Breaking out in the WWE can be tough. It’s not all up to skill. Hell, you could be the best wrestler on the roster, but if you’ve got a forgettable or embarrassing persona, you’re dead in the water. More and more recently we see wrestlers using just a name. No more whacky, crazy gimmicks. They still exist, but the top wrestlers on the roster all go by ‘Daniel Bryan’ or ‘Seth Rollins.’
I pity the wrestlers looking for their big break, only to learn that the WWE writers have assigned them some horrible, if not offensive persona that is destined to fail. There’s pity, but also hilarity. These are the Top 15 Cringe-Worthy Characters WWE Wants You To Forget About.
15 Isaac Yankem
Upon the news that Kane is going to run for Mayor of Know County, Tennessee, let’s take a look back at the beginning of his career in the WWE, shall we? In one of the most cringe-worthy gimmicks the WWE has ever concocted, Kane entered the industry in 1995 as a potential rival to Bret Hart as a…evil dentist. You read that properly. Check out this video on YouTube of Jerry the King Lawler cutting a promo, introducing Isaac Yankem and his terrifying dentist practice. The whole thing is absolutely embarrassing, and Kane thinks so too. Don’t ask Kane about the former character, because apparently he gets fairly upset when you do. Things worked out pretty well for Kane, however, going on to win multiple titles and had an incredibly successful career in the WWE.
14 The Mountie
Jacques Rougeau was born into wrestling. His grandfather, father and uncle all wrestled and were considered legends in Canadian wrestling. Of course, Vince McMahon came up with the cheesy gimmick of The Mountie; an anti-American heel who was really anti-Canadian as well. He was everything Canadian’s aren’t; vile, brash and unapologetic. The Mountie showed some momentary success, and even had a brief feud with Bret Hart and even won the Intercontinental Title from him, for a brief period of two days, losing the belt to Rowdy Roddy Piper. The Mountie faded away into obscurity not long after this. With this cheesy shtick and an even worse entrance song, this was the time of gimmicks in the WWE, and we don’t miss it. Neither does the WWE.
13 Kerwin White
Not sure who came up with this bright idea, but the Kerwin White character wasn’t just embarrassing, it was down-right offensive. It couldn’t have been Chavo Guererro Jr’s idea, that’s for sure. Riding out in a golf cart, wearing a polo with a sweater draped over his shoulders, the Kerwin White moniker had Chavo acting as a middle-class ‘Anglo-American’, and even using his catch phrase (which they later abandoned), ‘if it ain’t White, it ain’t right’…White; as in the character’s last name, not white as in Caucasian. Too little too late, WWE, that’s super-offensive. Thankfully for Chavo the persona didn’t last very long. Unfortunately though it took the death of his Uncle Eddie for Chavo to ditch the offensive character and retain his family name.
12 Xanta Klaus
Before he actually found some success as Ball Mahoney, the late, great John Rechner appeared in the WWE only a handful of times as the very strange, very perplexing persona of Xanta Klaus. He was the evil twin of the real Santa, who was from the South Pole and would steal presents from children, not give them. This was one of the most ridiculous gimmicks the WWE ever concocted, being introduced by Ted DiBiase, but after a few appearances the character was never seen from or referenced again. Looks like the WWE realized how insane this character was and quickly dropped Xanta Klaus from their roster. Rechner left the WWE entirely and found some success with the ECW under the persona Balls Mahoney. Hey, anything is better than Xanta Klaus, right?
Ahhh, how offensive the WWE can be. Especially in the Attitude Era/Ruthless Aggression where writers would push the boundaries and make fun of anyone they wanted. That includes the handicapped. Eugene made his WWE debut in 2004 and actually had some success despite the absolutely horrible gimmick. Real name Nick Dinsmore parodied himself has a mentally handicapped person, with awful facial expressions and silly voices, sometimes even carrying a stuffed animal to the ring while wearing a cape. Eugene feuded with Triple H and a few other well-known Superstars, but the WWE brass seemed to catch on that this character was more than offensive, and after a few brief returns to the WWE ring, Eugene has faded into the abyss of awful personas. And that is not a bad thing.
10 Red Rooster
Poor, poor Terry Taylor. I can’t imagine the look on his face when the WWE writers presented him with his new persona….The Red Rooster! Watching his promos is one of the most cringe-worthy things you were ever seen in your whole life, and it’s pretty awesome. Why would anybody agree to such an awful gimmick? He didn’t. The story unfolds like this; apparently Terry Taylor was quite the rat. Taylor would rat out his squad mates to the WWE brass on any number of things, and of course, nobody took kindly to that – even the WWE brass. To show Terry that this kind of behavior was not taken lightly, they created The Red Rooster persona and thrust it upon him. Participating in a handful of matches, the Rooster was obviously a joke, and the persona did not last long.
9 Bastion Booger
The late Mike Shaw was not the worst wrestler ever, that’s for sure. But man, the dude had some absolutely awful personas. His Friar Ferguson persona was shut down after a complaint from the catholic church. His Trucker Norm persona was completely unmemorable. Then, apparently as punishment for his weight, the WWE stuck him with the Bastion Booger moniker. Offensive to over-weight people everywhere, The Bastion Booger debuted in 1993 with a tiny, dirty costume and appeared unkempt, gluttonous and just overall disgusting. The whole persona barely lasted a year, which is a positive. Watch a video of Booger on YouTube and try not to throw up in your mouth. It’s just another instance of the WWE writers coming up with some half-brained persona and putting it on a half-decent wrestler, essentially destroying their career in the WWE.
