Wrestling fans watch for a number of reasons, whether it’s the athleticism, the competition, the storytelling in the ring, or the drama that can come from well-executed storylines. However, what we see isn’t always the initial plan. In fact, there have been a number of occasions where what we eventually saw has gone through a process of editing, revising and adjusting along the way. What we see is the final product after many potential changes to the initial plans for a match, gimmick or storyline.
There is no question that some storylines leave something to be desired, while others were better off not happening in the first place. For a number of the suggested storylines below, what we eventually saw was not the original plan. Whether it was who was the assailant in the Stone Cold Steve Austin backstage hit and run, or the guilty party in the attempted murder of Mr. McMahon, plans change on the fly. Fans have been witness to some incredible revelations, while in other instances they have had to deal with being let down.
Which wrestling storylines changes made our list that could have happened? Feel free to share with us your opinion on social media.
15. WCW Was Almost Another Brand
Wrestling fans all know how the Monday Night Wars ended: WWE won the war against WCW, despite losing a couple of years’ worth of battles. When WWE purchased WCW, there were different ideas as to what to do with this commodity that was once owned by Ted Turner. One idea that was tossed around was having WCW remain as a separate promotion that would be owned by the WWE.
When fans were introduced to WCW through the invasion angle, it was believed the separate promotion was also very much a possibility. Unfortunately, there was no network that the WWE could coordinate a deal with to air the program. One has to wonder how it would have worked out, and whether or not a distinct WCW brand would be what TNA or ROH is today.
14. The Original Concept Of Who Killed Mr. McMahon
As soon as he slammed his limousine door shut and flames engulfed his vehicle, the storyline of whom murdered Mr. McMahon was under way. The visual beforehand, of the entire locker room watching Mr. McMahon walk down the corridor while leaving the building, certainly was memorable. The storyline quickly ended because of the murder-suicide of Chris Benoit, but that doesn’t mean there were not a number of scenarios that were tossed around about who the guilty party was.
As jealousy often recurs in soap opera storylines, it was no different here. The concept was to originally have Linda McMahon, Vince’s wife, as the culprit. This storyline was to have been tied to the ‘illegitimate son’ storyline involving Mr. Kennedy, as it was Kennedy who was to have the company left to him. As circumstances dictated, none of this would ever have come to pass.
13. The Arab World Heavyweight Champion
This character will without question go down as one of the most infamous heels in WWE history, the Arab-American Muhammad Hassan. He was conceived after the tragic 9/11 attacks and talked about how he hated America for how he was treated after the attacks. He was so successful in garnering heat that at one point there was consideration of having him becoming the World Heavyweight Champion at Summer Slam 05′.
Unfortunately, a couple of storylines pushed the envelope too far and saw the title push for Hassan dropped. One of the worst incidents was the apparent “lynching” of The Undertaker, by a group of black-clad “terrorist,” that unfortunately coincided with the tragic terrorist attacks that took place in England. As a result, the character was taken off the air and the wrestler who performed Hassan retired not long after.
12. A Different Imposter Kane Idea
For years Kane has been played by one man. Glen Jacobs has donned various masks and showed the character’s evolution. However, at one time Jacobs was contemplating retirement, and though it’s been nearly twenty years that he has been in the WWE, the company couldn’t just end the character because it still had value.
The promotion came up with the storyline of an imposter Kane who made his debut at the In Your House: Badd Blood pay per view in a full body suit and full mask. The imposter at the time was Luke Gallows now one-half, of the tandem Anderson and Gallows. The storyline was going to be that the imposter had his life stolen years earlier when he was imprisoned for years and now was finally returning exacting his revenge. As we know, Jacobs decided against retirement and the storyline didn’t go very far.
11. The Original Plan For ‘The Brood’ Members
Prior to reeking of awesomeness, Edge and Christian were a part of this faction, though that wasn’t the original plan. As part of The Brood, Edge, Christian and Gangrel had a dark presence about them that was both frightening and gothic in nature. The group was suggested as being vampires with a modern twist. They would spill blood on their opponents, and certainly turned heads for their edgy nature.
The original plans were to have both Edge and Gangrel as a part of the faction, but a different member was supposed to be in place of Christian. At the time, a relative unknown wrestler, Christopher Daniels, who was known as the Fallen Angel, was slated to be the third member. However, as the story goes, Edge pushed hard for Christian to get the spot in place of Daniels, and the rest, as they say, is history.
10. Who Was Almost Going To Beat The Streak
The most legendary streaks in WWE was The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania, which was broken by Brock Lesnar after twenty-one consecutive victories. However, serious consideration was given to end the streak nearly a decade previously. It was just before WrestleMania 21 when two unlikely men were considered to be the frontrunners to end the iconic streak. It should be noted that the streak would have ended in a tag team match rather than a singles match.
The Brothers of Destruction, consisting of Kane and The Undertaker, were going to face Snitsky and Heidenreich. The idea was shot down when Kane got hurt, plus at the time both Snitsky and Heidenreich weren’t considered the safest of opponents to be in the ring with, which contributed to The Undertaker not wanting to work with them. Taker ultimately faced Randy Orton and was victorious in the end.
9. Balls Mahoney Was Going To Be Homosexual and Resemble The Village People
The late Jonathan Rechner will always be known as Balls Mahoney and it would be impossible to see him as anything but that chair swinging freak. However, when he first began to compete he was known as other lesser known characters such as Boo Bradley.
When the concept for the Balls character was originally being pitched by Scott Levy, known better as Raven, it wasn’t as it ended up being presented. The original concept for the character was that he would be homosexual, dressed in leather, similar to the member in the Village People. Rechner wasn’t in favor of this conception, and thus the chair swinging freak was born.
