The Rattlesnake. The American Dream. The People’s Champion. The Nature Boy. The Showstopper. The Rated-R Superstar. The Phenom. Throughout wrestling, there have been slews of nicknames thrown at guys that help elevate them nicely. A lot of guys carry some cool names that help push them up more and elevate them nicely and sound pretty cool. It also helps with merchandising, guys able to sell tons of T-shirts and such with their nicknames and you can see fans holding up signs with those names to boost a guy up more. A great nickname can often be the key to a wrestler getting truly over and make them a bigger star.
However, not everyone can get such a good nickname. Too many times, the marketing department at a company comes up with something that’s just a big loser and yet they keep trying to promote it as something cool. But the more they try to shove it down fans’ throats, the more they turn on it, especially when it’s not that great to begin with. Here are 15 attempts to give wrestlers good nicknames but only served to make them sound more lame than usual. Names that made you want to say to creative, 'try harder guys.'
14 The Altered Beast
When you start off as “Deacon Dave,” you can really only go up from there. Despite a late start, Batista was a good worker and the name of “The Animal” fit him perfectly. Strong and surprisingly skilled when needed, Batista was a huge star with effective ring work and dominating as champion several times. His return in 2014 was bad from the start, as fans were hating seeing him pushed to the main event of WrestleMania right off the bat. Not helping was how he was now being referred to as “The Altered Beast,” supposedly referring to him being different after his hiatus.
13 CeNation Commander in Chief
12 The Ultra Male
11 The Man Dinosaur
Brodus Clay was a guy really messed up by WWE as in FCW, he was pushed as a monster guy, complete with the wild name of “The Mastodon of Mayhem.” He seemed ready to continue that in WWE but instead was transformed into the goofy dancer, used more for comic relief rather than an actual threat in the ring. His antics were annoying and he was soon pushed out of the company. When he came to TNA, he seemed a bit better off, more of an enforcer as a bodyguard first for ECIII and then Matt Hardy and ready to be a monster heel.
Bob Holly is a fascinating case of a guy who transformed himself from an incredibly lame gimmick of Sparkplug Holly to a seriously respected worker over the course of his long-tenured WWE career. He spent time as a tag worker and later the turn to a real Hardcore style, exemplified by the ECW match where he had a horrendous gash on his back but kept on working, earning huge props from fans across the WWE Universe. You would think the company would give him a tough nickname to match that, as he was clearly wicked and strong in the ring.
10 The Charismatic Enigma
TNA deserves the credit for this one, still one of the more baffling nicknames around. To be fair, it does fit Jeff Hardy, a guy who has always played by his own rules and behavior and was thrown on him when he joined the company in 2004. They wanted to push him as something special and unique, a fan favorite with a bizarre style but the name itself just sounded awkward and while it’s intended to be a contrast, it still doesn’t sound good. Of course, Hardy didn’t help with his wild behavior in TNA from drug use to no-shows and showing up stoned as hell at times.
9 World’s Largest Love Machine
Nelson Frazier wasn’t a bad guy behind the scenes but jeez, did he get some bad stuff. With his hulking size, he could have been sold well as a monster but WWE’s first idea was to have him as Mabel, the rapper of Men on a Mission. That led to his turn as King Mabel that helped ruin business for WWE in 1995. Then Viscera, the hulking monster figure. But the worst was when he became Big Daddy V, his outfit just pants and suspenders over that horribly obese chest, a sight that disgusted fans.
8 The All-American American
Jack Swagger is a classic case of a guy who’s been pushed way beyond his ability to be a well-rounded WWE susperstar. He’s a good worker and a decent mid card guy but not a main event champion by any means. Yet WWE keeps pushing him that way despite how he can’t really carry it despite numerous title runs. The nickname doesn’t help as the marketing department no doubt thinks it sounds cool but in reality, it’s clunky, unwieldy and a mouthful to say.
7 The Big Game Hunter
Eric Young is an interesting case for TNA. He was a dependable worker for the company for over a decade, a good guy who was often best as this goofball moron to make folks laugh. He bounced from Team Canada to Super Eric to other bits that often had him as the comic relief. Starting in 2014, TNA tried to make him serious with a sudden World title run that was just to cash in on the Daniel Bryan craze.
6 The Devil’s Favorite Demon
Kane always had a fantastic look with his tall body, mask and costume and coming out with pyro exploding. From the start, the label of “The Big Red Machine” fit him as he would march out and destroy anyone in his path, as even unmasking did nothing to hurt that but just made him even more intimidating along the way. He’s made turns over the years such as the “Corporate” stooge and other transformations but still holding to his status as a beast in the ring.
5 The Blue Chipper
It’s become legendary how WWE tried to present Rocky Maivia as a classic babyface, all smiles and bright attitude and the fans hated it from the get-go. As part of the presentation, WWE pushed how he was carrying on the legacy of grandfather Peter Maivia and father Rocky Johnson and so took to naming him “The Blue Chipper” as a great young talent. It was pushed over and over despite how Rocky just had a bland presentation with his so-so promos and the fans loathing this kid pushed on them so hard.
4 The Great White
Sheamus has been pushed a lot by WWE with the “Celtic Warrior” label, which is not too bad of a name for him. Some might accuse him of being pushed to the main event that he doesn’t deserve but he still has proven himself as a good worker when he has to be and not as bad on the mic as some people may think. Many an opponent has turned his incredibly light skin into something to make fun of but it’s still bizarre that WWE themselves tried to use it by calling Sheamus “The Great White.”
3 The Silverback Gorilla
A fan theory is that Vince McMahon has saddled Mark Henry with tons of bad stuff to try to get him to quit and avoid paying his massive contract but Henry just sucks up whatever he’s given to continue. He’s had rough stuff as “Sexual Chocolate” for some infamous bad times in the late 1990s and for the most part, WWE agrees to stick with the “World’s Strongest Man” label. However, for a brief time, Henry was saddled with the nickname of “The Silverback Gorilla” which didn’t sound right.
2 The Big Dog
1 The Bionic Redneck
From the moment he latched onto the “Stone Cold” moniker, Steve Austin was a made man in wrestling. A fantastic worker and killer on the mic, Austin added to it with his sensational attitude to win the fans over and become one of the biggest stars in the business. He added to it with “The Texas Rattlesnake,” showcasing himself as a deadly figure ready to attack at any moment. In 2000, Austin was coming back after surgery for neck and knee problems and Jim Ross decided to add to things by calling Austin “The Bionic Redneck.”
It was a truly goofy name, just making Austin sound more childish than usual and a bizarre mix on its own, using the old “Six Million Dollar Man” motif but not to good effect. It didn’t roll off the tongue and did no favors selling t-shirts at all. It was dropped fast as it just seemed a goofy name to throw in as Austin is much better as a Rattlesnake than any sci-fi themed bit.
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