Wrestling storylines can be tricky things. So many times, stuff that looks great on paper flops when it actually starts out as you can never truly figure out what fans will and won’t like. There’s also how a great storyline can be ruined by injuries and such. Too many careers were gone before rising to their height like David Von Erich and Magnum T.A. Also, there are too many cases of suspensions or other circumstances that prevent the planned story from going ahead. Then again, sometimes that’s not a bad thing as for every brilliant idea a booker comes up with, there’s something so unbelievably stupid you can’t believe it was brought up.
Yes, as dumb as some wrestling stuff we’ve gotten has been, there have been far worse ideas conceived but never put through. Likewise, there are a lot of truly awesome ideas that sadly never took place. Major feuds, programs, dream matches and just over the top but great stuff that we were denied. There are also plenty of cases of storylines that deserved to die in the writing room. Here 8 wrestling storylines fans wish had actually happened and 7 we’re more than happy never saw the light of day to remind you how hard putting this stuff on can be.
15 WISH HAPPENED: Bryan vs Angle
Today, we know the circumstances wouldn’t allow it but it’s still very fascinating to think about. In 2010, Paul Heyman was being rumored as joining TNA. It was an exciting move given his amazing work as a booker and creator. It didn’t happen as TNA decided to push Hogan and Bischoff more but Heyman has said he had big plans such as cutting out anyone over 40 and really pushing new guys. The big one was that when Daniel Bryan was fired from WWE after choking Justin Roberts on screen, Heyman would have done everything possible to hire him to TNA. He would then push Bryan as an unstoppable submission machine tearing through the competition and winning the X Division title. This would lead to the dream match of Bryan vs Kurt Angle.
Of course, today, we know the “firing” was really just WWE suspending Bryan until things cooled down so he wouldn’t have been signed anyway. However, one can only dream that this could have been one of TNA’s greatest moments.
14 GLAD DIDN’T: Harlem Heat as Slaves
Even by the often insane standards of WCW, this was absolutely incredible. The Ebony Experience had been a top tag team in the indies, Kole and Kane both strong but skilled fighters taking off with the fans. Hired by WCW, they were given the name of “The Posse” and a manager with Robert Fuller who was going around as Colonel Robert Parker, acting like a 1800s plantation owner. The idea was Parker “won” the services to two cons in a card game to make them his team. They actually had the duo coming out in orange jumpsuits and chains led to the ring by Parker. The plan was for him to treat them as real slave labor and such before they finally rebelled against him.
That’s right: WCW wanted to present two black men as literal salves in chains. Thankfully, the one time they tried it, the live audience turned on the angle big time so it never made it to air. Parker was split from them as the duo were renamed Harlem Heat. With Sherri Martel as their new manager, Booker T and Stevie Ray became one of the best teams in WCW history and a career saved by avoiding this horrible idea.
13 WISH HAPPENED: The Real RAW GM
When you start a big mystery, you should have some idea how to finish it. WWE never figured that out when they started the Anonymous RAW GM bit. It was funny at first as lights would flash and Michael Cole read an e-mail directing crazy stuff. WWE kept it going for nearly two years before finally revealing it to be just Hornswoggle screwing around. That was because they couldn’t come up with anything else although there were ideas. One was just Vince McMahon with the idea of Vince just meddling and not even realizing he was posting this stuff. There was also JBL and Triple H. There was also a nutty idea of Hornswoggle transformed into a mob boss style character but he couldn’t quite pull it off.
The wildest and best idea? That it was Kevin Nash, the “anonymous” part being how he was with TNA when it started. The idea would be that when Nash finally came to WWE, Santino Marella would track him down to a production truck where Nash would be dressed up like his old Oz character. A lot better than what we got.
12 GLAD DIDN’T: The Fake/Real Kane
A rather bizarre bit for Kane’s history was when, without warning, another Kane showed up, this one in the classic mask and costume. They had some encounters and an attack with fans baffled by it. The idea was that Glenn Jacobs was hinting he might finally hang it up but WWE wanted to keep the Kane character as he was so popular. So the man in the mask (Drew Henkinson better known as Luke Gallows) would have kept attacking before revealing himself to be…Kane.
