As wrestling fans, we know that we sometimes have to take the good with the bad. Not every angle is going to work and not every storyline is a gem. When WWE gets it right, it's absolutely phenomenal to watch. Who could forget when Randy Savage knocked Ricky Steamboat out of action only to have Steamboat return for an epic WrestleMania III encounter? Or when the Savage and Hulk Hogan program that lasted for a year culminated at WrestleMania V? Or when Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon both claimed they were the real Intercontinental Champion, which led to an epic ladder match at WrestleMania X? Or just about the entirety of the Stone Cold vs Mr. McMahon program? I could go on and on and on. When things are done correctly, it's amazing.
Then there's the other side of things. Yes, there are bad storylines. It's happened before and it will happen again (sorry for the Armageddon quote). But then there are programs that are so bad that you actually begin to question Vince McMahon's sanity. Yes, other people may have come up with these horrendous ideas, but he ultimately has to sign off on them. Storylines like Snitsky kicking a baby, Jillian Hall's face, Torrie Wilson's dad, Shelton Benjamin's mom and countless other bombs actually made it on the air. And to think, these aren't even on my official list.
These are 15 of the worst programs in WWE history.
The buildup to this match at Unforgiven in 1999 was horrendous. After Al Snow ditched his mannequin head for a chihuahua, Pepper, the Big Boss Man got involved and actually kidnapped the dog after beating Snow for the Hardcore Championship on an episode of Smackdown. The two would then actually eat dinner the next week on RAW, where Boss Man revealed that the food Snow was eating was Pepper. They then wasted a Hell In A Cell match by having these two square off in a Kennel From Hell match....with dogs surrounding the ring. Yes, you read that right. Not only did the dogs not show any type of aggression towards Snow or Boss Man, they (let's see, how to I put this) made a mess on the floor in more ways than one.
Speech impediments, whether real or fake, have been a part of wrestling for a long time, so this was nothing new. However, WWE put a ridiculous gimmick on an unbelievably talented wrestler in Matt Morgan. They would have him take minutes to get out a complete sentence, which immediately disconnected him with the audience and killed any momentum he had built since coming to the company. He was gone only a few months later but would find some success overseas before becoming a huge star in TNA.
This certainly isn't the last time that you'll see Vince McMahon's name on this list. Following the success of his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vince would insert himself into many feuds over the next decade, one of which was with Shawn Michaels. The two would have a somewhat decent match at WrestleMania 22, but the feud continued into Backlash and saw Shane McMahon join his father for a tag team match against HBK and....God....no, seriously. During the match, they had a beam of light shining on the ring to represent God and the whole thing was just god-awful (see what I did there). Well, except for Vince going into the church and doing the HHH water spit thing...that was kinda funny.
Back in 2005, Hall of Fame WWE announcer Jim Ross took a sabbatical from the company to deal with a real-life medical situation with his colon. So what does the WWE do? They run a storyline where Jim Ross is fired on-air by the McMahons. Okay, no big deal. Stuff like that happens all the time. However, what does not happen all the time is Vince McMahon dressing as a surgeon to perform a fake surgery. During this ridiculous segment on RAW, Vince proceeds to pull various objects out of JR's backside, including an Oklahoma football helmet, a bottle of JR's BBQ sauce and even a head that looked like Jim Ross, complete with glasses and the cowboy hat. It was a seven-minute long joke to try and tell a joke that Jim Ross had his head up his ass. Awful.
Speaking of awful, remember this one? In a program that got completely out of hand, Rey Mysterio and the late great Eddie Guerrero actually had a ladder match to determine who would get custody of Mysterio's son, Dominick. Eddie had insinuated that he might be Rey's father, so instead of getting a DNA test and letting the courts figure it out, they just had a ladder match instead. I'm all for crazy stuff in wrestling, but come on. What made things worse is that this wasn't some child actor playing the part of Dominick. This really was Mysterio's kid. I hope he's enjoying therapy.
In what was supposed to be one of the biggest publicity stunts in wrestling history, Vince McMahon was in a limousine that exploded. It actually worked the way he wanted it to for a minute. Some stockholders may not have been too happy about it and the office was flooded with phone calls, but Vince certainly got the attention he was craving. They even held a memorial ceremony on RAW. However, things really backfired when Chris Benoit died soon after the stunt and the entire thing blew up in his face (man, I'm on a roll today).
