The hero never looks more impressive than when overcoming his most visually fearsome foe. Excitement is induced by Batman versus Bane, the X-Men against Apocalypse, or Rocky Balboa taking on Ivan Drago. It’s a simple, time-tested formula: the greater the odds stacked against your protagonist, the greater the drama. The concept most certainly applies to sports entertainment and that is why everyone loves a great monster heel.
Monster heels still exist in today’s WWE, but in the reality era the lines are often blurred. That is why we are flashing back to the decade when the last of the dinosaurs were still roaming the wrestling world.
The 1990s were a decade where size still very much mattered and because of that, big guys were given every opportunity to succeed. Some massive heels like The Undertaker and Yokozuna reached the upper echelon of being considered a top star in the company. Despite not quite being top bill like the aforementioned, monsters such as Kane, Vader, Psycho Sid and Bam Bam Bigelow made a lasting impact during this time as well. Of course, there were some guys who didn’t possess that level of talent, but based on their look, were able to stick around and have, if anything, relatively lengthy stays in the company. These are the guys who just barely missed this list like Mabel or the Natural Disasters, Earthquake and Typhoon.
Then, there is the group that we are focusing on for this list. These are guys that, if you even remember them, they just leave you scratching your head. Maybe the talent was there, but it was a ridiculous gimmick that held them back. Maybe they literally choked Vince McMahon (yes, that happened). Or maybe we should accept that they just didn’t have it and leave them be. You, along with history, can be the judge. Note that in order to be disappointing, there had to be at least some promise to begin with, so you won’t see a Bastion Booger or Mantaur on this list. The following ranking considers one’s WWE career only and the order is based on the size of their push, length of their stay in WWE, and relevance to WWE history.
Brakkus had a great body and nothing more. They hyped him with vignettes in 1997 but ended up sending him to Memphis and ECW to improve his ring work. They brought him back in 1998 and he lost a few matches to Golddust and Jeff Jarrett. Arguably, his most memorable moment was getting his nose busted by Savio Vega in one of those awful "Brawl for All" Matches on Raw.
Though he clearly inserted a number of “performance enhancing products” into his system, he inserted nothing into the annals of WWE history.
9 Fake Razor Ramon (Rick Bognar)
As part of a storyline in September 1996, Jim Ross announced he was bringing back Diesel and Razor Ramon. Fans were disappointed when they realized a heel Jim Ross was pulling a fast one, and out to the ring came Glen Jacobs as the new Diesel and Rick Bognar as the new Razor Ramon. Needless to say they never had a chance with this gimmick.
Some good came of this angle, however. Originals Scott Hall and Kevin Nash would receive generous new contracts because WCW brass feared JR’s rumor was true. Also, another positive result, that fake Diesel guy would be repackaged a few months later as The Undertaker’s younger brother. Mr. Bognar would not be as fortunate and he left the company after his one-year contract expired.
8 Mr. Hughes
Curtis “Mr.” Hughes got his WWE start in the summer of 1993 by joining forces with Harvey Wippleman and Giant Gonzalez in a war against The Undertaker. Things did not work out well for those three men from a wins and losses standpoint. To make matters worse, Hughes stole The Undertaker’s urn during the feud. Hughes earned a spot in the 1993 King of the Ring against Mr. Perfect. However, he would be disqualified after hitting Perfect with Taker’s urn. The Deadman recovered his coveted urn and Hughes would be gone from WWE shortly after.
Hughes would return for two more short stints in the late 90s, briefly in 1997 as the bodyguard/butler of Hunter Hearst Helmsley (prior to Chyna) and then as Chris Jericho’s bodyguard in 1999.
Starting out as the Interrogator of “The Truth Commission”, a stable led by the Jackyl, Kurrgan was the sole survivor in a 1997 Survivor Series matchup where the Commission faced off against the Disciples of Apocalypse. Shortly after WrestleMania XIV the Commission disbanded and Kurrgan would join a new group, the Oddities. It wouldn’t be long before this group found themselves at the bottom of the card. Kurrgan was eliminated by Kane in the 1999 Royal Rumble and was released a month later (along with his Oddity brethren).
