WWE was established in the 1950s as one of North America’s premier wrestling promotions. Throughout its long history, WWE has created genuine euphoria, heartbreak and relief through its unique form of storytelling.
Hulk Hogan lifting André the Giant above his shoulders has become a recognisable and inspiring moment. Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth’s love has become legendary. But sometimes, WWE misses the mark. In fact, sometimes, WWE gets it so, so wrong. Here are just a few of our favourite, completely insane stories from WWE’s modern era.
The death of Katie Vick
Right, let’s just get this one out of the way right off the bat. Often named the worst WWE storyline ever written, the Katie Vick saga is just balls-to-the-wall insane.
When Triple H started feuding with “The Demon” Kane, he evoked the name of “Katie Vick”, a woman he claimed Kane killed. This is wrestling, so sure.
But to push the point, WWE aired footage of Triple H simulating sex with a corpse as a means to taunt Kane. The segment ended with Triple H declaring, “I screwed your brains out,” to said corpse. Unsurprisingly, it went down horribly.
God tag teams with Shawn Michaels
You’d think that God would have better things to do than tag team with WWE veteran Shawn Michaels in a wrestling ring, but you’d be wrong.
In the mid-2000s, Shawn Michaels became a born-again Christian, finding a new life and passion for wrestling. According to WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon, that was something to be mocked, and at the Backlash PPV in 2006, he faced off against Shawn Michaels with his son, Shane, in a tag team match.
Claiming he didn’t want Michaels to be handicapped, McMahon told Michaels that God would wrestle with him, and so a huge spotlight joined Michaels on the stage while Vince and Shane danced and guffawed around “God”.
Rosie O’Donnell vs Donald Trump
In the mid-2000s, now-U.S. President Donald Trump and American TV personality Rosie O’Donnell were involved in a tit-for-tat feud over politics and power, complete with some gross comments from Trump.
WWE thought this was comedy gold and hired two actors (who don’t appear to be trained wrestlers) to enact a Trump-Rosie fist fight. Nobody was laughing. The crowd began to chant “TNA”, the name of one of WWE’s rival wrestling promotions. This signalled that what they were watching was the absolute pits.
The Gobbledy Gooker
In the lead up to Survivor Series in 1990, WWE began teasing something big. It was an egg. Yes, really. WWE hinted that when it cracked opened it would change the wrestling world in a big way. But see, Survivor Series 1990 took place on Thanksgiving. And what comes from eggs? Yes, that’s right — birds. And what burst forth from the egg was indeed a bird.
The Gobbledy Gooker was a turkey wrestler, or more accurately, a wrestler in a turkey outfit. There were audible boos when he arrived.
Big Boss Man drives away with Big Show’s dead father in a casket
If you were feuding with a rival, would you not attend their father’s funeral with a megaphone, tie chains around their dead father’s coffin and drive away with it while your nemesis cries and clings helplessly to the box? No? Well then, I guess you’re not Big Boss Man, who took his feud with Big Show just a tad too far with this wild stunt. It’s Big Show’s wailing that really sells it here.
Fake Razor Ramon and Fake Diesel
Razor Ramon and Diesel were two of WWE’s strongest midcard competitors when they chose to jump ship to rival wrestling promotion WCW in the mid-90s. Played by Scott Hall and Kevin Nash (who went on to star in the Magic Mike franchise, as well as cameo in John Wick, The Punisher and more), Razor Ramon and Diesel were great characters.
WWE didn’t want to lose them so instead, it simply recast them with Rick Bognar and Glenn Jacobs. What WWE didn’t understand was that wrestling gimmicks weren’t exactly transferable, and people were immediately and aggressively against these pretenders. The insane part is WWE genuinely thought that people wouldn’t notice the difference.
The Dominick custody battle
When Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero began feuding in 2005 things got personal immediately. Guerrero claimed to know a secret about Mysterio’s son, Dominick, and claimed that his wife had been unfaithful. Dominick, Mysterio’s real life son, became embroiled in a custody battle when Guerrero claimed to be his real father.
This ended in a “Custody of Dominick Ladder Match” where Dominick’s custody papers were suspended above the ring, and the first wrestler to reach them via the use of the ladder won.
Triple H kidnaps and drugs the boss’s daughter, then marries her
It turns out that Triple H (the character) has actually been a bit of a sex pest in his WWE career. If simulating sex with a corpse wasn’t enough, he also kidnapped and drugged WWE Chairman Vince McMahon’s daughter, drove her through a Las Vegas drive-in wedding chapel, and married her.
This storyline strangely mirrored real life, because Triple H went on to marry Stephanie McMahon in real life, in a legitimate wedding ceremony a few years later.
Mae Young gives birth to a hand
In her 70s, the virile Mae Young began a relationship with “Sexual Chocolate” Mark Henry, who would’ve been in his 20s at the time of the storyline. During a feud with big man Viscera, Young got in the way and was crushed while she was supposedly carrying Henry’s child. This led to a miscarriage where Young ended up giving birth to a… hand. A human hand. Okay.
Vince McMahon’s illegitimate son is revealed as Hornswoggle
In the 2000s, it was revealed a WWE storyline revealed that Vince McMahon had an illegitimate son, but his identity remained a mystery for a good long while. Several names were crossed off the list until the dramatic reveal finally came… his son was Hornswoggle.
He was WWE’s resident daredevil little person, who was rocking a Leprechaun gimmick, because the WWE of the 90s and 2000s were far from sensitive. Rumour has it that the original plan was for the Mr Kennedy to be revealed as McMahon’s son, but in the end, this long-teased storyline was played for laughs and ended on a sour note.
Lita is pregnant with Kane’s demon baby
It’s Kane again, and this time he’s involved with a demon baby. What’s new? When Lita became pregnant with Kane’s child, all hell broke loose. Like all far too many WWE angles, Kane fell on Lita, causing a miscarriage. What followed was a feud that featured brute Snitsky punting a fake baby into the WWE audience and other assorted inappropriateness. Sometimes, you just have to wonder what’s going on behind the scenes at WWE for this to happen.
So there you have it – the WWE has had everything from custody battles to baby hands, doppelgangers to demon babies. That’s wrestling, folks!