WWE's 15 Most Tasteless & Offensive Storylines Ever
WWE has never been the model of taste. We expect the overly sexual, the ultra violent and gutter jokes.
There have been times though that even the most hardened fan is repulsed by what they see in the ring.
Miscarriages, necrophilia, castration and sexual assault hardly seem appropriate material for a show on basic cable.
In an attempt to sell more tickets and attract more attention, Vince McMahon has been willing to try anything and has more than often left behind a stench of boorishness.
15. Val Venis "Choppy"
Stereotypical Japanese accents aren't offensive enough for you? How about seeing Val Venis' penis almost falling victim to a samurai sword?
Venis, a porn star character, was feuding with the Kaientai stable because he'd slept with Yamaguchi-San's wife, Shian-Li Tsang. He was tied up backstage and nearly castrated, but saved by John Wayne Bobbitt himself.
When porn stars, shrinkage and John Wayne Bobbitt are involved in a wrestling angle, you know you're in uncomfortable territory.
The "choppy, choppy your pee pee" angle is unfortunately extremely tame compared to the rest of the entrants on this list.
14. Puke Killed Hawk
Not that WWE should drag anyone's personal demons into the spotlight and exploit them for entertainment, but it seems especially heinous when it's done to a legend.
Hawk of the Road Warriors was going through some tough times, alcohol and drugs playing a significant role.
Hawk would show up to matches drunk (kayfabe) and eventually began to openly consider suicide. The most infamous moment of that storyline was when Hawk climbed onto TitanTron in order to kill himself, but his new partner Puke pushed him off.
Rather than be a support beam for Hawk during dark times, WWE used his pain for cheap entertainment.
Where does the story go from there anyway? Once you have wrestlers killing other wrestlers, you've definitely lost your sense of decency.
13. Wedding of Billy and Chuck
Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo were likely hesitant to go with a homosexual tag team angle, but weren't big enough stars to fight off WWE creative.
The culmination of their storyline was a wedding that aired on SmackDown in 2002.
Homosexuality as a gimmick has its own issues, but the wedding smelled of a cheap publicity stunt from inception. WWE had no interest in promoting understanding of gays and lesbians, it was using gay people as a punching bag for punchlines.
Someone being gay should not be a reason that they're booed, but WWE fed off of the varying degrees of homophobia throughout the country. The wedding itself certainly got some extra eyes to tune in, but left a bad taste in all of our mouths.
12. Eddie Gilbert's Broken Neck
The then-WWF never appreciated Eddie Gilbert’s talents. In the early '80s, he resided on the WWF undercard, seemingly going nowhere.
Vince McMahon Sr. involved him in an angle where the Masked Superstar broke Gilbert's neck.
Making the idea even more unnerving was the fact that Gilbert had recently recovered from a real-life broken neck that he suffered in a car accident.
In the Attitude Era where taste was often nowhere to be found, this might have been brushed off or overshadowed by something worse, but back then it received harsh criticism, as it should have.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic Award Winner 1983
11. Hornswoggle Is McMahon's Child, but Not Really
The existence of Hornswoggle in the 21st century boggles my mind.
Having a little person play a mute leprechaun, putting him out there to be pointed and snickered at seems like something we should be over already as a society.
In 2007 and 2008, McMahon dealt with a storyline paternity suit. The illegitimate child turned out to be Hornswoggle, though he was somehow not McMahon’s son, but Finlay’s.
Which wrestler benefits from this storyline? Finlay? At least some of these other angles were meant to heighten a feud.
This lowbrow story went on for weeks with most fans just wanting to see it be over with.
10. Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Custody Battle
There must have been tons of ideas tossed around when trying to conceive of a storyline to pit Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero against each other.
The "Custody of Dominick" angle won out somehow.
Guerrero claimed to have a secret about Rey Mysterio's son, Dominick, which turned out to be that Eddie was the boy's biological father.
During a creepy segment called "Eddie's Bedtime Stories" he told fans about how he had a child out of wedlock and gave it to Rey and his wife.
The cheap angle culminated in the two men battling for custody in a ladder match at SummerSlam.
Though Guerrero was masterful as the heel, it was painful to see a kid used as a prop in a story. Pro wrestling often borrows from soap operas, but this strayed too far into that world.
9. Big Show's Father's Funeral
Involving a fake death is a discomforting idea on its own.
When Big Show’s father "died" in a 1999 storyline, WWE filmed a funeral complete with tears and emotional speeches.