Yes, the idea was that the Jacobs Kane who had unmasked was really an imposter who’d kept the real Kane imprisoned for nearly a decade while running around with his costume. However, the fan reaction mixed with Jacobs deciding to put off retirement so the whole thing was quickly dropped and forgotten which is good as it would have marred the character forever.
11 WISH HAPPENED: Raven’s Seven Deadly Sins
Scott Levy had been just bouncing around with bad stuff for years like Johnny Polo and nothing of interest. In ECW, he reinvented himself as the goth Raven and became a huge star, winning massive praise for his feud with Tommy Dreamer and wild promos. In 2002, Raven was working with WWE and came up with what could have been a great idea. He would attack opponents with brutal assaults marked with him nailing guys in various ways based on the Seven Deadly Sins. For example, for “gluttony,” cover a guy in waste or paint someone red for “anger.” The reasoning was a guy could recover physically by psychological blows would take longer.
It would build up to a big feud with Matt Hardy where Lita would leave Matt to join Raven. Sadly, WWE didn’t go for it and Raven soon left which is a shame as this would have been a great showcase for his talents.
10 GLAD DIDN’T: Stacy’s Child
Stacy Keibler was a breakout in WCW with her blonde hair, fun humor and of course those amazing legs. It was no surprise she got boosted a bit by some fun stuff only to get saddled with a storyline with David Flair (who, incredibly, Stacy dated in real life). Soon, she was written into an angle of them about to get married with Stacy revealed she was pregnant…and not by David. The mystery continued for a bit and the plan by (who else) Vince Russo was to reveal the father to be none other than Ric Flair.
The Nature Boy, however, agreed this was stupid and refused to take part. So Russo planned to reveal that he himself was the father just to boost the idea of him being able to land a woman like Stacy. Thankfully, Russo was soon fired and the whole thing was dropped to remind you why pregnancy angles in wrestling are rarely a good idea.
9 WISH HAPPENED: Flair as Rocky
Supposedly the idea of Stone Cold Steve Austin, he was pushing how, in 2007, WWE was in some rough shape in the title scene and needed something to spark it up. Inspired by the “Rocky Balboa” movie, Austin came up with the idea that, at 57, Ric Flair would suddenly go on a wild run, surprising fans with upset victories over several top opponents. It would build more, Flair back to his old self in promos and going wild in fine battles before winning the World title once again. Flair himself naturally jumped at it but after it was talked about in an initial meeting, it just was never mentioned again.
Flair would be hampered by some injuries and pushed aside but more than a few fans would have loved seeing the Nature Boy have one last run with that big gold belt as the topper for his career.
8 GLAD DIDN’T: The Streak Broken by…THEM?!
When Brock Lesnar defeated the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX, it was a shocking move. Most thought The Streak would always be intact and never be broken. As it happened, it could have occurred much earlier and to two people hardly deserving. At WrestleMania 21, the idea was to have The Undertaker team up with Kane to face off against Heidenreich and Snitsky, paired as basically a pair of total freaks. It would have built up to a wild match won by Heidenreich and Snitsky, meaning they would be the first ones to defeat Taker at Mania.
However, injuries curtailed that idea so Randy Orton was picked to face Taker. However, Orton refused to be the one to break The Streak and so it continued for years. Complain all you want but Brock was a better choice to beat Taker than these two.
7 WISH HAPPENED: Streak vs Title
The WrestleMania XXIX clash between CM Punk and The Undertaker was a huge affair. It was pushed well in promos by Punk trashing the late Paul Bearer and he and Taker having a great match. However, it could have been even bigger. Many have criticized the fact that WWE decided to end Punk’s record title run by having him lose to The Rock just to make Rock vs Cena II a title match that wasn’t needed. The idea before that was to have Punk keep the belt going into WrestleMania and thus it would be his title against the Streak.
That would have added even more heat with Punk slamming Taker as not deserving while Taker wanted one more shot on top. The match ended up great as it was but adding the title to it would have been better and fans enjoying Taker having a last run than The Rock giving it to Cena.
