As 2000 began, WWE was riding high with one of its best creative years ever. Meanwhile, WCW was taking a serious nose dive and putting out one horrendous show after another. ECW was trying to hang on but the writing was on the wall with them. Soon, WWE would swallow up both and take a fall in quality on its own with the brand extension. TNA would come along to try and fill the gap and ROH as well but it was still WWE dominating. Ups and downs would dominate for some time and that led to quite a few bad feuds and matches over the years. With WWE trying to shift around from Triple H's dominance to new stars in Cena and Batista to TNA doing their best to break out and often failing, the years of 2000-2009 were pretty rough to say the least.
As with any list like this, there are probably slews of terrible bouts at house shows that were worse than these as well as the various indies. However, these are notable for showing up at major shows, on PPV or even free TV and being utterly wretched. Some are just painful to watch, others helped set their companies back big time and at least one can be tied to the worst moments in that promotion’s history. Yes, we’ve seen bad stuff in previous decades and the last few years but the first decade of the 21st century had stuff that seemed to set wrestling back a much longer time. Here are 20 of the absolute worst matches produced in that decade and how fans have had a lot of lows to go with the highs.
20 20. Bradshaw & Trish Stratus vs. Chris Nowinski and Jackie Gayda
19 19. Team 3D vs LAX - Lockdown 2007
Imagine Ed Wood directing a wrestling match. These two teams had a good feud going and could have given us something nice. Instead, TNA had the idea of the cage being “electrified” which meant dimming the arena lights and covering the ring in blue. Whenever someone touched the cage, the lights would flicker on and off and the guy would shake as if getting shocked. Just run that through your head. Somehow, guys could touch it with their feet with no problem but one touch of the hands and you’d hear the “electric” noises and the lights.
18 18. Monty Brown vs. Trytan - Destination X 2005
TNA really had a push for Trytan, giving him video setups, making him look like this monster and clearly ready to make him a star. He finally debuted to face Monty Brown, a hulking guy dressed like the Terminator, imposing build, somber face…and it took about ten seconds in the ring to show he had utterly no skill whatsoever. He was stiff as hell, seemed unable to even understand how to take a proper bump, a kick that nearly went badly on Brown and the crowd hated him for the wrong reasons.
17 17. Elimination Chamber - December to Dismember
16 16. AJ Styles vs. Frank Trigg - No Surrender ‘08
In one of their many attempts for “mainstream,” TNA decided to get MMA fighter Frank Trigg to join the company despite his lack of wrestling experience. Even worse, they put him against AJ Styles, a man who could out-wrestle just about anyone he wanted. Even worse than that, they decided the two would wrestle in five-minute rounds. Trigg was given the offense to sell MMA better than wrestling which would be okay if not for the fact TNA is a wrestling company.
15 15. Kane vs. The Great Khali - SummerSlam ‘09
14 14. Lex Luger vs. Sting - WWA The Retribution
13 13. Scott Steiner vs. Road Warrior Animal vs. Sid vs. Jeff Jarrett - Sin
It’s fitting one of the final WCW PPVs could end with one of the most wretched matches ever. It started off with Sid defending the title against Steiner and Jarrett in what was just a lot of ugly bumps and fighting, stiff shots and all three looking bad doing it. Steiner and Jarrett were working together but doing a bad job of it and we saw Flair bringing in a mystery opponent with a mask. At which point, Sid took a jump off the ropes that ended with breaking his leg in one of the most gruesome injuries ever seen in wrestling.
12 12. James Storm vs. Chris Harris - Lockdown 2007
11 11. Sting vs. Abyss - Destination X 2007
10 10. Booker T vs. Jeff Jarrett - Nitro
9 9. Jamie Noble vs. Nidia - No Way Out 2004
8 8. Brothers of Destruction vs. Kronik - Unforgiven 2001
7 7. Boogeyman vs. Booker T & Sharmell - WrestleMania 22
6 6. Undertaker vs. Big Show - Great American Bash 2006
This was going to be Taker versus Great Khali but Khali was suspended before the show so we got Big Show instead. This was ironic given this was the first-ever “Punjabi Prison” match meaning the ring was surrounded by a cage and then a cage of bamboo, four doors around, each with a referee that could only be opened for 60 seconds and you could win by climbing over the “spikes.” Amazingly, Vince Russo had nothing to do with this. It seemed Taker and Show had little idea how to work this wild battle, an ugly fight with lots of slow padding and fighting and the rules still making little sense.
5 5. Reverse Battle Royal
4 4. Christy Hemme vs. Big Fat Oily Guy - Against All Odds ‘07
When you see stuff like this, it’s no wonder Jim Cornette’s tenure in TNA didn’t last long. After getting into fights with Kip James, Christy Hemme was given the chance to prove herself in the ring in a tuxedo match against the BFOG. The only slightly entertaining bits were listening to Mike Tenay and Don West moan over having to watch this (“Is it wrong to be rooting against Christy here?”) as BFOG was stripped down to expose his horrendous belly and hairy back, then finally down to a red thong.
3 3. Pat Patterson vs. Gerald Brisco, King of the Ring 2000
2 2. DDP & David Arquette vs. Jeff Jarrett & Eric Bischoff
1 1. Jenna vs. Sharmell - Victory Road ‘09
Few things TNA has done have been as utterly wretched at this. Despite how their own Knockouts needed second jobs to make ends meet, TNA decided to throw a hundred grand at Jenna, a contestant on “Survivor” years ago and put her into a feud with Sharmell. The result is what many consider the worst battle ever put on a PPV, a horrid “match” with bumps and shoves that were all over the place, hair pulling, no real semblance of a battle and Awesome Kong forced to watch it all. It ended with Jenna getting the pin and then crushed by Kong but too little, too late to salvage a match that still ranks among the worst things TNA has given us.
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