A good storyline is one of the biggest draws in all of the sports world. Whether it’s a big comeback, a fall from grace, or a rise to greatness, every sports fan can think of their favorite sports moment off the top of their head and remember it like it just happened. Professional wrestling is no different, and each wrestling fan possesses a favorite wrestling moment just like any other sports fan. The difference with wrestling is that their moments are manufactured rather than spontaneous.
Storylines in professional wrestling are as important as interesting characters. Many times those go hand in hand because without larger than life characters and an intriguing storylines most wrestling fans would find themselves bored. Thanks to a writing staff and a Creative Department, WWE can keep characters and storylines fresh, to keep fans intrigued and tuned in. Angles like the formation of the New World Order, the rise and fall of The Shield, or the friendship between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens are just a few examples of storylines that can elevate superstars. Sadly, not all storylines are so well conceived.
As much as a great storyline can make a WWE Superstar, it can break them just as easily, regardless of whether or not they’re just starting out or after having already established themselves. We’ve seen storylines that degrade superstars for cheap heat, storylines that make no sense, or storylines with zero payoff. These storylines hurt superstars and in some cases have destroyed their careers. This article names 15 of these horrible storylines, and the wrestlers whose careers were ruined by them.
15 “I Did It For The Rock.” (Rikishi)
Despite wearing a thong, Rikishi still looked fly, especially whenever he broke into a choreographed dance with Too Cool. The big man had some pretty iconic moves such as the dreaded Stink Face, which was widely popular with the fans, and his dancing routine with Grand Master Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty made him an easy fan favorite. Unfortunately, Rikishi’s heel turn ruined him, not because of the turn, but because of the horrible way it was executed.
In a storyline, Steve Austin would be run over by a car, so the angle was a “Whodunit?” storyline. As it turned out, Rikishi was the one to do it. His reasoning? “I did it for The Rock.” Supposedly, Rikishi ran over Stone Cold so The Rock could surpass Austin in stardom because Samoan wrestlers were being held down. In short, the storyline made no sense, and the heel turn, which normally sparks wrestling careers, killed Rikishi’s, as he also wasn't as good a heel as he was a babyface.
14 Lita’s Miscarriage (Snitsky)
This is a terrible storyline that Kane had the misfortune of being a part of, and involved him, Gene Snitsky and Lita. This storyline hurt everyone involved, damaging Kane even further and humiliating Lita with “baby fat” insults later on. However, the storyline ultimately destroyed Snitsky’s career, who was just getting started. But believe me when I say, it wasn’t his fault.
In the storyline, Lita was forced to marry Kane after Lita became pregnant with Kane’s child. When Gene Snitsky knocked Kane on top of Lita, Lita miscarried, leading to a Snitsky and Kane feud. Needless to say, the storyline was way over the top, though it did result in Snitsky's “It’s not my fault” catchphrase. Sadly for Gene, that catchphrase was all he had, and with the ridiculous pregnancy angle over, Snitsky lost the only thing that got him over. Snitsky tried to be repackaged but couldn't shake the dreadful miscarriage angle.
13 Piggy James (Mickie James)
After Trish Stratus retired from full-time wrestling, the torch was passed to Mickie James, who took the mantle as the face of WWE’s Women’s Division. For a while, Mickie would be treated like the face of the Women’s Division, winning titles and put into high profile feuds. That all changed when Mickie would be shipped to SmackDown.
Mickie would feud with LayCool, aka Layla and Michelle McCool, who were the top heels of SmackDown’s Women’s Division. What could have been a good feud for both sides ended up being pure punishment for Mickie. LayCool would put Mickie’s face on a pig during a promo, calling her fat and humiliating her by dumping punch and cake on top of her. The payoff was a losing feud against LayCool and an eventual release from the WWE.
12 Summer Of Punk (CM Punk)
CM Punk wasn’t wrong when he said that he caught so many of Vince McMahon's imaginary brass rings. CM Punk carried the WWE’s ECW Brand, almost caused riots with his heelish straight edge promos and easily assumed the top heel position to rival John Cena. After Punk’s Pipebomb, the fans were more into CM Punk than ever before, so how did the WWE reward The Best in the World? Triple H buried him in a match he didn’t need to win, Kevin Nash was brought in for no reason to take the heat away from Triple H, and Punk would lose the WWE Title to Alberto Del Rio.
Despite being the most over star in WWE, CM Punk had to play second fiddle to Cena and had to watch The Rock and Cena steal the main event of WrestleMania from him. WWE really had nothing for Punk, and Punk walked out of the WWE. Who could blame him?
