WWE has various angles on their show. Right from blood to fruity pebbles, the extremes are farfetched. The fact is that WWE stands for World Wrestling Entertainment and even before when it was WWF, the company was built on the ‘E’ factor, which is Entertainment!
With that being said, in the field of entertainment, there is a very fine line between “Woah! That was entertaining” and “Well, that was… I’m not so sure I want to look back at that.” The field of entertainment can be a very grey area. What is fun for some, might not have been in the same taste for others. But then WWE has never been one to back down from trying bizarre things, has it? Vince and his evil genius brain come up with all sorts of weird things, which at times, to his credit, just click magically and then there are those which I’m sure even Vince wants to erase from his memory. Being that the company is public today and that the WWE loves to push themselves as a family friendly product, they have a ton of stuff in their history that they regret doing. These are the angles the media loves to use when they bash WWE and the wrestling business in general. These always seem to come back and haunt WWE.
So, here’s a list of the top 20 things that WWE has to regret doing.
20 Muhammad Hassan and the Terrorist Angle
Islamic Terrorism is a very sensitive issue. One would rather not touch that cord when you have a brand as big as WWE. But they did. During the mid 2000s when the war against terror was in full force, WWE created a character named "Muhammad Hassan".
In an episode taped on July 4th 2005, Muhammad appeared to be praying on the ramp as The Undertaker was looking on from the ring. Out of nowhere, we had five masked men who went into the ring and beat up The Undertaker with clubs and wires.
Now the character got good heat but unfortunately three days later, just a few hours before SmackDown was supposed to go on air, the London bombings took place. The world mourned, but with no time to remove the angle, it aired on WWE programming. The United Kingdom did manage to cut it out but call it bad timing or just bad choice of script, this is not something WWE would want to look back at.
19 The Poop Shower on the Spirit Squad by DX
Bad things done to heels are a good thing, at times a funny thing too. Be it mocking them with jokes or making them shave their hair off, people enjoy when good gets one over bad. We get that and that is all cool. But then, being funny and being downright disgusting are two very different things.
In 2006, Triple H and Shawn Michaels joined forces as D-X and feuded with Vince, Shane and the spirit squad. (Remember them?) During an episode on Raw, as D-X were pulling off all sort of antics to annoy the McMahons, the duo decided to take up the gross factor a notch higher.
As Vince, Shane and the Spirit squad were at the top of the ramp, Vince noticed a portable toilet beside the ring. A confused and angry Vince asked for an explanation and he got a bit more than he expected as gallons of poop was dropped on the entire group, on T.V, in front of the entire audience. It came off more as disgusting than funny and not something anyone, let alone WWE, would want to remember.
18 Stephanie McMahon spanked by John Cena
John Cena in his rapper days was pure entertainment. His raps were funny, witty and at one time they ended up with him getting to spank Stephanie McMahon’s behind. WAIT, WHAT?
In 2003, Steph feuded with Sable and Cena interrupted one of Stephanie’s promos. He walked down rapping as usual and ended his rap on the lines of “… why don’t you let me smack that?” The crowd was high on rapper Cena back then. They loved it. Stephanie seemed to find it funny. She went on to ask if Cena was serious and even ‘DARED’ him to do it. Needless to say, Cena did it.
The most powerful female figure in the history of WWE getting spanked by one of the greatest, if not the greatest, WWE superstar of all time and the clean-cut face of the company, is not something you would want people to remember especially, considering that lady is married to the COO of the company. Too many big names in the mix, DO NOT touch that story.
17 Hornswoggle as the RAW Anonymous General Manager
WWE is all about altercations. You go one-on-one with anyone put in front of you and that includes the general manager of the show. But, WWE would have this weird concept of an anonymous Raw general manager which was a laptop. Yes, a laptop was the general manager and Michael Cole, reading his emails, was his mouthpiece.
The angle did make a bit of sense since the Nexus had just beaten up the previous Raw general manager Bret Hart and the whole thing went on to garner lot of heat against the annoying email notification sounds and Michael Cole in particular.
As strange as it got, Edge even went on the break the anonymous general manager, or the laptop which was acting as one, and it got stranger when after running Raw for almost an entire year, WWE decided the mystery anonymous manager to be Hornswoggle. Yes, a leprechaun was running the show and that is how WWE gave the fans some closure to the entire angle. Super weird!
16 The 'Piggy James' angle by LayCool
Labeling and judging people purely by their looks and their physical appearance is a fairly common occurrence in the world but as a big company like WWE, you are NOT to encourage such behavior especially when it is about someone’s weight and the company is running an anti-bullying campaign.
