The world of professional wrestling has brought us many memorable moments and talents whom we will recall to our children and grandchildren when they became old enough to appreciate wrestling. Those tales would include the rivalries of The Rock and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, or when The Undertaker battled a very resilient Mick Foley in Hell in a Cell.
But with every great moment and talented superstar in the ring, there were a number of tragic moments where the wrong people were put in the ring. These people range from folks who were competing on a regular basis before they were physically prepared to celebrities who were put in matches and situations as a result of poor creative decisions. There could have been a lot more included on this list, but we had to limit ourselves to a mere 20 or the list may never end; it could go on and on, my friend.
The following are 20 people who should never be physically involved in wrestling again. This includes people who were involved in segments where their “fights” looked like something from a D-level martial arts film. Regardless of how many times they've wrestled, they shouldn’t be allowed on major television networks ever again, and that is no exaggeration. Read on and you'll see why.
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20 Bo Dallas
In terms of having a unique character, there is a lot to like about Bo Dallas. One of the sons of Mike Rotunda (known better as Irwin R. Schyster), and part of a family line that includes Blackjack Mulligan, Dallas’ character in WWE was that of a motivational, I mean “BO-tivational,” speaker looking to inspire the WWE Universe that all you have to do is “Bo-lieve.” It was a silly gimmick that was good for a few laughs.
Unfortunately, he hasn’t really been able to flourish in the ring since coming up to the WWE main roster in 2014. Maybe he needs to revisit the WWE Performance Center and spend some time in NXT, so he’ll be low on this list. Unless we can improve his move set, no one needs to see Dallas do anything more than being a jobber with entrance music. The splitting up of the Social Outcasts faction doesn’t help his current stock in the company either.
19 Drew Carey
It’s not that this is a recommendation that Drew Carey should never be involved in wrestling again. In fact, it’s encouraged that he would be a host of some kind in WWE – maybe similar to what the WWE did with Bob Barker back in 2009. But the comedian was used in a WWE match and not when he lost all of the weight that he’s dropped to be in better physical shape.
Instead, the WWE invited Drew Carey to be one of the 30 participants in the 2001 Royal Rumble. He was often standing to the other side of the ring when guys like the Hardy Boyz were actually fighting on top of a turnbuckle. No one thought Carey was going to have a chance and him being in the ring with Kane felt more like a space-filler before the comedian decided to eliminate himself from the match. Just don’t put him in a match and we’ll be fine with Carey appearing on WWE programming again.
18 Danny Bonaduce
Remember when Hulk Hogan had that reality television atrocity that was called Celebrity Championship Wrestling? It’s okay if you never saw it as it is probably best that you did not. This could be an entry that features all of the celebrities who participated in the one (and only) season of the show, which aired on the Country Music Station. But Danny Bonaduce was on the show that featured Dennis Rodman, Dustin Diamond and Todd Bridges and it was a total waste of effort.
The loudmouth radio personality has also been in a feud with Eric Young in TNA Wrestling back in 2009. It was a moment that many would prefer to have burned from their memories. It was a pre-show match for a reason and not on the Lockdown pay-per-view. His most recent match was back in 2010 during an independent show in Pennsylvania and hopefully, that will be his last match ever.
The internet likely best knows Virgil as the guy who sits by himself with no one lining up to buy autographs from him in what looks like a wrestling convention. Many of those who have followed professional wrestling know him best as the man who was the muscle for the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase during the 1980s and the 1990s before making the jump to WCW. It’s hard to think of him having any memorable matches. In fact, Virgil had fallen from as high as the 74th ranking in Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s top 500 singles wrestlers in 1992 and all the way down to barely making the list in less than 10 years.
Virgil now seems to be someone who is trying to make money any way he can and we hope this former wrestler doesn’t come out of retirement, no matter how broke he is or how much a promoter is willing to book him for a sold-out show of 50 fans at an elementary school gymnasium.
