Regardless of the company, creative teams are always trying to push the envelope by experimenting with various gimmicks and storylines. Some may go on to be praised by fans while others fall flat and become instantly regrettable. It's hard to predict how receptive the audience will be whenever risks are taken, as we have witnessed some of the most hyped angles end up being disastrous by not receiving any reaction from the crowd. But what we see on television is simply a margin of what creative teams come up as most ideas are turned down before they even make it on the screen.
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In the WWE, it is usually Vince McMahon who has the final word so most storylines and gimmicks that nearly happened but didn't can be attributed to the chairman. In some other cases, it may have been McMahon's ideas that someone will thankfully talk him out of it. And knowing Vince, he has come up with the most twisted and strange angles in wrestling history. Although it's hard to predict how an angle is going to be received by fans, we can almost guaranteed that all 25 entries would have been terrible in every possible way.
Most of the wrestlers involved can say that it was a blessing in disguise for them to not be involved in these original plans that companies had penned out for them. You will certainly be caught by surprise by many of these entries as we look at 25 wrestling gimmicks and storylines that thankfully never happened!
25 Vince McMahon Takes It Too Far With Stephanie
Over the years, we have seen WWE book some unbelievable storylines that made everybody shake their head. And as bad as it has gotten before, this may have been on a whole different level if it had gone down. During Stephanie McMahon's pregnancy, Vince had an idea in which it would be revealed he was the father of the child.
Thankfully, Stephanie immediately rejected the idea as did everyone else in attendance.
Vince was persistent enough to get back on the drawing board, replacing himself with Shane as the father.
The response was the same with Shane joining his sister to oppose any potential storyline of that nature. We have witnessed all McMahon members feud with each other over the years, and although we have previously witnessed some truly horrific angles, this would have easily topped it all, which is why everyone's glad it never made it to television.
24 Ric Flair Becomes Spartacus
Ric Flair is arguably the greatest wrestler of all-time with plenty of Superstars listing him as their most influential figure. He has managed to became an icon outside of the wrestling industry, as we have seen plenty of celebrities from various fields praise Flair. Fans have always known him as "The Nature Boy" but that nearly changed in the early 90s when Jim Herd asked for Flair to switch gimmicks, adapting a new look and attitude to go along with it.
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He would have been known as Spartacus, a Roman gladiator, who carried a shield and wore earrings. Flair was also instructed to cut his hair for the character. Thankfully, the gimmick never made it to television. It may not have been a terrible idea for any other wrestler, especially someone in need of a gimmick, but an outrageous suggestion to someone like Ric Flair who took great offense to it.
23 Ryback Faces Brock Lesnar At WrestleMania
There has always been mixed opinions regarding Ryback with some believing that he should have been a top star for years to come, while others didn't understand the appeal. Although he managed to have a decent WWE run, it didn't live up to expectations and Ryback has blamed management for being out of touch. During an interview, Ryback indicated that he once pitched a storyline to Vince McMahon that would see him face off against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.
Ryback would have been made to look as if he was leaving the company to pursue MMA only to return after 6 months with a challenge for Lesnar.
McMahon wasn't impressed to say the least, and it's easy to understand why. Ryback believes that a bout against Lesnar would have been a major draw, but not many share that same opinion, including McMahon who rejected the match on more than one occasion.
22 CM Punk Is A Deaf Wrestler
From the early to mid 2000s, CM Punk was one of the best talents outside of the WWE and fans were clamoring for the company to sign him. When it finally happened, there were concerns about how he would be used and whether he could succeed. We all know how that played out by now, but things may have taken an entirely different direction if the WWE creative team's original plans had gone through.
They pitched an idea about Punk portraying a deaf wrestler - making him the first in WWE history - but it was eventually shut down. As talented as Punk is, he may not have been able to make the best out of it and his career would have been less impactful. Thankfully for him, WWE creative came to their senses this time and allowed CM Punk to remain the same wrestler that fans had fallen in love with.