8. A Second WrestleMania Boxing Match
Many wrestling fans will recall Mike Tyson‘s involvement in the WrestleMania XIV match between Shawn Michaels and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. As the enforcer/referee going into the event, we were all led to believe that Tyson was in the pocket of Degeneration X and was going to screw Austin and secure a victory for Michaels. A few years ago, over four WrestleManias The Undertaker faced either Triple H or Shawn Michaels. However, an early rumor had Mike Tyson returning to square off against Triple H.
The match concept that made the rounds were that it would be both a WWE official and a boxing official, so there would be a definitive winner. The details were never ironed out whether it would have been wrestling, boxing or a combination of the two. Since there was no hinted animosity between the two, the match and storyline never got off the ground.
7. The Black Scorpion
In WCW in 1990, the promotion created a character that was only known by the name Black Scorpion, a character devoted to tormenting Sting. The character was supposed to be someone from Sting’s past coming back and haunting him. He was dressed in black, wore a long robe and had a hood. The eventual blowoff of the angle took place when Sting faced the Scorpion for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Starrcade 90. The match stipulation was that if Sting won the match, he would find who the Scorpion really was.
When the match ended, the Scorpion was victorious and was revealed to be none other than Ric Flair. However, according to Flair, that wasn’t the original booking of the match; it was originally supposed to be Four Horsemen member Barry Windham. It was changed because all involved felt it wouldn’t have helped Windham in the long run.
6. The Goobledy…Taker?
For a quarter of a century, one character is known not only for his time in WWE but his crossover appeal into popular culture. The Undertaker has found several ways to reinvent himself, and at one time dispatched with the deadman character altogether. However, for all the accolades the character and Calloway has received and the longevity that he has had, that wasn’t the original plan.
When Mark Calloway first joined the company, the creative department was still trying to think of how best to use him. Though they ultimately came up with the concept for The Undertaker character, the idea was tossed around to have the Undertaker actually be the Gobbledy Gooker. Both characters debuted at the 1990 Survivor Series. Thankfully that never happened, as one gimmick is considered the greatest while the other is considered the worst.
5. Stone Cold Steve Austin proposed Hit and Run Assailant
Fans of the WWE during the Attitude Era will recall the incident when Stone Cold Steve Austin was the victim of a hit and run backstage. The reason for the incident was to get Austin off of television due to ongoing issues he was having with his neck. The driver at the time was unknown, leaving fans to guess the true identity of the assailant. The assailant was revealed to be Rikishi, who famously said he “Did it for The Rock.”
When it was revealed, the wind was let out of the collective sails of WWE fans. While it was a disappointing reveal, it wasn’t one of the original concepts that were tossed around. One idea was to have the driver be none other than Austin’s real-life wife at the time, Debra. It would have been an incredible heel turn for her and would have created some distance between him and her on-screen.
4. Vince McMahon’s Illegitimate Son Suggested Reveal
For all the WWE has done that has been successful, there have been storylines that left a lot to be desired. In 2008, a storyline was being developed where stories were circulating that Vince McMahon had an illegitimate son. While the term “bastard” isn’t new, it was an easy way for WWE to use that word in their promos. As the storyline continued along, rumors were swirling of whom he could be! It ultimately was revealed that the illegitimate son was none other than Hornswoggle.
The storyline, much like the Steve Austin assailant one, was a disaster. Perhaps because it wasn’t the original plan, the illegitimate son was originally pegged to be Mr. Kennedy which would have led to the character being pushed towards the championship. Those plans were dropped as Kennedy was suspended due to a failed drug test.
3. The Original Plans For Monday Night Raw’s Anonymous General Manager
One of the biggest farces of a storyline was when Monday Night Raw was promoting a new General Manager. The problem was, no one knew who it actually was. The character would email his messages to the roster, and have them read by Michael Cole. Their identity was kept a secret. When it was revealed that the anonymous Raw General Manager was Hornswoggle, another one of the WWE’s longest running storylines turned into a joke.
The original plan, however, was to have the anonymous General Manager be none other than Triple H because he was reducing his time in the ring, having him make the transition to authority figure made sense. There was no reason why that plan was scrapped and Triple H would eventually be a part of The Authority, holding a similar role regardless.
2. Goldust Wanted Breast Implants
That title isn’t a typo, and it really was considered. It wasn’t the concept of the WWE creative department, it was the concept of Dustin Runnels himself. While the Goldust character was rather androgynous, this just went a little too far. When he first appeared on screen, Runnels’ character suggested that he was homosexual and would often play on the psyche of his opponents.
As the story goes, Runnels approached McMahon with the idea, as he was desperate to recapture the attention that the character had during his earlier run in the company. The concept went as far as to plan for cameras to film the procedure taking place. Both Vince Russo and Vince McMahon have validated this story, as has Runnels who initially asked Russo to approach McMahon with the idea. As history shows, the idea never took place.
1. Baron Von Bava
While wrestling fans have heard of outrageous ideas coming from the likes of Vince Russo and Vince McMahon, this next idea came from neither of them. The concept came from former WWE producer Dan Madigan. The character Von Bava would have been a Nazi stormtrooper who was frozen by Nazi scientists, much like Austin Powers or Captain America. Von Bava would have been unaware of the world around him and how much it had changed. He would openly demonstrate unacceptable behavior publicly, which would have been a public relation’s disaster.
He was going to wear a red Swastika, and it was even was suggested having Paul Heyman, who is Jewish, as his manager. If we thought the Muhammed Hassan character crossed boundaries, Von Bava would have had a hard time being accepted anywhere. Thankfully the idea didn’t see the light of day.