Wrestling is no stranger to bad ideas. The slews of books written on that subject can certainly attest to that. It can be understandable sometimes as some ideas that sound stupid actually end up being big hits. Sadly, too many times you have stuff that was bad in theory and even worse in practice. Stuff so horrendous that even the most gifted workers can’t salvage them. The long list of amazingly horrific storylines is something entire websites have been dedicated to and still boggles the mind they were come up with in the first place let alone put on the air.
So many ideas are infamous, particularly anything from the mind of one Vince Russo, who believed wrestling itself was the last thing people wanted to see. Yet way before him, we’d see stuff that was utterly wretched and terrible, from the big gun promotions to the indies. The most infamous are the bigger ones that wasted slews of air time for nothing resolutions and did no favors to those involved. There are tons of choices but here are the best of the worst, 15 storylines fans would much prefer to forget and pretend never happened even though we all know by far they did.
The major problem for TNA is that they live under the delusion they’re on equal par with WWE when they quite obviously aren’t and take shots at the “competition” when they’re no real challenge. A major case was when James Gang, formerly known as the New Age Outlaws, started to take shots at WWE in 2006. They remade themselves as the Voodoo Kin Mafia, the initials off of Vincent K. McMahon and doing impressions of Shawn Michaels and HHH with vignettes shot in Stamford. Wild but then the two openly challenged DX to a match and offered a million dollars if they would show up for it.
Incredibly Dixie Carter honestly had the money frozen, convinced this could actually happen and reports had her coming to the office every day to ask if McMahon had called. This would be dropped after HHH was injured but then moving into a dumb story of them bossing around Christy Hemme. Proof of how the ego of Russo and TNA just made them look more second-rate than usual.
14 Big Boss Man, Al Snow and Pepper
With Big Boss Man now going into the Hall of Fame, we really want to forget this one. 1999 had Vince Russo’s writing in WWE take a wild degree, going way too far in various ideas and here’s a prime example. Big Boss Man and Al Snow went at it in a feud that started off okay, if rough in the ring. That soon built to Bossman kidnapping Snow’s beloved dog, Pepper and holding him hostage, Al coming for a dinner and Bossman revealing he’d cooked Pepper and served him to Snow. As if animal lovers weren’t already outraged, we then got the classic “Kennel from Hell” match with live dogs inside a huge cage as Snow and Bossman fought and the cameras caught the dogs peeing and humping each other in the cage. The “going to the dogs” line is just too easy with this one.
13 Mae Young Pregnant
You knew this was coming. It’s a moment that has gone not just from wrestling but in actual books of the craziest moments in television history. After years retired, Mae Young returned to WWE in 1999 with the gimmick of a randy senior citizen putting the moves on far younger men. She and Mark Henry were soon involved to push him as “Sexual Chocolate” and Mae claiming to be pregnant. This led to various antics before the now iconic moment of her giving birth to…a hand. It was just so totally out there that you couldn’t believe it actually happened and has become something even WWE pokes fun at (with a hysterical bit of Mae showing her “grown son” as a guy in a giant hand costume). Whacky but something fans of the time prefer to forget.
12 Abyss’ Magic Ring
A guy actually talented for his size, Abyss has sadly had to put up with slews of idiotic stuff in TNA from James Mitchell as “his father” to the entire nutty Joseph Parks thing. The topper, however, would have to be the 2011 story where Abyss faced AJ Styles, who was being pushed into a “new Ric Flair” by Flair himself, already a bad idea. Freaking out about facing a guy literally half his size, Abyss met with Hogan who proceeded to give him his WWE Hall of Fame ring, which he claimed would bestow upon Abyss “the strength of legends.” Abyss indeed wore it to the ring for fights with Flair then putting his HOF ring up so you had two TNA vets fighting for rings by two former WWE guys. Even for TNA, this is truly pushing the limits of fan patience.
