For those that do not watch wrestling, the common narrative is "you do know that it's fake, right?" The equally passionate wrestling fan commonly combats with a statement such as "Yeah, so is your favorite television show" and "so are most of films you watch" and "it's not fake, it's scripted". Along with what goes on inside the ring when competitors tangle up is the storylines that WWE writers script and wrestlers execute on screen.
It's these storylines that keep fans tuning in week in and week out to see the progression and sometimes regression of their favorite characters as well as of superstars they detest. A number of memorable storylines have been showcased in the WWE that will be talked about for years to come such as Brock Lesnar ending The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak, CM Punk's "pipe bomb" promo and John Cena and The Rock's feud which seemed more realistic than scripted.
Now, these are some storylines that are renown for good reasons. But, there are also those storylines that WWE and its fans would like to forget. Here, we take a look at the 15 worst storylines in WWE history.
15 Piggy James
At 37, mother-of-one Mickie James has aged like a fine wine. Yet, in 2009, WWE inexplicably decided to fat-shame James in a storyline with Layla El and Michelle McCool. On one hand, it would've been cruel but understandable, had James put on a ton of weight, just like how Jillian Hall did after her exit from WWE. But, this was far from the case; it didn't look as if James had gained a considerable amount of weight and better put, it didn't look like James gained weight point-blank. In today's landscape this would be unheard of as James is on the smaller side, with the WWE employing gargantuan female competitors such as Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka, not to mention, having previously employed Kharma. This storyline was about as baffling as it was in 2009 as it is today.
14 Vince McMahon Pretends To Die
There are ways to write a character off television and having a character meet his maker by way of a limousine exploding into flames is not one of them, Vincent Kennedy McMahon. In a tragic series of events, the real life murders of Daniel and Nancy Benoit by WWE talent Chris Benoit caused WWE to call an audible. McMahon was back on screen the following week acknowledging and paying homage (as the details of the murders were unknown to the public at the time) to the "Canadian Crippler" Benoit. A fun fact regarding the storyline is that while practically and and every one knew it was nothing more than an angle, the current POTUS, Donald Trump, actually had believed it was legitimate (at least to some extent). When the limousine blew up, Trump phoned WWE to check and see if McMahon was alright. Stick to politics, Trump. Wait, on second thought, never mind.
13 DDP The Stalker
Having recently been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in its 2017 class, the original "People's Champ," Diamond Dallas Page, had a baffling debut upon stepping foot in the WWE. While DDP was one of WCW's most pivotal cornerstones, he debuted as a masked man who had the sole goal of stalking the then-wife of The Undertaker, Sara. As the popular saying goes, "first impressions are important" and by giving Page this initial gimmick, those unfamiliar with DDP no longer viewed him as a legitimate threat in the company. Moreover, those who thought Page would enter WWE with a bang (pun intended) now had their reservations as well. Suffice to say, Page never enjoyed the success in WWE that he did in WCW, and giving him the stalker gimmick is a prime reason as to why.
There are two sides to the argument of the "Moppy" storyline that Perry Saturn was placed in. On one side of the fence, you could argue that Saturn got what was coming to him as he carelessly and ruthlessly beat the crap out of a jobber on the now-defunct C-show Metal. Actions have consequences, and being dealt the unpleasant hand of being accompanied to the ring with a mop practically ensured Saturn would not treat his opponents carelessly. On the other side of the fence, being placed with a mop is practically cementing your status as one who can never be taken seriously again. Well, unless you're Damien Sandow, he'd probably find some way to not just make it work, but have the crowd pop for him! Unsurprisingly, Saturn never recovered from this gimmick, and has fallen on tough times recently as he is battling homelessness. God speed, Saturn!
