Wrestling's Top Five Blunders Since 1990
It's nothing new. Wrestling will try anything to get ratings.
Lots of times things work, and people come in flocks to see what's going on.
Of course, even more times it just falls flat on its face.
We as fans have seen some crazy things over the years, from the silly to the bizarre. In this list I'm going to talk about five of the biggest missteps ever taken by wrestling companies—and sadly, it's just the tip of the iceberg.
So sit back and have some fun remembering these mistakes of the wacky world of professional wrestling.
With the WWECW reign over with recently, it's not hard to look at this as one of the biggest mistakes the WWF could have made in the past 20 years.
They singlehandedly ruined any sort of name value the letters "ECW" had. What could have been kept on by Vince McMahon to make money from, he turned it into a watered-down version of the original that slowly changed into just another brand of the WWE.
Back in 2005, McMahon wanted to promote a real ECW show in a real ECW arena, the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. McMahon brought in many of the original ECW stars and allowed ECW honcho Paul Heyman to call the shots.
While the show still had a lot of WWE involvement, it was mostly a nice throwback to the days of extreme.
However, when the second of these "One Night Stand" events came around, it was even more WWE-saturated. Eventually this led to the company being brought back as its own brand under the WWE banner.
The original talent wasn't there, so the fans just didn't care for it much. It had some viewers that loved the original, but by and large it left a sour taste in fans' mouths.
While I'm not one of those people who will flip out about the original ECW and hail it as the greatest thing ever, I was a fan. I grew up watching ECW on our local NY sports channel, so to see it turn into something that was a complete 180-degree turn from what it was wasn't much fun.
I appreciated what Vince did for the One Night Stands, but if you wanted a third brand, just give it a different name.
The name was used for money, but ultimately it didn't make much. The only PPV given to the brand was one of the worst selling ever. It's since been replaced by a new program, finally letting the ECW name rest in peace.
OK, so let's take one of our biggest stars and put him in a storyline that doesn't make any sense and that the fans won't care about.
That's what happened following the Undertaker's casket match loss to Yokozuna at the 1994 Royal Rumble.
Following the match, the Undertaker appeared on the big screen and gave a long confusing speech that to this day goes beyond what my understanding of the English language can comprehend (that's the writers for you).
He then rose up before electrocution sounds started playing and we saw "X-rays" of the Undertaker. He wouldn't be seen again for months.
In the meantime, Ted DiBiase announced the Undertaker was back. However, he was much shorter and didn't look like the real Undertaker as well. Thus he was dubbed by the fans "The Underfaker."
The Underfaker was Brian Lee dressed up like the Undertaker. This, of course, led to a match between the two.
Thankfully the real Undertaker won, and this whole thing was put to an end.
It's a surprise that the fans just didn't totally turn on everyone involved and ruin the Undertaker's gimmick. Luckily for us as fans, that didn't happen, and the Deadman is still around today putting on great matches.
The Gobbledy Gooker
Two major events happened at Survivor Series 1990: The Undertaker debuted, and we met the Gobbledy Gooker. I guess we know which one of those worked out.
For months the WWF centered itself on an egg. Yup...an egg. It was announced that it would hatch at Survivor Series 1990.
Everyone wondered what it could be. Would it be the hot new wrestler for the decade?
Nope. It was a turkey. Yes, a turkey.
Inside the costume was Hector Guerrero. He popped out and danced with Gene Okerlund as the fans who bought the PPV at home and those live in the arena stood with their jaws dropped. How could the WWF absolutely flop with this?
Maybe this is why no one believes the hype anymore. They don't want another Gooker.
The Gooker lives on in infamy at the WrestleCrap website, which is devoted to the worst in wrestling. The site names its annual worst in wrestling yearly award after the big turkey.
The costume popped up again last year when Maryse hid inside it before sneak attacking an opponent. Turkey never looked so good.
Blood Runs Cold
Don't remember Blood Runs Cold? Don't worry—it went absolutely nowhere.
In the 1990s, WCW invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in creating two gimmicks and an elaborate storyline around them.
Glacier and Mortis were supposed to be the big thing in WCW for the mid to late '90s. Obviously you know by now, they aren't legends of the business.
Right when Blood Runs Cold was about to get the big push, the NWO hit it big. WCW shifted their whole attitude to more "shoot" based gimmicks and the NWO angle. Mortis and Glacier were left in the dust. It ended up being a colossal waste of money and talent.
Glacier and Mortis were both very good workers but ended up pretty much bombing out of the company. Mortis eventually turned into Kanyon and had some decent runs as a singles wrestler.
Glacier didn't have equal luck, as he bounced around the lower card until leaving the company and becoming a teacher. These days he pops up every so often to wrestle and can still go with the younger talent.
Of course, he had without a doubt one of the coolest entrances in the history of wrestling.
Perhaps the biggest letdown of Blood Runs Cold was the fact that one of the best managers of all time, Jim Mitchell, was hardly used. Mitchell, who was known as James Vandenburg at the time, only had a handful of promos before being relegated to little more than valet status.
It was a real shame, but thankfully he found great success in ECW and TNA following his WCW stint.
This was it: the big one—the angle that would make more money than you could imagine.
All of the pieces were in place. Vince McMahon had the three biggest wrestling companies in America at his disposal.
But what was supposed to be the greatest event in wrestling history turned out to be one of the most hated and failed events ever.
Invasion angles aren't anything new, but when done right, they can elevate a company to new levels. Look at the stuff in New Japan, which was what WCW copied with the NWO. Take a look at the ROH vs. CZW feud on the indies in 2006. It launched ROH to a new popularity it hadn't seen before.
However, when Invasion angles are booked poorly, they bomb as hard as anything can.
What was supposed to be the three big companies fighting against each other quickly turned into a McMahon family soap opera completely taking away everything that could have made the InVasion special. From horrible booking to not having the right people, it was almost doomed from day one.
Vince had WCW, but what he didn't have were many of its top stars, like Hulk Hogan, Sting, Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, and Goldberg. While some of those eventually made their way to the WWF, none of them were involved in the InVasion. Without the biggest names, the fans frankly just didn't care.
While Vince had many of the WCW wrestlers, and good wrestlers they were, they didn't have any name value thanks to the horrendous booking in WCW's final years. Vince's roster of ECW talent was better, but any die-hard ECW fan gave up once Stephanie McMahon took the reins.
With the fans not caring and the obvious lack of competition for Vince's home WWF, the product suffered. When the whole thing ended with a big elimination-style match, the general response was a big "meh." It didn't work.
Now all anyone can do is Monday morning quarterback it and think of what could have been.