Harry Del Rios' debut the Phantasio in 1995 to absolutely nobody’s delight. One of the weirdest gimmicks in WWE history, Phantasio wore white face paint and claimed to be a magician. Del Rios only ever participated in one match with the Phantasio moniker, defeating Tony DeVito with an incredible finishing move…magically removing his underwear. Oh yeah, you read that right. After the magic trick, he got the quick pin and won the match, before sneaking up behind the referee and removing his underwear as well. Apparently Phantasio wasn’t just a magician, but also a collector of sweaty underwear. Phantasio really was magic though, as he made this one in-ring appearance and was never seen from again. Abra Cadabra! Let’s make Del Rios’s career…disappear! The WWE writing staff are the magicians here.
After a series of promos teasing the wrestler's anti-Undertaker persona, Mordecai made his debut in the WWE on SmackDown in 2004. He was a religious zealot on the crusade to ‘rid the world of sin’. Mordecai had blonde hair and goatee, with a long white robe as a sign of his purity. In his debut, Mordecai defeated Scotty 2 Hotty (don’t get us started on him) during the 2004 Judgement Day pay-per-view. He was 100% heel, berating the audience for the sins and casting judgement upon them, leading prayers in-ring. The Mordecai character was originally created to feud with the Undertaker, but this moniker never really went anywhere and was abolished a very short time later. Kevin Thorn, Mordecai’s real name, was sent back to training and left the company thereafter.
There’s something very strange about watching a grown man walk down to the ring, dressed from the waist up like a Minotaur. Honestly, what were the WWE writers smoking when they came up with this ridiculous concept? Under the bull mask was the unfortunate Marc Halac, a big, bruiser of a dude that made his debut was Mantuar in 1995. Watch the video of his debut and check out the confused looks of the crowd. For some strange reason the character actually got close to the Intercontinental Title, but lost to Razor Ramon with some help form Jeff Jerrett, who were feuding at the time. Let’s all thank the wrestling Gods that this character never held a championship. Back in a time of wrestling where crazy gimmicks were all the rage, the Mantaur character was one of the worst.
Yes, this a grown man dressed as a sailor. Toot toot! Isn’t just the sound a tugboat makes, but it was also the wrestler Tugboat’s catch phrase. Fred Ottman was the unfortunate soul in the sailor suit, and the WWE kept this persona going for way, way too long. The WWE tweaked the character on the fly, changing his name to Tugboat Tyler then Tugboat Thomas, for unknown reasons. Tugboat was a face, teaming up with Hulk Hogan and kept the persona going for a few years. Ottman was then reintroduced as Typhoon before leaving the WWE and heading to the WCW, where, Ottman was involved in one of the most awesome clips of all-time. The Shockmaster, making his grand debut….fell over and lost his helmet. There’s cursing, swearing and confusion. Just watch the clip. Trust us.
4 The Dicks
Let’s face it; wrestling has enough half-naked dudes to begin with. The last thing we need is a tag team called The Dicks who portray themselves as Chippendale dances all lubed up in baby oil. But hey, if Vince McMahon thinks it’s a good idea…who is to argue? Tank and Chad Toland made their debut in 2005 as The Dicks. For real. Look it up. Coming out to the ring shining in baby oil and dressed as a couple male strippers, the Dicks signature move was spitting baby oil in the face of their opponents. I’ll say this again; this was a real thing. Barely five months later the Dicks were released from their WWE contracts and thankfully, the cringe-worthy tag team was never seen from again. So, if you want to see a couple half-naked dudes rub themselves with oil, go ahead and watch. We hope you enjoy? Or don’t enjoy. Your call, we don’t judge.
3 Max Moon
Paul Diamond had the Max Moon moniker thrust upon him by the WWE after it was created for Konnan, but he had left the WWE after a back-stage dispute (probably over the stupid costume). So, Paul Diamond became Max Moon – man from the stars! Wearing a ridiculous outfit that was supposed to make him look like a spaceman, Max Moon is just another story of a failed attempt at a crazy persona resulting in the wrestling talent leaving the company. After a push from the WWE writers, even competing for the Intercontinental Championship against Shawn Michaels, this is another wrestling persona that disappeared not long after his debut, along with Paul Diamond who was released by the company along with the Max Moon character. Are we seeing a pattern here?
2 Giant Gonzalez
Introduced during the Royal Rumble in 1993, Giant Gonzalez was an eight foot monster. Jorge Gonzalez was drafted into the NBA by the Atlanta Hawks, Gonzalez couldn’t adapt to the physical strains of the NBA due to his size and a knee injury. So, naturally, he tried his hand at wrestling. Wearing a strange, airbrushed muscle jumpsuit, Giant Gonzalez had zero wrestling talent, aside from his sheer size. Seriously, the dude is huge. Despite a push form the WWE and a feud with The Undertaker, Giant Gonzalez didn’t resonate with fans and when his contract expired and wasn’t renewed in 1993, Gonzalez left the WWE for good. Size is important in wrestling, but so is actual talent. We’re not surprised the big man didn’t connect with fans, as in this case; size isn’t everything.
1 The Gobbledy Gooker
The only thing stranger than the Gobbledy Gooker persona is the fact that this is the second chicken-themed persona on this list. In the early '90s, the WWE started to place a giant egg on their stage. It just sat there, for quite some time, and fans were perplexed trying to figure out what the hell was actually going on. Until finally, the egg hatched at Survivor Series in 1990, and to say the crowd reaction was unwelcoming would be an understatement. They booed the Gobbledy Gooker relentlessly, despite some hype from the announcers. Hector Guerrero was the unfortunate wrestler in the turkey costume, dancing around, trying his absolute best to make the Gobbledy Gooker’s grand entrance memorable. Oh, it’s memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.