Throughout wrestling history, fans have been faced with different storylines that managed to catch their attention. They either sit well with us, or they turn our stomachs to the point where we are completely sick of the product. Whether it is a man eating worms or another one cleaning out toilets, professional wrestling never ceases to amaze us for what they come up with. However, it really shouldn’t surprise us. In fact, we have pretty much seen it all when it comes to angles and characters. Today, wrestling appears to be more based on extensions of the real person. Some of the most successful wrestling personas today leave us nodding along because of the believability of the characters. So while what we see today shouldn’t surprise us, some ideas were so far into left field they left us scratching our heads and saying “What were they thinking?”
These ideas never actually happened, but the ideas were passed around and those that were suggesting they had to really rethink what they were contemplating. Whether it was breast implants on one of the male WWE superstars, or an iconic wrestler actually making his debut in a turkey costume, these ideas were out there. We can be thankful that they never came to pass. (Well, the turkey costume idea actually did happen, it just involved a different wrestler.) Here are the 10 most shocking moments in wrestling that almost happened.
10. The Proposed Triple H/Mike Tyson WrestleMania Boxing Match
Fans will recall that prior to WrestleMania 30, The Undertaker had faced off with two competitors over the course of four different WrestleManias – either Shawn Michaels or Triple H. What was interesting was Triple H wasn’t slated to face The Undertaker, but was penciled in to face-off against former boxing champion, Mike Tyson. The idea was that both a WWE official and a boxing official would be a part of the match to ensure there was a clear-cut winner. What wasn’t necessarily certain was whether it would have been boxing, wrestling, or a hybrid of both in the match. It wasn’t clear what Triple H’s motivation would have been for facing off against Tyson.
9. Dustin ‘Goldust’ Runnels Proposed Wanting Actual Breast Implants
This idea was the brainchild of not the creative department, but the talent. Dustin Runnels pitched the idea of taking the Goldust character into the land of androgynous. While the character’s initial debut left in question his sexuality, fans were certain that it was a male character. The idea was a stretch and is believed to have been made out of desperation on the part of Runnels. He apparently approached Vince McMahon with the idea that he would get breast implants and have the procedure filmed as part of his transformation. This has been validated by both McMahon and former writer Vince Russo. It was Runnels who asked Russo to pass the idea along to McMahon. No one actually thought that Runnels would go through with it, as it screamed of desperation to save his job.
8. The Original Plan For ‘Imposter’ Kane
Fans may not know the original plans for the imposter Kane. The man playing Kane, Glenn Jacobs, was rumored to be thinking about retiring. So rather than simply end the character, the WWE came up with the idea of an imposter that dressed as the Kane fans first saw years before, with the full mask and full body suit. The man who was performing as the imposter was current WWE wrestler Luke Gallows. The idea was to have the imposter actually revealed as the real Kane, and that Jacobs was in fact the imposter. Jacobs would have stolen his identity and imprisoned him for years. Ultimately, the storyline and idea was dropped when Jacobs decided against retirement. We would be looking at a very different man behind the mask had Jacobs ended up retiring at the time.
7. Snitsky & Heidenreich Were Penciled In To Break ‘The Streak’
When wrestling fans discuss who was capable of breaking The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania, they all come to the same conclusion that, if anyone was to do it, Brock Lesnar was the right person at the right time. However, Lesnar wasn’t the first one considered to break the streak. In fact, who was previously considered to break it is so ridiculous that it seems hard to believe! Prior to WrestleMania 21, The Undertaker had a streak of 12-0, but initial plans were for him to take part in a tag team match. The Undertaker and Kane would compete in a match against the tandem of Heidenreich and Snitsky. Reports are it was kiboshed because Kane was injured and the Undertaker didn’t want to work with Snitsky and Heidenreich (because of their unsafe style). He was eventually booked in a one-on-one match against Randy Orton.
