It’s no secret that WWE has done a lot of things over the years fans would want to forget. Terrible storylines, horrible gimmicks, pushes for guys who were nowhere near ready, shoving workers down our throats the fans didn’t want, it adds up. Sure, WWE is hardly alone (WCW and TNA have given more than their fair share of horrible stuff too) but they are the most famous so it makes sense they’ve given so much of the worst, filling entire websites with talk on these terrible angles and many fans would love to forget about.
However, there’s a unique case in that several of these aren’t just the fans but the company themselves. WWE is infamous for blocking out their history whenever something happens to a past or present worker and cutting ties as much as they can. It’s annoying but they do dominate so much so it’s hard to argue about their power to do it. In some cases, it’s understandable because of the worker while other times it’s because of how bad and embarrassing the whole thing was and WWE wants to sweep it under the rug. They can be up front over stuff (The “Monday Night War” series talks the terrible “Fake Razor and Diesel” angle) but there’s still a lot of things over the years WWE would prefer to forget. It’s more interesting how so many of them were pushed as major stuff but for various reasons, WWE ignores all the time, money and talent wasted to push it to the wayside. Here are 15 of the most notable that WWE has basically erased from their histories and most you can agree with.
15 USWA Invasion
Long before WCW went under, another “invasion” involving the WWE occurred. The United States Wrestling Association was mostly owned by Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett, mixing the former World Class with Memphis for a bigger promotion. In 1992, trying to stay afloat, Lawler entered into a deal with WWE that allowed their talents to mix. It wasn’t mentioned on WWE broadcasts but a huge deal for the USWA to see top WWE guys show up, including Vince himself.
An intriguing bit was that Lawler feuded with the Hart Brothers only in Memphis, where he was the face and Bret and Owen were the hated heels. Randy Savage, Tatanka and Owen would all hold the USWA title over Lawler and the mix of stars helped boost the USWA up a bit longer. However, the whole thing is still utterly ignored by WWE today which is surprising as Vince’s behavior clearly laid the groundwork for his “Mr. McMahon” character that would be so effective and something worth tracking down even if WWE won’t acknowledge it.
14 Vince’s “Death”
It was a bad idea at the time and even worse in hindsight. After being shown down in the dumps over various issues, Vince attended an “Appreciation Night” on RAW and was shown going into his limo, which then exploded. It was sold as totally real, complete with “in memory” videos and wrestlers and announcers in solemn tones discussing it. Milking the real emotion of deaths like Guerrero and Owen Hart was in poor taste and made worse when Sherri Martel passed away and her tributes lacking compared to the fake ones.
Of course, it was cut short when the Benoit tragedy occurred and Vince soon revealed he’d faked his death for a reaction and put it to bed. Perhaps it’s fitting such a terrible idea backfired and even Vince wants to forget about ever coming up with this one.
13 Farting Natalya
One of the most bizarre antics ever given to a Diva, the only videos of it aren’t from WWE but rather other guys online. When Natalya accidentally passed gas during a promo, the writers bizarrely decided this was something to run with. So in matches and backstage segments, you’d hear Nattie farting and others groaning over the horrible smell. This was bad for any Diva, let alone one of the most talented on the roster, a total joke that she didn’t deserve. It was dropped fast (although not fast enough) and WWE has let it drift away in the wind which is one case you have to admit isn’t worth remembering.
12 Zack Ryder
It’s still remarkable how Vince McMahon makes a huge deal telling guys to “grab the brass ring” but when one tries, he gets his legs cut out from under him. Toiling in the mid-card, Ryder soon got over with a series of online videos and a goofy act that won him more and more fans. He was soon one of the most popular guys on the show and the idea of John Cena letting Ryder get a win so he’d earn a shot at the U.S. title. He would finally win the belt and move into a storyline with Eve, reaching a new level of fame.
