Nobody can deny Vince McMahon's immense contributions to the wrestling world as he has been the main driving force behind the WWE since the early 80s. But like any business, there are some misses that are bound to come with the hits regardless of how highly you may think of him. By now, fans know that McMahon has always had his favorites who were fortunate enough to be on his good side, while also earning a push along the way.
And when it comes to WWE Superstars, McMahon tends to prefer wrestlers who appear to be larger-than-life with an intimidating look. It is true that he has been the mastermind for many of wrestling's top characters, but not all of his creations have panned out over the years. Fans have been especially critical of McMahon in the past few years with some claiming that he may be out of touch due to the current product. But this list will go to show that he was going through the biggest slump in the mid-2000s when so many of his creations were extremely bland Superstars.
Not many of them managed to even last more than a year prior to their exit from the WWE, which conveys the difficulty McMahon was having in creating new stars. And on top of being generic, these wrestlers were abysmal in the ring, producing some of the company's worst matches. With today's list, we discuss 20 bad wrestlers that only Vince McMahon wanted to push in WWE.
Heidenreich is one of the many Superstars from the mid 2000s that the WWE would like fans to forget about as his push fell flat. He got to feud with The Undertaker within a few months on the roster, but Heidenreich was never taken seriously by the fans. Vince McMahon didn't give up too easily on his latest project as Heidenreich remained a prominent figure on SmackDown for the next year - and they even brought Animal to reform The Road Warriors with him. But even he couldn't get Heidenreich over with the fans, and was soon let go from the WWE.
19 Luther Reigns
Luther Reigns had the prototype look for a WWE Superstar but he never got over with fans despite being involved with numerous top names in the company.
Reigns was associated with Kurt Angle during his prime years, and feuded with the likes of The Undertaker and Big Show.
He was even involved in a program against Eddie Guerrero in 2004, who was fresh off a WWE title run. In his final days with the company, there were plans of him teaming up with Rene Dupree on Raw - which didn't please Reigns - and the experiment came to an end at last.
18 Lex Luger
As fans know by now, Vince McMahon can be adamant about pushing his guy to the top. And that is exactly what happened with Lex Luger whom he viewed as the new face of the company and wanted to fill the void left by Hulk Hogan. To his credit, Luger did get over with the fans at some point and may have even worked out in different circumstances. But despite the initial hype and major push that he received early on, Luger lost popularity not too long into his run with the company before jumping ship to join WCW.
17 Kenzo Suzuki
There are many reasons to look back with fondness at the mid-2000s SmackDown as the era featured some of the most revered Superstars in history, including Eddie Guerrero, The Undertaker, Kurt Angle, Booker T and John Cena. But then you had the likes of Kenzo Suzuki who was clearly not ready to hang with the aforementioned stars, and looked terrible in comparison. He would only last in the WWE for a year in which he captured the WWE Tag Team Championship with Rene Dupree. And while Suzuki's outdated gimmick didn't help at all, his wrestling skills left plenty to be desired.
While Zeus wasn't a full-time wrestler (actor Tiny Lister), he did participate in a number of matches.
After co-starring alongside Hulk Hogan in the 1989 film No Holds Barred, Zeus made several appearances in the WWE in tag team action.
And whenever he was tagged in, Zeus showed why non-wrestlers don't belong in the ring as he was terrible to say the least and couldn't perform the simplest of moves.
Zeus managed to make Hulk Hogan look like Bret Hart with his in-ring ability, and never ended up partaking in a one on one match - much to the delight of WWE fans.
15 The Boogeyman
Unlike many names on this list, The Boogeyman was able to get over with the fans for some time. He had a unique gimmick that produced some entertaining moments before the WWE overused him in segments. But there is no debate he was lost inside the squared circle with the majority of his matches being unwatchable. Even when he took on respectable Superstars such as Booker T, the final product was still bad. But according to former WWE Superstar Simon Dean, Vince McMahon was absolutely in love with the character and used to go around backstage quoting The Boogeyman's catchphrase "I'm coming to getcha!" - hence why he got pushed in the WWE.
14 The Patriot
The landscape of wrestling had significantly changed by 1997 when The Patriot made his WWE debut. It was an outdated character that fans no longer wished to see, but Vince McMahon wasn't ready to give up on one of his favorite types of gimmicks. The Patriot was brought in to feud with Bret Hart and even managed to pick up a victory against him - thanks to the interference of Shawn Michaels. He went on to receive a title shot for the World Heavyweight Championship at Ground Zero: In Your House - but thankfully Hart retained the belt. The Patriot stuck around for a few more months before his release from the company.
Snistsky was far from being a world class wrestler or a master on the mic, but he managed to earn a spot on the roster thanks to the disturbing storyline with Kane and Lita.
He managed to remain employed by the WWE for four years, receiving several pushes along the way - all of which had the same end result.
In 2007, Snitsky was repackaged with a new look after being moved to ECW and the company attempted to make him a main eventer. Not much had changed in terms of fan reaction as they never bought into Snitsky as a legitimate threat, and the yellow teeth didn't make him any more threatening.
On paper, the Mordecai character was intriguing with enough potential to succeed. Stranger things have worked out in the WWE before, so fans were looking forward to his debut. Despite a fitting theme song and a suitable all-around look, Mordecai was still far from a polished product. He didn't look ready to grace the main roster and was clumsy in the ring. But Vince McMahon had visions of Mordecai challenging The Undertaker for a WrestleMania bout, so he got a few more matches to show his worth before being sent back to development to resume his training.