11 Vince’s Son
After the terrible “Vince is Dead” bit was cut short by the Benoit tragedy, they decided to push something else as word came of Vince having had a child out of wedlock. We had bits of him showing off “old lovers” that included Mae Young and others and blood tests and other stuff, all of which was just Vince pushing the ego of everyone caring about this. The plan was to have Kennedy be revealed as the son but he got suspended before that could happen. So the final choice was…Hornswoggle. Yep, the dwarf who was a joke Cruiserweight champion was now the McMahon heir.
This led to him driving Vince nuts with antics and then a match of Vince beating him down in a cage before it turned out Hornswoggle was really Finlay’s son, not Vince’s. Goes to show what happens when you just compound an error with a bigger one.
10 Team Challenge Series
Once, the American Wrestling Association truly was on par with the NWA and WWE with a fantastic selection of talent. But by 1989, Verne Gagne’s refusal to accept the changing times and audience combined with defections of talent to render the AWA a shadow of its former self. In desperation, Gagne launched the Team Challenge Series with the roster divided into three teams captained by Larry Zybsko, Sgt. Slaughter and Baron Von Rashke and all the matches were meant to gain points to earn a million dollar prize.
No titles were at stake and the matches were with stipulations that would make Vince Russo shake his head in amazement: Body slam match, a bout involving guys in football uniforms fighting to get into circled spaces, hands tied behind backs and more. Making it more ridiculous was that they couldn’t sell enough tickets so many of the matches were in closed off studios for “security reasons.” It all culminated in a battle royal with lifelong jobber Jake “The Milkman” Milliman grabbing a turkey off a pole containing the million-dollar check. A fitting end for the AWA that went out of business with the story of Zybsko pocketing the money for himself and truly sad to see this once proud organization die like this.
9 Hogan vs. Warrior
The original 1990 program between the two ended with an epic WrestleMania match and the lack of a follow-up annoyed fans. Proving that good things don’t always come to those who wait, WCW brought the Warrior in for a program in 1998 and it was horrific. Kicking off with a 20-minute promo from the Warrior, we had him using a Batman-like spotlight, kidnapping Ed Leslie to form “One Warrior Nation” and other antics.
The topper, of course, has to be the segment when Hogan saw the Warrior in the mirror, quite clear to the audience yet Eric Bischoff and the announcers claimed they couldn’t see him. Hogan has actually taken much of the blame for this idiocy, which says a lot about how bad it was. The final result was a terrible battle at Halloween Havoc and Warrior was soon gone, making this all a colossal waste of time and money, even by WCW’s lofty standards.
8 Crazy Flair
For the man who put WCW on the map and always their spirit, Ric Flair had to put up with constant pushes downward by bosses convinced he was on his way out. Having been made President of the company in 1999, Flair was shown drunk with power and soon ranting about being President of the United States as well so Roddy Piper had him put into a mental hospital. We were treated to video of the Nature Boy dancing around in robe and underwear with other “inmates” and acting wild with the utterly bizarre touch of Scott Hall just wandering in the background for no reason. How did Flair get out? He was bailed out which somehow works for someplace other than Arkham Aslyum. Totally nuts and not in the good way.
7 Vince Death
An idea bad on paper but real life just made it worse. Having been shown breaking down after losing the ECW title, Vince McMahon was treated to a big “appreciation night” which ended with him entering a limo which then exploded. WWE treated it like it was real, complete with “tribute videos” that smacked of horrible taste after the real deaths of Eddie Guerrero and others. Indeed, when Sheri Martel passed away during this, her video was lacking compared to those for “Mr. McMahon” and watching the talent act like it was a real loss was insulting. Perhaps in a fitting fate, it ended when the Benoit tragedy went down and the whole thing was dropped with Vince saying he just wanted to get people to react. Well, they did and it was terrible.
6 David Flair/Stacy Kiebler
One of the few reasons to tune into WCW in 2000, Stacy Keibler was known as Miss Hancock, a hot secretary with amazing legs and dance moves. She was soon put into a romance with David Flair who, despite being the son of one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, lacked his father’s skill and charisma. We were treated to weeks of setup before they were to be married with Hancock interrupting the ceremony to announce she was pregnant but not by David.
