Wrestling fans know that there is nothing worse than a bad wrestling storyline. Even people who don’t follow professional wrestling know that it’s a brand of entertainment responsible for some of the most bizarre moments in the history of television. You could even argue that some of WWE’s most outlandish moments are what people who don’t follow the company’s shows associate the entire brand with. Between things like Triple H violating a corpse while dressed as Kane and Vince McMahon selling Raw to Donald Trump, you might get the impression that there isn’t a professional wrestling idea that is so bad that a company will simply refuse to air it.
Sadly, that’s not the case. For as many bad storylines as you’ve seen during a wrestling show, you can rest assured that there are at least five worse angles that never made it much further than the writer’s room. In fact, the reason that we know of these storylines is because the people involved in them couldn’t believe that somebody could possibly come up with something so outlandish. So the next time you’re watching a bad storyline and you start wondering how things could get worse, remember these 15 wrestling ideas that were so bad, they were scrapped before making it to air.
15 Tommy Dreamer Wanted to Be Legitimately Shot in The Arm
When you’re incredibly devoted to a person, organization, or idea, it’s said that you’ll take a bullet for them. Many have said that Tommy Dreamer would have taken a bullet for ECW because he was so devoted to the future of the company. As it turns out, Dreamer would have literally taken a bullet for the company. Dreamer once suggested to Paul Heyman that he (Dreamer) should legitimately be shot in the arm by a sniper. Heyman immediately shot down the idea, but Dreamer persisted.
Finally, Terry Funk stepped in and told Dreamer that he shouldn’t go through with the angle for wrestling reasons. In Funk’s mind, if someone shot you in the arm, the only way you’ll ever properly get revenge on that person is to kill them.
14 Melina the Transvestite
Melina was not a beloved person in the WWE locker room. She was often criticized for being selfish and prone to emotional outbursts. Because of this, Melina sometimes got the raw end of a particular storyline or feud. Hey, that’s what happens when you don’t make friends in the back. However, there was one idea tossed around involving Melina that would have certainly pushed things too far. At some point, it was suggested that the Batista/Melina feud should end with Batista submitting evidence which suggested that Melina was a transvestite. Some suggest that this evidence would have been falsified, while others maintain that WWE would have held true to the angle.
It doesn’t matter, though, because Stephanie McMahon stepped in and demanded the idea be dropped before it did irreparable damage to Melina.
13 Buff Bagwell and Judy Bagwell: WCW Tag Team Champions
WCW had the remarkable ability to take a decent idea and turn it into something truly awful. For instance, they decided to have Chris Kanyon and Buff Bagwell begin a feud that escalated when Kanyon began insulting and threatening Bagwell’s mother, Judy. So far, so good. However, things took a turn when it was decided that the feud should be decided in a “Judy Bagwell on a Forklift” match where Bagwell’s mom was suspended from a forklift. As awful as that was, some say that the angle could have been much worse. Apparently, WCW’s creative team wanted Bagwell and his mom to form a tag team and win the WCW Tag Team Championships. The idea apparently made it quite far along in development until WCW finally decided it would be best to not go through with it.
12 Mason Ryan As The Third Man in The Shield
Remember Mason Ryan? Ryan first made a name for himself in WWE as part of The Nexus invasion angle. Many suspected that he might become one of the breakout stars of that particular group as he basically looked like a miniature Batista and wasn’t an awful wrestler. Unfortunately, a combination of injuries and disappointing matches derailed Ryan’s push. Before too long, he was back in WWE’s developmental program and out of WWE shortly thereafter. However, WWE did briefly toy with the idea of having Ryan make a main roster comeback as a member of The Shield. Ryan would have replaced Roman Reigns as the “enforcer of the group.” It’s not clear why WWE abandoned this idea, but many suspect that WWE just saw more potential in Reigns.
