It's always fun to read about different WWE storyline ideas that didn't make the cut and in a recently published blog for PressBox, former WWE creative team member Kevin Eck revealed some of those rejected ideas:
Dean Ambrose and AJ Lee hook up in a mental institution (2012)
"My idea was for Bryan’s plan to have AJ committed actually succeed. We’d take her off TV for a little while before bringing her back in dramatic fashion. She would return with her new boyfriend (Ambrose), whom she had met while both were patients in the institution. Ambrose and AJ would wreak havoc, becoming WWE’s version of Bonnie and Clyde (or Mickey and Mallory, to use a less-dated analogy). Vince McMahon had a different vision. The WWE chairman and CEO loved the AJ character and decided to make her the new “Raw” general manager after she called off the wedding to Bryan. AJ as GM didn’t get over, and her run as an authority figure lasted just three months."
Faction of former indy stars invades WWE (2012)
"My idea began with former ECW star Tommy Dreamer being named the head of WWE’s scouting department. As someone who paid his dues on the independent scene and didn’t have the traditional WWE look, Dreamer’s goal was to give guys with similar qualities an opportunity. On “Raw 1,000,” Dreamer would formally announce Ambrose, Rollins and Ohno were now part of the WWE roster. They would go on to compete that night in a six-man tag match against three lower-card heels and go over in impressive fashion. After the match, Ambrose, Rollins and Ohno would call Dreamer into the ring, seemingly to thank him for what he’s done for them. Instead, they turn on him and deliver a brutal, three-on-one beat-down to the lovable veteran. On the following week’s show, they explain that they just used Dreamer to get their foot in the door in WWE. They say Dreamer wanted them to work their way up the card and do things the right way, but they’re not going to play by his rules. They reveal that their leader is someone with a background like theirs who knows success is achieved by any means necessary: Bryan (who was a heel at that time)."
The romance of Cody Rhodes and Kaitlyn (2013)
"Rhodes had started sporting a cheesy, thin moustache that immediately caught the attention of the fans, who chanted 'Cody's moustache' during his matches. WWE Diva Kaitlyn had tweeted several times in the past that she had a thing for guys with moustaches. This one was a no-brainer -- or so I thought.
At the time, Rhodes and Damien Sandow were paired together as best friends and tag-team partners. I thought it would be compelling if moustache-lover Kaitlyn, a babyface, suddenly found Rhodes irresistible despite the fact that he was a heel.
Rhodes and Kaitlyn would begin dating, causing Sandow to resent her for putting a strain on his bromance and for her trying to change Rhodes by encouraging him to abandon his villainous ways. Having to choose between a love interest and a close friend is something a lot of people could identify with.
I figured we could take the storyline in several different directions. The obvious route would be for a jealous Sandow to turn on Rhodes. Eventually, Sandow would get together with a rival of Kaitlyn's, leading to a series of mixed tag matches.
Another way to go would be for Kaitlyn to turn heel and hook up with Sandow, saying Sandow's impressive beard put Rhodes' moustache to shame.
My initial pitch of Kaitlyn being attracted to Rhodes actually did make it onto TV, but I could tell McMahon wasn't all that interested in it. When Brie and Nikki Bella returned to WWE, the storyline was abruptly dropped after a couple weeks because McMahon decided to align the Bella twins with Rhodes and Sandow.
'What about the budding romance between Rhodes and Kaitlyn?' I asked McMahon during a booking meeting.
McMahon, who had made it clear on several occasions he did not find Kaitlyn's muscular physique all that attractive, replied (and I'm paraphrasing): 'If one of the Bellas showed interest in Cody, why would he ever look at Kaitlyn again?'
Undeterred, I said, 'Because plenty of men in our audience think Kaitlyn is hot whether you think so or not.'
Actually, I didn't say that. I believe my response was, 'Fair enough, sir.'"
Cody and Brandi Rhodes as the new Goldust and Marlena (2014)
"Rhodes and Goldust were a babyface tag team at the time, and I suggested we play off the fact the veteran Goldust was getting a bigger reaction from the crowd than his younger brother. Feeling that Goldust is hogging the spotlight, Rhodes turns on him and becomes Stardust. It’s revealed Brandi was the one who planted the seed in her husband’s mind that his brother was using him to stay relevant and keep him from becoming the star of the team. Brandi’s plan is for Stardust to become bigger than Goldust ever was, and she adopts a look and mannerisms that are reminiscent of Goldust’s former wife/valet, Marlena."