Every wrestling fan would love to be a fly on the wall in a WWE creative meeting. Just how on earth do Vince McMahon and company write so many hours of television every week and how do they come up with gimmicks and storylines? The way wrestling fans feel nowadays, it seems they wouldn’t want to just be a fly on the wall, but rather running a creative meeting as many armchair bookers out there feel they could come up with better angles, gimmicks and storylines than a bunch of Hollywood writers could ever dream of.
Sometimes terrible ideas slip through the filters of the head honchos in wrestling companies and those abominations make it on our television screens. Just how in the hell were gimmicks like Bastion Booger, Akeem The African Dream or Kerwin White ever approved?
Ideas for gimmicks are often thought up by writers or the powers that be, like Vince McMahon, Stephanie and in the past, Vince Russo, Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman. Even some of the greatest minds in the business will make mistakes, but now that wrestling companies have so many minds and voices in a meeting room, a lot of wacky ideas must be filtered out. In a way it may hamper creativity, as sometimes you have to make big mistakes to find success.
Creative meetings used to never be about a bunch of writers in a room. It would be the promoter, along with a booker and maybe an agent to come up with months worth of storylines. Vince McMahon used to sit for hours with Pat Patterson planning out television. Sometimes wrestlers would call McMahon and pitch him ideas for hours.
This list will be about ideas that were discussed, but were thankfully scrapped for one reason or another.
15. Melina’s a Man, Baby!
Batista had a good run as a babyface champion, but there were some odd moments. For one angle, he was seduced by Melina so she could get her team out of a proposed match with The Animal. However, after the seduction, Melina turned around and said Batista had forced himself on her. While that was bad enough, an angle was proposed in which Melina, the beautiful Latin bombshell, would reveal she was a man. Thankfully Stephanie McMahon, the head of creative, turned it down, fearing it would ruin Melina’s career (and probably many men’s fantasies). Thank you, Stephanie.
14. Tank Abbott as WCW Champion
When you come up with an idea that’s so bad it gets you removed from power, it belongs on a list like this. This was another one of the farces thought up by Vince Russo. Russo had a storyline planned out in which Tank Abbott, the former MMA fighter, would win WCW’s World Title. Following Bret Hart’s retirement and vacating the title, Russo had pegged Abbott to win a Battle Royal for the belt. Thankfully WCW executives rejected the idea and briefly removed Russo from power.
13. The Undertaker as the Gobbledy Gooker
Mark Calaway took a supernatural gimmick that had no business getting over and turned it into the greatest character in wrestling history. As great as he is, I’m sure the man who pulled off The Undertaker never would have made the Gobbledy Gooker work. Hector Guerrero instead took the gimmick and while he said there were no plans for anyone but him to take the gimmick to his knowledge, various reports suggest otherwise. Perhaps it was just an idea tossed around, but thankfully The Undertaker gimmick was invented instead for Calaway.
12. The Mutilator
While Mick Foley’s Mankind character proved to be one of the WWE’s best gimmicks ever, thanks in large part due to Foley’s brilliance, if Vince McMahon had gotten his way, this character would have probably died out quickly. While Vince’s concept for Foley’s character was similar to the finished product, rather than Mankind, as in the character’s obsession with the downfall of mankind, McMahon’s original name for the character was Mason The Mutilator, and the mask seemed to be close to a Hannibal Lector type. Foley instead came up with ‘Mankind The Mutilator’ on the spot and probably saved his WWE career. Vince did Foley a huge favor in dropping ‘The Mutilator’ from the name altogether.
11. Batista – Scarred Child
While Deacon Batista wasn’t the best way for Batista to make his WWE debut, the character didn’t last all that long. Also, when considering what else was pitched for Batista, the Deacon character was actually a blessing. Batista once discussed on Chris Jericho’s podcast, Talk is Jericho that an idea pitched by WWE Creative was for him to be a child conceived out of rape. He would be an angry and hateful character due to his background. It’s good that this idea was pitched because in no way would WWE have ever found a way to get that kind of character over while being sensitive to those who actually lived through such circumstances.
10. You Are NOT The Father
This seemed like a storyline idea more suited for Maury Povich. Maybe that’s where Russo should have gone. This idea(s) was to have Stacy Keibler marry David Flair, only for it to be revealed Stacy was a love child of Ric Flair, making her and David half-siblings (yikes).
Another idea was to have Stacy announce she was pregnant (which actually did happen) but for it to be revealed the father was Buff Bagwell, who would then feud with David. It would then be revealed that neither guy was the father and the daddy was in fact, The Nature Boy Ric Flair! An alternative idea was for Vince Russo to be the dad. WCW’s Standards and Practices thankfully put the kibosh on the whole thing.