11 The Hunchbacks: A Tag Team That Can Never Lose
Nobody is entirely sure how Jim Herd came to be the Executive Vice President of WCW. Herd had been a station manager that hosted a somewhat popular wrestling radio show and regional manager of Pizza Hut prior to him being brought in to WCW. Many criticized Herd for not knowing anything about the professional wrestling business. Herd himself seemed to believe that the reason Vince McMahon and WWE were so popular is because of outlandish gimmicks. So, he began creating a series of outlandish gimmicks. The lowlight of his ideas may have just been a tag team duo known as The Hunchbacks. This pair of wrestlers would have sported fake hunchbacks that made them impossible to pin because their shoulders never touch the ground. We assume that they would have gone undefeated for years.
10 Ric Flair Becomes a Famous Roman Gladiator
Before we let Jim Herd off the hook, let’s take a look at the absolute worst idea of his WCW tenure. See, Jim Herd hated Ric Flair. Because Herd knew nothing of wrestling, he saw Ric Flair as an incredibly expensive old guy with a gimmick that he just didn’t get. In an effort to humiliate Flair and push his cartoon character agenda, Herd decided that Flair should cut his hair, wear an earring, and come to the ring dressed as Spartacus. Yes, he wanted to turn Ric Flair into a gladiator. As you might imagine, Flair shot this idea down where it stood.
This is actually the reason that Flair left WCW for WWE in the early ‘90s and took the WCW Championship with him. The fallout from this decision would also contribute to Herd’s firing.
9 Christian’s Constantly Blurred Face
Looks do matter in professional wrestling. You don’t necessarily have to be good looking to be a professional wrestler, but you do need to have a unique look that will stand out on television. The trouble is that nobody can ever quite tell what Vince McMahon thinks a good look is and what the boss flat-out doesn’t like. For instance, a former WWE writer once said that Vince McMahon kept remarking that Christian just didn’t look right to him. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but there was something about Christian’s face that bothered him. So, Vince suggested that Christian’s gimmick should involve putting a giant blue blurred dot over his face whenever he was on-screen. There’s no word on whether or not this angle would have led to anything as someone talked Vince out of it somewhere along the way.
8 Maria’s Split Personality/Sex Tape
For years, WWE struggled to write compelling stories for their female wrestlers. Of course, that probably has something to do with how uninterested they were in promoting their female wrestlers in the first place. In the history of bad booking ideas for female performers, though, few are as awful as the ideas floated around for Maria’s introduction.
WWE wanted Maria to put out a fake sex tape starring Maria and another wrestler that would lead-in to her official debut as that wrestler’s valet. Maria wasn’t too fond of that awful idea, so she presented an awful idea of her own. Maria wanted to debut as a split-personality case who was both a heel and a face depending on which persona she was playing. Eventually, WWE just decided to debut her as a very attractive woman.
7 Stacy Keibler Marries Her Brother and Has her Father's Baby
During the dying days of WCW, the company devoted a lot of on-screen time to an angle involving Stacy Keibler and David Flair. The story eventually led to a match between Keibler and Daffney - Flair’s storyline other lover - and not much else. However, the story goes that Vince Russo originally had a much more ambitious idea for this relationship angle. Apparently, he wanted Stacy and David to have an in-wing wedding that would end with Ric Flair revealing that Stacy was actually his daughter. Of course, that would mean that Stacy and David were married siblings. At some point, WCW was then going to reveal that Stacy was pregnant. While the implication would have been that David had impregnated his own sister, it would later be revealed that Ric Flair was, in fact, the father. Wow.
6 The Undertaker vs. Mankind At Alcatraz Prison
The Mankind/Undertaker feud was one of the best angles WWE promoted in the ‘90s. The Undertaker’s supernatural qualities perfectly gelled with Mankind’s unhinged mentality. The two put on a series of great matches usually based on some kind of theme. For instance, the two fought in a Buried Alive match, a Boiler Room Brawl, and, of course, their infamous Hell in a Cell encounter. There was, however, another idea for a high-profile match between the two that never quite made it to television. In a post on his personal blog, Jim Ross revealed that he had once suggested that The Undertaker and Mankind should have a match on Alcatraz Island. Believe it or not, WWE actually pursued the idea. Fortunately for everyone, WWE weren’t able to secure the legal rights to use the location.