Back in the 1990s era of professional wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling attempted to try and make their brand stand out while the WWE and WCW were battling in the Monday Night Wars. One of the interesting gimmicks the ECW had was the 911 character, who would often spend most of the time coming into matches and delivering chokeslams everywhere he could as if he were Oprah giving them away – “You get a chokeslam and you get a chokeslam.”
When being given an actual match, he struggled to make it entertaining. The former “extreme enforcer” would begin dropping matches to guys like Spike Dudley, about 150 pounds lighter, before several failed characters in WCW sent him to the independent circuit purgatory where his matches rivaled watching paint dry and reading an Economics textbook. Just look up a match where 911 wrestled Mega Titan during a 1998 show with International Pro Wrestling and you’ll see what we mean.
15 Mahabali Shera
Vince McMahon isn’t the only North American wrestling promoter who signs “talents” solely on their imposing physical appearance. Mahabali Shera was definitely a giant who had the look of someone who could be a dominant figure to represent the great country of India. This was likely a big part of how he got a contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. However, he sort of reminded wrestling fans of the Great Khali. With a little more than five years of experience in the ring, there wasn’t a lot to show from his experience.
Shera is still currently with TNA’s Impact Wrestling, but one would hope he might find other interests that doesn’t involve standing in a wrestling ring. Maybe he can follow Khali and go into being a strongman in film, where he can take multiple cuts to avoid fans seeing those brutal botches. The search continues for wrestling to find a talent from India who could be a potential world heavyweight champion and a major draw around the world.
14 Johnny Stamboli/Rellik
Having been one of the final members of the WCW roster, Johnny “The Bull” Stamboli came to the WWE to try and make a name for himself. He tried to be part of the Full Blooded Italians (also known as FBI) faction with Nunzio and Chuck Palumbo between 2002 and 2004. The group would be split up after their release and Stamboli would slowly change his character, which led to the creation of Rellik -- an evil demon-type wrestler who aligned with James Mitchell in TNA.
The problem was that he didn’t really do well in the ring and would quickly find that his momentum was killed within a year of being in TNA. The Rellik character would compete in Mexico and with Lucha Libre USA before having to depend on independent bookings. It might be best if he hangs up the boots and that creepy mask for good. The fans would not miss him.
During the original brand split in WWE, Heidenreich was one of those larger athletes that the WWE would bring onto the main roster despite the independent circuit being filled with numerous talents that would go unnoticed until about 10 years later. While having played professional football before, Heidenreich was someone who just didn’t seem to do well when it came to his 2004 debut on the SmackDown roster.
What's worse is he didn’t really improve over time since his debut attack on Josh Matthews. Not even teaming him with Road Warrior Animal as the latest (and failed) version of the Legion of Doom could improve his block-of-wood type of personality. Long-time wrestling fans will best remember him for that very uncomfortable moment he kidnapped Michael Cole, read him creepy poetry and made us feel like our eyes were molested. There’s a good chance I need an adult after re-watching that moment in wrestling history.
12 New Jack
A number of ECW superstars were able to thrive as cult favorites in the company that felt a little more like fight club with a wrestling ring and a variety of weapons. New Jack was one of the most hardcore of them all as someone who many would describe as the man with the highest pain threshold in wrestling history. But take away the weapons that were both part of the show and those that weren’t, and New Jack is someone who doesn’t have the in-ring skills to succeed in the squared circle.
Beyond the lack of actual in-ring talent, New Jack is also someone who has legitimately attacked people with whom he has worked. Think back to the Mass Transit incident from the early days of ECW. In 2004, New Jack actually pulled out a knife and stabbed another wrestler. It’s amazing that anyone would want to consider booking him, period. Many wrestling fans would prefer they don’t see his antics on their television screens.
11 Rob Terry
With the physique that would likely fail a drug test just by walking into the clinic, Rob Terry was definitely a very muscular man as the enforcer for the British Invasion group in TNA Wrestling. He might not have been the worst when it came to competing in a wrestling ring, but he looked like someone who needed more training and was likely going to hurt someone in the process if TNA kept him under contract. However, he was given plenty of single's success during his time with the company that ended in 2015 after being part of the Menagerie faction as “the Freak.”