21 Stacy Keibler Has A Baby... But Who's The Father?
Everyone knows that Stacy Keibler was hired due to her great looks rather than her wrestling talent. So when the time came to put her in a storyline, there were some ridiculous suggestions - most of which never made it on television. WWE would later on attempt to do the same once she joined the company, but WCW took it a couple steps too far with their storylines.
One idea would have had Keibler's boyfriend at the time David Flair engage in a feud with her side partner Buff Bagwell in a feud once she got pregnant. They would end up finding out that neither one of them was the father, and it would be revealed as Ric Flair. Sounds like vintage WCW at work here, but this idea never made it past the initial process. Vince Russo then threw in the idea for himself to be revealed as the father. All parties involved are probably thankful that it never happened either.
20 Kalisto Becomes The Miz's "Flamboyant" Hairdresser
For several years, WWE has attempted to create the heir to Rey Mysterio, starting with Sin Cara and then later on Kalisto. Neither have been able to fill in Mysterio's shoes, as they have failed to connect with the WWE audience as much as he did. But it's been reported that WWE nearly gave up too early on Kalisto as they had a different gimmick in mind for him.
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He would have played the role of The Miz's gay hairdresser, and they even had Kalisto audition for the role.
Of course he was booked to lose the mask as well, and Kalisto gave it a try - which reportedly impressed everyone in attendance.
But for whatever reason, WWE opted to not moved forward with the gimmick. Perhaps they realized that Kalisto's ceiling would have been even lower than it is now, and perhaps they still had hope that he could truly replace Mysterio.
19 Goldust Gets Enhancements
In the past two decades, we have witnessed Goldust take it as far as possible with his gimmick. He has managed to survive different eras and remained over in the changing landscape of WWE. But there was a time when he had lost most of his steam with his act slightly getting tired, which motivated him to attempt to save his career. Goldust had an idea of getting breast implants, a bold move that would surely been intriguing to say the least.
He pitched it to many writers and top officials before bringing it to Vince McMahon, who wasn't on board with the proposed angle.
McMahon didn't believe that it would be beneficial for his career, nor did he want Goldust to go through with it for the sake of staying in character. It's pretty surprising to hear that Vince does have a limit after all considering some of his past suggestions.
18 Neville As Mighty Mouse
When Vince McMahon has something in mind, he will always try to make it happen one way or another. Such was the case with Mighty Mouse, a cartoon character from the 1950s which McMahon seems to have been intrigued by turning it into a WWE gimmick. It's been said that the gimmick almost went to Chris Candido in the 90s before McMahon changed his mind at the last minute, but he never completely forgot it. A few years ago, it popped back in his mind with a new name for the gimmick: Neville.
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Although it never made it on television, McMahon had requested for a costume to be made and the photo above shows what Neville would have looked like if his plan went through. But just as he previously did, McMahon had a change of heart and dropped the gimmick prior to Neville making his debut.
17 Kane Ends The Undertaker's Streak
It would have made perfect sense for Kane to end The Undertaker's streak considering their history. And while opinions may differ, we are glad it didn't happen. Although some still question whether Brock Lesnar was the right choice, we can all agree that it's better than having Kane win. In an ideal world, a younger Superstar would have been launched to the top but it is now too late.
It was reported that The Undertaker wanted Kane to end his streak, and even talked to him about it, yet Kane rejected his kayfabe brother's wishes.
A respectable move by Kane since most would not have done the same, but it still would have been terrible to see a washed up Kane end it. It would have made more sense in his younger days but Kane hasn't been a legitimate threat - at least for a consist period - in such a long time.
16 Scott Hall As GI Joe
It's hard to imagine Scott Hall not being Razor Ramon early in his career. He wasn't in his run with WCW prior to signing with WWE. Vince McMahon had a different plan in mind for Scott Hall, having him portray an arm personality with similarities GI Joe. Thankfully, Hall managed to talk him out of it as they went back and forth with ideas until Razor Ramon was born. It would turn out to be career changing for him, as he became one of WWE's top stars.
