Nobody and nothing is perfect, just ask Brock Lesnar and Undertaker from WrestleMania several of years ago. The WWE, the world’s largest wrestling promotion that’ll probably never be topped, has made its fair share of mistakes, even though Chairman Vince McMahon has showed us over and over again the man is a genius and tends to know what he is doing.
As fans, it’s easy for us to sit back and critique some of the mistakes by McMahon, the wrestlers, and the bookers. There are bound to be great moments and absolute total-flops. It’s the nature of the business.
However, some fans have spent more than enough time, money, and attention on the WWE and it’s safe to say there have been plenty of times where the fans did not get their money’s worth, and certainly did not get what they deserved. That’s because there have been far too many mistakes when it came to planning some of the “biggest” events and moments in the history of the industry.
If every WrestleMania and Pay-Per-View event was great, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate them as much. Because we have often been disappointed with the planning and events of certain venues, it helps us look back on some of the legendary matches that shaped the WWE.
So yes, Mr. McMahon, we forgive you and your employees for some of the poorly-planned events the WWE has held in the past. We know nobody is perfect. We forgive, but we definitely do not forget.
Here are the 15 worst WWE events that did not come close to matching their hype.
15. WrestleMania VIII
Well, at least wrestling fans got to see plenty of Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan matches in WCW and some later bouts in WWE, but we didn’t get to see them while they were both in their respective primes when it came to in-ring ability.
Though Ric Flair and Randy Savage’s match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship wasn’t as bad as some may say, we had to see The Hulkster face off against Sid Justice. Not exactly eye-popping.
Luckily, Roddy Piper and Bret Hart’s Intercontinental title match brought some excitement in a disappointing event. Flair and Hogan were at the top of their games and we didn’t get to see it here, which is a shame.
14. WrestleMania XXV
If it weren’t for the first Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker WrestleMania match, this could have gone down as the biggest Pay-Per-View disaster in recent memory. Fortunately, we got one great moment out of it.
Aside from that, the 25th-anniversary of the show failed to live up to our expectations. Somehow, Kid Rock got more time than many of the entertaining stars at the event. How does that even work? The Hardy brother singles match wasn’t that exciting, while Triple H and Randy Orton’s match for the WWE title was so predictable.
Even John Cena, while in his prime, could not save this awful event. He won the World title against Edge and Big Show in a Triple Threat match, but once again, it was all too predictable.
Thank you HBK and ‘Taker for saving our sanity this one night.
13. SummerSlam 2007
Let me get this straight, when one of your top Pay-Per-View events features four title matches, the point of these venues are to see amazing finishes. Letting all four defending titles be retained is just awful.
Umaga won a Triple Threat match for the Intercontinental Championship. John Morrison and CM Punk’s ECW title match was actually somewhat decent, but not even close to main-event worthy. Batista beat The Great Khali by disqualification. Khali, the defending World Champion , hit him with a steel chair.
Meanwhile, John Cena kept his WWE Championship over Randy Orton. A decent match, but again, we all knew Cena would win because of course he would.
No title belt changes, meaning WWE wasn’t willing to change the drying-up storylines. Yippee.
12. Royal Rumble 2012
Here’s the deal: Seeing Daniel Bryan successfully defend his title against monsters Big Show and Mark Henry in a Triple Threat Steel Cage match was a glorious moment for the rising Superstar.
Here’s the problem: That was all worth watching that night, in case you’re planning to buy yourself the 2012 DVD of the entire event. The Eight Diva Tag Team match had no intensity and John Cena and Kane fought in a boring singles match that ended in a double-countout (why?).
Sheamus won the Royal Rumble, but not a whole lot of fans appeared to be keen on that decision. That could have been a big moment for another Superstar. All in all, this was a very uneventful Sunday night, which could have been better used for watching paint dry.
11. Survivor Series 2006
In order to get through this match, you better have become a Survivor through a series of awful bouts (see what I did there?).
You could originally look at the card and convince yourself this was going to be the greatest version of the event, but it became far from that, unfortunately. So here is how it all went down.
Team DX wins an actually thrilling five-on-five match against Rated-RKO. DX features Triple H, Shawn Michaels, CM Punk and the Hardy Boyz, but RKO, besides Edge and Orton, had Mike Knox, Johnny Nitro and Gregory Helms. Not exactly thrilling now is it?
The Batista and King Booker World Heavyweight title match was nothing spectacular and the whole event was a bust overall.
10. WrestleMania XI
On the bright side of this disaster, Mr. McMahon himself appeared to learn the key rule of wrestling: Always put a guy with a huge wrestling background in the main event, not a former professional athlete. I mean, come on.
An outing that featured Razor Ramon, The Undertaker, Owen Hart, Yokozuna, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Diesel should be great. All of their respective matches were complete busts and that’s not the worst part.
Legendary NFL Linebacker Lawrence Taylor faced off against Bam Bam Bigelow. Sure, if you brought in J.J. Watt to face Dean Ambrose, that would sound exciting. But would it be main-event worthy? No.
9. Survivor Series 1993
Everyone knows by now that one of the biggest Pay-Per-Views in sports entertainment is supposed to be Survivor Series. Fans were surely not given that impression with this outing, as over 15,000 poured into the Boston Garden to see this.