He was immediately buried by losing the belt then thrown with Eve in a complicated storyline that included him put in a wheelchair and made to look like a loser. It’s true promoters are wary of pushing stuff they didn’t come up with but the way Ryder’s massive popularity and rise is treated as nothing is a major sign of the issues WWE faces today.
Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio were two of the most talented Mexican workers in WWE history. In 2005, Eddie made a heel turn after they lost the tag team titles and soon he and Rey re-ignited their great feud. Of course, WWE had to muck it up by having Guerrero holding a big secret up and the Mysterios pleading with him not to tell it. He did which was that he was the real father of Rey’s son, Dominick, doing a series of “bedtime stories” to explain the messy idea of Rey adopting his out-of-wedlock child.
Thus we had a ladder match for “custody papers” and a steel cage battle and it was annoying that a great feud had to be marred like this. Eddie would die just months later and in that rush to remember him, WWE likes to pretend this last major storyline for him never occurred, something both families are no doubt more than a bit happy to do.
10 CM Punk
The most recent example of a mega-star WWE prefers to ignore, Punk’s tenure was always interesting with how he was obviously over huge with crowds but WWE reluctant to push him. His own DVD bio is quite fascinating in how it resembles a shoot video more with Punk openly taking shots on the company yet they’re okay with it, pushing his attitude more. That’s become more prominent as Punk continues to rail on Twitter and interviews of his time in WWE and his anger at how they treated him. Since his leaving, WWE has pretended Punk was never around, ignoring so many of his past feuds and matches, including the “pipe bomb” moment and even editing out Punk chants from shows. It’s another case of a past guy cut out from history but just adds to the power of Punk.
9 Al Wilson
WWE spent a whopping nine months in 2003 devoting air time of “SmackDown” to one of the most ludicrous plotlines ever. In an attempt to spice up her feud with Torrie Wilson, Dawn Marie decided to seduce Torrie’s father, Al. Thus, you had huge segments of them together in the ring and outside it, Torrie going nuts as Dawn worked her wiles and then the idea of Dawn also trying to seduce Torrie as well. That all culminated in Al dying in his honeymoon bed and the thing also forgotten.
You never hear any mention of it, showing even WWE are a bit ashamed of one of the more ludicrous programs they ever came up with.
Perry Saturn was a truly talented worker but not quite the same star power as the other members of the Radicalz who joined WWE in 2000. Still, it was hard to see him in this bit which was basically one major punishment. In a taped match in early 2001, Saturn lost his temper when jobber Mike Bell botched some moves and went off-script in a true attack on Bell. To pay him back, WWE gave him the storyline where Saturn got a major blow to the head and soon began to believe a mop was his girlfriend.
It continued through the summer, including a bit of Moppy held for ransom and Saturn going wild trying to find “her.” It was sad to see Saturn put through this no matter what and thankfully even WWE don’t want to labor on it too much today.
7 Muhammad Hassan
The original idea for Hassan was sound, an Arab-American trying to overthrow the old stereotypes of his people in wrestling and be a strong influence. Sadly, WWE ignored that and soon turned him into a generic anti-American heel. It wasn’t helped by how the guy was a jerk behind the scenes with a bad attitude that turned fellow workers against him. This led to his feud with The Undertaker in 2005 where Hassan led a slew of men in black masks to attack 'Taker and, in one of the worst cases of timing in history, the segment aired the same night as the terrorist bombings in London and Madrid.
Hassan was soon fired and his entire tenure has been utterly ignored by WWE, a shame for a promising worker but his own attitude played as much a part in this mess as the circumstances.
6 Lita & Snitsky
Gene Snitsky, a guy with a great look but not much talent to add to it. Pregnancy storylines rarely end well for wrestling and a great example was in 2004 as the supposedly pregnant Lita interfered in a match between Snitsky and Kane with Snitsky knocking Kane onto her to cause a “miscarriage.” Snitsky soon turned “it’s not my fault” into his catchphrase for a feud that involved bringing out a baby doll and kicking it into the crowd.
