Ranking the Worst Matches Ever to Air on Monday Night Raw
Let's face it: Over the years, some absolutely abysmal matches have aired on Raw.
Hilariously bad botches, horrible celebrity impersonators, kayfabe-breaking and JR's BBQ Sauce...it's all in here. And it's not pretty.
Factoring in every match's awfulness, as well as how (un)fondly it is remembered by wrestling fans, here's a list of the worst bouts to ever air on WWE's flagship show.
Enter if you dare...
7. Divas Battle Royale in August 2011
"This could be a train wreck!" Oh, Michael Cole, how right you were.
This 2011 No. 1 contendersip match was messy, badly put together and filled with botches. Now you might ask, “So, how was it any worse than any other Divas battle royale?”
Well, Gail Kim deciding to entirely break kayfabe and eliminate herself by rolling out of the ring in the first couple of minutes—something she freely admitted to in interviews after the bout—hurtles this on to the “worst Raw bout ever” list. What a disaster.
How infamous is it? Well, Kim eliminating herself is still one of craziest exits in wrestling history (this marked her last appearance for the company).
6. Sara vs. DDP on RAW
Wonder why Diamond Dallas Page's WWE run didn't work out?
Well, it might have something to do with the fact that he actually lost on the August 20, 2001 edition of Raw to Sara Calaway, The Undertaker's untrained, non-wrestler wife.
OK, so it wasn't clean at all: Undertaker badly beat up Page while Sara distracted the referee, then threw the unconscious former WCW champion back into the ring for the one-two-three. But still, it was ridiculous.
How (un)fondly is it still remembered? It damaged DDP's credibility in the then-WWF beyond repair.
Man, who thought putting him and Undertaker in a program together was a good idea?
5. Gail Kim vs. Mickie James
Let’s get one thing straight: Gail Kim and Mickie James are very good women wrestlers. Both girls have been around the business long enough to know what they’re doing and both know how to get reactions out of the fans. Just look at their fine work in TNA over the past two years.
But on the August 17, 2009 edition Raw, something went badly wrong and the two ended up producing one of the worst matches in WWE history. A sloppy, botch-filled mess with an abysmal ending...neither woman could have been proud of this.
How (un)fondly is it remembered by fans? Hey, it's arguably the low point of both their careers.
4. John Cena vs. Michael Cole
Yes, that awful time when Michael Cole vs. John Cena actually main evented Raw. Who exactly thought this was a good idea?
Granted, WWE has regularly had non-wrestlers in the ring before—Stephanie McMahon, Kevin Federline—but this was so much worse because the booking team insisted on trying to make the bout funny, which produced predictably dire results. (The unsubtle plug for JR’s BBQ Sauce was particularly bad).
How (un)fondly is it remembered by fans? It's probably not as infamous as it should be, but it seems to have marked the moment when Cole as a significant on-screen character truly jumped the shark.
3. Bradshaw and Trish Stratus vs. Chris Nowinski and Jackie Gayda
It really is incredible that Trish Stratus managed to go on to have a respectable wrestling career after this 2002 debacle.
Simply put, Tough Enough winner Jackie Gayda was thrown into the ring long before she was ready—in a mixed tag match in which she teamed with Chris Nowinski to take on Bradsaw and Stratus—and the result was this terrible bout featuring mind-bogglingly bad exchanges between the two women that have to be seen to be believed.
How bad was it? Well, the crowd in attendance booed them both heavily, and Jim Ross didn't even try to hide his embarrassment on commentary.
How (un)fondly is it remembered by fans? One of the most notorious bouts in wrestling history. Trish Stratus would even acknowledge her embarrassment over it in interviews. It also deservedly won that year's Wrestling Observer award for "Worst Worked Match of the Year."
2. Buff Bagwell vs. Booker T
On the July 2, 2001 edition of Raw, WCW stars Booker T and Buff Bagwell churned out a truly wretched bout that was booed vociferously by the crowd in attendance. Hey, you can even hear Steve Austin and Kurt Angle—who were booked as the evil heels at that point—being cheered loudly as they run in to break the match up.
How bad was it? Not only was it Bagwell’s first match in WWE, it was his only one. Talk about making a terrible first impression.
How (un)fondly is it still remembered? Booker T vs. Bagwell frequently gets brought up as one of the worst matches ever. And it had long-lasting implications, too: As CageSideSeats noted last year, the awfulness of the match convinced Vince McMahon that WWE's version of WCW would never survive on its own and all plans for WCW to be its own promotion were quickly dropped.
Yes, this was so rotten, it changed history.
1. Fake Rosie O'Donnell vs. Fake Donald Trump
How bad was this January 2007 “comedy” match?
An attempt to capitalize on the real-life O’Donnell/Trump feud, which most wrestling fans didn’t care about, this bout featured two celebrity impersonators facing off against each other in a dreadful brawl while Vince McMahon sat at ringside.
The crowd was, unsurprisingly, not into this at all. Amazingly, you can even hear protest chants of “TNA” at various points. A smiling Vince appearing to be totally oblivious to the awfulness surrounding him only serves to add to the dysfunction.
And let's not even get started on all the crass and offensive "jokes" hurled at the fake O'Donnell before and during the match.
This whole segment was a disaster in every way possible.
How (un)fondly is it remembered? This is generally considered one of the worst segments in Raw's history.