually rise up the WWE roster by forcing his rival superstars to commit the Seven Deadly Sins. It started with Raven tricking a jobber into gluttony on Heat, followed by breaking another’s fingers for fun, showing his wrath. From there, it just kind of fizzled out, never talked about again. Raven would later explain the idea was to end with lust, seeing him feud with Matt Hardy over Lita’s affections, yet it was never to come. Too bad, as it sounds like a pretty brilliant payoff in the making.
2. GLAD IT DIDN’T: Hollywood Hogan Returning To WWE In 1997
Before we get too far into this last what if we’re glad never happened, let’s take a second and admit that it would have truly changed the business in an enormous way, and for that, it may have nonetheless been interesting for fans to watch play out. However, to us, the long rumored idea that Hollywood Hogan might leave WCW during the peak of the nWo and return to WWE, potentially as the new leader of D-Generation X, sounds horrible on just about every level. Hogan’s nWo shtick only worked because he was always an outsider in WCW. Had he taken it to WWE, the Attitude Era fans would have cheered him, making the heel turn a failure. Also, the idea of Hogan on top of DX doesn’t make any sense, as his type of rebel character in no watched matched the ones played by Triple H and Shawn Michaels. On top of all that, Hogan returning to the main event could have stalled the rises of men like Steve Austin, The Rock, or Mankind, all moves that would have destroyed WWE in the long term.
1. WISH IT HAPPENED: Vince McMahon’s Hobo Army
From beginning to end, it was the craziest storyline WWE had ever planned. The part fans actually saw was already absolutely insane, that being Vince McMahon stepping into a limo on an episode of Raw, followed by said limo instantly exploding. How could things possibly get more bizarre? Well, McMahon was going to be presumed dead, disappearing for several months on end only to finally resurface masked as a homeless man. From there, McMahon would amass an entire army of his fellow hobos who would help him reclaim control of WWE from his children, who naturally would have stepped in and taken over while he was “dead.” The exact specifics on why McMahon would fake his death and return with a bunch of hobos has never been explained, but the rest of the plan has been outlined in interviews by WWE writers, so we swear this isn’t something we’re making up. It’s simply an utterly absurd idea that we seriously wished we could’ve watched become a reality.
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