But if he had been convinced by Vince, his career may have been derailed - if not ruined - with the gimmick. He would go on to succeed in WCW as himself, but that wouldn't have been possible if he hadn't established himself with Razor Ramon. Although he never won a world title, Razor remains one of the most influential gimmicks from his era.
15 Melina Revealed As A Man
2005 saw the introduction of MNM as a WWE tag team, launching the careers of Nitro, Mercury and Melina. The latter would play a major role in the team capturing the WWE Tag Team Championship, while involved in various storylines. Among them was a short lived angle with Batista in which they had a relationship, but the outcome was different than original plans.
The creative team intended to reveal Melina as a man wearing a wig, which would have turned out to be real messy.
But their plans didn't stick through with everyone deciding it was for the better to have Batista accused of harassment. The angle didn't last long and WWE carried on as if nothing had happened. It's rumored that Stephanie McMahon can be credited for shooting down the storyline, believing that it may damage Melina's career. Once again, Batista was able to dodge yet another bullet.
14 Batista's Background Story Is Revealed
Batista is one of the most popular and successful Superstars of the past 20 years, but his fate may have been completely different if WWE's original plans had gone through. After failing to make an impact on SmackDown alongside D-Von, WWE had a plan to explain Batista's quiet, angry and mysterious personality. He was supposed to be the child from an assault relationship, and segments had been prepared to go along with it.
But it seems like something happened along the way that put an end to the company's plan. Perhaps they realized how pointless it would have been to exploit a serious issue for a wrestling gimmick. It would only be mentioned once on WWE programming with Flair making a quick reference to it, yet nothing else came from the company's plans. All sides can probably agree that it turned out for the best after all.
13 Chyna Becomes WWE Champion
In 1999, Chyna shocked the world by becoming the number one contender for the WWE title. Scheduled to face Stone Cold Steve Austin at the 1999 SummerSlam, Chyna was supposed to also become the first female to win the title. She was at the peak of her popularity during those times, but some believe that WWE officials thought it was too risk of a move. Chyna eventually lost her spot to both Mankind and Triple H with the match turning into a Triple Threat.
Depending on who you ask, opinions vary regarding WWE's decision to not put the belt on Chyna.
We believe that it turned out to be the right decision since Austin's popularity and credibility may have been severely affected. Not to mention that Chyna's career didn't turn out so good afterwards, and she ended up being in conflict with WWE. Looking back, we certainly understand the WWE's decision to drop the storyline.
12 Alexa Bliss Adopts A Southern Accent
When Alexa Bliss was coming up in NXT, creative team had a character in mind for the current WWE Women's Champion. They wanted her to adapt a southern accent with a similar character to Nidia from the early 2000s.
She even cut a promo with the accent, but the gimmick was short lived as Bliss moved on to better things.
Although she didn't make quite the impression in NXT as many of her peers did, her transition to the main roster has been extremely successful.
She has been reigning champion for a while after also having had a good run on SmackDown. Would Bliss have been nearly as successful with her original gimmick? It's highly doubtful since she shone as the arrogant heel thus far, and based on the promo she cut, we would be inclined to believe that the WWE Universe may not have bought into the character.
11 Mark Jindrak Replaces Batista In Evolution
WWE had high hopes for Mark Jindrak, believing he could be a future main eventer. They viewed him high enough to place him as the fourth member of Evolution alongside Triple H, Ric Flair and Randy Orton. They group even filmed a short video together although plans fell through with Jindrak deemed not ready to be put in that position. He would be replaced with Batista and the rest is history, as both him and Orton went on to become World Champions.
