We have seen some pretty absurd and appalling things make the airwaves on WWE television. We have seen Mae Young give birth to a hand. We saw the Katie Vick storyline in its entirety. We saw the Brawl for All tournament that made everyone involved look like a bunch of wimps. We even saw the Chairman of the company, Vince McMahon, book himself to win a wrestling match against God. Just as much as it is cringe worthy to look back at all the atrocious material that made television, it makes us cringe even harder to look back at all of the bad plans that did not make WWE programming. Because if these previously mentioned storylines and moments were somehow able to be deemed appropriate enough to be on television, imagine how bad some plans had to be for WWE to cancel them.
This kind of thought process makes it equally interesting to think about the angles that actually sound like good ideas, but were nixed anyway. It is genuinely fascinating to think that an entire staff of writers can hear a pitch detailing an elderly woman giving birth to a hand on live television and think it sounds like something that should be on tv for millions around the world to see. Yet, ideas that sound good enough to make good business for WWE end up being left in the dust and given hard passes. A lot of “what-if” scenarios for WWE moments that never were can actually make us a little sad to hear about because they were such good ideas that never fell through. Whether we hear about the good ideas that wound up on the cutting room floor or the bad ideas, it’s always intriguing to think about and so we’re going to talk about some cancelled WWE plans that we’re glad got cancelled and others we wish actually happened.
15. Glad Was Cancelled – CM Punk’s Mania Plans
When CM Punk took his ball and went home the night after the 2014 Royal Rumble, fans were bummed out. To this day, plenty are still bummed out given that many of them can’t stop chanting infuriating “CM Punk!” chants at every show. Perhaps if they knew what plans were in store for him had he stayed, maybe they would be glad he left and realize his departure was for the best. His feud with The Authority would have saw him face Kane at Elimination Chamber and then Triple H at WrestleMania XXX. The thing is we had seen Punk wrestle Kane several times and none of their bouts were memorable. His last match with Triple H wasn’t exactly a classic. A rematch 3 years later wasn’t necessary given their styles hadn’t changed much in that time frame to warrant a rematch. Not only were we spared of 2 tedious match-ups, Punk’s exit left the door open for Bryan to get his WrestleMania moment. If Punk didn’t leave, we wouldn’t have seen Bryan face Triple H at The Show of Shows and likely wouldn’t have seen him in the main event either.
14. Wish Happened – Chyna: WWE Champion
One of the few imposing female figures in the wrestling business that would have made a believable World Heavyweight Champion that could hang with the guys was Chyna. WWE management must have believed the same thing as there were once plans for her to win the WWE Championship in 1999. You wanna talk about Women’s Revolution? Imagine the press headlines if Chyna won the World Title. Surely, enough eyes would have gravitated towards the product to see the first ever female World Champion that ratings would have soared through the roof. These plans went as far as Chyna winning a #1 Contender’s match to face Stone Cold Steve Austin for the title at SummerSlam. Ultimately, concern grew over Chyna’s lack of in-ring ability and plans were scrapped in favor of booking Stone Cold vs Triple H vs Mankind at the event. Another reason may have been that backstage execs got cold feet at the last minute at pulling such a risky trigger.
13. Glad Was Cancelled – Mr. McMahon’s Murder
One of the most ludicrous angles to ever hit WWE television was the death of Vince McMahon. At the very end of the WWE Draft in 2007, Mr. McMahon entered his limo only for it to blow up with him inside. In an era where kayfabe is dead, this magic editing trick fooled no one. Well, maybe it fooled Donald Trump if we are to believe a radio story told by Triple H, but generally, everyone watching thought it was laughably ridiculous. To make things even more ridiculous, the perpetrator of Vince’s murder was planned to be revealed as none other than his wife, Linda. We all know the kind of horrid actor that Linda is on television. The last thing we needed was Linda trying to pull off such a grandiose murder mystery angle. Given that this was a year before Linda announced her candidacy for US Senator, this hokey angle wouldn’t have been good for her image. The angle ended under bittersweet circumstances. The night Linda was supposed to be revealed, Vince McMahon came out of hiding to announce the death of Chris Benoit and his family on national television.
12. Wish Happened – Mr. Kennedy… McMahon
When the Mr. McMahon death angle was prematurely neutered, it was replaced by a Mr. McMahon paternity angle. It was announced that Mr. McMahon had an illegitimate child that was then a WWE Superstar. The original plan was for Mr. Kennedy to be revealed as the seed to The Genetic Jackhammer’s fortune. This would have given Kennedy a main event push that not only would have saw him win the WWE Championship at the following year’s Royal Rumble, but defend against Triple H at Wrestlemania. Alas, it wasn’t to be as right before the reveal was made, Mr. Kennedy was slapped with a 30 day suspension for violating the wellness policy. Vince’s bastard would be replaced by, of all people, Hornswoggle. Most wrestling fans sympathize with Mr. Kennedy’s string of bad luck. This, his injury before his Money in the Bank cash in, and his firing because of Orton helped shorten his WWE career. Given the talent he showcased during his prime—as well as how bad the Hornswoggle storyline turned out—we all wish Kennedy could have been Vince’s son.
