It’s not always the Raw brand that ventures into out there territory. The Blue Brand has had its fair share of wild, crazy, and downright cringeworthy moments. When you never have a re-run and you’re on every week, you’re bound to have a few ridiculous storylines and moments - just ask any daytime Soap Opera. When it comes to wrestling, you have to go for the gusto sometimes. For every strange JBL At The Border storyline, there are genuine moments like Bradshaw giving a rousing speech to his hometown crowd.
There have been plenty of cringe-inducing moments on Smackdown, here are the 10 Cringiest Moments In WWE Smackdown History.
10 Brock Annihilates Gowen
Watching Brock destroy any opponent can be disturbing. But when he just obliterates a guy with one leg it’s downright terrifying. The Beast entered into a short feud with one-legged wrestler, Zach Gowen.
The match itself was a bloodbath - Lesnar opened him up, and F-5’ed the kid into the ring post, leg first. Even worse was the very next week, the Conqueror heaved Gowen in his wheelchair down the stairs.
9 Nattie’s On The Gas
Thank goodness that the ladies have gotten their chance to shine. Otherwise, we all still might be thinking Natalya just walks around and passes gas all of the time. She’d walk through the backstage areas of the world and start talking to someone, up and to an including her now-husband, Tyson Kidd.
Then she’d let one rip. Of course, whoever she was standing around with would react. Yes, the storylines WWE gave women in the mid-aughts were this bad.
8 Angle Vs. Puder
Tough Enough Season 4 featured The Miz, Ryback, and Daniel Puder. Puder was a workhorse in the ring and a hotshot to boot. The group of kids were brought to Smackdown and pitted against Kurt Angle in a shoot-wrestling match.
After taking out the kid who actually won the right to face Angle, the Olympian called another challenger. Amateur wrestler and aspiring MMA fighter Puder. A weakened Angle was actually taken down fairly easily by Puder and locked in a Kimura Lock, leaving Angle forced to turn Puder over and get a pin from the incident.
7 Piggy James
Mickie James spent the better part of six months feuding with LayCool when the two “Mean Girl” divas started ripping into the former Divas and Women’s champion for supposedly being a little chunky.
Whether WWE brass actually thought that James was getting a little soft or not is debatable (but anyone who has ever heard about a mean-spirited Vince story couldn’t put this past him), but James endured all kinds of fat-shaming for a long time, up to and including having a pig-shaped cake smashed in her face. The PWI fans voted the angle Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic for 2009.
6 The Chairman Threatens The Deadman
Vince McMahon has been deranged and evil over the years but seldom has been both deranged and downright evil at the same time. As he was gearing up for a feud with the Undertaker, Smackdown GM Paul Heyman had booked the Chairman and the Deadman in a Buried Alive match at the 2003 Survivor Series.
McMahon went off the deep end here and threatened to have terrorists head to the Undertaker’s house and take his kids away. Furthermore, have his wife be assaulted by a biker gang. It was McMahon as his most unhinged and most disturbing.
5 Orton Takes An Ear
Sometimes, cringe-worthy moments are also great ones. As Randy Orton settled back into a top spot, he was again tearing down legends. One of them was the Charismatic Enigma, Jeff Hardy.
Not content with just brutalized Hardy to a stump, Orton wanted to claim a prize. The Viper stuck his finger through the plug in Hardy’s ear and twisted and pulled in a move that looked vicious and crept plenty of fans out.
4 Sexual Assaults
A lot of people watching wrestling for the escapism that it can provide. But there was no escaping watching Michael Cole get abducted in the middle of a match by John Heidenreich on the September 16, 2004 edition of Smackdown.
While nothing happened and all the misunderstood wrestler wanted to do was read the guy some poetry, the angles that it got shot in looked like someone had been watching a lot of Oz at this time.
3 Smackdown Funeral Parlor
There have even been a few deaths before in Smackdown history. Early in the show’s history, the Big Show’s father had died. During the funeral, the Bossman drove around the funeral grounds with a giant megaphone, hurling epithets at the Big Show and his family.
If that wasn’t offensive enough, Bossman drove off with the coffin and Show leapt on top to try and stop it from happening. Several years later, bad acting and a coffin hitting the floor helped to make Al Wilson’s funeral cringe-inducing, but funny too.
2 Steph Makes Out With “Vince”
Vince McMahon has a strange sense of humor. On one particular Halloween edition of Smackdown, not only was Stephanie placed in a revealing Witch’s costume. He also had her accosted by Eric Bischoff (who also was booked to assault Linda in her own home). This scenario reals of winding up on a shrink’s couch.
Eric Bischoff wearing a Vince McMahon mask does his best Vince Strut into Steph’s office and plants one on her. The two general managers just stare at one another in bewilderment. They’re probably as creeped out by the scene as we were.
Every so often, the real-world creeps into the WWE’s world of escapism. Sometimes when that happens, we get angles like Sgt. Slaughter becoming an Iraqi Sympathizer or Rey Mysterio’s epic rise to the world title in the name of his departed friend, Eddie Guerrero. But the world has grown too small in recent years and acts of terror don’t make for good wrestling angles.
Especially when the real world happens concurrently with your TV tapings. In 2005, WWE taped an episode of Smackdown involving Muhammad Hassan summoning five masked men with piano wire to come out and choke out the Undertaker. The London Bombings took place a few days later and WWE was unable to edit the footage.