The seven-footer has since landed roles in several blockbuster films. Kudos to Kurrgan for realizing wrestling wasn’t his calling and achieving success elsewhere.
6 The Berzerker
In 1991, The Berzerker joined WWE and made his pay-per-view debut at the 1991 Survivor Series. He was the last surviving member of his group (led by Col. Mustafa, aka Iron Sheik), but they would suffer defeat at the hands of Sgt. Slaughter’s team.
Berzerker’s biggest break would come in the summer of 1992 when he won a 40 man Battle Royal on Prime Time Wrestling and challenged Bret Hart to a match for the WWE Championship. The two would meet for the title in November of 1992, but Berzerker would ultimately tap out to the Sharpshooter. The Undertaker eliminated him in the 1993 Rumble and he was gone from the company a month later.
Nailz debuted in 1992 as an ex-convict and immediately set his sights on the Big Bossman, whom he attacked and put “out of action” for several months. The two finally collided at Survivor Series in a “Nightstick Match”, which would be the climax of their feud, as well as Nailz’s career, as he was released in December of the same year in one of the more interesting locker room stories in company history.
Supposedly, Vince McMahon and Nailz were having a closed-door discussion regarding a financial dispute. Allegedly, Nailz was screaming for 15 minutes before eventually choking Vince until a few guys busted in to pull Nailz off. As one would imagine, several lawsuits followed from both sides. No one really knows the true story, other than Vince and Nailz.
4 Ludvig Borga
Considered a legit tough guy per his MMA background, Ludvig Borga burst onto the WWE scene in the summer of 1993. His brief stint began with a series of squash matches and promos that would form the collision course headed straight for the All American Lex Luger. Borga and Luger would finally square off in a Survivor Series elimination match in which Luger would be the sole survivor, last eliminating Borga.
Just a few months later, Borga suffered an ankle injury that would not only derail his push, but his WWE career, as he was gone before the 1994 Royal Rumble.
In 1988, One Man Gang was repackaged as Akeem, “the African Dream”, a controversial gimmick he would carry into the early 90s. Managed by Slick, Akeem joined up with the Big Bossman to form the Twin Towers. Bossman turned babyface in early 1990 and the former partners faced off at WrestleMania VI. This would be Akeem’s last high profile match in WWE and he would leave the company in October of 1990.
Though Akeem had a somewhat brief and low-impact WWE career, not many men can say they were once involved in the company’s top storyline. As a formidable heel tag team, the Twin Towers served as a bridge, at the end of which the world would see the Mega Powers collide.
2 Adam Bomb
Adam Bomb made his debut in 1993, touted as a survivor of the nuclear meltdown accident on Three Mile Island. He earned a spot on the card at WrestleMania X only to be squashed by Earthquake in under a minute. Adam Bomb’s last WWE PPV appearance of the 90s was a loss to Mabel during the 1995 King of the Ring. He resurfaced briefly in 2001, after the WCW "Invasion", teaming with Bryan Adams in a feud against the Brothers of Destruction (Undertaker & Kane).
He had a phenomenal look paired with good athleticism for his size. However, with a name and gimmick like “Adam Bomb”, the odds of success were definitely not in his favor. Considering the character’s name it’s ironic just how small of an impact he made in the WWE.
1 Giant Gonzalez
Managed by Harvey Wippleman, Giant Gonzalez debuted in devastating fashion, by eliminating The Undertaker at the 1993 Royal Rumble. He would go on to face Taker at WrestleMania IX, and the feud would culminate at SummerSlam 93 with Taker beating him one last time. Gonzalez left the WWE in October of the same year.
His high-profile feud and subsequent WrestleMania match with The Undertaker earned him the top spot on this list. It’s easy to see why WWE had high hopes for the giant, as he was one of the largest pro wrestlers of all time. As tall as he was, one could understand the in-ring struggles, but the company did him no favors by sticking him in that infamous full body suit, equipped with airbrushed muscles and fake body hair.