He’s still wrestling on the independent wrestling scene, but joins the ranks of other extremely muscular “wrestlers” like Ezekiel Jackson and Ahmed Johnson who were large and dominant in appearance, but lacked actual wrestling talent and charisma. Many of us would be okay if we never see any of these men on WWE, TNA, Ring of Honor or anywhere on television that has some form of ring.
10 Great Khali
When introducing a friend who hasn’t watched wrestling recently to a video of a Great Khali match, they might laugh when you inform them that he once held the World Heavyweight Championship during the original brand split. They might use that type of information to not want to watch wrestling again.
Great Khali was obviously signed as someone who was one of the largest "athletes" – a term we use very lightly when referencing Khali. He was taller than seven feet, weighed over 400 pounds and didn’t seem to carry around a lot of fat like other giants in wrestling history. But as he excelled in being big, he was a bust in terms of in-ring performance. His karate chop failed before it ever landed and he often looked like he was taking a bump in slow motion.
He is good for comedic purposes and should pursue that in a film career. But there are plenty of better options if the WWE wants a funny character.
9 Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris has been known for his ability to do a lot of things in life as the myth can often surpass the actual man. The original “most interesting man in the world” has been known for not being able to have a heart attack since his heart would never attack Norris, or for one of his kicks to a horse being responsible for giving the world giraffes – we’re not sure if any of those are true, however.
With years of acting experience as Walker, Texas Ranger, the man portrayed the infamous tough guy during the main event of the 1994 Survivor Series as the special guest enforcer during a casket match between The Undertaker and Yokozuna. While Norris can kill two stones with a single bird, his kick to Jeff Jarrett at ringside was lackluster at best. Given his age, he probably wouldn’t do any better, despite the continued myths.
8 Braun Strowman
Just when the WWE has brought in a number of the greatest all-stars from the independent wrestling circuit in guys like Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, WWE fans are greeted with the likes of Braun Strowman. Sure, he’s someone who has only been wrestling since he was signed by WWE in 2013, but even with the time he spent training at the WWE’s Performance Center in Florida, he often looks like a fish – or in Strowman’s case, a whale – out of water.
Once again, Strowman is another example of the WWE hiring someone outside of the wrestling community in hopes of turning a six-foot-eight, near-400 pound strongman into a wrestler. He’s been protected by only having to do so much in the Wyatt Family, but the split up from the recent WWE Draft now makes him a singles star in Raw. Something tells me he’s going to end up as someone who will be wished the best in their future endeavors by WWE within the year.
7 Donald Trump
Before entering the world of politics, Trump was the billionaire businessman who was in a feud with Mr. McMahon himself in a hair-vs-hair match, where each man chose their respective champions. It was truly a battle of egos with these two, but despite the interesting dynamic, it proved to be a pretty big flop.
Let’s look past the fact that Trump once called Bobby Lashley “Lindsey,” but the ringside “brawl” Trump had with McMahon was laughable and was a good example of why millions of people make fun of professional wrestling. It’s unlikely he’ll wrestle and we only hope he’s never involved in any wrestling angle again, especially if he becomes the next president of the United States.
If there was anything positive to come out of Trump being involved in the WWE back in 2007, at least fans got a good chuckle at McMahon’s expense as he was bald for months on WWE television.
6 David Arquette
Maybe David Arquette made this list because the movie Ready to Rumble that was done in partnership with WCW back in 2000 was one of the most terrible wrestling-related movies. It felt more like a B-level action film that was meant to be serious, but came across as more of an inadvertent comedy. Maybe he’s on this list because he was part of the worst booking decision in pro wrestling history – winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 2000.