It's highly doubtful that Jindrak would have had the same impact since there is large amount of difference when it comes to charisma, and that's not to mention that Batista is much more believable and aggressive in the ring. Jindrak would go on to have a solo career that never amounted to anything, as he failed to connect with the WWE audience and was released from the company after just a few years.
10 Christian Does His Best Impression Of The Rock
In 2003, The Rock became a part-timer splitting his time between Hollywood and the WWE. With his involvement in wrestling getting smaller, the WWE creative thought of ways to benefit of his name and character. They pitched a new character for Christian to be known as The Lock, in which he would copy The Rock's mannerisms from eyebrows to haircut. Additionally, he would also use his catchphrases.
Thankfully, the WWE didn't go through with their plans once Vince McMahon was told about the full details.
While leeching of The Rock's name may have benefited Christian in the short term, it may have also ruined his career in the long run. Christian did adapt some elements from The Rock's character, such as referring to his fans as peeps and naming himself as "The New People's Champion." The Lock would have ended up being a terrible career move for Christian that he may not have recovered from.
9 Dolph Ziggler Blackmails Maria With Private Tape
In hopes of refreshing Maria's character, the creative team had an idea in mind. It would involve her in a fling with a Superstar - reportedly Dolph Ziggler - who would blackmail Maria with an adult tape of the pair together. It seems like Maria didn't feel comfortable with going through the storyline and declined her part. It may have helped Maria in the short term, but not worthy enough to be used since she wasn't exactly a talented wrestler - nor has she set the world on fire as a manager.
The storyline wouldn't have done Ziggler any favors either, and may have easily backfired on him. Looking back at his career, it's hard to see it being any worse or more disappointing so the angle would have been right up his alley. As for Maria, she did end up having a good run on the independent circuit following her initial departure from the WWE.
8 Linda McMahon Steals Test From Stephanie
During Stephanie McMahon's love angle with Test, WWE had numerous plans for the conclusion. Opinions differed as it ultimately came down to two choices: the first being the ending that we know while the second would have had Linda McMahon interrupt their wedding by claiming she slept with Test. As always, WWE creative takes it too far - especially when Vince McMahon is involved - but their plans didn't work out this time.
We highly doubt that Test would have benefited from this angle, and if anything, he would have made to look worse since you can bet that WWE would have turned it into a punchline for years to come.
While Test may not have reached the WWE's expectations for him, he still had a decent career with multiple titles to his name. The suggested storyline with Linda McMahon belonged on the drawing board since it was too cheesy to make it on television.
7 Kevin Nash As The Anonymous RAW General Manager
The Anonymous Raw General Manager storyline dragged on for way too long with the payoff being as disappointing as it gets. What began as an intriguing concept turned into an annoying angle that could have been justified with the right name attached to it. The pick ended up being the worst possible one with Hornswoggle, whom instantly ruined the storyline. Several names had been discussed, and among them was Kevin Nash. That would have been another terrible choice - although not quite as bad as Hornswoggle.
Fans just didn't care to see Nash anymore for more than one appearance, and certainly not enough to want him involved in a major storyline. He didn't set the world on fire during his brief feud with CM Punk and got embarrassed a couple times before leaving the company. It seems like WWE was going to screwed up the Anonymous General Manager storyline regardless of the direction they chose.
6 Edge Portraying Val Venis' Gimmick
The Attitude Era brought some edgy characters to the screen during a changing landscape of wrestling. We saw all wrestling companies experiment with different kind of gimmicks, some of which went over while others fell flat. One of the most over yet underrated character was that of Val Venis as an adult star, especially during his early run. His popularity would diminish rather quickly due to poor booking, but there was a time when Val Venis was truly over with the fans.
What some may not know is that Edge was originally supposed to portray that character, but it seems like WWE creative had a change of heart.
Although Val Venis wasn't a bad character, it had a limited ceiling which is why we are glad that Edge didn't take it. He ended up having a far superior career to become one of the best Superstars of his era.
