Wrestling is a scripted form of entertainment. As such, it relies heavily on its stories to carry fans through to getting invested in the show and its matches. A good storyline can elevate a good match to legendary status, and a bad one can cause fans to hang their head in shame.
There have been plenty of good stories; Hulk Hogan seeking revenge for the betrayal of his close friend André The Giant, Stone Cold rebelling against the tyrannous boss Mr. McMahon and his corporate champion, The Rock, Shawn Michaels putting everything on the line to challenge the legendary Streak and CM Punk's crusade to prove himself the best in the world on his way out of the WWE to name just a few.
On the flip side, there are some stories that would be better forgotten but occasionally get brought back to life to be mocked by the embarrassed participants. Such monstrosities as The Gobbledy Gooker being the big Survivor Series 1990 reveal, Mark Henry and Mae Young's romance leading to her giving birth to a hand, David Arquette the WCW World Champion, the Anonymous Raw General Manager and of course, the infamous Katie Vick.
But some of the absolute worst thankfully never made it to air. For all the stories that left fans scratching their heads wonder "what were they thinking?" there were even more that even the creative team put a stop to before they made it to air. Here we take a look at 10 of the absolute craziest ideas in the history of the WWE. Thankfully, sound judgment prevailed before some of these atrocities took place.
10 Triple H vs. Mike Tyson: Boxing Match
When promoting Triple H and The Undertaker's big WrestleMania clashes at WrestleMania 27 and 28, WWE would often ignore the fact that the two had met previously at the event. Back in 2001, at WrestleMania X-Seven the two men met in a brutal match. Triple H's night could have been considerably more brutal though. At least for fans.
The original plans for Triple H saw him pitted against former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson in a six round contest. Both Earl Hebner and Mills Lane would be the officials in the ring, although it is unclear whether the match would've been competed entirely under boxing rules or whether Triple H would have had wrestling rules (which would explain the double officials).
Thankfully the idea was scrapped and Triple H would instead compete in what he considers to be one of his favourite matches, giving the sub-main event for one of the greatest events in the company's history.
What would the story have been anyway? That Triple H was seeking revenge on Tyson for betraying D-X three years earlier?
9 Imposter Kane Was No Imposter
When Kane was being haunted by the date "May 19" back in 2006, fans spent weeks speculating what the big mystery was building to. In many ways it was similar to the way that Paul Bearer had taunted The Undertaker 10 years prior, when building up to the debut of Kane.
This similarity almost ended up being more. The original plans were for the Fake Kane that would end up being revealed (played by Drew Hankinson - better known to fans as Festus, Luke Gallows and D.O.C.) to actually be the real Kane.
Brought about by Glenn Jacobs (the actual Kane) considering retirement, WWE decided they were not ready to let the gimmick go. The reveal would have been that Jacobs had kept the real Kane imprisoned while stealing his identity for a decade.
Jacobs's decision to prolong retirement (for almost an additional decade now) and fans' confusion to the story presented ended up with the story being rushed through and unceremonious.
8 Stacy Keibler And The Flair Family Issues
In WCW's dying years they aired a lot of terrible, terrible ideas. But the worst didn't even make it to air. The company wanted to try and take advantage of Stacy Keibler and David Flair's off-screen relationship, to painful results.
The first was based on an on-screen pregnancy that she revealed did not belong to David. This led to a ridiculous DNA Blood Match between Flair and Buff Bagwell with the angle dropped straight after. There were two equally ridiculous outcomes planned for the father. Ric Flair and Vince Russo.
The other story planned was to see Stacy and David getting married on air, only to reveal that Ric Flair was Stacy's father. As if not crazy enough, David would be revealed to really be Vince Russo's son!
To quote Ric Flair, "It was like whenever there was a hole in the show, he [Russo] tried to plug it with something involving my family." A family, it seems, Russo wished to be a part of.
7 Heidenreich and Snitsky Breaking The Streak
People loved WrestleMania 31 but ask them what one thing felt missing from the show and they will all say the same - The Streak. Undertaker's unprecedented undefeated run on the grandest stage in professional wrestling was a true headline attraction. But it was not always planned to be a big deal. In fact, it was going to end with very little fanfare at all.
In 2005, with Undertaker at 12-0, WWE were planning for his WrestleMania 21 participation to be in a tag team match. The Brothers of Destruction were to team in a cross-promotional match against their respective rivals Gene Snitsky and Heidenreich. Fortunately the match did not happen because Kane got injured.
The replacement match saw 'The Legend Killer' Randy Orton trying to cause The Deadman's first Mania loss. But off-screen Orton refused to be the man to end Taker's streak. And he wasn't alone. The following year both Mark Henry and Kurt Angle also refused the poisoned chalice. In future years Sting, Wade Barrett and Brock Lesnar were all planned to break The Streak at different times but various things stopped plans until Lesnar finally did at WrestleMania XXX.
6 Melina: The Drag Queen
When MNM made their debut in 2005, their valet Melina got herself a spotlight with her unique entrance that left little to the imagination. Despite this, WWE had plans to (somehow) claim that she was hiding a big secret. That she was a man.
The shocking (and illogical) reveal was to come as a result of her seduction of Batista. What played out on TV was Melina accusing Batista instead, of forcing himself upon her. Little else was made of it, leaving fans to assume it was only done as a result of their rumored real life affair.