The Big Show's rival at the time, Big Boss Man, interrupted the proceedings and stole the casket. Watching Big Show cling to the casket as he was dragged around was a surreal moment.
Big Show's father had actually died years before his fake wrestling death. When he looked down at this mockery, was he smiling? Was he proud?
8. Muhammed Hassan
Portraying Hassan as a Muslim fed up with how his people are portrayed in the media and how he feels held back because of an anti-Muslim sentiment would have been great had they stopped there.
On an episode of SmackDown, Hassan had four masked goons attack the Undertaker with piano wire and clubs.
With a viewing audience still stinging from 9-11, with many fans having trouble disassociating Islam and terrorism, this angle could only serve to fan the flames of hatred.
To make matters worse, this segment aired on the same night of the terrorist bombings in London. WWE felt it was too late to edit the Hassan portion of the show out and aired it anyway.
WWE got a lot of unwanted bad press with this storyline and Hassan's career was over soon afterwards.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic Award Winner 2005
7. Lita's Pregnancy
In 2004, Kane abducted and tied up Lita. Later, Lita revealed herself to be pregnant.
While the story didn’t feature direct rape (Lita claimed to sleep with Kane so he wouldn't attack Matt Hardy) it did have coerced sex, which isn't the most sensitive angle imaginable.
A good rule when creating a WWE storyline is to avoid dead fetuses. There are plenty of options without going down that uncomfortable road.
Lita, one of the better modern female wrestlers, had to resent being a part of such a tactless story.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic Award Winner 2004
6. McMahon vs. God
With someone with as big an ego as Vince McMahon, it was only a matter of time before he decided to take on God himself.
Despite the obvious insensitivity issues here, there's also the problem of logistics.
How silly is it to watch a spotlight move toward the ring and have us expected to believe it is God making his entrance?
How many Christians did McMahon alienate with this? How many old-school fans and purists saw this ridiculous stunt and decided to never watch WWE again?
5. Anything with Eugene
Try explaining Eugene's character to someone who doesn't watch wrestling and watch as their eyes widen and their jaw drops.
For several years, there was a wrestler whose gimmick was that he was mentally retarded. It's hard to believe, but it happened.
What did Nick Dinsmore think when the Eugene gimmick was proposed to him?
He probably laughed it off initially, thinking McMahon was kidding. And now regardless of his talent, he's become a punchline.
4. Kurt Angle, Sexual Deviant
During a feud with Booker T, one of the world's greatest wrestlers was saddled with a horrifying angle where he was painted as a sexual predator.
Kurt Angle attacked Sharmell backstage and forced himself on top of her, putting his hand over her mouth. Just typing that sentence made me sick.
Why did anyone think this was a good idea?
Though they didn't show actual sexual violence, this was still a new low for WWE.
3. Mark Henry and Mae Young
Seeing an iconic athlete like Mae Young turned into a joke breaks my heart.
How many fans know nothing of her accomplished wrestling career and only know her as the woman who gave birth to a hand?
Not only was this storyline disgusting, it was stupid.
I can buy that the Undertaker has some supernatural powers or that Hulk Hogan didn't feel everyone's punches because the fans were powering him, but how can anyone wrap their minds around an old woman pushing a gooey hand from out between her legs?
This was a waste of TV time, and an embarrassment for everyone involved.
Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero's death has been used far too often in storylines and in ways that don't honor him, but instead cheapen his legacy.
Since his death, we've seen Randy Orton tell Rey Mysterio that "Eddie's in Hell" and Big Show spitting on Eddie's low rider to draw heat.
McMahon is the ultimate opportunist and saw Eddie's passing as a way to create new angles and make more money. It's certainly true that controversy sells, but where does one draw the line?
If the death of a legend who gave his life to your company is fodder for WWE plots, then it seems that maybe nothing is off limits.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic Award Winner 2006
1. The Katie Vick Incident
Involving a dead woman in a storyline is grounds enough for inclusion on this list, but throwing necrophilia into the mix puts this angle in a class by itself.
Try to watch Triple H hump that mannequin in a casket without being completely creeped out.
What's worse is that Kane and Triple H were prominent stars, so this wasn't some story on the back burner, it was part of a major feud.
WWE should collect and destroy all evidence of this incident.
No one's career was furthered with this crap and who was even really entertained? All it managed to do is put a giant scar on the face of wrestling that may fade some, but will never go away.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic Award Winner 2002