5 Hade Vansen Conquers The Undertaker
In December 2008, Hade Vansen made his on-screen debut on SmackDown with a strange promo that most fans have forgotten by now. WWE had long term plans for him, including a WrestleMania match against The Undertaker. There were talks of Vansen sending some guards to attack Taker on weekly basis, while he would remain untouchable for a few months. But it was Vince McMahon who put an end to all plans once he discovered that Vansen only stood at 5'9, and immediately dropped the feud for believing he was too short to be taken seriously against The Undertaker.
WWE creative had even suggested the possibility of Vansen ending the undefeated streak - which thankfully didn't happen. Vansen was never seen again on WWE television as he was released a few weeks after his promo debut. He certainly didn't show enough in what we saw from him, and would have been a massive fail if WWE hadn't pulled the plug.
4 Rob Van Dam As Glacier
Decades since Glacier's debut, it remains one of the worst gimmicks in wrestling history. Not only did the character fail to connect with the audience, but WCW invested so much money in the costume, vignettes and other things that made it so much worse. With the hype Glacier was receiving, you would think that he was going to be a star for years to come. And before WCW went with their pick for Glacier, they had a different name in mind with Rob Van Dam.
Once RVD declined their offer, WCW remained persistent by claiming they were interested in bringing in more Mortal Kombat influenced characters with an offer on the table.
But RVD wasn't interested and made a wise choice to remain with ECW. Some wrestlers would have been quick to jump at a chance to work for money and a bigger promotion, but RVD made a short term sacrifice that benefited him in the long run.
3 Lex Luger Wins The WWE Title At WrestleMania X
Two Superstars were declared as co-winners of the 1994 Royal Rumble when Bret Hart and Lex Luger eliminated each other from the match. Both men would end up getting a title opportunity against Yokozuna at WrestleMania X in separate matches. Luger would end up losing the bout after pushing the referee, while Hart successfully claimed the title in the main event. Looking back, we are glad that WWE made the right choice because their original plans had Luger coming out on top by going over both Yokozuna and Hart.
That would have been disastrous to say the least since Luger failed to truly establish himself as top star, regardless of how hard the company tries to make him one. And it's hard to argue that he was more deserving than Bret Hart, who was a far superior wrestler and much more beloved by the fans.
2 Storyline: Justin Bieber Makes His WWE Debut
If you are under the age of 12, you may have John Cena and Justin Bieber as your dream tag team. As it turned out, someone else in the WWE creative team was on board with the idea of Bieber making his wrestling debut.
He would have joined forces with Cena and Big Show to take on the Wyatt Family at SummerSlam.
And if that wasn't bad enough, Bieber would have went over in the bout as well.
READ MORE: Justin Bieber Almost Wrestled At SummerSlam
Just when you thought the Wyatt family couldn't be screwed any worse, the WWE pulls off another surprise. It is unknown why a deal never materialized as negotiations with Bieber fell through while discussing the terms. Not many positives could have come out of that one and we are willing to bet that the boo's would have gone off in the arena if team Bieber was to pick up the victory.
1 nWo Takes On D-Generation X
Everyone was exited to see D-Generation X reunion in 2006 since it had been years since we last saw Shawn Michaels and Triple H together. What followed was disappointing feuds against the McMahon family and Spirit Squad, mixed with some outdated jokes and cheesy attempts to sell merchandise. For the next year, the internet was flooded with rumors regarding a potential return for nWo to confront D-Generation X, and while fans were disappointed to not see it, we're glad it never happened.
Some things are better off remaining dream scenarios, especially when you consider just how different the newer version of DX was than the '90s stable. As for nWo, Hulk Hogan was focused on reality TV and was no longer the same entertainer, while Kevin Nash was a decade removed from his prime years. As for Scott Hall, he was in terrible shape and dealing with some personal issues.
NEXT: Worst Gimmicks In The History Of Wrestling
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