The reason why wrestling is so popular (and has been for decades) can be credited to a lot of things. First of all, the talent of the wrestlers has to be taken into account. Where else can you see men and women acrobatically fly through the air and pull off amazing maneuvers on each other?
Secondly, the gimmicks and characters that each wrestler takes on is a huge factor as well. If people love a certain character or gimmick, they are likely to not only tune into his or her segments and matches, but also the entire show.
But perhaps the biggest reason why wrestling is still so incredibly popular among audiences is the storylines. The WWE and other major promotions pay their writers extremely well to churn our quality storylines that hook the viewer and get them excited and immersed into the show.
Storylines can build hype for a show or a character, can start or end a feud and anything in-between. These writers work day and night to put out content and sometimes it pays off in a big way. There is no way PPVs would be as big or characters would be as popular if it wasn’t for storylines that featured or built up to them.
However, sometimes these storylines sound good on paper, but when they come to life, they are horrendous for one reason or another. In this article, we will take a look at 15 of the worst storylines in WWE history and go over who was included in them and why it was so bad.
15 Dawn Marie and Al Wilson
Dawn Marie was a star in ECW before her move to the WWE in 2002. She was involved in a couple of decent feuds before getting into one that was just plain weird. It was a feud with fan favourite Torrie Wilson. However, there was a big twist. The feud began when Marie admitted she had feelings for Al Wilson, the father of Torrie Wilson and, through the art of sexual seduction, even got him to agree to marry her.
They ended up getting married, but the twists in the feud weren’t done yet. During their honeymoon, after presumably hours of sex, it was said that Al Wilson had died of a heart attack due to the "physical activity," which led to numerous matches between a vengeful Torrie and Dawn Marie. This was a strange way for them to take this feud, which also featured a brief hint at a potential “night in a hotel room” between Dawn Marie and Torrie Wilson.
14 Mark Henry and Mae Young’s Relationship
While many of us think of Mark Henry as the behemoth “World’s Strongest Man,” he hasn't always been portrayed that way. Back in 1999, Henry was well known as “Sexual Chocolate," during a time where he would flirt with every female on the roster. And while the gimmick was actually pretty funny, it soon turned very weird. For some reason, in 2000, the WWE decided to add Mae Young (who was 77 at the time) to his storyline. Over the course of the storyline, Henry got her pregnant (which I’m pretty sure is impossible for a woman her age) and she eventually gave birth to a rubber hand. Yeah, that was a real storyline that the WWE ran on live television. Truly one of the many examples of how little effort or thought often goes into some of the WWE storylines.
13 Kane/Snitsky and Lita Pregnancy Storyline
This was basically one pretty awful storyline leading into one that was truly horrific. While the storyline with Kane getting Lita pregnancy was bad enough, it was taken to another level once Snitsky became involved. The two wrestled a bunch (Kane and Snitsky) and the feud escalated when Snitsky accidentally ran into Lita, causing her to miscarry the baby. If that wasn’t horrible enough, Snitsky eventually came down to the ring and punted a baby doll, which led to his extremely annoying phrase of “It wasn’t my fault.”
Look, any storyline that involves miscarriages and punting pretend babies is pretty bad. Let’s also not forget that the original storyline was pretty bad, as Lita was still with Matt Hardy when Kane had “impregnated” her with his demon child. There were many talented guys and girls on the roster who should have been put into creative storylines instead of awful ones like this.
12 Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler
Sometimes wrestler vs. wrestler feuds are bad, but when a time-consuming storyline takes place between two men that aren’t even wrestlers, that is a bad sign. But for what seemed like forever, commentators Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler were engaged in a war of words that eventually turned physical. It dragged on and led to an actual WrestleMania match between them. Yes, between two commentators. But this wasn’t even the end of this feud as they had another match at Over The Limit, which led to Cole kissing Lawler's foot. The storyline lasted around two years and it look a legitimate on-air heart attack suffered by Lawler to end the awful feud. These two were also side by side on commentary often, so we never really got a break from this tiresome feud.
11 Hassan and Daivari Terrorist Angle
This is an example of a relatively decent storyline with a good worker and a decent manager being taken way way way too far. Only a few years after the 9/11 attacks, Muhammad Hassan debuted as a middle eastern wrestler sick of being stereotyped, who simply wanted a chance like everyone else. This was a decent angle and wasn’t offensive in the least. Plus, wrestling have used numerous “enemies of the state” to take on the role as heels, such as The Iron Sheik or a never ending list of Soviets during the Cold War.
But as soon as they had Hassan call upon a group of masked men in camo pants to attack The Undertaker and choke him out with piano wire, they took it way too far. Also, this occurred right round the same time as the London terrorist attacks in 2005. As you could image, there was widespread outrage over this and we didn’t see Hassan much after that.
10 The Invasion
This was a storyline that occurred after the WWE purchased WCW, and pitted members of the ECW and WCW (the Alliance) against a team of WWE superstars. In the eyes of most fans, this type of competition and feud was a dream, as they would finally see which group of stars was truly better. But unfortunately, all the fans got was a pretty damn awful storyline. As the storyline progressed, it became obvious that Vince McMahon only wanted the WWE to appear strong and thus, his guys rarely lost clean to The Alliance. The Alliance was perceived as incredibly weak throughout this feud and the fans did not get their dream scenario, as this whole storyline wasn’t really competitive at all. The ego of the McMahon’s and others involved made this storyline pale in comparison to what it could have been.