11 The Higher Power
The "Higher Power" angle was as intriguing as could be when it was first introduced, as it was believed that there were a number of candidates that could fill the role. Names such as a returning Jake "The Snake" Roberts were at the forefront of the list. But,the unraveling ended up being not just disappointing, but bewildering. The "Higher Power" was a man all WWE fans were all too familiar with; the cloaked figure was none other than Vincent Kennedy McMahon. The reason McMahon being the "Higher Power" was particularly strange is that his daughter, Stephanie, had been the target of abduction by The Undertaker on two occasions. Now, McMahon had aligned with the Deadman. The "Higher Power" storyline had the potential to be talked about for years to come and in fairness it is still talked about, albeit for the wrong reasons and not the right ones.
10 The Gobbledygooker
Prior to Hector Guerrero hatching in the role of the Gobbledygooker in a turkey costume at Survivor Series 1990, the storyline of the hatching of the egg was something that fans were interested in. The egg had been displayed on stage for a number of weeks and excitement regarding the unravel began to heighten for fans. Fans were expecting a superstar that could provide excitement. Instead, they received a character that WWE may have thought was comedic, but clearly wasn't viewed as such by its fans. The Gooker character was met with such criticism that it was scrapped from television shortly after its debut. To make matters worse, the man who player the Gooker character, Hector Guerrero, had enjoyed success in Mexico prior and had showcased that he was capable of much more than the failed Gooker character.
9 Heidenreich Assaults Michael Cole
At one time, Heidenreich was being pushed and was feuding with the Undertaker, but as The Great Khali will tell you, this isn't an instant recipe for success. Heidenreich wasn't very successful in WWE and his most memorable storyline is one that he cannot be proud of (unless he's an extremely sick human being). Heidenreich was involved in a storyline in which he sexually assaulted then-SmackDown commentator Michael Cole. Unsurprisingly, the storyline idea came from the sick mind of Vince McMahon's, according to Heidenreich. Perhaps a tad more surprisingly (or maybe not), Heidenreich claims that McMahon came up with this storyline as a result of a dream he had. When hearing this, I guess we all should be thankful that McMahon (and especially McMahon) only allegedly sleeps four to five hours a night. At most.
8 Big Boss Man And Al Snow... And Pepper
Famous for coining the phrase "What does everybody want? What does everybody need? HEAD!", Al Snow was viewed as a lunatic by those who weren't able to decipher the clear subliminal message he was renowned for, and a hilarious character by those who understood his true message. Snow was involved in a storyline with Big Boss Man that was bad in every way, shape and form. For one, the two wrestled in the first and only "Kennel from Hell" match in which the dogs took over the match as they mated and went number two throughout the match. To make matters worse, Snow had an adorable dog named Pepper during this feud. Dining with Snow, Boss Man revealed to Snow that he was chowing down on none other than Pepper. Someone call PETA!
7 Anonymous Raw General Manager
The Anonymous Raw General Manager storyline quickly became irritating as fans would have to hear everyone's least favorite commentator at the time, Michael Cole, walk to the podium and say, "I have received a message from the Raw Anonymous General Manager". However, this isn't to say that the angle didn't have promise. Sure, Cole's voice was annoying (when isn't his voice annoying?), but this wasn't to say that the reveal couldn't have made up for all of it. Instead, the reveal was as dismal as could be and it probably would have been best to have had the GM remain anonymous forever. The Raw Anonymous General Manager was revealed to be none other than Hornswoggle. This angle dragged out for thirteen months and the reveal did nothing other than disappoint and anger fans.
6 Natalya's Excessive Farting
Commonly dubbed Natalya "Neidfart" as a result of her flatulence gimmick, Natalya would appear throughout backstage segments and compete in the ring with a bad case of gas. First and foremost, this occurred in 2012 which not only meant that Natalya was one of the company's best female workers at the time, but arguably and likely its best at the time. Furthermore, Natalya remains one of the company's best female workers today despite WWE having the largest talent pool of female talent its ever had. Unsurprisingly, this gimmick did nothing for Natalya, and the conclusion of the storyline must've had Natalya elated. Well, elated until she realized that her next storyline would be in an odd pairing with The Great Khali and Hornswoggle. Unsurprisingly, that storyline also did squat for Nattie.