11 The Bella Twins/Stephanie McMahon Feud (Brie Bella)
Take two WWE female characters, Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon, who the fans care the least about, and put them into a feud in the main event of Raw. The fans who were treated to a Stephanie McMahon/Brie Bella feud, as if they were asking for one, resulted in two incredibly stupid and career damaging storylines.
When The Authority began to take out their Daniel Bryan hatred on his wife, Brie, a feud erupted between Brie and Steph. Of course, Nikki Bella would get involved and be punished in the storyline to humiliate Brie further. After so much hype, Brie and Stephanie would face off in the ring only to have Nikki turn on her sister. While Brie losing the feud with Stephanie was dumb enough, Nikki’s comment that she wished Brie would have “died in the womb” certainly shut Brie Mode down completely.
10 Sara’s Stalker (Diamond Dallas Page)
Before Undertaker married Michelle McCool, The Phenom was married to his second wife, Sara. During a storyline, Sara was being stalked by an unknown assailant. The stalker apparently wanted Sara to feel the bang because, strangely enough, Diamond Dallas Page was revealed to be the creeper. DDP tried to save face saying that his creeping was only to get Taker’s attention and make a name for himself in WWE. That might have been acceptable, had WWE not buried DDP during the feud and subsequent storylines instead.
Page’s feud with The Undertaker was a dream feud, but Taker and Page wouldn’t even have a legitimate match. Page and Taker would brawl on Raw which left DDP taking a shot between the legs from Sara. The feud went nowhere, and it became obvious Creative wasn’t interested in taking Diamond Dallas seriously.
9 The Invasion Angle (Buff Bagwell)
When Shane showed up on Monday Nitro, it was surreal. The storyline was that Shane, not Vince, had bought WCW and that WCW was going to invade and take over WWE. Former WCW stars began showing up on Raw attacking WWE superstar and leading fans to imagine the possible dream matches they might see in the future. On an episode of Raw, WCW would be granted air time on Monday Night Raw which culminated in a match between Booker T and Buff Bagwell. The match was not well received by the fans or by Vince McMahon, who hated the entire match.
Steve Austin and Kurt Angle would do a run-in during the match, but the debacle caused much of the original Invasion Angle ideas to be scrapped or changed. Buff was never seen on WWE programming after that horrible debut match, and his WWE career was all but over.
8 Sting’s WWE Run (Sting)
The only thing for sure about Sting is that nothing's for sure. Though, for years, it was all but certain Sting would never join WWE. Fans would be wrong, as Sting made his shocking WWE debut at Survivor Series in 2014. The WWE Universe went nuts at the thought that a dream match between Undertaker and Sting may now be actually possible. Sadly, that dream match didn’t happen to say the least.
Sting would feud with Triple H instead, and while that match at WrestleMania 31 was pretty unique, Triple H would inexplicably win the match. Despite the loss, Sting would reemerge, and Taker versus Sting still looked possible. Then, Sting had a match against Seth Rollins, and not only would The Icon lose again, he would suffer a severe neck injury. The Taker/Sting match looks very questionable at best right now, and Sting’s ridiculous losses during his WWE run definitely put a damper on his legendary career.
7 Last Call Scott Hall (Scott Hall)
What do you do when a wrestler is struggling with alcoholism in real life? Turn it into a storyline, of course. Scott Hall’s alcohol problems were ruining his personal life and starting to affect his professional life also. Hall reportedly showed up on air drunk on Nitro and was involved in several real life incidents involving him getting arrested. WCW being WCW turned the legendary Scott Hall’s drunken personal behavior into a drunken storyline character. Hall would sips drink during matches, spend his time at bars during backstage segments and even vomited on Eric Bischoff at one point.
There was no pay-off whatsoever to this storyline other than to make Scott Hall a joke. To make matters worse, Hall wasn’t getting the help he needed. Hall could have continued being a main eventer for WCW, but this stupid storyline, which exposed and simultaneously ignored his demons, ruined any chance of The Bad Guy reviving his career.
6 The Real Americans/MexAmerica (Alberto Del Rio)
Unfortunately for Alberto Del Rio, his destiny was to completely flop in WWE. Del Rio really wasn’t getting over as a heel and his face turn was ever more embarrassing. Add to the fact that Del Rio was now feuding with one of the most racist factions ever in WWE, The Real Americans, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter.