Back when Mickie James was a face and was feuding with LayCool, Michelle McCool and Layla, WWE somehow thought it would be a good idea to have the duo call Mickie with names like Piggie James because she ‘apparently’ was fat. On the contrary though, Mickie was definitely in great shape and had no serious weight issues. After one point, it was just purely bullying and was definitely not the best approach to go with.
A perfectly fine woman being labelled as a ‘pig’ on national television just because of her weight was sexist, disgusting, totally uncalled for and is surely not something WWE would be too proud of looking back at.
15 Trish Stratus stripped and made to bark by Vince McMahon
If you are an employee of WWE you do things which you might not always want to do and one of the greatest female wrestlers in WWE history, Trish Stratus, probably had more than one of such moments in her career.
Trish playing Vince’s mistress, at one point kissed him in front of his wife who was institutionalised and confined to a wheelchair. Then months down the line, when Vince was supposedly ‘getting tired’ of his mistress, Vince forced Trish to strip down to her underwear and the whole thing became even more cringe worthy when he ordered here to bark like a dog in the ring.
The segment did get loads of complaints from viewers since it was in such bad taste. When Linda McMahon was running for U.S. Senate, her opposition even used this incident against her. Although, Vince did clear it was all an act and not based on real life happenings, no employee deserves to be treated that way.
14 Paul Bearer’s ashes poured out by CM Punk
Paul Bearer is one of the most iconic WWE characters ever. His management and connection to The Undertaker for decades might be greatest of all-time in WWE. Paul Bearer sadly passed away on 5th March, 2013 and The WWE even had a tribute show for him the following week on 11th March.
But it was not all roses, as the WWE decided to milk in the death of Paul Bearer to fuel the CM Punk and The Undertaker feud heading upto WrestleMania. At the end of the tribute show, CM Punk came out to mock Bearer's death which just meant using a real person’s death to generate some heat in the rivalry.
It got worse when, on the April 1st Raw edition when, Paul Heyman, the then CM Punk manager, dressed up as Paul Bearer and walked out to the arena. CM Punk subsequently ran out and attacked Taker with the, supposed, Urn of Paul Bearer's ashes. And it just crossed all borders when the Punk took off the Urn’s lid and poured the ashes all over Taker. Punk also poured some of the ashes on himself just to make sure that no stone of atrocity was unturned.
13 The McMahons vs. 'God' and Shawn Michaels
It is no secret that Vince McMahon considers himself as a big deal. Okay, it may not even be surprising that Vince probably considers himself as God. With the kind of money and power the guy possesses, not many would argue with his assumption either. But did you know that Vince once actually wrestled God? No, really. He did!
Shawn Michaels had just become a born again Christian and Vince decided it would be interesting to incorporate this fact into a storyline. So as things stood, it was Vince and Shane McMahon against Shawn Michaels at Backlash. No wait, HBK had a partner. Vince personally handpicked him too. And his name was… (no, not John Cena) It was GOD!
Yes, WWE had an angle where God and Shawn Michaels teamed up to face the McMahons in a tag-team match. In fact, God got an entrance music with angels singing his theme music and a white spotlight which escorted him to the ring. As crazy as it sounds, that is exactly how it unfolded.
12 Big Bossman makes Al Snow eat his Dog 'Pepper'
Remember how Al Snow had this ‘Head’ Mannequin during the attitude era which he brought along with him during matches and basically carried it everywhere around backstage too? Well, in the middle of 1999, Al Snow replaced his beloved 'Head' mannequin with that of a real dog named 'Pepper'.
It was during his feud with the Big Bossman, that Bossman allegedly kidnapped Al Snow’s dog Pepper. Things got a bit weird when, as per the storyline, Bossman offered a meal to Al Snow during a TV broadcast. The controversial part in all of this was the fact that, supposedly, the meal Al Snow just ate was his dog Pepper. Al Snow ate his dog as food. Imagine that plot twist!
There was wide outrage for the segment as expected but one of the worst things that came out of it was the horrible 'Kennel from Hell' match at Unforgiven between the two superstars where the steel cage like structure was surrounded by dogs.
11 Santina Marella winning Miss WrestleMania
Santino Marella was handpicked from the audience by Vince McMahon himself to face then Intercontinental champion Umaga in a No Holds Barred match with the title on the line. Santino did manage to win the title in his first ever WWE match, thanks to interference from Bobby Lashley, but since then, though entertaining, Santino’s career had its share of “bizarre” moments.