In actuality, it was supposed to continue to see Batista reveal that not only were Melina's accusations false but so was her gender. Stephanie McMahon, who was serving as head writer at the time, turned down the idea as she felt it would destroy the diva's career. The wisest moment of that entire storyline.
5 Goldust Wanted Breast Implants
Not all terrible ideas come from the writers room, as some are pitched by the wrestlers themselves. Goldust was a pretty weird character, a sexually ambiguous cross-dresser but Dustin Runnels wanted his act to get even stranger.
Worried about the possibility of losing his job, Runnels approached Vince with an offer that even McMahon thought was too ridiculous to go through with, although not before strongly considering it. If paid $1 million, he would get breast implants with WWE cameras filming the operation.
Vince alluded to this during the Monday Night Raw he announced his purchase of WCW and took the opportunity to mock its performers but most had written it off as a storyline claim. However, Vince Russo confirmed it as true in his biography Forgiven, saying that Runnels asked him to pitch the idea to McMahon. Russo said he put it down to sheer desperation and that he would have eventually come to his senses.
4 Mr. McMahon's Murder
The only reason why the world didn't get to witness this crazy storyline is the unfortunate timing. Fans did get to see Mr. McMahon's limousine exploding, leaving the world wondering the fate of the chairman, but the whole thing was swiftly scrapped as a result of the real life double murder-suicide of active wrestler Chris Benoit.
The plans would have run until WrestleMania and been one of the most audacious in WWE history. Linda McMahon would be revealed to be the murderer of her husband after a lengthy investigation, leading to her arrest. In the absence of both the senior McMahons it would have been revealed that Vince had left the company to his illegitimate son, Mr. Kennedy.
Kennedy would have abused his power to place himself in the World Championship picture, and in turn making him the top heel in the entire WWE. This would lead to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon returning to TV, acknowledging their real marriage and leading to Triple H challenging Kennedy for ownership of the company.
Triple H would win the WrestleMania match for the power, leading to Mr. McMahon returning to reveal he faked his own death and planted evidence to frame Linda in order to leave the company to his 'true son'.
WWE attempted to retool the story but timing got in the way once more, as Mr. Kennedy was suspended for breaching the WWE Wellness Policy just as he was about to be revealed as Mr. McMahon's illegitimate son.
As a result, we got Hornswoggle as McMahon's son... Let's move on.
3 The Ebony Experience
Many cite the dying years of WCW as the lowest point of their history but if this idea had made the air then 1993 would have been difficult to beat. When WCW first brought in Col. Robert Parker he was going leave a very different legacy. The company first assigned him a tag team going by the name, The Ebony Experience - later known as Harlem Heat.
Booker T and Stevie Ray were going to be presented as jailed criminals, who would enter the ring in chains led by the rich white Texan, Parker. This package was presented at the taping of WCW Saturday Night under the title The Posse. Thanks to the reaction of the live crowd, who were stunned to an awkward silence, it never made TV.
It is unknown whose idea it was (they're unlikely to step forward and admit it) but some, including Bryan Alvarez, lay the blame at the door of then Executive Vice President Bill Watts.
Ironically, Parker would eventually end up as the 'promoter' of Harlem Heat two years later thanks to an on-screen marriage to their manager Sherri Martel.
2 Keeping It In The Family
Vince Russo's obsession with creating Flair family drama pales in comparison to Vince McMahon's crazy suggestion for his own. When his daughter Stephanie was pregnant with her first child, Vince's mind gave him the idea of writing it into storylines on air. He wanted to do so by revealing the identity of the father as none other than Vince McMahon himself.
Not everyone in the McMahon family shared the view though, and by not everyone, I mean absolutely no one. Stephanie immediately shot down the crazy idea. Vince would not be deterred though, merely responding by suggesting that her brother, Shane be the father instead. Oh yeah, that's much better. Once again, Stephanie shut down the idea.
This was not the first or last time Vince would want incest in his show, although it was the only time it was with real life blood relatives. He initially pitched the idea to Ken Shamrock and on-screen sister Ryan. Ken considered it but was convinced by his fellow wrestlers to refuse. Years later, the angle would be planned for Paul and Katie Lea Burchill but was dropped when the sibling pair didn't quite get over with fans.
1 Baron von Bava
If this name isn't familiar to you, consider yourself lucky. This brain child of Dan Madigan was so bad that it even shocked Vince McMahon to silence. In 2004, Madigan pitched an idea to Vince for an act called Baron von Bava. Bava was a Nazi stormtrooper from the 1940s, frozen by Nazi scientists who were panicking about losing the war and wanted their legacy to live on by freezing one of their best soldiers. When unthawed in 2004, von Bava would be a man unaware of the time and who didn't know what was and wasn't acceptable in the modern world. Think a fascist Captain America.
But his idea was set to get even more offensive. "To make the story even more insane, I wanted Paul Heyman, a Jewish New Yorker, to be the one to revive the baron and bring him to SmackDown to be his manager. I thought it would be a scream to have Paul E. come down to the ring and introduce Baron von Bava, only to have the Baron come down to the ring goose-stepping and wearing the red Swastika around his biceps."
After actually goosestepping around the writing meeting to demonstrate the gimmick, Madigan sat down proud of his brainchild. Vince silently left the room shortly after. To no one's surprise, Madigan was out of the WWE by October that year.