9. The Hunchbacks
Jim Herd’s tenure at WCW in the early 90s was a disaster and ideas like these were probably why. Herd had devised a plan for a team called The Hunchbacks to wrestle, with the idea being that the team would never be pinned, due to the hunches on their backs. Just how would this ever work in wrestling? How would a crowd get invested into a hunchback match? Don’t worry, WCW had plenty of other bad ideas to turn to.
8. Deaf Wrestler – Edge
Back in Edge’s early WWE days, Vince Russo didn’t have faith in Edge’s mic skills, so he pitched an idea for Edge to be a deaf mute. Edge has stated in interviews that the idea was devised shortly before his debut in 1998. “It was his idea, so obviously he didn’t think I liked his idea and thought I’d screw with this kid. (The idea would have made me) dead in the water.”
As Edge demonstrated later in his career, he did indeed have the chops to get over.
7. G.I…. Razor?
After coming off a WCW stint in which he had to play a character called Diamond Studd, Scott Hall was looking for a character that would save his career. The idea proposed to him by WWE was to be a G.I. Joe type character due to his background of being born into a military family. Scott Hall instead proposed a character similar to that of Al Pacino’s Scarface character of Tony Montana. That character is the one you now know fondly as Razor Ramon.
6. Fang McFrost, Chilly McFreeze, Ice Dagger, etc…
Think of how cool the name, Stone Cold Steve Austin sounds. Austin came up with the concept of a cold-blooded character, that would show no remorse for his actions. The WWE office took the concept of ‘cold’ quite literally and sent Austin a list of names that included Chilly McFreeze, Fang McFrost, Ice Dagger and Ottto von Ruthless. Austin knew none of these names would fly and thought of the Stone Cold name by accident, while drinking tea with his wife, who told him to drink his tea before it got stone cold. Ah-ha!
Imagine if someone told Stone Cold, ‘hey Steve, you know this whole Stone Cold thing is getting old. Could you instead come to the ring as a Roman soldier?’ Hell no! Well, that’s what the legendary Nature Boy Ric Flair was asked to do by Jim Herd, who felt Flair had to adapt to the times… Yeah, because the 90s were all about Roman soldiers. The idea was for Flair to cut his hair, and dress up to become Spartacus. Flair cut his long hair, but went as far as that. He soon left WCW with their title belt.
4. The Posse
You think you’ve seen racist gimmicks? They have nothing on this one. Back when Booker T and Stevie Ray were coming into WCW as a tag team, an idea as pitched for them to be two men out on parole. They would be managed by a southern white man named Colonel Robert Parker. The idea was for Parker to lead them to the ring in chains. How could WCW have ever thought of such a racially insensitive idea? The team actually wrestled a match at a WCW Saturday Night taping, but due to the enormous backlash surrounding the gimmick, the group’s match never aired and they were soon repackaged.
3. Paul and Katie Lea Burchill – more than siblings?
Paul and Katie Lea Burchill debuted together as a brother-sister tandem, with Katie Lea escorting Paul to the ring for his matches. Thankfully that’s as far as it went, but there was a truly disgusting idea pitched regarding the pair. The original idea was for the brother and sister to be lovers. There were several promos in which Katie Lea hinted at having a very close relationship with her brother, but thankfully, the WWE never took it to that next step.
2. Who is Stephanie’s Baby Daddy?
Vince McMahon (at least back in the day) would put anything on PPV that he felt would make money. That didn’t exclude anything involving his family. When Stephanie was pregnant with her first child back in 2006, Vince pitched the idea to his daughter to run an angle in which it would be revealed that Vince was the father of Stephanie’s baby. Stephanie was understandably repulsed and shot the idea down. Without blinking an eye, Vince proposed that her brother Shane be in fact the father. Oh sure, that’s a lot better Vince. Stephanie turned that down too. Stephanie may be like her father in a lot of ways, but at least her mind would never stoop to this level.
1. Baron Von Bava
This proposed idea was even too much for Vince McMahon to handle. Former writer Dan Madigan pitched the idea to McMahon for a character named Baron Von Bava. Who was that? A cryogenically frozen Nazi storm trooper from the 40s who was unfrozen by none other than the Jewish Paul Heyman, who would manage Von Bava. The character would be thawed out by Heyman to wreak havoc on the WWE. He would dress up in a full Nazi outfit, and goose step to the ring. Not knowing he had already killed his writing career in WWE, Madigan even began goose stepping to illustrate to McMahon what the character would do.
After Madigan proudly pitched his idea, he noticed the room was silent. Vince didn’t say one word and put on his jacket, picked up his briefcase and left the room. From that point on, none of Madigan’s ideas were ever considered and he’d be gone from the company months later.
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