9 Piggy James
Now this one was just awful in every sense of the word and was not something that should have aired on national television. Over the last decade, the WWE and other wrestling promotions have often come under fire with how they promote their female talent. While things are better now, it used to be a complete mess. Most girls were used purely as eye candy or given a role as a crazy woman, while others would be given the role of a catty bully. And that is the exact role that Michelle McCool and Layla took on in the “Piggy James” storyline, which was exactly what it sounds like. Mickie James looked, and still looks, great, but, for some reason, the WWE thought it was okay to basically air bullying that thousands of girls face every day over their weight on television. This was a very cheap and unnecessary storyline that WWE never ever needed to have.
8 Little People’s Court
Over the years, the WWE have often taken a childish route with their humor and this is one of the best examples of that. While the fact that dwarfism is funny to the WWE was present in this awful storyline, it really put a cherry on the top of the awful return of DX. In the 1990s and early 2000s, DX became one of the most inappropriate, vulgar and beloved stables of the Attitude Era. But when they made a comeback in 2009, fans knew they couldn’t be the same. They weren’t and their return was very forgettable. Actually, most fans of the original DX were sick to their stomach. Not only was it bad that the WWE laughed at dwarfism and dragged DX through the dirt, but this storyline dragged on forever and never really added much of anything to the show.
7 Rey Mysterio/Eddie Guerrero Custody Storyline
Out of all the bad storylines in this article, this one really makes me scratch my head over and over. While the idea of Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guererro wrestling and feuding with each other is great, WWE didn’t need to go where this storyline went. For some reason, the WWE decided to take the feud and storyline in a direction where it was revealed that Eddie was the biological father of Rey Mysterio’s son, Dominick. The big ending to this feud was a ladder match at SummerSlam, where the two would fight over Dominick's legal custody, which Mysterio ultimately won. This was truly a strange twist to a great feud that didn’t need any stupid twists, as Eddie and Rey are two of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
6 Beaver Cleavage / Chaz
This is one that not many people will remember, but it was truly one of the strangest moments in WWE history. In May 1999, Beaver Cleavage debuted in an obvious play on the old TV show Leave it to Beaver, only way stranger. He appeared in numerous black and white vignettes with his “mother,” Mrs. Cleavage. And these vignettes were full of awkward and incestuous banter between the two that really had no place in the WWE. The idea was quickly scrapped, but then Beaver (now named Chaz) returned and claimed that the woman was his girlfriend, not his mother. Then, the WWE decided to take this already weird feud into the realm of domestic violence. Yeah, we have no idea what they were thinking with this one.
5 Tim White Suicide Watch
If you are unfamiliar with Tim White, he was a WWE referee from the 1980s up until 2004. Unfortunately, the end of his WWE career came when he injured his shoulder refereeing a Hell in a Cell match, before re-aggravating the injury at WrestleMania XX. But while his in ring duties were done, the WWE was not done with him and put him at the center of one of their most inappropriate angles ever. In this storyline, White became so depressed after his career ending injury that he tried to kill himself every week. Really. This ranged from downing rat poison to trying to hang himself and all of this contributed nothing to the in-ring action. The fact that the WWE ran a "comedy" angle about serious issues like suicide and depression is truly horrible.
4 Vince McMahon’s Illegitimate Son
Again, I have no idea why the WWE decided to even write this storyline, as it had nothing to do with in-ring competition or anything like that. In 2007, Vince McMahon got hit with a paternity lawsuit about a long lost son of his. And wouldn’t you know it, his illegitimate son was also a member of the WWE roster. To many people, this was a clear set up to propel some promising superstar to superstardom, but again, horrific writing and planning stopped that from happening. As it turned out, the big reveal was made and it turned out that Hornswoggle was his son. Allegedly it was supposed to Mr. Kennedy, but suspensions and other issues negated that. Then, after a bunch of pointless segments, it was revealed he was actually Finlay’s son. Not only was this storyline much longer than it should have been, it never needed to happen in the first place.
3 Anonymous Raw General Manager
We know that most of you remember this storyline. Not only because of how recent it was, but because of how awful it was. This storyline ran for a year, where no one knew who the Raw GM was and Michael Cole would just dictate their wishes via messages through a computer that placed at ringside. Naturally, this helped make Michael Cole one of the most hated individuals in wrestling. With Triple H and John Laurinaitis in town, the role of the Raw GM was unnecessary and most fans were just annoyed when the alarm sounded to announce that an email was received. After a very long time, it was eventually revealed that Hornswoggle was once again the culprit and the whole WWE Universe let out a huge sigh. That’s right, Hornswoggle was the reveal for the last two entries of this article.
2 Drug and Alcohol Addicted Hawk
It is especially awful when wrestling incorporates real world struggles into their storylines, but that is exactly what they did here. It was no secret that Hawk had some struggles with substance in his real life and, for some reason, the WWE decided to make a storyline out of it. Hawk and Animal obviously wanted nothing to do with this, but they still went through with it. The gimmick and storyline had Hawk show up to matches drunk, which showed just how far the WWE was willing to go to push the envelope. However, whether ratings are involved or not, things like suicide and drug/alcohol abuse are not things that should be joked about. This is especially true when the person portraying those characteristics is actually suffering from them in real life.
1 Katie Vick
If you're a WWE fan, you had to have known that this would be here. Any storyline that involves making necrophilia a joke is destined to be one of the worst in wrestling history. This storyline starred Kane and Triple H and involved Triple H calling Kane a murderer. He claimed Kane was hiding a secret, a secret named Katie Vick. He claimed that Vick was an ex-girlfriend of Kane’s who died in a car crash after drinking and driving. But the segment that really made this the worst storyline in WWE history was when Triple H dressed up as Kane and re-enacted Vick’s funeral, complete with feigning sex with her dead body. It was an awful storyline that reeked of stupidity and was offensive through and through.