Acknowledging the WWE’s triumph over the years is something a lot of fans and followers of the product have found it hard to do. There are notable exceptions to this, but it is universally accepted that fans of the business spend far more time criticising than they do celebrate a decent story. Most bad storyline ideas fall by the wayside, but it is the truly shocking ones that stand the test of time in the minds of fans. I’m Scott Hammond, and this is my top five most shocking storylines in WWE history.
Number 5: I’m Your Papi!
Now I don’t think that there is anyone in their right minds who wouldn’t say that Rey Mysterio and the late, great Eddie Guerrero were two of the absolute best in-ring performers of their generation. In the summer of 2005, in a real push by the company to get Guerrero over a super heel, they had Guerrero claim that he had a secret that he needed to tell Mysterio regarding his son Dominik. They teased the reveal for a short time before Eddie revealed that he was, in fact, Dominik’s father. Both men went back and forth, even bringing in Vickie Guerrero and Dominik as part of the story. Coining both a phrase and a t-shirt, ‘I’m Your Papi’ became Eddie’s tagline for the feud. The culmination of the feud came when Guerrero and Mysterio battled at SummerSlam in a ladder match in which custody of Dominik papers hung above the ring. Mysterio would win the match after Vickie Guerrero turned on her husband and helped Mysterio reclaim his now non-biological son for his own. Overbooked? Check. Terrible visuals? Check. Thankfully, they didn’t carry it on.
Number 4: For God’s Sake
I may not be the Godliest man on the planet but even I could see that Vince McMahon went a bit too far with this one. After WrestleMania 22, in which Shawn Michaels defeated Vince McMahon, McMahon would declare Michaels victory an act of God. Vince would bring son Shane into the fold, and it was set, at Backlash 2006, Vince and Shane McMahon would take on the team of Shawn Michaels… and God. Here’s the kicker. At the event. After the McMahon’s made their entrance, some soft angelical music began playing and ‘God’ made his entrance. They basically shone a spotlight at the entrance and followed it all the way to the ring. It was an absolute shambles. And not to mention highly offensive to those in attendance and watching who believe in God in any form. The kicker here? The McMahons won the match, defeating Shawn Michaels and ‘God’.
Number 3: Terrorising The Undertaker
Now to pre-requisite this, there was nothing wrong with this particular story or gimmick, it was just a case of bad timing and a terrible real-life situation. Muhammed Hassan was a gimmick created to come across as an Arab-American wrestler who despised America and all it stood for. Whilst maybe it walked the line of decency, given the truly horrific events of September 11th 2001, the character debuted in 2004 with his mouthpiece, Shawn Daivari and was an instant heat magnet, with his old school 80’s style hating on America and Davairi’s speeches in none-English dialect. On July 4th 2005, on SmackDown, Davairi was placed in a match against the Undertaker, in which the Undertaker won, but was immediately set upon by men in ski masks, who beat down on him with clubs and even the use of piano wire. The men then carried the Undertaker out of the arena above their heads, ending a risqué but decent segment. Unfortunately, three days later on July 7th 2005, there was a terror attack in London, and the angle was instantly dropped, Hassan would lose clean to the Undertaker at the following Pay Per View the Great American Bash, and was never seen again on WWE television. WWE were completely correct to drop the angle, but the coincidence is what was really strange.
Number 2: Henry Gives Mae A Hand
So, figuring that the last two shockers were quite dark in one manner or another, a bit of lightening up is in order. This is probably the most infamous all the shocking storylines that WWE ever gave us, and lives longest in the memory of wrestling fans from the Attitude Era. Mark Henry, in my personal favourite incarnation of his character (aside from the ‘Hall Of Pain’ gimmick), brought to us ‘Sexual Chocolate’. A man so sexually magnetic that even the unimpressed Chyna ended up falling for his charms. To start things off nice and weird, Henry got himself ‘involved’ with the late great Mae Young, and their relationship became an on-screen gag in itself. It took an even weirder turn when Mae Young would let Henry know that she was pregnant with his alleged ‘child’. What followed was a skit in which Mae Young gave birth, on screen…to a hand. Oh yes. A hand. Many have questioned why a hand, but the nearest to a decent explanation I got is too graphic for print. Needless to say, that many years later at RAW’s 1000th episode, Mae Young brought her fully grown ‘hand’ to the show in a backstage segment, to poke fun at their own creation. I’d like to say you couldn’t make this stuff up but apparently, you can.
Number 1: It Wasn’t My Fault
The idea of professional wrestling as a form of entertainment is to take you away from life’s difficulties for a few hours and enjoy yourself. This story was the complete opposite of everything that wrestling is supposed to be. I’m all for stories, but not stories that have all of what I am about to document in them. So, Kane began a programme with Matt Hardy in mid-2004, whilst Lita and Matt Hardy were back together on screen as a couple. This continued for a few weeks, with Kane trying to seduce Lita in between, and Lita then eventually came out on RAW and told the world she was pregnant. Elation turned to sadness when we found out the baby was, in fact, Kane’s. The story going was that Kane had said to Lita that if she slept with him he’d leave Matt alone. She did…and Kane beat up Matt anyway. This was nowhere as bad as the story would get, as Hardy and Kane would then have a ‘Til Death Us Do Part’ match at SummerSlam, with the winner marrying Lita. Kane won the match and married Lita on RAW.
But wait, that isn’t the worst of it either. Enter Gene Snitsky. Anyone who knows that name probably knows where I’m going. In September, with Kane and Lita being married but hating each other, during a match Gene Snitsky entered the ring to attack Kane with a chair from behind. This led to Kane falling into and onto Lita’s stomach. The next week Lita said she had miscarried. I’d like to say it ended there, but it didn’t. Kane and Lita would team up in the following weeks, with Snitsky coining the phrase ‘It wasn’t my fault’ referring to Lita’s miscarriage, but that still wouldn’t stop the company going even further by having Snitsky come out on live TV and punt a baby doll into the crowd for heat. This was truly the worst of the worst in terms of subject matter and was handled without any of the care and consideration that the television shows and films take when presenting stories that relate to the same subject matter. Thankfully, with the company now being publically traded, trash like this will hopefully never infest the business again.
Before I go, I do want to give an honourable mention to the Triple H storyline that he had with Kane, in which Hunter jumped in a casket with the deceased girlfriend of the Big Red Machine…and did stuff with her. The reason I omitted this was purely the fact that it was part of a storyline, and not the whole story. But it is definitely up there with the most shocking things in WWE history.
All photos and videos courtesy of WWE.com