11. Glad Was Cancelled – Triple H vs nWo
When the nWo got rebooted for WWE television with Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash at the helm, Triple H would have saw himself feuding with his former Kliq buddies. In fact, WWE actually teased this at King of the Ring 2002 by showing a staredown between the two parties. The story would have eventually built up to a Handicap Match at that year’s SummerSlam pitting Triple H against Nash and Michaels. Before things could properly fall in place, Nash would tear his quad and the nWo quietly disbanded. As substitute, Triple H faced Shawn Michaels one on one in a Street Fight. Things worked out for the best as Michaels’ return match (his first match in 4 years) gave Michaels the confidence to return to the ring full time where he remained until 2010. If HBK hadn’t had this 5 star singles match with Triple, he would have never believed he had it in him to still go in the ring and the Handicap Match might have just been a one-off.
10. Wish Happened – Christian’s 2009 Return
Upon leaving TNA, Christian was set to return to WWE in a big way in 2009. As Jeff Hardy was playing victim to “accidents” that saw him afflicted by fireworks and run off the road by an unknown driver, the culprit behind these incidents was supposed to be Christian. Christian was going to be revealed and return at that year’s Royal Rumble, costing Jeff Hardy his WWE Championship against Edge. This all would have culminated in some sort of Ladder Match—either a Tag or Fatal Four Way—between The Hardys and Edge and Christian at Wrestlemania. Unfortunately, the plans and even a script got leaked before the Rumble, which explains the “Christian!” chants during the WWE Title match. Plans were changed at the last minute for Matt Hardy to be behind his brother’s attacks. If the plan leaks hurt anyone in this situation, it had to be Christian as he instead returned the following month on the ECW brand where he remained until the show folded the next year.
9. Glad Was Cancelled – Justin Bieber’s Wrestling Debut
According to former WWE writer, Kevin Eck, there were serious plans to bring in Justin Bieber for a wrestling match. Before plans eventually fell through, the pop sensation would have saw himself teaming up with John Cena and The Big Show at Summerslam 2013 to defeat The Wyatt Family. That’s right, The Wyatt Family almost lost a 6 Man Tag match to Justin Bieber at the 2nd biggest WWE show of the year. If you think The Wyatt’s credibility has been ruined in prior years, just imagine the damage their image would have taken if they lost to Justin Bieber of all people. Let me remind you that Summerslam 2013 was the event Bray Wyatt made his in-ring main roster debut so there was a chance his first ppv match would have saw him take a loss to Justin Bieber. Just the fact that this was a possibility gives me a migraine. Even worse, if this 6 Man Tag happened, we would have been deprived of the terrific main event we actually got of Cena vs Daniel Bryan that saw Bryan win his first WWE Championship at the show.
8. Wish Happened – Owen Hart: WWE Champion
One match that is highly regarded as one of the greatest matches in wrestling history is the brotherly bout between Owen and Bret Hart in a Steel Cage match for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam 1994. As perfect as their match and feud both were, there is one significant change that fans desperately wish WWE followed up on: Owen Hart walking into the match as WWE Champion. This was actually the plan and shortly after Owen’s death, WWE even released test footage of Owen holding the belt. In a Lumberjack match at a house show shortly before the SummerSlam event, Owen defeated Bret to win the WWE Championship thanks to interference from Jim Neidhart. However, after the referee reviewed the footage of The Anvil’s interference, he ordered the match to restart and Bret retained. It’s too bad that Owen’s win wasn’t allowed to stand as it really is a shame the man passed away without an official World Title reign under his belt. If nothing else, the match can be viewed in it’s entirety on Owen Hart’s dvd compilation, Hart of Gold.
7. Glad Was Cancelled – New Jack in WWE
Anyone who is remotely familiar with New Jack knows that the man is crazy. Literally crazy. So crazy that he has been dangerously close to murdering some of his opponents in the ring. On purpose, I should add. I’m probably risking my own life by criticizing the man, but I’m willing to take that risk. Anyone familiar with New Jack’s pedigree should know that he would have been a bad fit for WWE. He was still extremely close to being in WWE. Around 2004, WWE did an angle where John Cena was stabbed at a night club. The perpetrator ended up being Jesús, Carlito’s bodyguard, but it was originally supposed to be New Jack. While New Jack had an unimpressive tryout match against Val Venis, Vince McMahon was apparently impressed with New Jack’s mic skills and admired how well liked he was backstage. Vince was seriously tempted to hire him, but concern grew over the possibility of New Jack seriously hurting someone on live television and therefore decided against it. New Jack has publicly blamed Cena for WWE’s decision not to hire him.
