You don’t become a professional wrestler without expecting to encounter a little humiliation from time to time. Professional wrestling is an inherently silly form of entertainment, and even the most serious promotions and bookers occasionally decide to dip into that element of the business by forcing their performers to engage in some sort of wacky antics. Enduring some sort of humiliation at some point in professional wrestling is a lot like accepting that being a secretary is going to include some light typing. It’s just part of the job.
But just because the occasional humiliation is included in the job description doesn’t mean that a performer should expect to spend the majority of their career being the butt of every joke. Professional wrestling may be a strange place, but it’s still a professional world where throwing a never-ending series of embarrassments at an employee to the point where everyone feels sorry for them whenever they step on-screen would never be allowed to happen.
No, I’m just kidding. That’s exactly what happens.
Yes, the occasional humiliation is expected in pro wrestling, but there are a select group of performers who have turned degradation into an art form. It’s not just that they were humiliated more times than anyone else, but rather the sheer magnitude of the insults they had to endure all in the name of entertainment.
Anywhere else in the civilized world, any one of these performers would have quit the very moment that they had to endure any single humiliation of their career. Instead, it’s their ability to keep pressing on while asking for more embarrassment that makes them the 15 most humiliated wrestlers in history.
Without further ado, here are the top 15 wrestlers that were humiliated the most.
15 Terry Taylor
Unlike many of the performers on this list who have had to endure many, many humiliations over their career, Terry Taylor only really had to suffer through one. Of course, it was such a thorough humiliation that it pretty much ended the career of one of wrestling’s most promising stars. Terry Taylor’s time as The Red Rooster in WWE may have been short, but the sight of a grown man acting like a rooster for no conceivable reason was impossible to forget. Taylor would try to go back to WCW and reclaim his name, but would eventually be laughed out of an in-ring career anyway.
14 Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus may be a truly revolutionary female wrestler who overcame her image as mere eye candy to become a champion, but she is just as likely to be remembered for that time she was made to bark like a dog in the ring for Vince McMahon. For whatever reason, Trish Stratus was WWE’s go-to girl for humiliating angles in the early 2000s. From the aforementioned time she was made to strip to the time she was covered in slop by Stephanie McMahon, Trish Stratus paid her dues over and over again by proving to be a tremendous sport when it came to humiliating angles.
13 The Spirit Squad
About 99% of the time a young wrestler would be thrilled to learn that they are going to make their debut by entering a prolonged feud against Triple H and Shawn Michaels. The Spirit Squad represents the other 1%. While The Spirit Squad would occasionally get to beat down DX during their debut rivalry, for the most part their duty was to endure a never-ending series of humiliations. While merely having this group of young wrestlers would have been embarrassing enough, the fact that they once had to endure a shower of “poo” at the hands of DX serves as a pretty good summary of their time in WWE.
12 William Regal
If I had to make a guess regarding the consistency of William Regal’s involvement in embarrassing moments, I would guess it has to do with WWE’s fascination with having someone play the straight-faced man to their unique sense of humor. Whatever the case, William Regal’s time in WWE has been filled with humiliating moments he has been made to simply endure. His appearance as the “Man’s man” Steven Regal certainly makes the list, but who could ever forget the time that Chris Jericho peed in his tea or when he was forced to kiss Vince McMahon’s ass in the middle of the ring?
11 Ric Flair
Ric Flair may be one of the most respected wrestlers in the history of the business, but that doesn’t mean he is without detractors. Unfortunately for Ric, one of his biggest detractors – Vince Russo – would gain creative control of WCW and proceed to use his full powers to humiliate Ric whenever possible. It’s one thing for a writer to figuratively bury a wrestler by having him lose most of his matches or getting his head shaved, but at one point Ric Flair was literally buried in the middle of the Vegas desert and left for dead as part of a storyline.
10 Vickie Guerrero
One can almost picture Vince McMahon so graciously offering Vickie Guerrero a WWE contract while secretly smirking at the various embarrassments he was about to put her through. For a time there, it felt like there wasn’t a week of WWE programming that didn’t feature Vickie Guerrero getting stripped, being verbally torn apart or – most regularly – getting covered in some kind of mysterious substance thanks to unlikely circumstances. While Vickie took everything that was thrown at her in stride, the sheer amount of embarrassments she would endure in her career is equaled by a select few performers in wrestling history.
