Over the years, WWE has introduced some interesting concepts. For every Stone Cold Steve Austin, there are dozens of Punjabi Playboys or pole matches with various ridiculous items at the top. We don't blame them for this, however. It's hard to gauge how an audience will react to anything that's presented to them, after all. In some cases, it's best to just throw an idea against the wall and see if it sticks.
Unfortunately, this makes for some embarrassing TV, but thankfully, most of the time WWE recognizes this and sweeps it under the rug fast. We want to celebrate those gaffes with this list. Here are some of the most ill-advised notions to ever come out of WWE.
10 Punjabi Prison Match
Originally touted as a match for The Great Khali, the Punjabi Prison was a bamboo cage with barbed wire around the top. The cage was placed in a bigger bamboo cage, from which the combatants had to escape to win the match. The rules made the match hard to follow, and the way the structures were built made it almost impossible to actually see the action inside. It was a bad idea.
With that said, it's a bit of a cheat to call the Punjabi Prison Match short-lived, because there's no way of knowing if it will ever come back. Still, its initial run only lasted a year, with two matches between 2005 and 2006. Somehow, though, it made a comeback in 2017, which impacts its placement on this list. Still, there have only been three matches in total since its inception.
9 Undertaker Taking His Gimmick Too Far
In the late 1990s, Undertaker ditched his mortician gimmick to become a demonic cult leader — as one does from time to time. Yet, as he traveled further into the darkness, Vince McMahon started telling him he was taking his gimmick too seriously — he even called the Deadman by his real name, Mark Callaway.
If that wasn't bad enough, a cavalcade of other superstars, including Ken Shamrock and Stephanie McMahon, started doing the same. Thankfully, this didn't last too long, and good old Undertaker was back to being a lovable cult leader.
8 ECW Zombie
When WWE revived ECW on Sci-Fi in 2006, fans were excited to see the cult classic promotion return. That excitement quickly dissipated, seconds into the show's debut. In an obvious attempt to play into the science-fiction background of their host-channel, WWE debuted a zombie.
Despite constantly being treated as a more grounded and realistic show compared to WWE and WCW, Vince McMahon kicked things off with a fictional monster. In a way, this was a clear signal that fans would never get the ECW they adored, which just makes the whole project meaningless.
7 Lucha House Rules Match
The Lucha House Party consists of Kalisto, Gran Metalik, and Lince Dorado. the trio can dazzle audiences with their fast-paced style and high-flying maneuvers. In an attempt to highlight how fun they were, WWE gave them a series of matches against the Revival (who are heels) in their own special match dubbed Lucha House Party Rules.
If you wanted to know what the actual rules of this were, we couldn't tell you. They seemed to be made up as they went along and only benefitted the babyface trio. Somehow, despite the unanimous backlash, WWE trotted out this match type more than once, actually hurting the group's image with the audience. Thankfully, this nonsense soon stopped.
6 Kerwin White
In the summer of 2005, Chavo Guerrero changed. The legendary wrestler dropped his family name and became Kerwin White. He'd wear collared shirts, drive a golf cart to the ring, and he even dyed his hair blonde.
While WWE surely faced backlash for this gimmick, they actually kept it going for a while. It wasn't until the unfortunate passing of his cousin Eddie Guerrero in November 2005 that the character was dropped and Chavo went back to his former persona.
5 Seth Rollins Pedigree
For a period of time, Seth Rollins was a man without a finishing move. Thanks to some legitimate concerns that children might try to emulate his curb stomp, Rollins began tinkering with other maneuvers. One that stuck for a while was the pedigree. In many ways, it worked well. The Architect of the Shield recently destroyed his former faction and aligned himself with Triple H as the Authority's chosen one, making the new finisher feel like his mentor passed it down.
Yet, there was something weird about Rollins using it. For starters, Triple H was still an active member of the roster. Sure, he didn't wrestle as often, but it's strange seeing two wrestlers with the same finisher. Also, Rollins was a little too small to use it. We're not saying Rollins is a small guy, but when compared to the bodybuilder physique of Triple H, Rollins looked light, making the move feel less impactful.
4 Kennel From Hell
When Al Snow was tricked into eating his beloved dog at the hands of The Big Boss Man, there was only one way to settle their feud — A Kennel From Hell Match. The gimmick was essentially a cage match inside a Hell In A Cell with ravenous dogs roaming the inside of the exterior cage. This sounds like a fantastic idea in theory, but in show business, you should never work with animals. WWE learned that the hard way here.
The dogs weren't vicious. In fact, they were friendly. Not only that, but they kept treating the outside of the ring like their own bathroom. It was pretty embarrassing to watch, and probably even more embarrassing to be part of. That's probably why WWE never used this match type again.
3 Wild Card Rule
The Wild Card Rule was originally brought to the second WWE brand split as a way to keep the rosters exciting. Just imagine any superstar from any brand, showing up on any show at any time! Unfortunately, it didn't work that way in practice, and fans consistently got the same characters appearing on both shows every week.
WWE seems to have killed the Wild Card Rule idea for now, but since its creation, the hard split is dead and superstars spill over into each show. For a few months in 2019, though, WWE tried to give a bad explanation for it.
2 Beaver Cleavage
Of all the WWE concepts that have come and gone, Beaver Cleavage is probably the most unsettling.
Taking inspiration from the 1950s family values show Leave It To Beaver, former tag-team champion Mosh played a character who couldn't stop staring at his mother's cleavage. He'd look at the camera with a massive smile on his face, like a cartoon character. Thankfully, this gimmick only lasted about a month.
1 The Gobbledy Gooker
The Gobbledy Gooker was originally intended to be a mascot of sorts for WWE. Debuting at Survivor Series 1990, WWE placed a giant egg atop the stage. They told the audience that, by the end of the night, the egg would hatch. No-one really cared, and by the time we saw the contents of the egg revealed, it felt like a big waste of time.
It may not be a surprise, but The Gobbledy Gooker was never seen again after that night.