We all think that our ideas are perfect. Sometimes, we’ve spent a lot of time and effort in creating something unique to present to our boss at the office. We might be disappointed when we are met with rejection. While there are a number of times when a good idea is lost in the shuffle of corporate America, it can oftentimes be for the best.
In the world of professional wrestling, there have been great characters developed for television. However, there are probably just as many bad concepts that have also made it to television. For example, Dustin Rhodes came to WCW as a creepy white-skinned character named Seven. While he might have had a good chance to succeed, his promotional vignette showed him staring into a child’s bedroom from outside – which makes us wonder how this terrible idea left the writer’s room.
For all of the times we’ve wondered how the powers that be thought something was a good idea, they should receive credit for not allowing some of the worst ideas ever developed to make it to television. Believe it or not, there is some common sense in that writers room. The following are the 20 most terrible wrestling ideas that thankfully never saw the light of day.
20 20. Braun Strowman Facing The Undertaker
Over the last few years, there has been some question about whether there is a point to having The Undertaker still compete at WrestleMania. The winning streak is over and the WWE probably isn’t going to put the championship belt on him at this point in his extremely long career. But if the WWE is going to keep having him wrestle once a year as a special treat for fans, he is still worthy of having the best possible opponent.
19 19. A Hermaphrodite Character
While the world has seen some changes in acceptance with sexual orientation, there’s probably little chance that a transsexual character would have worked out on WWE television. Back in 2011, there was a story about how a former WWE superstar, Johnny Parisi, talked about that kind of character in a pitch he made to the top WWE officials. According to him, he wanted to be someone who would wrestle both the men and women.
18 18. The Hunchbacks
World Championship Wrestling back in the late 1980s and early 1990s included a number of silly gimmicks that went as far as a groundball to the shortstop. Jim Herd was one of those creative minds who worked as an executive vice president and received plenty of criticism for coming up with some pretty bad ideas. Just remember Mr. Herd’s name as we continue down this journey of poor wrestling ideas.
17 17. Tank Abbott
Tank Abbott was someone who had quite the run in the Ultimate Fighting Championship during the older tournaments which were a lot more gruesome without all of the regulation that comprises today’s mixed martial arts. But in 1999, Abbott was brought to WCW to be someone who was considered a “legitimate fighter,” one who would have the capability of knocking out Goldberg with a single punch.
16 16. Rejected Names For “Stone Cold”
No one ever said coming up with a unique name for a professional wrestler was an easy task. It can be tough trying to think of something catchy that can grab the attention of the fans without sounding too corny. But even some of the best wrestlers in history have nearly been victims of poor creative choices. Even “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who could have originally had a very terrible nickname.
15 15. G.I. Hall
For those who don’t know, Scott Hall actually grew up an army brat. His father made a career as an army operating officer while Hall was growing up. This actually came up when Hall made the move to the WWE back in the 1990s after spending some time with the early version of WCW. According to Hall, Vince McMahon thought of having that type of character in mind for Hall.
14 14. Neville As Mighty Mouse
There have been a lot of positive vibes around the WWE Universe with the various types of talents that were coming to WWE’s NXT development system. Back in 2014, one of the more popular superstars to make an impact in NXT was Adrian Neville – the former PAC, who was known for his gravity-defying flips and dives. It was only a matter of time before the WWE would bring him up to the main roster.
13 13. Mick Foley As Mason The Mutilator
Mick Foley has been known under a number of different aliases during his professional wrestling career. In addition to having used his real name, he’s also been known as Mankind, Dude Love and Cactus Jack. But during his return to the WWE in the 1990s, he was almost given a questionable character that was called Mason The Mutilator. The original plans Vince McMahon had for Foley included a metal-based mask that was similar to something worn by Hannibal Lecter.
12 12. Ric Flair As A Roman Soldier
Remember when we said we weren’t done discussing Jim Herd and his terrible booking ideas in WCW? Ric Flair was not safe during Herd’s time with the company. Back in 1991, Herd had suggested that Flair would drop the entire “Nature Boy” character and then dress up as a Roman soldier that would be named Spartacus. Sounds silly, right? Well you aren’t alone because Flair must have thought so as well.
11 11. Kalisto As A Gay Hair Sylist
Back in 2015, there was a lot of speculation about Kalisto becoming a singles wrestler. This news became more rampant when he and his Lucha Dragons tag team partner, Sin Cara, dropped the NXT Tag Team Championships. But a WWE insider that had been known for breaking a number of different stories made the claim that the WWE wanted Kalisto to come onto the main roster as a gay hair stylist.