6. The Original Concept To Maintain WCW’s Existence
The Monday Night Wars was some of the most compelling television in wrestling history. And when they came to an end WWE came out as the winner, spelling the end for WCW. However, after WWE took over ownership of WCW, they initially had the idea of having it ran as a separate promotion entirely. It would still remain under the WWE umbrella, but completely separate from WWE, as World Championship Wrestling. Many believe that this was what the brand extension would ultimately be, with SmackDown and Raw being run as separate entities entirely. The idea ultimately didn’t have legs as they couldn’t find a network to air the program where it wouldn’t run opposite WWE programming. As it turns out, the Invasion angle became the focal point for WWE programming and the rest is history.
5. The Mr. McMahon Murder Angle: What Could Have Happened?
We all remember that moment when Mr. McMahon walked past a hallway of wrestlers and out of the arena, got in his limousine and closed the door. BOOM! An explosion erupted and the limousine was ablaze. It’s been suggested that the murder-suicide of former WWE champion Chris Benoit is what led to this angle immediately drawing to a close. The original plans were to reveal that McMahon’s wife, Linda, was in fact the ‘murderer,’ which would lead to her arrest. It would then be further identified that McMahon had left the promotion to his ‘illegitimate son’ Mr. Kennedy. It was then supposed to come about that Kennedy would make himself a WWE World Championship contender by taking advantage of position. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H would acknowledge their off-screen relationship, and Triple H would have challenged Kennedy for control of the company.
4. The Goobledy Taker?
For over 25 years, one of the most iconic figures in wrestling has been The Undertaker. Though the character has evolved through the years, fans have always known who the Dead Man is. What is remarkable is that the character wasn’t the original plan for Mark Calaway, the man behind the character. When Calaway first signed, the creative team didn’t have a character for him. He was initially known as Kane the Undertaker during dark matches, until the promotion settled on The Undertaker as his name. However, Calaway was initially slated to debut during the Survivor Series 1990 not as the ominous figure we see today, but as one of the most ridiculous characters in WWE history – The Gobbledy Gooker. The plan was eventually scrapped by the creative team. It is ironic that The Undertaker tombstoned someone dressed in a turkey costume (former WWE superstar Brad Maddox) years later on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
3. The World Heavyweight Champion, Muhammad Hassan
One of the most infamous characters in WWE history was Muhammad Hassan. He was an Arab-American character that was created a few years after the tragic 9/11 attacks that shocked the world. The idea for the character was that he would appear much like other anti-American characters that hated the United States and all it stood for. The character’s success was such that he was apparently on track in the eyes of WWE of becoming the World Heavyweight Champion by SummerSlam 2005. It would have certainly been a big angle for the most hated character at the time to hold a prized title like the World Heavyweight Championship. However, the character was dropped because of the response to a ‘lynching’ of the Undertaker, and the terrorist attacks that happened that same summer in England.
2. Baron Von Bava
Vince McMahon has many times tried to be cutting-edge and even controversial, but in this instance he drew the line. Former WWE producer Dan Madigan came up with a concept that was intended to be an anti-American gimmick, but pushed the envelope too far. In 2004, Madigan passed along a concept for a character named Baron Von Bava. The character was supposed to be a Nazi stormtrooper who had been frozen by Nazi scientists. The idea was that he would have thawed out in 2004, a man unaware of the time and what was and wasn’t acceptable in the modern world. He also would have worn a red Swastika on his arm. Even more offensive was that Paul Heyman was supposed to be his manager, Heyman being of Jewish decent. The idea left McMahon speechless and thankfully the character never came to pass.
1. The Proposed Incest Angle Between Vince & Stephanie McMahon
Vince McMahon has been known for coming up with some uneasy angles and storylines, but one he proposed went too far. During his daughter’s time off-camera having children, Vince had an idea to capitalize on her condition and create controversy. The proposed storyline involved Stephanie and her husband Triple H’s first child. Vince called her into his office one day and told her he planned to write her condition into the storylines. Pregnancy angles in WWE aren’t new, but in this instance it was not only wrong, but criminal. Vince proposed an angle revealing incest within the McMahon family, and that he would claim on-screen that he was the father of Stephanie’s child! It goes without saying that Stephanie didn’t support the storyline. She turned the storyline down and stated “I don’t know who would find entertainment in a storyline like that.”