5 Chyna Beats Stone Cold For the WWE Championship
There was a time when WWE was rightfully quite high on Chyna’s potential. The so-called Ninth Wonder of the World had managed to attract a great deal of mainstream attention and had successfully been established as a capable in-ring competitor. WWE even let Chyna win the Intercontinental Championship at one point. Of course, there were some in WWE who were higher on Chyna than others. In fact, it’s long been said that the original plan for SummerSlam 1999 was to have Chyna face Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWE Championship and beat the Texas Rattlesnake for the belt. This idea became a source of great debate among WWE’s creative staff. Some felt it was bold, why others recognized it as a desperate ploy from a company that was comfortably atop the wrestling world. It was eventually nixed.
4 CM Punk - WWE’s First Deaf Wrestler
While you have to respect the McMahons and all of the WWE creative staff who help make the whole show happen, there’s no denying that WWE’s creative staff often fails to recognize incredible creative opportunities when they are right in front of them. For instance, WWE was against hiring CM Punk despite the fact he had established himself as a great in-ring wrestler and came prepackaged with an incredible straight edge gimmick. Despite that, WWE thought that Punk should debut as WWE’s first deaf wrestler. Yes, someone in WWE - reportedly Stephanie McMahon - thought that Punk would get over if he couldn’t hear a thing. WWE’s creative team had even reportedly wrote quite a few hilarious sketches involving Punk’s proposed disability. Fortunately, Paul Heyman stepped in and brought everyone back to their senses.
3 Astronaut Hardcore Holly and His Pet Monkey
Did you ever wonder why the first episode of the revitalized ECW began with a wrestling zombie? Well, that’s because SyFy executives wanted a lot of sci-fi elements in the wrestling show given the theme of their network. Naturally, many in WWE were upset by this - Paul Heyman in particular - and decided to poke fun at the network whenever possible. Former WWE writer Court Bauer recalls pitching a storyline wherein Hardcore Holly would decide to go into space with a monkey companion. Bauer pitched it as a joke, but some within WWE began writing weeks worth of sketches and even contacted NASA for technical assistance. At some point, WWE realized that the joke was more trouble than it was worth and decided to abandon the idea outright.
2 The Undertaker Debuts As The Gobbledy Gooker
One of the worst ideas that WWE ever actually aired on national television is the Gobbledy Gooker. It began when WWE teased the hatching of an egg leading up to the Survivor Series 1990 PPV. It ended when the egg hatched and a giant turkey popped out to dance with the announcers. Were it not for the fact that The Undertaker debuted on that same show, the 1990 Survivor Series might be remembered as one of the most disastrous PPVs in WWE history. Of course, history tells us it could have been much worse. Apparently, some people in WWE wanted Mark Calaway to debut as the Gooker instead of as Undertaker. The thought was that the Gooker gimmick had greater potential to achieve mainstream attention and appeal to a younger audience. It was eventually decided that was an awful idea.
1 O.J. Simpson vs. Roddy Piper/O.J. Simpson’s Live Lie Detector Test
Did you ever wonder why O.J. Simpson never made an appearance for a professional wrestling company? You’d think that O.J. would be happy to take the money and that pro wrestling organizations would love the mainstream publicity. As it turns out, both WWE and WCW made O.J. offers. WWE wanted O.J. to wrestler Roddy Piper at WrestleMania XII just six months after the not guilty verdict was announced. O.J.’s camp was all for it, but WWE caught a lot of flack for their decision and had to drop the idea. This is also why WWE used footage from the O.J. chase during Piper’s WrestleMania match with Goldust. The O.J. fun doesn't stop there. When Vince Russo was in WCW, he wanted to bring O.J. in to take a live lie detector test on WCW PPV. O.J.’s camp declined the offer.
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