While it made sense for the “All American American,” Jack Swagger, to hate “Mexico’s Greatest Export,” the feud really killed Alberto Del Rio’s career. For one, “We The People” was actually getting over instead of the good guys (Del Rio and personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez), and two, Del Rio and Rodriguez’s skit mocking The Real Americans was beyond cringeworthy. Del Rio never recovered from this horrific face turn, but WWE just couldn’t drop the Real American storyline. When Del Rio returned to WWE, he actually joined Colter, forming MexAmerica ,which of course, made no sense and didn't last long.
5 Natalya’s Flatulence (Natalya)
Natalya Neidhart may not have the most entertaining personality out of all the WWE’s women wrestlers, so one can understand the need to find her some sort of gimmick. In what had to be the brainchild of Vince McMahon, Nattie was given the farting gimmick, in which she had uncontrollable flatulence. You seriously can’t make this up. Fans and Natalya were not impressed with the gimmick, and after a few grueling weeks of sporting the Fart Foundation, the gimmick was thankfully dropped.
Natalya kind of gets lost in the mix of talented women in WWE today, but when her insane farting gimmick debuted, she was one of the few Divas that could actually wrestle. The fact that Creative thought that much of her to give her that ridiculous gimmick speaks volumes of WWE management. Natalya’s still hanging in there, but her credibility took a nose dive after this storyline.
4 Damien Mizdow (Damien Sandow)
Despite thanking me for my irrelevant opinion, Damien Sandow is one of WWE’s biggest missed opportunities. The guy could talk, he was incredibly over and wrestled John Cena to one of his greatest matches. Unfortunately, Sandow was getting too over as the Intellectual Savior of the Unwashed Masses, and Damien had to switch gimmicks in WWE’s infinite wisdom.
Sandow became The Miz’s sidekick dubbed, Damien "Mizdow," who mimicked everything The Miz did. Despite Sandow turning this ridiculous gimmick into gold, because that’s how good he is, he still wasn’t nearly as over or as credible as he was during his intellectual gimmick. The Mizdow angle took Sandow nowhere and was only used to elevate The Miz. Sandow would unfathomably be released from WWE shortly after, despite turning a silly gimmick into something watchable.
3 Divas Of Doom (Beth Phoenix)
Certainly Natalya can be given partial credit for this joke of a storyline as well because both “Divas of Doom” clearly weren't taken seriously by WWE’s Creative Team. Just when you thought Beth Phoenix and Natalya, you know, the women that could actually wrestle in the Divas Division, would be treated properly, WWE fooled us again. Instead of finally being treated like the legitimate stars and wrestlers that they were, the Divas of Doom just continued to job to the likes of Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres and Nikki Bella.
Instead of culminating into a Beth Phoenix and Natalya feud, which could have been good considering they were arguably the best women in the business at the time, the Divas of Doom amounted to nothing. The two split for no reason and with barely any mention. Beth Phoenix didn’t rise any higher from the storyline and was released a short time later.
2 Katie Vick (Kane)
That’s gotta be… That’s gotta be… Kane? Yes, unfortunately, it is Kane in two of the worst storylines ever conceived in WWE. It was bad enough Triple H steamrolled over all the competition of Monday Night Raw, but the way the Creative Team completely humiliated the superstars irreparably damaged their careers as well. And Kane was no exception, despite being a big part of the Attitude Era.
In a feud with Triple H, Kane was accused of causing his girlfriend, Katie Vick, to perish in a car crash. In arguably the worst segment in WWE history, Triple H climbed into the casket of "Katie Vick" and insinuated Kane had defiled the body of the young woman.
To make matters worse, Kane was forced to win or unmask during a match with Triple H. Kane wore the mask to cover his horribly deformed face, but when he lost and unmasked the fans groaned and laughed mockingly. Kane was never taken seriously after either storyline and was made to look like a big red joke instead.
1 “Boring” Lance Storm (Lance Storm)
If I could be serious for a moment, the worse thing a wrestler can hear from the audience is either silence or a “boring” chant. Generally, these chants are not encouraged except in the case of Lance Storm. While Lance Storm was portraying his “serious” gimmick, Steve Austin interrupted his match and encouraged the fans to chant “boring” throughout it. Of course, the fans did. Although this was a storyline, Storm’s character and career suffered tremendously from the angle.
To further the “boring” storyline, Goldust was enlisted to help Lance Storm find some charisma. Lance Storm went from credible competitor to dancing laughing stock. This storyline may have been mildly entertaining, but Storm’s WWE career went down the toilet afterwards. Who knew ripping as guy as boring could do so much damage?