Not many Superstars got as many opportunities as Nelson Frazier to establish themselves in the WWE. His journey got off to an impressive start with a Tag Team Champion run before he was crowned King of the Ring in 1995, dubbed King Mabel. And while most Superstars went on to accomplish great things afterward, he was one of the few who failed to make any impact.
Following a brief period away from the company, he was once again brought back as Viscera, a mid-carder in the late 90s. Vince must have been a huge fan of his since Viscera managed to earn yet another contract in 2004 - including a run as a main eventer on the ECW brand.
10 Mason Ryan
As a member of The New Nexus, Mason Ryan generated some hype among fans who believed that he had the potential to be the next Batista.
The comparison of Batista was established based on their similar appearance rather than any wrestling related reasons.
Vince McMahon was also on board with the hype as Ryan received a decent on push on Raw. But it didn't take too long for everyone involved to realize that Ryan wasn't quite ready to be on the main roster, as he was sent to compete on NXT. By 2014, the WWE had given up on him as he was released.
9 Ahmed Johnson
Fans admired Ahmed Johnson for his impressive look and intensity, but he didn't bring much else to the ring. He was unbearable on the mic and a dangerous worker - injuring many of his co-workers and himself along the way. Johnson never attempted to improve as a wrestler, and combined with the previous factors - it's surprising that he got as over as he did.
Vince McMahon made sure to push him as much as possible for some time until it became evident that Johnson wasn't quite as good as advertised. Since his last stint with the WWE, many former Superstars have had some harsh words towards Johnson as a wrestler.
8 The Great Khali
The Great Khali was pushed to the main event from his very first night on SmackDown as he attacked The Undertaker.
It didn't take long for the company to crown him as the new World Heavyweight Champion to establish him as the most dominant force around.
But fans never bought into the hype despite Vince McMahon's best attempts to make Khali the top heel in the company.
Following a main event run, Khali would embrace a comedic gimmick for the remainder of his stint - which is always a telling sign when it comes to failed pushes in the WWE.
7 Giant Gonzalez
The inspiration for The Great Khali came from a previous Superstar known as Giant Gonzalez, who also engaged in a feud with The Undertaker. But he was quite possibly the least intimidating wrestler in history despite his large frame, and his attire only made him look silly. His stint with the company lasted less than a year, and Gonzalez is now remembered for all the wrong reasons from being an awful all-around performer to having the worst WrestleMania match against The Deadman. Vince McMahon thought that he possibly had the next Andre The Giant in Gonzalez, but it was apparent that the two Superstars didn't have much in common.
6 Ezekiel Jackson
Ezekiel Jackson is another bad wrestler who got an opportunity to shine thanks to his appearance. Based on his overall talent, it is safe to declare that Jackson overachieved during his stint with the company. During his time on the ECW brand, Jackson was a main eventer for some time and ended up being the final ECW Champion in history. And while fans weren't exactly on board with the push, it didn't stop Vince McMahon from making him the WWE Intercontinental Champion.
After battling nagging injuries for a number of months, Jackson was released from the WWE with most fans only remembering him for his theme song.
5 Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones is one of the many big men recruited to the WWE during the Ruthless Aggression era.
This reminded everyone of Vince McMahon's preference when it comes to his Superstars, especially since they had very little to offer in the ring as well as on the mic.
But despite Jones' limited talents, he was still fortunate enough to receive a chance to succeed - not that he made the most of his opportunity. Jones was given the typical push where he squashed many jobbers, but it became apparent that he had failed to connect with the fans, leading to his eventual release.
4 Vladimir Kozlov
The only thing that Vince seems to like more than large Superstars would be foreign characters. Vladimir Kozlov was the best of both worlds in the chairman's mind as he took the WWE by storm. Despite receiving no reaction from the crowd, Kozlov picked up some major victories along the way against Triple H and The Undertaker. He defeated the latter in a clean win, yet Kozlov still didn't benefit from it. His fate was similar to that of many Superstars who were pushed to the top and fell flat, as he also turned into a comedy act as well as a jobber by the end of his stint.
3 Chris Masters
To Chris Masters' credit, he was very young when he made his debut on the main roster. At the time, he did have an incredible look to go along with an intriguing Masterlock challenge. But he lacked the charisma to establish himself as a top figure on Raw and his matches were even worse. After being let go by the WWE, he did manage to get re-signed and showed promising signs of overall improvements to take the next step. By that time, it appears that Vince McMahon had lost all interest in investing into his character as he was once again released.
2 Big Cass
It must have been a tough decision for Vince McMahon to fire Big Cass earlier this year as he was known for being his biggest supporter behind-the-scenes.
When the team of Enzo Amore and Big Cass broke up, reports suggested that McMahon wanted Cass to go on a solo run in hopes of turning him into a star.
Not only did Cass fail to improve throughout his WWE run, but he also made many enemies backstage due to his questionable attitude. And considering that fans no longer had any interest in seeing Cass, it didn't come across as a shock when news broke out regarding his release.
Diesel is certainly the most controversial pick on this list as he went on to become a major household name in WCW. But anyone who followed his run in the WWE would agree that he was a bad wrestler despite having a great look. His run as the WWE Champion is still regarded as one of the worst reigns in history, as Diesel lost popularity after being pushed to the top. And while he had several memorable moments as Diesel, the elements that made him interesting in the first place were far gone by the time he was made the face of the company.