9 The Ultimate Warrior
The Ultimate Warrior may have spent a moment atop WWE as their supposed future champion, but he spent most of his career after that as a participant in some of the worst wrestling angles ever. You may think that the highlight of Warrior’s embarrassments would have peaked the very moment that Papa Shango made him violently vomit all over himself after being cursed, but that honor would have to go to his time in WCW as an impotent sorcerer during his feud with Hulk Hogan. Even The Ultimate Warrior’s career retrospective DVD was mostly a series of jabs and jokes at his expense.
When most wrestling fans look at Natalya Neidhart, they see the total package. She’s not only incredibly beautiful, but possesses wrestling skills that few other performers do and so happens to be a generational star. When WWE looked at Natalya, they apparently saw farting. Yes, for some reason Natalya was made to endure a painfully long angle that implied she was a habitual farter whose gas was strong enough to knock out other wrestlers. WWE eventually dropped this unfathomable angle, but not before the damage had been done to her promising career.
7 Billy Gunn
Sometimes in wrestling, it feels like the worst thing you can be is a good sport. When WWE decided to play up Billy Gunn’s fondness for mooning opponents by giving him the gimmick of “Mr. Ass” and a pair of see-through shorts, he probably forever doomed himself to a career in wrestling comedy by playing the character so perfectly. Of course, Billy Gunn would eventually top that embarrassing gimmick by participating in the strangely homoerotic tag-team of Billy and Chuck. If anything, his final TNA gimmick as a boy toy to the The Beautiful People was his most respectable character in years.
6 Mickie James
Mickie James came into WWE as a Trish Stratus stalker and participant in one of WWE’s most compelling storylines ever. She left as the butt of an increasingly bad series of fat jokes. Even though nobody had ever even associated Mickie James with the word “fat,” WWE still decided to run an angle that saw Layla and Michelle McCool continuously refer to her as such week after week. The mere idea of that storyline is bad enough, but the sheer volume of content WWE tried to get out of this storyline at the expense of Mickie James was simply shocking.
As proof that even the toughest of gimmicks won’t save you from the occasional awful embarrassment, I submit the case of Kane. While we’d all like to remember Kane as one of The Undertaker’s greatest rivals and WWE’s constant professional, it’s a bit difficult to not remember him as the participant in some of the company’s most degrading storylines. Of course, that includes the saga of Kane’s alleged necrophilia encounters with Katie Vick, but who could ever forget Kane’s role in the Lita abortion storyline? If WWE’s mission was to turn Kane from badass demon to walking embarrassment, then it was a job well done.
4 Mark Henry
When Mark Henry debuted in WWE as a world-class strongman, the reaction from fans everywhere was a strong “meh.” Now either WWE decided to punish Henry at that time for his failure to get a reaction or maybe they saw some comedic talent in the big man that they couldn’t resist exploiting because Mark Henry spent a good part of his career being humiliated on-screen. Specific instances are far too numerous to name here, so instead let’s just all remember his time as a sex addict and the many transvestite and pregnancy storylines that it led too.
3 Brutus Beefcake
There are times when it’s hard to know what to make of the wrestling career of Brutus Beefcake. While it’s tempting to praise the man for remaining gainfully employed despite his obvious shortcomings as a wrestler, the fact that he spent his entire career being bounced between a series of increasingly awful gimmicks is something of a blight on his accomplishments.
Much like Billy Gunn, Beefcake would have to spend time as a man infatuated with his own butt.
2 Jim Ross
Is there any performer in wrestling history that has had to endure more humiliating moments than Jim Ross? Whatever it is about the legendary voice of wrestling that rubs people the wrong way, it has led to some of the most painfully uncomfortable moments in wrestling history. Infamous WWE moments like the “colon surgery” segment, Santina’s coming on to Jim Ross and the mocking of his bell’s palsy are of course the most notable instances of his humiliation, but even WCW couldn’t resist mocking good old JR when they introduced the truly awful Jim Ross parody known as Oklahoma.
1 Jillian Hall
If I were to ever become a WWE wrestler, the very first thing I would do is ask what it was that Jillian Hall did to the WWE creative team so that I can be sure I never come close to doing the same thing. Jillian Hall made her debut in WWE as a corporate consultant to JBL who so happened to have the world’s most grotesque mole on her face, and would end her career as an awful singer who participated in some of the most cringe-worthy WWE moments of all-time. It was an interesting run, to say the least.
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