When I bought WWE Network, I remembered a time where they were talking about WCW's rise and WWE's temporary decline during the '90s. Triple H, with an embarrassing smile, accused the company of bringing in wrestlers that "were an insult to the fans' intelligence," before showing a montage of wrestlers who were, in fact, an insult to fan intelligence.
There have been some incredible gimmicks the WWE has come up with. Anything The Underaker pulled off worked. Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock had to totally change up their looks and they only became the top two stars of the WWE. But there are some wrestlers who had bad starts or just never got going. And that's because of some awful characters.
But which ones stand out most? There were simply far too many to chose from, but we managed to narrow it down. Here are the 15 worst wrestling characters of the '90s we still hate today.
15 The Underfaker
Clever name, silly gimmick. What on earth did the creative team think?
Brian Lee, a real-life cousin of The Undertaker, was better off as his Chainz character, but fans remember him most for being nothing more than an impostor of The Deadman. Ted DiBiase hired The Underfaker to copy every move of The Undertaker, and sold to fans that he was able to bribe The Phenom into joining his Million Dollar Corporation. If fans weren't fooled enough, it just got worse.
The Underfaker would wrestle in matches as DiBiase tried to sell him as the real, legitimate Undertaker. At SummerSlam 1994, the whole nightmare ended once and for all as THE REAL Undertaker put his impostor in a casket, breathing a huge sigh of relief to the fans.
14 T.L. Hopper
You know you didn't quite have the greatest WWE career when you changed your character over-and-over again. For Superstar Tony Anthony, it was Dirty White Boy, The Invader, Uncle Cletus ,and his worst of all, T.L. Hopper.
Hopper's gimmick was one that I warn you to probably not read while you're eating. He dressed up as a plumber, wearing a muscle shirt with plummer-style jeans (meaning they were extremely low on him) while carrying a toilet plunger to the ring. Hopper carried this thing around everywhere he went and would rub victories in by sticking it right in the face of his opponents. How charming.
The WWE even had Hopper "investigate," a brown substance found in a swimming pool, since he was a plumber and all. And yes, that parodies the infamous chocolate bar scene in Caddyshack.
13 Repo Man
If I asked you about the Superstar, Smash, you'd know right away who I was talking about, and we'd exchange a friendly conversation about his wrestling career. If I told you about The Repo Man, you would (hopefully) have absolutely no idea who I was talking about, and we'd discuss how terrible this gimmick was.
The Repo Man was all sorts of things. This character was inspired by The Riddler from the '60s Batman television series. The Repo Man dressed up like The Riddler/Antonio Banderas' Mask of Zorro and would steal things from wrestlers. If they "were late on debts," he would steal their cars and other luxurious items. He would also tie up his victims with rope and try to come off as a crafty thief.
In a way, he did come off as a thief. He stole our love of wrestling any time he came out.
You probably know Steve Keirn pretty well. He and Stan Lane formed The Fabulous Ones tag team that lasted nine years and was a huge success in the WWE. But Keirn should have wished that he stayed with Lane the whole time, because once he became Skinner, it all went down hill from there.
Skinner was a crocodile hunter based out of Florida. He played the stereotypical hunter; he chewed tobacco regularly, he had long, caveman hair and a scruffy beard. He wore a crocodile hunting hat, plaid shirt and always carried around an alligator claw on him. Skinner also would spit tobacco at his opponents and come off as this Southern recluse.
The only thing we could have ever wanted Skinner to hunt was the time we wasted watching this character.
11 Isaac Yankem D.D.S.
What if I told you the guy who played Isaac Yankem D.D.S. was a super successful WWE Superstar? Future Hall of Famer? Formed an extremely iconic tag team? Almost ended The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak? Has been going strong in the WWE for two decades?
You're right, it's The Big Red Machine, Kane. You see, this guy has been a huge success as Kane since the late '90s. But remember his Fake Diesel character? Now that was bad, but Isaac Yankem was even worse. Yankem was a dentist hired by Jerry Lawler to end the career of Bret Hart. Yankem was no ordinary dentist: He was meant to terrify his opponents with his size and desire to yankem teeth out pretty hard, if you caught my drift.
Thankfully, this was a very short-lived feud, but at least Yankem's name was clever to his ring name.
10 The Goon
As a Canadian writing this piece, I have to admire The Goon just a little bit. It was great for WWE to realize the potential he had as a hockey player. In case you didn't follow, The Goon was different from any NHL player to ever lace up the skates.
The Goon was a guy "who got kicked out of every professional hockey league he joined." His in-ring attire included a hockey jersey, hockey-designed wrestling boots, and hockey gloves. He'd also bring a stick to the ring. And at times, when he'd lay a cheap shot onto his opponent, the commentators would scream for a penalty.
But in all honesty, the gimmick made no sense at all and was just plain silly. This was totally an insult to our intelligence, and The Goon should have been given a 10-year penalty for it.
9 Friar Ferguson
Mike Shaw was the man who portrayed Friar Ferguson. He used over 10 ring names during his career, but the two most infamous were easily his two worst. We all remember the Bastion Booger gimmick. But it was really Friar Ferguson that not only bothered WWE fans so much, but the Catholic Church of New York as well.
Friar Fergon was a monk wearing the large, brown cape with the hood on. Given how monks spend their whole lives spreading religious views and trying to bring piece in the world, having a "monk," beat up on opponents was a bad idea to begin with. Facing pressure from the Catholic Church of New York, WWE was quick to drop the idea. Unfortunately, not quick enough to burn it from our minds for good.