One such incident would be Santino, or rather, Santina Marella (Santino's self-alleged twin sister) participating in the Miss WrestleMania battle royal match and he/she went on to win the Miss Wrestlemania title too. The angle continued few weeks after WrestleMania as Santina lost the title to Vickie Guerrero and things just went south quickly after that for everyone associated with that angle.
Had it been any other pay-per-view, such a comical result would probably have been acceptable but clearly the grandest stage of them all deserves something better.
10 Live Sex Celebration by Edge and Lita
A live celebration is pretty common in the WWE. Many times wrestler win a title at a pay-per-view, and the following Monday Night Raw usually has a celebratory segment by the champion. Edge had something similar on his mind but he pushed the boundaries of celebrations just a little bit.
The storyline was that Edge and Lita had a live sex celebration in the middle of the ring in front of the whole world. Now, TV ratings back then were not soaring through the roof and I’m no statistician but I am pretty sure, the ratings boomed at this segment.
It was not one of those kisses or make out sessions, Edge and Lita meant proper business. They stripped down to their underwear and at one point Lita was even topless. They enacted sexual moves throughout but they were interrupted eventually by John Cena. Boooo!
9 Zach Gowen bullied by Vince, Sable and Brock Lesnar
Zach Gowen was the one-legged WWE Superstar who featured in mid 2000s. From what could have been a very inspirational story, the WWE somehow managed to mess it up big time and instead sent a message stating that bullying disabled people is not that unacceptable after all.
Right from Sable initially seducing Zach to Sable insulting him, to Vince calling him a ‘Little Freak’, Zach was bullied throughout. None more so than by Brock Lesnar. Lesnar F-5ed him against the steel posts in front of his mother, played around with him like ragged doll and then eventually, in a very distasteful segment, Gowen was taped up to a wheelchair and was then tossed from the chair, chucking him down the staircase.
For all the anti-bullying campaigns and their service towards disabled people, this would not shine bright on the WWE sheet should people remember how they scripted Zach Gowen’s storyline.
8 Eddie Guerrero is Dominic's Real Father
Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio were incredible athletes and they had great chemistry as a face tag-team. Their friendship perfectly blended in with their in-ring abilities, making them great fun to watch. It was only after Eddie lost to Rey Mysterio in consecutive singles matches that Eddie turned heel and their rivalry started.
To be fair, the duo did not need extra incentive to make their rivalry interesting. Good friends going up against each other automatically ignites a sense of passion among fans but WWE decided that it needed more spice to it and in the process might have just pushed it too far.
In 2005, during the feud, Eddie Guerrero revealed that he has a dark secret to tell the world and he went on to claim that he was supposedly the biological father of Mysterio’s son Dominic. Eddie managed to cut promos about the same and even went on to sell merchandize which read “I Am Your Papi”.
The two wrestlers had a ladder match with Dominic’s custody papers hanging at the top. It seemed like a very unnecessary inclusion in the whole storyline considering the sensitivity of the whole issue surrounding a small kid.
7 Heidenreich Cornering Michael Cole
There are few topics that entertainment companies should really stay clear from. One of those topics is definitely rape. It is very sensitive and it is very questionable to use it for monetary benefits in your business. But that does not stop WWE ever, does it?
The lunatic Heindenreich, in 2004, happened to imply a 'sexual act' by pinning announcer Michael Cole against a wall as he recited poetry and seldom stroking Michael Cole. Although, it was meant to have a comical angle to it, the whole segment was implying that Cole was raped by him.
It was confirmed four years later by Heindenreich that the owner of the company, Vince McMahon came up with the idea one night in his dream and decided to put it on air. He also revealed that it was Stephanie McMahon who approached him to go through with the whole scene.
6 Mae Young Gives Birth to a Hand
A 77-year-old lady having sex with a 400+ pound man and not breaking a hip is pushing the limits of science. A 77-year being pregnant is just defying science. A 77-year-old being pregnant and giving birth to a ‘hand’, (yes, a hand) would just blow your mind due to its sheer absurdity and ludicrousness.
But that is exactly what happened when Mae Young got romantically involved with Mark Henry, who was then sporting the ‘Sexual Chocolate’ gimmick, and yes, she did give birth to a hand. The Attitude Era threw many crazy things at the viewers but this one probably creeps you out more than their other shenanigans.
Interestingly though, when asked about it later in any interview, Mark Henry defined the whole incident as "It was just one of the funniest things in the history of WWE." Well, we are not too sure about that, Mark.