That was soon followed by him turned into a fetish for women’s feet. The guy’s tenure wasn’t that well off in the ring and when he was cut, he was basically forgotten by WWE as a true weirdo whose antics are best left in the past.
5 Anynomous RAW GM
It’s astounding just how much time WWE wasted on this. Starting in June of 2010, a computer would be set up on a podium next to the announce booth with the arena lights dimming with a chime. Up came Michael Cole to read an e-mail from the mysterious RAW GM to announce matches and such. It was annoying every time with terrible moves like the GM undoing Lawler’s victory over Cole at WrestleMania.
Some things could be fun like Edge interviewing the computerized voice and interrupting himself with “Why am I talking to a computer?” or someone smacking it around. Of course, you can’t have a big mystery without a payoff and in the end, we didn’t get one as it was revealed it was just Hornswoggle messing around, as dumb a solution as you can imagine. Say what you will about The Authority, at least they’re better to accept than some voice on a laptop to mark a low bit for WWE.
4 Fake Undertaker
In 1994, to give him a long break, The Undertaker lost a casket match to Yokozuna at the Royal Rumble with the now-infamous post-bout video of him proclaiming he’d be back. In the summer, Ted DiBiase announced he had “bought” The Undertaker despite the fact WWE was doing video of Leslie Nielsen (yes, that’s right) hunting for Taker in various places.
DiBiase’s Taker showed up but fans could tell he was shorter and a bit bulkier than the usual Taker. Paul Bearer said it was a fake and for the main event of SummerSlam, the real Undertaker returned to deal with the imposter. Having this be the main event over a Bret-Owen Hart cage match was idiotic and most mentions of Undertaker’s history skip this period over which many fans wish they could have done as well.
3 Billy & Chuck
Wrestling has always had a very hard time presenting homosexuals in anything close to a flattering light so it’s no surprise this turned out so badly. Billy and Chuck were actually a good team together, working well but their gimmick of coming out in bright outfits and acting flamboyant didn’t do much help for them as they were also given Rico, a wildly over the top “fashion consultant.” This would soon lead to them making an agreement for a “commitment ceremony” that got WWE a lot of press.
However, at the actual ceremony, the two balked to reveal they weren’t gay, just getting the publicity and then Eric Bischoff turned out to be the minister it was all one very ugly mess. That basically killed the team dead, a shame given their talent and WWE prefers not to remember something that didn’t exactly do them favors with the LGBT community.
2 Katie Vick
A telling moment on the 2006 “McMahon” DVD has everyone noting how horrible this whole thing was and in terrible taste yet Vince continues to say it was funny. As part of a wild feud in 2002, HHH came up with Kane’s dark secret, that he had accidentally killed his childhood sweetheart. This led to the now infamous video of HHH dressed as Kane having “sex” with a dummy in a coffin, including throwing out spaghetti and “I screwed your brains out!”
It was even worse than it sounded, did nothing to help the feud and made the entire thing a total joke. No wonder WWE prefers to forget all about it as it hardly ranks among Vince’s brighter ideas.
1 Anything Chris Benoit
WWE is truly in a “damned if you do/damned if you don’t” situation with Benoit. Acting like he didn’t exist is a bit much for many fans who insist his career should be remembered. But mention him too much and they can be accused of exploiting or even championing a man who murdered his wife and son before taking his own life. Sadly, Benoit has become the O.J. Simpson of wrestling, his great work forever tarnished by his horrible end and thus fans are robbed of remembering anything he was part of.
His feuds with Jericho, Angle and others, the lead-up to his fantastic Wrestlemania XX victory, his work in WCW even, all pushed aside. You really can’t blame WWE too much as even many Benoit fans note it’s harder to watch him take chair shots and such knowing the damage it would do. Still, it’s sad to think of all the great stuff he was part of that WWE prefers to never see the light of day and another facet of the Benoit tragedy fans hate.