8 Max Moon
Paul Diamond was born in Yugoslavia and enjoyed a solid 16-year career in professional wrestling. But let's consider it 14 years, because he spent two of them wrestling under Max Moon, one of the most forgettable characters in the history of the WWE.
The reason he became Max Moon was the worst. Konnan was supposed to be Max Moon, but had a fallout with the WWF and left. The story goes that Diamond became Max Moon simply because his figure fit well into the costume. Max Moon was supposed to be billed as this guy coming from the future.
He wore a ridiculous outfit that made him look like a guy from Futurama. Just looking at the outfit itself is cringe-worthy. How did they convince Diamond to wear this costume?
7 Duke 'The Dumpster' Droese
Honestly, where do we go with this?
Duke 'The Dumpster' Droese was a garbage man who lived a life cleaning out dumpsters. He took so much pride in his work that he would bring a trash can to the ring. His entrance theme included one of those loud beepers you hear on garbage trucks when they're backing up to collect dumpster trash.
Duke just loved his dumpster job. He'd be seen singing "Taking out the Trash," and one of my good friends brought up a time when he would always clash together the garbage lids to make music. At least one person was having fun doing this.
For WWE fans, it was nothing more than an insult to the intelligence, dare we say that again. The one thing Duke forgot to throw in the trash was this gimmick.
Okay, remember when Triple H said some wrestlers were insulting our intelligence during the '90s? I totally remember a video of Mantaur showing up. Having a man be half minotaur and half wrestler was never going to get over with the WWE audience. So why did Vince McMahon find this creative? Even his son-in-law has no ideea.
Not only was the costume and gimmick awful, but Mantaur actually fought like an animal. In that case, he would attack his opponents the way a bear, moose or other large creature would. Mantaur would stomp on them, trample them, and even maul them.
Before he left WWE, he dropped the Mantaur gimmick and became a lumberjack before joining ECW. The damage had been done for Mantaur, who'll go down as the worst-dressed wrestler in WWE history.
5 The Mountie
For some of our American friends who don't pay much attention to The Great White North, our national police is known as The Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Some of the officers wear the Red Serge outfit. These include a red jacket and brown hat.
So how fitting of it for McMahon to have Jacques Rougeau, a French Canadian wrestler, dress up as a member of the RCMP. Rougeau went by The Mountie for two years. Only, he was no ordinary RCMP officer. He was a "corrupt," officer. This gimmick was so poorly received in Canada that he had to change his character any time he wrestled in his home country. Also, the announcers had to WARN the audience ahead of time that he was not a real member.
Perhaps the RCMP should have arrested him for impersonating a police officer?
4 Fake Diesel/Fake Razor Ramon
Kevin Nash and Scott Hall went by Diesel and Razor Ramon, respectively, during their times with WWE in the '90s. But when both men chased the money and went to WCW, Vince McMahon had to offset the losses of two major stars. So he came up with this (un)brilliant idea of replacing Diesel and Razor Ramon with...
Fake Diesel and Fake Razor Ramon. Kane, being 7-feet-all as opposed to Nash's 6-feet-10 frame, fit the bill perfectly. Rick Bognar then dressed up as Ramon. These two guys changed their appearances and attire while mocking every move and action by Nash and Hall.
If I'm correct, these may have been two of the wrestlers Triple H mentioned were an insult to fan intelligence. Could you imagine if Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose went to TNA, and McMahon hired two guys to look just like them? My goodness, what a mess.
3 Irwin R. Schyster
Even though IRS workers are just doing their jobs, the stereotype goes around that people don't like them. Nobody wants to pay taxes, but having people showing up on your front door nagging you about your debts is the last way of finding pleasure in life. So it was easy to have Irwin R. Schyster play an IRS agent who made wrestlers pay their taxes.
You see, the main problem is how in the world was Schyster supposed to come off as a wrestler? He just looked plain silly in the glasses, tie, suspenders, and briefcase while trying to intimidate wrestlers into "paying their taxes."
To make things even more cheesy, he'd always point at the camera and his tagline was "Everybody pays their taxes." I hope Schyster knows that includes him. I think we shouldn't have to pay any taxes, considering we wasted money for cable to watch this character.
2 Gobbledy Gooker
You have to feel for Hector Guerrero, who thought he was going to provide great humour and entertainment to 16,000 fans in Hartford during the 1990 edition of Survivor Series. In case you don't know what happened, here's a reminder.
McMahon thought it'd be genius for Gooker to come out of nowhere and dance in the ring with Mean Gene. Gobbledy Gooker hatched out of an egg and dressed up as a giant turkey, trying to bring an element of cheesy humour to the fans. Guerrero was booed largely by the fans, and pundits panned this part of the show.
Gobbledy Gooker seemed to only want to bring a nice Turkey storyline during the time of Thanksgiving for the Americans. As it turned out, he ended up looking like nothing more than a turkey himself.
1 Doink the Clown
Doink the Clown was a character played by many wrestlers throughout the '80s and '90s. He was the perfect heel because everybody in the world hates clowns. Let me be honest, I love clowns and have no idea why everyone is deathly afraid of people that are trying to make you laugh. But Doink was a different character.
He was this extremely annoying clown that had to ruin great matches by coming into the ring and using tricks and a shorter version of himself to screw over wrestlers. Doink would come out ringside and find ways to piss off the crowd and ruin their nights. He interfered with wrestlers so much and just ruined any fun.
Part of us had to love Doink. Some of his segments were funnier than what you see from most clowns at the circus. But overall, yeah. Doink was just an annoyance to the fans.