6. Wish Happened – Kevin Nash: Anonymous GM
Before WWE decided to make the entire Anonymous Raw General Manager angle into a joke by revealing Hornswoggle as the man behind the keyboard, there were some serious contenders for the angle’s payoff. Everyone from JBL to Triple H were considered as the Anonymous Raw GM, but interesting name that was suggested in the writer’s room was Kevin Nash. According to former WWE writer, Kevin Eck, Nash was seriously considered to play the part. The explanation for Nash being anonymous was that Nash wanted to avoid a lawsuit as he would have been managing Raw as he was still working for TNA. That explanation would have made a lot of sense. The timing would have been perfect if the reveal came during Nash’s 2011 return as he feuded with Triple H and CM Punk. Perhaps the angle wasn’t considered as seriously as Eck also said that the reveal would have came by showing Nash in his WCW Oz get-up while manning a computer from a production truck, but it still would have been better than making Hornswoggle the Anonymous GM.
5. Glad Was Cancelled – Ted Dibiase Wins at WrestleMania IV
We all remember Randy Savage winning the WWE Championship tournament at WrestleMania IV, but as perfect a moment as this was, it wasn’t always the plan. In fact, Savage wasn’t even supposed to be in the tournament. Originally, he was supposed to beat the Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania IV, but Honky refused thinking it wasn’t the right time for him to lose the belt. The original tournament winner was going to be Ted Dibiase. Not only would this have ruined Savage’s main event coronation, it would have deemed the tournament pointless given that the whole reason that the tournament was put in place was because President Jack Tunney didn’t like Dibiase paying off previous Champ, Andre the Giant, to win the title. Not to mention that having a heel close out WrestleMania as Champion would have put a damper on the event, as was the case with other heel Mania main event winners (Triple H, Miz, etc).
4. Wish Happened – John Cena’s 2006 Heel Turn
For as long as John Cena has held his top main event spot in WWE, audiences have been begging and praying for the man to turn heel. As much as WWE have clearly been hesitant towards turning him heel, there was a time when Cena himself actually asked to turn heel. In 2006, going into his WWE Championship TLC match with Edge at Unforgiven, the stipulation was that if Cena lost, he would be forced to leave Raw and go to Smackdown. Cena ended up winning, but had he lost, Cena wanted to go to Smackdown and become a heel to freshen up his character. Backstage management actually considered it and had Cena got his way, he would have feuded with fellow top guy, Batista, years earlier than they did in real life. What halted these plans was that it was decided that Cena made Edge a better heel and Edge made Cena a better face. For this reason, it was decided to keep them both on Raw in their respective roles.
3. Glad Was Cancelled – Triple H Wins King Of The Ring In 1996
Triple H actually did win the King of the Ring tournament in 1997, but he was originally pegged to win a year earlier in 1996. Around the time he was supposed to win, the infamous Madison Square Garden Curtain Call between himself, then-WWE Champion Shawn Michaels, and ship jumpers Scott Hall and Kevin Nash happened. With Triple H being the only one capable of being punished, his King of the Ring win was given to Stone Cold Steve Austin. As much as it was bad timing for Triple H and ruined what would have been a major push for him, we should all be glad things turned out this way. Stone Cold winning the tournament was the first step towards The Rattlesnake becoming a mega-star and the savior of WWE during their Monday Night Wars with WCW. Also, the way Triple H accepted his punishment in stride earned the respect of many key backstage figures. The Curtain Call worked out for everyone involved.
2. Wish Happened – William Regal: WWE Champion
William Regal is one of the most skilled and well respected wrestlers to ever step inside of a ring. The one blemish on his ever-impressive resume is that he never won a World Championship. That all could have changed if things worked out a little differently for Regal in 2008. This was the year that WWE Creative were planning a big push for the British veteran. It all started in the summer of 2007 when Regal was appointed the new Raw General Manager. Shortly afterwards, he was suspended for 30 days for violating the wellness policy. Upon his return, backstage management were still keen on pushing Regal and continued to do so as an on-screen authority figure. By 2008, he was one of the most hated heels on the roster and won the King of the Ring. Around late spring of that year, Regal was slowly being nudged into a WWE Championship program in which he was slotted to win the title. Unfortunately, with a new main event angle on the horizon at his age, Regal’s insecurities got the better of him and he started taking steroids to get in shape. He got caught and suspended for 60 days. When he returned, not only did he lose his push and GM position, he was barely featured on WWE programming.
1. Glad Was Cancelled – McMahon Incest
Vince McMahon has often been both praised and criticized as a mastermind who knows no limits in the wrestling business. When he had a few questionable ideas on how to work his daughter’s real life pregnancy into a WWE storyline back in 2006, the entire WWE Universe could agree that The Chairman had gone too far on this one. As revealed in the WWE documentary, McMahon, Vince pitched to his daughter an angle where the father of Stephanie’s real life child would be revealed to be none other than Vince himself. Understandably, Stephanie felt a little grossed out and thought the angle was “too sick” to take part in. So Vince pitched for the father of Stephanie’s child to instead be her brother, Shane. Not surprisingly, the idea of an on-screen relationship with her brother didn’t sound any better to Stephanie and the McMahon incest angle never came to fruition.
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