This would soon involve David cheating with Daffney and then hunting down guys for the possible father. Reportedly, Vince Russo at first wanted himself to be the dad and then suggested Ric was the father but thankfully for all of us, he was removed before that could happen so we never got any resolution except Hancock revealing she’d been faking the whole thing. Proof again babies and wrestling never mix.
Here’s proof you need to be careful about letting your temper get the best of you. In early 2001, Perry Saturn was doing a TV match with jobber Mike Bell when Bell started to go on his own with some shots that knocked Saturn off balance. Angry, Saturn attacked Bell, slamming him against the ring steps outside and some hard shots. While Bell wasn’t injured, the front office wasn’t happy and as punishment, Saturn had the storyline of getting a blow to the head that left him a mental mess. That led to believing a mop was his girlfriend “Moppy” and taking “her” everywhere with him on dates and such. That soon moved into Moppy “kidnapped” to drive Saturn even crazier. A shame to see a talented guy put into this and how this was less punishment for him and on all the fans instead.
4 Al Wilson
It’s still amazing how WWE spent nearly eight months on this. To annoy Torrie Wilson in a feud, Dawn Marie decided to start dating Torrie’s dad, Al. So we had weeks of seemingly endless videos of them together, Al the randy old guy and Torrie driven crazy by their antics. This soon led to Dawn offering Torrie a night together to break things off with Al to tempt more viewers to little avail and finally ending with the news of Al “dying” of a heart attack during their honeymoon and his funeral. You’d think two hot women hanging out would make a program tolerable but this proves that idea very wrong.
3 Claire Lynch
That this involved three of the best workers in TNA is utterly laughable. First, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian hinted that AJ Styles had a romance going with Dixie Carter while both were married. They denied it and then the two revealed that AJ had actually slept with a woman named Claire Lynch, “played” by someone whose acting skills made Dixie herself look like Julianne Moore. It was annoying as hell as she produced photos of them together and then revealed she was pregnant with AJ’s child.
The fans loathed it, slamming the actress playing Lynch so much that she couldn’t take it and quit the company to go back to her job as Olive Oyl at Universal’s Popeye ride (yes, that’s completely true). So we had a “lawyer” come to explain Claire had never been pregnant and the whole thing was dropped. The winner by a large margin of the worst angle of 2012 and still among the most useless in TNA history.
2 Lost in Cleveland
In his first book, Mick Foley rips into WCW for this one and you can’t blame him. Cactus Jack and Vader were having a feud with Vader giving Cactus a powerbomb on the concrete, the refs checking on him, even Vader looking concerned. Logically, this should have set up weeks of reports on Jack’s health before his big comeback to tear it up with Vader. As most everyone knows “logic” and “WCW” didn’t always go together.
Instead, WCW spent money on bits where a “reporter” tracked Cactus Jack down to the streets of Cleveland as an amnesiac talking of being a sailor. They even had an actress coming by chosen to be ugly as they thought Foley’s real-life wife was too hot for the role. It just dragged on with no resolution and Foley hated it so much that he acted like it was all mind games against Vader. No wonder he left the company on bad terms given what they made him do.
1 Katie Vick
An obvious choice in so many ways. On a DVD, most everyone (HHH, Stephanie, Joey Styles and more) rant on this being one of the stupidest and insulting sights ever put on TV but Vince just laughs it was a funny idea. He’s pretty much alone in that regard as most consider this an odious exercise to say the least. As part of a long-term feud, HHH “revealed” that Kane had been responsible for the death of high school sweetheart Katie Vick. That alone would have been terrible but then WWE had to go that extra mile with the skit of HHH in a Kane mask attacking a dummy dressed as Katie in a coffin. To say it didn’t go over well is like saying the Titanic had a slight ice problem as the fans loathed it, it was dropped fast and the program just petered out. Still amazing it was put on TV in the first place to stand as one of the worst ideas ever broadcast in wrestling.
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