10 10. Goldust Stalking Booker T
Many fans from the early 2000s can recall a very entertaining gimmick that involved a tag team between Booker T and Goldust. The two had really great chemistry when Goldust was being the goofy and perverted comic relief that was paired with the normal-minded Booker T. It was a shame that the tag team was split up, but they each went on their normal paths. However, there was a belief that the two were about to have their paths cross in a not so pleasant way.
9 9. Muhammad Hassan As World Champion
The history of professional wrestling has always had a number of anti-American characters that were pushed to earning big wins and establishing themselves as legends in the industry – i.e. Iron Shiek and Nikolai Volkoff. The WWE made an attempt with this concept by debuting an Arab-American superstar in Muhammad Hassan that was naturally provoking a lot of hate for being Arabic, which was ironic because his comments and promos were true about how some Arab-Americans were being treated.
8 8. Brother-Sister Love Interest
There was a time when the WWE was known for pushing the envelope with racy and controversial storylines. The WWE was very close to doing that in 2008 when they were about to bring in Paul Burchill and his on-screen sister, Katie Lea. While there wasn’t anything wrong with a sibling managing a wrestler on WWE television, the original concept was for something out of the film Cruel Intentions, which would have featured the two involved in an incest relationship.
7 7. Booker T And Stevie Ray On Parole
Professional wrestling has had its share of negative marks when it comes to racism being found in storylines. There have been a number of characters that pushed the lines of what was acceptable. Hell, they turned One Man Gang into a jive-talking “African.” But one of the worst ideas that almost became a reality involved the legendary Harlem Heat tag team. Booker T and Stevie Ray were about to be brought into WCW in 1993 as two former convicts who were recently put on parole.
6 6. The Shield With Actual Shields
In the last few years, the WWE creative team has been accredited with doing a better job with some of the influx of new talents coming into the main roster from NXT. While they might not have been 100 percent right on how all of the call-ups have been handled, the three most successful wrestlers in recent years were Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins – the Shield.
5 5. Melina's A Man
Back in 2006, Melina was the manager for the WWE Tag Team Champions in Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury – all were part of the successful trio known as MNM. The team would lose the championships to the team of Batista and Rey Mysterio, despite Melina trying to seduce Batista into not going through with the match. The joke was on Melina as Batista would thank her for the “warm-up” and went out to win the tag championships.
4 4. Edge As A Deaf Mute
Edge had a long and hard road in becoming the successful world champion known best as the Rated-R Superstar during the Ruthless Aggression era. That didn’t mean that he didn’t have to deal with tough character choices during his earliest days in the WWE. One of those ideas involved putting him in a team with Sean Morley (a.k.a. Val Venis) to become the new Midnight Rockers. According to Edge, writer Vince Russo then came up with idea to have Edge debut as a deaf mute.
3 3. Batista's Birth Story
When Batista debuted on WWE television as a deacon for the Reverend D-Von in 2002, he definitely looked mean and grumpy. Apparently, there was a story behind that, which the WWE never told. During an interview on Chris Jericho’s podcast in 2014, Batista revealed that the company was actually going to go with a storyline in which the reason Batista was mad at life was that he was conceived from rape. He would hate everyone around him because he grew up without a father and his mother was a victim.
2 2. Stephanie McMahon Baby Drama
Earlier in this list, an incest story line was mentioned involving the brother-sister duo of Paul Burchill and Katie Lea. Sadly, that wasn’t the worst family love story that was pitched in the WWE creative meetings. In fact, the worst one was actually pitched by Vince McMahon and involved his daughter Stephanie. It was a time when the Billion Dollar Princess was actually pregnant with her first child with Triple H.
1 1. Baron Von Bava
If you thought some of WWE’s past storylines were insensitive (like some of the ones mentioned earlier), then wait until you read about the story behind Baron von Bava. The WWE was trying to come up with a new gimmick for a new superstar in Jon Heidenreich and former WWE writer Dan Madigan spoke in the past about trying to have him debut as a Nazi Soldier who was frozen during World War II.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Madigan thought about having Paul Heyman act as the Nazi’s manager. By the way, he grew up in a Jewish family. This probably would have been one of the worst storylines/gimmicks ever created and was thankfully killed in the writers room. In fact, it was so disturbing that Vince McMahon had to excuse himself from the meeting, as it had visibly troubled him. Madigan was released shortly after.
However, Heidenreich did not exactly have the best alternative storylines either, since he was portrayed as a creepy poet that kidnapped Michael Cole and was part of a new Legion of Doom tag team. If only those would have been cut as well.
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