He has said he would love to make a return to wrestling television, but many of us would rather this moment that was partly to blame for destroying WCW would just remain locked in a safe, thrown into mile-deep hole and blown up with a nuclear missile. Considering how bad that wrestling moment was, it might not be a good enough fate for the evidence. All that we ask is that he not be brought back to wrestling television.
5 Jay Leno
Speaking of terrible decisions made by WCW, Jay Leno is without a doubt another one of those examples. At least Arquette was admittedly a huge fan of professional wrestling as he was growing up and also noted that he was originally against becoming the WCW Champion. Leno, on the other hand, was just another celebrity who competed in a match with WCW – a list that includes athletes like Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone.
Leno is not an athlete and probably should have been limited to doing promos and being a manager for someone who actually has wrestling talent. The worst part about Leno wrestling on WCW television at the 1998 Road Wild pay-per-view was that the legendary late night television host put Hulk Hogan in a wristlock that really should have had no effect on the top wrestler from the 1980s and 1990s. It felt prolonged, dull and like a waste of time for those who actually watched the match – time that will never be repaid.
4 Erik Watts
Not everyone who comes from a famous wrestling bloodline is destined to find success. Unless your last name is Rhodes, Guerrero or Von Erich, the odds are against you; just ask Erik Watts. Even though he was born to his famous father Bill Watts, a WWE Hall of Fame superstar, he wasn’t able to succeed during his time in the WCW, both in the early 1990s and in 1998. For the most part, he spent his career as a jobber who struggled in matches with most of the mid-card and lower-tier superstars.
He’s still active as an authority figure in wrestling for Great Championship Wrestling in Alabama and we hope he keeps himself out of matches as he has been labeled as having some of the worst moves ever seen on wrestling television. It’s hard to imagine someone who hasn’t been able to pull off a dropkick ever executing a match that won’t give us a brain aneurysm.
3 Mickey Rourke
While he’s on the list for people we wouldn’t want to see wrestle again, let’s give the actor some credit for the lead role in the 2008 film The Wrestler. Mickey Rourke deserved to win the Academy Award for his performance as the man who wrestled as Randy “The Ram” Robinson. There could also be a lengthy column that explains why the International Movie Database’s 7.9 out of 10 rating is a little bit low.
At the same time, Rourke didn’t have the best debut in a WWE ring during WrestleMania 25 after he was called into the ring by Chris Jericho. Rourke utilized some of his boxing background to throw a few punches on Jericho, which didn’t look the best in the end. Unlike when he filmed those wrestling scenes with Ernest Miller and Necro Butcher, he didn’t have a second take to do better in the ring with Jericho.
2 Kevin Federline
The terms that describe Kevin Federline like “rap artist,” “actor” and “dancer” are used very loosely. Along with those titles and having been known better as Britney Spears’ ex-husband, he also made a few appearances in the WWE that led to him actually earning a pinfall win over John Cena – you read that right – on a New Year’s episode of Raw in 2007. The rivalry between the two gave the WWE some publicity, but Federline was not showing great athleticism in the ring.
Many wrestling fans may not be the biggest fan of Federline, and only a few who have competed in a WWE ring have been disliked more than Federline. With that in mind, at least it seems he was a good guy behind the scenes, with guys like Mick Foley having said positive things about him. While he seemed to be good at being a heel, we’re fine if he stays away from a wrestling ring permanently.
1 Eva Marie
Eva Marie is not the first model who was signed by the WWE, nor will she be the last. There was an era of women’s wrestling where the company seemed more interested in looks than actual athletic talents. However, when someone doesn’t have a lot of talent by any stretch of the imagination, it can be even more noticeable. That is currently the case for Eva Marie since she was signed by the WWE in 2013 after having no athletic background.
While it can hard for someone to be great in the ring when he or she first starts out, it has been a little more than three years since we first saw Eva Marie on WWE television, so that excuse has virtually run its course. Even with the help of Brian Kendrick as her trainer, she has shown almost no progress during her recent stint at NXT. You would be hard-pressed to find someone excited about her being drafted to SmackDown.
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