6 GLAD DIDN’T: Drag Melina
Melina is known for one of the best Divas of her era. Starting off as the manager for MNM with her split-legged ring entrance, she soon evolved into a top worker and multiple champion. That’s all the more remarkable given she nearly had a horrible storyline to slow her down. In one scene, Melina accused Batista of trying to force himself on her, a seeming nod to their then real-life relationship. Nothing came of it but the original plan was for Batista to reveal he couldn’t have been with her…because Melina was actually a man. Thankfully, Stephanie McMahon ended that idea as she wanted the women’s division taken more seriously and this would be bad for it and Melina's career. Probably the smartest move she’s made.
5 WISH HAPPENED: HBK vs Eddie
The death of Eddie Guerrero was a shocking moment for wrestling. A man who had conquered his demons, at the top of his game and so full of life taken away without warning, it hurt so much. It also altered several of WWE’s plans for the coming months. Among them was that Eddie was to win the World title off Batista (who needed time off for injuries) and would hold it for some time. Things were already building to the idea of Shawn Michaels winning the Royal Rumble (a nod to the 10th anniversary of his previous win) and then facing Eddie at WrestleMania. It would have been a fantastic battle with both men giving all in promos and the match itself no doubt would have been a classic. Tragically, we never got to see it but one can dream of how each man would have done their best to steal the show.
4 GLAD DIDN’T: Baron Bava
You know a storyline is absolutely horrible when even Vince refuses to do it. Heidenreich was known for antics like bad poems and his terrible tenure in the Legion of Doom. But that’s loads better than the original concept. Writer Dan Madigan pitched the idea that Heidenreich would be introduced as Baron von Bava, an honest-to-God Nazi frozen in the 1940s and thawed out today. He would do promos in a German accent, goose step and even have Nazi emblems on his clothing. To top it off, he’d have Paul Heyman as his manager with the idea of a Nazi managed by a Jew.
Thankfully, Vince realized there was no way in hell this could work and Madigan was fired not long afterward. One can only breathe a sigh of relief we missed this one.
3 WISH HAPPENED: Magnum Rises
Magnum T.A. was the real deal. Handsome and skilled, he could cut a promo and do a great brawl and had the technical skills too. He was winning over fans huge in the Jim Crockett portion of the NWA with runs as U.S. champion and had just as many female fans as male ones. As 1986 came to a close, the plan was for Magnum to defeat Ric Flair for the NWA title at Starrcade. After some rematches, Magnum would then move onto a feud with long-time rival, U.S. champion Nikita Koloff. Jim Crockett could practically count the money already as Magnum really could have been the Hogan-like character needed to elevate WCW up more.
But in October of 1986, Magnum was in a brutal car accident that ended his career. The backup plan was smart; Nikita turned face to dedicate his career to his former foe but was not as effective as Magnum would have been. Had Magnum won that belt, the fortunes of Crockett and WCW would have been much different and fans could have enjoyed a fantastic star atop at last.
2 GLAD DIDN’T: Stephanie’s Baby
You really have to wonder what goes through Vince McMahon’s mind sometimes. This was discussed on the 2006 “McMahon” DVD with his family basically admitting this was one time Vince was going too far. When Stephanie McMahon first became pregnant, she naturally decided to take time off. However, Vince wanted to do something with it by having Steph come on TV to break it to Hunter that he wasn’t the father. A mass search would go on before the father was revealed as…Vince himself.
Thankfully, everyone else in the family absolutely refused to even pretend to go along with this. Undeterred, Vince wanted to live-stream Steph’s birth on WWE.com and she and Linda put their feet down on that. It really makes you worry about what goes through Vince’s head.
1 WISH HAPPENED: Vince’s “Death”
It’s well known that the Vince McMahon “death” of 2007 was ended due to the horrific real-life events of Chris Benoit’s demise. The story was controversial trying to present the “Mr. McMahon” character as gone and being mourned but few realize just how amazingly wild the storyline would have been. The idea was to have Linda McMahon arrested for her husband’s murder. Then, Mr. Kennedy would be revealed as Vince’s illegitimate son and he and Shane would get hold of the title and run roughshod on the WWE for months.
THEN things would get epic as Vince would then return, having revealed he’d escaped the limo and spent the last several months hiding out on the streets. This would lead to the wild bit of Vince leading an army of homeless hobos in his attacks as he took back control of the company. Crazy? Yes but it would have been in an epic way and Vince could have pulled it off. It had to end due to Benoit but this would have been sheer glorious madness in a great way to spark up the year.