The matches on the card weren’t great and the fights overall were much worse: The All-Americans (Lex Luger, The Undertaker, and The Steiner Brothers) against The Foreign Fanatics, which featured Yokozuna, Crush, Quebecer Jacques, and Ludvig Borga. Undertaker was an All-American?
That main event match was just awful. Though the Hart Family against Shawn Michaels and his three knights was a solid match, it wasn’t enough to save this terrible event.
8. Royal Rumble 2011
Nobody has been a winner in most Royal Rumble venues since the turn of the decade. The old-timer fans haven’t gotten to see anything like the Attitude Era or Ruthless Aggression times.
The PG Era fans haven’t gotten to see much of anything at all, except for head-shaking decisions when it comes to planning the Royal Rumble. Only five matches on the card, meaning the pressure was on to perform.
That didn’t happen. A 40-man Royal Rumble (the most participants ever in the match), was a failure, with the awful choice of electing Alberto Del Rio to win, culminating in some not-so-great storylines to follow.
7. Survivor Series 2001
WWE fans were already disappointed with the poor usage of the InVasion angle, but there was time to give it the proper sendoff, as Survivor Series 2001 would be the final part of the major storyline.
Well, absolutely nothing came out of this. It was a boring match, repeat, a boring match. Team WWE against The Alliance featured many stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Kane and The Rock. One can debate if that match was entertaining, but the whole night was a reflection of the poorly executed angle.
At least they got to say “There’s always next year.”
6. Royal Rumble 2014
Hey, at least our good friend Vince McMahon tried hard to make this a good event, and if it took place in, say, Batista’s home town of Washington, then the potential for this to be an all-time high could have worked out as such.
But it wasn’t. The biggest “news” to come out of this event was the crowd booing both John Cena and Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. It was clear the crowd was getting bored of the long-time WWE Superstars.
Meanwhile, WWE thought making Batista the Royal Rumble winner would be excellent. Batista had returned after a four-year-long hiatus from the company, but even though he was to return as a face, the crowd only booed him.
Batista himself admitted it wasn’t a good idea to return as a good guy and this proved it. The fans showed how much they hated the booking. And plus, Daniel Bryan should have won this, as he was quickly becoming their top star.
5. Survivor Series 1990
Well, The Gobbledy Gooker is just about everything you need to know when it comes to realizing what was easily one of the most forgettable moments in WWE history.
Wrestler Hector Guerrero dressed up in a ridiculous chicken-and-egg outfit as he danced in the middle of the ring. I feel bad for him, though. Because the crowd booed him, instead of laughing at the sequence.
Even using Hulk Hogan in two of the matches couldn’t salvage much of anything here. On the bright side, this event did mark the official beginning of The Undertaker.
4. SummerSlam 2010
The best way for WWE to forget this would be to supply refunds to the over 300,000 people who bought it on Pay-Per-View and the 17,463 folks who packed the Staples Center in Los Angeles, because this was just a mistake.
The main event, a Seven-on-Seven Tag Team match featuring John Cena and co. vs The Nexus, led by Wade Barrett, was awful and simply not worthy of being the last match of the night. The entire card preceding this was boring, with the “best” match being Randy Orton beating Sheamus via disqualification for the WWE Championship.
No need to go back and watch it, folks.
3. WrestleMania XXIX
From Eric Bischoff reuniting the nWo in WCW a million times to Vince McMahon having John Cena and The Rock headline WrestleMania two years in a row, wrestling promoters don’t seem to get that a first-time success rarely means the second time will be better.
John Cena beat The Rock in their rematch from the year before, but the crowd had already seen them fight once. Big deal. We didn’t need to see it again. This was unfair to other wrestlers who could have used a major push.
Though many criticize it, Brock Lesnar’s match with Triple H (with the stipulation that the Cerebral Assassin would retire if he lost) was actually solid, but not enough to save this.
Then Undertaker put his streak on the line against CM Punk, which was not exactly a show-stopping match. No thanks. This one failed big time. No question about it.
2. Royal Rumble 2015
Here it was. The big one. The brightest moment. The Rumble of all Rumbles. Daniel Bryan was going to…
Not win the Royal Rumble and once again have WWE waste another absolutely epic and historic moment. Bryan, who should have been slotted to win the year’s prior event entered 10th but Bray Wyatt sent him home early.
Roman Reigns won to get the push he needed, but given how the fans react to him now, I think it’s safe to say WWE would let Bryan win if they had a time machine. It made no sense to choose anyone over him and still doesn’t to this day.
1. WrestleMania IX
This event is known as by far the worst WrestleMania ever and it’s easy to see why when taking one look at the set design which was on display that day at Caesars Palace and the ridiculous outfits which were worn by the announce team.
The Undertaker went up against Giant Gonzalez, but all we remember from that is ‘Taker winning by disqualification after having a chloroform-filled cloth knock him out. We had two giants face off and that’s all we got?!
In the main event, Yokozuna defeated Bret Hart for the WWE Championship, only to have Hulk Hogan arrive and then claim the title for his own in an impromptu match which lasted less than 30 seconds. Ridiculous.
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