5 Hornswoggle Is Revealed As Vince McMahon's Illegitimate Son
Truthfully, it probably wouldn't be all too difficult to come up with a "15 terrible storylines Hornswoggle was involved in" article. Moreover, has there ever been a storyline that Hornswoggle was involved in that captivated viewers, let alone was watchable? The storyline of Vince McMahon's illegitimate son initially had potential as it was believed that Mr. Kennedy would be revealed as McMahon's illegitimate son. However, a wellness policy violation put a halt to that and WWE decided to call an audible. That audible was none other than Hornswoggle. The reveal ended up making McMahon look foolish (not like that was anything new) and prevented a new star from potentially being born. Moreover, had they just waited until Kennedy returned from his suspension, they would've had a new star.
4 The Summer of Punk
The WWE had absolute gold in the palm of its hands with "The Summer of Punk" storyline, but dropped the ball in any and every way you could imagine. For one, the company had Punk return a mere week after he had "walked out on the company". Secondly, after defending his WWE Championship against John Cena's newly-won WWE Championship (put in place as a result of Punk departing WWE), WWE decided to have Alberto Del Rio cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase to dethrone Punk as champ. To make matters worse, Del Rio was assisted by a returning Kevin Nash who delivered a powerbomb to Punk after he defeated Cena. Punk was then placed in a feud with Nash that was so dismal that the two never even ended up having a match as Nash wasn't physically fit for competition. Hats off to you, WWE, hats off!
3 Hornswoggle Is The Final Cruiserweight Champion
WWE brought the Cruiserweight Championship back in 2016 and Neville is currently in the midst of his first reign with the belt. But let's not forget that prior to the title being brought back in 2016, the last Cruiserweight Champion was none other than Hornswoggle, who held the belt in 2007. Hornswoggle ended up holding the belt for just under two months before it was retired. Hornswoggle did nothing to heighten the belt's prestige, and instead devalued the belt to the degree that David Arquette devalued the WCW Championship. Thankfully now that the Cruiserweight Championship is once again a title that is defended in WWE, Hornswoggle will not be remembered as the last individual to hold the belt. However, this doesn't mean that his time with the belt will be forgotten.
2 Katie Vick
It wouldn't be a stretch to say that both Kane and Triple H would be in agreement that the Katie Vick storyline was the worst of both of their careers. Kane, had been in a car accident with Vick which proved to be fatal for her, while Kane made it out alive. The two weren't involved sexually; however, Kane had an interest in her that went past platonic. The storyline was eerie from the get go but it got particularly gruesome on a particular episode of Monday Night Raw. Donning a Kane mask, Triple H had shown a video package depicting Kane having sex with the corpse of Vick. Not only was this hard to watch on television, but it did nothing to benefit either "The Big Red Machine" or "The Cerebral Assassin". Many would point to this as being the worst storyline in WWE history.
1 The Invasion
In mid-1996 and the majority of 1997, it seemed unfathomable that WWE would buy out WCW as WCW had a stronghold on the ratings war. WCW had beaten WWE for 84 straight weeks, and in most instances beat WWE rather comfortably. However, as we all know, that didn't last, and WWE eventually "bought its competition" (Vince McMahon's words, not mine). The announcement created shockwaves as now the two largest wrestling companies in the world would merge. WCW superstars would wrestle WWE superstars, and a number of intriguing storylines would come out of it. But WWE dropped the ball in colossal fashion. They weren't able to reel in the majority of WCW's premier players initially such as Goldberg and Sting. Not to mention, the booking of the majority of WCW's superstars, if not all of their superstars, was rather poor, which significantly hurt their credibility. The Invasion could have been talked about for years as being one of the hottest things in wrestling history. Instead, it's talked about as being one of the worst angles, and one that failed to live up to its potential.