For every good idea it seems like the WWE has five bad ones. Over the years there has been much more bad than good in the WWE. Whether it’s a terrible new gimmick, poor storyline or bad matchup, it seems to be a routine today.
As much as wrestling fans like to compare the product of today with the one of the 90s, fans often forget that there was a lot of bad in this era as well. Not only did it produce some of the worst gimmicks of all time it also saw some of the worst programming in WWE history. Some shows were so bad that they lasted months, while others (despite being so bad) lasted years.
This article will take a look at some of the worst programs to ever be produced by the WWE. This list includes shows from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. So without further ado, let’s now take a look at 12 of the worst WWE programs in history. Enjoy!
12) Tuesday Night Titans
Can you imagine the WWE trying something like this today? Tuesday Night Titans aired on the USA Network from 1984 till 1986. The show was promoted as a wrestling show/variety show. In reality it was pretty much a parody of a late night talk show with Vince McMahon as the host, intermixed with skits similar to Saturday Night Live. Gene Okerlund later replaced Vince as the host. The show had some memorable moments that you can relive on the WWE Network, like the first ever televised wrestling wedding with Paul Vachon, Roddy Pipper playing Ebenezer Scrooge, and Mr.Fuji doing a Miami Vice parody called Fuji Vice.
11) WWF All American Wrestling
All American Wrestling actually aired for 11 years before it was finally cancelled and replaced by Action Zone, in 1994. The show initially began with wrestlers from various promotions across the US, and it later changed into a show based on WWF talent only. This show became one of the first ever review shows which looked at events from the week that was in the WWE. This program set the stage for numerous weekly wrestling review shows which we still have today, like WWE Experience or the WWE Network original This Week in The WWE.
10) Action Zone
Unlike All American Wrestling, Action Zone actually got off to a great start with some high profile matches. The show made its debut with Bret defeating his brother Owen in the main event, to retain the WWF Championship. After some solid cards, the WWE eventually changed Action Zone into a recap show which displeased many fans after some high profile main events. Todd Pettengill and Dok Hendrix took over the duties from McMahon and Jim Ross during the new recap edition of Action Zone. After two years in 1996 the show was once again cancelled, making way for WWF Superstars.
Despite the low ratings, the WWE seemed adamant to find a review show that drew some sort of ratings. Once again, Livewire was not the answer. This time the WWE was very aggressive in trying to make it work, so much so that they used Sunny as a special host for the show. The show was later changed into an interactive show that allowed the viewers an opportunity to participate with special guests. Once again, the show flopped and was cancelled in 2001. It was later replaced with Byte This, which used a similar format on its show.
8) ECW (WWE Version)
What started off as a promising idea turned into a flop rather quickly. After a couple of episodes, it was evident that this re-branded ECW wasn’t going to last very long. The show made its debut on Syfy and actually managed to last 4 years before finally closing its doors for good in 2010. The show got off to a promising start with Paul Heyman in charge of the writing. He was later relieved of his duties just a year later. Fans were very critical of this new watered down version of ECW, which mainly consisted of lower card wrestlers. In February of 2010, Vince McMahon announced the launch of a new groundbreaking show that would replace ECW. Vince delivered on this problem replacing the disaster that was ECW with WWE NXT. A show that years later is the hottest asset the company currently owns.
7) WWE Velocity
Running from 2002 till 2006, Velocity was the pre-show of the SmackDown brand (so basically what Sunday Night Heat was to RAW). The show was used as a platform to review events that occurred during SmackDown. It would also feature matches with lower-card talent involved. The matches were usually meaningless and barely had any stories to them. They were mainly used to put younger talent over. The show was later turned into a webcast in 2005. On June 10, 2006, the show aired its final episode on wwe.com. Today, the WWE still uses these types of shows airing on the WWE Network which include Main Event and Superstars.
6) Sunday Night Heat
Like Velocity, Heat relied on lower card talent and RAW reviews to get them through the bulk of their shows. Sunday Night Heat went through several theme changes during its 10 year run, which included broadcasting live from MTV on Sunday Nights between 2000 and 2003. After leaving MTV, the show joined Spike, and it was later relegated to a web series on wwe.com. After a three year run on the web, the show was finally put to rest and cancelled by the WWE.
5) WWE Excess
Don’t feel too bad if you don’t remember this show, it barely lasted a year, spanning from August 25th, 2001 till May 18th, 2002. The show featured some classic matches from the past, and it also tried to make the viewer choose which matches would air. The show was originally hosted by The Coach and Trish Stratus. Trish was later replaced with Terri Runnels. The show was later repackaged into a 2 hour show which featured a SmackDown review with Michael Cole in hour one, and the second hour featured The Coach and Raven going through the RAW highlights. The show was later replaced by WWE Velocity and WWE Confidential.
4) Shotgun Saturday Night
Shotgun aired between 1997 and 1999. After getting off to a decent start with the likes of Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Triple H, the show was once again relegated to a show of lower card wrestlers. The show used a New York theme and pushed edgier content being broadcasted late night. The show was called WWF New York for those watching on WPIX in the New York area. The show was later cancelled and replaced by yet another show that would only last a couple of years, Jakked which was once again replaced by Metal.
3) Super Astros
Super Astros was a show that attempted to expand the WWE’s horizons across the border. The program featured wrestlers of foreign descent, and it was looked at as an opportunity to expand the WWE in the Latin American countries. The show was hosted by a Spanish Announce team and featured Mexican stars from around the world. The program lasted just a little bit more than a year before it was finally cancelled on September 5th, 1999.
2) WWE Saturday Morning Slam
This show was a pretty huge failure airing on the CW. With this program, the WWE attempted to get a more diverse audience with a show on the CW. Ultimately, the show didn’t even get past its first year and was cancelled rather quickly, despite the WWE reportedly having interest in doing a second season with the network. The show had a G rating, with moves targeting the head or neck being banned.
1) WWE Tough Enough
When it comes to flawed WWE programming, it doesn’t get much worse than WWE Tough Enough. The show has been repackaged several times over the course of its 6 seasons. The show initially made its debut on MTV, and this lasted for two years between 2001 and 2003. The show later moved to UPN and then transitioned to its current home, the USA Network. Despite some promise to the show, it still continues to be a flop year after year. Even this season, with the likes of Daniel Bryan on the panel, the show still failed to gain the success the WWE had in mind for the program. Instead, with a weird voting system which only gave fans a couple of minutes to vote and decide, the show once again flopped. One of the most talentless women on the show Sarah Lee, ended up winning on the girl’s side. This was pretty much a straight slap to the face regarding the status of the show. It remains to be seen if the WWE will ever properly revamp this show.