5 Hornswoggle is Vince McMahon’s Illegitimate Son
Back in 2007, Vince McMahon tried numerous angles around himself including one which saw him convince the world that he died when his limo exploded at the end of one Raw Edition. Due to tragic circumstances surrounding the Chris Benoit death, Vince had to break Kayfabe and show himself to the world.
But then the king of evil ideas came up with yet another storyline, one that of his illegitimate son. Yes, Vince had a son who was working for the WWE. To be fair to Vince, this storyline was initially meant to be centred around ‘Mr.Kennedy’ and his big push. But as things turned out, those plans had to be cancelled. They did declare the name of Vince’s illegitimate son though and his name was… (not John Cena again) Hornswoggle!
Yes, the leprechaun was once again used as the easy go-to option when nothing else seemed feasible. It just seems like when in doubt, WWE tend to look at Hornswoggle as the answer. The whole thing was later swept under the carpet as JBL claimed Hornswoggle was infact Finlay’s son.
4 Kane-Lita-Snitsky - Rape/Baby/Miscarriage fiasco
The whole Kane-Lita storyline was just one giant mess up and one of the most awkward storylines in WWE history. As per Lita’s Hall of Fame speech, she described it by saying "Kane comes to me and says he's going to beat up my boyfriend unless I don't carry the seed of his demon spawn. Then he proceeds to beat up my boyfriend while I do carry his demon spawn, kidnaps me and puts me in the boiler room."
Well Lita, that is technically rape. On top of that, Kane went on to beat Matt Hardy in a match which meant that Lita had to get married to Kane. Now, we understand it is WWE but since when did wrestling matches become grounds for marriage?
Anyway, there was more chaos to follow. Enter Gene Snitsky! In a match against Kane, Snitsky hit Kane with the chair, who in-turn fell on top of Lita. Later, it was declared that it caused the pregnant Lita to have a miscarriage. Things continued to completely go off tracks when Snitsky even punted a baby doll into the crowd. Well, we did tell you it was a complete mess. We all need to forget all this ever happened.
3 Triple H and Katie Vick
Necrophilia (noun) is defined as having sexual intercourse with or attraction towards corpses.
Why are we telling you this? Because a certain Chief Operating Officer (COO) of WWE, Triple H, exhibited exactly that on one edition of Raw.
It was 2002, Kane and Triple H were feuding. One thing led to another and Triple H decided to put on a Kane mask, get into what looked like a coffin, and emulated sex with a supposed corpse. The corpse’s name was Katie, who was supposed to be Kane’s ex-girlfriend who he killed in an accident.
Things went as far as something spewing out from the mannequin corpse, which looked like a brain, and a half naked Triple H saying “I screwed her brains out.” As bizarre and disturbing as all that is, WWE considered it appropriate enough to run it and let the world witness that disaster.
2 Val Venis and “I CHOPEE CHOPEE YOUR PEE PEE!”
Val Venis, playing a pornstar character in the Attitude Era, was a complete womanizer. Having him in an affair with a female character was just the norm. And it seemed like just another similar storyline when he feuded with the Japanese stable named Kaientai.
Val Venis slept with the manager of the stable, Yamaguchi-San's wife Shian-Li Tsang. Things really escalated though when Yamaguchi-San threatened to cut off Val Venis’ ‘manhood tool’ (let us just call it ‘Pee Pee’ from this point onward) with his katana while screaming "I choppy choppy your pee pee."
There was later a segment where Val Venis was tied up naked and Mr. Yamaguchi was all set to “choppy choppy his pee pee” and the lights went out with just a scream of Shian-Li Tsang being heard in the background.
Although, it seems pretty funny but chopping someone’s pee pee on TV is not something WWE would want their fans to remember.
1 The Owen Hart Stunt
This is easily the biggest regret in the company's history, because it ended up costing a man his life and caused one of the darkest days in the company's history. At the 1999 Over The Edge event, Owen Hart was set to pull a stunt that would see him lowered from the ceiling, only for him to fall in a comedic fashion before reaching the ring. The stunt went horribly wrong, as the harness became undone and Hart fell over 75 feet to his death.
Plenty of blame has gone around as to who was in charge of letting that stunt take place. Vince Russo was said to have come up with the idea, while McMahon gave the final go-ahead. There was plenty of negligence in the incident, as the harness was not meant to support a 200-plus pound man like Owen.
The stunt was totally unnecessary and if there's one thing the company would like to take back, it's approving this idea.