Back during the Attitude Era, a porn star character was perfect for what the company was doing. The vignettes to bring in Val Venis were funny enough and he really was a decent performer when he needed to be. However, the gimmick was always going to be the focus and it led to a ridiculous program on RAW back in 1998. It was revealed that Venis had slept with Yamiguchi-San's wife. His Kaientai running mate, Taka Michinoku, turned on Val during a tag match and afterwards dragged him into the back to castrate him. Yes, they ended a RAW with a fake castration. The following week, Venis was fine and laughed it off with a joke that mixed Seinfeld and John Wayne Bobbitt. Okay then.
After Kevin Nash and Scott Hall left the World Wrestling Federation for WCW in 1996, it seems that Vince McMahon wanted to prove a point that the characters he created for the two men, Diesel and Razor Ramon, respectively, would work without them. Good call, Vince. And it wasn't just a one-off. The two would stick around for a little while, even getting a tag team title shot. Maybe Vince was just making fun of himself or it was a really bad excuse to try and turn Jim Ross heel, but whatever the reasoning, it was bad. Luckily for the fake Diesel, things didn't work out. He would go on to become a little character called Kane.
Whenever Michael Cole gets involved in a storyline, it's bound to be pretty bad. Just ask Jerry Lawler. But this was even worse than putting Michael Cole in a match at WrestleMania. On the other side of this debacle was Heidenreich, who has his own list of strange storylines. Well, you combine these two and you get a backstage scene that alludes that Heidenreich had his way with Michael Cole. Yep, I just had to type that sentence. Dreadful.
The Divas Revolution certainly didn't start here. First of all, the setting for a Women's Championship match was a swimming pool filled with snow. Secondly, The Kat was holding the title. It's not to say I minded looking at The Kat, but she certainly wasn't fit to hold the belt. And lastly, little Harvey Wippleman dressed up as a woman named Hervina and actually won the title. What's worse is that when it was "found out" that it was Harvey all along, he actually got to keep the belt. Luckily, Jacqueline, who had actually helped Hervina win the match, dethroned Hervina a few weeks later. Call this a product of the era if you will, but I'm calling it terrible.
Storylines involving referees rarely work out in the long run. Throw in a storyline about a referee on suicide watch and you've got a train wreck waiting to happen. Actually, I'm surprised they didn't put Tim White on some train tracks as one of these awful segments. After a shoulder injury forced White to retire, he was put on camera each week in segments where he would attempt to kill himself, the most ridiculous being one in which he drank a bottle of green liquid called "Mad Cow Disease". This actually lasted for months and finally came to an end when White "shot" Josh Matthews instead of himself. Perhaps the worst part of this is the fact that this program started shortly after Eddie Guerrero actually died. Good timing.
I think it's safe to say that Perry Saturn got the short end of the stick after the Radicalz invaded the World Wrestling Federation. After a while, Saturn ended up with Terri as his valet but after a series of "head injuries", he began to get a little loopy and wound up mistaking her for a mop he found in the backstage area. He then started parading around with it and named it Moppy. Meanwhile, Dean Malenko was lighting it up in the light heavyweight division and Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero would become world champions. Tough break....for all of us.
Had the original plan for this angle come to fruition, it might not have turned out as bad, but it didn't, so it did. Once again, Vince McMahon threw himself into a program, one in which he fathered a child outside of marriage. The original plan was to have this child be Mr. Kennedy, who was due to receive a massive push. However, he would end up being suspended and the program had to be changed. That change would result in Hornswoggle being named as the illegitimate son of Vince McMahon. What's worse are the rumors that Vince originally wanted to do an incest storyline between either himself and Stephanie or Shane and Stephanie. To think that the illegitimate son program was a better idea is just frightening.
Mark Henry got Mae Young pregnant and on the air, she gave birth to a hand. Yup, that actually happened. While Mark Henry was well into is "Sexual Chocolate" gimmick, it was revealed that he and Mae Young had become a couple and were shown in bed together at one point. Eventually it was revealed Young was pregnant and when it appeared she was going into labor, she instead delivered a... hand? It was utterly ridiculous and a waste of time.
In what I believe to be the most ridiculous program in WWE history, we've come to the Katie Vick saga involving Kane and Triple H. To further a feud for the World Heavyweight Championship, the creative team came up with a backstory for Kane involving a young woman with whom he was romantically involved, Katie Vick. Okay, that's not that bad. Well, it took a turn....and not the good kind. Triple H would go on to accuse Kane of sexually assaulting the corpse and had video proof. That proof would be Triple H in a Kane mask climbing into a coffin and simulating sex with a mannequin. I know it's hard to say no in the wrestling business, especially to Vince McMahon, but this was just ridiculous.